Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How I bought my "newer" car on Craigslist in 4 hours

In my last post, I blogged on the recent sale of my beater Jeep this past weekend, and I thought this post would be a good follow up, even though I purchased my newer car before I sold my old one.

I am now the proud, debt-free owner of a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

On New Year's Eve 2009, I got the "itch" to replace my car. I'm not sure exactly why, other than I had some time on my hands to search for a vehicle, and I had about $3,500 cash saved to buy my next car. I believe I was ready to find my next car because I have needed to get something a little newer and more reliable than my 1995 Jeep.

So, here was my process in getting ready on New Year's Eve to buy my newer car:
  1. Bank Withdrawal. I went down to my bank and withdrew $3,500 in preparation to pay all cash and negotiate the purchase as necessary
  2. Search for sales. I went on Craigslist and searched for specific vehicles. I was mosly interested in a small, 4-wheel drive vehicle, capable of handling a very snowy winter.
  3. Research. Once I found a couple of vehicles I was interested in purchasing, I did some web research on price, dependability, and customer satisfaction.
  4. Phone call. I picked the best choice on my short list, and called a small auto dealer in downtown Kansas City. I spoke with the owner and arranged to test drive the car within the hour.
  5. Test drive. I test drove the vehicle, kicked the tires, and checked out the engine. Everything seemed to be in order, so I negotiated a slightly lower price and the owner accepted.
  6. Details. I then signed all the paperwork (title and bill of sale), paid all cash, and drove away.
I feel blessed that I was able to purchase a car for the first time free and clear. I know a lot people (especially men) place much of their identity into their cars and go deeply in debt to keep up an image. For me, a car is just a car. Yes, I would like it to be in good shape and have certain features, but a car to me is mostly a means to get from point A to point B. I just need to get their safely and reliably. I don't need to prove my manhood or portray a financial status. Being debt free is more important to me than all of these other things.

Have you ever purchased a used vehicle on Craigslist, and what was your experience? Were you able to get a good car at a good price? Did you pay cash and negotiate the final price?

1 comment:

  1. I never bought a car/jeep on Craigslist but I did sell one. It was a 2002 Civic. I used craigslist posting service and I got a lot of bids for it and finally sold it at a good price.