How to Find a Cheap Used Car

How to Find a Cheap Used Car

Posted on Monday, July 10, 2017

Is this the car of your dreams?

Why do people buy cheap used cars? While some buy used cars simply to save a little money, some cannot get a car loan, just want four wheels and an engine, or simply just do not want the hassle of a car payment. So, how do you find a used car that is not only cheap now, but that will not cost you major money in the long run?

Are There Really Good, Cheap Used Cars?

Yes, indeed, there are good, cheap, used cars; most of them will be about ten years old and have about 100,000 miles on the odometer. It is really a question of updating your expectations. What matters, in this scenario, is not the outside of the car, but the inside. Where once 100,000 miles would have been just about the upper limit on a car, construction and design have improved so much that now it is sometimes 200,000 miles before you have to begin to worry about major repair bills.

Think Dull

Everybody wants to buy the used sporty coupe. Nobody cares about the still perfectly good Toyota Camry or Honda Civic that has another decade of life to it. These cars are everywhere and, because they do not excite many car shoppers overmuch, you can get a good, reliable car for a low price.

Cast A Wide Net

When looking for a cheap used car, do not be shy about looking at the want ads. Many cheap used cars are found in the very back of the used car lot, in the want ads, and on the internet. Before you go out to look at any car, sit down and do some research about what is available in your area, what the prices generally are for cars you are considering, and what the available inventory is. Of course, there is an important flipside to that coin.

Before you buy, look at every detail.

Caveat Emptor

The older a car is, the more likely it is that something may be wrong with it. Any used car you are considering should be given a thorough inspection and a detailed test drive. The engine should run smoothly and start easily. The tires should be in good shape. There should not be any signs of rust or damage on the undercarriage. The car’s electrics should all function smoothly and easily. The oil should be clean. Essentially, you need to give any used car you are considering a thorough checkup, especially when buying from a want ad.

If you are at a dealership, ask if the car got an inspection and be sure to pull the Carfax report. In all cases, double check the title to ensure it is not a “salvage” title. Invest the money in a mechanic to check it over and ensure there are not any problems you cannot see.

What Will It Cost In The Future?

As a rule, you should avoid European cars and luxury cars when looking for a cheap used car you intend to drive yourself. They tend to have lower prices because you pay more for parts and repairs going forward, and any used car will have some degree of maintenance you will need to perform.

Never forget that you have multiple options for finding a good, cheap used car. To locate the cheap car you need, start with research from CarFoundMe.