When it comes to buying reliable cash cars in Houston there are a few tips that can keep you on the best track to finding a cheap yet reliable vehicle.
Having said that you can find a used car under $5000 dollars but you do need to be realistic in the sense that you will be looking at a car that is 7-9 years old has 100k-130k plus miles on it. You can find a good deal on a car that will still give you years of service but you do have to consider what you are willing to spend. The other factor here is what kind of vehicle you're looking for you can find a honda civic for $3500 to $4000 and even under $3000 depending on condition. Smaller vehicles tend to cost less, trucks and Suburbans will tend towards a higher price point so just be aware of understanding pricing does vary depending on the kind of car you are looking for.
- 16 Tips On Finding Reliable Used Cash Cars To Buy In Houston:
- 1. Think about your budget
- 2. Look at the overall condition of the vehicle
- 3. Check for leaks
- 4. Consider mileage and do some research on mileage on that used vehicle
- 5. Don't fall in love with superficial things
- 6. Look at the tires or anything else that may need regular replacement
- 7. Have realistic expectations about what you are are paying for and what that may get you aesthetically
- 8. Get a carfax or autocheck for if possible
- 9. Check Steering and suspension
- 10. Trust your gut
- 11. Knocking noise from engine
- 12. Jerky transmission
- 13. Check transmission fluid
- 14. Check the oil for metal
- 15. Magnet test
- 16. Seams properly align
So depending on that factor you can find small compacts for $3500 to $4000 and even under $3000 depending on condition. Smaller vehicles tend to cost less, trucks and Suburbans will tend towards a higher price point so you are looking at $6000-$9000 for a good reliable used one. Luxury brands are going to go for more. Expect to pay $6000+ for a BMW, Lexus, Infiniti or Mercedes-Benz for example. Luxury brands tend to hold more value.
16 Tips On Finding Reliable Used Cash Cars To Buy In Houston:
1. Think about your budget
When you decide on a used cash car and reliability is a factor make sure you understand what is in your budget. Not only what you can pay for but also what you can afford to maintain. Every car needs maintenance and getting into a high-end luxury car that is used only to find that maintenance and repairs are going to eat you alive is no fun. Do some research on maintenance cost for the used cash cars you're looking at before pulling the trigger and avoid a headache in the future.
2. Look at the overall condition of the vehicle
Look at the cars exterior as well as interior condition. Expect to see some age and wear and maybe a torn driver's seat when you looking at something real cheap. Look for neglect, if the whole car looks like its a trash can then most likely the rest of it was not maintained either. Same with the exterior if its all banged up and scratched up like someone drove it like they stole it, it's likely they did and didn't worry about regular maintenance and such. These are just clues as to how whoever owned this used car before you took care of it.
Some normal wear is, of course, to be expected as well as scratches, door dings and minor exterior imperfections are expected on cash cars that are under $5000. The more you pay of course the pickier you can get. Just remember the brand and type of vehicle play a huge factor in pricing.
3. Check for leaks
If you are looking at the car on the used car lot take a look at the space where its sitting and see if you can see any leaks. A minor leak can quickly turn into a major one and be costly. Also once the car is started look under it and see if you see any oil dripping.
4. Consider mileage and do some research on mileage on that used vehicle
Look at the age of the vehicle as well as the mileage on it. A little research on the web will tell you how many miles you can typically get out of a particular make, model and year. Used cash cars in the $3000 to $9000 plus range will tend to have over 100k miles on them so it's important to see how long others of that year, make and model have gone before biting the dust.
5. Don't fall in love with superficial things
This basically means just that we all tend to sometimes fall in love with inanimate objects and a used car is no different. You may find a car you always wanted in your price range due to condition and age. Don't let the love for the machine outweigh the facts!
6. Look at the tires or anything else that may need regular replacement
Take a look at tires and see how much tread you have left. Also look to see if the tires are worn unevenly this can indicate a suspension problem. It may just be out of alignment which is not a big deal but most of the time it's not that simple. Also if the brakes squeak this may be an indicator of worn out parts. Brake pads are simple and fairly reasonable to deal with but if it's gone too far you can quickly get into rotors which can cost quite a bit more in parts as well as labor.
7. Have realistic expectations about what you are are paying for and what that may get you aesthetically
When buying a cash car you definitely want the best looking car you can get but keep in mind that it's not going to be perfect and depending on the price you will have to make some compromises on the overall exterior and interior condition. This does not mean if it looks terribly maintained its ok. Also, you may find a hail car that will be all dinged up but in good mechanical condition. These can be really cheap cars but still be mechanically sound.
8. Get a carfax or autocheck for if possible
Getting a carfax or an autocheck report is a great fairly inexpensive way to find out about used cash cars before you take the plunge and make it your new vehicle. These reports will give you a good insight into the history of the vehicle you are about to purchase. You will see things like, how many owners and if there have been any major accidents reported. Minor accidents may also show up but the bigger concern should be any major ones.
9. Check Steering and suspension
If the car pulls when you test drive it or the steering wheel jiggles you are looking at some suspension issues that are likely to cost you a bit of money. Suspension problems on used cars can be anything and quite costly. I personally would pass on anything that has a suspension problem unless you are someone that can tackle it yourself. Another thing to check is to push the hood and trunk down and check for squeaks, also if the car bounces up and down 3 or 4 times the shocks are shot. The basic takeaway here is to walk away from suspension issues.
10. Trust your gut
I know this sounds kind of silly but if you have a bad feeling about a car walk away. Sometimes it's the little things that you just can't quite put your finger on that will get you in the end.
11. Knocking noise from engine
If the car starts but you can hear knocking in the engine as well as if you turn it off and the vehicle sputters and doesn't turn off as it should. This can be indicators of major engine problems. Since used cash cars are generally an as is deal you really don't want to take a chance on a costly engine problem.
12. Jerky transmission
A jerky transmission is generally an indicator of a major automatic transmission problem waiting to happen. On manual transmissions, the indicator would be two things, one a funky burnt smell when you drive for a while as well as the car popping out of gear or slipping when you start to take off. Any of these would be indicators to walk away from the deal.
13. Check transmission fluid
Check the transmission fluid and make sure its clear. If it looks cloudy or really dark that can be an indicator of a transmission problem in the process.
14. Check the oil for metal
Check the oil and see if it is clear. It should be brown but clean. If the oil in a used car looks cloudy or gray with metal flakes in it then you have motor problems on the way. Also if the oil is super dark it has not been changed in a while and that is a good indicator this car may not have have had regular maintenance done to it.
15. Magnet test
The magnet test is something where you bring a magnet as well as a rag so you do not scratch up the paint and you use the magnet to test the major metal parts of the exterior to look for the presence of shoddy bodywork. If excessive bondo is used the magnet will not stick. Now keep in mind the car you're looking at some of our more modern sports cars are made from fiberglass so do some research before you do the test.
16. Seams properly align
Make sure all the seams on the car properly align. You should check the trunk and hood area for this. If there is misalignment then it's likely the car has been wrecked and may have some frame damage or just poorly performed body work done to it. Also once you see this you definitely want to check the frame in the trunk and the engine compartment for any signs of crinkling. If you see anything like that the vehicle has likely had a bad wreck with frame damage.