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How do you buy used cars for $500 or less?

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Quick Answer

To buy a used car for $500 or less, check online auto marketplaces, attend government auctions, visit auto junkyards, and inquire at used car lots. Tips for purchasing a cheap, used car include obtaining a CARFAX report, conducting a cost-benefit analysis and requesting a mechanical inspection.

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Full Answer

Online marketplaces are good places to find private sellers and auto dealers. Consider only listings that have photos of the car, CAREFAX reports, and the seller’s contact information. To find local results only , include a ZIP code to the search. Popular Internet auto marketplaces include AOL Autos, Auto Trader and eBay Motors.

Government auto auctions offer people an opportunity to buy impounded or surplus vehicles at low prices. The U.S. General Services Administration is a good place to find listings of government-owned properties and used cars on auction, including those selling for less than $500.

Auto junkyards may offer used vehicles for sale at bargain prices. Most of these vehicles need considerable work to get them to work to an acceptable standard. It is a good idea to take a mechanic to the junkyard to assess the vehicle and advise whether it is a worth purchasing. Ensure that the proprietor has a clear title to sell the vehicle, to avoid problems.

Used car dealers regularly buy older cars from auctions and re-sell them to people looking for low-cost vehicles. Most dealers do not put in much money in reconditioning the vehicle, making it important to carefully inspect the car before purchasing.

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