Top Tips When Buying a Car Online

Buying a car online might seem like a risky proposition. If you follow some sensible precautions, though, it can be quick, convenient and a great way to find a real bargain.

Buying and selling can be done via free classified ads sites and paid for ones too. There are also online auction sites. With any website that are selling cars, you will always find unscrupulous individuals looking to make money without actually selling you a car. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast, but depending on which site you use, you’ll have a degree of protection. Sites that provide more space for photographs and other information, will give you a better idea of the vehicle’s condition.

Before you buy, arm yourself with some research on the kind of price you can expect to pay for the sort of car that you’re looking for. There are various websites that can help you to do this. You can also review completed listings on other sites to see what price the car’s finally sold for. This will give you a good idea of the usual price range.

A reputable seller will normally take full advantage of the extra space offered by a website to post lots of pictures of the interior and exterior of the car, along with extensive descriptions. Honest sellers will include photographs of any rust, dents, scratches or other damage to the car so that you can make an informed decision. Be extremely wary of listing with only a few images, especially if they look as if they were lifted from a catalogue rather than taken by an ordinary person.

You should be especially cautious of any listings that are priced much lower than you would normally expect, especially if the car is very new. These are almost certainly fake. There will usually be some kind of cover story – the seller has debts or financial obligations he must discharge immediately, the seller is moving abroad shortly and needs a quick sale – in an attempt to explain away the unusually low price and win sympathy for the seller. Don’t fall for these yarns, however, as they are classic signs of a scam.

Never forget to run an HPI check on any car you wish to buy. When you buy, you become the legal owner of the car so you must make sure it has a clean history. Some sites offer inexpensive checks of the cars listed, to ensure that they have been come by legally. If not, there are sites and companies that can do this.

Some sites require that buyers and sellers register a unique user ID with the site. The user’s profile has records of their buying and selling history, including how long they’ve been a member of the site and what feedback they have received from other users. If you see that a seller has received one or two pieces of negative feedback in the past, you can take a look and see how the dispute was handled. This will give you a good idea of how the seller is likely to respond if any problems come up.

As well as sellers with large amounts of negative feedback, you should be wary of sellers who have only registered very recently, especially if they somehow have large amounts of positive feedback. Online criminals employ shills and multiple accounts to artificially boost their feedback rating. A long-standing profile with just a little negative feedback is much more reliable than a new profile with no feedback or only positive ratings.

3 Simple Tips on How to Clean Your Car

Cleaning the Windscreen Wipers

This is something many of us leave far too late, letting all kinds of dirt and grime build up until our windscreen wipers put more dirt on than take off.

But it is actually a simple task to get these ultra-clean in no time.

All you do is get some white vinegar, put some on a cloth or high grade kitchen towel (not the cheap stuff or it will just fall apart) then wipe the rubber part of the wiper a couple of times.

You will be amazed how much rubbish comes off only after a couple of wipes.

Use a Water Blaster

I think every man should own one of these, just for the fun of using them. But seriously they are perfect for getting the initial thick layer of grime of the car.

It is especially effective at cleaning in those hard to reach places such as the wheels.

If you use a high powered water blaster then be careful not to damage the paint work as some of these blasters can literally take the paint off. Most of the blasters will have a pressure control so it’s a good idea to start on low power and work your way up.

Some of the better water blasters will have an attachment specifically made for washing cars. The one I have is a rotating soft brush where the water comes through the bristles.

Plus you can mix in soap while you’re using the blaster which I find very effective. One word of warning though, the soap generally takes time to start to work. So if you find you can’t see any soap bubbles, do not keep pressing the soap button or you may find you have way too much soap.

All you need to do is be patient for a while and it should start to soap up fine.

Tips for Polishing

You probably know the basics of polishing. You gently apply the polish in straight lines then slowly take the polish off with a soft polishing rag.

What you need is two rags; the first one only use to apply the polish and the second only for taking it off and making the shine.

Also, the most important part of getting a great shine is how much pressure you use. There is no hard and fast rule but just try to experiment with different pressures and see which ones work for you. Never apply a very heavy pressure though as it will usually give bad results.

How to Buy-Sell Cars on Craigslist

The first step in this process is to ensure that you can answer any questions a buyer might have. The most common questions asked are:

What is the mileage?

What is the overall condition of the interior? Exterior?

Are there any known issues that may need to be fixed?

Do you have maintenance records?

