Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller

If you’re in the market for a used car, your best bet is to buy from a private seller. Not only will you often find better deals than at a car dealership, but it’s possible to find a more reliable vehicle that has been well cared for. Buying a used car from a private seller requires more time, thought, and research than buying from a car dealership.


No matter what kind of vehicle you’re looking for, do some research before shopping for used cars in glendale. Browse local classified ads and check out sites like Craigslist to familiarize yourself with the kinds of vehicles available in your area. You’ll get a better picture of prices when you know what’s out there. By joining online communities for car or truck enthusiasts, you can also find out what other people are asking for similar cars or trucks.


If you know the year, make, and model of the car you want to buy, look up its Kelley Blue Book value. You can find out more about the car by searching the Internet for information such as repair records or pictures of the exterior and interior. You can also check out reviews on sites like or, which provide current information on vehicle reliability, safety ratings, and what owners think of their cars. Your local library may also have copies of Consumer Reports that you can check out.


When you’re ready to test drive a car, take it to the dealership’s service department. The dealer will probably want to perform routine safety checks that are part of the purchase price. Please read and sign the sales contract and have it notarized before you leave. At some dealerships, you’ll be given a loaner car while yours is being serviced. Once you’ve completed your purchase, follow up with the dealership’s service department to ensure everything is as it should be with your vehicle.


If you’re buying a car from a private seller, consider meeting in the middle of your two addresses. You can also offer to drive the seller to their bank or a check-cashing service. Don’t worry about paying cash for the vehicle—it’s better for you and the seller if you don’t use some money. Paying with cash is hard to trace, which means no paper trail if something goes wrong with the sale.


Before buying a used car, ask to see its title and ensure it’s clean. If it isn’t, find out why and walk away from the deal if you have any doubts about getting a clear title later on.