Buying a used car can be a harrowing experience for first-time shoppers, especially those on a budget. Edmunds.com recently decided to go through the process of buying a car without using a loan, and keeping the budget under $3,500, to help used car shoppers get an idea for what they can expect.
When buying a used car in this price range, vehicle maintenance will be the key factor in determining the price. Buyers should go over every inch of the car, and ask if there are any auto repairs that need to be taken care of. Edmunds notes its group found a number of scams before they settled on the right vehicle.
Ultimately, the website paid approximately $3,500 for a 1996 Lexus with 135,000 miles on the odometer. The car was in great shape for its age and it was apparent the previous owner had kept up with scheduled maintenance. Everything on the vehicle appeared to be in working condition when driven off the lot, but the website plans to chronicle the life of the car over the first year of ownership so used auto buyers can get a sense of how much they can expect to spend on vehicle maintenance when it comes to an older car.