How to Purchase A Vehicle Cash From A Private Owner

I shared that we recently purchased a truck, cash. I wanted to share the journey we went though because in fact, it was not as easy as we thought. It all started a few years ago when I had a minivan with a car payment attached. A hail storm came through, took my vehicle out in a sense so the insurance paid it off. I was left wondering, do I purchase another vehicle or is there another option. My dad had a Jeep he wasn’t using so I opted to get out of payments for a while and drove the Jeep. My plan was to save money and eventually purchase a vehicle without a payment.

Fast forward a few years and we started saving for a car. I think the hardest thing for me was being diligent with the money we were saving. I drove a vehicle that was a little beat up but I didn’t have payments and it got me to where I needed to go. So by saving money by getting rid of a car payment and driving a vehicle without a payment, allowed us to save and buy a nicer vehicle. We finally were ready to take the plunge into buying another vehicle after saving the most recent tax return and combining it with other funds saved. As you can see above, we purchased a Chevy Avalanche as it was a perfect fit for our family.

A big shoutout goes to my brother. I actually wouldn’t have been able to get through the ordeal without him as he educated me on what to do and went with me to look at the vehicle. I was ready to give up on this guy we purchased from because I felt like it was a repeated run around from him but I learned how to navigate the situation.

How to purchase a vehicle with cash from a private owner (without getting ripped off):

  • Research your vehicle –  Find out which vehicle is best for you and find out any possible issues before purchasing a car.
    • We utilized these sites
      • This site will let you know what the value is, what others are selling for in your area, the specs etc. This site also had a customer review tab. See what real people think about that vehicle before you purchase it.
      • Find out what that vehicle gets in gas milage.
      • Find out if the vehicle has a lien on it by purchasing  a lien motor vehicle check. This site is AZ specific so if you are not in Arizona, look for your state’s department of vehicles site.
      • This is an investment you need to make when purchasing a vehicle that has been pre-owned. This will allow you to check for any accidents, any services reported, vehicle sales etc. Basically it’s a fact checker. If you invest, purchase the unlimited license plate check. Download the app so you can check license plates & VIN #’s on the go.
  • Go to the DMV or 3rd Party to finish the transaction. The DMV is the only one who can clear that title to be sold and make sure there is nothing else wrong with it.
  • Questions to ask a seller before meeting with them:
    • When is the last time the car had maintenance? Do you have the paperwork?
      • This includes tires, oil changes etc.
    • Is the title open and notarized for sale? Are there any liens on the vehicle?
      • This is different than a clear title. What this means is there is no liens on it and they have gone to the DMV to open the title to allow it to be sold.
  • Inspecting the vehicle:
    • I would say one of the best things to do is bring someone who is knowledgable when you go to look at it. Have them do a thorough inspection and to take it on a test drive to see if anything appears to be wrong.

Red Flags:

  • Do NOT purchase a vehicle where they promise to pay the lien after you purchase it.
  • Check for recent work completed on a vehicle such as bondo or paint jobs.
  • Unwilling to meet at a DVM or third party service center.
  • Check engine or other warning lights are on. Even if they promise they took it in and said that XYZ was wrong, do not purchase a vehicle with a warning light on unless you are able to get a diagnostic.

How to negotiate a better price:

  • Before contacting the seller, have your highest price in mind that you wold pay for that vehicle.
  • Always let the seller start with their price.
  • Ask if they are firm on the price but don’t ask for a new amount just yet.
  • After inspecting the vehicle, look for any flaws that may help you negotiate a better price.
  • Start with a lower offer. Don’t start with the price you will pay, go lower and look for their reaction to gauge where they may be willing to go.
  • Take their price and your offer to find a price in the middle.

Other tips:

  • Best time to buy a car? Before the holidays when people are looking for extra cash or are looking to upgrade their vehicles to a newer model.
  • Take your time. Unless you are in an immediate need for a car, take your time to research them and to find the vehicle that best fits your family.
  • Have money saved up for maintenance. Consider having at least $1000 ready to be spent on any maintenance that needs to be done. We had to buy 2 new tires and a battery just within the first week of buying this truck.
  • Calculate how much the car will cost per month by calculating your gas mileage and insurance.
  • Educate yourself on the car you are about to purchase. What normally goes out on them for maintenance? Do you have someone to work on that vehicle if needed?

Saving $$

  • Have a plan. Put money towards your car fund each month with a desired goal amount/date.

There it is, how we purchased our new to us truck (with cash) from a private owner. I didn’t talk a lot about how we saved enough money because it was pretty simple. We just spent within our means and saved what we could so anyone could do it!

How To Buy a Car with Cash & How to Avoid Scams and Lemons

Having a Summer get together? Cool off with this delicious White Summer Sangria recipe. Looking for a red sangria? Check out my recipe here:

White Summer Sangria Recipe

What I like about sangria is that you can pretty much add whatever Summer fruits you have on hand and of course it’s a delicious drink to cool off with.

White Summer Sangria Recipe (Adult Only Version):

White Summer Sangria Recipe

  • 1/2 bottle of white wine (I like Moscato for it’s sweetness)
  • 4 cups of Sprite
  • 1 cup of white grape juice
  • Sliced lemons, limes and berries of your choice

Serve over ice! Here’s a tip, if you are looking at what time of wine to get, the cheaper wines work perfect for this. Walmart has a $3 bottle of wine that is a great fit for Sangria recipes!

