A recent newspaper exposé of "Buy Here, Pay Here" car lots described the way that credit-challenged buyers regularly put down $3,000-$4,000 to purchase an overpriced used car, only to have it repossessed when they default on the payments. Buyers go to such predatory car lots because they feel they have no other option in car-buying. But if they shop strategically and stick to a budget, there is an alternative to these rip-offs: buying a very inexpensive car outright, for about the price of a down payment at a Buy Here, Pay Here lot.
In this article, we will describe the way that Buy Here, Pay Here dealers operate and the abuses that can ensue. We'll also show that car-buying in the lowest price bracket is not only possible but also the best way to avoid overpaying for a used car.
Inexpensive used cars now have a level of dependability that is far greater than the cars of two decades ago. And by buying a car outright rather than financing it, a shopper can free up money to pay for routine maintenance, gas and insurance. As it turns out, a cheap car can be a long-term transportation solution, not just a quick fix for a short-term finance problem.