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      10-19-2019, 10:08 PM   #14
Darth One
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Drives: M4 GTS | E46 M3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FL

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I’ve bought cars online from $35k to $240k, private party and dealer, new/used/CPO, from a couple of states over to all the way on the other coast. I think all the usual due diligence steps of PPI, Carfax, ‘buy the seller’, photos/video walkthroughs, send someone to check it if you can....they’re all good things to do if you can.

The two things that i’ve found that weren’t obvious to me before are first, a lot of private sellers will refuse to use an escrow service, and second, buying a car with a lien is a royal pain in the ass.

Buying new from a dealer is obviously the most risk-free transaction but even that can get fucked up. I’ve had options missing, dealer personnel not knowing how to give me the right help registering the car in my state, stuff like that. Private party? You almost have to assume that there will be some surprise after the deal is done, and you just have to hope it’s not a big and nasty one. “Buying the seller” helps a lot here.

Finally, don’t treat the transportation process after you buy the car, as an afterthought. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but this was something i was stupid about during my first transactions and i quickly found out that arranging quality transport at short notice is not really possible, and driving a used car home requires quite a bit of contigency planning