Read This Before Buying a Used Car off Craigslist Durham and Facebook

 In Neal's How-To's

There are many many cars for sale on sites like Craigslist Durham, Facebook Marketplace, and Ebay in Durham and the surrounding area. To list used cars is free, so you may see cars for sale by private owners, dealerships, and other sellers. Buying a used car from Craigslist Durham and Facebook Marketplace might be a good way to find a great deal. A private sale is typically priced about 12% less than at a dealership, and the seller may not have negotiating sales training. Still, buying used cars through these sites has major drawbacks and dangers.

One drawback from buying a used car from sites like Craigslist is that they do not give you the convenience of comparing multiple cars side by side on a dealership lot. Another huge drawback is that you are buying the car “as-is,” without any warranty or policing. Here are a few things to look out for when buying a used car from Craigslist Durham, Facebook Marketplace, or any other popular online site.

What to look for out for when buying a used car off Craigslist Durham and Facebook

Some used cars for sale may have gone through a major accident and are pure lemons. Others may have recalled parts that may, or may not have been repaired. These could be serious safety and costly issues. Others may have false odometers with lower mileage readings to increase the sale price. Others may be have actually been stolen.

3 Steps to remember when buying a used car:

  1. Obtain the VIN
  2. Order a Vehicle History Report
  3. Get the car inspected.

To identify these sort of scams, you need to ask for the used car’s VIN. Do this before even looking at the car. Some posts will be from unlicensed sellers pretending to be the owner, and some ads are scams for used cars that do not even exist. If the seller is not willing to give over the VIN or an up to date vehicle history report, it may be a red flag to look elsewhere.

With a used car’s VIN you can check for free to see if it’s been stolen or salvaged at the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The VIN can also be used to order to look up its vehicle history report. The report will tell you if the used car has been in major accidents, if the odometer has been changed, how many owners were registered, and any logged maintenance history. You can order a vehicle history report from Carfax or Autocheck. These are not 100% accurate, but it can help you move forward more confidently when buying a used car from Craigslist Durham.

Lastly, before buying a used car from Craigslist, have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. A private seller should allow you to do this without any problem. An inspection will cost you some money, but is a good investment in the long run. Inspections will tell you if the used car is actually in the condition the seller says it is, and allow you to move forward with the sale with confidence.

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