Guide to Selling Your Car

    Thinking about selling your car? It may seem like a complicated process upfront, but once you know what documents you need and how to get started, you may find out that you can sell your car in just a few simple steps. If you’re looking for all the information you’ll need when you want to sell your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place!
What to do with your Car Title Before Selling Your Car
    Before you begin the process of selling your car, it is important to confirm that your vehicle is completely lien-free, so that the car buyer will be confident in buying your car. When a car has a lien, this means the vehicle is technically owned by more than one party. People might have a lien on their vehicle if they are still paying off the purchase of their car with an auto loan. Or, if you’ve ever had car title loans, you will know that title loan lenders will place a lien on a vehicle when they approve funding.
    If your vehicle has a lien, you cannot legally sell that vehicle until the lien is removed and you are listed as the sole owner on the vehicle title. To confirm your vehicle title is free of any liens, you can enter your Vehicle Identification Number (also known as the VIN) into the online VinAudit report tool. After you enter your VIN, you can retrieve a vehicle history report that will show your car’s history including your vehicle specifications, title records, and past issues such as accidents and theft, as well as confirmation whether or not the vehicle has a lien.
    It’s a good idea to have formal documentation of your vehicle history before you sell your car because anybody looking to buy your vehicle is likely to request this information right away. It is common to want all the information about a vehicle’s history before acquiring it or using it as an asset. For example, before title loan lenders like LoanMart accept a vehicle as collateral for auto title loan funding, they will run a VIN Check with the help of a service like VinAudit to make sure they have the most up-to-date and accurate data about a vehicle and its history.
    Since everyone from large companies to individuals can run a vehicle history report for your car on their own, it would be smart to have already done this for someone looking to potentially purchase your vehicle. The more upfront you are about the facts related to your car, the more comfortable people will feel about buying from you.
Documents You Will Need When You Sell Your Car
    While pulling a vehicle history report on your car is the best first step when looking to sell your car, it is not a required document. There are, however, other documents that are required when selling your car.
    Unless your vehicle is covered by an exemption, for example based on its age or weight, one of the required documents you need when you are selling your car is an odometer disclosure. Because of the Truth in Mileage Act enacted in 1986 by the United States Congress, anybody looking to sell their vehicle may need to provide an odometer disclosure with the following information:
  • Year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle being sold
  • An accurate reading of the mileage on the odometer at the time of the vehicle sale or title transfer
  • The buyer’s name and address
    • In addition to the odometer disclosure, you will also need to provide the title to the vehicle when selling your car. To make a private sale of a car official, you will need to transfer the vehicle title to the person who is buying your car. After that, the buyer can opt to have a new title issued specifically in their name. To transfer a vehicle title, it might be a wise choice to complete the process at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. From there, a DMV associate can walk both the vehicle buyer and seller through the process of transferring the vehicle title to the car’s new owner!
      Once the sale of your vehicle is complete, the last document the buyer needs is a Bill of Sale to show that the vehicle has been purchased legally.
    Checklist for Selling Your Car
      Selling your car doesn’t have to be a daunting process when you know what to do. Check out this helpful checklist you can follow if you’re looking to sell your car:
      1.Get the Value of your Vehicle and a History Report – You can get current estimated market prices of your specific car using tools such as Kelly Blue Book. At that point, you can consider other damages, issues, or modifications you’ve had done to your car to help determine a selling price you want to offer.
      2.Take Pictures of Your Car and Prepare it for Sale – After you know the price you’re looking for on your vehicle, the next step is to give your vehicle a thorough wash inside and out to make sure it is looking its best. Then you want to take several pictures of the inside and outside of your vehicle, so potential buyers can get a general idea of the vehicle and its condition upfront.
      3.Advertise the Sale of Your Vehicle – There are several different ways you can go about advertising the sale of your vehicle. One option is to simply post a for-sale sign in the window of your vehicle listing your asking price, odometer reading and contact info; that way you are constantly advertising the sale of your vehicle wherever you go. You can also post your vehicle for sale online on sites like AutoTrader or Craigslist and wait for people to contact you.
      4.Gather Your Paperwork and Transfer Your Title – Once a buyer has contacted you and both of you have agreed to a selling price, the final steps are to gather the paperwork, receive your funds, and transfer the vehicle title. When you receive payment for your vehicle and prepare the odometer disclosure, transferred vehicle title, and bill of sale, you have successfully completed the process of selling your car!

