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Beware of Scams Targeting Car Buyers

If you're in the market to buy a car, you should be aware of criminals listing cars for sale that they don't actually own. The FBI recently released an alert on a growing scam targeting car buyers online.

The scam involves a criminal posting an online car advertisement at a very low price, including photos of the vehicle and contact information, like a phone number and email address. When you reach out to learn more about the vehicle, the "seller" sends more photos and gives a logical explanation of why the car’s price is discounted. The seller indicates an urgency to sell because they are moving to a new location or being deployed, or the vehicle is part of a divorce settlement, or the vehicle belonged to a relative who died.

The scammer may claim a partnership with legitimate companies like eBay or mention a buyer protection program or guarantee. The scammer often sends an email with a toll-free number that impersonates another company, then instructs the buyer to purchase prepaid gift cards in the amount of the sale and share the prepaid codes. The buyer is told they will receive the vehicle in a couple days and that never happens.

Cars.com provides the following tips to protect car buyers from scammers:

1. Beware of Potential Red Flags When Purchasing a Car Online

Some red flags include the seller doesn't want to talk or meet in person and only communicates via email or text, or the seller says they don’t have the vehicle or that they need to have it shipped. Have a family member, friend, or mechanic who knows a lot about cars accompany you to inspect the car.

2. Avoid Car Listings That Seem Like a Steal

Be aware when dealing with online websites, “if something is too good to be true, it is.” Use major car buying websites or personally visit car dealerships like Carousel that have dedicated teams who help protect both buyers and sellers against fraud.

3. Think Twice Before Sending Money and Sharing Personal Information

Alternative payment methods like wiring deposits, paying with gift cards, escrow services, and Bitcoin could be a sign you are dealing with a scammer. Never share your personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account information online.

New scams are popping up all the time. Be aware of potential red flags. If you have been a target of a scam, file a complaint with the FBI.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned.  Carousel Preowned does its best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned Cars, Trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

Protect Your Car from Old Man Winter

Date: February 15, 2019 | Category: Car Shopping

Winter can be tough on your car, especially in heavy snowfall, ice and freezing temperatures. Protecting your car during the winter will also protect you on the road. Here are some tips to help your car beat the winter and keep you safe.

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The Most Romantic Cars of All Time

Date: February 8, 2019 | Category: Car Shopping

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you will want to take your date to a romantic dinner or weekend getaway. While you may not have the most romantic car of all time (yet), we thought it’d be fun to share the list of all-time romantic cars and features that add romance.

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The Difference Between Auto Service Contracts and Warranties

Date: January 31, 2019 | Category: Car Shopping

When shopping for a new or used car, you may be encouraged to purchase an auto service contract as a protection against unexpected and costly repairs on your car. Auto service contracts may sound like a good deal, but they can be costly. It is best to do some research before spending the extra money. Read more to learn the difference between auto service contracts and warranties.

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Myths About Buying Used Cars

Date: January 24, 2019 | Category: Car Shopping

Some people are just not keen on buying a used car because they have misconceptions about pre-owned vehicles. The reality is it makes perfect sense to buy a used car. Here are four myths about buying used cars.

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How To Select The Best Family Car For You

Date: January 17, 2019 | Category: Car Shopping

Your family has grown from one child to two and another on the way. You’ve outgrown your compact car and it’s time to search for a good family car. There are many great family cars in all shapes and sizes, new and used, though not all vehicles marketed as family cars may be a good choice for your family and in your budget range.

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Check Your Headlights

Date: December 20, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

If you have an older used vehicle, it’s a good idea if you check your car’s headlights for signs of deterioration. New research from AAA found that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions.

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Don't Be An Annoying Driver

Date: December 13, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Driving a vehicle whether new or used is an enormous responsibility. That’s why when you see other drivers on the road that do not seem to take driving seriously, it can be downright annoying and even deadly. Many of these annoying drivers are responsible for having a “near miss” or accident or are the cause of road rage. We all have a list annoying habits of drivers. Read more for the top annoying habits often mentioned.

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Five Signs It's Time to Replace Your Car

Date: December 6, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Many people get attached to their car, especially if the car has performed well for many years. It’s a tough call to decide it’s time to replace your car, but no matter how well you care for a car, the time will come when the repairs will be costing too much and it may no longer be safe to drive.  Here are five signs that it’s probably time to find another vehicle.

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How Long Can My Used Car Last?

