Never Do This When Buying a Used Car on Craigslist, Don’t Get Scammed

Never Do This When Buying a Used Car on Craigslist, Don’t Get Scammed

rev up your engines, today I’m gonna talk
about how not to get ripped off when buying a used car from Craigslist, now I know
quite a bit about buying used cars every car I’ve ever bought in my entire life has
been a used car and over the years I’ve checked out hundreds of used cars for
my customers when they were thinking about buying a used car but they wanted
a mechanic to check it out so I checked it out for them, now nothing beats buying a
good used car, in my own case I’ll often pay twenty to thirty percent of the
original price of the car and the car still might have eighty percent of it’s life left, for example I bought this lexus it had sixty thousand miles on it
i paid $4,000 originally it was over $30,000 but being a Lexus with 60,000
miles, it’s still got at least eighty percent of its life left and I sure paid
a lot less than eighty percent of the price of the car, the only problem with
buying used cars you got to find somewhere to buy it and a lot of people
use Craigslist which actually isn’t a bad place to look for a used car because
if you go to use car dealers hey I got friends that are in the business, let me
tell you, when they’re selling you a used car the price that they want you to pay is
anywhere two to three or five times what they paid for that car, that’s why you
see so many used-car Lots around it’s an extremely profitable business just like
pizza, doesn’t cost that much to make a pizza that’s why they can sell them
cheaper, the materials to make a pizza are generally less than a buck, so as you
can find a private individual that’s selling a car like on Craigslist, it’s not a bad
place to look for a used car but there’s a lot of dishonesty in the world so
let’s say you’re looking at a car on craigslist you go and you’re looking at
the car, the first thing you want to find out is the person that’s selling you
that car the actual owner of the car because many disreputable car Lots will
have people who work for them directly or indirectly, they’ll put a Craigslist
ad you’ll go and they’ll try to sell you the car it’s actually a car lot car that
they’ve driven to meet you somewhere and they don’t actually own the car,
it’s the old bait-and-switch now realize first thing you want to ask them is who
owns the car is title in your name and if the title
isn’t in their name or if it’s a salvaged or refurbished title, don’t buy
it, now and I was young they just called them Salvage titles because I meant the
car was Salvage then it was resold but they tried to make it look sneaky so
they put things like refurbished on it which really doesn’t mean anything it
doesn’t mean that it was refurbished and then someone checked it to make sure it
was done right, it just means the cars been totaled by an insurance company and
then you’re buying it back and trying to put it back on the road, you want to stay
away from those type of cars and be very leery of where you meet people on a
Craigslist deal now it’s not just for your own safety, like you don’t want to
go and uh you know dark room of some seedy bar to meet somebody, but you don’t
even want to say, oh I’ll meet you at Waffle House parking lot or something
like that, what you want to do is you want to meet the person who’s selling a
car where they live and you know, hey you got a little bit of recourse they live
there, you’re buying a car from them because there are laws about
pre-existing conditions on used cars regardless of what the people might say,
I had a customer do that once they were gonna buy a used Mercedes and it was
like twelve thousand dollars and they were meeting in the Sears parking lot and I said are you
serious, you’re gonna meet somebody you never met, hand him all that money cash
in a Sears parking lot for a car that you don’t know anything about, now he was
smart he didn’t give the money and he convinced them to bring the car to me to
check it out, I checked it out it was an absolute pile of junk, the engine was
coming apart but after I called him up told him it was junky he called up the
seller and then within about half an hour they said, oh we took the car to the
mercedes-benz dealer and they said nothing was wrong with it, but of course
they didn’t do that you couldn’t do it in half an hour anyways and no Mercedes
Benz dealer is ever gonna tell you that there’s nothing wrong with a car
that you’re bringing, they want to sell you stuff, so of course if you’re looking
at a car on Craigslist and they won’t let a mechanic look at it, just walk away
there’s too many scams out there and speaking of scams, bring a scan tool with
you if you’re looking at a car on Craigslist, this Creader it costs twenty
four bucks that’s nothing a lot of times guys will reset the codes when there’s
trouble, this will show you that that’s been done, you just plug
to the data port, snaps right in, they’re fully automated then they set themselves
up and they immediately show you information you wanna know, DTC is
detect the trouble codes it says there’s none, now they could have erased them but
if they did these readiness things would not be ready but in this case as you can
see it’s ready, the thing you’re really looking at here is readiness in complete,
readiness and complete is zero that means it’s complete if there are any numbers
here that would mean that they reset it and it’s not ready yet because there’s a
trouble code somewhere that will pop up later, that’s the biggest trick in the
book, they can erase the code then you don’t see the check engine light being
on, but there’s still a code that’s hidden in there when you put in this
thing, if it says readiness and it doesn’t say zero on the complete that
means that there are a certain number of them that aren’t completed and there’s
probably a problem in the car, don’t buy the car and then you want to have no
trouble codes and you want to have all the readiness done you don’t want to
have any that are incomplete, for 24 bucks this scanner or any little
scanner that you can get that does wireless communication with your cell
phone, it will all be able to read trouble codes and see if your systems are complete or
incomplete, and that stops a lot of scams in just a minute, now of course I got a
whole book on checking out used cars but you’re gonna be doing some of those
things yourself and some you’ll probably pay a mechanic the main thing is you
want to take it for a good road test of at least 10 minutes, back it up for a
minute or so to see how it feels backing up and how it breaks backing up, take
it on the highway get it going at least 60 miles an hour to see how it goes on a
highway, turn on the AC to make sure it works, watch the temperature gauge to
make sure it doesn’t overheat, all the normal things you’re gonna do when you’re road testing a car that you’re thinking about buying, now if you do decide to buy
a car from Craigslist, here’s another bit of advice so you don’t get ripped
off, don’t just be carrying cash around with you, you tell the seller hey we’re
gonna meet at my bank then you’re doing a transaction in a very safe secure
place and demand that they have the title in their hand and if the title
does not say Salvage or refurbished or reconditioned and that it’s got their
name on it, not some other strange person’s name, because you can get a good
deal on a car on Craigslist, but you can’t trust
anyone, except me and the odds of you getting me to check it out for you are gonna be
pretty slim unless you live near Houston Texas, so if you never want to miss
another one of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. ⬇️Scotty’s Top DIY Tools:

