How to Buy a Car on Craigslist

December 2, 2008

Craigslist is quickly becoming the de facto way for people in specific regions to sell things to each other without the tangled web of intermediary companies sticking their hands in the piggy bank. But with that freedom comes a lot of risk. This list can help make sure you don't push your new car home.

Ridelust reveals a list of ten things you should be aware of when shopping for cars on CL. Having bought my last four cars off this site, I can assure you that this information is spot on, though I would say that using Carfax right from the get go is not an option, it's a requirement. So you may as well buy the 10-use or unlimited one month use of the Carfax site when you're ready to start looking at vehicles. It's really amazing what kind of data that site can provide you about a used car.

Other things, such as researching common problems with the car, should be done before even contacting anyone about a specific car. In fact, I would recommend you narrow down your options for cars to perhaps 3 different models and also specific eras of each model (e.g, 1998-2001) so that you can really zero in on what problems to look for and what to expect as far as maitenence goes.

Above all - and this goes for used cars from anywhere - if something doesn't work "quite right" or just "needs some elbow grease", or whatever line they give you - assume that part, and anything associated with it, needs to be replaced entirely, and base your purchase price (and maybe your offer) on that. Happy bargain hunting. [Source: Ridelust]