Buy-a-Car Tips

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Buy a Car - Questioning A Private Seller About A Car

    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So, you’ve been burned before by the used car dealers, despite careful preparation and diligent inspections.  The next most likely place to look is in the classifieds of your local newspaper, where there are usually many different makes and models to choose from. You can also find them on bulletin boards at some businesses, or by word of mouth.  It helps if you actually know the person that you are interested in buying a car from, but that is a rare situation.  More often than not, you will have to search for your next ride in some other way, and you will usually be dealing with a stranger.  Even so, buying from a private citizen will generally be a much better experience that going to a used car lot.  Most people are not, and have never been a car salesman, making it easier on you when making inquiries about the automobile or going to check it out.

The first thing to do once you find something that interests you is to call the person on the phone.  Most people will specify an asking price along with the make and model, and often the mileage as well. Obviously,     120x90
if these things are not specified, they will be the questions to ask before anything else.  Find out if they are the original owner.  If they bought the car used from someone else, you are less likely to get all of the vehicle’s true information.  Someone who buys a new car and later sells it should be able to tell you just about anything at all about it.  Ask them if the car has been wrecked, and if so, how badly.  Not everyone will be honest, but at least you asked.  Unless you think this is an exceptional deal for some reason, or you just cannot find anything else, buying a previously wrecked car is not the best idea.

 

Before you decide to go and see the automobile in person, there are several other questions that could help you to make up your mind and avoid wasting time and gas.  Ask about both the body and the interior.  If the ad did not specify a color, you’ll probably want to know that as well.  You might prefer upholstered seats over leather, so now is a good time to find out what’s inside it.  Ask them about
null    scratches or dents in the body, or if the interior is torn or cracked.  Find out if they performed regular maintenance on the vehicle, like oil changes, tire rotation, etc., and if so,
ask them if they kept receipts that can prove it.  A car that has had all of it’s suggested maintenance will be more reliable than one that has a shady history.  Something else that would be of importance to many people is whether or not the car has a current inspection and registration.  It won’t be such a great deal if you have to tow it away because it is not legal!

Anything else that might be of interest to you personally is worth asking on the phone.  For example, someone who is allergic to animals may want to know if the seller has pets that rode in the car on a regular basis.  Maybe you don’t want to buy a car that has been driven by their teenagers.  You might want to know about parts and repairs that have been made over the years.  If they seem excessive for the reported mileage, you may save yourself a trip to go and see it.  Finally, ask their opinion about the general running condition of the automobile, and how reliable they think it is.  You might get lied to, as some sellers will be desperate to get rid of the vehicle and they are going to say anything to get you to come out and look at it.  In most cases, though, you will get enough information to decide whether it’s worth your time to go look at the vehicle.

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