Face it. Having a baby means cutting back on extra expenses and
one way to do that is to buy used, or as we say now, “pre-owned.” There’s nothing wrong with buying
used these days. Many baby items can be purchased almost new for pennies of what they cost just a
few months earlier. Almost anything can be run through the dishwasher for a full
One common thing that depreciates immediately after purchase, even if never used,
is a car. Here are some tips for buying a used car and getting a great deal.
- Look for
cars on-line on sites like Craigslist.com where you can shop and learn in peace.
- Use sites
like KelleyBlueBook.com (kkb.com) or Edmunds.com to determine the fair market value in your area.
- Get the vehicle ID number (VIN) off any prospective purchase and order a carfax report to
make sure the car ownership is clear and that there have not been any major accidents
the National Insurance Crime Bureau database to make sure your candidate car and make are not “high
hit rate” cars for burglary and theft
- When you go see the car, don’t waste the owner’s time
trying to figure out every button (do your research in advance), but do check all switches and
gauges carefully to make sure everything works. (Hint: people often overlook the A/C in the winter,
forget the windshield wipers in clear weather, and forget to look for a working spare tire).
- Finally, take the car for a spin, check the handling and brakes, and listen for suspicious
- If the car checks out, consider forking out another $75-$150 for a “pre-purchase
inspection” from a local repair shop so you can buy in total confidence.
– Paul Banas
Founder / Editor