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Turn your next car purchase into a vacation

Car buyers who are ready to think outside the box can find rare and affordable cars by researching nationwide and turning the buying process into an exciting road trip. For example, Mark Holthoff found a rare 1979 Mercedes-Benz 280E in Santa Rosa, California. She flew there with her teenage daughter.

Regional price differences

Buying a car without being seen can be difficult. And when it comes to airfares and hotels, you don't always save money. But if you treat it as "automation", it can give you lasting memories and a car you love. Here we show you how to buy this rough diamond and bring it home safely.

5 steps for a flight and vacation by car

Run a vehicle history report

Holthoff recommends purchasing a plan from a service such as CarLoanDealer.com that allows multiple vehicle history reports. With reports, you can quickly exclude cars with problems such as accidental damage or major mechanical problems.

Visit an online community

People who already have the desired car model are the best source of information about potential problems. Many are also willing to share their purchase prices. Google "owners forum" and car make and model name.

Check the price

Some sellers are asking prices that are too high, which would take too much negotiation to make the purchase worthwhile. Use the pricing guidelines and consult the comparable vehicle lists to get an idea of the correct price range you can expect.

Contact the seller

You are looking for not only the best car but also a good seller. Find an informed, transparent and well-communicated provider. Check all the specifications with the seller and find out if he has the title of the car in hand. (A loan adds a few more steps to the process.)

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