After you have these pieces of information, go to the website and find the PRIVATE PARTY VALUE of your vehicle. It will ask various questions like the mileage, condition, accessories, etc. and give you different categories and prices for the car. Read closely the description to make sure you find out the correct pricing for your car.

After you know what your car is worth, consider the least amount you would sell your car. When pricing your car, you will want to advertise a price significantly higher than this, because, keep in mind that the seller will most likely want to talk you down in price.

For example, If I sell a car on Craigslist and I want $2500 for it, I wouldn’t accept any less than $2000, I would price the car at slightly higher than the Kelley Blue Book value. So the advertising price for this car would be around $2700. Try not to go too far above the Kelley Blue Book value because most people will search for your car on that site to get an idea of what they should pay for it. If you ask for slightly more, it will make your car seem like a reasonable deal. The worst thing you can do is create the idea that you are somehow trying to take advantage of the buyer.

Next, create a listing for the vehicle on a site like Craigslist.

Ever heard of the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”? When selling a vehicle, it is EXTREMELY important to include at least one picture of the vehicle you are selling. Why? Craigslist has an option to search for results that only include pictures. And, when buying a vehicle, a picture instantly tells a lot about a car.

Another thing to make sure to add is mileage, overall condition, and anything specific about the car like if it has an aftermarket sound system, rims, etc.

When they come to see the car, be open. Avoid hiding anything from the seller. If they trust that you are telling them the truth about the vehicle, they will be more comfortable with the purchase, and may be willing to spend more. Be available for them to test drive your vehicle. Make them feel like they know your car.

And always act confident. Act like you have something that they want. Don’t be cocky, but don’t focus on any flaws you may see with the vehicle. And when it comes time to settle on a price, be firm. Don’t let them lowball you and get the car for less than you think it is worth. Also keep in mind, if they make you an offer, they want the car. Stay relatively firm with your pricing, but at the same time, make them feel like they’re getting a good deal.

And when the deal is done, keep records of it. Make a receipt for them and have both the buyer and seller sign it. And it is very wise to include the words “as is” somewhere in the receipt which no longer makes you responsible for the car if something goes wrong after they have purchased it.

Private party sales in general are the best place to look for a used car. If you know the right things to look for, it is better to search local ads or websites like when looking for a used car. If you are willing to do some traveling, consider searching for a used car in, which is a Craigslist search over the entire state. If you are looking for a specific vehicle, you may need to do some traveling until you find the right one.

I know what you’re thinking, that choosing and buying a car on Craigslist from a private seller will be a lot of work. Now it may be true that you will spend more time and effort looking for the right car, but that time and effort spent will translate into SAVINGS. most of the time, a savings of up to a few hundred dollars. Would you search for a used car and do a little extra work if someone would pay you $500 to do it? Most people would definitely do a few extra hours of work for $500. Well, if you’re purchasing a car, doing it yourself could save you $100, $500, maybe even thousands of dollars compared to the deals you will get from a used car dealer. Do the extra work, you will not be disappointed.

Personally, I have NEVER paid full asking price for a vehicle. In fact, I was able to purchase a vehicle for 50% the asking price. Another I bought for 31% less, and another vehicle I purchased, which was from a used car dealer, we settled on a 12% discount. Notice I was able to get over twice the discount from a private seller than a dealer.

For private sellers, there are many different reasons why they may be selling the vehicle. Maybe they don’t use it and they are tired of looking at it or don’t have room for it. Maybe they have a new vehicle in mind and are trying to get some money from their old vehicle to help with the new vehicle. Maybe they just don’t like the vehicle and want something different. A lot of times, people sell perfectly good vehicles because it doesn’t serve the purpose they need it for. For example, selling a 2 seater sportscar when they really need a minivan or an SUV for their family. THESE are the deals you must look for to find a mechanically stable, dependable vehicle.

So here we are: Tips for getting a steal on a used vehicle

Always, in all circumstances look up the value on a vehicle on a site like Kelley Blue Book ( so you understand how much is too much to pay for a vehicle. The main factors that diminish the value of a car are:

High mileage

Body issues, such as rust or dents, bad paint

Body work is one of the most expensive areas in car repair. Rust removal and a new paint job can cost even more than the car is worth. Buy a car that is either worth fixing up, or one that you can live with. If you spend $3000 fixing up a car that is only worth $2000, you have thrown away three grand if it ever comes time to resell the car.