Date: November 29, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

When shopping for a used car, it is always ideal to purchase a car with low mileage. An average of 12-15,000 miles a year is considered the norm, so a five-year-old car would ideally have on average of 60-75,000 miles. Cars with more mileage than that would be considered high mileage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t last for many years. Read more to find out how long your used car can last and when it's time to consider replacing it. 

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Thanksgiving Road Trip Dos and Don'ts

Date: November 15, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

AAA projects more than 54 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving holiday — a 4.8 percent increase over last year and the highest travel volume since 2005. If you’re one of the millions planning to travel by car, we’ve put together our list of Thanksgiving car travel dos and don’ts.

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How To Get the Best Mileage Out of Your Used Car

Date: October 26, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

So, you bought a used car and you want to keep it for as long as you can. By improving its fuel mileage, you will not only save on the life of the car, but you’ll also save a lot of money at the gas pumps. Here are a few helpful tips to save on gas and improve your gas mileage.

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Important Must-Have Safety Features In A Used Car

Date: October 18, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Just because you can’t afford a new car doesn’t mean that you can’t buy an affordable and safe used car. Many automotive safety technology features have been around for a number of years and are available in many used cars.  Here are some essential safety features mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Does A Car's Color Really Matter?

Date: October 11, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

When purchasing a car, the color you choose can matter. If you are buying a new car, the car’s color can affect the resale value of the car. If you’re purchasing a used car, color can matter, as well.

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Don't Be A Distracted Driver

Date: September 28, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Driving a car is a big responsibility and with it comes the obligation to be a diligent and safe driver. Distracted driving increases your chances of getting involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Data from the Iowa Department of Transportation shows in 2017, nearly 9,000 of the more than 55,000 motor vehicle crashes in Iowa were caused by a distraction. Nearly 400 of those crashes involved drivers talking on or manually operating an electronic device. Read more to learn tips to avoid being a distracted driver. 

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Does Mileage or Age Matter More When Buying A Car?

Date: September 21, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

When buying a used car, mileage is an important factor, but age can be a big factor, too. In some cases, it may matter more.

The norm for the “average” number of miles per year is 15,000 miles. So a car that is five years old with a mileage of 75,000 miles would be considered average. Cars with a mileage that is significantly less would be considered to be low mileage, and cars with more would be considered high mileage. Read more to know if mileage or age matter more when buying a car.

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6 Things To Do When You're in a Car Accident

Date: September 13, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Over six million accidents occur each year in the U.S. With so many cars on the roads, it could happen to you, so it’s important to know what to do if you are in a car accident. Here are six things you should do if you’re in a car accident.

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When Your Car Doesn't Sound Right

Date: September 6, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Some people think your eyes are important for safe driving. It’s true, but you also need your ears to alert you to unusual sounds coming from your car.

After driving your car for a while, you will be able to familiarize yourself with how your car sounds. Be alert to any sounds that are out of the ordinary. The louder and more frequent that sound gets, the more urgent attention it needs. If you continue to ignore these car noises, it could cost you. Read more about  some car sounds that can alert you to trouble.

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Basic Dos After Purchasing A Used Car

Date: August 30, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Congratulations! You are now the owner of a new car. The car may be used, but it’s yours! You have performed the needed inspection, you did the research and you were able to negotiate the best price. It’s yours and you are ready for new adventures in your new car.

Most people think once they purchase a car, the work is done and all they need to do is drive it on the roads. Not so. Don’t get carried away by the relief and euphoria you feel after purchasing a car. Read more for  some important tips that can help keep you and your new vehicle safe.

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Check Your Car Before Going to College

Date: August 16, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Summer is coming to a close and many students are headed to college. That may mean a road trip a few miles away or several states away. So, before you go, read more for a simple road trip checklist you can do a few days before you head to school.

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How Do I Negotiate a Used Car a Dealership?

Date: July 19, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You’re buying a used car because you know it has more value than purchasing a new vehicle. Cars that are around two years old are especially a good deal since their new car value has dropped nearly 50 percent from their original sticker price.

In any negotiation, knowledge is power. Once you have an idea of the kind of car you’d like to purchase, do your research on what the car is worth used. Check the Kelley Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealer Guide Official Used Car Guide to get both retail value and wholesale value of the car. Read more to learn how to negotiate on a used car at a dealership. 

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When is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car?

Date: July 5, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

There can be great deals on cars throughout the year, depending on the occasion, the season, the month, the day or even the time of day.

