The best way to avoid getting drawn into spending more money for a vehicle is to decide how much you are able to spend and have this number clear in your mind. Only look for those cars within your budget and don’t be talked into spending more.
2. Select Your Target Vehicle Model
Check Kelley Blue Book to see what model years and mileage you can expect from a car that will fit within your budget. Use Consumer Reports to see reliability ratings and check the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to review crash safety ratings for the make, model, and year for the car you are going to see.
3. Test Drive Your Target Model
It is important to feel how the car you are going to buy handles. Are there any mysterious noises when you drive the car? Check how the car handles in city traffic and on the highway.
4. Get the car inspected by a mechanic
For about $50, you can have a mechanic at a car shop do a used vehicle inspection. This is useful to help you avoid buying a car with major problems. It is also useful to have the inspection results when negotiating the price.
5. Negotiate the Best Price
After gathering information about the car from your test drive and car inspection, show the seller book prices or a list of repairs that are needed. Sellers are more likely to accept the lower price if they think it is rational and that other buyers would likely come to the same conclusion.
Following these steps will help you make a good deal with the private seller, but there are no guarantees. It is important to find out as much as you can about the car before you purchase, and doing this will lessen the likelihood that a seller will take advantage of you.