How to Spot a Great Car Deal Just from a Classified Ad

Your local classified ads are a great place to find a good deal on all kinds of cars, whether you are looking at a sedan like a Nissan Maxima or prefer something roomier, like a Nissan Juke. You will likely save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on what you would pay at a dealership for the same vehicle since you are working with individuals and not companies that have to make a profit. You’re also likely to be more successful at negotiating with an individual.

The classifieds offer a large selection of cars, but it might be difficult to find the best deal when you are presented with so many choices. Here are a few ways that you can spot a great car deal just by scanning the ads:


Identify the Mileage

A good classified ad should list the mileage of the car being offered. The mileage can tell you a lot about the expected condition of the car. For example, if the car is only five years old but already has close to 100,000 miles on it, you know that the car has been driven a lot and likely is starting to experience problems. That’s a car that is either going to need work very soon or that isn’t going to offer you many more years of service.

You can create a short list of cars to learn more about by scanning the mileage you see in the ads.

Spot the Year

The year of the car should be front and center in a classified ad. In fact, it should usually be in the headline or the bolded text. The newer a car is, the better shape it is likely in. Even if a car has been well cared for, you know that it doesn’t have much time left if it is 10 years or older.

Scan for Keywords

You don’t have to read every word of every ad to find the good deals. You can look for certain keywords like “OBO,” “priced to sell,” and “motivated seller.” These words let you know that the buyer is looking to sell quickly and may be willing to negotiate.

You don’t have to pay a mint to get a great car. You can find a great deal in the classifieds, and you can save a lot of time by using these tips to hone in on the best options just by scanning the ads.