Watch for sales, especially during holidays like Black Friday, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and Columbus Day. Some, but not all three-day weekends can be good times to buy a used car. You may not get the best deal in the months of April, May, June or July. During these times, the weather gets warmer and more car shoppers come out and are ready to spend money, so dealerships may have less incentive to offer discounts. Read more to know when the best time to buy a used car is. 

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How to Maintain Your Vehicle

Date: June 21, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Whether pre-owned or new, the key to keeping a vehicle healthy and you happy and safe is regular maintenance. Neglecting regular maintenance on your car can lead to a breakdown or, worse yet, a bad accident. It could cost you a lot of money, if not your life.

Here are priorities you need to check regularly to keep your vehicle well-maintained, increase its life span and keep your safe on the road.

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Should I Buy a Used Car from a Private Seller or a Car Dealership

Date: June 9, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

When you’ve decided you are better off buying a used car instead of a brand-new car, the next question that will come to mind is whether you should buy the vehicle from a private seller or a dealership. Let’s examine the pros and cons.

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Know the Difference: Vehicle History Report vs. Vehicle History

Date: May 25 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Acquiring a vehicle history report before purchasing a used car can save you a lot of money and headache afterwards. A vehicle history report can be purchased for a fee from companies like Carfax and AutoCheck.com. Other websites, like the National Insurance Crime Bureau, can provide you with the history of a vehicle for free, but they will not provide you with as detailed information.

Whether pre-owned or new, the key to keeping a vehicle healthy and you happy and safe is regular maintenance. Neglecting regular maintenance on your car can lead to a breakdown or, worse yet, a bad accident. It could cost you a lot of money, if not your life.

Here are priorities you need to check regularly to keep your vehicle well-maintained, increase its life span and keep your safe on the road.

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5 Steps to Buying Your First Car

Date: May 17 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You got your first job and you’re renting an apartment of your own. The next testament to your full independence is to buy your first car. Buying your first car can be overwhelming, but doing research ahead of time will make it less daunting and help you arrive at an informed decision on the best car for you. Read more for a few tips.

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When to Know It's Time to Replace Your Car

Date: May 10 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Every car, no matter how well-maintained, will reach its limit and sooner or later, you’ll have to decide whether the car is worth keeping, or whether it’s time to look for another vehicle. Read more to know when it's time to replace your care. 

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Should You Pay Cash for a Used Car

Date: April 28 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You’ve done your research on the type of car you want and you are ready to approach the dealer. The question is, will you get a better deal if you pay all cash for a pre-owned car?

A buyer paying all cash may appeal to a seller, but cash may not always be king when it comes to buying a used car. Paying all cash for a car would save you money on interest charges and could save you time in a dealership, but it may not always guarantee that you’ll get a better deal.

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Preparing Your Car to Sell to the Dealership

Date: April 20 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

So, you’re ready to say good-bye to your car. Maybe you want to replace it because it’s giving you more trouble than you want to deal with; or, maybe just want a change - something new or newer.

Of course, you’d like to get the most money out of your car. At Carousel Pre-Owned, we want to help our customers be informed, so here are a few things you can do to prepare your car so you get the most for trade-in.

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What to Include in a Car Survival Kit

Date: April 13 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

At Carousel Preowned, we are proud to be a used car and automotive leader in our community. Our customers are very important to us and our customer care goes beyond purchasing a vehicle; we want you to be safe. We encourage everyone to carry a Survival Kit in their car. In an emergency, it could save your life and the lives of your passengers. Read more to learn what  you need in your Survival Kit.

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15 Car Buying Questions You Should Ask

Date: Mar. 29 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

It’s a rare person who enjoys the car buying process. More often than not, we find ourselves wondering what questions we should ask when we’re at the dealership. And when we do purchase a new car, we wonder “Did I get a good deal?”

Getting a good deal is more than just price. At Carousel Preowned, we want to help our customers be informed; help them know what questions to ask. So, we’ve compiled a list of 15 car buying questions you should ask. Some of these questions may not be applicable to your situation and there may even be more that we forgot, but it’s a start and we hope it’s helpful.

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Cost Considerations for Used Cars

Date: Mar. 22 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You’re considering purchasing a new or used car, but when it comes to the cost and your budget – what should you know about? For starters, used cars are the most affordable. The average new car can range anywhere from $20,000 to $55,000 according to Kelly Blue Book. While the average used car can range anywhere from a few thousand to the average $13,000.