    Buying a Used Food Truck (2019 Guide)

    When it comes to starting a food truck business, the first question is always “How much does a food truck cost?” If you’re buying a used food truck from an owner, the standard price is around $50,000 – $100,000.  If you’re looking for real world examples, you can go to the Roaming Hunger Marketplace, where you’ll find pre-owned trucks, trailers, and carts for as low as $35,000 (or less).


    The real costs of buying used, however, can be a lot more complex. While it may seem like a steal, buying a used, as-is food truck is like buying a home that’s a fixer-upper.  What you see – and sometimes what you don’t – is exactly what you get.


    Below we’ll tell you how to be a smart shopper as you invest in the most important piece of your new food truck business.


    The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Food Truck




    The price of a used, as-is food truck is significantly less than building or leasing a new truck. This can be a great fit if you’re handy/resourceful, and willing to invest some time into fixing it up (instead of paying someone else to do the same). For more information, here’s a handy guide on how the costs compare between a used and new food truck.


    Possible Permits

    A used food truck may already be permitted – ask the seller when and where to see if it’s in the areas you want to serve. For more permit tips, check out our Tips And Tricks To Make It In The Industry article.


    Warranties are likely expired

    Newly built food trucks come with warranties, but on a used food truck the equipment is likely older: that means you’re out of pocket when your fridge or generator breaks.


    Unexpected repairs

    Directly related – when you buy a used truck and cooking equipment, you aren’t 100% sure what works and what doesn’t.  Make sure you have some cash on hand to cover future repairs.


    Outside financing is to get tough

    Traditional lenders have a hard time evaluating the quality of a used food truck, so they’ll likely choose not to loan at all.  Expect to pay cash.


    No flexibility in layout

    The kitchen layout and equipment that it comes with may or may not work for your food concept – it’s hard to bake pizza on a truck designed for burgers.  So be ready to (possibly) compromise.


    Permitting and inspection trouble

    Just because the food truck was once on the road doesn’t mean it’ll pass permitting and inspection again or that it was ever permitted to begin with – so be doubly sure not to assume otherwise. 


    Aesthetic problems

    A used food truck might look a little rough.  Plan to put in some serious elbow grease or about $800 (standard) to have your truck professionally deep-cleaned. 

    What to Do Before You Buy a Used Food Truck

    1. Learn the truck’s history. Ask for the VIN of the vehicle in advance and run it on to look for accidents, liens, a salvaged title, mileage, etc. Remember, the truck probably had another life before becoming a food truck – that’s normal – but you want to know as much about it as possible.


    1. Check with local food truck authorities.  Do your research and talk to local government agencies about permitting and inspection requirements everywhere you expect to serve food. (Again – they might even be able to tell you if the truck you want to buy is already permitted to serve there!)


    1. Create an inspection list. You’ll want to focus on the condition of big ticket items like the generator, engine, transmission, and cooking appliances, but that’s no reason not to check whether the turn signals work and how much tread the tires have.  Make sure to leave empty space to make notes next to each item during the walkthrough with the seller. 


    1. Get expert’s opinion. When you go to view the truck for sale, try to bring both a commercial automotive mechanic and also someone with experience cooking on a food truck. They should be able to advise both on the reliability of the food truck and also help determine whether it’s a good fit for your needs.  Even if costs a couple hundred dollars for their time, this will be money well spent to ensure you’re making a sound investment.


    1. Decide what’s important to you. Just like buying an older home on a budget, buying a used truck means you’ll probably need to make compromises. Think hard about what’s going to actually contribute to the success of your food truck business and use those answers to evaluate whether the used truck you’re considering is right for you.

    In conclusion, buying a used food truck means you need to put a lot more effort up front to make sure you’re covered in the long run. Once you’re on the road, you’ll need a reliable equipment both on the road and in the kitchen. For more information on starting and growing a food truck business, read the advice food truck owners gave on starting a food truck business.

    Free Bill Of Sale Template

    A vehicle bill of sale is a legal document given by the seller to the buyer. It reports that on a specific date, at a specific locality and for a particular sum of money the seller sold to the purchaser a specific vehicle of which he had lawful possession. It is a written instrument proving that the transaction was successful and that both parties were able to understand each other clearly.

    The bill of sale will generally include the following information about the transaction:

    • A description of the vehicle and its vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Any warranty that may have been agreed upon.
    • The final sale price of the vehicle.
    • The name of the buyer and the seller.
    • The state in which the vehicle was sold.


