How do I choose the right beater when car shopping?

"I obviously want to save money by buying a beater, but I don’t want to be stuck with a hunk of junk, either. How do I pick the right car?

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Answer provided by
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Eric Schad
Answered on Apr 14, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
“Shopping for the right beater may seem oxymoronic, but if you do your due diligence, you might find a reliable bargain that you’ll have for years to come. To pick the right car, look for the following:
  • The reliability ratings of the vehicle or the general lifespan of the vehicle (what parts give out after a certain number of miles)
  • A Carfax report to ensure the vehicle hasn’t been in any major accidents and has been serviced regularly
  • Availability and pricing of replacement parts
  • Depreciation levels (find the right model year where a vehicle has depreciated about as much as possible and you can sell it for around the same price, if need be) “
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