Budget less then $1200 is enough to buy car in good condition and without too many visual defects. Only challenge is to find car that won't need big repairs.
Keep in mind:
- #1 – Clean title - beware of flooded,reconstructed cars. Check for actual mileage and whether car has any liens.
- #2 – Know Where to Look - used car lots, classifieds like Craiglist,eBay, CarsDirect®, Government auctions
- #3 – Always Ask Questions - If your state requires vehicle inspections, when was the last time the vehicle passed and will it again? If the vehicle needs repairs, does the seller have an estimated cost of repair?
- #4 – Go for a Test Drive - Always insist on test driving the car and take a mechanic along with you as they will quickly be able to spot potential issues with the car.
- #5 – Include the Cost of Repairs - When it comes to used cars under $1200, there is a good chance that repairs are needed. In this case, it might be worth it to take the vehicle (while in the mist of a test drive) to a local auto repair shop
- Make sure you’re educated about the additional costs of ownership e.g. insurance costs, approximate fuel expenses (considering fuel grade and fuel economy), expected maintenance costs, etc.
- Ask to see vehicle documentation as required by your province
- Discuss price and come to an agreement with the seller. If you’re offering less than the listed price, explain why and state your price. It may be related to what you found during your inspection.
- The seller may reject your offer. If so and you’re not willing to pay more, tell the seller to give you a call if the car doesn’t sell and he/she re-considers your offer.