- Documentation. Who? What? When? Where? Ask for copies of restoration receipts, maintenance records. Who did the work? What was done? When was it done? Where was it done? Where has the car been driven? How has it been stored? Other documents could include a copy of the build sheet from the manufacturer, window sticker or Maroney label.
- Ownership. How long has the current owner had the car? Do the owners know its history or are they flipping it, trying to make a quick sale?
- Ask to see the title. What is the vehicle’s ID number? Google it. Old advertisements may still be available online. Look at both sides of the title. Is the title in the seller’s name, is it on consignment or are they floating the title? Look for words like salvaged, rebuilt, or a reissued VIN.
- Why is the car for sale? How much will they take for it and why that much?
- Is the seller willing to have the car inspected by an independent appraiser? If so, tell them you’d like to wait to make an offer on the car until after the inspection if it’s still what you’re looking for. If they say OK, then move forward with the inspection.
- Never pay cash unless you are in a bank or safe location during the transfer of the money.
For What It's Worth Wisdom and Insight from the Auto Appraisal Group