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What to Look Out for With Used Cheap Cars?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 10/17/2015

Overspending on a vehicle is no one’s idea of a good time no matter how much money you have in the bank. Trying to find the best deals possible is essential if you hope to get your money’s worth, and finding used cheap cars has been one of the most successful methods for getting a vehicle without spending too much.

However, many people who are looking for these cheaper vehicles don’t think about anything other than the cash they spend on the vehicle, never bothering to determine whether it’s actually the right choice for them or not. Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider when you are buying used cheap cars so you can get a deal that works out in your favor.

Where You Buy

How and where you decide to buy the used car can actually make a huge difference. Remember, if you are looking through the classified ads in your area and are considering buying from a local private seller, you don’t always know much about the vehicle’s actual condition. The same is true when you are buying through a dealership or an auction, but at least with those options, you will have more time to research the vehicle.

One of the mistakes that many people make when they are buying through a used car dealership is financing through the dealer rather than getting their own financing or paying cash for the vehicle. Unless the financing is a 0% (and it likely won’t be), you will find that going through the dealership financing department could end up making you spend far more on the vehicle than it is actually worth.

Most of the time, you will find that a bank or credit union will be able to provide you with better interest rates, so you can keep the overall cost of the vehicle under control.

Do the Research

You’ll find that research (looking at the title, the VIN number, etc.) can help you understand far more about the vehicle’s history. This will help you determine whether the price for the used cheap cars is actually worth what you are spending or not.

Has the vehicle been in an accident? If it has, or if it has any other type of damage, such as water damage, what will it take to repair the car? Will the amount that you will save buying used cheap cars be enough that you can pay for the needed repairs to get it on the road, and still save money?

Even if you don’t have access to the vehicle, if it is on an online auction, for example, you should still be able to get a history of the vehicle’s damage and ask a mechanic or garage if they can provide an estimate for the repairs. Keep in mind that since they won’t have access to the actual vehicle either, the estimate will be very rough. Still, you should have at least a decent idea of whether you should buy it or not.

What’s the Fair Market Value?

When looking for used cheap cars, you want to know the actual value of the vehicle. Kelley Blue Book is a good option for understanding the retail value of vehicles, but keep in mind that it will all come down to the actual condition of the vehicle and what needs fixing. The Blue Book prices may be close, but various types of damage to the car could actually lower the value more.

If you are choosing a vehicle with a salvage title, the vehicle’s actual value will generally be around 75% to 80% of the retail value. This means you would not want to pay any more than that amount for the used cheap cars with salvage titles.

This is actually a very important number to know, especially if you are going to be buying through an auction. This way, if the bids on a vehicle start to creep higher than the value of the car, you will know to get out of the auction. It’s also good if you are in an auction that has a buy now option. You can check the value of the car against the buy now price and determine whether you are getting a good deal or if it is one you should pass.

The “Perfect” Car

If you find what you feel is the perfect car, it doesn’t mean that you should jump on the chance to buy it. In fact, when you find something that looks great, it’s always time to dig a little deeper, just to make sure you aren’t leaping on a “deal” too soon. There are too many stories of people finding what they believe to be the perfect car and then getting a lemon, all because they bought with their heart and not with their head.

Don’t ever allow your emotions cloud your vision when you are looking for used cheap cars. Whether you are buying through an auction, from a private owner, or from a dealership, you need to think logically about your decisions.

No matter how great a vehicle might look, and now matter how much you’ve always wanted to own that make and model, think with your head. Determine whether it really is a good deal or if the vehicle will simply bring more heartache than you need into your life.

Take Your Time

Even though you might feel as though you need to have your car today, it’s really better to take your time and do your research. You can find some great used cheap cars when you slow down and look at all of your options.

You don’t always have to go through used car dealers. Check out some of the online auctions to see what types of vehicles might be available. You never know – you might just find a great car that will meet all of your needs.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.