What is the best place to find used cars for sale?
Before you can get great insurance, you need a great car. Some people, when they decide that they need to buy a used car, will just walk straight to the nearest used car lot. Now, okay, sometimes this is a great way to find the car of your dreams.
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If you have something specific in mind, if you know that you can get a good deal there, but it’s not the only place to shop. Here are some of the other top stops for those who want to car shop:
You can often find some really great deals in online classifieds. There are a number of upsides to finding used cars through this format:
- Low cost of entry sometimes means that the seller is looking to offer their car up for a low price.
- Being online means that you can search for rare collector cars halfway across the country if you’re willing to pay for transport.
- There’s a much wider than usual range of options on the web. You can find fixer uppers if you want a project car, like-new cars if you want to drive something safe and reliable, and everything in between.
There are some downsides to shopping solely through online classifies as well, though, such as:
- Lowered accountability. Classifieds are mostly self-policed to the extent that you might not always get what you paid for.
- The human element. If you like haggling, this is great. If you just want to pay the price that was quoted in the ad, then you might be annoyed at having to tell some of the more flaky sellers that you’re not going to pay anything extra.
That said, it’s really a case-by-case sort of thing. You might wind up getting a great deal in the classifieds, or you might wind up with a real junker. Bring along a friend who knows their cars if you want to make sure that you’re getting something good.
Sometimes you see a great car just sitting out on someone’s front lawn with a “for sale” sign in the window. This is great for a number of reasons.
- These sellers are often desperate. Desperate seller means low price and willingness to haggle.
- There’s a sort of romance, a sense of fun to buying cars this way, the way they did before cheap classified papers, before the internet. The sense that buying this car is an adventure can be as rewarding as buying the car itself.
- Getting personally involved. You can see the car with your own eyes before you even contact the seller, and perhaps take it for a test drive before making the purchase.
And then, of course, there are the downsides:
- You’re really only shopping in your local market with this approach. You’re not going to find that great station wagon the next county over if you’re just walking up and down residential streets.
- You never know who you’re going to have to deal with if they’re just parking their car out front and throwing a “for sale” sign on it. Some of these sellers can be pretty surly.
This is a great way to get the car of your dreams if you happen to find it, but it does rely on a bit of luck in order to get you what you’re after.
There are actually quite a few online auto auction sites around these days and they offer a wide range of benefits for used car shoppers:
- Similar to online classifieds, they offer a wide range of choices. Just about any kind of car you could possibly want, you can find it through an auction site.
- Auction sites usually let you search by everything from make and model to color and, of course, price. This means that it’s that much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.
- Once the auction is settled, so is the price. There’s no haggling. This is a good thing if you hate haggling.
Of course, nothing this good comes without a few downsides:
- Bidding wars can get very expensive, very quickly.
- Once the auction is settled, so is the price. There’s no haggling. This is a bad thing if you like haggling.
Here’s the real best place to find used cars: Everywhere.
Use the online classifieds, the car lots, the auction sites, and the walkabout together and you improve your odds of finding that car you’re after for the price you like.
Finding the right used car and equipping it with the right insurance policy can save you literally thousands of dollars in the long run. A cheap car that’s easy to repair, a car insurance policy that’s easy to cover every month, and the satisfaction of knowing that you looked high and low for both before settling on anything can make you a very happy driver.
Be sure to find the best auto insurance coverage by entering your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool!