Looking for used cars by owner can be a great way to find a great vehicle and save a bunch of money at the same time. However, choosing the wrong one can mean a lot of headaches and wasted dollars on repairs. Before you buy, read this informative article on what to look out for when purchasing used cars by owner, and where you can get some great deals on used cars.
If you need a new car but don’t want to pay new-car prices, you’re certainly not alone. Sales of new cars have plunged, but it’s not because nobody is buying cars. They’re just buying used. And it makes a lot of sense, because 5 miles after driving your new car off the lot, it has just lost 20% of its value.
Buying used cars by owner was once something that wasn’t for the faint of heart. It came with risks and left people wondering who they could really trust. But it also comes with rewards, and if you know what you’re doing and where to look, you can remove a lot of the danger. It is actually less risky than buying a used car off the lot. You may be able to trust the guy down the street better than you can trust a professional car dealer who has honed his skills and has a ready answer for every tricky question.
The process takes time and energy. Be prepared for that. If you’re looking for the ultimate fsbo guide that will create a hassle-free process with guaranteed satisfaction, you may be sadly out of luck.
What Do I Need to Decide First?
Before you start looking you have some decisions to make. This mostly means make, model and price. Where you look and what questions you’ll have to ask is partly determined by your budget. If you’re a hobbyist looking for old cars for sale that needs fixing, for example, you might be looking in different places than the family that needs a reasonably new minivan.
When you’re thinking about make and model, think about resale. Toyota and Honda, for example, might appear more expensive, but they’ll hold their value throughout your ownership as well. If you’re looking for cars for sale under 200 dollars, on the other hand, then chances are you’re not hoping to get something out of it at the end.
Of course, everyone wants to know what the very best used car to buy is. It’s not a simple question, because the quality of a used car is determined not only by the make, model and year, but also by its history. But you can check out consumer reports to get a sense of which cars have happy owners.
When Should I Buy a Used Car?
It’s all about good planning. This means you should allow yourself ample time to look around, compare makes and prices, negotiate with sellers and finalize a decision. You may wonder when is the best time of year to buy a used car. The best answer is this: when you don’t really have to. You’ll make a much better decision if you don’t have time constraints. The second best answer is this: at the end and beginning of the year. This is because a lot of dealerships are trying to get rid of last year’s models, which means that there is simply greater competition all around for used cars. You can use this as leverage during your negotiations with a private seller.
Where Can I View Cars For Sale Online?
The Internet has been a boon for anyone looking to buy and sell pretty much anything. There is no shortage of good sites where car owners can advertise their cars for sale. This allows you to do a surprisingly detailed fsbo market analysis all by yourself.
The best resource for used cars by owners in our research is eBay Motors. They are the Internet’s biggest action site for automobies. It is a great way to search for used cars because of several reasons:
- Strong research tools - the search function provided on eBay Motors is second-to-none. You can search make and model, vehicle type (i.e sedan, compact, SUV, etc.), fuel type (gas, diesel, hybrid), mileage, and it even lets you filter results for certified pre-owned vehicles. One really cool feature is that it lets you see what other users have to say about the different makes and models of cars, allowing you to compare. This means that you can zero-in on the model you want quickly and easily.
- Location search – Would you prefer to cheap cars in your area? No problem. Simply enter your postal code and see listings that are close to where you are. That way, you can arrange to check out the vehicle in person and avoid any shipping charges.
- Buyer Protection – This is like icing on the cake. eBay Motors offers what they call Vehicle Purchase Protection, which basically protects your purchase for up to $50,000 against certain types of fraud. This way, you can purchase used cars by owner on eBay Motors with confidence.
You can also look into things like local classifieds, but searching through them can take a lot of time, not to mention a lack of any sort of buyer protection. For these reasons, eBay Motors is a great place to start your reserch. And because it is an auction site, you can often score some great deals on used cars there.
Once I Find Something I Like, What Do I Do?
On eBay Motors, buying a vehicle is easy:
- Register on eBay. If you don’t already have an eBay account, registering for a free account is the first step.
- Objectively evaluate the car. Do your due diligence and find out all you can about the car? What year is it? How many miles are on it? Has it previously been in any accidents? How does it stack up to comparible models? All of this information is available to you. You can even arrange to have a qualified mechanic check the car out, or, if it is in your area, go to see the vehicle yourself.
- Check out the seller. Consider the seller’s feedback before making any purchases – the higher the better.
- Consider buying formats. If it is an auction, simply place a bid for the vehicle that you want. Some vehicles will also come with “Buy It Now” or “Best Offer” options. Buy It Now simply means that you are going to buy the car at the “Buy It Now” price listed by the seller. A “Best Offer” format allows you to enter the price you would be willing to pay and lets the buyer choose.
Remember that you’re buying a used car. That means it’s not going to be perfect. At the same time, buying from a private seller is not only for those who want old beat up cars for sale. There are plenty of people out there who are selling relatively new vehicles, some still under warranty, for perfectly legitimate reasons.
Buying a used car by owner doesn’t have to be a painful process, especially with a resource like eBay Motors. Ask the right questions, evaluate everything objectively, get other people’s opinions and stick to your guns. You’ll end up saving a lot of money.
Before You Buy: How to Size Up Used Cars In the News.
So, if you can accept to buy, not a brand new but a few years older model that almost look like a new one, you can save lots of money.
With the economy changing as much as it is, one has to wonder if a new car is really worth it. Is it worth spending that extra money when you could get a used car that is in good shape?