Here is how to buy a used car from a private party successfully so you don’t end up with a lemon. Buying a car from an individual may save you a little money but most likely it could cost you more time and money in the long run.
Here’s what I mean…
If you are not careful, it could cost you more than just your time.
Buying a used car from a private party could end up being risky and if not done properly, you could end up paying more than the car is really worth.
Here are some pointers to help you get the best deal when considering how to buy a used car from a private party.
Begin by knowing what type of vehicle you want and need. With some research you can check out specific makes and models for reliability and safety. Use the Internet to help you determine what vehicle will serve your needs and fit in your budget.
Next, research the value of the vehicle.
Use websites that list current pricing for your area, one good suggestion would be the NADA guide or the Kelley Blue Book. Knowing the value of the vehicle will help you ensure that you are getting a fair deal dollar-wise.
Now, search classifieds and sites such as AutoTrader.com, Craigslist, Cars.com and BackPage.com to locate private parties selling the type of vehicle you are interested in.
Call the person who is selling the vehicle to set up a time where you can meet them. You also want to get the Vehicle Identification Number from the ad if it is there, if not ask the owner for it. Then, use the VIN to run a Carfax report as well as an AutoCheck report. Combining these two resources will ensure that there aren’t any problems with the car that the seller didn’t tell you about.
Be sure and test-drive the vehicle. Take the car on the highway so that you can see how it handles at higher speeds. Notice how it accelerates. Listen for any odd sounds or noises. Look for trailing blue smoke.
Also drive it in town to see how it handles in and out of heavy traffic.
Once you find a used car that fits the bill, it is a good idea to have the car inspected by a reputable certified mechanic. Ask the seller if you can take the car and visit your mechanic to have him check it out. Most often the seller will want to go with you, set a time it will work for the two of you as well as the technician.
If the car gets a star from the mechanic, now is time to negotiate. Offer a price lower than what the seller is asking, chances are he expects to come down a bit and has priced it so. Most likely he will counter your offer a bit higher. If you feel the car is worth that price, tell the seller he has a deal.
Finally there’s the paperwork that needs to be filed. Be sure the two of you visit the DMV together to be sure everything is done properly and that both you and the seller are protected. Here you will pay for the taxes and plates, so don’t forget to bring some money and your proof of insurance.
How to buy a used car from a private party can be a good deal if you know what to do. These few helpful hints may help you strike a fair deal as well as find a quality used car.