Craigslist is one of the most popular message boards online. As a type of online classified ads, it's an excellent resource for people to use when trying find items they want to purchase or services they need. If you are a smart and savvy shopper, you can be fortunate enough to find a cheap and reliable car from this website. Here's what you need to do.
- Determine what you want to buy. Get an idea what type of car you want. Select the range of year, make and model of vehicles you are willing to consider. Choose what options or accessories you require or are willing to forgo.
- Decide what cheap means. You must have a working budget so you don't get sidetracked when you are on the site. There are a various number of deals online, but you must stick to your budget.
- Browse the site and see what options are available. Read the specifications thoroughly. You may want to keep a pen and paper handy so you can jot down pertinent information. Write down the email address as well as the contact number of the seller. Copy as many options as you like so you have a good selection to choose from.
- Research on the car you are considering. Go to kbb.com to find out the Kelly blue book price of the vehicle. This will let you know if it's a good deal or how far below the Kelly blue book price you are getting the vehicle. Check car sites or go to forums to get feedback on the reviews of the particular make and model of the car. Some brands and models have historically performed well even after a decade so choose a car based on its reliability ratings and not just the price.
- When you have narrowed down your choices, call the seller. Ask details about the vehicle that are not listed on the ad, such as what was the vehicle primarily used for and why it is being sold. Check how many previous owners the car has had and who does the maintenance work, a personal mechanic or does it get its work done at the dealership. Find out if the car has been involved in any accidents, especially those involving engine damage. You may also want to ask if the car has been flooded and what the experience of the owner is with the car.
- If you think you found a car you like, go ahead and set up a test drive. Never buy a car without trying it out and doing a visual inspection of the vehicle. Drive the car in suburban conditions as well as on the freeway. Test the acceleration and braking. Ask the owner to show your any maintenance records, so you can see what work has been done on the vehicle.
Once you find the car you like, negotiate for the price. It's that simple. It may take some weeks to do the proper legwork but you'll find a cheap reliable car at the end of it all.