Q:

What are some tips for buying used vehicles that are for sale by owner?

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Quick Answer

Some tips for buying a used vehicle that is for sale by the owner include finding out the worth of the vehicle you want to purchase, getting a history and a safety report on the vehicle, having the car looked over by a mechanic, and test driving the car.

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What are some tips for buying used vehicles that are for sale by owner?
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Full Answer

Buying a used car from a private seller should be approached with caution. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or ICC, states that auto fraud makes up 12 percent of all online purchase scams. In order to avoid these scams one should deal locally, do not make any payments online, do not purchase an unseen vehicle, and never wire funds.

One of the most common scams are sellers reselling defective cars. These vehicles have several internal issues that the buyer does not recognize until after the purchase is made. In order to avoid this scam, the buyer should have the vehicle looked over by a capable mechanic, which can ensure that the buyer is not purchasing a lemon. Websites such as Carfax.com give the buyer a complete history of the car since it left the factory. The Carfax Report also provides other information about a car’s history, such as the odometer reading, previous owners and car title status, including whether the car is a salvage/junk vehicle.

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