For those seeking to circumvent the dealer route and opt for the do-it-yourself route, as it relates to buying or selling a vehicle, here are some extra precautions we recommend. Many individuals choose this route in order to maximize their savings and/or income potential. However, taking this route requires extra precaution, too.
With Craigslist and other means being used today to purchase or sell a vehicle, here are a few common sense tips we recommend:
- Never transact business at your home. This increases the chance of theft occurring at your personal residence.
- Never do business at night. This increases the chance of unscrupulous tactics.
- Meet at a public location to transact business. If the buyer or seller really wants to conduct business, there will be no exceptions, unless the vehicle is inoperable.
- Always ask for the 17-digit vehicle identification number and photos so that you can personally access a vehicle history report in advance. Reports are available on our site. View our toolbox. Reviewing the reports in advance could also send up red flags, too!
- Access a new government website to determine if the vehicle was stolen or labeled as a flood damage vehicle.
- Meet the buyer/seller at a qualified local automotive repair shop or at a new-vehicle dealership in order to have the vehicle inspected. This minimizes the chances of buying a lemon, too!
- Draw up a contract. One can usually be found at such stores at an office supply store.
- Finalize the deal inside of a reputable bank and/or financial institution. This minimizes the chances of fake money being exchanged, too.
- Never conduct business by yourself. Someone should always accompany you.
- Let others know your whereabouts too, when you choose the do-it-yourself route.
- Is there a clear and free title available? Did you check to see if the vehicle was paid off? If its not, how long will it take for you to access a clear and free title?
- While one could maximize their savings (or earnings), most consumers opt to utilize a reputable franchise dealership to avoid having to be concerned about the aforementioned issues.