In the market for a new car? Here are some simple ways that you can stay frugal and still get the car you want.

Frugal Guide to Buying a Used Car

You are buying a used car in the first place because you’re a practical person. You know a used car performs much like a brand-new car. But you do need to consider many things first when buying a car, including the warranty, which you can get help on by reading Endurance Warranty reviews. Buying a pre-owned vehicle is not just about the car itself but also about the other components, accessories, and necessities like insurance and warranty. 

Why Buy a Used Car?

It’s really practical to buy a used car over a new vehicle. It saves you money since you won’t have to worry about the car’s registration, taxes, and depreciation. You can even get a car with an extended warranty and insurance in some cases. The seller will include those in the price. 

It has never been wiser to buy a pre-owned car than now when cars are more reliable. They are durable, and most cars can reach well over 100,000 miles without encountering any problems. Sure, some car components have to be changed because of wear and tear. But the crucial parts like the engine, transmission, and braking system will likely work well until the second owner takes over. 

Make a List of Priorities

Admittedly, looking for a good quality preloved car will not be easy. There are many listings out there, online and in real life. The first thing you need to do is list down your priorities. Is budget your priority? Is it the brand or model? Does it matter much to you if the car has a few hundred thousand miles on it, or do you want something newer? 

Knowing what you’re looking for makes it easier to find a car that suits your needs. However, having a list of priorities doesn’t mean you will follow it to a T. You will probably need to compromise on some of your must-haves. 

Set a Budget

Since you want to be frugal, your budget is on top of your list. There are two ways to buy a car: pay in cash or apply for a loan. If you are paying in cash, don’t forget to save money for registration, insurance, and possible future repairs since the car isn’t brand new. 

If you are going to apply for a loan, you might want to get a preapproval because it simplifies the buying process. Also, it puts you in a stronger position at the dealership since you’re already pre-approved. How do you know which loan is better? Check out online loan calculators to see what loan options will save you more money. 

Understand How You Will Use the Car

Truly frugal people would think about the car’s fuel efficiency. How do you plan to use the vehicle? If you have a large family, you need ample space for everyone. If you need a car for everyday work, you need a workhorse, something reliable and cheap on gas. Of course, make sure that safety is a top priority.

Having established the role of the car in the family, you have a better chance of picking what’s best. You can search for car models through different websites. Compare and contrast each car model according to your list. 

Price the Cars

There are many factors to consider in buying pre-owned cars. Three of the most important things are the mileage, age, and options. You can look up how much a pre-used car costs with these specifics in mind. Arm yourself with the following information: year, make, model, options (special features like navigation), mileage, and condition level. 

You can find pricing guides on the internet. There are two types of pricing: dealer retail and private-party. The latter is for when you’re buying from a friend or neighbor. Usually, prices from a private party are more flexible. There’s bigger room for negotiation. 

Buy Directly From the Owner

Car dealerships certify pre-owned cars and sell them at a higher price because of that “assurance.” But is that assurance worth the higher price? It will likely last for only 30 days. After that, you will shoulder any problem the car encounters. On the other hand, buying the car directly from the first owner will give you more leeway. You can negotiate the terms more, or even ask for discounts. 

Check the Consumables

A car has consumables, namely the timing belt, hoses, brake pads and rotors, oil, transmission fluid, and tires. Ask the owner when these were last replaced. You can also bring a mechanic who will assess the car’s condition. If there is an issue with these components, you can ask the owner for a discount since you will need to pay for the replacement yourself. 

Save Up for a Bigger Down Payment

The higher the down payment, the lower the interest rate and monthly amortization. If you are applying for auto financing, you need to save up first. Don’t content yourself with a 10% down payment because you will pay more in interest. If you plan to buy a pre-owned car soon, better try saving up and make a down payment of at least 20% or even 30%. 


A pre-used car is a practical purchase. It can still last for a long time and serve you well, but it will not require spending all your savings. It’s perfect for frugal people because there are many options out there. On top of that, you can even get better deals if you’re good at negotiating.

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In the market for a new car? Here are some simple ways that you can stay frugal and still get the car you want.

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