    Completing the form does not transfer the title to the buyer. To complete the transaction, the buyer and seller should accomplish the following:

      • The buyer should apply for a new title in his name, take the Certificate of Ownership (Title) and this Bill of Sale to the local vehicle licensing office and pay the required fees and taxes.
      • The seller should submit a completed Report of Sale which releases his liability from the vehicle. He can report the sale by filling out the Report of Sale section at the back of the title. He can also go in person at any vehicle licensing office or process it online.


    The process may vary depending on the location. Please contact your DMV to make sure that you have the correct instructions.

    Download a free vehicle bill of sale here: Free Vehicle Bill Of Sale

    How To Avoid Odometer Fraud


    Odometers are often rolled back so the seller can make more money. Cars with low mileage are priced higher. Omit 35000-40000 miles and it will artificially inflate the value to about $2500 to $3000.

    Digital odometers were supposed to make it hard for criminals to tamper with them, but they still managed to find a way to hack them.

    Most vehicles store their digital odometer reading on the instrument cluster on a re-writable EEPROM chip. Once the chip is located, they will have it desoldered from the board and get it connected to a computer’s serial port where its data can be downloaded and manipulated.

    Ponyprog is a popular program known to edit the data from an EEPROM chip.

    The data on the chip is coded with inverted hex values. The odometer data are then edited and rewritten to the chip, which is then re-soldered to the odometer board and put back into the car. On older cars that sports analogue counters, the odometer is manually rolled by hand.

    Tampering the odometer not only raises the value of the vehicle, it also deceives buyers that the vehicle is in  better condition.

    Here, we wrote down a few tips that will help consumer’s determine if the odometer has been tampered. Make sure that you keep these things in mind when you buy a used car.


    Check The Instrument Dashboard


    Make sure that the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned correctly. They shouldn’t be crooked, there should be no gaps. Check if it jiggles when you bang on the dash with your hand. If the vehicle has an analog odometer, as opposed to newer digital readouts, check that the numbers are lined up straight.

    Look for some man made marks inside the instrument cluster. Look for fingerprints or smudge marks. If you find some, it is a sure sign that someone has been in the cluster. Look for loose parts and switches that do not belong. There have already been reported cases of vehicles being rigged with switches that turns the odometer off and on.


    Check The Wear And Tear


    Make sure that the wear and tear match the declared mileage. Look out for signs such as worn seats, scratches on the keyhole, the steering wheel and other vehicle parts. These are indicators that the vehicle has been used a lot. If it looks too worn for the declare mileage that means that it has been rolled back. Check the vehicle’s tires. If it shows 20000 mi or less it should have the original tires.


    Look For Service Stickers


    If you are checking a car with a digital odometer, it will be difficult to see physical signs of tampering. You can only know by dismantling the instrument cluster to see if the odometer has been desoldered.

    You can look for service stickers inside the door or under the hood that may give the actual mileage.

    If the odometer has been replaced or if a mileage correction was done, there will be a sticker showing:

    • The date of installation.
    • The vehicle’s last known mileage prior to the repair or replacement.
    • The mileage added to the vehicle while the odometer was inoperable, if any.

    You should also look at the owner’s manual for  maintenance records. Make sure that there are no missing pages. It is also smart to contact the service center to validate the service manager ‘s signature.


    Get A Vehicle History Report


    Get a vehicle history report to compare the recorded mileage and the displayed mileage. Check the mileage on the car’s title records and the odometer, it will help point out any discrepancies.


    Be Vigilant


    If you have information on any operation or incident where this criminal act is being committed or of people involved in this crime, please contact your local Highway Patrol. Reporting it properly  will alert our law enforcers. They will pay more attention to this problem and formulate more ways to protect consumers from this fraudulent activity.

    Help inform your community by sharing this article on social media. Odometer fraud can be avoided, let’s work together to make the used car market safer.

    How To Spot Phony Airbags When Buying A Used Car

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    When a vehicle has a salvaged title or has been in an accident, the airbag may have already been deployed. Even if it remained undeployed, the airbag system may still have been damaged by the crash.

    Air bags are very expensive to replace. It will cost thousands of dollars to install a working replacement, so some dealers and body shops are cutting corners and putting consumers in danger.

    There have been many reports of dealers selling used cars without a working airbag.In some cases, consumers reported buying a used car with rags stuffed inside the airbag compartment.

    To help consumers avoid this problem we have listed a few tips that will help spot phony airbags when buying a used car.


    Check The Instrument Cluster

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    The airbag light will be on and will be flashing along with the other indicators. It will say Airbag or SRS. If the airbag light turns on and shuts off after a few seconds that means all is good as to factory OEM specifications. If you don’t see the airbag light after turning the key and there are other lights like battery, seatbelt and the others, that means there is something wrong with it.


