Illustration for article titled Stupid question, but here I go:

Asking for a VIN from a private seller on a modern model that is known to get wrecked slightly more often than say a Malibu is perfectly reasonable, right? If I were met with a “no” or ignored, it would be logically to assume something was not the up-and-up...

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I’ve found two of the same model at a dealership (although certainly not a conveniently located one...) that have similar miles and clean CarFaxes, so I have some fallback if I was really committed to the idea of *THAT* car. I prefer dealing with private sellers, but I’m gonna cover my ass.

Especially because I’m shopping for something far outside of my comfort zone.

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