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Is Purchasing a Used Car on Craigslist Good or Bad?

People have begun to use Craigslist for many different reasons, and though it has grown in popularity, the question still remains whether or not it is a safe means to obtain a car. Even with the news reports of Craigslist scams, there are those who have had positive experiences through the medium. So, is purchasing a used car through Craigslist good or bad idea? Read on to learn more.

The Ideal Situation

At its core, the purpose of Craigslist is to connect people directly to others with a common interest. In the case of selling a car, the seller advertises the car that is being sold and the asking price. Interested buyers are able to contact the seller and discuss sales terms. Once they decide to meet, the buyer is able to see and possibly test drive the car. If satisfied, the buyer then purchases the car. In an ideal situation, this scenario gives individuals greater negotiating power and more control over the process.

Issues You May Face

Unfortunately, not every situation will be ideal, and there are a few possible issues that you could face.

  • The car could be stolen.
  • The seller may provide a fake title.
  • Lemon laws may not cover such individual sales.

These are just a few of the top issues that individuals encounter, not to mention fraud and safety issues. Most issues are on the part of the seller, which can leave the buyer at a great deal of risk.

Safety Tips

There are a few things that you can do to try to remain safe in such situations. When you are meeting the seller, it is a good idea to employ the buddy system. Not only can a buddy help to increase your safety, but he or she may also serve as a witness if necessary. You should also choose to meet in a safe, public, well-lit location. Check with your local police department to see if you may conduct business in the lobby, as many precincts now offer that option. In case you find yourself facing any legal matters, always keep copies of any conversations and signed documents.

Using a Car Dealer

A car dealer provides both physical and legal protection. There are legal standards that they must meet, and you are also protected by the Lemon Law. In the case that there are any discrepancies with the title or issues with the car, it tends to be easier to track down the previous owner.

If you are considering purchasing a used car, carefully weigh all of your options.

If you’re looking for quality auto repair and maintenance for your vehicle, no matter where you purchased it from; at Sun Auto Service, we consider ourselves to be dealership-comparable and would love to show you how. Contact us today with any questions.