How To Get The Most Bang For Your Buck With Multi Purpose Vehicles

A Volkswagen MPV.Multi Purpose Vehicles, MPVs for short, are the kind of vehicles that you can use for all your purposes. The average multi purpose vehicle will be a spacious car, because most people will want a car in which they can transport the whole family to go see their uncle Bob who lives in the neighboring state, during the holidays.

A multi purpose vehicle is a car that is useful for shopping, bringing the kids to school, moving the whole family from A to B, moving lots of stuff around when you’re moving into a new house, and for driving to and fro your day job.

Some of you readers out there might be thinking that every car fits this description and that, therefore, all cars are MPVs. That is not correct though.

Some good examples of cars that are not suitable MPVs are sports cars, or just small cars in general with only two doors and very little space. Cars like these are great for people that live alone or with a partner, but who don’t have kids and aren’t planning on having any in the near future.

Small cars aren’t suited for the whole family. Multi purpose vehicles are usually large vehicles. Otherwise they’re not useful for all purposes!

A Little More On The Origins Of MPVs

A Chevrolet Volt MPV.A long time ago, way back in the eighties, the very first Renault Espace was launched. Like the name suggests, this car was spacious. It was kind of like a mini van. MPVs started out large right off the bat. There was a real market for them and Renault was clever enough to see it!

The MPV has gone through many kinds of redesigns at attempts to keep up with modern times. Originally, the MPV was a very square-like car. This was done on purpose, in order to keep the vehicle as spacious as possible.

Soon enough, however, MPV buyers worldwide started expressing their wishes for driving an MPV that was more pleasing to the eye. And that’s how MPVs got the flattering curves that many newer models nowadays have.

By the way… Renault wasn’t the only car manufacturer that had MPV cars for sale. Many manufacturers soon followed. Citroen, Toyota, Volkswagen… heck, even Chrysler jumped on the MPV bandwagon and introduced the Chrysler Voyager!

The MPV market has grown larger with each passing decade since the introduction of the first one. Pretty much all families just have to have one these days.

How Many People Can You Fit Into A Decent MPV?

A 2010 Peugot MPV.A true MPV will be able to carry up to eight people. That’s enough space for the average household family and their grandparents! Usually, MPVs have three seating rows in order to make this possible. In an MPV, you can remove the seats or fold them up in order to make space for cargo instead of people.

Despite being able to fit that much cargo and/or people, a good MPV will still give everybody who is riding it ample leg room. An MPV would not be an MPV if you had to stop every fifty miles so people could get out and stretch their legs.

Not all cars that can carry seven or eight people are MPVs. Some seven seater cars are SUVs, not MPVs. But SUVs are a whole different beast from MPVs. Maybe I’ll write more on that in another post.

Without further ado… let’s get to the meat of this post!

How To Get Value For Money When Buying A Use Multi Purpose Vehicle?

A 2006 Mazda MPV.Big cars will often cost you more than smaller cars. And like I said, MPVs are, by nature, big. They will always cost you more money than a non MPV car. But then again, you will likely only be looking for an MPV if you’ve got a family. And if you’ve got a family, you’re probably already making enough money that you can actually afford an MPV car.

Like with any car, you’ve got to make sure that your hard earned money will buy you a good quality car. I highly recommend that you also have a look at my used car buying guide and follow all the steps when you’re setting out to shop for an MPV. It’s probably best if you buy from a dealer and not directly from an owner. Unless you personally know the owner and you also know that he or she is trusthworthy.

Price ranges for second hand MPVs go anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000. There are exceptions to every rule ofcourse. But this price range I’m giving you here is pretty much spot on.

The bare minimum amount really is $4,000. And if you ever find an MPV on sale that is cheaper than that, then it probably has half a million miles on the counter already. Either that or there is something horribly wrong with it.

How To Hit The Sweet Spot By Choosing The MPV With The Right Price And Mile Count!

Another Volkswagen MPV.Almost all MPVs that are close to the $4,000 price point, will have at least 100,000 miles on the counter. This is quite alright, provided that the MPV has been properly maintained throughout the years.

Many people think that a big mile count automatically means the car has plenty of wear and tear. But some used cars are in a remarkably good condition because they’ve seen proper maintenance throughout the years.

But because most people still think that the 100,000 mile limit is some sort of magic limit after which the car quickly starts to deteriorate, car prices fall swiftly as soon as a car passes this mile count.

