A used car is a wise buy for any would-be car owner who wants to make significant savings on the purchase. A car is inherently expensive, but when it is a couple of years old, its price drops immensely to within an affordable range. If you are looking to buy one a private seller is among your options. Unlike used car dealerships, a private seller would be more inclined to offer you a better price. But this potential to save money comes with a risk.
Get acquainted with the car
It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to get to know the car that you are going to buy. Even if you are not particularly willing to invest much in the purchase, find out as much as you can about the car. As enthusiastic drivers, you can say, we want any car, but this does mean that you should make any mistakes buying it.
Inspect the car thoroughly to become aware of its shortfalls. Have a mechanic do it for you if you are unconfident in your skills. Dig up the cars history and find up all about its past life/lives. An independent report is comprehensive, but expensive. If possible, ask the seller to provide the records. If they know their trade they will have all the paperwork ready for you. Check the car’s logbook and validate it. Check if the VIN matches the actual number.
Get acquainted with the private seller
Why are they selling the car? Did they get a low trade-in value? Have they lost any more use for the car? Is this the first used car they are selling? Finding out their intention will forestall any chance of buying a car that is being sold because of its mechanical faults.
Ensure they are the real owner of the car. All the paperwork should have their names on it. Working with the actual owner of the car will confine them legally, so they won’t oversell the car or sell it in an unworthy state as both are legal offences.
Ask as much as you can about the car. Where was it purchased from? What is the economy like? What kind of oil is regularly used? This will help you understand the condition the car is in. Ask for a test drive, and while on the road, try to learn as many attributes of the car as you can.
If everything else checks out, the negotiations will be the last hurdle to overcome. If you display your affection for the car too soon, the seller might exploit this advantage. Ask what the seller is willing to part with the car for. Be confident with your counteroffers and always be willing to walk away if the price exceeds your budget.
As a rule, never buy a used car the first day you see it. You should test drive it more than once before you close in on your decision. Compare different deals from within your area and beyond to see the best ones.