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    ⬇Things used in this video:
    1. Cheap Scan Tool:
    2. Wireless Scan Tool:
    3. My Book on Buying Used Cars:
    4. Common Sense
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  2. I dont believe he bought that Lexus for 4 grand, unless there is something he is not telling us like it had a blown engine or was severely damaged. Go try to buy a 60k miles Lexus for 4 grand and you will see what I mean. Mechanics are dishonest crooks

  3. Scotty – how in the world do you find a Lexus ES300 with only 60k miles for $4000? No where I have ever looked has had anything like that, but I could sure use a deal like that.

  4. Also look at the title for LIENs, some states issue the title to the owner even if the bank has a lien on the vehicle. Ask me how i found that out!

  5. Hey Scotty, you're absolutely right! Right on! But there are new scams people and used car dealers popping up every day. I work for used car dealer auctions and it's soooo messed up and sad. I wouldn't buy a car, bicycle or apple from any of them. The main word here is "profit" and after they bought it, it's for sale minutes after they purchase it. I've heard them talking about how to get around things and make it look good for the next sucker. Yes, they buy low and sell high. I've seen karma catch up to them sometimes though. Research and thorough checks and proof of the history of the vehicle will pay off. VIN checks and a good mechanic check will limit headaches and buyers remorse. You should tell people Never! Buy a vehicle without a real original title, from an individual, especially if it's a good deal too good to be true. 99% of the time it's got a title loan on it and lots of interest and penalties and technically not owned anymore by that person and they've just been hiding the vehicle to scam someone for some quick cash. Happens everyday! Here in Kansas city Missouri

  6. My first time buying a car was few years ago. I searched online and found a good looking bmw e46 325i 2003. It looked good in the pictures.
    So i called the person, he said alright come to me and you will see it. So i took a taxi to his house that was 40km way. First thing i saw was a completely different car than the one he showed. It was a bmw 323 2000. The interior was a wreak and the engine sounded like a rat sketching in it. I was surprised. But, i told him it's good. And i told him to drive me home in the car so i see how it rides 😂
    And he agreed. I stopped him like 3km away from my home and told him that i will call him later. And continued home.
    The same day at night he started calling and sending me voice messages. I didn't answered anything. After that he started calling over and over.
    I closed my phone for 3 days and he never called back ever again.