    Examine The Air Bag Compartment

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    Look for little tears. Make sure that the edges and the surrounding surface are well tucked. Take all the time you need to inspect the area visually. Check if there’s anything odd about the airbag cover, make sure that it is an exact fit. If it fits poorly that means it will not react in the exact time frame that the manufacturer originally intended. It may cause serious injuries or death when the airbag does not inflate on time to prevent you from hitting the interior of the vehicle in an accident.


    The Seat Belt Should Retract Normally


    The seat belts should retract smoothly.If they’re slow or don’t retract at all, that’s a warning that the air bags have been deployed already and were not replaced.

    Seat belts have pretensioners as a part of their mechanism. These are wired to the same central control processor that activates the car’s air bags. The processor monitors mechanical or electronic motion sensors that respond to sudden impact. When an impact is detected, the processor activates the pretensioner and the air bag. The pretensioner pulls in on the belt tightening up any slack in the belt webbing in the event of a crash. This force helps move the passenger into the safest crash position in his seat.

    So, if the seatbelt does not work properly that means the central control processor for both the pretensioner and airbag was not fixed or replaced after the accident.


    Check Consumer Feedback


    Check the Better Business Bureau and the internet for reports of consumer complaints. Check the dealership’s reputation. A scam this lucrative won’t have occurred just once. Do your homework and check the company’s complaint history with your local consumer protection agency. Read their feedback and avoid dealerships with a history of air bag fraud. Buy only from trusted dealerships.


    Have A Certified Mechanic Inspect The Car


    Take the car to a certified mechanic whom you know and trust. This is the best way to find out if the airbag is safe. Installing air bags properly, requires recalibrating the system. They will have to fix the sensors, control modules and new seat belts. There’s no way to know whether this has been done correctly just by looking at the car. However a certified mechanic knows how to check and has the right tools to test if it is working or not.

    Airbags can help you survive a collision. It will save your life and protect you from injuries. It is important that you are sure that this safety feature will work when needed. Utilize the tips that you have learned here to detect phony airbags. It will help you avoid the risk of being a victim of airbag fraud.

    Selling used cars with a phony air bag is illegal and punishable by law. If you know of a dealership who’s involved in this or if you have already bought a car with a phony air bag, report it to the authorities. Do not let it go and help save lives.


    What Is A Certified Used Car?


    Certified cars, also known as “CPO” (certified pre-owned) have become an affordable alternative to new cars. These are vehicles that have been inspected and certified by a manufacturer or another certifying authority. They have an extended warranty, special financing and additional benefits.

    These cars are not more than 6 years old and have low-mileage. They passed multiple inspections and have been reconditioned to perform like a new vehicle.


    Three Types Of Certified Used Cars

    Manufacturer Certified

    They are  sold only at authorized dealerships specializing in that particular franchise or brand. These certified pre-owned vehicles have passed multiple inspection and reconditioning process (usually with 100+ inspection points) done by factory trained technicians. It often comes with roadside assistance program and special financing. You’ll be able to have your vehicle serviced at locations nationwide. It will also include an extended warranty backed by the manufacturer.

    Dealership Certified

    These cars were certified by the dealership that’s selling them. It means that the car was inspected and certified by the dealership’s in-house mechanic. Perks and warranty are dependent to the terms of their certified car program.

    Independent program Certified

    The certification is done by a particular independent business. Some of them do the inspection and certification in house while some are done at an affiliate’s facility administered by a representative of the independent program. You’ll be able to have your vehicle serviced  by any accredited affiliate of the independent program who certified the vehicle.


    Why Buy Certified Used Cars?


    Certified used cars are the smart choice. They are less expensive compared to new vehicles  and  you are assured to have peace of mind that you can’t get when you buy a non-certified used vehicle.

    Used cars may be cheaper but they have not been through the rigorous inspection of professional mechanics and they do not carry an extended warranty backed by the manufacturer or the third party who certified it.

    When you get a certified used car you know that the vehicle was properly maintained giving you an assurance that no undetected problem will surface months later after you have already purchased the car.

    When you buy a certified used car there are lots of perks and benefits included that you will not find when you buy from a private party or small used car lots. Some may include roadside assistance, shuttle pick-up and drop-off service, free maintenance or trip interruption protection.

    Certified used cars retain their value longer than non-certified vehicles making it easy for you to sell it when you want to upgrade.


    Does It Matter Who Certifies The Car?


