If you really want to save money when you buy a car, you’ll need to shop for used cars. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to slowpokes. You can get the speed you need with these sub-$10,000 speedsters:
- 2000 Corvette Hardtop Coupe. Its V8 engine can churn out 345 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The car responds immediately upon the press on the gas pedal, and with proper maintenance you can get to 60mph in less than 5 ticks.
- 2003 Ford Mustang Mach 1. It gets to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. When you corner hard, it offers a very good grip as well. Then there’s that classic loo—what more do you need?
- 2002 Chevy Z28 Camaro. This offers ferocious power from its 5.7-liter engine with 310 HP and 340 lb-ft of torque. Start the car, and its power band will just launch the car smoothly with no apparent effort. The cornering is capable, yet the ride is comfortable.
- 2000 BMW Z3, 2.8 Roadster. This 2-seater looks sexy and it provides a peppy ride with its strong 2.8-liter engine. The amenities also include antiskid, traction control, antilock brakes, and power-adjustable seats.
- 2001 Porsche Boxster. That’s right, you can get a convertible Porsche for less than the cheapest new cars in 2017. This’ll give you a thrilling ride, with 217 HP, 192 lb-ft of torque, zero to 60 in less than 7 seconds, and speedy reflexes.
So have you a need for speed? There’s no need to splurge when you go for any of these used sports cars!
There was a time when car dealerships and car salesmen had all the advantages. Now the playing field is a bit more even when you have a smartphone, as long as you keep the following tips in mind:
- Go online to know the real prices of cars. Before you talk to a salesman, look up the car you want and find out what dealerships paid for the car and what their markup is. Use a smartphone, so you can use it as evidence when you haggle.
- Send emails to dealers and ask for quotes. You can send an email to a dozen dealers within 50 miles of your home, with details on the car you want. You can then ask them for a quote. You’ll most likely get a bunch of quotes and then you can use the lowest 2 quotes to the dealers of your choice. Use your smartphone to prove you’ve got the quotes, so the dealer will be forced to match it. Don’t feel like you’re stealing money from the car sales person either—these people can receive huge bonuses when they reach a certain sales target.
- Don’t talk openly in the salesman’s office. At one point, you and your spouse will be invited into the salesman’s office to discuss the sale. Then eventually, the salesman will say that they need to take a call and they’ll leave you alone in the office to talk things through. But actually, they have listening devices in there so they can find out more about you. If you need to talk, use an obscure language (not Spanish) or send messages to each other on your smartphone.
You ought to at least consider cars from Japan and Korea if you’re looking for a good used car. For the most part, these cars are more affordable and they tend to retain more of their value over time. They also cost less to maintain.
Here are some tips that you should know about when you’re looking at used Asian cars:
- Get a Honda. Yes, these cars tend to retain a lot of its value even after years and lots of miles. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular new and used. It’s just so darn reliable. If you’re getting one, you may want to check the state of the suspension and the driver’s seat.
- A Toyota sedan is a good choice too. With this, you can expect ownership with no hassle whatsoever. It’s rare when something breaks, when that happens the repairs are easy and affordable. You just have to check for some brake issues if the car is more than 5 years old.
If you’re in the market for a good used pickup truck, the Toyota Tacoma is an excellent buy. Look for something made in 2000 or later, as the older versions were recalled for frame rust issues.
- Hyundai Tiburon. This is a good option if you’re looking for something much sportier, as this coupe looks fast and drives fast. It’s also very cheap to maintain, and this is a bonus considering that even the most recent 2008 model can be had for just $9000.
It’s incredibly frustrating when you buy a supposedly great car and end up spending too much time in the dealer’s service department due to the vehicle’s constant need for repairs. If you want to avoid that kind of problem, you may want to steer clear of these cars who have earned a reputation for unreliability:
- Fiat 500L. Here you can expect problems with the transmission, drive system, power equipment, and the electronics. Its notorious unreliability isn’t its only problem. It didn’t do all that well in the safety tests of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It offers a poor road performance due to its weird driving position, flat seats, and an unforgivably stiff ride. It also got the lowest scores in owner satisfaction, with lots of people admitting they wished they didn’t buy the darned thing.
- Ford Fiesta. This subcompact may be comparatively affordable, but then your money will probably go into repairs for the power equipment and replacement for the clutch. The transmission tends to slip or shift roughly too. You’ll also have to deal with leaks and noises along the way.
- GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe. These two large SUVs are very similar to each other, since they have the same platform and powertrain. Even the configuration of the cabin is the same. Whichever you get, you can expect problems soon with the power equipment and the in-car electronics, while you may also have some vibrations in the steering.