Craigslist Car Buying Tips for your Next Vehicle Purchase

Dude, where's my car?

Craigslist is an online platform so you need to search for every vehicle you're interested in. Sometimes, you may miss the best deal only because of a poor search result. Try to narrow down the search criteria. Understand the value of the car and how much you are willing to spend total on the car. By sticking to a budget it’ll make the car buying process on craigslist effortless. It will give you a more precise search result. Ultimately, you will get better deals on hand.

For used cars, you can put a nearby location, tight price range, and expected condition. There are more options to narrow down your choice. Dealer choice, existing problems, pick-up location, are also important. To be more specific, you can even look for the exact model and different discount offers.


Vehicle postings on Craigslist often express whether or not the owner would be open to a trade. If you are lucky, there might be a good one for your desired car. You can try adding the search keyword “trade”. Either way, you can also contact the seller that has access to the car you’re interested in and try to have an exchange offer with your current vehicle. In this case, you can offload your old car and reduce the overhead cost of buying another car completely out of pocket. 

Get in touch with The Seller

Contacting the seller is a serious act. For any additional information, you need to contact them. Ask for more images if the listing photos are not good enough, product information, or the contact details are incomplete.

Besides, you can do a personal talk about the car’s condition and all sorts of things. It will help you to grasp the seller’s intention and behavioral things. Who knows, this might help you to avoid a scam deal. Make sure to call the dealer and ask anything you are concerned about. More information always helps to determine how good the deal would be.

Setup a Safe Public Meeting

As we mentioned, you need to call the dealer and confirm a meet-up. It can be a little discussion over the car or even check it personally. Either way, you will get secured status to get the deal or leave it.

But, you have to make sure to go with friends or family members and an expert. An expert will help to learn about the car’s condition.  Moreover,  others will ensure your safety from potential scams. As a reminder, never bring money during a scheduled meeting. It will save you from a potential robbery attack and avoid seeing vehicles at night as you’ll miss imperfections.

Inspecting the Car

Inspecting the car is one of the most important parts to car shopping. No matter what type of deal it is, you have to check the car. Brake, container, wheel, gas tank, window, a/c, and every other part. There can be dents, clog issues, temporary freezing issues, or more. Make sure to drive the car for a couple of rounds whether on a freeway or the nearby local neighborhood.

Next, check if there was any repairing history or needs extra car cleaning. If there is then check those parts with more caution. If it needs detailing then grab the best detailing kit from the market. Else, you can even search online with the detail shop near me tag. There are some other tags like best car detailing near me or professional detailing near me.

Negotiating on price

We are talking about car dealing so you have to go through the negotiation process. Negotiation is not that easy. It needs a lot of experience so here we have some tips for you.

  • Look in the market to determine the reasonable price
  • Ask the lowest price the dealer or private seller would accept.
  • Compare price with different deals of the same car model
  • Offer a little bit lower than your affordability
  • Offer a price close to what the dealer ask for

Expect Hidden Costs:

Don’t expect a used car to be all shiny and perfect. It may need some cleaning or replacement. You need to factor in  car detailing cost. Thus, the overall cost will not be over your limit.

Besides, replacing may be occasional but cleaning is essential for a fresh start. Make sure to subscribe to Fullscalebox for any automotive kit. 


Completing Paperwork & Transaction:

Every car deal needs complete paperwork. First, you have to check its purchase papers and also tax information. If they are good enough then check if there is any insurance paper. Ensure you atleast have a bill of sale. Moreover, check the car’s driving record via CarFax or AutoCheck

If you want to transfer money face to face then make sure to bring a friend or two. There are many incidents where people get robbed during a F2F transaction. In that case, an online bank transfer would be a much better option. Never pay before getting the car and related paperwork. Moreover, register your purchase details to have proper evidence of your transfer.

Lastly, as we all know Craigslist has always been popular for local deals on cars. Besides, there are so many options to explore and consider. Location, price range, quality, model, and more. As we mentioned about used cars, getting one needs some proper guidelines. 

Checking the given information, tracking records/bills/papers, and negotiation are the basic works to do. Moreover, there are additional steps like meeting the dealer and convincing them of an affordable deal. All these things need to be done one by one.

The last thing you need to be careful about is the scam. Even though Craigslist offers popular deals, there are many scamming issues. We have given you a list of tips to avoid them. Make sure to follow them.

If you need some detailing service then get the exclusive membership kit from Fullscalebox. In the end, we wish you a satisfactory car purchase and score an awesome deal.