    I have mentioned above that used cars can be certified by the manufacturer, a dealership or an independent program. Most experts agree that manufacturer certified used cars are more reliable.

    A manufacturer certified vehicle has passed the factory’s high standard inspection. You are assured that it was administered by trained experts and of course using updated equipment.

    The certification process also verifies that the vehicle has not incurred any frame damage during the life of the vehicle. The manufacturer holds an extended warranty that will commence when the original warranty expires and will extend to a specified number of miles or specific amount of time, whichever comes first.

    You also have access to multiple service centers nationwide. This is not the case for independent programs. They are limited to a specific location and often have the customer pay for needed repairs up front, then wait for a reimbursement check. There is also a risk that the insurance company is not around to honor the warranty when a claim is made. This risk is much less when the responsible party is a vehicle manufacturer.

    With a manufacturer certified used car you are guaranteed to get a car that is in excellent condition. You will also enjoy benefits that are exclusively offered by the manufacturer.


    Where Should I Go To Shop?


    Every major manufacturer has an official certified used car website, listing their full inventory of certified cars across all their dealerships. There’s,,, and so on. When you visit their site, you will learn how their certification is done and see the features and benefits of their certified car program.

    If you’d like to compare certified cars across different manufacturers, there’s also a website dedicating to listing the certified used car inventory available across all major manufacturers: browse to compare the certified cars for sale in your area.

    How To Save On Auto Loans

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    Lots of people are intimidated by the thought of buying a car and getting it financed. They find it confusing and a lot of times they are afraid because of the horror stories that they hear around them. Most of those stories are true. Lots of times dealerships can take advantage of you when it comes to financing. A lot of times they use it as an opportunity to make more money. However, you can avoid going that route by doing your homework. Make sure that you have gathered enough information to educate yourself before you go out there and agree on any financing terms.

    Give a serious thought on your financing options before you shop. Consider your monthly expenditures and other financial commitments to determine how much you’re able to afford. Keep in mind that you can be approved for a loan before even visiting a dealership. Securing your financing before you visit the dealership empowers you like a cash buyer. It will allow you to hop around dealerships to look for the best deals.

    Here are a few tips to help you save money on auto loans. It will help you stay on track to make sure that you will land on a financing that will not go over your allotted budget.


    Be aware of your credit score


     Lenders use credit scores to help decide how risky it will be to lend you money or provide you a service. Creditors see more risk from low credit applicants than those with better scores. The result is a higher interest rate or they can turn down your application.

    Make sure that you are on top of things. Monitor your credit profile. It consists of your credit report and credit score. Get it free at .


    Decide where you want to acquire financing



    Be careful in choosing where you send your loan application. Find a licensed online lender with a BBB rating of “A”. Many online auto loan web sites are fronts for car dealer lead-generation while other sites are individual lender sites. Go to their “about us” section to find out how they operate.

    Auto loan lead generation websites

    On lead generation web sites, you apply for a loan and your application information is immediately routed to one or more car dealerships. They carefully check every application to make sure that they are genuine and valid before they send it to dealers. You get dealer financing with these sites.

     Lender websites

    On lender websites, you can apply for a loan and may or may not get approved.  Direct auto financing can get you a lower annual percentage rate but it can be very time consuming filling out multiple applications. They  also have  high standards in filtering loan applications so it may be difficult for those who are struggling with their credit scores to be approved.

    Online Lending Marketplace

    Online lending marketplaces like VinAudit partner offer an online alternative to traditional lending. It offers quick and easy application process from the comfort of your own home. They are popular for their high approval rate and loans are processed and funded quickly. You can get multiple offers to choose from so you can maximize the amount of money that you can save.


     Be ready for your trip to the dealership


    Remember to research about the dealership that you will visit. Check out their feedback online and make sure that they are licensed. Keep in mind that there are bad dealers out there who intend to make a profit on your financing by marking up interest rates and in some cases, inflating prices of service contracts and other insurance products. If you think the dealer can give you a better deal, then finance through the dealer. Otherwise use the online auto loan that you have been approved for.

    Don’t be swayed when a dealer offers to beat your online deal by getting you lower payments while increasing term, sales price or increasing the rate (APR). It may appear to be a good deal but in the end you will be paying a lot more. Focus on the full amount and do not be diverted by low monthly payments.


    Negotiate like a cash buyer


    With financing in hand, you are in a very strong position to get the best pricing on your new or used car. Have confidence when negotiating, you already have the funding so the price easily be at your command. Work with reputable dealerships and your overall experience will be excellent.

