Cars on Craigslist? Check Out These Five Tips

March 2, 2017 •

Cars on Craigslist? Check Out These Five Tips
Craigslist’s vehicle listings, often, are quick and low-maintenance. Understandably, you might want a little more substance in your search results. Searching for a new car can be eye-opening, but it can also be fiscally dangerous. Craigslist is a wonderful purchasing tool, and you can configure it to meet your needs. Check out these five car-buying tips for Craigslist. You won’t regret it.

Tip 1: Get the Documents

Get everything in writing, including condition promises, part replacements, and routine maintenance. Any listing promising refurbished products, repaired parts or newly replaced parts should be looked into. All correspondences, too, should be in writing.

Tip 2: Ask for a Test Drive

No matter what, you should ask for a test drive. Not every Craigslist seller is comfortable with allowing a test drive. If you test drive their vehicle, and if something happens to it, you can hold them responsible—both financially and legally. Just because you’re browsing Craigslist for options doesn’t mean you’ll need to trust the Internet alone to meet your research needs.

Tip 3: Don’t Pay with Cash

Don’t settle your private sale with cash. Cash is a great purchasing tool, but it can’t be tracked. Instead, pay with trackable money—such as PayPal funds or a check. In the world of online buying, trackable funds are the best possible currency.

Tip 4: Get an Inspection

If your purchasing deal involves an aged vehicle, you’ll need to inspect it deeper than in a surface-level test drive. Aside from suspension and steering, it can be hard to pinpoint a vehicle’s mechanical quality during a test drive. Get the vehicle inspected, and try to indicate potential safety issues before it’s too late. Minor clicks, creaks, and clunks may reveal deeper safety issues down the road.

Tip 5: Check for a Suspicious Title

On Craigslist, it can be hard to tell where a seller’s vehicle came from. Sort out unsound titles, and duplicate titles, quickly. Ask your seller to call their financing company or bank, and make sure the vehicle’s title is taken care of before anything is settled on. The alternative can be incredibly time-consuming, and it can place you at legal risk.

At the end of the day, the best strategies surrounding a successful vehicle purchase will revolve around visibility. Make sure your seller can provide all information up front. Additionally, try to meet in a neutral area before a transaction is completed. Buying a vehicle on Craigslist isn’t necessarily difficult, but it’s certainly deserving of a few precautions.