Best method to buy a used Mazda 3 hatchback?

After doing some research in the small car market, I’ve found that I like the 2007 Mazda 3 hatchback. It is good on gas, I like the interior and dash, and like the exterior styling. I’d like to find one of these models with under 35K miles in blue, purple or black with leather seats and the Bose stereo. However, I am having difficulty finding any in my area that meet my desires.

My question is this:

If I find one of these models, say in another part of the country (using one of the online car finders like, Autotrader, Craigslist etc.), can I have it shipped to a dealer near me? Is this common? Do I have any choice of having this car checked out by a mechanic before dropping down my hard earned cash? Do I have any recourse if the car is not as described.

I also have thought about contacting my local Mazda dealers and asking them to be on the lookout for one of these cars.

Any advice on this topic would be immensely appreciated.

For a price anything seems possible. Shipping from a distant dealer to one in your area would likely be costly.

Asking the local dealer to be on the lookout sounds like a good idea, though.

Go the the Mazda corporate web site and put your zip code in the upper right box and click the arrow. You will get the 3 closest dealers. But at the bottom on the left you can choose a distance of up to 250 miles. Try short distances first and click on the dealer name. Then click on the dealer web site and check out their used inventory once you are there. If you can’t find your car, then try a different zip code 250 to 500 miles away and check inventory again. At least you don’t have to leave your house to check out dealer inventory.