October 22, 2021

Cars For Sale By Owner (What You Need To Know)

If you’re looking for a used car or want to buy one from a FSBO also know as “For Sale By Owner”, you might ask yourself how these cars compare to purchasing from dealerships. 

While there is a lot of information about choosing which deal is the right for you, below are some basics to consider before buying from websites like Craigslist and for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers.

Warning For Used Car Buyers

When it comes to cars sold by the owner and the cars they sell, buyers should be careful. It can be tempting to buy a car from a private seller because of all the taxes and hassle. 

When you buy a car from a private seller rather than a dealer, it’s hard not to feel like they have all of the advantages.

Purchase With Your Car Insurance

First, always purchase a vehicle using your insurance coverage. Many times people forget this, especially when they are buying with cash in hand. 

Many times, people will also choose their inspectors before making a decision. Used car insurance is a good idea no matter what. Make sure that you purchase this type of insurance.

 Suppose the car needs extensive repairs and you don’t have the money to do so. In that case, your own insurance company will completely cover you. 

Also, make sure that if something happens during the period, to see if the car is under warranty, their coverage will cover it. (Before buying the car)

Don’t buy from people who want to hold onto their old cars only, especially used ones. If a seller sells their car, it’s most likely because they need money or have a financial situation.

Many people will tell you that alot of the cars in these for sale by owner deals are perfect and worth your time. 

A lot of this is based on what model years and mileage are involved. However, if you look at most used car deals, this is true. Old cars or ones that have not been maintained are much more likely to end up in bad situations than newer cars.

You will need to go on the CarFax website and check out any vehicle that has been reported, such as damages or missing parts in the past 3 years will show up as a red flag. 

 A great tip is to see how long the car was driven and where it has been since it was purchased. 

(if the person is telling you that he/she has owned this particular vehicle for 8 years and says he/she just drove it here from Florida recently)

Never buy a used car sight unseen. Whether the seller is an FSBO seller or a real person, at least visit the lot (and handle the car) before buying it. 

If they insist that you do this or that you should buy it now, they are most likely not trustworthy and maybe trying to rip you off. This is not professional at all.

Different people have different needs and requirements for their cars and when looking at used cars for sale by owners online, it’s important to understand what those are and only chooses deals that fit your needs. 

For some people, they need to have fully-loaded luxury cars. Others need a car that works to get them where they want to go and don’t care as long as it looks nice.

Remember, when the person is selling online, the goal is obviously to make money. This is why most FSBO sellers offer cars at prices that are cheaper than what you would find at dealerships. 

Do not get fool to think that you should jump on it right away just because the price sounds good. 

There are many factors involved in buying a car, and the price should always be secondary to the condition and safety of the car.

When you buy a car from an online seller, please don’t get too attached to it. Buying cars online from private sellers is always riskier than going with actual dealerships or older cars and have low mileage on them. 

Although it’s OK to look at these cars, you should not buy them unless you’re fully aware of what to expect if certain things go wrong down the road.

Don’t buy cars for more than what they are worth whenever possible. Most people like to buy cars when they drive them and are happy with the way they run. 

These are typically good deals. You won’t get a car with low mileage just because it’s cheaper to buy it offline or from an FSBO seller as long as there aren’t any issues that have come up in the past.


If you’re looking at purchasing your first used car online, this website is worth checking out. It allows you to compare thousands of listings and do so very quickly.

It’s an easy way to compare prices from all around the country, so it’s very wise if you’re going to purchase from a dealer in another state or country.

Carfax and vehicle history reports apply regardless of whether you buy a car from a dealer or a private individual. Credit Karma lists helpful questions owners should ask about their cars before deciding to buy.   

This is a site that allows you to search multiple websites and categories for used cars. It helps you find the best deals online and save time on looking for them.

It offers reviews for sellers, cars, websites, and services as well as great customer support. This is a very helpful tool if you’re thinking about purchasing from FSBO sellers or other websites with multiple listings.

This website was created by Daniel Hurley close to 20 years ago. Since then, it has grown to be the largest website for used car dealers to help consumers locate the best deals on used cars for sale online. 

They also have a huge database of over 1,800 dealers and listings updated daily from all across the U.S.

Car Inspection Steps

If you are too strict with your expectations, you should not buy cars online from FSBO sellers or private sellers! Remember, people do things differently, especially if they have never purchased vehicles from dealerships in the past.

Video On How To Inspect A Used Car By Owner

More care and research into finding an affordable automobile with low mileage can be well worth the investment if done properly. 

