If you are looking for a cheap car, then you should consider buying a car from Craigslist. This site has a number of good quality cars for sale with reasonable prices. However, as the site is free it is also available to those who are looking to scam buyers or sell junk vehicles. Due to this, there are a few precautions that you must take when buying a Craigslist car.
1. Always be careful
Firstly, you should remember that you should not believe everything that a seller says. While the majority of people on Craigslist are honest, there are a small percentage of individuals who are willing to stretch the truth.
2. Deal locally
You need to understand that Craigslist is a service designed to connect local buyers with sellers. For example, if you live in Dallas you should click on the Texas section to find Craigslist Dallas cars. Buying a car from another state or country is not a good idea. In fact, Craigslist has warnings up about common scams that buyers may encounter. As a general rule of thumb, shipping cars is unnecessary. Many people feel that sellers who say they will ship a vehicle to the buyer are running a scam.
3. Determine value of the car
When you find a car that you are interested in, you will need to find out the estimated retail value of the vehicle to avoid paying an inflated price. Many factors are involved when it comes to determining the value of a car. Some of these factors are damage, repairs, mileage and the overall condition of the car. The best way to know these factors is by buying a Carfax report.
4. See the car in person before you make a purchase
You should ensure that you see the car in person before you make a purchase. The best way to do this is to set up a meeting with the seller via email. It is also important to take personal safety into consideration. Ideally, you will meet sellers in broad daylight. You may want to take along a friend that knows about common mechanical problems. This will help you spot any issues before you have committed to buying the car.
5. Take a test drive
Don't forget to take a test drive when you see the car. Try to drive the car on the city road and the highway. Make sure the engine and car features work well to avoid buying a lemon.
Buying a Craigslist car can be complicated. But if you follow the above tips, I am sure you can get an affordable and reliable car on the site.
Andrea W. Johnson is a blogger and car buying consultant from the US. You can get more information about Craigslist cars on her blog where she shares her experiences and insights about selling and buying those cars.