Never, ever, ever act excited to buy a vehicle. Keep calm. If you are the type of person to get overly excited about things, maybe you should ask someone to accompany you while looking for a vehicle, someone who can keep your excitement in check. Why do you not want to act excited? The buyer will see this and know that you want the vehicle. And the more you want a vehicle, the more you will pay for it.

The ideal attitude is to be very critical. Make sure the buyer knows about all the issues you have with the car. Make him think you don’t want it. If he thinks the vehicle is worthless to you, he may think it is worthless to anyone else as well. Therefore, he may settle for a lower price.

Secondly, silence is your best friend. Start up the car. Take a look at the engine and listen to it. Stare at it for a few minutes, looking intrigued. If the seller doesn’t know what’s on your mind, he may think that you know more about his car than he does. Then when it comes time to make an offer, he makes two conclusions: first of all, you have made his car seem undesirable to you, and possibly to many other potential buyers. Secondly, if you act like you know what you’re doing, and show it by long pauses, like listening to the car run, or inspecting a questionable area of the car, he will assume that the offer you give is a fair offer, even if it is far below the suggested retail price.

One final word of advice, ALWAYS PAY WITH CASH. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, most people will not accept checks. Secondly, cash talks. If you’re standing there counting hundred dollar bills in front of him, even if it is less than he wants for the car, it hurts for him to see those hundreds go. Most private sellers just want the car to be sold and will settle for less just to be done with it. That, with added encouragement in seeing what he will get if he agrees to sell it to you, will make most people sell the car for less than they think it is worth.

Be smart, be critical, don’t get overly excited. Pay with cash, never settle on the asking price. Even if you offer $50 less, you get some extra savings for your effort

New or Used Cars – Which Are Better to Buy?

Buying a used car was once seen as a distinctly second-rate option. Your first car might be a used vehicle — some old banger that you wouldn’t mind bearing the brunt of your embryonic driving skills — but after that, you’d want new all the way. In these straitened economic times, however, used cars are an increasingly inviting option. As the price of a new car climbs, the pre-owned vehicle sector claims a more and more significant share of the auto market. Car dealerships are responding to this, however — they’re trying to win back customers by offering more favourable terms and special deals on new cars.

Both new and used cars have their advantages. A new car is typically more reliable than a used one; breakdowns and mechanical glitches can cause a lot of inconvenience, not to mention expense. Used cars of dubious provenance can be a false economy, hiding hundreds or thousands of pounds-worth of future repairs under their carefully re-sprayed hoods. A used car also has a far lower resale value than a new one, making it a poor investment. While new cars tend to be far more expensive, you can often find extremely competitive special offers that can cut the cost of a new vehicle significantly. It’s especially easy to find these online.

Another factor to consider is the rapid advance of technology. Buying an older car means that you won’t get to benefit from recent improvements, such as fancier electronic gadgets or enhanced fuel economy. This can affect how economical your car is to run, since there may have been significant improvements even in the space of two or three years.

On the other hand, it’s possible to buy used cars that are certified to meet a high standard of good repair and dependability. Some models are particularly reliable and these often retain a large proportion of their future resale value. It can sometimes be cheaper to insure a used model (provided it’s in good repair) because the car’s value is lower, making a quality used car cheaper to run. The Internet also makes it easier for you to track down quality used cars with low mileage and good provenance.

Not all changes made by the manufacturer between model years are necessarily for the better. You might find a feature that was written out recently more desirable than the current version. For example, maybe you’d prefer to have a manual transmission but the manufacturer no longer offers this in the car you’re looking at. Choosing a used car also lets you explore more high-end options than you might otherwise be able to afford, with larger, higher-performance or more luxurious vehicles being brought within your price range. If you’re a fan of luxury and the choice is between a brand-new Toyota or a used Lexus, the Lexus might suit you better.

In the end, the choice between new and used largely comes down to resale value. While all cars begin to decline in value as soon as you drive them off the dealer’s forecourt, and while some lose their value more slowly than others, you’ll recoup more of your money if you’re selling a car with one owner rather than two. The drop in value between a second-hand car and third-hand can be very dramatic. If you’re looking at your vehicle as an investment and plan to sell in the near future, a new car is the best bet as it will keep its resale value for longer. If you don’t plan to sell anytime soon and simply want a quality, reliable vehicle at a good price, a good used car may well be the winner.