Cheap used cars are abundant now with the man Internet buying sites and trade publications available these days. However, some people wonder when “cheap” ends and “expensive” begins, or how cheap is “too good to be true.” Many times, a car that seems like a good deal turns out to be overpriced, but this can be avoided with a little research.
Many “cheap” cars are priced around the $1000 mark. These cheap used cars are generally 10 years old or so, and either have cosmetic issues that you can live with, or some mechanical need (which usually makes them not so “cheap” in the end). However, that’s usually the lowest price for the cheap car market.
A mid-market “cheap” car is usually around $3000. These cars are in normally in better shape, have little-to-no mechanical issues, and may need things like paint at the most. If you’re serious about buying a good car for a small amount of money, these are the cars you should be looking at, especially if you’re not mechanically inclined. There’s no point buying an extra cheap car that you have to spend thousands more to repair to get it on the road. You would be better off paying that money (or some of it) in up-front car cost so you can drive sooner.
If you are unsure about a vehicle you find that appears cheap, go see the car. Look at it, take pictures and remember all the things that are wrong with it or missing, because no used car is perfect. Then head over to www.kbb.com and look up the market value for the car. If you find that the Kelley Blue Book lists the car for lower than what the owner or dealer is asking, you now have a powerful negotiation tool to get the vehicle.
Regardless of where you live, cheap cars can be found at all sorts of prices. From older $1000 models, to off-lease and late-model vehicles that fetch $7500 or more, there’s a cheap car for everybody’s budget, and all you have to do is find it before someone else does.