How do you shop for a used vehicle?

So I’m moving to London and since the cost is astronomical (and they drive all silly-like on the wrong side of the road), I won’t be bringing my beloved Jeep with me. Thus, I must pass on its greatness to the next lucky person.

I was curious as to what is the best place to advertise the sale. How do people shop for used cars, outside of dealerships? Online? Local paper? Divine prayer? Some places are much more expensive to list than others so I don’t want to waste my money advertising her somewhere nobody will look.

Thanks for the help!


I’ve done the first three. Trader Online and are two of the most popular sites. The former is part of Trader Magazines and the latter includes ads from newspapers.

I just sold one on Craigslist. It’s free. List if for more than you want for it because it doesn’t matter what price you put on it, everyone is going to want to negotiate.

I tried Craigslist. Got a few responses, but nothing serious. One guy made an appointment to see it, then sent an email the morning of saying he had bought another Jeep. That made me a Sad Panda. :frowning:

Also, for some dumb reason, Craigslist wouldn’t let me list the same thing in different cities, even in the same state. I kept getting a stupid “A similar listing was posted recently” error.

That made me an Angry Panda!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

I’ll try Trader Online.

Do it in person.

Scouting around online causes you to miss opportunities.

I pick up a 2 year old, 64k mile Aveo 07 for $6.5k. Dirt cheap, & the only fixing needed was replacing a battery cable connector–$5.

A nice hatchback, but I wasn’t doing a search for 2007s, & missed it online. But found it just as it was added to inventory, in person.

Get up off yer @sses & hunt, darn it!

How much ya want and where are you? My daughter is looking for a decent used car. I bet other Dopers are too. Post your details and see what happens.

My Continental I bought directly from my company. That program doesn’t exist any more, which is a real bummer :(. I bought an Expedition from a dealer having found it on Autotrader. I then sold it using Autotrader and Craigslist (not sure where the lead came from). Current Expedition I bought from a dealer having found it on Autotrader. I did consult Craigslist as well. (Next car will probably be new again, since it won’t have been out long enough to be found on the used market.)

I sold a vehicle on Craigslist around 5 months ago. Just one posting led to 7 or 8 people contacting me. The vehicle was sold in about 4 days. Part of this might have been because it was older an vehicle I wasn’t looking for much for it ($2500.00).

-R. Incognito

I use my local paper to look at used cars for sale. Although in past I have bought an old Austin Mini off e-bay (a fabulous buy) and I bought my current car from a local garage. I don’t think one way is better than another, it depends entirely on the car and the person you are buying it from.

Oh! And we so do not drive on the wrong side of the road! Our way comes from Roman days so it must be right! :wink:

I use, which includes my local newspaper ads, and craigslist. I have looked at some on Ebay but never bought one there.

I used local papers, but also

I know you want to know how to sell one, not how to buy one, so I’ll offer one piece of knowledge. Go to a car detailer, and have him give it a good going over. It really helps. If you don’t know a good detailer, ask a dealer who he uses.

Put a sign up in the window.

Ok, I posted on Craigslist (, and I’m considering either or

I’m actually selling two cars. Mine, a 2000 Wrangler with aprox 112k miles for $7000, and my father’s old car, a '91 Audi Turbo Quattro 20v for $3000 (New engine with aprox 60k on it).

I’m hoping something happens quickly, as I’m leaving soon. I have a friend who is willing to take care of the details if needed, but it would sure be easier if I could do it myself.

Thanks for all the advice! :). I did have the cars detailed, and you’re right, AskNott, it makes a world of difference :wink:

And in case the Og’s be smiling down upon me and someone in my area is interested, I’m in Denver.

I’m also willing to negotiate a possible delivery. Desperate times and all that.

If you don’t get any prospects from that ad, then no one in Denver deserves her.