What to Know When Purchasing Used Cars
My Plymouth Sunbeam had a cracked red dashboard, torn up seats, leaked everything you put in it, and had no AC in the heat of Texan summers. But it was my favorite car.
I bought that car for $800, drove it for 2 years, and sold it for $800. I even gave the buyer a list of everything that was wrong with it – and a kit to fix all the problems.
I believe in driving used cars. That beat-up junker was a strange financial blessing during a time in my life when I needed it. It wasn’t a cool car, but it got the job done and I didn’t lose ONE penny on it.
I like paying cash for a car – one that holds its value. So I do a lot of research, study the Kelly Blue Book values and compare prices online. I check Craigslist and local dealers to fully educate myself on what the market offers and get to know the car well.
I want a clear title and prefer dealing directly with owners – although I have bought a Certified pre-owned car from a dealer.
I want to know who drove it – and how: were those highway miles or in town driving. I also like to see maintenance history.
With the VIN I check CarFax.com to see if it’s a flood vehicle or if it’s been in an accident.
Finally, I pay a mechanic to do a thorough inspection before I buy any used car. If the mechanic approves, but some repairs are needed, I’ll see if the seller will negotiate on the price.
I don’t make emotional decisions. I take my time and try to get good reliable transportation at the right price. Today I drive a 2006 4 Runner that I paid $17,000 for in 2009 when it was 2 years old. It’s been a great car!
God is always faithful to provide, even through a Sunbeam.
If you have more questions – or need prayer and encouragement – call us at the Crown helpline 800-722-1976 or go online to crown.org