How to buy a good car cheaply in America
You've probably seen the shocking headlines that the average price of a new car has reached roughly $48, according to industry analysts. What is the reason for this and how to find a cheap but good car, the publication said CNN.
While car prices are subject to inflation and supply chain issues, consumers choosing to buy more expensive cars remain one of the main reasons why the average selling price has risen to such heights, even though base prices have not increased as much. But there are still plenty of options on the market that cost a lot less than the average new car.
Take, for example, the new 2024 Chevrolet Trax and the closely related Chevrolet Trailblazer. With starting prices of about $20 and $000 respectively, both of these SUVs are absolutely not expensive by today's standards. Both are pretty cute. Trax, in particular, received repeated compliments from passers-by during a recent CNN test drive.
When shopping in the cheaper end of the market, buyers typically have to forgo the excessive engine power of more expensive cars, but for example, even the three-cylinder turbocharged engines in these two small Chevy SUVs provide quite adequate acceleration for daily driving.
“They will accelerate relatively easily on the highway,” said Tony Quiroga, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine. “Giving more power makes it a little easier, but you can still cruise at 70-80 miles (112-128 km) per hour and in no way feel like your car is slow.”
The interior design and materials may also be less luxurious than on more expensive models, but even those are pretty good.
Balancing cost and features
“The secret is to balance the cost with the features you really need,” explained Jane Ulitskaya, Cars.com editor.
The lowest base price often gets you a car without features that many consider must-haves, like Apple CarPlay. On the other hand, a surprising number of low-end models have features you might not expect, not only CarPlay, but also wireless CarPlay and wireless phone charging.
When Cars.com recently announced their 2023 "best value cars" the overall winner was the Kia Rio S with the tech option package. With a total list price of around $20, it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as LED headlights with automatic high beams, automatic climate control and, for safety's sake, a forward collision avoidance system with pedestrian detection.
Cars.com's best priced pickup truck was the Ford Maverick XL with the added Co-Pilot 360 Driving Assistance package. This raised the total price to $27, which is still far less than the $000 average pickup truck price. , so it can't do everything the larger pickups do, although it can do a lot of jobs that don't require towing and hauling heavy loads. It's also a hybrid with an impressive overall fuel economy of 45 miles (000 km) per gallon (37 L).
Tax incentives and electric vehicles
Thanks to the new tax credit rules, you can even get some cheaper all-electric models.
The starting price of the Chevrolet Bolt EV is around $27, but the available $800 tax credit reduces the real value to about $7. And the electric motors of the Chevrolet Bolt EV provide an antidote to two of the biggest complaints about cheap cars - their slow and gas engines.
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Zach Gale, content director at MotorTrend's Buyers Guide, agreed that the Bolt is a great low-cost choice.
“If you are lucky enough to have a home charger, then this would probably be the best choice,” Gale said. “Because there is nothing better than not going to the gas station.”
And some cars are available for even less than $20.
“A Nissan Versa with a manual transmission costs a little over $16 and it’s a very, very beautiful car,” Quiroga said.
“The secret is (especially with the supply chain issues that are still going on): to be open to trying new things and considering options that you might not have had before,” Gale said.
“Yes, it won’t be easy,” he said. “But if you want to, if you are willing to persevere and stick to your budget, then you can easily find a good inexpensive car (as long as you keep an open mind).”
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