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Should You Buy a Used Car from the Classifieds?


Some questions may be in order during your first phone call to establish the credibility of the seller. It’s not a good idea to buy from a curbstone dealer. Never heard of one? A curb stoner is someone who buys cars especially to resell them. 

He is not licensed and is operating illegally. If you buy a car from him and find it’s a heap of junk, you’ll have no chance to rectify the matter or get restitution. You may find it impossible to transfer the title to your name. 

These people should be reported immediately to the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

But how do you identify a curb stoner? 

* The car will mostly be parked along the street rather than at his house. 

* He will arrange a meeting at some other place than his house. 

* He will ask for a cash transaction. * The title of the car will not be in his name. 

Of course, not all classifieds will be a curb stoner. There are many honest people out there who want to sell their car. 

But they may not want to tell you exactly why they are selling it. Mostly, people don’t want to sell a car they are still happy with. So what are some important things to find out your first phone call? 

* Does he own the car and if so, how long has he had it for. 

* Find out the mileage when he bought it and now. 

* Where/how has the car been driven, eg, long trips or just around town. 

* Ask if there has been any major repairs done and when. 

* Ask to see the receipt of those repairs when you go to look. 

* Find out if he bought the car new and why he wants to sell it. 

* Ask if it has ever been repainted. If so, there could be a rust problem. 

* Make sure he has the title. 

* Find out what the car needs to put it in top shape. 

* Ask if he is a dealer. When you go to look at the car, take a friend along for a second opinion.

Check everything you can think of and take it for a test drive. 

Look at the numbers on the odometer. 

If they do not line up, it is a sign that it has been rolled back. Make sure you get all the papers you need to title the vehicle. You only have a limited number of days to do so before getting a fine, which can increases if you wait.

The Best Time of Month to Buy a Car

There are many myths going around as to the best time of the month to buy a car. Some will even tell you that a rainy day is the best time because there won’t be many other shoppers around and salespeople will be eager to sell something. 

But that cuts both ways. If a salesperson sees you sloshing around in the wet, he’ll think you need a car so urgently that you won’t notice or care if the price goes up. Others will tell you that a holiday period is a good time because business is slow then, but again, the dealer knows the holidays are coming up and will probably factor that into his price. 

Another tale has it that early in the week is a good time to buy because most people buy at a weekend when they have no work commitments. This is supposed to be a busy time for the dealer, but early in the week, he will have more time to give you. He may also have more time to figure out how he can get a better price. 

Now most dealers have a quota of sales they need to fill and it runs per month, so what if they are short of their quota and the month is nearing its end? You figure they could be looking for ways and means to get rid of a few more cars and meet their quota? You’ve got it! Dealerships often work on a quota from the factory and the factory will give them bonuses like holidays or significant rebates for selling a certain number of cars. 

So if they are under their quota, they will be desperate to sell in that last week or even the last few days. This could give you an advantage, as they are likely to offer you a really great deal. They are not really losing on that big discount, as they will make it up in their factory bonus. 

End of the model year is also a good time to purchase a car. Dealers are anxious to get rid of the old models before the new ones come out and this can translate into some surprisingly good deals for the buyer. 

Check out for Incentives and Rebates to find out about low interest, customer cash rebates, and dealer cash. But while you are trying to figure out the best time of the month to buy that car, remember that the best time is probably when you need one and after you’ve done all your research.

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