Buying a Used Car for Under $2,500

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,130
edited September 2014 in General

imageBuying a Used Car for Under $2,500

If you need a car and have only about $2,500 to work with, don't despair. You can find a decent car by following these buying guidelines.

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Comments

  • jmorranjmorran Member Posts: 1
    Ronald,

    Lots of good pointers here, especially about mileage awareness and places to look for such a vehicle, but where I would like to suggest something is in the inspection process. When a buyer is short on cash, they usually cannot afford to bring in a mechanic or pay for a professional inspection service, but there is an even better option for theses buyers.

    Vhound.com offers a used car inspection product that is simple and very effective do-it-yourself inspection process that costs under $20. Also, they offer a FREE vehicle history report from Carfax.

    Bottom line is knowing how to spot a used car's hidden problems before you buy it so you don't have to pay later for repairs.

    Have a great day.

    jmorran
  • sparky111sparky111 Member Posts: 5
    I've now completed four carcations primarily through Ebay. It takes me a while to get the car I want because I stick to my favorite model and mileage limit. My recent acquisition was a truck just one state away. I left on a bus and arrived at 4AM. I made sure to budget in a motel stay plus fuel back home. Upon picking up the truck it had issues not mentioned by the seller. It had two horrible front tires. It was pure grace I made it home as one failed two days later. It had no spare, I was riding on the grace of AAA deluxe. I found a spare the next day. It runs rough at times but has good power and economy. It is a combination of a bad fuel filter and dirty distributor cap. I paid $1100, travel cost $100, tires cost $100 (used). The farthest I went to get a car was from Oklahoma to New Jersey. I flew out to Philly and took train to NJ. I parked it at Rutgets and did a day trip to NYC. I budgeted in $300 for return expenses so I only slept in truck stop parking lots. I was treated very bad at a Travel Centers of America near Cincinnati. The clerk was very disrepectful of US military resting there and when I asked about a shower, he told me to go upstairs and shove a $5 bill into the slot on the door. I went up and the doors only had number pads. I went back downstairs and he said, "That's right, if you were a trucker you would know how the showers work, beat it bum." I made it home with the $1000 SUV and drove it for about 5 years until the tranny blew. I took a bus from Oklahoma to Chicago and then to Indiana and got another SUV. I right away put in a headlamp but had already ordered it ahead at the local Autozone which was a block away. It needed a filter and was easy to replace. Again it was $1000. I kept it for about 10 years and sold it for $500 to a restorer.

    Do your research. Find your model, look at ratings, be sure of clear title, avoid high mileage, have fun with it.
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