If you are considering purchasing a used car and are not sure of the best way to go about it, then you should read this article. We will outline to you the benefits of using Craigslist.org to help you find and purchase a used car. We will explain the process, give you tips on how to deal with the cars owner and advise you on how to close the deal. Purchasing Craigslist used cars has many benefits and after reading this article you will have the confidence to use Craigslist.org.
How to Search for a Vehicle on Craigslist
To start the process of looking for a used car you should search online for Craigslist used cars. Use search terms that will help narrow down the type of car or vehicle that you are looking for. For example, if you are searching for a 1991 Ford Taurus that costs less than $5000, then all you need to do is enter “1991 Ford Taurus” into the search field. Make sure to add $5000 in the maximum price range so that the search engine knows to search for cars that costs less than $5000. Here is a search query result for the keyword “2008 Mitsubishi Lancer” within the New York City vicinity.
- 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS New Years Dream Car (Tri State Area) $5100
- 2008 Mitsubishi lancer (Cortlandt manor) $3500
- Mitsubishi Lancer 2008 (New Windsor) $5800
- 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer turbo $7500
Notice that my keyword search is limited to 2008 Lancers in New York. If you are not stuck on a specific year and would like to search Lancers from all years, then simply delete 2008 from your search. However, if you are more focused on price and other criteria, then make sure to specify your criteria in your search. Let’s say you are looking for a Lancer with low miles and below $10,000. Simply enter in $10,000 as the maximum price and type in “Mitsubishi Lancer” and “low mileage” into the query. These are the results that got.
- 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ rally edition $2000
- 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ rally original m $2000
- 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ rally edition $1900
- 2004 MITSUBISHI LANCER RALLIART SPORT 5SPD LOW MILES (Forest Hills, NY) $3500
I got fairly decent results with this query, but I suppose that what others consider “low mileage” is considered high by others.
How to Value a Used Car
When you have selected the vehicle that most interests you, find out what its estimated value should be. A good way to find out a vehicle’s estimated value is by going to Edmunds.com or Kelly Blue Book. Make sure to include all specifics about the vehicles when getting online car estimates as these will help determine the exact negotiating price. If you do not have all the information about the vehicle, then it’s OK to contact the owner through e-mail or by phone to get additional information about the vehicle. Some information that may not be included on the ad is overall condition, accessories and mileage. All of these factors are important when valuing a vehicle. Make sure to print out all this information as it will help with the negotiating process.
How to Talk to Seller
Now you are ready to contact the owner. Make that call or send that e-mail, tell the owner that you have spotted the vehicle on ‘Craigslist.org’ and that you have a few questions for the owner. Ask any questions you like in order to satisfy your curiosity regarding the vehicle. Your really are trying to find out has the vehicle been in any accidents, has the owner had any problems with it, why the owner wants to sell and any other information that will help you. Make sure to check whether the vehicle has been salvaged. A way to do this is by checking a CarFax report. Many people do not buy these reports because it’s an extra expense, but this report could save you from purchasing a potential lemon. Carfax reports also show previous owners, mileage recorded by the DMV and whether the car has been in major accidents.
If an owner is slow to get back to you with information then maybe he or she is not that serious about selling, so do not waste too much time on them. If you decide to move on to the next phase, meet the owner,in a public place and with a friend if possible and seal the deal. Even though it will cost you and extra $150 (roughly), it’s good to check out the vehicle with a local mechanic. A private seller that has nothing to hide will gladly oblige to this request. Taking a vehicle to a mechanic can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Think of this as a small investment. Remember to never send money to the seller before checking out the vehicle. Craigslist cars is not obligated for any fraud that is committed on behalf of the seller. It is up to you as the buyer to perform due diligence.
Advantage of Using Craigslist Over Using Traditional Auto Websites
The big advantage to purchasing Craigslist used cars for sale is that you can do a huge amount of research on the vehicle you are interested in before you have to contact the owner. Also, there’s a large variety of vehicles that websites such as Vehix and Lotpro will not have. The majority of cars offered on theses websites are from dealerships. These websites make a profit from selling advertisements, and the majority of advertisements are bought by car dealers. Whereas, a large amount of private owners sell their vehicles on Craigslist because it provides a way for private car sellers to solicit their car online for free. This means that you will find a large amount of private car sales on Craigslist and less cars for sale by owner on commercial used car websites. Remember, a large variety of vehicles sold by owners means a higher chance of purchasing a used car within your budget. Also, many buyers find that they are very comfortable with purchasing cars on Craigslist because they do not have to deal with pesky car dealers.
Here is an example of the selection offered on Craigslist used cars for sale compared to Lotpro. Let’s say I’m searching for a used vehicle under $5000 in Minneapolis. I want to only search for vehicles sold by the owner — which website will offer more results?
Craigslist results for cars between $1000 to $5000, in Minneapolis (there were over 1000 results)
- 1996 toyota tacoma $1300
- 2005 pontiac grand am se 4door 138xxx miles (montrose) $2800
- 2005 volkswagen jetta 2.5 4 door manual transmission (montrose) $4500
- 2005 Tucson 2.7 sunroof 4wd leather 66k miles (IGH) $4900
Here are the results for cars between $1000 to $5000 using the Lotpro website (830 results)
As you can see, the Craigslist Minneapolis website shows more results than Lotpros AND all of the results are cars sold by owner, not by dealerships. The cars listed on Lotpro are vehicles sold by used car dealers.
When you have decided to purchase the vehicle, it’s vital that you have all your information with you to transfer the title. To register the vehicle you will need the bill of sale, odometer reading, title transfer and the vehicle VIN. It is important that you register the vehicle with the DMV, or else the car is not legally yours. This post is just an overview of how to buy cars on Craigslist, for specific information you can review my other posts for helpful tips and tricks on using the Craigslist used cars website.
By the way, if you have a used car that you would like to purchase or sell. Please your information in the comments section below and I will approve them as fast as possible. There are many readers that come to my website and are eagerly waiting to purchase and sell used cars. Let’s create a community of “hybrid” buyers/sellers that do not need to rely on sleazy car dealers to buy/sell cars!
Now, that you know how to buy used cars on Craigslist, it’s time to search for a used car. Use this customized Craigslist Used Cars search engine to find any car within the United States. Type in your search query — and remember, the more specific your search, the better the results.