Buying Smart on Craigslist Car Sales

Woman in sunglasses driving car.There are benefits to getting a car directly from the owner, like getting a good deal. Purchasing a car directly from the previous owner might be daunting – especially if that person is a stranger. Craigslist is a website where people can buy and sell goods and services, including cars. It is possible to find a reliable car, at an affordable rate, and have a painless transaction. The following tips can help buyers have a pleasant sales experience.

Avoiding a Lemon Car

Unless you’re a car expert, you should expect to do some research and spend some extra money to investigate the car.

  • It is important to research on the make and specific model of the car so as to compare it to similar sales. This allows the potential buyer to see if they are really receiving a fair price. Another part of the initial research is search the phone number associated with the seller, if the number has been involved in past sales then it might be scam.
  • It is also important to get the vehicle identification number (VIN). This allows services like to learn about the car’s specific history. If the seller will not provide the VIN, that is a red flag indicating that the seller might be attempting to hide some information that could potentially dissuade a buyer.
  • Test driving the car can also be helpful when meeting with the seller. The test drive is necessary because while a car might check out on paper, the comfort one feels in the car can only be discovered via a test drive.
  • Getting the car inspected is an important step as well. While it does cost a little extra money and some time, an inspection could uncover issues that the seller was not aware, or was trying to hide. Either way an inspection can ensure that a buyer is getting what they pay for.

Safety Tips When Buying From Strangers

While it is possible to have a safe transaction on Craigslist, there are also many dishonest people in the world—especially on the internet. It is better to be safe than sorry when purchasing from an unknown seller. First, it is important to meet in a public place to view the car and have the transaction. One should also bring a friend with them to the sale, so as to have strength in numbers. Having a friend can also be helpful to get a second opinion on the car as well. One should also be sure to get the receipt just in case the car has unexpected issues, or the seller needs to tracked down later for any reason. It also helps to hold the seller accountable for the quality of the sale.

Transferring Car From Owner to Owner

In Massachusetts transferring a car from one owner to another is simple process. The first step, once the car is sold, is to fill out the following information on the back of the vehicle’s title:

  • Date of sale
  • Odometer reading at time of sale
  • Purchase price—if the back of the title does not include a section for this, a bill of sale will be a necessary document to filled out for DMV purposes.
  • Printed name and signature of both the buyer and the seller.

After filling out the title form with the information above, one should hold on to the bill of sale. The bill of sale is the only proof of ownership until the car is registered again at the DMV. A few days after the sale, one should go to the DMV and register the new car to receive new license plates.

Buying a car directly from the owner can be great, but whether the car is from craigslist or a car dealership the last important thing to purchase is car insurance! Make sure you get your car covered the second you get home.  Let the TJ Woods’ team of experienced professionals find a policy that suits your individual’s car ownership situation. Contact us and get a free quote today.