Buying Hand Cars: Consumer Rights
To buy a second-hand car in the USA, you can go to dealers, you just need to type “used vehicles” in the search and your location and Google will give you a whole list of dealers who are ready to sell a second-hand car immediately. However, buying a car from a private seller is cheaper.
How can I buy a used car?
You can save a lot by buying a used car, and there will not be much more trouble when buying a car from a dealer.
There are several options:
- Official dealers of brands selling used cars with diagnostics, pre-sale preparation and a guarantee – an almost hassle-free way of buying;
- Used car dealerships offering used cars according to the “sold as seen car” system, where the responsibility for the condition of the selected car lies with the buyer – cheaper and not much more troublesome;
- Buying a car from a private person, through specialized sites (www.cars.com, carsforsale.com), or a free classifieds site (for example, www.craigslist.org) is the cheapest, but a relatively risky option. Your rights when buying a used car from a private seller: 1)The seller must be legally allowed to sell the vehicle; 2) The car has to match its description.
You can check the history of the purchased vehicle through the government website www.vehiclehistory.gov or any of the many services that offer VIN verification, and navigate the market average price of a new car – services www.kbb.com or www.blackbook.com.
How to buy a second-hand car from a private owner?
- Open Craig List. Choose your location. Find the line “for sale”, then select “cars & trucks”. Click on the “by-owner only” option. Set the desired parameters, such as price, year, type, etc.;
- Find a list of the desired cars, choose the one you like, and fit the parameters;
- Find out whether the price is reasonable. For this we use another resource: Kelly’s Book;
- Kelly’s book has a great option on the top menu called “Car Values”. Select the “Trade-in & Private Party Values” heading, then type in the data of the car you like. And the site gives out a “reasonable” or market price. It is usually very close to reality;
- In any case, when contacting the seller, always remember that bargaining is appropriate, especially when paying in cash.
Documents can be printed and signed with the seller right on the spot, these are:
- application for title (in fact, this is a form of a car sale and purchase agreement, you can download instructions for filling out, it is called “general instructions application for a title);
- bill of sale (signed only by the seller, where the seller indicates which car, to whom, when and at what price he/she sold);
- the seller also transfers to the buyer his/her Certificate of title at the time of purchase.
That’s all. On the same day, you can already drive the car. You have 20 days to register a vehicle in your name. Registration takes place at County Tax Offices and takes a few minutes – you just need to bring the documents that were signed with the seller and your driver’s license.