This is a good time to strike for the smart cheap old car buyer. Because a car that has 100,000 miles on the counter can easily give you 200,000 miles more before it breaks down on you and become a total loss.

It all comes down to maintenance. If you maintain your car really well, it can go on for a very long time. Proper maintenance is the best weapon you’ve got against depreciation.

I admit, some luck is required. Some people maintain their car wonderfully and still get confronted with expensive repairs. Yet other people treat their cars like crap and don’t maintain them, and they happily drive the car for a decade without getting into any problems.

In the end, though, it’s still mostly up to you. Use your head and make the decision that you know is right. And even if you do get bad luck with a car, it’s important to still stay rational.

After all, chances are small of you buying a problem car twice in a row. Lightning never strikes in the same position twice…


How To Prevent Blowing Your Money On A Bad Used Car

Cars can have quite an effect on many people. Either you love cars or you don’t care much for them. Needless to say, I am in the former category, or I would not be writing blog posts on a blog about cars.

One day, I hope to drive a sports car. But even the most basic model will cost you at least half a ton, and I don’t have that kind of money at the moment. Most people I know don’t.

Keep Your Head Screwed On Straight When Visiting A Car Dealer!

A Chrysler PT Cruiser.When you’re out to buy a used car, it’s pretty darn important that you keep your head leveled. Never make any rash decisions. When visiting a used car dealer, try to imagine that you are in his shoes. What is your goal in life as a used car dealer? Right… to sell as many cars as you can!

No matter how nice and polite a car dealer is to you, you always need to keep in the back of your mind that he’s trying to make money off you. Car dealers have a habit of displaying the prettiest looking second hand vehicles right at the entry of the car lot.

They’re very eager to make sure that you see the priciest cars first, because these are the ones that they make the most money off of. But not only are car dealers constantly trying to pass off the most expensive cars first, they are also always trying to get rid of the problem cars.

The sooner he gets these out of the way, the better. A dealer doesn’t want to be stuck with big repair bills for a problem car himself. He’d much rather shove that thing off onto you.

Problem Cars – Avoid These Like The Plague!

A 2007 Satur Vue.No doubt you’ve heard stories from friends, colleagues, family or neighbors about somebody buying a car and the car started showing all sorts of problems shortly after the purchase.

These are what I call ‘problem cars’. Don’t think it won’t happen to you or one of the people close to you.

I once bought a problem car myself, which I had to sell off for scrap less than a year after I bought it.

A well to do colleague of mine recently purchased a used car that was $10,000 or so from a used car dealer that seemed totally legit. I know my colleague very well and he is not the type to easily be bamboozled.

For $10,000, you’d expect a decently functioning car. But this car started having all sorts of software related problems that caused the car to not function well. At times the car was having so many issues that it wasn’t even drivable.

The repairs cost my colleague many thousands of dollars and he regrets the purchase like there’s no tomorrow.

You can prevent stuff like this from happening to you by test driving a car and paying attention to all the stuff that needs to be paid attention to.

For details, please read my guide on how to buy used cars.

Use Common Sense When Picking A Potential Car For Purchase!

A 2007 Mazda.When going on a car hunt, make sure you know in advance what exactly your price point is. Car dealers have this trick of asking you what your target price is, after which you name your target price (let’s say $2,500), and then the car dealer asks you “up to…?”.

At this point, many people will simply blurt out $3,000 or something like that. And with a simple Jedi-like mind trick like that, the car dealer has gotten you to commit to the idea of paying $3,000 instead of the $2,500 you were going to spend originally.

There are many more psychological mind hacks like this that car salesmen will constantly try out on you. That’s why it’s so darn important to keep your head leveled when going car shopping!

You really need to do yourself a favor and stick to a price point that you’ve decided on long before you set foot onto the used car lot.

Also keep in mind that, while you can increase your chances of buying a good car by test driving it and following the steps in the guide I linked to above… you can’t eliminate all risk of you ending up with a lemon.

Thinking Ahead Is Crucial When Shopping For Second Hand Vehicles!

A 2007 Honda Civic.You need to accept the reality that there is a real possibility, however small you might think it is, that you will end up with serious car trouble. And anybody that has owned a car for at least a year or two knows how expensive car maintenance is.

Therefore, make sure that you keep a margin in your budget. If you’ve got a total of $3,500 to spend on a used car, spend only $2,500 of that $3,500 on a used car!

What if the car breaks down on you? You’re going to need to set some money aside in order to pay for possible repairs. If you don’t, you’ve got yourself a big bowl of sour grapes.

