used cars wichita falls
Can I trust a private used car seller?
Now we all make a big deal as to how disreputable used car dealerships can be, but is that really the case? If you find one that has good reviews, has a Better Business Bureau certification in good standing, and a dealership warranty, you’re a lot more likely to have a good experience. But what does that say about buying a used cars from a private owner? Are you a fan of cruising Craigslist? If you just can’t find the car you’ve been looking for and you see it pop up from a private owner, there’s no reason not to look at it, but be warned, and protect yourself with a few simple tricks.
When you’re looking at the vehicle, always, always, ALWAYS meet in a public place. Not saying that Craigslist user isn’t trustworthy, but it’s a good idea regardless. Go through everything on the car, so you can see if anything stands out as a warning sign. Check the oil, look for dings, and put it through the paces to see if anything jumps out or if it’s been described accurately. Check out the NADA for the value of the vehicle (with its mileage) at Rough, Average and Clean values so you can be prepared with your offer when it comes time. People can overvalue their personal vehicles, because who doesn’t form an attachment, but you shouldn’t get stuck paying more than it’s worth.
See if you can get the maintenance history. If they have a CarMax, that’s great, but more likely than not they won’t so ask how long they’ve owned the vehicle, how many owners the vehicle has had. If they’ve owned the car for less than a year, try to figure out why they’re selling so soon, as this could be a warning sign. If the car has only ever had one owner, that’s even better, because you can ask for the maintenance history.
If you decide this is the car for you and you’re ready to start the nutty gritty process of buying the vehicle, check your local requirements to see what’s required-you don’t want to be stranded on the wrong side of the law. Getting your bill of sale notarized is always a good idea, even if it isn’t required, as it never hurts to have too much backup. And whether you’re buying or selling, a certified check is always a good idea as it takes out the guesswork.
So while you may have more to fall back on by buying a used car from a dealership, you shouldn’t count out private sellers, just be sure to go armed with as much information as you can and protect yourself as a future used car owner as best you can.