I've been looking at a wider search area lately after you've all mentioned it in my last post. I too don't trust a lot of these used car dealers. I avoid the smaller used car lots all together. I only consider cars on Chevy lots mostly.
My budget is about set at an out the door price for the car and taxes at $16.5
I'll be paying about $10 cash.
Your right its an important decision...I'll have to live with it for awhile as I keep cars for a long time. As far as up to 100k miles never wanted to go that high but maybe I do need to reconsider....I was hoping to be in the new generation 2015 or later....although I could start considering the 2015-2016 limited also. I didn't realize the limited style didn't have telescopic steering wheels...figured that was standard. I just checked the cars.com for the limited cars and saw a few but nothing that caught my eye at the moment...i'll keep an eye out though thanks.
On private sales I'm a bit afraid of them. Unless its someone I know I'd be afraid without any warranty if I had to go back to someone. Maybe I shouldn't be though.
It does help to know how to work on them, if I may suggest in the future start doing some of your own maintenance... What that does (other than the obvious) is you'll become mechanically familiar with cars and of course you save money but you'll eventually know a thing or two about cars and then you can start looking deeper into these cars for sale. Knowing a thing or two never hurts, like you might recognize a sound the engine makes for example just because you've worked on cars and you know these things.
You may take into consideration as well, the balance between miles, where it was stored and age... I appreciate your setting limits as that is good because it narrows the choices, now consider for example ... A garage kept 2010 model with low miles (say ~50k) might be just as good a deal as a 2015 with the same amount of miles that's sat outside all the years.
As for being nervous with private deals, again cash is king but what I look for is 1-2 owners... Especially with the models you're looking into I probably wouldn't even consider a 2 owner car (meaning I'd be the 3rd) when it's a 2015 or so I better be the 2nd owner and done. Finding that cream puff takes time, especially if money is an issue... If money weren't an issue then you can just run to the next dealership and sign on the dotted line and off you go, but generally speaking it takes me around 6 months of looking...
I literally "save" searches in my favorites, because I use websites to search for cars and set my limits in the parameters, once I have the search I want then I save it to my favorites... Accumulate several of those and then every day I look through those searches one by one, page after page. Spend a little time looking, chances are from day to day the same cars pop up but every once in a bit you'll see something new, also it's possible over time someone lowers the price on one you have your eyes on, as well you allow yourself to become "seasoned" into the process, hope all this makes sense.
The whole thing is an experience.
Don't be afraid to use Kelly Blue Book to compare the prices too.
I like to see that they're near the Blue Book value and if they're not I want to know why (and it could be over OR under).