If you’re single and you do not have a lot of people around you to help get things done, you may consider buying a cash car from a private owner. There are a few of the way private sellers trick you into purchasing a problem.
1. They lie about recent repairs.
Have the car inspected by a reputable car repair shop. Have them detail what isn’t working and provide you with a list of items that need to be fixed. If you are buying from a private individual who says that they had multiple repairs done on the car, ask them to list these repairs in writing and have them sign it so that if anything goes wrong with the car, you can get your money back.
2. They tell you everything works just fine.
Check all of the doors, windows and locks to be sure they are in working condition. Open the trunk to look inside. Open the hood to see if anything noticeable is missing. Touch the tires and look at the tread. The tread is the amount of rubber that is on the tires. The grooves on the tire should be deep. This is an indication that you have a good tire. If it is smooth your tired will need to be replaced soon.
Drive the car. Not just around the block. Drive it to the bank. Go get something to eat. Drive it for at least 15 minutes so that you can tell if the air conditioner really works or the car overheats suddenly.
3. They will say they own the car when they don’t.
Ask for ID. Ask to see the ID of the owner so that you can have his name and address in case something happens. Be sure to notice if the name on the ID is the same name on the title.
4. They will give you a title that isn’t real.
Check the title of the car. Have the owner go with you to the title agency. Some owners do not know that the title they have is rebuilt or has been updated. If this is the case, you will not be able to get your car registered and you will not be able to drive your car.
For My Savvy Sisters: Have you gotten into trouble by not following these tips? What other tips do you have to share to make used car buying easier?