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NFT: Private purchase of a car question

LG in NYC : 11/14/2023 11:16 am
I've never bought a car in a private sale (i.e., not through a dealer) but am considering it currently.

For anyone that has (or has sold one), what is a reasonable process? Is it customary for the potential buyer to take the vehicle to a mechanic to check it out? is that typically done on site (meaning I'd have to bring the mechanic to the persons house)?

You can ask for anything you want  
Chef : 11/14/2023 11:22 am : link
wether they will agree is a different story.. It is not unheard from to ask for a mechanic check... and you would want that check done at the mechanics garage with a lift tools etc...
is this a collectable car  
Giantsfan79 : 11/14/2023 11:32 am : link
or an everyday car?

As the other poster mentioned, if you do take it to a mechanic, make sure it's one who can lift it off the ground to get a full look at the underside.
not collectible  
LG in NYC : 11/14/2023 11:48 am : link
Just looking for a 3rd car to knock around in and have my about to be driving son use to go back & forth to school, etc.

it is a 20 yr old 2 dr Wrangler but has less than 60k miles on it and is well priced... which is very rare. But definitely want someone qualified to give it a full check up.
It really depends on the seller  
Fat Wally : 11/14/2023 12:59 pm : link
if they are cool, and want to sell the car, then they shouldn't give you any trouble.

I just went through this when I purchased my 68 mustang. The seller was very honest about what he knew about the car, (selling it for his son who received it as a gift from Grandfather). We agreed on the price, and he let me keep the plates on it to drive it home so i could get registered at a later date. Worked out nicely.

The car is 20 years old so don't expect everything to be perfect, even if it's low miles. If you get snowy winters, it's been through 20 of them. Stuff rots/rusts a lot faster with salt. Also, you are on your own in terms of recourse if the car shits the bed a week later. At least with dealers you have a lemon law for 30 days after(in my state at least)

Keep an open mind about what's a 'Big Deal' if it needs tires and brakes, is that a big deal? those are wear items that need to be replaced anyway, if it were me i wouldn't let that deter me too much. If the transmission doesn't shift or the car has weird engine noises, i would run away. Ask them if they have all the maintenance or work receipts for it. This will help you down the road.

Go on or similar jeep forum and read the reviews for that model year. See if there were common issues. My Honda Accord had a VTC Actuator service bulletin, but it expired before I owned the car.. that was $1400 repair. If there is an issue common to that car, ask about it, to see if it's been resolved. Also carfax if possible.
Also ask how they want payment  
Jim in Fairfax : 11/14/2023 1:02 pm : link
Many will only take cash
RE: Also ask how they want payment  
Dnew15 : 11/14/2023 1:27 pm : link
In comment 16289036 Jim in Fairfax said:
Many will only take cash

Interesting trades welcome :)
thanks for the great advice, much appreciated  
LG in NYC : 11/14/2023 2:06 pm : link
we're going to see it on Saturday and the guy said he had no issues with us taking it to our mechanic, so that is good.
also keep in mind  
upstatenyg : 11/14/2023 2:56 pm : link
when you buy from an individual, you have to take steps to get insurance and reg and plates for the vehicle, unlike a dealer that gives you a temp tag

typically, this requires you to do the transaction and then go personally to DMV and then go back and get the car with your own plates.

Do A VIN Check  
upnyg : 11/15/2023 9:03 am : link
Make sure the title is clear, no accidents, etc.
You can even run the plate number under carvana (or similar) to check the value based on that specific car.

Like others said, a good car is usually sold by a good person. So check the vibe from the seller and see if there is something else going on as well.
While I would never buy a used Jeep...  
x meadowlander : 11/15/2023 2:31 pm : link
...I recommend taking a good look at the frame, look for rust and evidence of accidents, including mismatched paint, newer looking frame components, misaligned seams between body components, etc. Run a CarFax but keep in mind, not all accidents and damage are reported.

Check for fluid leaks, check the fluids. I once test drove a used Honda Accord, noticed a partially full bottle of motor oil in the trunk, dipstick showed black oil, level low. Close inspection of engine revealed a seriously leaky valve cover casket. Owner didn't mention ANY of that.

Research and find if the vehicle has a timing chain or BELT and if it's a belt, make sure there's proof of mileage, replacement... check online for common problems with the model and year.

Don't buy someone else's problem!!
Create and use a CHECKLIST.  
x meadowlander : 11/15/2023 2:35 pm : link
When you're in the moment, looking to purchase ANY vehicle, used or new, it's easy to get lost in the excitement and optomism and only to see the good, forgetting to check and question all of the items you wanted to.

Using a checklist is a really good way to make sure you don't get screwed.
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