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(NAPSI)-Experts say the nation’s economic downturn is causing a growing number of consumers to see used cars as a smart way to get good value without having to pay new-car prices.

However, as demand for quality used cars increases, the available supply is decreasing. To find the right cars, it’s crucial for consumers to do their homework before they buy.

To help buyers have confidence in vehicles they are considering, a well-known vehicle history service has introduced a new feature.

History—A Guide To Vehicle Value

Every car has a unique history and, therefore, unique value. A low-mileage car with records of routine service may be worth more than a similar model vehicle with high mileage and multiple owners, for example. Carfax, the vehicle history service, can help you understand how a car’s past history affects its value in the market.

The new Carfax History Impact tool helps consumers determine if a car is worth more or less than retail book value, based on vehicle history data reported to the service. This information is especially useful when comparing similar model cars.

Tips For Buying Online

Today, three in four used-car shoppers are likely to compare vehicles online before buying. Here are some tips:

• Start by comparing listings to find the best price on sites such as autotrader.com and cars.com.

• Next, research vehicle retail book values by visiting sites such as kbb.com and edmunds.com.

• Get a vehicle history report and see how adjusted retail value compares to the seller’s asking price.

• Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and have a trusted mechanic do a prepurchase inspection [in St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park, FL our shop will gladly assist you in this].

A Valuable History Lesson

Dealers have long considered vehicle history as a key factor when evaluating and pricing used cars for their inventory. Now used-car consumers have a tool that gives them more confidence during the buying process by helping them know what a vehicle is worth, based on its unique history.

“You can’t buy a car without knowing the price,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “Consumers can be more confident they are paying the right price when they see how a vehicle’s history affects its value.”

To learn more, visit carfax.com.