Beater cars are money-saving and style breaking old vehicles, which people buy simply for the most effectiveness and the least possible money. It should not matter what your car looks like if you are in a place where you want to meet some financial goals.
A car like this is perfect for as your first car, or as a second car that you will use in less favorable conditions and situations, without worrying too much about damaging it.
Driving such a car comes with benefits, as well as downsides, and we will go over everything in this article.
What is a Beater Car?
A beater car is an older, high mileage car, and its only purpose is to get you to your destination. They usually have cosmetic issues and some smaller malfunctions, which is why you can get one at bargain prices.
Some are in terrible shape, both aesthetically and mechanically, which you should avoid if possible. Others look and drive good, but they are still old and have gone through a lot of wear and tear. The lower the price and the worse the car looks and feels, the sooner it will die on you in the middle of the road.
Remember that a beater car does not have to be unreliable, broken, harmful, or uncomfortable. It can be any car that you use simply for driving without worrying too much about it. Still, they are more often than not old and beaten up vehicles.
Who should get a Beater Car?
People are in different situations when they are buying cars. The best customers for beater cars are either first-time car buyers or people who have to save some money to reach a financial goal they set in place.
First-time drivers might run into a few mishaps while driving, or accidentally damage the car somewhere. If you have a cheap old car, you will not get headaches and worry about repair costs. Similarly, those looking to save should never get an expensive new car. For the same reasons, they will have no severe maintenance costs while driving a beater.
On the other hand, if you like reliability, make money from your car, enjoy looking good, or do not know your way around a car, maybe you should skip a beater car.
Beater Car Benefits
1. Cheap Price
The apparent first reason is that these cars are much less expensive than regular cars. Because of this, it is quite easy to buy them using cash.
2. No Car Payments
Because they are cheap, you do not need a loan, and therefore you will not have monthly car payments to worry about. The only sum you will spend is when you buy it, and that is it.
3. Minimum Insurance Coverage
If you buy a more expensive car, or loan one, you will probably get full insurance to be sure. However, this tends to be very hard on the pocket. With a beater, the minimum coverage is plenty, and you will save thousands because it does not make sense to ensure such a car that much.
4. Less Depreciation
Beater cars have already gone through a lot of depreciation in their lives. Most of them are at least ten years old, meaning you will not lose that much money when you wish to sell it. You will be able to get some cash back, and since you spent very little in the first place, it will feel like you never spent anything.
5. Cheaper Gas
Older and beaten up cars do not require premium fuel, which will be heaven for your wallet. You will save hundreds, maybe even thousands per year.
6. Cheaper Parts
Similarly to everything else, parts for older cars are unbelievably less expensive than those for the newer models. Cars that appeared between the 1990s and 2000s have parts that are very easy to locate. Mechanic shops and junkyards are full of them, meaning they are also very cheap.
7. More Freedom
This is an unorthodox reason but stay with us here. Whether you back the car into a lamppost, get scratched by another car while parked, or spill something inside, you will not feel like your life has just ended. You will not automatically think about how much money you just lost, because you will not care that much. In other words, you will feel freer and at ease.
Beater Car Downsides
1. Less Safety
New and modern cars are equipped with state of the art safety systems and are made from more durable and safer materials. Older cars do not have these, and for what is worse, their natural systems and features tend to be broken or not working properly. You should always keep in mind the safety of everyone who will be in your car. If the car does not have safe basics, like tires, breaks, or lights, skip it.
2. Higher Risk of Fatal Malfunction
With cars as old and damaged as some of the beaters, main parts like the engine, breaks, transmission or something as crucial are prone to dying out on you in the middle of your drive. This is never safe and can put you in some serious trouble. You might even need a new beater after such a scenario. Therefore, make sure the car is not the worst you can find.
3. Low Probability of Longer Trips
If you combine the previous two issues, the result is this one. Driving a beater car on long journeys is not a good idea. It can be disastrous, and you will probably worry about many of its features to your destination. What will you do if the car completely dies? You will be left stranded. This is why these cars are the best for city driving.
Questions to Ask When Buying a Beater Car
Before buying your first beater car, you will have to consider many different things, and ask the owners, sellers, and yourself, the following questions:
1. How many miles does the car have?
2. How well has it been maintained?
3. What is my goal with this beater car?
4. What beaters are the most reliable?
5. What should I test before I make the purchase?
When you have done this, it is still a great idea to check every corner of the car and ask if something is suspicious. It is better to ask than to feel sorry later. You are not obliged to buy any vehicle, so if something feels weird or not right, skip it for another one.
What are the Best Beater Cars?
From the experiences of many people, and a great number of surveys, the following five cars are considered the top beater cars you should look for:
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Subaru Outback
4. Toyota Camry
5. Nissan Altima
These are also some of the most common cars on the streets of the world, probably because they are reliable and cheap enough for many people to use them as their everyday beater cars.
Fixing a Beater Car
If something on your beater needs correcting, you can approach the situation in several different ways. The best option always is to do the repairs yourself. Parts like headlights, sensors, and radiators are easy enough for anyone to fix, even for the first-timers. Online research is very handy here.
If it is a more serious problem, like something with the engine, you will have to consult a mechanic. The same goes for breaks, sensors, transmission, and so on.
In addition, there are some things you should do regardless of the situation the car is in, as soon as you buy it. You should always get a new steering wheel cover, replace the floor mats, get a set of comfortable seat covers, get rid of the smell, and clean it thoroughly both outside and inside. Also, try to replace the headlights just in case, it will make a difference, trust us.
In a not that likely case that the cost of a repair is almost as much as you gave for the car, it is not worth it. With a situation like this, it is smarter to purchase a new beater altogether.
Selling a Beater Car
When you have made the most from your beater and wish to sell it, we advise several options:
1. Sell it to someone who fixes cars
2. Sell it to someone else who needs a beater
3. Donate the car
4. Sell it to a junkyard or a scrapyard
A Quick Tip before we End
The number one tip before we conclude is this: Make sure to try and buy a beater that is slightly better than the regular beater car definition. This means a car with a slightly larger price tag, which is safe to drive and looks somewhat nice. A beater like this will last longer, and you will be a bit happier with it.
Beater cars are an amazing solution if you need their services. They are definitely not for everyone, but for those who really need them, they can be a lifesaver.