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Craigslist Used Cars Search

Updated on February 10, 2013

Craigslist is a great site. It allows people to buy and sell any variety of products in their area. One of the many things that can be bought through Craigslist are cars. Craigslist used cars are usually a good deal, but the buyer has to consider several things before purchasing. Unlike a regular car dealership, there is little legal protection when purchasing through the site. Here are a few tips on buying a car using Craigslist.

First, know the value of the car. The listing online should state the make, year, and mileage of the car. If not, ask the seller. With this information, it's easy to use an online website to determine the value. Kelley Blue Book is a standard for used cars. While the owner may be asking slightly more than the value listed, this is a good place to start.

Secondly, ask for more pictures. Chances are, there are only one or two listed online. It will give a good idea of the look and color of the car, but seeing larger, higher-resolution pictures will give a more accurate view of the car. Also, make sure to ask for pictures of the interior as well. This can save time and money in the long run. Craigslist cars are usually only allowed a few pictures per listing.

Thirdly, ask for the service history. Many car owners keep service records, receipts for car work, or a record of how often car parts were replaced. If the car owner has done most of their own work, they should be able to provide a list of miles when things were changed. Look at this list and see if the owner followed the factory schedule of upkeep. It's very easy to see if a car has been taken care of from this list.

Fourthly, ask for any problems, noises, or other oddities of the car. This is an area where many sellers will give false information, but it's worth a shot. Also, if going to see a car, if you see something that hasn't been mentioned by the seller, that is a warning sign that they may not be honest.

Fifthly, do your own research. One great way to find out about a car's history is by getting a Carfax report. Ask the seller for the VIN number of the vehicle. If they won't provide this information, walk away from the sale. The report costs about thirty dollars, but will provide valuable information. It will report service done at dealerships, any accidents, and any changes to the title. For an extra ten dollars, a person can sign up for unlimited Carfax reports, a great option if looking at several vehicles. These reports are a great way to tell if the car has ever had an accident, which the seller may not share.

Finally, have the car inspected at a local shop. A trusted mechanic is a great asset when buying a used car. They will spot warning signs and see things that even the owner may not be aware of. These are a few tips to buying a good used car through Craigslist.

Would you rather purchase a used car from a private owner or a dealership

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