My son is saving up for a car. He's not going to have a lot of money to spend so it's going to have to be a cheap, used car. Anyone have any car buying tips for buying a car through the paper? I have never done it before, i bought my car at a lot.
Ruth in CA
Determine your needs first.
How far will you be driving daily.
How mechanically inclined is the driver.
Factor in your insurance, compare prices.
know and understand the features of the car you need.
Look into auctions, rental car re-sales. re-possessed. Advertise your needs at old age homes and retirement centers
Find someone who knows something about car mechanics to come with you when you look at cars in the paper. I would watch the paper for a few weeks and develope a profile of the type of car you want to find based on the the amount of money you have to spend and then be patient. When buying a used car it's important to know the status of the tires, brakes, shocks, muffler, alternator and timing belt. Most mechanics offer a Used Car Diagnosis, they used to be 50 bucks, not sure what they are now. They will check most of this out.
For a small fee you can research cars history (prev. owners, accidents, etc.) re : VIN number. Also make the sale pending a check by your own mechanic. Also, some cars are way cheaper to insure for everyone, and esp. young drivers.
Everything said about mechanical condition is important but I want to add that altho old and small, Ford Festivas are very economical. They get 40 to 50 miles per gallon, are very inexpensive to insure, buying tires is inexpensive and property taxes (if applicable in your area) are low. I have an 89 that has over 100,000 miles but is very dependable and comfortable. My husband drives a 91 model and thinks it is more peppy. We have a much newer Dodge pickup and a 1992 Oldsmobile but I actually prefer driving the Festiva as I can park it anyplace and don't worry about dings from other cars in parking lots etc. Many young people think such cars are beneath them unfortunately.
WE have had 4 1989 Olds 98 cars. Kinda sporty so our kids all drove them in high school. All of them got over 200,000mi. on them, mine now has 272,000. Cheap insurance, 21mpg in town, 25+ mpg on road. 2 of them were purchased with over 100,000mi. on them. The 1st one was a 1986 and had transmission problems just as consumer reports said. We like the bigger size for protection for our kid drivers.
We have run into two problems with buying used cars. First, check the availability of parts. My son found that he loves his older Jeep Wagoneer but CANNOT find parts. This has turned into quite a problem; we have looked everywhere! Then my other son bought an older Mercedes for a very good price, but the replacement parts are incredibly expensive, too expensive for him.
Go to your mechanic. Ask him if he knows someone who wants to sell what you want. This means he may have a history repairing the car, and know the owner as well.
Check out places in the Internet, like LATimes.com in the used car section, for listings and advice.
Read consumer reports. I like Olds, too.
i would like to know the cheapest car to run for a first time driver
If I was to buy a car for a first time driver I'd be sure to take a personal mechanic with me to inspect the used vehicle or do a little research online by obtaining the vin number from the person you are buying it from to see if the car has ever been in any accidents I say be picky, get under the hood, open all the doors and the trunk and give it a through inspection for rust holes and look behind the wheels for wires or other things like broken inner wheel wells that might rub the tires and "always test drive it before you buy it"