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The logistics of buying an expensive used vehicle
#1
This seems like a bit of a silly question, but if buying a used vehicle worth say CDN$20k, how do you handle the exchange in a safe and orderly manner?  Surely not with cash, but does anyone take a personal cheque for that amount?  With any method, how do you make sure that both parties to the transaction get what they're after (ie: the vehicle is exchanged for money) without the risk that one is out to scam/screw the other?

I've only owned inexpensive vehicles throughout my life and usually gave cash to purchase them.  In one or two cases I used a cheque, but was surprised that it wasn't a big deal for the seller.
What doesn't kill me makes me smarter
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#2
I have used a cashiers check, issued from my bank, made out to the seller,  with the VIN number printed in the memo part of the check. Just remember the check is just like  cash, don't misplace it!
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#3
do the transaction in the lobby of your bank or one of their branches. this gives you the options of paying however the seller wants. plus it's safe. highdesertranger
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#4
I would not spend 20,000 with a stranger. I would want at least a dealership.
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BigT (01-08-2018)
#5
Generally the seller makes the exchange rules.  For most automobiles, I've just written a check at the dealership.  For a class-A that I bought, I did a bank transfer to the seller's account.  When I sold it, I requested a cashier check from the buyer.  When I recently bought a class-B RV from a dealership, I wrote a check for a deposit and they requested a cashier check for the remainder when the deal was closed (after the final inspection).

When I was the seller, we exchanged the title and the cashier check at a branch of my bank so that I could deposit the check and sign the title over at the same time.  You want to be able to control both ends of the transaction.  That way there is no significant delay in the money transfer or the title transfer.
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FlowerGirl (12-19-2017), free2enjoy (12-16-2017)
#6
I like the idea of doing the transaction in a bank but I've used a discount online banking provider for just about as long as they've existed. There's no lobby, unless I go to the corporate headquarters....which I think is frowned upon.

I'm sure I can get a bank draft (same as a cashier's cheque?) for a couple bucks, but there's a mailing delay to contend with there too.

Maybe it makes sense to open an account at a traditional S&B bank for a few months. That, or purchase from a dealer. I'm wary of dealers and the sort of tricks they pull, as I've worked for dealers in the past (the automotive type, not pharmaceuticals). Of course, people involved in private sales try to hide a lot of things too. Buying a vehicle just isn't much fun.
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#7
(12-16-2017, 04:05 PM)Weight Wrote: I would not spend 20,000 with a stranger. I would want at least a dealership.


This is a good point. But most recently used trucks that are in good condition start at $20000. You can pay a mechanic to check that truck out (I did) and they will still not find everything. Mine had a hidden issue with front end steering components worn out.


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#8
Personal checks come with a toll free number to the issuing bank. You can call it in the buyers presence to verify available funds.
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SondraRose (12-23-2017)
#9
There are plenty of hacks with a mechanic's license.  I'm not surprised that a mechanic missed this, but most steering/suspension problems have very noticeable symptoms even a lay person can detect.

It's beside the point though.  Poor condition or hidden problems can happen in private and dealer sales.  I tend to believe private sales less likely for fraud because the seller can't pull it off as effectively.  Dealers know all sorts of tricks to make a vehicle look better than it is and to make problems temporarily go away.


What about financing?  Let's say I had the money to lay out for the purchase but I wanted to delay paying for a few months or a year.  Can someone with good credit get an "open" vehicle loan that can be paid off any any time without penalty?  If going with a dealer, there might as well be other incentives.
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#10
I'd be checking the VIN number tag on the vehicle with the title. I'd also have a CarFax report run on the vehicle to get a history of anything that might have happened to it. Financing you have to qualify of course and that includes a hard credit hit that will reduce your credit score by a few points. Back when I financed vehicles I always went with credit unions. They seem to have better interest rates and easier qualifying requirements than other traditional lending institutions. I've never had a loan with a prepayment penalty. Do all your transactions either at the lending place or in a very public setting.
If we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet. My little place on the interweb - Cyberian Radio 

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