Beyond the sticker price, it’s smart to get ahead of expenses like maintenance, repairs, parking, gas and more. To get a handle on your budget, determine ceilings for down payment costs, monthly payments, insurance in addition to miscellaneous expenses like parking and gas. Here’s what you need to remember when budgeting for your used car.

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Types of Used Cars

Date: Mar. 15 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

If you’re shopping for a used car, you’ll want to understand what types of used cars there are and what to look for before setting out on your search. Here’s a look at the types of used cars and what to consider.

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What to Know if You're Selling Your Car to a Dealership

Date: Mar. 6 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You’re ready to sell your car. You have a few options, some easier than others. You can sell it on your own, privately. This will often get you the most money, however it requires a great deal of time and effort. You can use sites like Cars.com or AutoTrader, which also require time and effort. Or, you can sell your car to a dealership. Here’s what you need to know if you’re selling your car to a dealership.

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How Much Mileage Is Good For A Used Car

Date: Feb.22 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

There are many reasons why buying a used car rather than a new car is a wise choice. But there are also factors that should be taken into consideration before purchasing a used car. Good mileage is one them. But how much mileage is good for a used car? Here’s what to know before purchasing a used car.

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Buying A Car for Your Teen

Date: Feb.1 , 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

If you're buying a used car for your teenager, here are a few things to keep in mind before you go to the dealership. 

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What You Need to Know When Test-Driving A Used Car

Date: Jan. 18, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Buying a car can be a big decision. Making the most of a test drive is a simple matter of common sense, careful observation, and knowing what to look for. Read on for how to prepare yourself for this all-important experience and what to keep track of when taking a car out for the first time.

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Used Car Buyers Checklist

Date: Jan. 18, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

You’ve decided to purchase a new car – fantastic! We invite you to look at our online selection of  used cars and certified pre-owned vehicles. We are confident that your dream car is here on our parking lot.  As you’re looking for your vehicle, we’ve compiled a helpful checklist for you to reference to help ensure a fantastic customer experience.  

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Advantages of Buying a Used Car

Date: Jan. 11, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

Used cars are a great option for all kinds of drivers. They offer benefits like having more options and lower prices, making them an excellent and affordable choice. If you’re considering buying a used car, read on to find out more about how Carousel Preowned can help.

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The Carousel Preowned Difference

Date: Dec. 29, 2017 | Category: Car Shopping

When you decide to purchase a car, truck or SUV from a Carousel 2, you’ve made a good decision. Shopping at Carousel 2 ensures that you’ll obtain a high-quality automobile that has already met our high standards. Read about a  few benefits you can experience when you shop with us in Iowa.

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10 Things to Do Before You Buy a Car

Date: Dec. 19, 2017 | Category: Car Shopping

Buying your first car can seem a little daunting. There are many makes and models to choose from with a variety of features. It can be difficult to sort through the options and find the best car for you. Consider these ten tips before you buy a car.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Used Car

Date: Nov. 13, 2017 | Category: Car Shopping

If you are looking to buy a car for yourself or a family member, consider purchasing a used car instead of a new car. Carousel Preowned is a trusted used car dealer, and we believe that our high-quality used cars will fulfill your transportation needs.

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The 2015 Honda Fit EX-L in Iowa City: Delivery Efficiency and Epic Moments Every Time

Date: Feb. 13, 2017 | Category: Honda Fit

The 2015 Honda Fit EX-L in Iowa City is making a splash in the economy car market, redefining the way these cars handle and look. This five-person hatchback offers plenty of character on the inside, and a fun performance wherever your journeys take you. It delivers on all points, from a spacious interior to an impressive fuel economy...

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT in Iowa City: A Solid Option for the Family

Date: Feb. 7, 2017 | Category: Chevrolet Malibu LT

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT in Iowa City is a great vehicle to take out with the family, given its reliability and cargo space. It offers plenty of safety and entertainment features as well to ensure every passenger has a good time on long-distance trips...

The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu LT in Iowa City: A Solid Option for the Family

Date: Feb. 1, 2017 | Category: Dodge Journey RT

Cruising down different roads can be epic every time when inside the refined 2015 Dodge Journey RT, a timeless SUV designed for today’s modern world. Its interior is fit for a queen and king, and the exterior drops jaws in any setting. Take this SUV out for long-distance trips with the family or daily commutes. It is ready when you are...

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Date: Jan. 25, 2017 | Category: Dodge Journey RT

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