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Car-buying is one of the biggest scams faced by service members and veterans. Younger enlistees who often have disposable income are prime targets for car salesman looking to take advantage. When you are in the market for a new vehicle, you often walk onto a car lot and see rows of shiny new cars, just waiting to be test driven.
Here are five tips to avoid car scams.
Watch your back when dealing with car salesmen.
There’s a road in Norfolk, Virginia, called Military Highway, and it’s notorious for its miles and miles of used and new car lots. The salespeople who work these lots know that a lot of young enlistees and newly commissioned officers will have expendable income, and convince them that they are offering the best deal on a car. Young service members need to do their homework, compare prices of similar vehicles online, get the Carfax for a used vehicle. Car salesman are there to sell cars, not advocate for your best interest.
Use competition to your advantage.
There are tons of resources available when looking for new or used cars. One trick to get what you’re looking for is to use competition to your advantage. Visit several dealerships, and arm yourself with research. Knowing the Kelly Blue Book value of a car can help you to talk down the price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Pay attention to the fine print.
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. In TV car commercials, they hide all the stipulations in tiny print on the last frame. All the promises of low APR and monthly payments — make sure you ask about the stipulations of any good deal. Often low interest rates apply only to “qualified” buyers with good credit. Whether it’s in a deal, your lease, or your buyer’s contract, make sure you read everything to avoid surprises.
Consult your calendar.
There are certain times during the year when the price of cars is lower. According to AutoTrader, late summer or early fall is a good time to buy as the new-model-year vehicles will begin populating the lot. Dealerships will be looking to cut deals on current year models to make room.
Take advantage of military discounts.
Almost every brand of car has a military discount. If you have your military ID or a DD-214, you can take advantage of some very gracious vehicle deals. Companies like Ford, Honda, Scion, and Toyota offer a $500 rebate toward leasing or buying any car. Others, like Acura offer even more.
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.
Widespread sexism and gender bias in the Marine Corps hasn't stopped hundreds of female Marines from striving for the branch's most dangerous, respected and selective jobs.
Six years after the Pentagon officially opened combat roles to women in 2013, 613 female Marines and sailors now serve in them, according to new data released by the Marine Corps.
"Females are now represented in every previously-restricted occupational field," reads a powerpoint released this month on the Marine Corps Integration Implementation Plan (MCIIP), which notes that 60% of those female Marines and sailors now serving in previously-restricted units joined those units in the past year.
The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship.
Gabriel Romero, a sailor on the submarine USS Columbia, fatally shot two civilian workers and wounded a third while the Los Angeles-class vessel is in Dry Dock 2 for a two-year overhaul, according to The Associated Press and other sources.
Romero "opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M-4 service rifle and then turned his M9 service pistol on himself," Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson reported, citing a preliminary incident report.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not able to provide information Thursday on a report that multiple suicides have occurred on the Columbia.
Hawaii News Now said Romero was undergoing disciplinary review and was enrolled in anger management classes.