10. Ask about an inspection
If the vehicle is not for you, thank the owner politely and let them know you need to look at a few more vehicles. If you still like it, there's one huge question you need to ask: "Can I have the vehicle inspected?" If the owner says no, you're done. Finished. Do not negotiate. Refusal of an inspection is the largest red flag there is. Do not fall in love with the car. Remember that there are over 230 million used cars in the United States -- plenty of other fish in the sea.
If, on the other hand, the seller agrees, you're on to the next step of the used-car-buying process: invest in the expertise of a true professional mechanic who can separate the keeper from the rolling money bomb that is a used-car lemon.
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Steven Lang is an auto auctioneer, car dealer, and former part-owner of an auto auction near Atlanta, Georgia. Feel free to reach him directly at his Facebook page which you can find here.