Ask Amy: 4 questions to ask before buying a car + homeowner stuck with $18K repair bill

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

There is a lot more you need to know about buying a new or used car, including ways to save you money and protect you from potential fraud. Plus, the latest in a case of a homeowner stuck with a huge bill after a contractor she did not hire caused damage to her property.

Avoid fraud and save money when buying a car

If you’ve tried to buy a car recently, you know that times have changed. Inventory, high-interest rates, and even potential fraud mean there are more things to think about before pulling the trigger on an expensive purchase. Now, more than ever, you need to do your homework first.

Just last week we introduced you to Wasim Akram. He purchased a car from Carvana - then discovered the mileage on the 2015 Toyota Corolla did not match what was previously reported to the DMV.

The title was rejected and he wasn’t able to renew his registration. It’s not clear if this was fraud or a clerical mistake but in the end, Carvana took the car back.

Why you should call your insurance company before buying a car

Attorney Dana Karni with Lone Star Legal Aid joined me for an episode of Ask Amy to talk about all things car buying, including why you should loop in your insurance company from the start before you pay any money for a car you want to buy.

“Call your insurance company on the spot. Tell them I’m about to purchase this vehicle, here’s the vin number, what is it going to cost me to insure this vehicle? They will let you know right on the spot if they will insure the vehicle,” said Karni.

This is not just to find the best deal but also a way to double-check the history of the VIN number.

Karni says when it comes to the car history, ask the dealer these questions:

  • Has the vehicle been in an accident.. if so, what type?
  • Was it deemed totaled by another insurance company in the past?
  • Where did you get the vehicle? Did you get it at an auction?

There are several places you can go to get help if you are having an issue with a car dealership

Watch the full Ask Amy episode with Karni, where she also explains what yo-yo financing is and what to look out for when you are working with a dealer or financing company.

Homeowner stuck with $18K bill

What would you do if you were suddenly stuck with a huge bill, all because of someone else’s mistake? It could happen to anyone who hires people to do work at their homes.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

A desperate homeowner contacted KPRC 2 Investigates after she says contractors caused thousands of dollars worth of damage and now she can’t get anyone to help.

This case involves a homeowner, a trail association, and a fence contractor. See why it’s taking so long and what you should do before letting anyone on your property.

Do you have a consumer question? Email and I’ll work to find answers for you!

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.