How to Buy a Used Car from a Private Owner

by / ⠀Blog Investment / November 4, 2022
buy used car

Buying a car can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what to look for. How do you know which used car is worth your investment? It’s important to know how to buy a used car correctly so that you don’t end up with an automobile that is too damaged or not in the condition that you expected. In this article, we’ll provide you with the tips you need to make an informed purchase and help you identify the key documents to check as well. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to buy a car without any trouble!

7 Steps Involved in Buying a Used Car from a Private Owner

Find a Car That You Want Online

Looking for a car that you want online can be a daunting task. However, with the help of the right platforms like eBay Motors, Carvana, and Autotrader, it becomes much easier to find the perfect car at the best price. Start by filtering your search based on what type of car you are looking for (sedan or sports). Once you have narrowed your search down, take time to read all the details and view pictures from different angles to make an informed purchase decision.

Check Kelly Bluebook Prices

The car market is fluid, with new models being released every year. So before buying any used car, it’s important to check the Kelly Bluebook prices to get an idea of the current market value. This website shows you the average sale price for all makes and models of vehicles. Knowing this will help you avoid overpaying for a used car. This is because you’ll know the exact limit of how high the price can go.

Check the Car’s History

Car buying is always a risky proposition. One thing when you’re looking to buy a used car from a private owner is researching and ensuring your car has been safe thus far. There are various ways of checking this, including going online and using CarFax or Autocheck.

If the car you want to buy has had any accidents, it would be best not to purchase it as the insurance companies might not cover such cases in the future.

Contact the Seller and Make an Offer

Once you have got an idea of the car’s condition, history, and price range, it’s time to negotiate. It is important to remember that bargaining isn’t just about paying less money – it’s also about getting the car you want at a price that’s fair to its condition.

If you’re not comfortable with the offer made by the seller or feel like they are trying to lowball you, don’t be afraid to haggle – this could make all the difference in securing your new car!

Set Up a Date for a Test Drive

It is always smart to test drive the car before buying it. This way, you can get a feel of the vehicle and have a detailed look up close. Make an appointment with the seller by contacting them through email or phone.

Inspect the Car for Damages

Before taking the car home, it is crucial to inspect it for any damages. This includes checking the engine and drive train, paint job, suspension, and other parts of the car that may be vulnerable in case of an accident. You can bring a mechanic to check everything in detail. To ensure no surprises at a later stage, get a written report of all findings during the inspection so you will have documentation should there be any disputes or claims related to the car.

Renegotiate the Price if New Faults are Discovered During the Inspection

If new faults are discovered during the inspection, always renegotiate with the seller. This is because you don’t want to overpay for a car that already has some damage. The seller may feel like your new price is reasonable and might agree to lower prices more readily.

Documents Required When Buying a Used Car

When buying a preloved vehicle, it’s essential to be prepared for the paperwork required. Here are the documents you’ll need to check:

  • Title: This is the proof of ownership that the vehicle is registered in the seller’s name to ensure there’s no foul play.
  • Registration Certificate: This vehicle registration ensures the vehicle is registered with the state. Ensure the info on the registration certificate matches the info on the car like VIN, make, model, number plate, etc.
  • Proof of Insurance: Asking for insurance is necessary because you can check whether or not the seller has made any claims. This tells you if any accidents occurred with the car.
  • Bill of sale: A bill of sale is a document used to sell or transfer the ownership of the vehicle. It typically records the details of the sale, such as the buyer, seller, the price paid, and the date of sale.
  • No Objection Certificate: Nowadays, owners buy most vehicles with loan money. So make sure to ask for a no-objection certificate from the seller that states that the lender, like the bank, doesn’t have any claim on the car. It ensures the vehicle doesn’t have any outstanding loans on it.
  • Service Book: Check the service book to see a record of the services the vehicle has availed till now. This helps you find out how well the previous owner kept it maintained. Plus, meter readings on each service will tell you whether or not the seller tempered with the odometer.
  • Emissions document: Also known as the pollution under control certificate. This piece of the document tells you the emission levels of a vehicle. This gives you an idea of the vehicle’s engine’s condition. Higher emission means something is wrong with the engine.

Parting Thoughts

Nowadays, the mindset about used cars has changed for the better. There is a huge demand for reliable and quality used vehicles in the market today. Even though you now know how to buy and used car from a private owner, you still must do your research thoroughly before buying one. That way, you can be fully sure that you are getting a good deal.

About The Author


Taha Khan is a professional content writer by trade. He is a business administration graduate with a focus and interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. Khan has been working as a content writer for several years and has collaborated with 100+ businesses on their content marketing projects. When not writing, he is probably reading – mostly going through psychology and philosophy books. And when Khan is not reading, he is gaming on his PC – another hobby mostly associated with introverts.