How buy a USED car on Craigslist

in #car3 years ago (edited)

Sometimes searching for a USED car to purchase can be very difficult. Since I’m always helping my friends; especially my female friends because sometimes mechanics/ sales man can and will take advantage of a naive female; I can not tolerate a hungry mechanic/ salesman. So I decided to give out some helpful tips since I am certified automotive technician.

So these are the first top 6 questions you should ask; before even agreeing to taking a trip to go and view the used vechile this will save time and you can weed out the B.S traps and scams automatically!! If a person that is selling “their personal used car” they should always have these answers with out hesitation.

  1. What is the year, make and model? - ( you should already know that because this should be in the description on the ad. You should start the conversation with the vehicle description that your interested in)
    It should come out like this....- “Hello; I’m interested in the year, make and model, color”. Get to the point!

  2. Does the vehicle have a CLEAN TITLE - I can not stress this part enough, if it says REBUILT OR SALVAGE TITLE run for the hills because that vehicle has come back from the dead and was in a car accident etc. Which is not the kind of car you want to invest your money on; it will have many problems when it comes time to register and or maintenance issues.

2a . Any LIENS or anything that can make registrating a
headache ask for any docouments proving that the
lien has been removed.

  1. Do you HAVE THE TITLE IN HAND!!! ( THIS IS A MUST) - NOW this part you can automatically tell if this is a scam etc. I WOULD NEVER BUY A PERSONAL CAR without a TITLE IN HAND. Some people will tell you that “ you can get the title and all you have to do is” ...(Umm NOO.... your not going to go out your way to look or head to a Dmv for a title it should ALWAYS BE IN HAND before purchasing a used vehicle, this will make the transaction smooth and quick if it’s a good buy and not a stolen vehicle.)

  2. How many miles does the car have - I would recommend 130k and under, the less MILES the better the max I would go if it’s a really great price and everything has checked out to be great 150k max. ☝🏾

  3. When was the last TUNE UP - now this has many parts but the minimal basic that should have already been done through out time from the last and current NYS or wherever your from STATE INSPECTION :

5a. Has it recently pass inspection- if so that’s a great
thing means it’s safe to be on the road and it was
checked by a licensed mechanic NYS inspector

5b. When was the last oil change. - this should be
changed every 15k - 30k Miles.

5c. When was the spark plugs AND wires changed

5d. How much TREAD IS ON THE TIRES -
tires that determines the life line of the tires. It’s
either it’s good, some wear or no good ( must
change yourself).

5e. Does this vehicle have any known leaks?

    5e1. Any oil leaks, coolant, water leaking inside of 
             car when it rains, any RUST.?! - no good just 
             say no thank you and keep looking. 

5F. Does it have AC/HEAT. Don’t want to find that out
when it’s too late.!... Because buying a used A/C
compressor is about 250$ depending on the car
so a new one can be a pocket buster to buy.

5G. Are the BRAKES new or need to be
changed soon.


  1. Is the body of the car or the interior damaged or any dents rusted paint etc. (it can have a clean title but a bad or rusty paint job, terrible interior, smoker smell, Ripped seats and stains and some dents, that all can be fixed but who wants to spend money and time to go through that not me🛑).

    So while you are searching for a car and asking these questions make yourself a check list and if everything checks out or you can afford to fix the things that aren’t on this list you can start knocking the price down; adding that to the work you will have to put in since that person didn’t.
    Negotiations are in order; but check it out for yourself and actually view the car in person after the basic questions are answered and you feel comfortable going to see it in person.
    In my professional opinion always bring a mechanic with you or a friend that knows about cars and knows how to negotiate if they can’t then you can. Cash always talks louder then original price.
    If you have any questions about the type of vehicle that has a good track record for a good price and gets you to point A and B and can be
    Easy on the pockets for parts and price maintenance check out my other blog “Best budget vehicle for college students”.

...... The point of this article is to help people on finding a Good used car for their hard earned money and making it work for them on a budget. You want to buy a used car and do the least amount of work to it as possible after purchasing, as if you were on a dealer lot getting the keys and driving off the only time you want to even think about touching the vehicle is for a monthly or yearly routine maintenance and that’s it.!!

Leave a comment and your questions and opinion upvote if you like. And good luck on your findings 🖖🏽🙌🏽.


Awesome, Thaks for the tips!

Your welcome any questions feel free to ask