Craigslist is an online forum populated with free classified advertisements. One product that is often buyed and sold through the service is used cars. Private parties can post used cars for sale for any price and it will be listed chronologically with other used car postings. Do you know how to Buy a Used Car Off Craigslist? When you’re looking to buy a used car on Craigslist, it can be a great resource, but you need to keep your wits about you and approach all listings skeptically. And when you see the car in person, there are a few things you should keep in mind so you stay safe and don’t get swindled. We have created 5 Most Important Steps for buying a Used Car on Craigslist.
1. Be Skeptical: Assume the Person Selling the Car can CON you
Think on the worst, even if the seller is probably just a legit person trying to sell his car. The vast majority of vehicle frauds are committed by private sellers. Scammers impersonating private sellers have been known to sell stolen vehicles with false paperwork, salvaged vehicles without disclosing damage, vehicles with tampered odometers, and more. You Can AVOID this with a VIN check online.
2. RUN a Vehicle History Report! Ask for the VIN number ( Vehicle Identification Number ) and Perform a Car Vin Verification using a certified website like: www.CarVinCheck.net
One of the most important parts of buying a used vehicle is the VIN check, the first step you can take as a consumer to find out as much information as possible on a car you are considering purchasing. This is the initial part of what is known as a vehicle history report, which is a comprehensive document that serves as a chronological biography of a car, from the time it was first registered up until today.
Also known as a VIN Number search, it is the only way to know for sure if a vehicle is problem-free. If there’s anything to be concerned about, it will come up…and you’ll know right away that this is a car to avoid.
What is a VIN and what does the VIN check reveal about a used car?
VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, and every single car in the world has a unique one. It is like an automobile’s fingerprint, and no two are alike. Every car, truck, van and SUV built after 1981 has a 17-character, alphanumeric sequence, with each of the 17 letters and numbers signifying something specific about the car.
We’ve researched these companies for many years, and have confidently teamed up with CarVinCheck.net by CVN for vehicle history reports. They are the leader in the industry, with millions of records in their databases. From what we have seen their reports are the most complete of all of the providers. If you just want a single report, it’s only $29.99. (prices current as of 2014) If you think about it, that’s a really small price to pay to avoid a problem vehicle that could end up costing you thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair.
The VIN check gives you peace of mind when purchasing a used car…you can find out instantaneously which ones are clean, and which ones you should avoid at all costs!
3. Ask why they’re selling.
Get the story on “why.” Sometimes people have a really good reason for selling a car, but most of the time the reason is simple “I don’t want it anymore.” If you get some sob story (or some complicated story), beware. The more interesting the story, the more likely the seller is trying to trick you.
As for records, ask to see maintenance records. If they don’t have them, it’s not a problem—not everyone is great at keeping track of paperwork—but it is cause for suspicion. Most private sellers keep copious records.
4. Insist on a Test Drive, but before you get at this point make shure to verify the car with a Vin check – we recommend the website www.CarVINCheck.net , they offer full reports.
You must test drive a used car before you buy it. But before you and your friend jump in a car with a stranger, ask to see ID, insurance, and a registration card. Make sure all the names match, that the photo matches, etc.
If they give you any business about providing all this info, explain that your insurance agent told you to do this. If they still won’t produce all this info, leave. As always, better to be safe and skeptical.
If the names on the docs don’t all match, make sure you understand why.
Your test drive should include some stop-and-go, some highway, and a careful review of every feature and function. Check the A/C and heater, all the windows and locks, 4wd, etc. If it takes you less than 20 minutes to complete a test drive and check every function, you’re probably doing it wrong.
5. Find the car value.
Check all the following sources:
What similar cars are selling for at your local dealers.
What Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds have to say.
This is the hardest part of buying a used car—at the end of the day, you’ll never really know what it’s worth. However, if you do your homework and make sure the vehicle is in good shape, you’ll do okay. My rule of thumb is to try to get within $500 of what I feel the value is. $500 is close enough.
If you get a bad feeling about the way someone’s acting, the way the vehicle drives, the story you’re being told about the reason for the sale—whatever—listen to your gut. There are millions of cars in the world. You can always find another one.