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If you are not just on a used car buying budget, but a strict budget, you might be looking to buy used cars under $500. But wait! Is this even possible? Yes, but there are many factors you should first take into consideration. Like what?
These cars can be hard to find. Are you likely to find used cars under $500 for sale at a dealership? No. So where can you look? Most of these vehicles are being sold by the owner. Therefore, great places to look are for sale by owner websites, classified websites, and in your local newspaper’s automobile section.
A lot of success depends on good timing. As previously stated, it is harder to find and buy used cars under $500. This is because these cars are so high in demand. And, there is the issue that the owner isn’t going to profit much from $500; therefore, they rarely spend any money to market this vehicle. Many times, people who do get a car for less than five hundred dollars just happen by it on chance. So, in addition to looking online or in your local newspaper, also keep your eyes and ears opened at all times.
Most likely, something is wrong with the vehicle. Why does someone sell a used car for less than $500? Two main reasons. First, they either have another vehicle and want their old one gone now. Second, the car needs repairs the owner cannot afford. Guess what? It is mostly the second reason. Therefore, never look at a car and wonder “is something wrong?” Instead, wonder “what is wrong.”
The cost of repairs should be added to the car’s selling price. Unfortunately this means you might not be able to buy used cars under $500. Say you have a car that needs new tires (at least $100) and new brakes (at least $100). Right there, that car gets bumped up to $700. Can you afford a $700 vehicle?
Estimating the cost of repairs does take some knowledge. Whether the seller outright says what is wrong with the vehicle or if you pay a small fee to have a mechanic tell you, do it. As just stated, it is important to know if you can really buy these used cars under $500 or not. Keep in mind that if you can perform the repairs yourself, the cost will be lower.
These cheap used cars don’t leave much room for price negotiating. Many times, buyers say “the car needs repairs, so I will spend X amount of dollars only.” This form of negotiating might not work for you. The used car is already priced about as cheap as you can go. You can try to negotiate down a lower price, but be prepared for a no. Then what happens? You have two choices. First, either find other used cars under $500 to buy. Or, save up some money until you can afford say a $1,000 car (which is still cheap but does give you more buying options).
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