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How to Buy a Car From a Private Party


More and more people are purchasing cars from the car lot these days. It’s simply more convenient for the buyer and there’s some more assurance in the purchase. After all, many dealerships offer some sort of warranty with each purchase as well. Sometimes it’s 30 days, but at times, it can even last for a few months. You won’t see a private seller give you that kind of assurance in your purchase.

While, for these reasons, it seems like it’s best to buy from the dealer, you are most certainly not getting a deal when you go this route. The dealer knows exactly what he paid for the car and in order to stay alive (so he can buy food and clothes for his family), he has to sell that car for more than he bought it for. Therefore, you are simply not getting a great deal on that car. To make matters worse, you might not only be buying a car from the dealer, but you might also be trading your car in! If your car is worth $6,000 on the general market, then the dealer will most likely give you $4,000. So you’re losing on both ends!

How to Buy a Car from a Private Party

It is by far a better deal for you to sell your own wheels and to buy your next car from a private party, with no dealerships involved. While the premise of buying a car is simple, you want to make sure you do it right. Let’s go through some important steps in buying your used car.

1) Know What You’re Looking For – Before you even start looking at cars online, you should have a general idea of what you’re looking for. Are you looking for an economical car that gets great gas mileage? Or, are you more interested in a truck that has some towing power? If say, you’re interested in MPGs, you should hop onto a site like iSeeCars and use their MPG Finder to see how much each vehicle would cost you per year in gas.

2) Keep a Close Watch – Since there are more and more people hopping online each day, it can be challenging to find a deal on a used car before it’s already snatched up by someone else. Look through the ads in your area 2 or 3 times a day. And, if you have the option, set up a few alerts that tell you when a particular car has been posted. This will ensure that you’re one of the first to see it.

3) Drive, Listen, Get it Checked Out – You can learn a lot about a car just by driving it and listening for strange noises. If there are any noises that are out of the ordinary and the seller can’t tell you anything about it, I would run away immediately. If you do not know much about cars, I would suggest taking it to your local mechanic and giving him a few bucks to take a look at it. To avoid buying a lemon, this is definitely worth the cost.

There is, of course, much more to purchasing a car, but if you follow these main steps, you’re sure to get a solid vehicle that won’t give you much problems.



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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