Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Everybody loves a bargain and we will go quite some way to get one. We like to think that we have in some way saved ourselves some money and that we are really very clever for doing this. However, it is not always the case and sometimes all we are doing is costing ourselves more money in the long run. Take, for example, the cheapest car you can find. If it is cheaper than all the others there must be a reason for it and the chances are that it isn’t because it’s a bargain.

The more expensive a car is to begin with the faster its value usually depreciates. Dealers will often tell you that this is because there is far more cash to start with and, therefore, as a percentage the depreciation is equal to that of any other car. They also like to tell you that, because a luxury car costs so much when it is new, it is now the best bargain second hand motor on the planet.

It is affordable now that it has a few miles on the clock and years on the road. They will tell you that comparatively it is the cheapest car they have. But then some dealers are slimy toads and we need to avoid believing anything they say.

The simple fact is that whilst these luxury cars are a fraction of the cost to purchase than they were when new they are still not the cheapest car to buy and they are positively scary to run. Insurance costs, fuel bills and repair and servicing prices are all far more than you would pay on a normal vehicle, so be warned, don’t allow your heart to rule your head.

Next let’s take a look at the official cheapest car on the lot. This could be an ancient jalopy that is lucky to still be legal or a relatively recent model that seems to be crazily priced until you see the original retail price of a new model.

Whilst some older models of car are known to be incredibly reliable and well built – I’m thinking of the Toyota Corolla as an example – others are not and you are opening a can of worms when it comes to the constant breakdown and repair costs. So be very careful when you are looking at older cheap car models that seem to be a bargain.

The more recent models that were the cheapest car when they were new and, are also a great price after a few years, can also be problematic. A new cheap car means just one thing and that is that it didn’t cost much to make. Poor build quality and low cost parts make these vehicles extremely unreliable and fragile in later life.

So rather than looking for the cheapest car on the lot try and look for the best value car on offer at a price that seems right. Look for vehicles that have a proven track record for reliability and economy and save money in the long run. As when you think about it this is what really makes a vehicle the cheapest car.

John Jason have a lot of experience with cheap and used cars (Billigste bil is the term in Danish) and he is happy to share his knowledge.