New and Used Car Dealers - Both new and used car dealers can be excellent sources for finding a quality used vehicle. These cars may be serviced by the dealer and sold with limited warranties.
Superstores - Superstores offer a high-tech (via in-store computers and/or the Internet), no-price haggling way of buying used cars. Car Rental Agencies - These agencies may sell used rental cars, generally 9 to 12 months old and driven less than 25,000 miles. They often provide the car's maintenance and repair records and offer a limited warranty. Mileage on rental cars is often high on a per-year basis. The cars may suffer from the wear and tear that comes from use by a variety of drivers.
Bank and Loan Companies - Bank and loan companies sometimes sell repossessed cars to pay off defaulted loans. Quality varies from car to car. But since the vehicle is being sold to recover the amount due on a loan, it may be possible to get a good price on a good car.
Private Owners - Private owners usually sell their used cars through newspaper ads. You may find a well-maintained car selling for less money than you would pay a dealer. If you buy a used car from a private owner, ask for the car's maintenance and repair records and, if the seller is the first owner, for records of the original purchase. Also, check the title to make sure the person selling the car is the legal owner. Note: Be wary of fraudulent, criminal dealers, commonly known as "curbstoners," who offer vehicles through newspaper ads and may disguise themselves as individual sellers. The cars offered may be stolen or damaged, and their odometers may be rolled back.
Vehicle Auctions - Government, private, and online vehicle auctions, which can be attended by the general public, as well as new and used car dealers, are becoming increasingly popular. Some common things to remember about buying vehicles from auctions are: you will need funds for on-the-spot payment, getting a warranty is rare, and it is unlikely that you will be able to take a car to a mechanic for inspection before you purchase it.