As you search for cars for sale under 200 dollars, you need to fully and completely realize you will have very, very few options to even look at, especially if you are thinking you will get something in running condition.  You will need to do a lot of searching to find something in this range.  That is not to say that this is not possible, but it definitely is not very likely.  Still, if you are looking for a really cheap truck or hatchback, you just might get really lucky.  Listed below are just a few of the options you will have to search for cheap cars for sale under 200 dollars.

Fixer Uppers

You need to have realistic expectations of what you will be looking at in this type of price range.  You will not be getting a high quality automobile.  You will be very lucky to get something that runs poorly.  For this reason, if you are mechanically inclined and able to do some of the work to the vehicle on your own, you will be able to have a fighting chance if you go into something expecting it to be a true fixer upper.  If the damages to the vehicle are purely cosmetic, but it is mechanically sound, you might want to jump on it and make the purchase before someone else beats you to it.  Since mechanical repairs are incredibly expensive, with many shops charging around $100 per hour, you can expect to pay more money for repairs than you would for the actual vehicle.  Cars for sale under 200 dollars are very likely to have major mechanical problems that must be addressed.

Major Body Damage/Salvage Vehicles

Do not expect to find a pretty, flashy ride for less than $200.  That is not likely to happen.  Most of them will have substantial body damage, including very significant rust holes.  As long as the integrity of the structure is not compromised, and the damage is really just cosmetic, this is probably acceptable.  You will need to fully understand that you will be looking at very ugly vehicles.  Some of them will be a Frankenstein of sorts, with mismatched door panels, and other components.  This might not be that big of a deal, as long as the parts are correct in ways other than the color.  Large dents, deep scratches, substantial rust, and other cosmetic issues are to be expected as you look at used vehicles for sale for less than 200 dollars.  You must fully anticipate this or you will be very disappointed.

Use Cash Only

When you are looking for cheap vehicles, you will want to bring cash with you.  In general, it is easier to negotiate and make lowball offers if you have cash in hand.  I would personally suggest bringing 20’s with you when you go to look at any car for sale.   In addition to paying only in cash, you must also learn to haggle.

The best way to get money taken off the purchase price is to ask.  If you don’t ask the seller to take less, they will not.   I would suggest offering about half of the asking price at this range.  So, you can look at automobiles for 400 dollars and ask them to take half of that, in cash, and keep it within your budget.  If you only have a limited amount to spend, you might want to give yourself a little room to come up.  So, perhaps the initial offer should be around $150.  This will let you move up a little without blowing your spending limit.

Government Auctions

You will want to search for government surplus auctions to see if they have any seized vehicles for sale.  Many police and sheriff departments have annual sales where they sell off the seized cars and trucks and put them up for auction, either through sealed bids or by public auction.  You will find there is generally a lot more competition at these sales than you might expect, so you will have a hard time coming in under your limited budget.  Be sure you don’t get caught up in the moment and spend more than your limit, especially if you don’t have the funds to do it.

Other Places to Look

You have a lot of different places you can look for great deals on cars and trucks for sale, some of which could end up costing under 200 dollars.  The first place you want to look, is on the side of the roads you travel.

Many people simply put out there cars for sale at the end of their driveway.  With cheap automobiles, the seller often does not want to spend any money on advertising, so it makes good financial sense for them just to put it out on the road.

Some other places you can look are online auction sites, like eBay or others, classified advertisements both online and off, and through word of mouth.  Any of them could help you find a really great deal.

Final Cost

What will the final cost be if you actually do purchase a car for sale under 200 dollars?  Will it run?  If not, how much will it cost you to get it up and running again?  Certainly, if you are mechanically inclined, you might be able to get it running for a lot less money than most, often just for the cost of used or rebuilt vehicle parts.  Still, this must be taken into account as you search for the best deal possible and consider the entire cost when it is completed.

Can You Spend More?

If you are able to go to even $500, you will have a much better chance of finding something that is running and road worthy.  While your budget might not allow you to spend this much, if you have the money, you will be more likely to get a road worthy, running automobile that will last you a little longer. Even at this price range, you simply cannot expect much of anything.  With cheap cars for sale under 200 dollars, you need to have low expectations.