With parents looking for cars for their recent grads, there are a few things you need to do. With the recent floods, used car prices are sky high right now, so finding a deal requires more work.
First, you ALWAYS want to have the car checked out by a shop or dealer that you trust. There are so many people selling bad vehicles that you can’t be too careful. If you are looking at a car and the seller won’t let you take it to be checked out, or they won’t take it to be checked out for you, run and don’t look back. Doing a Carfax or something like a Carfax is not enough because the vehicle could have been repaired without using Insurance and that information will not be on a data service like Carfax.
If you look on Craigslist or Bring a Trailer, it is even worse. The very best place to find a great used car is friends or family since you know the history. The next best place to find a good used car is a dealer. And we are talking about a franchised dealer that sells new cars. Of course, that usually means a little more money. These cars are checked out by their Service Department. Franchised dealers send the cars that are not up to their standards to the auction, where the used car dealers get them. This is why you have to use caution.
And finally, avoid buying a vehicle from someone that tells you they are selling it for a friend or relative. Most of the time, they are just “flipping” the vehicle. Ask them if their name is on the title paperwork. If their name is not on the title, you need to look at this deal much closer. Usually, it is best to walk away. If you still love the deal, have someone with automotive training check out the vehicle. And, the price just got lower.
Sure, taking these steps may take a few hours and cost $50-$75, but I promise it will be worth the investment.