This Guide will show you some of the questions you will want to ask the Seller.

Click here for the Private Seller Phone Log.

Once you have picked out the vehicle you would like to inquire on, print out one of the phone logs. These handy tools to help you get the valuable information that will be used to determine whether or not a vehicle is worth going to test drive.

Before you make the call, fill out the top of the phone log so you don't forget which vehicle you are calling on. The first question to ask is the mileage. All too often, sellers neglect this information, especially if it is in excess of 100,000. Though this sometimes resents a problem financing, it doesn't always mean that the car is not a good buy. Most properly maintained cars can drive many miles beyond 100k so don't let this deter you, as long as the sales price reflects the excessive mileage. The second question should be in reference to how long they have owned the car. This will help to get a better history if they have owned it for many years.


The next series of questions should include vehicle exterior color, interior color, body conditions, if it has been in an accident, automatic or manual transmission, and any other options it may have. Follow the phone log to make sure you don't forget anything. Once you have the general information, it's time to ask a few questions to determine how much maintenance has been performed and how much has been neglected. The idea is to find out to what extent the seller took care of the vehicle. Start by asking them 'What work has been performed on the car recently?' This will let you know exactly what has been done on the vehicle. For every item they state, ask how long ago it was performed. If you purchase the vehicle, this will be great information to help with your cars maintenance. Also be sure to find out who did the work, if any was done.


Follow the Checklists.



Next, ask them 'What still needs to be fixed on the car?' Since the seller is already talking about the car's previous problems, they may be more likely to volunteer information regarding additional issues. Asking simple 'yes' or 'no' questions will offer the seller an easy way out, which some opt to take. Also, listen to how quickly they respond. Are they hesitant? If you are satisfied with the information you have collected, then proceed to get directions including the address, color of home, and any landmarks to look out for.




If the seller tells you the vehicle is still under the factory warranty, ask them about how much time and miles are left. If you decide you want the vehicle, you will want to get the ISD so you know exactly when the warranty will expire! If the customer still has a lien on the vehicle, the procedure to close the sale will be different, so make sure you bring the correct paperwork with you if you decide to purchase. For more information on a vehicle's ISD, visit the Resources page.

Before you go to look at any vehicles, its a good idea to do a search to see if you can find similar make & model vehicles around the same price with similar mileage as well as options. You can either look through the newspaper, car-selling magazines, or you can use the internet. Even if you don't primarily intend to look at these vehicles, they can be crucial later in the negotiation process to make sure you're getting a good value.



By bringing ads from other sellers, you will have a visual comparison when it comes the sales price of the vehicle. Try to keep the options and mileage as close as possible.


We are not affiliated with any other automotive web site, company, or lending institution. We give our customers the tools they need to make an educated purchasing decision for themselves. We offer no opinions in regards to which manufacturer, make, or model a customer should purchase. This system has been designed around actual car buyers who experienced problems, some severe, and is beneficial to use whether you are going by yourself, or bringing someone to help you look at the vehicle. The program is 'dealership friendly' and has been developed with cooperation from Auto Mechanics, Sales Consultants, and Sales Managers. The Auto Evaluator is a guide, not a guarantee and always consult a qualified mechanic. The Auto Evaluator and all it contains is a TradeMark of Mistar Enterprises, LLC.