When it comes to finding a cheap used car, you probably are in a situation where you are presently unable to afford high monthly payments for a more expensive vehicle. How much you will have to compromise is the bottom line question. However, careful investigation and being armed with some useful infomation can help you avoid some the the pitfalls that commonly appear in the used car territory. This article will help you do just that.
How to Find a Cheap Used Car for Sale
By Steve Faber
It’s just a fact of life for many people; they need to replace their car and are on a tight budget. In that’s the case for you, you’ll need to find a cheap, used car for sale. In addition, you probably want a car that’s safe, reliable, and comfortable. That can be a tall order; finding a cheap, used car that also fits the above criteria, but it can be done, you just have to where to look, and how to shop.
The first thing you need to do is establish your budget. There’s no point in starting your search until you know how much money you have to spend. Don’t forget to account for things such as taxes and license fees. You should also get the oil changed immediately after you buy a used car, unless you are sure the previous owner just had it done. That’s just a bit of cheap insurance for your new ride.
Once you’ve taken the first step, you can start your car search. There are some things to avoid, however. You should be aware that not every cheap car you find is a good deal. Some have atrocious reliability records, or even worse, are previously wrecked vehicles, cheaply repaired and sold as good cars. You’ll want to check the reliability record for the particular model of vehicle you’re considering. If it has a history of trouble, steer clear, you don’t want to save big money on a car, only to have your savings eaten up in maintenance costs.
To find out whether the vehicle has a checkered past, you should get a vehicle history report. That will show you whether it’s ever been declared a total loss, either through natural disaster or an accident. You can never be 100% sure, but a history report will go a long way to give you confidence you are buying the right car.
So, now that you have an idea of some of the homework you’ll need to do before you actually buy a cheap (or any) car, where can you find one? After all, a trip to your local car dealer row will likely not get you the kind of bargain you’re looking for. Ditto the local newspaper’s classified ads section. If you’ve checked your local paper lately, you can see the damage the Internet has done to their classified ad section. It’s shrunk to the point where many big city newspapers have only 2 or 3 pages of used car classifieds. Only a few years ago it wasn’t uncommon to have whole page of just one major car brand.
So, if you can’t find a good deal on a used car in your paper, where can you look? Some areas have free classified ad circulars. It’s possible to find really great deals in those, but they are few and far between. If you have some spare time on your hands, it doesn’t hurt to look, but you’ll need a bit of good luck to be successful that way. You can check the major Internet sites, but again, although you can find great deals there on occasion, that’s the exception, rather than the norm.
If you’re on the Internet anyway, what about the auction sites, such as eBay motors? Now you’re getting warmer. Your chances are much better of finding a cheap used car here. You need to look for no reserve auctions. In a no reserve auction, the seller doesn’t have a minimum amount they’ll accept for their car. It’s truly a high bid gets the vehicle situation. That’s typically where you’ll find your best deal on Internet auction sites. The problem with them, however, is that they have millions of other people all looking for great used car deals there too. In cases where there is so much competition looking at and bidding for the car, it’s tough to get a great deal because it drives the price up. You may still get an attractive buy, but it probably won’t be a truly spectacular deal.
What about some more creative ways to find a great, cheap used car? That’s what you’ll have to do, unless your Uncle Harold wants to sell you that ’57 ‘Vette he’s got stashed behind the barn. One way is to look for homes in pre-foreclosure. The owners of these homes need money, and they need it fast, in order to save their home. They may have already had their car repossessed, but if they own their car out right, or have mostly maintained their car payments, you can find some really great buys this way. You just must contact them and make an offer. As the tide of foreclosure properties rises, there are sure to be more of these opportunities out there.
Another way is to go to some of the lesser known auctions. Here you’ll find vehicles from various sources that you can get for low prices; sometimes extremely low prices. Remember no reserve auctions? Well, these are all no reserve auctions. You may have heard stories of people finding a Mercedes for $500 at these auctions. Well, that may happen, but it’s the very rare exception. Don’t expect to part with $500 and be driving home in a 3 year old SL-500.
What you can find is a fantastic deal on more mundane vehicles such as family sedans and SUVs. Many of these vehicles come from government or utility company fleets. They’re rigorously maintained and usually driven by mature individuals not likely to hot rod them about. Many of these vehicles have less than 80,000 miles, and it’s common to find them with under 50,000. The best part is you can get them for really low prices if you’re not picky about colors and option packages. These special auctions are held at hundreds of locations throughout the country every year. The chances of you finding the car you need, within your budget, are quite good.
To discover the secrets you'll need to find these great car deals and drive the deal of the century instead of reading about it, you'll need to see the how to buy a cheap used car guide.No tag for this post.