Top 5 Questions to Ask a Private Seller When Buying a Used Car

Did you know that in 2019, there were 229 million licensed drivers in the United States? If you are looking to buy a used car from a private seller in the near future, you need to make sure you ask the right questions. We have put together this guide to share the must-ask questions anytime you are buying a pre-owned car.

Read on to learn more.

1. Why Are You Selling the Car?

A good question to ask is why the seller is getting rid of their vehicle. If the seller hesitates to answer you, then this might be a suspicious sign that there might be something wrong. You want someone that gives you a confident answer such as “I am relocating and don’t need the car” or “my son/daughter were using it, and they bought a new car,” etc.

2. Do You Have Service Records?

Another helpful question is if they have records of any time the vehicle has been serviced. If the seller has a folder with everything that they have done to the car, this is a good sign that the vehicle was well taken care of.

At this time, you can also ask if they have been the only owner. If they owned the car for a short period of time and don’t have any service records, then it might be a sign that they are trying to get rid of it.

3. Any Accidents?

Not every accident is reported on a vehicle history report, so you want to ask the seller this question. If you have a chance, pull up the vehicle history report to see what (if any) accidents have been reported.

This is also a good way to ask for details about an accident on the report, such as what exactly was damaged, how was it fixed, and who fixed it.

4. How Did You Choose This Price?

There are some sellers that simply choose a price that they feel is right, but it might be overpriced. If they used a pricing guide, then you can do your own research to see if the price is accurate.

We also recommend taking the time to read reviews from a reputable source such as Alex Showalter from Vehicle History. This will give you insight into the pros and cons of a potential vehicle you are considering.

5. Do You Have the Title in Hand?

Some owners have no idea where the title is, or they might not have the title if they still have a loan on the vehicle. You want to make sure that you know where the title is before handing the seller any cash. Keep in mind that some titles are now strictly electronic, so your seller might have to transfer the title online.

Ready to Buy From a Private Seller?

Hopefully, our questions above have you feeling more confident about buying your next car from a private seller.

Feel free to continue browsing this section for more tips and tricks.