Buy A Good Used Car for Under $100

Get great tips on finding a dependable used car, while never paying over $100.


| May/June 1971



Buy a Used Car

Buying a cheap used car does not have to mean buying from a junk yard.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/NIKITA ZABELLEVICH

WELL FOLKS . . . UNTIL LEAR PERFECTS HIS DREAM CAR OR THE COST OF PROPANE CONVERSIONS COMES DOWN, IT LOOKS LIKE MOST OF US ARE STUCK WITH TRANSPORTATION POWERED BY GASOLINE-FUELED INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES. AIN'T NOTHING SAYS WE HAVE TO BUY NEW ONES, HOWEVER. BY RECYCLING A GOOD OLD SET OF WHEELS ONE MORE ONCE YOU CAN DO YOUR POCKETBOOK A FAVOR AND CUT CONSUMPTION OF RAW MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING POWER JUST A BIT. 

A dependable used car for less than $100 appears to be a cross between a leprechaun and a will-of-the-wisp—something you hear a lot about but never see. Well, you don't have to believe in fairy tales to believe this: sound cars, good for many thousands of miles of cheap transportation, are readily available, and bought every day, everywhere—for less than $100.

My personal limit on a car is $50 (with a willingness, thus far untested, to go to $75 for something super). For this kind of money I insist on a car that can be registered and running the day I get it. If a car has to go through state inspection, I am willing to spend up to $15 for parts and 10 hours labor to get the car a passing mark.

It's important to have the correct attitudes. Keep in mind what you're looking for—a car that will transport you from point to point with minimum expense. Notice that I've said nothing about being transported very comfortably, very rapidly, or in any sort of style.

When you're looking for a "transportation special," the list of things to check is radically different from that you might make up for purchase of a more expensive car. The automobile you will consider for less than $100 is likely to be at least eight years old, so there's no sense in worrying about mileage on the odometer versus indications on lube stickers, or the accelerator pedal's rubber pad.

In fact, an eight to 12-year-old car with 75,000 to 100,000 miles on it and still running apparently well, has passed one of the most important checks-for longevity. A running car with this kind of mileage is more likely to give 10,000 miles of inexpensive transportation than is a late model, low-mileage car to provide 75,000. Anytime you can get 10,000 miles for less than $100 you know the price is right!

lillian
7/26/2016 11:26:55 AM

Please show me some vehicles. Cars or king cab trucks, or regular truck.






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