Car Buying On A Budget

There are a number of things that might go wrong buying a cheaper car. For starters, some automakers have a better reputation for reliability and maintaining value even at high mileage. You will see that reflected in what’s not available at many used car lots.

So, there is an increased chance of getting a lemon, and it’s unlikely to be green car if that’s your desire. Most people’s first cars need to be a cheap car, so let’s dive into the topic.

Strategy #1 Do you really need a car?

Do you even need a car? Maybe look towards buying a motorbike or similar. Okay, you still have to look at tax and insurance, but it does bring some of the costs down. Or, perhaps you could continue with mass transit until you can afford a reliable car.

Strategy #2 Really ask yourself what your must have in a car!

Look at which sort of car you want. Is it just for two people or a family car? Should you wish to compare prices there are a number of websites that do that. Get a sense of what cars cost by shopping online before your ever talk to a salesman. (, (, (

Strategy #3 Small Car

You are looking at a small car, such as a Volkswagen or Toyota Yaris. If you are looking at a secondhand car you may avail yourself with more choice, but top-of-the-league motors may be out of your league, like something like the Octavia.

Small cars tend to be less expensive. Especially used.

Strategy #4 Buying Used.

Buying second hand can add to the number of breakdowns. If it does break down often it you may still be able to use it as a commuter car, just not for traveling long distance.

If you have some skills with a wrench, maybe a car with some problems is a good way to save money. Put in the sweat equity and get more bang for your buck. If you aren’t a skilled mechanics and you have to pay for service, you may spend what you saved and more on a mechanic’s bill.

Do some additional research on the cost and availability of parts for different makes and models of cars. You want to find a car with an engine that was used for many years on more than one model of car.

Strategy #4 Budget

While you’re on the web researching, definitely compare the price of insurance, which can change if the car is too old or too new. Budgeting isn’t a sexy topic but it’s step 1 in car shopping.

If you need it there is also online budget planners to look at fuel, insurance, maintenance, service and vehicle tax along with the household costs. Edmunds has one so does NerdWallet.

It’s always a good idea to stick to the budget as much as possible. A car loan (against the value of the vehicle) can make car buying ore doable. The problems come from paying it all back. You can help yourself a lot by raising your credit score.


Just because you are on a budget there’s no reason why you should get conned; always have someone with you when you see the car. Have a mechanic check it over, or better yet, have a pre-purchase inspection from a company like Tirekickers .

In closing, as well as cost you need to look at practical matters, like how big is your garage? Do you have parking near where you live? Would you need to start paying for parking near work?

You can’t be prepared for every eventuality, but you might see why buying on a small budget can introduce extra considerations. As a last practicality, consider buying a big car because if you screw up your budget too badly, you’ll be living in it.

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