If you're going for a used car, watch out for those scams!
I ran into two scams while searching for my used car:
1.) Called the guy, he said he was selling the car for a friend. I asked the general questions, if he had the title in hand, if it was a salvage... etc... I thought it was a great deal so I went down to the place. (The price was too good to be true). Turns out it was a shop on a busy street. I had to walk through the shop (which was practically empty) and to the back of the place where three cars were parked. SCAM ALERT. The guy turned out to be selling the car for the car dealership down the street. The car, which he claimed had a clean title, was really a salvage. If you don't know anything about cars, hire a mechanic to go with you to check the car out. My cousin is one, and he found that the car had been in a crash. How'd he know? Some parts of the engine were corroded from the battery acid (when the battery exploded in a front collision). The car also had newer parts in the front and also was once underwater. How'd he know it was underwater? There was evidence of mud and dirt dried and crusted behind the engine along with a worn water line. The inside also smelled like mildew. SCAM SCAM SCAM. Glad we got out of that one. Beware cars they bring over here from back east.
2.) Called the guy, said he was selling his car. He seemed pretty honest, so I grabbed my cousin and went down there. He said it had a clean title, but there was a crack in one of the body panels that looked suspicious. Upon looking under the car, we noticed the actual frame was bent (but it didn't look like anything serious). SCAM ALERT. After talking to him some more, I found out he was a "retired car salesman". SCAM ALERT. He also said he didn't have the title in hand even though he said he had it over the phone before I left to his house. SCAM ALERT. A few of his "friends" came down while we were looking at the car, and we decided to buy it. Before making the deal, we wanted to get the money out of the bank. We went to the bank, and argued for half an hour over whether it was worth it or not. While there, we noticed one of his "friends" standing outside of the bank, watching us in the car. We then decided to go to the dmv to see if the title was indeed clean. When we got to the dmv, one of the other "friends" was standing outside of the dmv. Thoroughly creeped out we called it off. We called him up and said that we weren't feeling the deal and he said it was okay. Ten minutes into our drive home, he called stating he had found the clean title and that he'd lower the price for us. SCAM SCAM SCAM. Don't fall for this. Always make sure they have the title in hand before you even think about buying.
Soooo... my tips for you are:
1.) Bring a mechanic to check out the car for you
2.) Make sure they have the title in hand. Check online to view the car's title history (most sites you have to pay but they're worth it).
3.) If you have any doubts, don't go through with it. Better to be safe than sorry
4.) If the price is too good to be true, be on alert
5.) I personally won't go for salvages, even if it was a "minor accident". You never know what really went on and how much damage the car took.
6.) Ask how many owners the car had before they bought it. They may have bought it off an auction.
7.) Beware those car dealers! They are sneaky folk -_-
8.) And always know the true value of the car before negotiating a price. They will try to rip you off.
As far as the best used car... I would go with Toyotas (none have failed me yet!) but that's just my preference. I really have no clue on that one
Learn from my mistakes! Good luck!