Buying a used car is not a very simple task. One must search through hundreds of online advertisements, meet with shady owners, settle for a car you may not particularly love, and spend a lot of money. However, these following tips may help with lessening that burden, and make your car buying experience a tad bit easier.


Before you start looking for a car to buy, do some research. You want to find a vehicle that will work best for your needs, that you will be happy with, and that will be an overall smart purchase.

Check Reliability

While you’re researching cars you may be interesting in getting, you want to also check the reliability of the car. No one wants to buy a car that will be a “lemon” and that they will have to be constantly fixing and throwing money at. Edmunds is a great site that has information on the reliability of almost every car for every year that car was made. You could also go on blogs or consumer review websites to get a general sense of the car’s reliability.

Hold out

Now that you have a narrowed your choice down to a couple of cars you think will be a good buy, it’s time to begin looking for that car. Craigslist is a great place to find used cars and there are thousands posted for sale  everyday. However, you’re not going to find the perfect deal on the car the very first day you start looking. It’s okay to hold out until you find a car that is worth your money and one you will be happy with.

Look on a surrounding Craigslist cities

Unless you live in a large city and are looking for a really common car, then there most likely won’t be a huge amount of new postings to look at everyday. To get a larger variety, look on Craigslists other than the city you live in. It may be worth driving 80 miles if you find a really good deal on a car.

Look everyday

Make sure you check Craigslist everyday, or even every couple hours. The cars that are the best deals will be sold quickly.

Confirm worth

Once you find a car you are interested in, use Kelly Blue Book to confirm that the price the seller is asking for won’t rip you off.

Bring that car guy you know

Unless you know a lot about cars, it is a good idea to have someone with you who can recognize problems with a car. So bring your step-dad who always bugs you for not taking auto shop in high school, or your girlfriend’s dad who knows how to work on cars, or your cousin that goes to Wyo Tech, etc.

Be safe

Craigslist can a sketchy place to make deals, so you want to be careful. For example, meet the seller at a neutral location, do not go alone, and do not have the large amount of money directly on you.

Have any other used car buying tips? Let us know in the comments. Happy shopping!