So, you are looking to buy a budget used car? The first step to consider, is whether or not you have a car to trade in the first place, as there are a number of different approaches that you can pursue to get the best deal. If you already have a car, then you can seek out dealers who may possibly give you a good trade-in value for your existing car and offset the cost of buying a new one. In practice, this doesn't tend to happen very often.
Dealers will want to give you the lowest price possible for your existing car, and sell you a new one at the highest price possible! Not a good twosome if you are looking to get the best deal. So in practice, if you are looking to buy budget used cars then you are better off looking at the private market.
A good place to start with this, is to determine the book value of the car which you wish to buy. It's impossible to know whether or not you are getting a good deal, unless you know what the cost of the car should be.
A good way to gauge this is to go online and take a look at something called the Kelly Blue Book. This is an off-line publication, but has now become available online, and gives you a good market indication of how much your budget used car is worth. Where this comes in, if you are looking to buy a car, is that essentially, it tells you what is a good price to pay for it!
Okay. So you have had a look on line at the Kelly blue book, and have got a price in mind. The next step is to go to your local magazine seller, and get copies of all the different car selling magazines. Good ones of these include magazines such as Auto Trader, Exchange and Mart etc but these may vary depending on your location. Either way, you get my point.
Grab a handful of car magazines that actually sell cars! Then go to the section in the magazine that deals with the car you are looking for. Then, before you do anything else, take a look at the prices, conditions, and locations of all the different cars that fit your requirements. In this way, it acts as a double check on the Kelly Blue Book price, and tells you what people are actually asking for their cars in the real world.
Only now are you ready to look for budget used cars! You know the type of car that you are looking for, you know the condition that you will accept, and you have a good idea about what price you should be paying. Now it's time to actually find some of the ads, and take a look at some cars. At this stage, if you are not technically minded, it can be a good idea to get a mechanically minded friend to come along with you. Because a bargain car, is only a bargain, if nothing goes wrong with it!
This would be the ideal scenario. However, if you don't have such a friend, then another option, is to get a feel for what you require, by visiting a car auction. This is not so that you will bid at the car auction, rather so that you can get a feel for the condition of the cars, and also talk to other people who are mechanically minded, and hopefully strike up a conversation about the kind of things that you should be looking out for with the particular type of car you are seeking.
Certain cars for example have specific problems, such as dodgy brakes, dodgy boot clips etc and it's a good idea to find those things out before you go out looking for your own budget used car. Armed with that knowledge, you are finally ready to get that dream mobile! And I discuss some of the strategies to go about that, in the links below.