Is the used car classified section worth the time? That depends mainly on what kind of car a driver is looking for. When prospective buyers page through car or truck classifieds, much of what they are liable to find are vehicles that do not “qualify” to sit on a dealer’s lot, for one reason or another. This includes wrecked vehicles (that may have been refurbished), vehicles with oddly low mileage and “worn-out” cars with a blue book value under $1500.
Granted, there are other vehicles in free car classifieds, and buying a car used from the paper in a private sale doesn’t mean a driver is necessarily buying something worn or damaged. But when it comes to the types of buyers who generally are seeking private sales, there are two main categories: those who need the cheapest rides available immediately, and those who are confident enough to waive the inspections and services, such as a warranty, that a dealer provides.
If a driver wants more than just a title in hand for safeguarding the value of their investment in a vehicle, they will tend to buy from a dealer. Likewise, if they need financing, a dealership is the usual route, as private sales generally require up front cash payment.
So, take a look in the used car classified section, but be aware that when you buy in a private sale, what you see is often what you get.