One of the most common myths we hear is that you get what you pay for, meaning cheap cars are terrible. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and there are plenty of on-sale models that will get you through your daily commute. To find a cheap car that has low mileage and isn’t completely jacked up, follow these rules when shopping for used cars:
1. Shop Throughout the Year
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for exciting hot hatch cars or a family estate, there is always the rare “deal of the year” every now and then, but most vehicles are relatively affordable from one month to another. Unless you follow the vehicles closely, it can be tough to predict where an exceptional deal will come from. Visit a few dealerships in your area and see if they have a sale or coupon going on. You’ll be able to get the best deals using this method.
2. Shop at Different Places
The prices of used cars are so high because they are limited in supply, and a handful of dealerships have them locked away in their inventory. The lower-priced models aren’t selling so dealers don’t want to take their time shipping out a used car that they aren’t going to sell quickly.
3. Get a History Report
Although the dealer may tell you everything is fine with your vehicle and that you don’t need to spend a lot of time looking at it, this isn’t always the truth. Besides knowing if your car was ever in an accident or had any major problems, take advantage of the opportunity to get a detailed history report. Your local auto parts store will be able to give you one for free if you ask nicely.
4. Get a Professional Inspection
After closely looking over your vehicle and getting it tested, you’ll want to have someone you trust to give it a thorough checkup. For around $100, your mechanic will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your vehicle. Don’t forget to ask if they can get the parts under warranty or if they aren’t any good. This will save you money on expensive repairs in the future.
5. Know Your Car’s Options
The only way to know if your car is worth the price you’re paying is to make sure you know about the options it comes with, such as whether the vehicle has a sunroof or how much horsepower it has under its hood.
6. Find a Car with Low Mileage
It will cost less in the long run to invest in a car that has around 100,000 miles or less. If you can find one with under 50,000 miles, you’ll be doing very well. Car maintenance is costly, and you’ll have to go through so many other hassles if you buy a vehicle that has over 150,000 miles.
7. Shop for Vehicles Online
Your local newspaper isn’t the best place to shop for vehicles. They won’t have the information about your vehicle until days after it was published, meaning there will already be dozens of other people interested before you can have your chance at it.
If you feel like you aren’t up for all the work involved with finding a used car, then you need to decide how much extra money you are willing to spend on a newer model. Either way, there is no bias here; if you want cheap cars, go from one dealer to another until you find one that has the vehicle and price you want.