Selecting the Best Used Cars with Poor Creditby Steve Cypher on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Car buyers with less than perfect car credit would do well to follow the advice of the experts at Consumer Reports magazine.
At Auto Credit Express we know this is a good idea because we’ve spent more than two decades helping car buyers with credit issues find dealers for their best opportunity at approved auto loans. It’s also why the resource section on our web site covers such important topics as interest rates as well as the subject we’ll be touching on today: the importance, at the outset, of choosing the right used car to finance.
For starters, choosing an affordable subcompact, compact or entry-level midsize car can save on interest, insurance and fuel expenses. In most cases, picking out a used car in one of those categories is even better. Consider this: according to Consumer Reports, the average new car “loses up to 47 percent of its value in the first three years.”
This means that buying used is not only smarter, it makes car ownership even more affordable – something that’s especially important for car buyers with bad credit when you consider the higher interest rates charged by higher-risk lenders.
Best and worst
Last fall, Consumer reports (CR) published the results of their Annual Auto Survey, based on subscriber survey responses covering 1.3 million vehicles. The organization then came up with both the “best of the best” as well as the “worst of the worst” vehicles in terms of reliability.
We then sorted through the report to come up with what we feel are the most affordable categories, as well as vehicles, for car buyers with less than stellar credit scores:
The Best according to CR
According to Consumer Reports, “The Fit has been an economical, reliable, and versatile hatchback ever since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2007. It packs a huge amount of usable space into a small package and has standard antilock braking and curtain air bags. But before 2011 electronic stability control (ESC) was available only on models with the optional navigation system.”
Other good small cars:
Toyota Echo, Honda Civic, Scion xB, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza (the non-turbo), Honda Civic Hybrid, Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, Suzuki SX4, Mazda Protegé
Although the top pick from Consumer Reports is the Toyota Prius, even used ones are usually too expensive for car buyers with low FICO scores, so we chose some others from the list of family cars.
Other good family cars on the list:
Family cars that are more affordable include the Ford Fusion (FWD), Mercury Milan (FWD), Mazda6 (4-cyl.) and Nissan Altima.
The worst according to CR
Since used cars with poor reliability usually mean more out of pocket expenses for owners, car shoppers, especially those with poor FICO scores on a tight budget, should avoid financing these kinds of used cars.
If you’re looking for reliability, CR advises to stay away from the following models: Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Impala V8, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Pontiac G6 Coupe.
As we see it
Choosing a used car that has poor reliability record could turn out to be more expensive than necessary if you find yourself paying for costly repairs in addition to your monthly car payment.
Another problem for buyers with damaged credit can be finding a dealer that can get them financed. This is why it’s good to know that Auto Credit Express specializes in helping applicants find dealers for their best chances at auto loan approvals.
So if you’re ready to reestablish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.