State of Minnesota
More about
Attorney General
Lori Swanson

Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

M - F 8 am - 5 pm

TTY:(651) 297-7206
TTY:(800) 366-4812

Table of Contents

The Car Handbook

There is no three-day right to cancel ...

If we could impart just one piece of information, it would be to remind you that there is no three-day right to cancel a car contract. Once you sign on the dotted line, the car is yours. The Attorney Generalís Office hears from many consumers every Monday morning who assume they can still return the car they bought Friday night. They canít. But they learn this lesson the hard way. So, donít be one of our remorseful Monday morning callers ó remember, when you buy a car itís yours!

Chapter 1: Driven to Buy a Car?

  • Buying New vs. Used
  • Buying vs. Leasing

Chapter 2: What Can I Afford?

  • Figuring It Out
  • Fixed Fees
  • Flexible Costs
  • An Appreciation for Depreciation

Chapter 3: Hit the Books Before the Accelerator

  • Consider Your Needs and Wants
  • Ask Around
  • Visit the Library
  • Go Online
  • Compare Costs
  • Make a Safe Choice
  • Safety Equipment
  • The Test Drive

Chapter 4: Where to Buy a Car

  • It's Gotta Be New
  • Selecting Used-Car Sellers

Chapter 5: Negotiate From the Driver's Seat

  • Playing the Game
  • Know the Dealer's Invoice
  • Negotiation Strategy
  • Trade-ins
  • It's Not Over Until It's Over
  • Closing the Sale
  • Minnesota's Lemon Law

Chapter 6: Considering an "Experienced"Car?

  • What's a Used Car Worth?
  • Three Ways to Get What You Pay For
  • Your Personal Inspection
  • Test Driving a Used Car
  • Final Issues
  • Signing the Contract

Chapter 7: Get a Lease on Leasing

  • What Is Leasing and Why Is It So Popular?
  • Who Typically Leases?
  • Beyond Monthly Payments
  • Examples of Negative and Positive Equity
  • Tip
  • Who's Who in Leasing?
  • Bumper-to-Bumper Fees
  • Leasing vs. Buying When Ownership Is the Goal
  • Buying the Car at the End of the Lease
  • Leasing Glossary
  • What the Leasing Company Must Tell You
  • Raise Your Leasing I.Q.
  • Figure Your Lease Payment
  • Done!
  • Leasing Form

Chapter 8: Words About Warranties

  • New Car Warranties
  • Used Car Warranty Law
  • Lawsuits
  • The Buyer's Guide
  • What If a Part Breaks?
  • Refund? It's Dealer's Choice
  • Extended Warranties or Service Contracts

Chapter 9: Wheels to Rent

  • Making Reservations
  • The Cost
  • Insurance and Waivers

Chapter 10: Get Square on Repairs

  • Your Rights When Your Car Is Repaired
  • How to Choose a Repair Shop
  • How to Find the Best Technician
  • Estimate the Damage
  • When to Get a Second Opinion
  • Get an Invoice
  • An Ounce of Prevention
  • Resolving Disputes Over Repairs

Appendices:

A: Top Ten Tips for Buying a Car

B: A Car Buyer's Checklist

C: Car Pricing Comparison Worksheet

D: Insurance Comparison Worksheet

E: Top Ten Tips for Leasing a Car

F: Car-Buying Glossary

G: Consumer Information

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