What Are Some Tips for Buying Cars on Craigslist?


Quick Answer

Research the value, ask questions before meeting and choose a safe place to view the car. While many people are honest, Craigslist is often associated with scams. Staying safe and avoiding a lemon are keys when buying a vehicle posted on Craigslist.

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What Are Some Tips for Buying Cars on Craigslist?
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Full Answer

The tone and grammar in the ad can often reveal some details about the seller. If the seller seems impatient or rude in the ad, he won't likely make the buying experience pleasant.

Know what the vehicle is worth before looking at it to help negotiate a price. The Blue Book value provides a range for used vehicles sold by private sellers. Ask lots of questions about the condition of the car, especially if the ad lacks detail. Request additional pictures if you want to see something specific in the vehicle.

Before you meet, make sure the seller agrees to let you test drive the vehicle. Meet in a public place with a friend along for the ride to stay safe when meeting to see the vehicle. If anything seems suspicious as you near the vehicle, continue driving and skip the meeting.

An inspection from a mechanic is recommended when buying a used vehicle from a private seller. This allows the buyer to find out about problems before purchasing the vehicle. Since the buyer pays the mechanic bill, this step is best only when the buyer is serious about a car.

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