If you are in the market for a “new to you” car but your budget is below $10,000, a decent car may seem out of reach. But don’t give up just yet. A few of our readers have given some tips to help you in your search for an affordable, reliable car.

What are some tips for Utahns in the market for a car with a budget below $10,000?

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a car maintenance expert with CarInsuranceComparison.com.

Buy From a Private Party, But Do Your Homework

The same car sold at a dealership will almost always cost more than if a private party sold it. So, if you’re on a tight budget, make sure you check out the cars for sale listed by individuals.

It is riskier to purchase a car from a private party than a dealership because the dealer has a reputation to protect and should have carefully inspected the cars on its lot.

You can help mitigate that risk, though, by having a trusted mechanic check out a car you’re interested in buying. Most mechanics will inspect [for] $75 to $100, and their review is worth every penny.

Some areas of Utah get a lot of snow, and road crews use salt to de-ice the streets. Unfortunately, salt corrodes vehicles quickly, so check for rust on the body and undercarriage of cars you consider buying.

A vehicle with no rust is a bonus. It will be easier for mechanics to work on, and you’ll have less chance for parts to come loose because of corrosion.

Before you buy a car, make sure you compare car insurance rates. If you’re deciding between two similarly priced vehicles and one has lower car insurance premiums than the other, that might help you make your decision.

Since 8.2% of Utah drivers don’t have adequate insurance, you’ll want to ensure you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in addition to liability coverage.

Check Your Local Classifieds

If your budget is limited, you should start your vehicle search by checking ads in your local newspaper or even online sites like Craigslist before moving on to more traditional car buying methods, such as dealerships.

There are some great hidden gems to be found in your local classifieds. You can choose your preferred model, color, year of manufacture, condition of the car, and price by looking through them. If you are impressed with an ad, call the seller and arrange to view the vehicle. Ensure you consult a certified mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection before committing to a purchase.

What are some tips for Utahns in the market for a car with a budget below $10,000?

Cody Crawford

Cody Crawford, Co-Founder of Low Offset.

Ann Martin

Ann Martin, Director of Operations of CreditDonkey.

Buy From an Individual Rather Than a Dealership

Dealerships are not going to help you right now if your budget is $10,000. You’re much better off with the slower and less-reliable method of looking for private individuals selling their cars, as well as salvaged, repossessed, and impounded cars.

If you can afford to wait to buy a car, you should definitely do so. Chip shortages are still delaying the production of new cars, which has the side effect of raising prices on used ones.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.