5 Ways to Get Back on the Road on a Budget
Posted: Apr 26, 2018
A car is a necessity these days. The United States was not built for public transportation, and cars can be prohibitively expensive. There are ways to find a reliable car if you're on a tight budget. If you're used to working on cars, this is even better; if you don't know how it's probably time to learn. This is because you're going to get the most bang for your buck out of an older vehicle.
1. Find An Older Car
It doesn't seem like the 90s and early 2000s were as long ago as they are, but this time period was a great time to pick up a car. Some of the most reliable cars on the road were built in the 90s. Prior to computers becoming the most important part of cars, this was when good old mechanical knowhow could still help keep your car on the road. A few different ideas for older cars would be the Ford Tempo or the Toyota Corolla If you're looking for something with a little more style, consider a pt cruiser.
2. Learn About Cars
If you don't know how to do basic car maintenance, this is a great opportunity to find out how things work under the hood. Years ago, everyone had a general idea about what to do when it came to simple repairs. This will save you a bundle at the mechanic's and also give you a wonderful sense of self-sufficiency. Throwing money at a problem doesn't always help, and there's a reason some of those great old classic cars are still on the road today. Take care of your vehicle. It will take care of you.
If you're really hurting for cash but you need something to drive yesterday, ask around your local junkyards about cars that are still in driving condition. This is the long game because you're going to be returning to that junkyard a lot for repairs, but it's a great way to learn about cars and how to keep them running.
Let's say you're not a car person and have absolutely no intention of becoming one. If you can't bear the thought of working on an old car, then your best bet is going to be a car loan. This is some sketchy territory, so make sure you go in understanding everything about it. When you're shopping around for loans, try to get one from your bank or other institution. The bank has no real stake in what car you buy or how much you pay for it, so you'll be able to drive it off the lot without much worry. It's probably best to purchase from a lot rather than a private buyer because you have more legal recourse against a lot than an individual if you happen to buy a lemon. It's still a good idea to have a fundamental idea about how cars work in order to make sure you're not getting a bum deal.
5. Go Car or Car Sharing
In many large cities, Go Car or other sharing options are offered. These are small vehicles you can rent by the hour or day. If you don't have the cash to lay out for a car, this can be a great stopgap. You can use it to get groceries or run errands while you wait to save enough to buy the kind of car you'd like to drive.
Tight budgets can be tough, but they don't have to mean that you can't buy a car. There are countless different kinds of cars out there, even if you have to travel a bit to see the ones you'd like to purchase. Make sure you get everything checked over by a mechanic before handing over your money. As long as you do your research, you'll find a car and get back on the road again in no time.
Damien Justus writes in the business, home improvement and real estate spaces, and is very passionate about health, cooking, diet plans and anything that has to do with staying fit.