White Summer Sangria Recipe

Looking for a kid friendly version? Take 4 cups of Sprite, 4 cups of white grape juice and add the fruit!

White Summer Sangria Recipe

White Summer Sangria Recipe (Kid Friendly recipe too)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360 Tracking Pixel


This past year has been an emotional roller coaster and it’s all been centered around one thing. Money. Before I get into the nitty gritty of what I am about to share, I should let you know money has never been important to me or so I thought until I looked back on my life. I grew up in a modest household where we didn’t have a lot but we had enough. I grew up knowing that my family wouldn’t need a lot but I struggled with wanting the things I never had. New cars, college education and my own house were just a few things I knew I wanted. What I didn’t plan out was how I was going to get there.

We started young. I got married at 18 and by 20 I had my daughter and by 21 I had bought a house. I was proud that I was able to save money and start our path of growing up. What I didn’t plan on was how I was going to pave that path. Being young, I wanted more. I wanted the nice things everyone else had like the latest technology and trips. We weren’t financially ready for all of that, not one bit. Fast forward a few years and we are over $60K in debt NOT including our house. We were struggling and we couldn’t keep up. I had to revise my mind set and work towards feeling more financially stable.

This past year I have worked hard to pay off the debt I created and I am happy to say 90% of the debt (beyond school loans and home mortgage) is paid!

Here is just a glimpse of my path to financial freedom:

  • No more credit cards. I eliminated the many payments and unnecessary interest and moved to cash. I do have one credit card and that is a Capital One card. This card we use only for emergencies or purchases we know we can pay back to utilize the rewards.
  • Cash for everything. Cash is king they say and it is true. Anytime we are looking at a big purchase, we always ask if there is a cash discount. We paid for the Clever Teen’s braces cash up front and received a discount. We were able to purchase our truck for cash and was able to negotiate a lower price.
  • Living within our means. I know, sounds like common sense right? But even at times where I think it may be within our means, I thoroughly evaluate our income and the amount it will take away from to make sure we are making the right decision.
  • Pay all the debt. I started the year out by pulling our credit reports and making sure we were paying everything off. I started small and continued to work my way down the list for outdated debts.  We actually found errors in our reports as well so we were able to work with the companies to remove these to bring up the credit scores.20140617_065217
  • Being thrifty. It’s no secret that I like saving a penny where I can. I rarely buy anything new unless it’s needed. I scour sites like Craigslist or look at thrift stores if it’s something we need. I also eliminated unnecessary payments for luxuries like trading cable for Netflix. We also use coupons for things like eating out and activities. Making coffee at home has been a life changer as far as saving $$, I’ve brought down that obsession errrr, expense by 85%!20140701_084833
  • Making extra income where we can. While its not steady, we do often sell things on sites such as CL or Offer Up to make a little extra $$$. We use this money for things like vacations or the kids activities.


Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 12.24.14 PM

I am not only declaring my financial independence to you (and my family of course), but I shared it in the Capital One 360 Financial Independence contest where they are giving away $1776 in cash every day! You can enter here too

What is your financial independence?


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360.



Last Minute Easy and Quick 4th of July Recipes, Kids Crafts and Decor

4th of July weekend is here! Bring on the fireworks, BBQs and relaxation. If you haven’t planned anything yet but are looking for some last minute 4th of July ideas, you’ve come to the right place. These recipes, kids crafts and decor can be done on 4th of July! These kids activities are perfect to create during your 4th of July party.

4th of July Kids Activities:

Firework Confetti Sticks

Fireworks Ring

Firecracker Straw Art

Easy Firecracker Pinatas

4th of July Paper Lanterns

4th of July Scavenger Hunt

Quick and Easy 4th of July Foods:

4th of July Snack Mix

Cranberry Poprocks Mocktail 

4th of July Berry Trifle

Patriotic Ice Cream Sodas

Star Shaped Watermelon Treats

Last Minute 4th of July Chocolate Treats

4th of July Pudding Pops

Chocolate Dipped Banana Split

Quick and Easy 4th of July Decor

Flag Pole Skewers

Red White and Blue Flag Mason Jars

Flag Tealight Mason Jars

Free 4th of July Printable

Flag Toothpick Wreath

Sparkle Stir Sticks For Your Drinks

Free 4th of July Cupcake Topper Printables

I hope you enjoyed these last minute Fourth of July ideas! If you are looking for more, check out my Pinterest board below!
Follow Clever PinkPirate’s board 4th of July on Pinterest.

You may also like…

Root Beer BBQ Ribs w/ Grilled FruitGrilled Root Beer Marinated Ribs

Orange Banana Cream Popsicles

Can I just say that the best thing about Summer is getting to eat non stop frozen treats? Because everyone knows calories don’t count when it’s 100+ outside (it’s true). We love the popsicle maker we own, it seriously is so easy to create delicious popsicles in AND you can pretty much make any combination! This past week we created an orange banana popsicle recipe. This one is really easy and creamy!

Orange Banana Cream Popsicles


  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of OJ
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Blend together, then fill the popsicle maker and freeze! We were able to make 6 popsicles with this.

Orange Banana Cream Pops

Orange Banana Cream Popsicles

Looking for another popsicle recipe? Try my grape yogurt ones and see what I use for a popsicle maker here:

© 2013 Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha