Monday, January 17, 2011

Shopping for a Used Car

Now that I have a couple of appointments lined up to see and test-drive some cars, all sorts of safety issues are running through my mind. Meeting strangers that you contact via the internet or telephone? Going for a drive in a car with a stranger? (After all, why should they let me --a stranger-- take off in their car for a test-drive?) Is their car-title clean and clear? What if the person says "cash only"? I mean, the guy may not want to risk a counterfeit bank-check, but do I want to walk around with that much cash (especially when meeting a stranger)?

I'm getting nervous. I'm even thinking about going to a dealer and paying more.


  1. You take another person along. That person is your insurance policy.
    You take $200, give or take, along to leave as a deposit while you head to the bank and get the rest.
    We've never had anyone question our need to go to the bank and get the money once we've agreed on a price. They all have understood not wanting to walk around with that much cash. And we've never had anyone sell the car out from under us, either. Once we've shaken on the price, the car just sits and waits for us.

  2. Susan, you can buy a 3-pack of VIN-checking rights at CarFaxx. Then you can run the VIN numbers yourself and at least make sure that the vehicle isn't a salvage and that the model year and such match up with what the seller is telling you.

    If the seller's not willing to let you run to the bank to withdraw cash, there's something fishy going on with the seller!