Buying a used car can be a daunting task, especially when you don't know what to look for. With the right knowledge and preparation, however, you can find the perfect car for your needs. The experts at Car and Driver are here to help you navigate the used car market and make sure you get the best deal possible. Before you start shopping, it's important to do your research.
Check out websites like Edmunds and KBB to get an idea of the fair market price for the car you're interested in. This will help you set a maximum price in your mind and give you an advantage when it comes to negotiating with the seller. When it's time to meet with the seller, make sure you do so in a neutral, high-traffic area. Some jurisdictions even allow transactions in police department parking lots.
If the seller refuses to meet somewhere safe, consider that a warning and move on. It's also a good idea to bring a friend with you and have a mechanic inspect the vehicle before completing the transaction. Ask for the VIN number so you can run a Carfax or AutoCheck report to get an idea of the car's history. Once you've taken possession of the car, don't forget to include it in your insurance policy (even before you have the title in hand).
You'll also need to transfer the title within a certain amount of time. If you're looking for a great deal on a used car, consider buying from Hertz. They sell nearly 200,000 bankrupt cars, so there's sure to be something that fits your budget. Just make sure to check for rust if you're buying from the Northeast, as salt and sand applied to roads in winter can cause rust problems. Buying used cars doesn't have to be stressful if you do your research and know what to look for.
With these tips from Car and Driver, you'll be able to find the perfect car for your needs.