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Lots of Life Left in These Wheels: Top Tips for Finding a Used Car for Less Than $6,000

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Monday, December 5, 2016

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Finding a car for yourself or a family member for an affordable price can be tough. Newer cars are too expensive and, with used cars, sometimes what you pay for is not worth the vehicle you end up getting.

The good news is that if you take your time and you know what you are doing and what to expect, you can find a used car in great condition that can cost you less than $6,000. Finding the right used car for the right price is a little more involved than searching for a brand new car — there are a few things you need to pay attention to — but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. If you’re looking for a used car that’s affordable, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Know What to Expect

The first thing you must come to terms with is that, unless you get lucky, there will be a certain type of car that falls into the $6,000-and-less category. This doesn’t mean that you’ll only be able to find clunkers, but it does mean that you should know what to expect.

Vehicles in this price range will typically have near or over 100,000 miles on them. They will likely be around 10 years old or so as well, so you may have to settle for a few dings and scratches, or paint jobs that aren’t quite perfect. This is okay though, because you can always get these imperfections fixed fairly cheaply if they bother you too much. This is also one of the reasons why the car will be priced where it is.

So don’t put too much stock in the appearance of the car. Of course, you don’t want a vehicle with torn ceilings, rust spots and dents everywhere, but a few imperfections are to be expected.

Find Three Target Cars

Once you are ready to start looking for used car, then you should take the time to visit several different dealerships that have used cars for sale. This will give you a quick idea as to the pricing of vehicles that are acceptable to you, as well as give you a range of options so you don’t feel as if you need to take the first offer you find.

You can also search the internet for pricing on different makes and models that will help you find what you are looking for. As you look, you will notice that some brands hold their value longer than others and will consistently be more expensive than others. This may mean that you pay the same price for an older model of a popular brand than you would for a newer model of a less-popular brand.

Decide which is better for you and find three or four cars that meet your requirements.

Check the Vehicle History

Getting a vehicle history report for each car that strikes your interest can help you narrow down your choices even farther. There are some popular websites that can give you a complete history of the car, from accidents and other damage to whether the previous owner kept up with regular maintenance. You can even find out how many owners the vehicle has had.

To find the vehicle history, you will need the VIN from the cars you want to check. If you can, you should do this before you even go to look at the car in person because it can save you time if it’s had too many problems in the past.

Buy the Car

Once you find the vehicle you want, it’s time to make the deal. Unfortunately, due to the already low cost of a car in this price range, there will be little wiggle room for negotiation. Sure, you may be able to save a few hundred dollars, but expect to pay right around what the seller is already asking. Of course, if you don’t like haggling anyway, this can be seen as a simple positive that makes your experience easier.

There may be a few things you need to fix, so make sure you set aside a little cash for things like new tires, spark plugs and filters. You may also want to get your new car professional detailed to really make it feel like new.

Don’t let the worries of buying a used car for a good price keep you from following through There are good models to be had for less than $6,000.

Tom O’Neill works as a mechanic so often gets called upon when friends and family members are looking to buy a second hand car to go with them to look at it. Passionate about cars, including vintage cars, Tom writes a variety of articles for petrol heads like himself!

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