You need a new car, but you’re not ready to commit to 2-4 years of car payments. The only question is, can you really purchase a cheap but reliable car with just a few bucks? If you buy a piece of junk, you’ll end up investing your first few thousand dollars into maintenance and repairs. However, if you buy something newer, you will almost certainly have to take out a car loan. Are there options? Or, is your only option at this point to sign a loan or get a bus pass?

How Much Car Can You Afford?

Affordability is of the utmost importance when making a big-ticket purchase. The idea here is to walk away without the need to apply for a car loan. When determining how much of a car you can afford, don’t forget to factor in sales tax, motor vehicle fees, and dealer fees.

Search for Cars

The internet will be the best source to find affordable used cars. You should search for cars based on their price. So, if your budget is $3,000, look for cars for sale within that range. Again, keep in mind that the sticker price isn’t the total costs so look for a vehicle a little under your budget so you can cover the additional fees and tax.

Consider a Short-Term Loan

You don’t want the hassle of a car payment, but perhaps just a few more hundred dollars would help you find better quality cars than what your budget alone affords you. A short-term loan can boost your budget just a bit and is a lot quicker to get off your plate than a multi-year auto loan. The internet can tell you where to find a payroll advance loan, which is a short-term loan for borrowers with less than stellar credit. You could receive as much as $1200 towards your used car if you meet all the criteria.

Have the Cars Inspected

Since you’re purchasing a car in cash on a tight budget, your searches are likely to lead you to a bunch of older model vehicles with several thousand miles on them. To safeguard yourself and to ensure you don’t end up having to pay for repairs the moment you drive off the lot, you should have it inspected by a trusted mechanic. They along with the carfax report can provide details on the vehicle’s past and present condition so you can make the most informed decision.

Don’t be Afraid to Haggle

If you see a car advertised that’s priced just a bit above your budget don’t be afraid to haggle. Since it’s an older car, dealerships and private car sellers may be more inclined to accept less just to get rid of it. Don’t go too low, but starting $500 less than what you’d like to pay may work in your favor. This is especially true if the mechanic finds something wrong with the car, you can argue that you’ll have to pay for the repair.

This process can help you to find the best-used car within your small budget. Thanks to other options like short-term loans, you can boost your budget just a bit and repay it light years before a car loan would ever be paid off. In order to protect your investment, after making the purchase make sure you look into insurance as well as car repair and maintenance insurance which can save you money on costly repairs.