It may sound strange but using cash to pay for a used car is the best method for saving money in the long run. Most car buyers will end up owing the bank lots of money after they sign on the dotted line. Instead, you can work on paying off your other loans and credit cards. Wouldn't it be nice to have one less bill to pay each month? Sometimes the most difficult aspect of using cash to purchase a new or used car is saving up enough money so you don't need to get a loan. It's also important to do your homework when shopping for the best car deals because you don't want to spend your hard-earned money on a car that ends up needing a lot of repairs. A mechanic you trust will be a valuable asset when it finally comes time to purchase your car. You want to know if the car you're interested in will need any minor or major repairs in the future. If the mechanic discovers something that needs fixing you can ask to have the cost deducted from the asking price. An alternative would be to have the current owner repair the car himself before selling it. You don't want to end up with a car that costs you more than it's worth. Many cars on the market today have less problems than cars produced in the past. But remember that just because one car is newer than another it's automatically going to have less problems. Usually a used car's maintenance will determine how long it will last without needing repairs. If you purchase a used car that wasn't cared for properly you could end up spending a lot of money just to keep it running. This totally defeats the purpose of not having a car payment. You probably are more concerned about how good your car looks but even more important than that is whether or not the car you buy is going to leave you stranded on the side of the road. It goes without saying that some makes and models are more dependable than others. How can you learn this information? You can read magazines such as Consumer's Digest as well as many other auto publications. You might find lots of information available online but don't forget that your local library can be also be a valuable source of data. Be sure to do a lot of research before you make the decision to buy any used car you find. Once you make the decision it may take months to find just the right car for you. However, if you have a friend that knows a lot about what to look for under the hood you'll probably have an easier time making your decision.