It is possible to want a specific type of vehicle but have limited funds. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t own a car. Beater cars are alternatives to brand-new cars when you have to move around as you save for your dream car.
Beaters are not comparable to new cars, but they are ideal in most situations. Though they don’t have the luxury of new vehicles, they come cheap and get the work done.
Understanding What Is a Beater Car?
There’s no specific model or brand of beater cars. However, they share similar characteristics. A beater car refers to a versatile vehicle that is functional and reliable. It also means a car you drive until it wears off.
When you own a beater car, you can drive it hard, traverse on rough roads, and carry heavy loads without fear that you will damage it. The purpose of a beater car is to provide years of service with few malfunctions. Aesthetic appeal is not characteristic of beater cars.
Six Benefits of Owning a Beater Car
The obvious benefit is that you will save money as they come at great prices mainly because they are old models. Beater cars are mostly cash deals; hence no complications when transferring ownership. Beater cars have no monthly payments, and you can pay in one installment as they can cost only a few thousand dollars.
2. Peace of Mind
Driving a new car has its challenges. You are always paranoid when driving in crowded spaces and traffic. The fear that it might get a dent and lose its aesthetic appeal is so significant it takes the fun out of driving.
If you own a beater car, picking a few dents that don’t need immediate fixing is no problem. The focus is on the function and smooth running of the vehicle.
3. Low Insurance Costs
Because beater cars are already a few years old, they won’t attract high premium insurance coverage as owning a brand-new car. The minimum insurance cover of a new model can be three times that of a beater. In the end, you will end up saving on costs when driving a beater car.
New cars have a depreciation phase that makes the owner sell them at a far lower cost than their initial price. When you buy a beater car, they no longer have value beyond what they can fetch. Having gone through a complete depreciation phase, you will not lose much money if you decide to sell it.
5. Cheaper Parts and Gas
Modern vehicles need more gas compared to old models. Filling up the tank of a brand new car adds up over time. A beater car saves you fuel money. Additionally, beater cars also have cheaper parts. Because they have been in mass production for many years, replacement parts are readily available. Unlike brand new cars, when beater cars flash the check engine light, you don’t worry about hefty costs when you call a mechanic.
6. Vehicle Taxes
Cars with a higher resale value pay more vehicle taxes. It is cheaper to own a beater car as its resale value is beyond diminished. Brand new vehicles are costly to maintain even after paying off. Keeping the bills down means using your car on designated roads, unlike beater cars that can traverse anywhere.
How to Identify the Best Beater Car Options
While beaters cars are inexpensive, they might cost you lots of money if you land on the wrong side of the deal. Beater cars aren’t equal, and some will cost more than others. Here is how to identify the best beater car options.
A car with less mileage is the best choice when looking for any second-hand vehicle. If you are lucky, you can get one with under 200,000 miles. However, if you find one that is above 200,000 miles, it means you have only 50,000 miles or more, depending on your luck.
The ownership history of a beater car is a significant concern. The best beater cars are ones that have had only one or two previous owners. A beater car with fewer owners is the best because multiple owners take varied care of the vehicle. Some drivers are more reckless than others.
While the characteristic of a beater car is affordability, too low raises red flags. Even though you might get a deal as the owner might be in a rush to offset the vehicle, be careful before committing your money. Find out why the car is comparatively lower than other models of the same year.
Buy from Close Relations
While this avenue is not always open, buying beaters from owners whom you know can be ideal. You already understand and have experience with the car. Friends and family are trustworthy; hence the chances of getting a better deal are high.
It is challenging to tell from the onset that the beater car you are buying won’t have constant malfunctions. Therefore, before making the purchase, consider calling a mechanic to do an evaluation or inspection. A professional and expert opinion will help determine if the beater is only good on paper and fails on the road.
Find out more about the beater car. Ask about the year and the model of the vehicle. What is the car known for? Some models are notorious for malfunctions, while others have a reputation for servitude and longevity. Ask car enthusiasts about the best off-road vehicles and find out more about the availability of parts.
Below are some of the beater cars that have earned their stripes over the years.
• Toyota Corolla
• Honda Odyssey
• Nissan Altima
• Honda Accord
• Honda Civic
• Buick LeSabre
• Ford Escort
• Toyota Camry
• Chevy Cavalier
• Subaru Outback
• Jeep Cherokee
Finding the best beater car options requires that you spend more time shopping for one. If the vehicle isn’t urgent, you can ask around from friends or check listings from local classified ads. Hunting for a beater car is a gamble, but you will enjoy years of service if you are lucky.
It is idealistic to confine yourself to models and makes of beater cars known for their superior durability. Vet any vehicle thoroughly before buying. Remember, what is cheap can be costly in maintenance if it keeps breaking down.