Some people spend the whole $3,500 on a used car, thinking the car won’t break down on them. But then it does, and they don’t have the money to get it fixed. Now they need to pull all sorts of financial hocus pocus with remortgaging and blah blah blah.

Resist The Urge To Blow A Lot Of Cash On A Used Car!

A 2005 Ford Explorer.I highly recommend resisting the urge of blowing all your cash on a used car, even if spending the whole amount would get you a better and flashier car. It just makes sense and you know it.

Besides… a car is just a car. Its main purpose is to get you from A to B. Sure, you’ll feel like a big shot in a totally sweet new car for a little while. But this feeling of euphoria soon wears off and then you’re back to feeling normal again.

On top of that… the more you spend on a used car, the more financial depreciation it will see. More expensive cars also tend to have more expensive repairs.

Make sure that the second hand vehicle you are going to buy fits well into your budget. Cheap old cars usually give you much more bang for your buck than newer ones.

Money Saving Guidelines On Buying Cheap Old Cars For Sale From Dealers

New Cars vs. Used Cars

Great example of a shiney new car!

Great example of a shiney new car!

Cars are expensive enough as it is. Most people I know would like to buy a new car once every few years, but simply cannot afford to do so. I can’t afford a new car every 5 years either. But that doesn’t mean I can’t own a car period. Because everybody knows used cars give you a lot more value for your money.

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of reasons to prefer used cars over new cars. Used cars are often much cheaper in insurance. You can get much better bargains as well. Some second hand vehicles still have factory warranty even. But that’s only for cars that aren’t yet that old.

Used cars can be pretty reliable if you know what to look for. Granted, there are plenty of lemons out there as well. And even a used car that’s in extremely good shape is bound to have at least something wrong with it. You’ve gotta take the bad with the good!

Why Buy Used Cars Instead Of New Ones?

Great example of a used old car!

Great example of a used old car!

Anybody that gets out of the house at least a few times a week, is bound to have seen a car lot sign that advertises used cars for sale. Old ones. And cheap ones, too! There’s no shame in buying cars from a second hand car dealer. I’ve been doing it for many years now.

The biggest trouble with used cars is, well… that they’re used. Most people are able to get over the fact that they’re not the first owner of a car. But there’s always that little bit of doubt gnawing away at you… you’re wondering if there’s something horribly wrong with this car. You don’t want to become the new owner of a completely useless second hand car that breaks down a week after you buy it.

It is well known, however, that when you buy cheap old cars for sale (either directly from an owner or a used car dealer), you will get much more value for your heard earned money than any new car could ever give you.

Second hand vehicles can be a real money saver. But you can’t just go out and buy any ole’ second hand car that you see in an ad. You’re going to have to know a thing or two in order to maximize the chances of you buying a good one while avoiding all the lemons.

How To Prevent Buying A Crummy Used Car

A vintage classic. They don't make'em like this no more!

A vintage classic. They don't make'em like this no more!

A few lessons that I myself have learned the hard way…

1. Always make sure to compare prices of used cars comparable to the one that you are looking at at the moment. You can look up plenty of used car offers on the Internet. The cars you are comparing yours to won’t have to be of the same brand. Just so long as they are of the same year and have comparable mileage on the counter. When you’ve found enough comparison material, compare prices to make sure you are not getting ripped off!

Buying a good used car is one thing. Making sure you are not being scammed is another. A car has to be decently priced in order for it to be a good buy. If it turns out you can get another, comparable, car for a few hundred bucks less… then the choice is obvious. You don’t want to put yourself up with buyer’s remorse.

2. Always check a car’s maintenance history. If you’ve got the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the car’s history is pretty easy to track down. Don’t ever buy a car that’s been in a major accident. More often than not, a patched up car like that can still have ‘invisible’ damage that will end up costing you in the long run.

Get a car that belonged to an old lady instead. Yes, they really do exist! It doesn’t even necessarily have to be an old lady. Just so long as it wasn’t some young, reckless driver that never brakes for speed bumps. Avoid cars that make a lot of unwanted noise. You don’t want any rattles in your car while you’re driving.

First of all because these noises will drive you nuts. Second of all, because noises might be a sign that the car’s taken quite a bit of damage from wear & tear over the years. Cars like these are at a much higher risk of breaking down when you least expect it.

An old car. Not cheap, though!

An old car. Not cheap, though!

