Tips for Buying Used Cars Under $1,000

If you are on a strict budget, you might be looking for used cars under $1,000. Due to the economy, many Americans are in the same position. What does this mean? It means that it will be even harder to get your hands on these already in demand cheap used cars. To improve your chances of success, here are some helpful tips.

Know Where to Look

While you can check a used dealer lot for used cars under $1,000, you likely aren’t going to find much. Such a low price tag doesn’t leave much room for profit. That is why your best options are to check online classified websites, the local newspaper auto sections, and just be on the lookout for cars for sale while out and about.

Know How to Search Online

If you do decide to search for used cars under $1,000 online, choose your websites wisely. Searching each classified website individually is likely to produce some results. However, there are also shopping websites that let you search thousands of car sites and classified sites at once. Regardless, you are on a strict budget so set a price range (maximum price at $1,000). Good search phrases are key. Since there are fewer cars with a price tag of $1,000 or less, avoid searching with a make or model. Instead, search with ‘used car’ or simply ‘used.’

Ask Lots of Questions

When it comes to buying vehicles under $1,000, it is important to know that something is likely wrong with the car. It either is old and has a lot of miles or needs costly repairs. Get all the information you need ahead of time. If your state requires vehicle inspections, when was the last time the vehicle passed and will it again? If the vehicle needs repairs, does the seller have an estimated cost of repair?

Go for a Test Drive

Whether you are buying a used car for $1,000 or $10,000 a test drive is always recommended. Test drives are particularly important with cheap cars. In addition to getting a feel of handling, you might also be alerted to any needed upgrades or repairs the seller ‘forgot’ to mention.

Include the Cost of Repairs

Finally, it is important to keep the cost of repairs in mind. When it comes to used cars under $1,000, there is a good chance that repairs are needed. In this case, it might be worth it to take the vehicle (while in the mist of a test drive) to a local auto repair shop. Often times for less than $50, they will quickly inspect the car, give you a list of repairs, as well as cost estimates. These estimates should be added to the total cost of the car. So say the vehicle needs a $2,000 transmission. That $1,000 car suddenly becomes a $3,000 car that you might not be able to afford.

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