Finding Used Cars in 2021


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Old 01-25-21, 09:46 AM
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Finding Used Cars in 2021

Can anyone offer me advice on finding used cars for sale these days, particularly cars for sale by private owner? Any advice on purchase from dealer appreciated, too.

My experience was, back in the day, to use local classifieds, but that is pretty much obsolete. The last two cars I purchased was off of Craigslist, but that was some years ago. I have been keeping an eye on CL for some time, but there isn't much there, and those that are there are primarily for sale by flippers or dealers. I did venture onto facebook, but that looks like a mess. Ebay? Autotrader? CarMax?

For reference, I am probably looking for a car 5-7 yo, and perhaps another at 10-12yo as a beater. I lean toward GM or Honda cars, and I might consider an SUV. But I heard that there might be an issue with GM cars post-bailout.

I noticed that this forum is only lightly used, but there are probably other readers who would benefit from answers given here. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-25-21, 11:22 AM
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Over the past few years, I have purchased a used cars off eBay (dealer), off CL (private owner) and Car Guru (Dealer).

Have never bought or sold anything off FB, but like all the above you got to be carful what your doing!
 
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Old 01-25-21, 11:45 AM
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When you say that you've looked on FB are you referring to facebook market place? Not sure if you're just looking at Facebook or Facebook market place. Anyway: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace
 
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Old 01-25-21, 01:45 PM
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Over the past few years, I have purchased a used cars off eBay (dealer), off CL (private owner) and Car Guru (Dealer).
I will take another look at Ebay, it has been some time since I looked at it. But it would have to be fixed price, I don't see doing auction.

How long since you bought CL/private owner? CL has changed.

Not familiar with Car Guru at all, other than having heard of it.

When you say that you've looked on FB are you referring to facebook market place?
Facebook Marketplace. IIRC, the filters didn't work too well, and the site had the clutter/junk/browser bogging that you would expect from an ad-dependent site. I couldn't seem to "get down to business" too readily, which is probably intentional. Also, I believe I would have to set up a facebook acount to contact sellers, and I have no interest in that.
 
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Old 01-25-21, 03:43 PM
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eBay was last Nov, an auction for a 2006 Solstice from a dealer.

Car Guru was a little over a year ago for a 2012 Captiva from a dealer

CL was probably 3 years ago for a Camaro from private owner. CL hasn't changed other than car sellers now pay $5 per month.

I have to correct my prior statement, we did by a Kawasaki Mule off FB last fall.

They are all sources, got to look at them all!

 
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Old 01-25-21, 03:55 PM
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Two other sites are Carvana and Carfax
 
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Old 01-25-21, 11:39 PM
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Carvana is an interesting site, they are a selling "system" more than a selling site. Prices are much higher but they come with the exchange/return guarantees so it's supposed to eliminate the fear of buying a used vehicle.

I've always wondered how many people return or how easily it really is!

I read last week that the average, AVERAGE, transaction price last year was $43K for a new car.

I simply can not bring myself to pay that amount of money for something to get me to and from work/grocery store. I've bought used cars for the past 40 years and never, ever had an issue!
 
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Old 01-26-21, 03:24 AM
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Like Marq1, I have bought used for the last 25 years or so with the exception on a dually I used for work. We have a used car dealer here that has proven itself as a very reputable dealer. They have their own service center, detail shop & tire shop. They guarantee their vehicles. That is where I have bought our last few vehicles. Personally, I'd rather buy from a reputable dealer than a private owner. You're almost on your own when buying from a private seller.
I should note that while I do buy used, I usually buy 1 or 2 year old vehicles.... usually. I dont usually buy older vehicles.
 
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Old 01-26-21, 04:45 AM
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Another good site is autotempest dot com. It searches most of the sites mentioned in this post. Take a look at Edmunds and autotrader.
Most of the car results will have the VINs listed also. Enter the VIN into a vehicle history site to get more info on the vehicle. There are several sites that display maintenance and accident history, carfax is the most famous but there are others. You will need a subscription to carfax, unless the car is listed on the carfax site then vehicle history is free. These sites will also list accident history. The report will specify if accident was minor, and you can use this info to negotiate price.
You mention looking for car in 5-7 year old range. That is excellent approach because many of these cars are coming off of their warranty, but also have a complete maintenance history.
 
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Old 01-26-21, 06:37 AM
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I'd rather buy from a reputable dealer than a private owner. You're almost on your own when buying from a private seller.
I tend to buy the 3-4 year old cars that still have some OEM warranty but even with that I have an excellent local repair shop that for $40 will do a through inspection, test drive, OBD2 scan.

I would never buy anything, even from a dealer, without doing my own scan.

 
 

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