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jagsfan05

Thoughts on this 2007 Lexus ES 350 for sale?

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Never bought a car from someone in my life so it's very nerve wracking and I don't know any of the steps. Came across this Craigslist posting, does it look like a possible good deal? I was texting the person selling it and he said the title is clean, no accidents and they are looking to sell it because they want to upgrade to an SUV.

https://nashville.craigslist.org/cto/d/2007-lexus-es-350all-options/6337791370.html

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jagsfan05,

Yes and no.

You have to be careful. It could be all on the up and up, or it could be a scam.

There are many YouTube videos you can watch, that tell you how to buy a car from a private individual without getting taken for a ride. There are many others that tell you how to know if you are buying a good used car, or a piece of junk. Then, you need to know the average price that this year ES350 are selling for in your area. Search the AutoTrader for results in your state/province, so you'll know if the price is legit, or too good to be true. After doing that, find a good mechanic who can put the car on a hoist. look it over, and evaluate it as worth buying.

As well, you must verify that the car has no liens, isn't stolen, and that the seller is the legal owner of the car.

You have some homework to do first ... don't jump in without having done it.

 

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How do you make sure it has no liens and what does that even mean?

How do you find out if it has or hasn't been stolen before?

And how do you find out for sure if the seller is the legal owner of the car or not?

Also, side question...how does "emissions testing/smog testing/inspection/etc." for most states normally work in terms of buying from a dealer or private seller. In both cases, do you still have to go and get it tested on your own after purchasing before you register the vehicle in your name or do you not have to when you buy from a dealer or private seller because they have already done it for you?

EDIT: I asked him for the vin number and he gave it to me. I ran a report on some site called vehiclehistory.com and it said it had no accident records found, no theft records found, no junk salvage records found (does this part mean it's confirming that it's a clean title like he said?

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jagsfan05,

All of your questions could have a different answer in a different state/province/jurisdiction. You have some homework to do, to ensure that you don't buy a stolen vehicle, or one that is unfit for the road due to flood/accident damage, or has a mechanic's lien. Emissions and safety certifications vary state to state as well.

Spend some time on YouTube looking at a lot of different videos on "buying a used car". There's even several on buying one from Craigslist. That will get you started. Then go online to your state's Department of Transport website and see what is required for licensing a vehicle in your state. Search as well for published "Tips on Buying a Used Car". Many state governments have packages to explain the purchase process, to keep the buyer safe from fraud.

Don't get in a hurry to buy. There are lots of good cars out there, even if this one gets sold.

Be sure to have the car inspected by a licensed mechanic who you trust (check with friends and family to see who they suggest). It may be the best $50 you spend on a car purchase.

You are a newbie and you must learn what you are up against before you jump in and part with your money. There are a lot of scam artists out there, and you need to arm yourself with the knowledge to ensure that you get a good, safe car, that is legal in every way, and fairly priced.

Good Luck in your search!

 

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Hi Jags and welcome.

Gene has some excellent advice. Your posts do not show your location so I will assume your asking about the USA.

States have individual counties or Parishes and the County Treasurers office should show a record for each time the car was titled, licenses plate issued. I believe a service from the insurance industry or something like Car Fax may show any accidents or claims may have been shown per the vehicle ID or VIN  number.

It's easy to get excited when thinking of a new car. But, try to follow your needs and do the homework.

Paul

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