    Having an approved financing before hopping over to a dealership is the smart way to go. You will have control to choose the best deal that you can get so you can save money.

    Get prepared today: Check your credit score at and negotiate your auto loan at

    How To Test Drive A Used Car


    Taking the car for a test drive before committing to buy it, is very important. This is your opportunity to experience everything that the vehicle has to offer. It will help you determine how the car performs under different road conditions. You take it out for a test drive to make sure everything’s in good working order and to find all possible faults so that you can negotiate for a lower price.

    Here are a few things that will help you make the most of your test drive.


    Before Driving

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     When you get into the car take a few minutes to get a good feel of the vehicle. Take time to do a brief evalutaion of the interior’s  cosmetics  and familiarize yourself to the placement of the buttons, levers and pedals.

    • Check the seats and the mirrors make sure that they can be adjusted properly.
    • Find your sweetspot adjust the steering distance, the driver’s seat and the mirrors according to your preference.
    • Remember to have the seller walk you through the vehicle’s safety features. Ask for the number of airbags, check active-safety electronics and all adjustable seatbelts.
    • Start the car. Listen to it while it’s idle then step on the gas a bit. Observe if you hear any clicking or coughing. Feel the pedals with you foot make sure that they’re within reach and turn on the air condition to create a comfortable environment.


    While Driving

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     Proper test drive should involve driving more than just around the block. You should go 4-5 miles on different roads and speeds to get a good idea of the car’s true range. Listen to the engine’s performance as you head on slowly and as you increase in speed.

    • Make sure that you get a good feel of how the transmission is shifting. Make sure there are no slippage. Listen for whinning or clonking sound when shifting.
      Check out how the break reacts make sure that it is spot on and steady.
    • Let go of the steering wheel to make sure that it tracks straight. Make sure you check if you are able to steer all the way to one direction. If it does not, that indicates alignment issues. If the steering wheel is shaky it means bent or off balanced rims.
    • Pay close attention to the gear and the clutch they should engage smoothly and easily it should not be too stiff and heavy.
    • Check out the cruise control. Make sure it is operating properly. It should disengaged when you hit the breaks and clutch.
    • See how the car responds after hitting bumps. Listen to rattling or squeeking. If there’s knocking when going over bumps or turning sharply that means that the car’s got a worn ball joint.

    I strongly suggest that you take notes. Write down the things that you have discovered so you can evaluate the over all experience.


    After Driving


    After the test drive do not turn the engine off right away. Take a look around to make sure that everything is still in good condition.

    • Open up the hood and check the engine. Check for smoke, odor and any inappropriate gushing of fluids.
    • Bend down to check if there are any leaks. Check the floor for spots. Make sure that there are no fluid dripping.
    • Check the tire’s condition by pushing and pulling it in both direction. Make sure that it is still firm and does not wiggle.

    If you are not confident enough to decide on the spot then take it to a professional mechanic for a final verdict. In most cases, the seller will agree to that except when they are hiding something.

    Buying a used car is a big investment. You should be careful and not be in a hurry. You need the car long enough to be able to make sure that it is safe to drive and that it suits your needs.

    Buying A Used Car: Pre Purchase Inspection Guide


    Inspecting the car will help you determine the existing condition as well as highlight potential issues that could arise in the future. By finding out what’s happening underneath, you’ll either feel more confident that you’re making a great investment or you’ll discover that there are hidden flaws that could give you more leverage for negotiations.

    Here are a few things that you should check before you seal the deal.


    Check the documents

    Check The Documents

    Get the papers from the seller. Make sure that the specifications corresponds with what they got on paper. Take note of the VIN. Make sure that it also matches. The VIN will be on the engine, on the front end of the frame, the driver’s side of the interior dash and the trunk.

    This will help you make sure that you’re not buying a glued on vehicle. This will also help you determine if the seller is the type that you’d rather not deal with. You will know by his willingness to entertain scrutiny and interrogation.


    Check for dents and scratches


    Check for awkward dents to make sure that it was not wrecked. Sometimes wrecked vehicles will still have those after it’s been done over. It will still leave small indicators like that. So make sure that you watch out for those.

    Look for scratches and dings. It should tell you how the car was used. You can also use it to to knock down the price a bit. Check the inside seams, make sure that they’re all still factory looking. If the alignment does not look right be sure to ask why.

    Check the body lines make sure that they’re even. Uneven body gaps will allow water to penetrate and will corrode the inside. It is also your indicator that it has been through the shop for a major body work.


    Check the tires

     BeFunky_Tirecheckup.jpgTires can tell alot about the car. Make sure that they match, if not ask why. They have played around with it for a reason.

