Before you buy a car on Craigslist here are some questions you should ask…..
What kind of gas mileage do is get. Sellers are now trying to unload the hunkin’ gas guzzlers for a good price. Think about it, if it only getting 20 miles to the gallon and at 4.00 per gal, you are spending $4.00 every 20 miles you drive the car. if economy you want then no less that 25 mpg most preferred is over 30 mpg.
If I decide to buy this vehicle, are you willing to go with me to the DMV to transfer title? “if it’s a stolen vehicle the seller won’t go with you”
Are the tabs current? if so when are they due? “Some sellers try to unload a vehicle if it don’t pass emissions” be mindful of the year of the car. If the the car was made in an odd year then emissions is due on odd years. Another thing to know, emissions are due every two years, unless the car changes owners. then the car would have had to had an emissions test within the last six months.
What Size engine? “If the seller don’t know the size engine, he can’t know very much else about the car”
Is the Tranny an automatic or manual? “you may prefer an automatic, but it’s good to know what you are getting”
How many lugs does the wheels have? “again, something the seller should know”
Are there any leaks? windows, oil, tranny. “Leaks are a bad sign”
Is there anything electrical that does not work? windows, seats wipers, heater, ac, lights. “an honest seller will have these things checked out and will tell you about them”, “if you go to see a vehicle and it wasn’t mentioned in the ad, and you find that something don’t work, you need to move one to the next seller.
Is the title in your name? “If the title is not in his/her name then they don’t have the right to sell the vehicle, unless they have document proving they do. Make sure they will go with you to the DMV to transfer title”
Any water damage, mold or mildew smell? “Flood damaged vehicles will be in this condition”
Other than scratches and door dings are there any dents or body damage? “major damage jeopardizes the operation and the safety of the vehicle”
When was the brakes last service? “This information is always kept by an owner of a well maintained car”
How many miles since last tune up? “This info also is always kept by an owner of a well maintained car”
Here are some things to look out for and you shouldn’t waste your time responding to these ads.
It’s good for it’s age.
Normal wear and tear.
And, I love this one “I’m Selling it for a friend”. My question is, do the friend know that he is selling it for him.
If it’s apparent that the picture of the vehicle was taken in the woods, down a lonely dirt road, or in a field, this may imply that it may be stolen.
There should be four pics of the car. One showing the left front corner and another showing the right rear corner. With these two pics alone you will see all four sides of the vehicle with the roof exposed, trunk lid as well as hood. There should be at least two others of the interior. Sometimes a combination of pics, such as with the hood open, doors open and trunk open. But you are only trying to get a general idea of what the vehicle looks like before you make the trip.
There is a tendency to pay cash take the title and be done with it. Well, it’s your money, but for my money, We both will go to the DMV together and I’ll pay him on the spot after the agent say it’s transferable. If the seller refuses to go to DMV, you can thank me later.
If you are not allowed to test drive the vehicle, move on..
If the lights, horn, brake lights, turn signals, interior lights, heater, or ac don’t work, move on….to the next seller. This car has not been well maintained.
You worked hard for your money, don’t let a hustler swindle your money away from you. It takes more than just money to get a good car. You have to do your homework.
So you’ve gotten your income tax refund, now it’s time to go get that car. They are waiting on you, know that you wouldn’t be looking if that money wasn’t burning in your pockets. He feels that it’s his job to relieve you of it any way he can, be it selling you a lemon or with a shell game.
So be careful and happy Craigslist shopping.