Are you in the market for a used car?  Maybe a Christmas gift for one of the kids? Buying a used car can be a nightmare, if you don't know what to look for. People tend to assume a dealer is out to take them for a ride. That's unfortunately sometimes true. People are, however, often too trusting of a private seller. It's always a good idea to ask why the individual is selling. A long story is usually a bad sign. A car being late model & apparently low mileage doesn't necessarily mean it's a good deal. If you suspect the odometer my have been turned back, look at the pedals. If they're worn, it probably has. Look for uneven tire wear. If the interior smells bad, that could be a sign of water damage, something to be wary about in Louisiana. Another good idea is to bring a refrigerator magnet. Apply it to various surfaces of the vehicle's exterior. If it doesn't stick, there's probably bondo under the paint. That means the body's been damaged. I recently sold a used car. It was a 1999 model with over 160,000 miles. I showed the buyer everything that needed attention, and sold it to him well below Kelley Blue Book. Here are some great tips from lifehacker.com.