I found a truck I wanted on Craigslist. It was owned by a private owner who lived 140 miles away. It looked good from pictures I saw on Craigslist, and the price was right, but… I was very leery about dealing with someone so far away. It would cost me a lot just to see the vehicle.
After I called the owner, she agreed to drive to where I was and meet with me (She was expecting to be in the area for a different reason). When she arrived, I copied down the VIN number and requested a single vehicle report. The CARFAX came back clean as a one-owner vehicle.
I then had my Firestone mechanic check it out. Fluids needed to be replaced and there were a few issues to resolve to bring the truck up to date with the maintenance schedule, but otherwise everything checked out OK.
I counter-offered a few hundred dollars less than she wanted, and she accepted.
Two months have past, and the truck is functioning well.
I’ve only encountered two problems since. One was an inadequately torqued spark plug (it actually popped out while I was starting the vehicle in a parking lot). And the other problem is the previous owner never gave me the spare theft protection key (those are expensive to replace).
I’m happy that CARFAX gave me the confidence to buy this truck!