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Insider Secrets to a Cheap Car

04
April

It would be great to own the car of your dreams, but what if your budget just won’t allow it? When it comes time to buy your next automobile, and you need to be frugal yet want to get the best car possible, there are ways to make the purchase work out in your favor.

When you think “cheap” you might just have an inexpensive car in mind, but that may not be in your best interest. A car that can be bought for next to nothing often has so many problems that fixing it up will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. So think “value” instead. That would be a vehicle that you can purchase for a very reasonable price, but has a lot of miles left to travel, and won’t be a burden to maintain.

Unless you are a pretty good amateur mechanic, start looking for cars which are state inspected and ready to go. If you are considering the purchase of one that hasn’t been inspected yet, ask the seller to get the inspection done before you go through with the transaction. If the seller refuses to take care of this, it’s a red flag that you should move on.

Getting a good price on a car usually means that you are buying it privately. Dealerships need to make a certain profit on their goods to stay in business, and they mark up vehicles that were traded in or sold to them. So check online classified sites in your area, local newspapers or cars with “For Sale” signs in the window. Ask friends or relatives if anyone knows of cars for sale privately. You may be able to get a great price through a referral, as it becomes less of a hassle for the seller than advertising and having strangers visit to test drive the car.

Mechanical performance is more valuable than physical appearance when considering a cheap car. Low mileage is one sign that a vehicle has a long life yet, so make that a priority. If you find an auto for sale which has had only one owner, and especially if it was garage-kept, you probably have found one that was maintained well over the years.

One resource for inexpensive cars is to purchase one that was previously a rental car. Although they may have higher mileage and probably were not as carefully driven as a private car, former rentals can be a good deal, and most likely will be newer models.

Another way to purchase a cheap car is to attend a government auction. Local, state and federal governments will frequently auction off seized and surplus vehicles. Police impound auctions are similar and open to the public as well. You can find some outstanding deals at these events. Or try attending an insurance auction or auction of repossessed cars where a variety of autos, sometimes very expensive models, will be sold to the highest bidder – and that could be you!

One way to get information about the car you are considering is to get a “vehicle history report” offered by some credit bureaus. These are not free, but a little investment in finding out some pertinent information, such as how many owners it has had, whether the car has been in any accidents, or whether it was ever a fleet or rental car, can be helpful in making a good judgment of whether or not to purchase.

Time is in your favor when searching for the best car for your needs. Do your research, look at a number of cars before deciding, and compare your options. Although you may not find the perfect cheap car owned by a little old lady who only drove it ten miles each Sunday, you can still make a good deal and find an inexpensive vehicle which will last you for many years.

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