    Check the wear on the tires, make sure the depths of the thread are still good, not enough depth means you will have to replace it soon half a finger nail will last a while.

    Make sure that the steel radio belt is not sticking out. A wear like this is an indicator that there’s a problem with it’s suspension.

    Tires have  4 digit codes:

    • eg1. “1206” – means that it was manufactured on the 12th week of 2006 –
    • eg2.”0114″ – it means first week of 2014.

    If you find a car with brand new tires that means that there’s a problem that they’re trying to hide. Also make sure that there’s a roadworthy spare tire.


    Check the mileage

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    Odometers are often rolled back so the seller can make more money. Cars with low mileage are priced higher. Ommit 35000-40000 miles and it will artificially inflates the value to about $2500 to $3000.

    Here are a few tips to determine if the odometer has been tampered.

    • Compare the mileage on display and the average mileage a year.
    • Check the wear and tear, make sure that it’s appropriate to the declared mileage.
    • Check the title, the service records or get the vehicle history report to compare the recorded mileage and the displayed mileage.
    • Check the car’s tires. If it shows 20000 mi or less it should have the original tires.
    • Check number alignment. Make sure that it should not be crooked, contain gaps or jiggle.


    Check the fluids

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    Checking the fluids will help you determine if the car was properly maintained. It will help you know potential issues that may arise in the future.

    • Look at the engine oil fluid using a dipstick and a piece of cloth.  Brown/yellow tinted is an indication that it was well maintained.
    • Check the brake fluid . Yellow tint is good. Condensation may turn it reddish  it ‘s still fine.
    • Check the coolant fluid. Look into the pressurized reservoir. Lime green color for a properly maintained car.
    • Transmission fluid. It is reddish for properly maintained cars. If there are creamy residue floating, that means there’s an issue.
    • Check the power steering fluid. It is red or clear if it was properly maintained. Any color aside from this means there’s an issue.
    • Check the battery. Corrosion around the battery can cause problems specially during winter. Make sure that the hose and belt ar still firm. Make sure that it is not worn and brittle. Feel them so you can gauge if it will last long or may give out soon and start leaking.


    Check the engine

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    Check engine for leaks. Look under the vehicle and see if you find any.

    Look at the check engine light make sure that it will not stay on when you start the vehicle. If it stays on that means that the engine has a problem.

    Perform an initial engine test.

    • Step on the accelarator and the break at the same time.
    • Set it to drive and step on the gas all the way down while holding down the break.
    • A well maintained engine will not die. When it does, that means that the engine has issues.

    Check the interior


    Make sure that you check all the buttons. Make sure that each is functioning right.

    • Check the windows, the door locks, air conditioning and the sound system.
    • Check the buttons that control the side mirrors, signal lights, wiper blades and the cruise control button.

    Remove the back seat and check out the foam below for water lines and molds to see if it was flooded. Most shops will do a good job removing the waterlines outside but leaving marks on the inside.

    If you notice anything that’s not functioning right, bring it to the seller’s attention have them fix it or use it to reduce the price.


    Check the electrical ciruit

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    You may inspect the wiring physically if you are familiar with the path to how it was laid out or if you have a diagram on hand. You do that to check the obvious like missing and worn out wires.

    Second, you should check if it is flowing properly. This is done by performing a grounding test using a multimeter or volt meter.You can bring a volt meter when you meet the seller, if you are going to a dealership they should readily have it there and you can just borrow it for the quick test

    How to perform a quick grounding test:

    • Place the test lead to the battery, make sure negative is place to the negative pole and positive to positive.
    • Take note of the result.
    • Then remove the negative test lead and test the engine. Take note of the result. If it shows the same numbers then you do not have an issue.
    • You have to do it again this time the engine should be turned on.
    • Do the test while the engine is running. Make sure that you get the same result or close.
    • A difference of .4 of a volt or more is an indication of a grounding issue.

     These are the things that will help you check for problems during your visit for inspection. Make sure that you go through it very carefully to determine if the car is worth the price or not. 

    Tips For Buying A Used Car Online


    Buying a used car online is an option for people who does not have the time to go car lot hopping and an alternative for those who got tired of dealing with the traditional salesman.

    Some find it more convenient since you can easily narrow your search down according to your targeted model and allotted budget while others are hesitant to go this route since they are afraid of the risks involved.

    Buying a car online can work for you. Below are some of the things that you should check  out to be successful in getting this task done.


    Set Your Limit

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    Set the amount that you are willing to spend. Make sure that it is within your range.

