Tips for buying used cars from the owners include asking questions about the car`s history, asking for the maintenance records, inspecting the car in optimal conditions, investigating the VIN number and checking the car`s market value. A test drive should start with a cold engine to discover any start-up problems.
When talking to the owner, some key topics to talk about are the car`s accident history and details, the reason for selling the car, how the owner used the car, whether the car is still under the original manufacturer`s warranty and whether any parts have been replaced. Old or cheap tires can give leverage in price negotiations. Some dangers of buying used cars include ways in which the owner may cheat the buyer, such as illegally winding back the odometer to increase the value, cloning the identity of an almost identical vehicle, and cutting several damaged vehicles to assemble a complete one under the identity of one of the damaged vehicles.
While test driving the car, make sure to include different types of roads and check all of the car`s functions such as brakes, lights and wipers, to make sure the car is in working order. Using the Kelley Blue Book service to determine the price range of the car can help with negotiations. It is also advisable to conduct the sale transaction at a bank using a certified check to create a paper trail for proof of purchase.