  7. Educational and entertaining. I think you would be a cool you to jut chill with for an afternoon. Thanks.

  8. Why not buy a salvage vehicles longest it wasn't hit on the engine i got a salvage honda civic with no problems at all was hit on the passager side door buy salvage there cheaper

  9. Scotty, one small correction, in Pennsylvania you CANNOT resell or drive a salvaged vehicle unless it is rebuilt and undergoes an extensive inspection complete with state paperwork. Granted, no way to know if the rebuilder/inspector is shady or not, but it's not as you can just flip right over and sell it.

  10. I have salvage car 2011 acura tsx and i had it for about 4 years never had a problem with it glad i bought it

  11. I bough an Acura MDX the guy wanted 5k, I told him I saw one of about 1/2 dozen codes on my scanner, iwouldn't pay 3k for it, I got the car for 2.9k, when one of the codes showed up. Engine controller from ebay and having someone code it cost $500

  12. Not sure why you are against salvage or rebuildable cars? They sell for less. Just make sure you google the vin number to see auction pictures of previous damages.

  13. Bought 3 Toyotas from Craigslist ran really good white owners had them towed to my house
    Thank God for them but watch out you'll never know

  14. I love my 2000 Infiniti i30. Its been with me since 2006. Bought it for 5 grand with 60k miles. Now has 260.000 miles and still drives like the first day i bought it. I take care of it n i get lots of compliments because the cool way it looks.👌

  15. I like the format of this video with the funny pictures, but they're hard to look at on an iPhone. May I suggest making the pictures fullscreen and superimposing yourself over the pictures with green-screen. Either that of put yourself in the corner.

  16. Used car or new car dealers sell their cars at higher prices than you do cos they employ staff and have to pay wages (you don,t)…the dealers have to pay massive rents or rates (you don,t)….the dealers have to pay insurance (you don,t) etc etc…thats one of the reasons that dealer car prices are higher than what you would pay to a geek like this. As I always say, make sure you take a family friend mechanic with you prior to closing a deal on a used car, if you don,t have a mechanic friend then ask a reputable Garage to help you out in checking the used car over first at a reasonable price (money well spent) cos remember that that car has to last you for years and if you do what I said hopefully trouble free also. Oh, and don,t go buying Lexus, Jaguar, Corvettes etc as they are always cheap to buy once they reach a certain year, but then when they breakdown and the Bank manager refuses you a loan for the huge and costly repairs that are impossible to meet then you can use them as a greenhouse for growing plants or other WEEDS to try and get your money back!! Only drive around in a Car that your salary can afford you to run around in….leave the exotic cars for the Millionaires or Dummies.

  17. 4:00 Wow, biggest difference between European and American Mercedes dealerships. Here they usually seem embarassed, when something breakes before its time.

  18. I live near Houston. Looking for a job, an apartment, and a car while battling health issues. If you can help me avoid getting ripped off, that would be awesome. I would love to hire someone just to go shopping with me

  19. FYI, "Readiness Code" can also read "0" if the battery has been disconnected for an extended period of time. If the vehicle was off the road in storage, with battery disconnected, it may need to be driven for 50 miles or more to allow the EGR sensors to reset.
    This exact thing happened to me on a Honda Accord that I had in storage. The car failed NYS inspection until it was driven ~50 miles.
    Good video as always Scotty!

  20. Thank you for you informative video.
    If you lived in Seattle I would pay you to come with me for automobile purchases

  21. The title only tells part of the story. Ask how long they have owned the car. There a lots of part timers flipping cars from their homes. In my state anyone can buy and sell up to six cars a years with no dealer license. These guys are worse than car lot dealers in that you have no recourse if they scam you (and many will) other than trying to take them to small claims. Anyone who just bought a car a week ago then tries to sell it is likely a flipper and got a great deal at an auction or salvage.

  22. I just found a great way to save $100-$150 dollars on getting my car checked out by a mechanic.
    Step 1: Put the car up for sale
    Step 2: Allow the buyer take it to a mechanic to get it checked out
    Step 3: Write down everything the buyer says the mechanic said is wrong with the car
    Step 4: Inform the buyer the car is no longer for sale

  23. Good luck getting a Craigslist seller to tell you where they live. I know I'd never let somebody come to my house if I was selling something on Craigslist.

