The first thing you must do when you buy a car is to determine a price that is suitable. Preset a spending limit based on your ability to spend money. Secondly… have the kind of vehicle in mind that you want to buy. Is it a 2 door, 4 door, 2 seater, convertible, pick up truck, full size or short box, etc..
Now you can start looking. Swap sheets are good but sometimes you can find a good deal sitting in front of someone’s house. For instance I found a 1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme; it was just in someone’s driveway with no plates. There was no for sale sign on it, I just knocked on the door and started my conversation with the owner. The next thing I know, I am the proud owner of that Cutlass (no dents, rust, scratches or large amounts of wear) for around 700 dollars.
Another less unethical way of acquiring a cheap vehicle is to offer a trade. Up north, most take ATV’s and snowmobiles as viable trades. Sometimes even another vehicle if the condition is what they are looking for. It’s all about topography and learning where you are and what people like wherever that is.
The trick is to make the current owner think he or she is making a great deal for themselves, and with the economy like it is, just about any kind of money for something that old is a great deal on their behalf. But there are still newer cars that are great on gas that most would love to own. Bring up safety issues such as the size of the car, how well would it do in a crash, how expensive is it to have the vehicle serviced when required, how much are new tires, and the like.
Keep a close eye out for damage such as a rotting frame or sub frame as these problems will deter any reputable registered inspection shop from inspecting your vehicle. It’s required in most states in order to register and insure the vehicle. So be wary and on your toes, buying a car – even from a single owner – can be a headache but it can be done.
Bond Mejeh produces automotive related articles for Quick Cash Auto, a cash for cars service. Quick Cash Auto not only buys pre-owned vehicles of any year, make or model, but they also provide numerous articles about vehicle repair and automotive news.