Craigslist has become a sellers and buyers haven where you can find almost everything that can be sold. However just like any other online classified ads sites, there are many things you need to look out for when you want to buy any item, particularly cars to avoid getting scammed. Take a look at the tips below on how to buy cheap cars on Craigslist.
- Get accurate information about the car that you want to buy. You do not know if the price for a particular car listed in Craigslist is the right price for a used car. You can check the going rate for these cars from trusted car buying guide sites such as Edmunds, NADA and Kelly Blue Book. Do not stop at just one site. Check the prices quoted at the different sites to get a fair idea of the price range. An honest car seller will also be looking at these sites to make sure that he quotes the right price.
- If you find a car that you are interested in and have contacted the seller, make sure that you ask for more photos of the car taken at different angles, including the interior of the car so that you can have a very good idea on the condition of the car before you inspect it personally. If the conditions are favorable then you can arrange for a meeting to see the car physically.
- Inquire about the known problems with the car, why the owner is selling the car and if the car has some damages that need to be repaired and if the car has noises that should be noted. Of course it is also possible that the owner will not tell you everything that is wrong with the car initially but it is always worth it to ask the right questions.
- If the seller is a good car owner, you should be able to get a copy of the car's service history. You should know the mileage, the parts that have been replaced, how many times the car had been serviced and he regular service schedule that the owner keeps. You will basically know the condition of the car by the way the owner maintains it.
- Know the car's history by checking the VIN number of the car in the Carfax website. Ask for the car's VIN number from the seller and go online. The vehicle's history report can be ordered for about thirty-five dollars. The report includes the title, ownership and accident and service histories of a vehicle. If there are several vehicles that you are interested in you can order reports for five vehicles for about forty-five dollars.
- Check the listings on Craigslist daily if you were not able to find the right car on the first try. Sellers continuously come up and buyers can grab a good car in a flash. You can also try to check the Craigslist ads in neighboring cities as there may be cars there that are worth checking and the short drive can prove very profitable.
- Make sure that you schedule the appointment to meet with the seller during daytime and in a public place. If possible bring a car mechanic with you so that he can make a thorough inspection of the car. Take a good look around the car, inspect under the hood, the car trunk, under the car and the car interior. If you are going to test drive the car, make sure that you ask the seller to have the engine cold so that you will get to know of any problems when the engine starts.
Exercise all precautionary measures when you want to buy a cheap car using Craigslist. Be wary when the seller seems hesitant to provide the information that you request and ask questions when you find that a car that you like is being sold quite cheaply. Make use of all the resources available to you to guide you in making your purchase.