Buying Cars In Tough Times – a guide for those needing cheap transport to survive the Recession

Times in Australia don’t come a lot tougher than right now. And if predictions predating the 2020 Federal Budget are right, more of us are going to be out of work or earning less for the work we can get than at any time in the past 50 years.

Throughout this Pandemic and the Recession it has generated, people are still going to need transport. Some just won’t be able to afford the kinds of vehicle they might previously have owned.

Out of work means out of luck when you go looking for conventional forms of car finance, so what you can afford might be limited to what you have left in the bank, can scrape up by selling personal items or private borrowings.

But don’t worry, because even with just a few thousand dollars in your pocket there will be vehicles that look OK, go OK and are going to be reasonably reliable. Certainly enough to get you through this crisis and into the better times that will follow.

Buying Cars In Tough Times has been created while I was being helped through lean times by JobKeeper. When the Australian publishing industry basically slammed the door on its freelance contributors, many hundreds of writers like me were left with minimal work and incomes to match.

.While searching for new avenues to exercise our talents, lots of Australia’s leading journalists and columnists became ’employees’ of the Federal Government. I don’t know what my colleagues have been doing in return but I elected to spend a large portion of my time building this website and in particular Buying Cars In Tough Times.

This resource is intended to be ongoing and available free of charge to anyone who needs guidance in finding, inspecting and even funding a low-cost car, people mover, 4WD or commercial vehicle.

The Reviews section in particular will continue to grow as I evaluate additional models. The aim is eventually to review and rate at least 100 models, all built since the mid-1990s. Most will be easy to find in the used market and cost, in decent condition, between $3000 and $5000.

There will be cheaper ones as well and for a guide to choosing something in the sub-$3000 price bracket please take a look at this article which my friends at were kind enough to run for the benefit of their several million annual visitors

Please before heading out to buy a vehicle, read carefully the various guides to choosing and evaluating low-cost transport. Remember that in this price range, what you find will not be perfect and compromises need to be made.

What you are seeking though is a vehicle that is dependable, that isn’t going to cost immediate money for repairs and will fulfil your needs. If you don’t plan on travelling big distances, then a larger vehicle that costs less might in the long term be cheaper than one that uses less fuel but costs more to buy.

As someone wise once said; ‘A third-rate ride is always preferable to a first-rate walk. If by developing this resource I can help Aussies with minimal money to keep a decent set of wheels under their butts, the effort of creating and expanding Buying Cars In Tough Times will be worthwhile.

Cliff Chambers October 2020