Where Can I Buy A Good Used Car For Cheap
This car search engine collects used vehicle listings from across the internet (on sites such as AutoTrader, Cars.com, Craigslist, and eBay Motors) and puts them all in one place. On this site, you can search for cars by make, model, location, price, mileage, and more.
where can i buy a good used car for cheap
CarGurusCarGurus boasts that if you search for a used car on its site, the top listings that pop up will be based on market value and dealer reputation, and not on how much a dealer pays for a listing.
So you want to buy a good cheap car. Consider the junkyard. Seriously. Just walk the back lots until you find yourself an automotive carcass that has been molderizing for a few seasons. Of course, once you buy it you'll need a new battery, tires, hoses, fluids, and maybe even a few important body parts like doors and a steering wheel. But if you want cheap, there you go!
New car dealer prices are sky high for two reasons. First, they expect some wheeling and dealing on their used cars, and second, they pay for a ton of overhead. It costs an awful lot of money to operate a new car dealership. After investing in a floorplan, physical equipment, personnel, the physical dealership, and local advertising, what most dealerships are left with is a financial hole that must be filled with a stiff price premium for their used cars.
However they are incredibly good at selling in high volume. They also have a well deserved reputation for picking out the better vehicles at the wholesale dealer auctions where millions of vehicles are sold every year (more on that later). These dealers average around $2,000 to $3,000 in profit before expenses. If you finance with them, that margin can go up substantially.
When I say broker, I really mean anyone with a used car dealer license who is willing to buy for someone else at a wholesale dealer auction. The typical fee is the actual cost of the vehicle plus $500 and the more shrewd operators will ask for a 20% deposit up front. I run a variation of this on a Facebook page I developed and I have been doing this in metro-Atlanta for a little over a decade.
Remember, your goal is to get a reliable used car not a pimp-mobile. So, decide from the outset to rid yourself of trivial preferences that inflate the perceived value of cars like paint color, seating material, power windows, and what-have-you.
A reliable used car is not like a regular car. It has been meticulously taken care of and that fact has to be teased out by using very specific and subtle keywords associated with a well-maintained vehicle.
By carefully filtering searches of Internet used car listings, you can find what you want, nearby, and usually with photos. Increasingly, vehicle history reports, such as CarFax, are included for free, particularly on sites such as eBayMotors.
Buying a used car rather than a new car is the best way to save money on a vehicle. Because new cars rapidly depreciate the moment they leave the new car dealer's lot, you can get a much lower price when they're a few years down the road. However, not all cars age as well as others. You have to consider their predicted reliability going forward, as well as how they've been treated during their first years in service.
The key is balancing reliability and affordability. A newer car that costs a bit more up front may be cheaper in the long run, as it may provide more years of low-cost service. A car that's super-cheap to buy may turn out to be an expensive mistake if it's always in the shop.
Instead of heading directly to the car lots or used car listings, you'll want to take a step-by-step approach to used car buying. That preparation will pay off in the end, as it'll help you find the right car at a price you can afford.
It's easy to have Champagne tastes, but even if your budget is Bud Light, you can still find a reliable car if you know where to look. First, you have to place reliability at the top of your wish list, and you may have to sacrifice some features to get it. You may need to buy a slightly older but more reliable model, or a newer model with fewer bells and whistles.
When you buy a private-party used car, you'll have to go to an independent lender, such as a bank, credit union, or finance company. The lending rules can be different for private-party purchases, so be sure to read our guide to private-party auto loans.
It's easy to get a low car payment by stretching out the length of your auto loan term. However, it's rarely a good idea to stretch a used car loan to more than four or five years. Not only will you pay a tremendous amount more in interest over the term of the loan, but you put yourself at risk of having to make car payments when your car is more likely to need costly repairs and maintenance. Even the most reliable cars will eventually need high-priced fixes.
There's a type of car dealership that used car shoppers should approach with great trepidation. "Buy Here, Pay Here" car dealerships cater to buyers with horrible credit. Unfortunately, due to their high-interest rates, expensive prices, and aggressive collection tactics, many car buyers find themselves (and their credit) far worse off after buying and financing their purchase from this type of dealership.
A great place to start is with our used car rankings and reviews. They're crafted to answer the questions used car buyers have when they're in the market for a new ride. Given that you want a vehicle that's both reliable and affordable, you'll want to focus on the average prices and a vehicle reliability rating, along with cost of ownership information. Doing so will help you eliminate those cars that don't match what you need from a vehicle, are too expensive, or that you can't count on in the long term.
When you begin to compare different models and their prices, you'll notice some trends. Toyotas, Hondas, and Lexus models, for example, show high average reliability scores, but also hold their value very well. As a result, they cost more to buy as used cars.
At that point, you want to start looking for what's available in the marketplace. We have hundreds of thousands of vehicles in our used car listings, and you can also look at private-party sales on sites like eBay Motors and Craigslist. If a car deal seems like it's too good to be true, it's probably because of an accident or other issue with its history, and you'll want to look closely at its vehicle history report before you go forward.
One of the more challenging aspects of finding a reliable used car is balancing the idea of buying an older car with a great reputation for reliability with getting a newer car with lousy predicted reliability. The calculus gets even more complicated when you put price, value retention, and features into the mix.
Here's something to consider: A super-reliable used car will likely not face significantly higher maintenance and repair costs whether it's four years old or six years old. The same can't generally be said of a notoriously unreliable car between its third and fifth year on the road. Every new car becomes an old car at some point in its life, and you have to think about those long-term costs.
If you're looking for low life-long maintenance and repair costs, you likely want to stick to high-volume mainstream models. The rarer a car is, the less likely you'll be able to find cheap parts as it ages. It's easy to find parts for vehicles such as the Toyota Tacoma pickup, which have had long product cycles and strong sales through their lifetimes.
Of course, when you buy a used car, you'll often have to make some trade-offs. Your dream car may have a luxury nameplate, but if reliability and affordability are your priorities, you may have to compromise.
Let's look at an example. A 2016 Lexus ES is a great used car. Not only is it the top-ranked model in our 2016 luxury midsize car ranking, but it has a spectacular predicted reliability rating. Unfortunately, it also has an average used car price of $27,833. Opt for a 2016 Toyota Avalon, which has a predicted reliability score that's only slightly lower, and you can potentially save between about $3,000 and $9,000 on your purchase. Because it doesn't carry the luxury badge, the similarly sized and well-equipped Toyota will likely cost less to maintain and insure, as well.
A certified pre-owned car (CPO car) is a used car that comes with a factory warranty and other extras. Typically gently used lease returns, fleet cars, and young, low-mileage cars, certified used cars come from franchised new car dealers.
While some dealers might call all of their used cars "certified," a true factory-certified pre-owned vehicle will only be found at one of its brand's own dealerships. For example, if you see an off-lease Ford Explorer on the lot of a Lexus dealer, it won't be factory certified. If, on the other hand, you see a low-mileage three-year-old Toyota Highlander on the lot of a Toyota dealer, it's likely going to be a certified pre-owned vehicle.
CPO cars receive thorough inspections and must meet rigid standards before they can carry the brand's certified used vehicle designation. Though they usually have higher price tags than non-certified used cars, they come with warranty coverage and extras, such as roadside assistance. 041b061a72