One common concern about cheap cars is the potential that owners may not be forthcoming about mechanical or structural problems. There are some things to look for to help decide whether a low price is a warning sign or simply a good deal. Look for uneven wear patterns on tires, which can indicate front end or alignment problems. Open the hood and look for cracks in the engine block and signs of a damaged head gasket, such as foamy or discolored oil when the dipstick is pulled. If the engine has lots of crusty oil build-up, there may be a serious oil leak. Look underneath the vehicle for mud clots and old grass or leaves to see if it's been in a flood or used hard off-road. Check for water damage on all carpeting, including the cargo area.
Focused Test Driving
Make sure all safety equipment is operative, including lights, seat belts and windshield wipers. Test all windows for smooth operation. Drive a route that includes highway driving, stop-and-go city driving, smooth roads and bumpy roads. Take note of the feel and sound of the vehicle in motion, including how it moves through the gears, how the brakes function and the noise and feel of the engine as it runs at different speeds.
Ready To Decide
Lifestyle can impact which cars for sale are best suited for a given driver. A driver living in the city, where everything is just a few miles away, is likely to have different needs than a driver living in a rural area with an hour-long daily commute over winding mountain roads. Choose the car best able to meet daily driving needs while still falling within the right price category.