Q: Should I buy a car if the person lost the keys?

asked by on July 27, 2017

I'm trying to buy a vehicle on Craigslist but the owner with the title has lost the keys. What should I do. This would be my first car as I am a new driver.

Hi There, Depending on the type of vehicle, this may be a bit expensive to have the vehicle either re-keyed or have new key fobs purchased and re-flashed to the car’s computer You may also want to consider having a pre-purchase inspection performed on the vehicle as well prior to purchasing. I would suggest checking the Kelly Blue Book website with specifics related to your zip code as market prices of cars vary by zip code. This will give you a baseline for determining whether or not the car is within a general range of the asking price. Secondly, as you know, with any car the life expectancy of it depends largely on the maintenance schedule the owner has maintained, the driving conditions it is subjected to, the driving habits of the owner and many other factors. Often times when a car has had internal damage or even slight cosmetic damage, it may be difficult to tell without looking closely or performing an in depth inspection. As with any vehicle, proper maintenance schedules are a key factor to prolonging the longevity of the vehicle and avoiding unnecessary costly repair bills due to neglecting proper maintenance intervals. I would suggest having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your location to perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection prior to making your purchase.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $70/hr

What others are asking

Fuses keep blowing

This sounds like a direct short to ground. The fuses are blowing to protect the battery and vehicle electronics. This needs to be looked at immediately to prevent damage of any other vehicle electronics and damage to the new battery....

Car won't start in the morning, but it starts perfectly throughout the day. 2005 Ford Focus

It sounds like your engine does not have fuel pressure held up to the injectors overnight. The fuel pressure is leaking down due to a bad fuel pump check valve, or the fuel pressure regulator is leaking down the pressure....

Cost to fix: Spark plug #4 on passenger side blew out of its cylinder. Common on 5.4 Tritons. only need this spark plug 2000 Ford F150

Hi there. Unfortunately, this is a service that requires advanced machining tools; which our mobile mechanics don't typically have access to on site. As such, it's not a service we provide at YourMechanic.com. You might be better served contacting a...

How do I use the Lock knobs to lock the doors?

Each door has an individual Lock knob directly above the door handle. Push this knob towards the front of the vehicle to lock that door, or push it towards the back of the vehicle to unlock that door.

P0421 comes up on scan. What is the likely culprit

Hello. When you get the P0421 code, it usually means that you have a failing catalytic converter. It is very common for converters to fail on this vehicle over time. Most of the time I use a scan tool to...

Venza 2010 L4-2.7L: My check engine light is permanently turned On. I have these codes P0012, P0016, P0017. What needs to be fixe

These are fault codes indicating problems related to the timing of your car's engine. Normally the car will not run very well or sometimes not at all when these are on. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come...

Ignition lock cylinder broken

If the lock cylinder has truly been damaged, there are not a whole lot of options other than removing and replacing the damaged components. In order to do so, the door panel and lock cylinder can be removed and replaced...

No crank no start Key turns

when you have multiple issues like this, a good place to start is by checking the battery voltage. When the battery voltage drops off, the various modules on your car can do all sorts of spooky things. Then try starting...

Lights don't go out when I lock the car

The lights and other accessories are controlled by the body control module. If the module does not turn off the power to these systems, then it may be the problem. You will need to have the system tested using the...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen TDI
The The 2012 Volkswagen TDI is a diesel powered car that is fuel efficient while offering an affordable starting price. It comes in a two door hatchback or a four door compact style with an automatic or manual transmission. A...
How to Inspect Valve Clearance Adjustment
The The term “valve adjustment” is an oxymoron. What is actually being adjusted is the clearance between the linkage of the camshaft and the valve. It is most often called the valve lash. This system that links the camshaft to...
How to Replace Suspension Springs
Replacing suspension springs can be challenging, as involves making sure all power from the car is disconnected and that the proper tools are used.