Buying a used car from an individual can be a scary experience. The process can be very different than buying through a dealer where nearly everything can be handled for you and the process is very straightforward. Because of the large expense of an automobile it is important to follow these steps when buying from an individual to be certain everything is done correctly.
There are a number of places to find cars for sale listed by individuals. Many people prefer to buy from an individual because of the cost savings associated with this type of purchase. Many local newspapers will have an automotive section where people can list cars for sale both in print and online. Another popular place to find cars for sale by individuals is craigslist.org.
Once you’ve determined a handful of cars which fit your criteria the first step is to view the car in person and take it for a test drive. It is important to thoroughly drive each car in a variety of driving conditions and varying roadways. Many people make the mistake of driving the car for a few blocks. You really need to take the car on a good long test drive to see how it handles in all kinds of conditions. It is also very important to make a note of any visible damage to the exterior and interior of the car. These can be used later to help bargain on price.
After you have driven each car you should narrow it down to the one you like the best. The first thing to do is to obtain the vehicle identification number in order to Carfax report. This report will show any major recalls which have been performed along with any accidents the vehicle has been in. If the Carfax comes back clean you can then take the car to a mechanic to be inspected. This is very important when buying from an individual. Cars offered for sale through dealers have been inspected and many offer a limited warranty in case something goes wrong. You have no such protection when buying from an individual. Spending a little bit of money to have the car inspected could save you from a bad purchase. If the individual refuses to allow you to have the car inspected by your mechanic it should send up a red flag. You should simply move on to the next car on your list if this is the case.
Once you’ve agreed to a price you need to fill out a bill of sale in order to have a binding contract with the seller. Many of these documents are straightforward and easy to fill out and can be found for free online. Just make sure everything is correct as far as price and the vehicle description before signing the contract.
If the car checks out okay and you agree to a price you can either pay cash or finance the car. If you choose to finance you should check with local community banks and credit unions to get the lowest auto loan rates. If you’re paying cash be sure the owner has the title or you can travel to the financial institution which is holding the title and pay off the loan in person. Never pay an individual and trust them to send you the title afterwards. If you’re getting a loan on the car your credit union or bank can arrange to have the title transferred to them and will help you with the process.
Follow these tips and buying a used car from an individual should be a painless process. Make sure to follow each step in order to avoid becoming another unfortunate scam statistic. The information in this article was provided by one of the premier Clinton MO car dealerships to help provide information on not getting ripped off when buying vehicles through other venues.