Finding reliable Craigslist cars for under $600 – What should I look for when purchasing Craigslist used cars?

by Craig Miller on October 27, 2010

Purchasing reliable Craigslist cars for under $600 can be done with a bit of research and patience. Depending on the area that you live, finding a large assortment of vehicles for under $600 on Craigslist may or may not be easy. Living in a larger city does of course have its advantages because hundreds of new vehicles are listed each day in larger cities on Craigslist used cars. If you live in a more remote area of the country, finding a used vehicle may take a little longer because not as many vehicles will be posted. Either way, you will eventually find a great vehicle and not spend a small fortune.

If you have never purchased a used vehicle from an individual, the thought of buying something as large as an automobile from a private seller may be a bit nerve-racking. Many people are hesitant to purchase a for sale by owner vehicle because so much money is at stake and they would rather go to a car dealership and purchase a vehicle with a vehicle warranty. If you feel really uncomfortable purchasing a used vehicle from an individual, you may just want to stick with the car dealer. If you feel confident that you can purchase a used vehicle on your own, you can literally save hundreds of dollars.

When shopping around for a used vehicle, there are several areas of the vehicle you will want to look at. Perhaps the most important is the engine and transmission because they are the most expensive. Listen to the vehicle’s engine for any loud noises such as clicks or rattles. Drive the vehicle to ensure that the transmission shifts smoothly from gear to gear and does not hesitate whenever you switch from part to drive. When switching a vehicle into drive or reverse, the transmission should almost immediately engage. With a manual transmission, you’ll want to ensure that the clutch pedal does not grab too low or too high. It should grab somewhere in the middle. Check the underside of the engine and the ground for the presence of oil, transmission, coolant, power steering, brake fluid, or any other type of fluid. Something as simple as a leaky rear main seal can cost you hundreds of dollars to repair.

Once you have inspected the engine and transmission, take a look underneath the vehicle at the exhaust system and suspension. Ensure that there are no holes in the exhaust system and that the suspension and underside is not completely rusted. While you are at it, check the condition of the tires and make sure that they still have plenty of tread on them. Check the thickness of the tread with a penny by inserting the penny had side down into the tread. The thickness of the tread should exceed the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head. If not, the vehicle will soon need tires in order to pass inspection.

Inspect the body of the vehicle for evidence of a collision. A vehicle that has been involved in a collision may show evidence by having body panels that do not align or doors that do not close properly. A vehicle that has been in an accident and rebuilt could cause problems later on down the road.

Check the overall cosmetic condition of the vehicle including the vehicles paint and condition of the interior. For $600, you really cannot ask too much when it comes to cosmetics. Finding a reliable vehicle that is mechanically sound is all that you should expect. Each day, several Craigslist cars for under $600 are sold in the United States. Craigslist used cars are a great way to find transportation at a reasonable price.

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