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  • State Regulations in Oklahoma

    Buying a new or used car is fun and exciting. Car types, makes, paint colors, interior treatments―all the things we actually see, day in and day out, are important, but not nearly as important as the safety and reliability of the vehicle.

    Here are some tips for making your new or used vehicle purchase a smooth transaction.

    New Vehicle Sales

    First and foremost, research your car, truck, motor home, and motorcycle-buying. Decide what make and model vehicle you want and need. If you want a sports car, read up on the latest releases and shop around on the Internet for prices. If you have a family and use your vehicle to carry passengers regularly, check out minivans or SUVs.

    In this era of rising fuel prices, you might want to take economy into consideration, especially if you drive long distances or commute to and from the office.

    Used Cars

    There are many ways to purchase a used vehicle. You can purchase a used vehicle from a private party, through Internet sales, at a used car dealer, from an auction, from a new car dealer, at lender sponsored sales and more.

    Used Vehicle Documentation

    Aside from the title, the most important document regarding a used vehicle sale will be the notarized bill of sale.

    If you don't have a contract for a vehicle purchase or need a form to use as a bill of sale, a notarized copy of a Declaration of Vehicle Purchase Price (Form 722-1) will be required.

    If you are unable to access the form from the OTC website, DMV.org provides a basic bill of sale form instead.

    Remember, whether you're buying a new or used vehicle, and whether from a dealer or a private party, you'll still need to go through the same registration and titling processes.

    Do NOT buy or sell a vehicle without a title. Oklahoma requires a properly signed title when transferring vehicle ownership. To find out how to obtain a duplicate titlebefore you attempt to sell your car, visit Title Transfers. The seller does not need to produce a registration document; the buyer won't need it to title and register the car.

    Flood-Damaged Cars

    There is an abundant supply of used cars on the market that have been salvaged from the floodwaters of hurricanes. Many of these vehicles were completely submerged by floodwaters and have been deemed "totaled" by the insurance companies.

    However, the fact that these cars have been branded as totaled has not stopped some unscrupulous used car sellers from transferring these vehicles to different states, "cleaning up the titles," and reentering the cars on the market as used vehicles. Unfortunately, the reason these vehicles were condemned as totaled in the first place is because there are some types of water damage that cannot be rectified in a modern automobile.

    Most modern automobiles rely heavily on the onboard electronics. These vehicles have an electronic brain―an onboard computer that, in effect, tells the engine what to do. This computer controls the engine's timing, ignition, the fuel mixture, braking, the transmission, steering, lights, and other essential functions.

    When these delicate but crucial electronic systems are exposed to water, they may be dried out temporarily, but will continue to degrade, causing the vehicle to become unreliable or, worse, to fail at highway speeds. These failures can cause collisions or even render a vehicle uncontrollable.

    There are ways to protect yourself against used cars such as these. Since the titles have been "recycled," you probably won't have any way of knowing that they have been water damaged. One way to protect yourself is to look into getting a vehicle history report.

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