Consumers who want to buy a cheap car need to be very cautious and do their research. Here are some steps to follow.
Step #1: Check Used Car Classifieds
One research method to buy a cheap car is to scour the local newspaper classifieds and online. Be aware that the car may have problems, the seller may be desperate and cars are sold “as-is” with no warranty.
Step #2: Look for Neighborhood Car “For Sale” Signs
Often people place a “For Sale” sign in their car window and park the vehicle in the neighborhood. This is a good place to look when buying a cheap car, especially a cheap Toyota car, which is generally a good, reliable vehicle.
Step #3: Consider a Cheap Car Auction
There are public vehicle auctions conducted by federal, state and local government, and law enforcement agencies for seized or surplus vehicles. These are great sources to check to buy a cheap car, since they’re often purchased for extremely reasonable prices. Police agencies auction vehicles which are often late-model, high-end luxury vehicles that have no defects and are in near brand-new condition. These auctions are open to the public and regularly held.
Step #4: Cheap Car Salvage
Another auction source for buying cheap cars is an auction of salvaged or flood damaged vehicles. Be aware that these may need repair, which can sometimes be costly. Auctions by salvage and insurance companies are frequently held, but consumers should be very cautious of these vehicles and never buy without a comprehensive inspection.
Step #5: Damaged Cars May or May Not Be a Good Deal
Wrecked, but otherwise repairable cars may be a good deal if the consumer has the ability, willingness, time and money to ensure the repairs are properly done. These are cars that have typically been totaled by insurance companies.
Step #6: Don’t Forget Auctions of Abandoned Cars
Cities and towing companies hold auctions to sell cars that have been abandoned and are unclaimed. They will try to find the owners, but if that is unsuccessful, the cars are sold for next to nothing. This can be a very good source to buy a cheap car.
Step #7: Be On the Lookout for Sales of Repossessed Cars
When car owners fail to make their payments, banks, credit unions and finance companies try to recover the amount remaining on the loan by selling off the cars. Call the bank and ask about repossessed cars: how they sell them, whether through an auction company or the bank itself. Check the local papers for notices of repossessed car auctions.
Step #8: Get Professional Inspection and Vehicle History Report
Finally, no matter which method consumers use to find their cheap car, buying that cheap car doesn’t mean they should skip due diligence. When buying many of these cars, it’s on an “as-is” basis. This means no warranty and no returns. To protect against undisclosed or not visible damage, buy a vehicle inspection report. To ensure there are no hidden defects and the vehicle is in operating condition, hire a professional to conduct a vehicle inspection.