Buying a car is fairly straightforward, but the level of ease depends on where you shop. If you’re buying a new car, your options are limited, and your purchasing process is easy to understand. If you’re buying a used car, you can choose between the ease of a dealership and the haggling and savings of a Craigslist find. Not all options are equal, so consider looking in one of these avenues next time you need a new car. Each one comes with pros and cons.
If you like predictability, ease, and certainty, then this particular option isn’t for you. Craigslist cars are sold by the previous owner rather than a dealer, and you’ll have to go to extra trouble to make sure you’re getting a good deal. While you should get a new used car checked out no matter where you buy it from, you’ll have to arrange a visit to the mechanic with the previous owner before you buy. Still, a Craigslist seller isn’t a salesman, and you won’t have to put up with pushy sales tactics. You can also haggle with Craigslist sellers, so you may end up with a lower price than you were expecting.
For new and used cars, this is the least stressful option, and it’s the opposite of Craigslist buys. A large dealership will likely be full of sales associates, and they’ll only sell certain makes and models of cars. An independent dealership may not be as pushy, and you’ll be able to find cars of all varieties. When going with an independent dealership, try to get a sense of the dealership’s reputation before you go, and of course–get the car checked out by a mechanic. At either type of dealership, the price on the car is almost always what you pay, unless you’re willing to bring your haggling skills to the next level. You might pay a little more at a dealership than you would for a Craigslist car, but your process will be straightforward and stress-free.
Another way of buying cars is using innovative websites such as Auto Auction Mall, where you can browse vehicles from your computer. While you have to be aware of all the same pitfalls as you would when buying in person, buying a car online can save you a lot of hassle. If you play your cards right, you’ll end up with a good deal. Since you can browse multiple states instead of just your location, your options are much broader. Online shopping is the perfect option for anyone looking for something specific or unique, or someone willing to pay a little extra for less hassle.
Buying a used car is a different experience for everyone. Some people are so good at haggling that they can drive away with a new car for less than the showroom price, whereas others would rather avoid haggling at all costs. If you’re strapped for cash, Craigslist is probably your best option, since the cheapest cars tend to be rejected by dealerships. If you’re looking for something more reliable, go with a dealership. If you’re looking for another way, you should browse car options on an online auto mall.