3. Test drive the car and make sure to pay attention to the engine, the tires, the brakes, the gear box, the steering wheel, the car’s suspension, the lights and while you’re at it… ask about the distribution belt. You gotta have a good distribution belt in your used car. If this belt is near the end of its lifespan and it snaps like a rubberband while driving, you’re going to be in a real pickle. This can cost you your engine. It’s a very expensive joke.

There is no point in buying a used old car for cheap if it’s going to break down and it requires you to cough up as much money as the car cost to cover the expenses. Let’s say you buy a used car for $1000. You think it’s alright. You drive it around for a few weeks. Then all of a sudden, something breaks. It happens to be an expensive part, which costs… $1000!

Any guy with half a brain would realize that the car is now a total loss. For that money, you might as well buy another used car. So there’s no sense in patching it up again!

You’ll want to avoid stuff like this.

4. When shopping for used cars, go to a used car dealer that specializes in it. Preferably one that also gives you warranty with your purchase. You deserve a little security in return for your hard earned money, don’t you agree? You won’t get any warranties with a car that comes directly from an owner, unless the car is only a few years old.

But let’s face it… more often than not, a used car that you are looking to buy will be over 5 years old. And that means no warranty. When buying from an owner, only buy the car from him if he seems trustworthy. Ask questions. Make him sweat. If he paints himself in a corner, something’s fishy! That would be your cue to split.

Can You Have 100% Guarantee That A Used Car Won’t Be A Lemon?

A Volvo racing car from 1967. Now those were the good ole' days!

A Volvo racing car from 1967. Now those were the good ole' days!

The short answer is ‘no’. But if you just use your head and check everything about a car before you buy it… then chances of you buying a lemon are actually pretty small.

You’ve just gotta use your common sense. It’s best to buy a car when you are not in a hurry. In other words… don’t get a job far away from your hometown and then go car shopping. Instead, turn that around. First go car shopping and then go job hunting!

I realize this is not an option for everybody. After all, when you’re out of work you don’t always have to money you need to be able to afford a new (used) car. If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, you’re just going to have to improvise.

This post is simply a guideline that you can use to make you better at buying used cars and preventing the bad ones. I can’t give you exact details on how to go about everything. Speaking of ‘everything’… like ‘everything’, buying used cars is a real skill. It’s something that you can get better at with practice.

Buying, Refurbishing And Selling Used Cars As A Business

As a matter of fact… over the years, I’ve gotten so good at it that I’ve managed to turn it into a business. I’m a bit of a car freak and you need to be if you want to turn cars into your business.

As the years went by and I accumulated more and more experience buying used cars, I managed to get better and better deals. Granted… I mostly buy my used cars directly from owners nowadays. But that’s because used car dealers darn well know how much they can get for their cars. It’s harder to get a sweet deal with them.

There really is a trade off between buying cheap old cars directly from owners and buying second hand vehicles with warranty from dealers. The former is cheaper, the latter is safer in terms of risk.

A trusty ole' beetle. Who wouldn't want to drive around in one of these babies?

A trusty ole' beetle. Who wouldn't want to drive around in one of these babies?

But when you get good at it, you can get good prices and low risk deals when you buy used cars from owners. Once you’ve driven enough cars, you get a feel for which car is good and which one isn’t. Needless to say, I always test drive a used car and then base my buying decision on it right after.

I will only buy the used cars that I think are good (duh). Most of the time, my gut is right. In that case, I can refurbish the car and sell it at a good profit. Sometimes, I buy a lemon though. It happens to the best of us. These cars I strip for parts to try and break even. Most of the time, they end up costing me though.

Overall, I turn a nice profit. More and more people are getting into this business nowadays. I have one friend who turned car refurbishing into his job. And I’ve got another friend who’s seriously thinking about it.

The great thing is that you can ‘go niche’ in the vehicle refurbishing business. Some guys buy cheap muscle cars that they can patch up and sell of for a profit. Yet others are looking for vintage project cars for sale, so they’ve got another classic to work their magic at.

In Conclusion

There are many types of used cars you can buy. Some people will go after wrecked cars for sale, other go for a good project car for sale, yet others are going after the muscle cars for sale.

Most people, though, will just want a good car that takes them from A to B. Usually for a job or something.

It doesn’t matter why you are in the market for used cars. The market is really big and, despite the recession, still thriving.

Maybe I’m biased because I do a lot of car buying and selling myself. But the way I see it, the used car market is an interesting place to be.

The more you know about it, the more fun it is!!!