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Buying a used car

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So I think we are going to buy a used car for my (almost) 16 year old son. We almost got one from someone at work for a great price, but got in too late. The dealers around town want OUTRAGEOUS amounts. Does anyone know if Craigslist or something else is worth it for used cars? (I've NEVER used Craigslist, so that's why I'm asking)
post #2 of 16
you could try Craigslist, but your local paper's classifieds is a very good place to look too
post #3 of 16
John buys and sells used cars on Craigslist all the time and has excellent results. Granted, he deals mostly in classic cars (pre-75), but still. It's definitely worth checking out.
post #4 of 16
depends on how much you want to spend. craigslist has both private owned cars, and used car dealers.

Pros of going with a private seller....

1) you can negociate(sp) price easier
2) you will know the history of the car as of late. no " grama drove it to church" BS.
3)what you see is what you get.
4) can take to your mechanic to check it out.


CONS...

1) Car is sold as is. if it breaks on the way home, your stuck




Pros of going with a dealership...

1)will have a safety inspection prior to sale.

2) comes with a warrenty, even if its 500 miles or 3 days

3) cars are usually cleaner and in better shape.

4) you know the inspection has been done.



CONS of a Dealership....

1) Sometimes male salesmen try to take advantage of women

2) price is a bit higher

3) pushy salesmen






you have to decide for you, but i go with a smaller late model used car dealer. I never buy private sellers, to many what IF'S.
post #5 of 16
Ive posted my car on cragislist, I got TONS of responses (I still have the car (I cant give my baby up), its wanted in high demand by the younger crowd)... If you find something your interested in on craigslist (note most people overprice the value of their cars on that site, its almost pathetic at times... attempted scams) and are serious about it, make sure to have a mechanic/technician look at the engine and other factors before making a purchase... Always research your interest before making it a definite buy (as anyone should do whether it is through an ad, private party, or dealership)... My bf has found one of his former cars through forums (Honda Forum)...

Another thing to look at is cars.com, the local paper, etc...

I found my other car off of cars.com!

Just some tips of advice from a girl who used to work at a dealership and has been involved with cars all her life (love cars )
post #6 of 16
try maybe a trading post if you have them or maybe a free auto trader. A lot of times they have them in front of grocery stores.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Those are all great things to keep in mind!
post #8 of 16
Ugg... Don't go to a car's saleman, I just got ripped off by
$22,000!
post #9 of 16
Try AUCTIONS for really good deals on a car. DH got almost every car he's owned at auction - a little tune up is usually all that's needed. We wind up owning it for 2 yrs and reselling it at more then what was paid at the auctions

DH says to call your local towing companys and ask when the car auctions are or city auctions/police dept have car auctions.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlights mom View Post
Ugg... Don't go to a car's saleman, I just got ripped off by
$22,000!
eek! We're just in the process of searching for a good newer used mini van and we always go to used car lots. Mind you, we always seem to pay too much for lemons......
post #11 of 16
If you have an idea of what make/model of vehicle you want check it out on kbb.com for a price range. Oh and no one ever is going to get the top price that kbb.com lists!! But its a good starting point. I don't know how old of a vehicle you are looking for but many new auto dealers sell pre-owned certified vehicles. They are worth checking into as the dealers have to pay a fee to get them certified and they have had a more thorough inspection and offer a better warranty. (I used to work in auto finance)
Also some dealers know what vehicles are coming in on trade so if you have something particular in mind or they can go to auction to buy a certain vehhicle too.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Try AUCTIONS for really good deals on a car. DH got almost every car he's owned at auction - a little tune up is usually all that's needed. We wind up owning it for 2 yrs and reselling it at more then what was paid at the auctions

DH says to call your local towing companys and ask when the car auctions are or city auctions/police dept have car auctions.
In some states you have to have a dealers license to go to auto auctions. I know the state I live in and the state I am from are like that. When my husband upgrades his current truck I dealer we know is going to take him to the auction and use his license to get him a truck. Police auctions are a little different around here and anyone can bid but they are write in bids so no one knows who bids what.

Used car dealerships are not that bad if you do your research and ask around about who sales good cars at a good price. We have bought 2 used cars from one dealer in town (the one I was just talking about) and he has given us great deals on 2 great cars. A 98 Malibu for 2300 out the door and a 01 Blazer for 5100 out the door. Both were in like new condition inside and out.

Craigslist is also an option. I sold a Camaro on there. And saw some nice cars listed on there for good prices.

Also check ebay listings for your area. I saw some great cars on there when I was last on the market. Some can from repo people, so towing companies and some were old rentals.

Also just driving around and see what people are selling is another way to go.

One more option some GoodWills also have car lots on them. Several years ago (about 5) we bought a nice van from GoodWill paid 2300. We had that for 5 years before we traded it for our boat.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza24 View Post
1) Sometimes male salesmen try to take advantage of women
This is sure true! Ugh they disgust me!


I don't know if anyone mentioned this (I didn't see it), but I highly recommend that wherever you decide to buy your car from, pull a Carfax report on it. It saved me from getting duped by a salesman when I bought one of my previous cars.
post #14 of 16
DH told me that dealership do not always get inspections on their cars. They may have their mechanic go over the car, but you'd better check if your state requires dealerships to do a certified inspection.

Car dealerships get their used cars from the same place DH does - at auto auctions

Yes there are closed "dealers only" auto auctions, but most are for the general public. He recommends you go to an auction with a lot of cars up for bid as the prices will not be as high. But if you want to sell your car at auction, then have it listed with few cars up for sale - you'll get more cause its not as much to choose from
post #15 of 16
We bought 3 used cars through dealerships. One of those had the tranny blow 3 days later. The pontiac was the car we bought after that because they already had our money. We had a carfax on it, but it was still a piece of crap despite a clear report. After having 2 cars clear carfax but yet have major issues, I'm not a major carfax report fan.

My first car was given to me by my parents. It was an used VW golf that was bought private party. After that fiasco I won't even look at private party cars. Nothing like having your kid go into debt trying to repair the "gift" car. I spent several thousand dollars trying to repair it. And never looked back when I traded it in for my used Saturn. That was the first car I bought myself was used, and was through a dealership. And I will tell you not all dealerships are equal. That car *was* a good car. And I still miss it. (it got squished in 2004, thus the subsequent oldsmobile that blew up and crappy pontiac purchases) The Saturn had it's share of repairs, it was a 93, but I liked the car.

It's definitely a "Buyer Beware" market out there. I think you'd probably be best with an used Honda or Toyota if you do buy used.

We were so burned by our last experience, we bought a brand new car and traded in the Pontiac. Mike wheeled and dealed. We also used the Consumer Reports car report ($15) to help us negotiate a good deal.
post #16 of 16
No matter what you do, take the car to an independent mechanic for a thorough inspection. Dealerships make sure it runs - not that it won't need repairs after you take it off their hands.

Carfax is a good thing to pull, but it isn't always accurate (the Carfax report was clean on our Volvo, but when we took it in for an alignment, they said it was obvious that it had been in a bad rear-ending).
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