Life is challenging without a car. After all, everyone needs to be able to get around.

But if you don’t have much cash in the bank, paying for a set of wheels can be rough. And yet you still need some form of transportation.

When cash is low, and your credit isn’t great, you’ll have to get creative. In this article, we take a look at how to pay for a car when money is tight. Keep reading to see some tips for how to get a great deal even in the worst of times.

Buy From an Individual

It’s no secret that buying from a private seller is typically cheaper than buying from a dealership. Keep in mind that the dealership will take a trade-in and mark it up significantly in order to make a profit.

And with a car purchased from a dealership, it’s more difficult to know exactly where the car came from. Whereas many cars bought from individuals are single-owner vehicles, thus the sellers will be able to provide the history, and they will often have lower miles.

Buying from an individual doesn’t always mean you’re going to get a great deal, but you’ll typically pay less for the same.

car, traffic, man
Free-Photos (CC0), Pixabay

Pay in Cash

One of the ways dealerships are able to seduce a car buyer is through financing. This allows them to keep payments low while charging interest over a fixed number of years. These financing charges is where they really make their money.

Paying in cash might hurt a little upfront, but you’ll eliminate those pesky payments and save a ton of money in interest. Also, paying in cash gives you great negotiating leverage because dealerships love cash. After all, you’ll be paying off the car upfront so they won’t have to worry about your missing payments and failing to pay off the car.

So, if you’ve got some money in the bank that you can spare, we recommend paying cash for something more affordable rather than going into debt for a more expensive model.

Use Money You’ve Saved for a Rainy Day

Have you been stowing away money for the future? That’s a smart idea. And yet there might be a moment when that money could serve you better because you need a car ASAP.

We understand that it’s important to save money for retirement, or even as an emergency fund, but it’s also crucial to have a reliable form of transportation.

You might be hesitant to use these funds to purchase a car, but it will likely prove to be a wise move in the long run, especially if your credit is currently in bad shape.

When using savings to buy a car, the key is to factor in normal monthly payments back to your account in order to replenish the money you borrowed from yourself as quickly as possible. This way, you end up with both your savings intact and owning the car outright.

Buy a Salvage Title

When money is tight, and you need a car, buying a salvage title is another option. These are typically vehicles that have been wrecked and are in need of extensive repairs.

This isn’t necessarily the ideal choice when you need a reliable form of transportation as soon as possible, but if you have solid automotive skills, a salvage title car can often provide a lot of car for the money.

Salvage cars often have a good working engine but need plenty of bodywork in order to be roadworthy. So if you’ve got the skills and time, and are willing to put in the work, you could end up with a nice ride while saving a ton of cash.

judge, hammer, judgement
Daniel_B_photos (CC0), Pixabay

Go to a Police Auction

A police auction is another option for getting a lot of car for the money. Law enforcement agencies often seize autos from criminals for a number of varying offenses. And when these autos are seized, they are then generally sold at auction.

This can provide you with the opportunity to get quite a bargain. The key is to show up with cash and be ready to purchase on the spot if you have the winning bid.

If you’re needing to find an auto loan to help you through tough times, be sure to check out Bonsai Finance.

Search out of State

The internet is a great resource for locating cars for sale in other states. You will typically have to pay for shipping, but the amount you’re able to save might be worth it.

Just keep in mind that buying a car sight unseen is always a risk, so always request the VIN number so that you can do a little research and find our the car’s actual history to see if it’s been wrecked or salvaged.

Work on Your Negotiating Skills

Regardless of where you purchase a car, one of the best ways to save money is to be a good negotiator. Not everyone is born with natural negotiating skills, but this is the easiest way to get a great deal when you’re low on cash.

icon, handshake, handshake icon
ivke32 (CC0), Pixabay

Cut Back on Other Expenses

Take an honest look at your finances. Try to find places where you can cut back on other monthly expenditures such as eating out or eliminating the cable bill. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses can help you to afford a car without needing to make extra money.

Take Over Someone Else’s Auto Loan

The last option we will recommend is to simply take over an existing auto loan that someone else is unable to keep up with. This can get you a good car at a bargain price while also helping the other individual out of a tight spot.

Tips for How to Pay for a Car When Money Is Tight

It’s hard to live without reliable transportation. Even when times are tough, you need to understand how to pay for a car. The information contained in this article can help.

Be sure to keep browsing our website for more information on payday loans.