The following FOR SALE BY OWNER steps may help:  

Make sure there aren’t any major recalls on the model before purchase.

 Check engine light-bulb icon comes off after inspection

Make sure brakes have ample clearance across drum surfaces when compressed by hand at parking stops without rolling forward or back while peddling them with a foot. 

Do not be afraid to ask questions, but always be very cautious when doing so. 

You can filter cars of an owner from used car lists on Carfax and get away with a free Carfax report on the vehicle history.   

Don’t Buy Cars From Online FSBO Sellers Unless…

You have decided that you will only buy cars from online sellers and private sellers instead of dealerships. 

Suppose you’re going to buy used cars from a private seller. In that case, you need to make sure that they will give you all of the necessary documentation required to register it. 

You also need to know about the procedures for filing a lemon law claim if something goes wrong with the car after purchase. 

Your best choice is to find an FSBO seller who has had a friend or family member buy their car from a dealership before.

If they have this experience, they will answer your questions about the car’s history and condition with real facts and information. 

They will also provide you an accurate description of the mechanical problems that may have occurred in the past. 

 Buying used cars online because it allows you to know exactly what type and condition your potential car purchase could be before signing on any dotted lines.

First, you need to assess the value of your car so that you can set an attractive price for it. Look for the value of your car in Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, or check the rates for similar cars in local ads.    

Don’t make it up if the buyer has an accident within two miles of the sale and claims you are responsible. 

Most states require that the seller deliver an up-to-date smog check on the vehicle to the buyer, indicating that he has passed a state inspection and a certificate of ownership. 

For Example, 

If a gearbox falls on the floor of a used car tomorrow, you will have to pay for repairs. You need to ensure you are getting a quality used car with money exchange hands, not one with problems that you were unaware of.    

If you are serious about buying the car, it would be reasonable to ask the seller to point out that he is not hiding the problems with the vehicle.    

Be prepared to provide proof of financing and agree to a fair price if the car passes the inspection. 

Always take a closer look at the vehicle. The vehicle should have an insurance claim, accident report, and request for service documents from the seller to ensure that a reputable business did the work on the car.

 Run the report and find information that contradicts the seller’s information. 

If you intend to buy a used car from a private seller, the form you need to insert is a title, questionnaire, and transfer of the car trailer in your name. 

Depending on which state you buy the car from, you may also need other forms. 

Sellers often have invoices from previous owners of the vehicle, so use these to personally locate the previous owner of a car based on information in the documents.    

You may also want to check the state laws to make sure that the title is enough for the car to be sold by the owner and that you must charge for the sale. 

When buying a car, be sure to trust your intuition. Suppose you have any reservations about the salesman and push too hard for you to buy something. If that happens, it may not be worth investing in that vehicle.

At a used car dealer, prices are regulated by the dealer. The car is inspected and evaluated for value. There are a few rules and standard procedures for interaction between the individual owner and the customer.   


There are numerous ways available when it comes to purchasing your used car. Although Craigslist is a popular area for private sellers to offer used vehicles, it is far from the only place to look for your dream vehicle.

If you have enough cash to buy, you do not need to use dealer financing. Here’s how to ease the stress and maximize the money you can get by selling your car instead of exchanging it at a dealership. 

Turn your car into cash with a minimum effort by revealing it correctly, advertising it on the right sites, and sorting out serious buyers from the tire-kickers.    

You cannot deduct VAT on a used car sale, but you can get a tax credit on purchasing a new vehicle. 

This is called a “pink slip” and gives you the right to sell your used car privately. Using a third-party escrow service is the best way to complete a non-cash car sale transaction, even if you never meet the seller.    

The purchase allows the buyer to expand his search options at the dealer to find his ideal vehicle at a lower price. 

Once you completed the process of finding a car for sale, you will be the proud owner of a new vehicle that also affects you.    

In conclusion, 

 Cars for sale by owners are a great way to save money, but you should be aware of what it means. The person selling the car may not have any guarantee or warranty that the vehicle is in good condition, and there’s no protection if something goes wrong with your purchase. 

Cars for sale by owner can still be an excellent option as long as you know what you’re getting into beforehand.

Always do some research on who is trying to sell their vehicle before moving forward with anything else. Some people might try to scam potential buyers, so make sure they don’t get away with it.

Check Out Our latest post How To Find The Best Used Car Deal On The Market Today? 14 Tips – Auto & Tech Media (autoandtechmedia.com)


Image By Pexel Sora Shimazaki