    • Consider the type of car that you need, your income and your financial accountabilities. Once you have established your limit, it will be easier for you to filter through online shops and auction sites.
    • It will help you stay grounded and keep you from buying on impulse. It will reduce the risk of straining your family’s budget and help you focus in getting the right one that will suit your daily needs.


    Do Your Research


    There are lots of rumors and horror stories about buying a used car online. Most of the time they’re from people who have had bad experiences because they were not able to take the time to educate themselves.

    • You should create a list of trusted used car listing and auction sites. Check out online forums for reviews. Keep your list, you will need it to compare prices. Find out how much control they have over the transaction. Find out if they have buyer protection and learn about how much you are covered when you buy from their website. Check for common problems like scams and buyer complaints. Use it to weigh where you feel the safest.
    • When you find a car that catches your attention. Check out the car’s history. Get a vehicle history report. You can use it as a reference to check for potential problems. Check the seller’s history. Use the internet to locate their shop and look for reviews to learn about their reputation. If they’re a private seller get to know them more. Be polite and establish good rapport. It will work to your advantage, private seller’s are more likely to entertain haggling if they are comfortable with the person that they’re dealing with.
    • Create a list of the documents involved. Learn about the documents that you should see before and after purchasing the car. Get in touch with an expert if you do not understand something. Do not hesitate to ask the seller to provide you the car’s paperworks. Make sure that they’re legit . You can check out this blog to find out more about the relevant documents: Buying A Used Car: The Relevant Documents.

    Take time to educate yourself and learn the process. It will help you feel confident and it will help you making the correct decision.


    Inspect The Car

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    One disadvantage of finding a car online is that you will not get to see it immediately you will rely on pictures and the description that’s being presented by the seller.

    • I strongly suggest that you find time to meet the seller and inspect the vehicle. However if it is not possible there are other ways for you to be able to get the feel and experience of being able to check it firsthand.
    • You can find lots of information about the car online, check the manufacturer’s page, download the manual and check forums for user’s feedback. Jot down the car’s strengths and common issues.
    • If the seller is in a faraway state, hire a mechanic who can come and inspect it for you. There are lots of websites who offer this service nowadays. They will send you the result and make sure that you carefully review everything before committing to buy. Go over the mechanic’s feedback and ask questions if you find anything that you are not clear with.


    Completing The Transaction


    One advantage of buying online is that the prices are already bottomed down. Sellers do that to attract more buyers. It means less time is spent haggling so you are likely to close a deal faster than the traditional way.

    • There are several ways to pay for your purchased vehicle. The seller may include his preferred terms on the listing and some auction sites also have their own payment processing solution. You will also find auto financing sites that can provide immediate approval. However it will still depend on where you feel most comfortable.
    • The seller may ask for a certain amount to serve as your initial deposit and then he will provide a deadline for the rest of the payment. Make sure that you understand his terms since most sellers do not return down payments in case their customer decides to back out of the transaction.
    • Make sure that you keep a copy of the receipt of all the payments that you have already made. Those will be your proof that you have already done your part of the deal.

    Transporting The Car


    One of the things that most people are worried about is how the car gets delivered. They are worried about the safety of the vehicle and sometimes it is one of the factors that can be most stressful.

    Deciding what car transport to use is a matter of your time line, budget and concern over your vehicle being exposed to the elements. Here are the common types of transport method available in the market right now.

    • Truck auto transport is a direct and quick way to ship your car. You have probably seen auto transport trucks on the highway carrying loads of new and used cars. Tractor-trailer car haulers typically transport up to 9-10 vehicles at a time, depending on the vehicle size and types.

    • Enclosed Auto Transport where the cars are being transported in a fully enclosed trailer with either flexible or solid sides, roof and doors. This is the most expensive type of auto transport because fewer cars can be loaded at one time but you are guaranteed that it will be kept safe from being exposed.

    • Open Auto Transport cars are transported on a truck that is open to the elements.

    • Rail transport picks up the vehicle at the origin location and brings it to the appropriate rail terminal, where the vehicle is loaded onto fully enclosed rail equipment. Then you can pick it up on the designated drop off station.

    • Make sure that you are fully covered and also secure a copy of all the paper works. Transporting a car nowadays is ten times better than it was in the past because of modern equipment, online tracking tools and better safety regulations. As a result, cars that are bought online are delivered smoothly and in a timely manner.

      Buying a car online has grown to be the popular choice of many over the past few years. There were successful transactions and there were bad ones. Plan everything carefully and back it up with research.