Can $99 Down (Plus a Job) Get You a Car?
From coast to coast, we've all heard the promises of a lot of car dealers over the years, and perhaps none more so than the promises of some dealers to get you into a car for just under a hundred bucks. On the surface, this sounds like a terrific deal--just prove you have a job, and into a car you go! But as with all promises that sound too good to be true, the $99 down might take the cake as the least helpful for most people.
Here's why we think so...
What $99 Down Will Get You
Unless you have sterling credit, chances are, you won't be able to take advantage of the various $99 down new car deals from the major auto manufacturers. And, even if you are able to secure one of these cars, you may see loan repayment terms stretch into four or more years (which means that you're paying off interest for longer, too). In most cases, these offers will also only get you so much car--and it will typically be a used one at that. If you just need a basic beater car that will get you through a summer job or maybe a few semesters of college, then this can be a wise option for you, so long as you pay attention to the terms of the deal (how long it lasts, is a warranty included, what sort of mechanical expenses you will be required to pay out of pocket, etc.), and don't expect to drive the hottest car in town.
Other Weaknesses of Cars Under One Hundred Bucks
If you have kids to haul all over town, or large equipment for work, or happen to live in a four season state, then more likely than not, what is offered in the hundred-bucks-or-less division isn't going to suit your needs. In addition to being pretty basic, most cars in this category aren't going to include additional trim features like navigation or Bluetooth, or satellite radio, or automatic lumbar adjustments. If you depend on any higher end features, then you'll want to budget for something more appropriate than what a hundred bucks can get you.
Can These Still Be Good Cars?
Sure! But there's only so much they can do, and only so much space, power, and performance that they can give. If you don't expect the world from one of these vehicles, you could find yourself very happy in one.
What Are Good Alternatives to $99 Down Cars?
Better alternatives to cheap deals often require you to save a bit longer, in order to afford a vehicle that can give you more of everything. Simply put, the best alternative to settling for a car that won't work for you in the long term is to continue to save money toward a larger downpayment, and to keep your eyes peeled for special offers that will help you make the most of your available funds.
At Easton Motors, we work hard to come up with offers that will help our guests get the right car for them on the very first visit. If you see a vehicle you can't quite afford yet on our lot, let us know so we can work with you to secure the right financing at the right terms.
And for those of you who have had success with hundred dollar cars, please sound off in the comments section about what you like and dislike about buying a bargain vehicle!