  24. Another scam is a title that was replaced with a new as if the old was a lost title, and they try to sell the car with the outdated title. (the scam is they steal the car later and resell it somewhere else, or drive it back to Mexico). This happens in Arizona.

  25. I bought a car off the fb marketplace, twice. Same car, both around 120k miles, 1 was automatic, the next was manual. (2004 g35 coupe) The 1st one we bought for 4k, but had tons of problems. Bad window adjusters, lights on the dash, it had been sitting so it needed new rods. New fluids & the knock sensor needed replacing, it needed brakes and rotors etc. Then a headlight went out, replaced the bulb & couldn't fix it. So I got tired & ended up selling, it was a mess. The only reason we got it was because it was cheap at the time & I really liked the car, & I needed a car. The 2nd car was 3k, but had the same miles & it ran fine. Got it checked by the mechanic & no issues besides a crankshaft and camshaft sensor replacement. Everything works as it should and the car has not given me any problems thus far. It really all depends on your luck with the car, you never really know what it's been through!

  26. Shows sense. I work on cars i can't move my hands where i want when ive thought about it and it is sensible and useful. Handy, even. Ask me what i think now i aint got my hands in it finding out. Just anybody would wave them like crazy every chance they got.

  27. Phht I bought a 2007 Accord on 2013 with a salvage title and 150-175k miles for $4.5k, to this day it still runs. And sweet Jesus I wanted a new Accord and now owe 35k -_-

  28. I wish I had watched this before I got scammed by a seller, he said he was helping his in law selling his 1999 Lexus es300 at 160,450 miles. I paid $2500 for it but when I took a smog check, there are two codes p0325 and p0330 made it failed, I am now in a big headache not knowing what I’m going to do. The seller vanished…

  29. Also I recommend to meet them somewhere public just cause if they can’t drive to the destination there might be something wrong.

  30. The problem is looking at a used car and meet somebody somewhereyou don't get to see how that car starts and sounds like when it's cold and drives from cold to warmed up it may have some transmission trouble

  31. If the owner is "God damned STINKBOTTOMED" its time to look elsewhere.
    STINKBOTTOMED I'm STINKBOTTOMED, you give me a diaper full 'cause you're so wonderful.

  32. Test drove a 2007 HHR put 10 miles on it no check engine light and forgot my scan tool at home. Went and got my wife to drive it, because we were replacing her car. Went back after about an hour and she drove it. She drove about 5 miles no problems. Purchased the car. A couple weeks later the abs, traction control lights came on. Then a week after that it said it had a miss. After about 150$ found that the MAF sensor was bad. Wished I lived down their so u could wrench on my cars. Their is only 1 mechanic up here in NWI by me that can be trusted and he is always scheduled weeks out.

  33. -"Just needs a freon recharge" means you need to spend a grand or more. Tell them to do it first
    -Title in even a claimed relatives name or as said no letting you scan, walk
    -Lien titles, usually show up once registered as salveage may affect your insurance coverage
    -If the seller looks like a slob or his house is a mess they probably didnt take care of the car. Lo miles means nothing if it wasnt maintained look past a wax job.

  34. Sweet 83 escort as thumbnail. And to be able to comment on a video since mid Sept it's no longer an option. Must be because things like this…(Colorado state university william grey carbon black pdf 225) the fact of dispersant is sprayed and well weather is a manipulation by nozzle of jet engines mixed in fuel….[GTA graphic traing aid 33-01-001 pdf] great read to get you on a targeted individual list. Then god comes to you and your feelings are you are going to be honest and wake the masses and ruin my life in the process instead of just going along with the story that is taught but easily discredited or more plausible it isnt as told. Ya I use to love cars and would love to be in your shoes….maybe lol. You can show a 1990 Ltd and we watch that's character and knowledge from the years of life. I will forgive but dont forget. Air forced to obey and then the mean dog can be petted after it obeys and dont argue facts and reality

  35. My brother is a mechanic and i always ask the person im buying from if they mind me bringing a mechanic with me to check out the car. Not even if they refuse, but if they are at all hesitant about it then you know something is wrong with it

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