Get the Best Car for Cheap from Craigslist. Part-1
Tricks and Techniques to Get the Best Deal on Craigslist.
As much as I love cars, there is nothing more I like then getting a good deal on a used car.
Every day I go through craigslist looking for vehicles and motorcycles. Over the years I have bought multiple vehicles from craigslist and have spent literally countless hours gaining some valuable experience.
So I thought, why not share that with you too…because money is tight nowadays and everyone can use a good deal right now.
Craigslist is still one of the best platforms to get the best car deals. But its also the place where scammers try to scam people out of their hard-earned money by either persuading them to send over their financial details or by selling them a crap vehicle. That is why I have developed a method to get the best deal on a vehicle. Some of them you might already know if you are in the market searching for a used vehicle.
Top 2 rules for getting the best-used car deal.
— Never buy from a Dealer if you want to get a good deal.
Dealers are pros in selling cars and they usually sell their cars twice to 3 times the cost of what they bought it for. Trust me. Most of the used car lots get their vehicle off of auctions in bulk.
Of course, you get a certain warranty from a dealer, but if you have not experienced it in real life, it's no good. It's very rare that a used car dealer will honor those warranties when you file a claim. They exploit the fact that most people will not go to the court, so they keep on stalling the issue until the consumer gets tired and gives up.
So, it's always best to buy it from a private seller.
— Always have your mechanic check the car first before you finalize the deal.
It goes for the private seller and well as the dealer. You should never just take the word from the seller. It's always a good idea to have a professional mechanic check for hidden issues. Usually, the mechanics charge between $80-$100 which is well worth it.
A deal is only good if it's not heavy on the wallet down the road.
— More electronics, more complications.
If you are unsure of the vehicle history and you really want a vehicle that will last longer with minimal issues, then the best bet is to go for the vehicle with fewer electronics.
The more sensors, chips, computer-dependent systems the vehicle has, the more issues they will have as they age. So, sometimes an older vehicle can be the best deal than a newer, fancier, and more complicated vehicle.
Luxury vs Economy
I won't go into the obvious pros and cons of Luxury cars, e.g- luxury cars are expensive to maintain. But mostly it depends on the brand, age, and mileage of the vehicle.
Let's say, if you own a 2002 Lexus ES 300, it's a solid built luxury car with only about 20% more maintenance cost than a Camry. But if it's the same year Mercedes, then it would be a money pit.
The same applies for mileage — Have you noticed that a 2010 BMW is sold way cheaper than a 2010 Camry? The reason is the cost of maintenance. The rule of thumb is that, after 100k miles, the car does need some mandatory maintenance for some parts. You can go a few thousand miles up or down, but sooner or later, you will need to replace some parts, or else they will start to cause much bigger problems.
Over 100k miles maintenance is not cheap for luxury cars like BMW’s, Audi’s and Mercedes, etc., that is why people sell them right at or before 100k miles. So, getting a good deal on an over 100k miles luxury car is not always good.
Age- Some cars age well and appreciate in value and some really fall to the ground.
“Did you know that a 1999 Toyota Camry is still one of the most reliable, comfortable, and economic cars around? “
They sold so many off them that their parts are dirt cheap. You can literally get a new engine on those for under 1000K.
Some late 80’s Mercedes diesel models are still on the road because their engine is pretty much solid bulletproof and since the diesel engine has lower rpm’s, they tend to last longer.
The truth about longevity and dependability-
Cars nowadays are not as well made as they were 20 years ago or before, but according to my experience, even the worst car on the market is designed to run at least 100k miles with minimal to no issues. Of course, there are exceptions, but with good driving and regular, minimal maintenance, any car can go at least 125k miles problem-free. Over that number, it really depends on the driver and the type of car.
How old of a vehicle you should get?
Well, It depends on numerous factors. But there is a baseline on which a vehicle can be filtered out for consideration.
Sweet Spot- If you are considering getting the newest vehicle possible, then the sweet spot would be 4 to 6 years old. Because the vehicle depreciates in value drastically in the first 5 years. For example- You can get an Audi A4, whose Original retail out the door is over $40,000, can be bought at around $15k or less if it's only 4 to 5-year-old with relatively lower mileage of 20–40K miles.
Which also makes for a good investment. For example- If you do get an Audi with 25k miles for $15k, you can still drive it for another 10–20k miles and sell it for minimal to no loss at all.
In the next article, I’ll be giving you tips and tricks to filter out the deals, the list of the vehicles which make the best investment for your money, and some more suggestions on how to get a good deal on a used vehicle.