Okay, my credit is fair and I need to buy a car, like three months ago. I have a significant amount saved up to go towards a down payment or purchase. How do I go about finding a good deal and not get stuck with a lemon? Any and all suggestions are welcome!

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I have bought 3 cars in my lifetime, all used. One off of FB marketplace, one from a Wholesale lot and one from a local car dealer.

By far the best purchase I made was the one I bought on Facebook Marketplace.

The reason it was the best value was because I was able to negotiate a lot more because commissions, taxes, etc. that I had to worry about buying from an individual seller.

I ended up negotiating from well over 2 grand and got the car for just $1,400!

I did have a mechanic friend look over the car and give me his personal opinion before I made the purchase. I would definitely recommend this if you know someone who is a mechanic, or ask the person you are buying from if they wouldn't mind for you to take it to a trusted mechanic to have it looked over.

This can cost you anywhere from $20 to $40 but it is a worthy investment and could save you a lot down the road.

The second car I bought was from a Wholesaler which I was not aware meant that they sold the cars as is and do not generally tell you the car has issues, nor do they fix them.

This purchase left me paying 7K for a car that today, just over a year later is only worth roughly $3,000 and needs repairs that would cost that much at a normal mechanic.

This was a tough financial lesson to learn but it helped me when it came to purchasing my 3rd car.

The third car is a 2009 Toyota Prius which my wife and I got for well under Kelly Blue Book Value.

I put a lot of negotiating tactics (that I learned on YouTube) to work which ended up saving me an extra 1K off of what they were originally asking and helped me get it for the random number I had quoted as "our budget" when I originally looked at the car.

To sum it up... either buy from a personal seller or a dealer but avoid the wholesalers.

If you can, get it looked at by a mechanic.

And always remember... the price is ALWAYS negotiable. Never impulse buy a car, and never buy a car if you are not 100% sure you are getting a good value and a mechanically sound vehicle.

Hope you find this somewhat helpful.

Hey, @T'Ianna Moore! How exciting! Kudos on having some monies saved up for your car purchase.

I know this is a big decision, so I dug up some articles from The Penny Hoarder on purchasing used cars. Hope these help too! Keep us posted. 

How to Find and Buy Your Perfect Used Car and Avoid a Clunker

Here’s How I Bought a Car for Only $400 (and It Wasn’t a Lemon)

Buying a Used Car? This Simple Spreadsheet Will Help You Get the Best Deal

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T'Ianna Moore
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