When buying a car for sale by owner on Craigslist, call the seller and arrange to meet and see the car in person before sending any money, states Craigslist. Check to ensure the title is clean, and get a vehicle inspection to uncover potential problems, advises Car and Driver.
When calling a seller, individuals should ask questions and verify information included in the ad. This gives the person a chance to get a first impression of the seller and decide if they want to meet, states Car and Driver. Select a location to meet. A public, well-lit place is safest; however, the seller may request that the individual come to them to view the car.
Individuals should take a friend and a cell phone to the meeting to increase safety. They should also research the car before the meeting by looking up the Kelley Blue Book value and prices of similar cars sold on Craigslist and other sites. Individuals use this information to negotiate the purchase price of the vehicle, states Forbes.
Take the vehicle for a test drive in both highway and city driving, advises Forbes. Individuals can listen for unusual sounds and feel how the car drives. Request service records if they are available.
If the individual decides to purchase the car, meet at a bank if possible to do the exchange, advises Car and Driver. This allows the individual to withdraw cash and utilize the notary public at the bank to witness the sale.