Used cars are for sale everywhere but many people find it difficult to find just the right car for the right price. It can be frustrating and even overwhelming.
First-time buyers, in particular, often have difficulty with the various stages of the process: buying, pricing, negotiating, applying for loans, registering, and getting insurance.
What seems at first glance to be simple turns out to be series of not-so-simple steps. Buying a car is not at all like buying a TV at Walmart.
The most common concerns when buying a used car are the following:
- Where to find cars for sale
- How to know if a car is reliable and in good condition
- How many miles is too many
- How to know what to pay
- Should I pay cash
- Where can I get a car loan
- How to know what to look for and avoid mistakes
These are the questions we’ll answer here.
Where to find cars
Used cars can be found on the Internet, in used car lots, and for sale by individual sellers. There are small used car dealers, large used car dealers (such as Carmax), new-car dealers who also sell used cars, and barely legal buy-here-pay-here dealers than cater to people with credit problems.
On the Internet, look at Craigslist, Autotrader, eBay Motors, UsedCars.com, and Carmax.com, among others. When looking at online sites that advertise cars being sold by private parties (not dealers), watch out for a common scam in which the car has a very low price, the “seller” is not in the same location as his car, only communicates via email, promises to ship the car to buyers, and says the buyer’s money is “protected” by eBay, Amazon, PayPal or some other service. It’s a good and safe idea to always buy cars that you can see, drive, and test before buying.
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