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Posted by Ari [Email] (more from Ari) on Sun, 25 Jan 2009 08:54:01
In Reply to: Used car search...online:, 91Aero.jr, Sat, 24 Jan 2009 14:34:50
The last time I was doing a car search, I slowly amassed a large list that were local to my area. It was my experience that some cars showed up in multiple places, and many cars showed up only in one obscure place. In the end, I found a wonderful car in the on-line listing of a local, small (three-town) weekly newspaper.
I got the linkings to:
All major newspapers in the area
All the weekly newspapers I could find
We have a 'bargain news' paper that sells everything from cars to baseball cards, and has a very good on-line presence
The weekly "rare reminder" with ads and local news
Saab's CPO is quite good.
I was willing to travel a ways, and it turns out that Carfax has a service:
You can punch in what you're looking for, and get the Carfax report on the car. It's mostly dealers and used car dealers, but you can search places you didn't know existed.
I found that the aggregate websites left cars out. In terms of gently used, the best way is to buy a car from a person with the complete records. And as Jay Leno says, 'buy the person, not the car' - you can tell from the person how they've treated the car - not what they say (people lie - I'm shocked!) but by their knowledge of the car, how they treat it when you're around, and the paperwork that comes with it. When you buy used from a dealer, the PO is erased; that doesn't mean I wouldn't buy a car from a dealer, but I need to take a different approach.
The last one is - be patient. There is a lot of carp out there. It took me 6 weeks to find my last car. OK, it was a '97 9000 CSE, and they aren't exactly as common as a '03 9-5 sedan. But be patient, and test drive A LOT of cars. That way you get the feeling of how they should sound and perform, and it 'tunes up' your awareness - and your feeling for the market (condition vs. price).
posted by 76.205.1...
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