There are fewer seemingly unsolvable problems than this one: “I need a car but have no money.” Well, how will you even get this vehicle then, you ask, if there’s no money available to get it? The problem is exacerbated if you have bad credit in addition to being able to provide no down payment for your new rig.

However, the problem isn’t impossible to solve. If you want to know how to buy a car with no money, here are nineteen ways to get the money or automobile you need, either by earning it or getting car loans. However, you may also have to realize that you may not be able to get a car loan or even a car at all – thus, we’ll also offer you some suggestions to get around town when you won’t have an automobile of your own.

  1. First, make sure you haven’t exhausted your chances of getting a loan.
  2. If you don’t have a job, get one. Duh. There’s no free lunch!
  3. Learn about the car buying scams that are out there so that you don’t get taken for a ride (so to speak). Here’s one book from a former general manager of a auto dealership that explains some of these scams and how to avoid them and get a better price on your vehicle.
  4. If you are already employed but can’t afford the expense, there are plenty of ways to make extra money in your spare time to help you afford the costs. Some examples include getting a part-time job, doing odd jobs, selling your stuff, pawning off gold and other valuable, starting a business, or making money online. We won’t go into details on these methods, as they’ve been detailed in other posts on this site. If you have a long period of time before you need the car, this could be a great way to get an income stream coming in to help you. For instance, to take one example, if you do online writing, you can be making $200/month or more after 3-6 months of part-time work. This is a car payment! And the more you’ll work, the more you’ll make.
  5. If you really need to save money, try buying a car from an auction. You can often get a vehicle for a lower cost this way. For more information on car auctions, click this link.
  6. Most people who want to buy a car get an auto loan. Of course, this probably isn’t an option for you in the traditional sense, given that you’re reading this article. However, before counting yourself out, make sure that there are no bad or no credit options available for you out there. Some companies specialize in these kinds of loans, but carefully read over the terms.
  7. Look for online pre-approval. These will at least show you what to expect in terms of terms when it comes time to sign the dotted line.
  8. Instead of getting a loan from the dealer, go straight to a bank or credit union. You’ll sometimes get better terms and could have a better chance of being approved. Note, however, that when credit’s tight for everyone, all bets are off.
  9. Don’t bother looking for loans that don’t require credit checks. They don’t exist! And if they do, you’re getting scammed for sure.
  10. Instead, look for loans for people who have poor credit histories. You may need a cosigner to help you get the loan if you’re not good enough to go out and get a loan on your own financial merits. If you get a loan for people with poor credit, watch out! You may have to pay high interest rates. In many cases, this is not a great idea, as these payments can cripple you down the line. If you have a chunk of money to spend, you’re better off finding a cheaper, used car instead of pouring money into payment
  11. Settle for a cheaper car. If you can’t afford a new car, try a used one. If you still are short on funds, try buying a very old vehicle from a private owner. You can get an OK car for around $1000 if you spend time looking. Of course, the car may not be the most reliable vehicle in the world, but if you’re desperate, what can you do?
  12. Look online for car deals. The typical methods (classified ads and simply finding the car in person) still work, but you will be able to find more supply and better deals if you expand your search to the world wide web. Try a site like craigslist for leads.
  13. Let’s assume that you’ve tried all of the above and simply can’t get a car or truck at all. Then you have other options to get around, including:
  14. Use public transportation. The bus, subway, and train may be good options, depending on what’s available in your area. Of course, if you don’t have much money, you won’t be able to pay fares too often and make use of it as much as you’d like, but you can at least get to longer distance locations (like work or the store) without needing your own vehicle.
  15. Ride with someone else. Car pools are a great way to get around; plus, they help save the environment from burning too much fossil fuels. Of course, you’ll need to chip in for gas to be fair.
  16. Borrow someone else’s car when you need it. Obviously, you won’t be able to rely on this for regular trips, but it can be good for emergencies.
  17. Look for a car share program in your area. These are becoming more popular of late. For a small fee, you can “sign out” and use a car or truck as part of the program. You simply need to leave it in the place you left it, in addition to paying for gas and other potential charges. While this isn’t a “free” option, it’s a good way to enjoy the benefits of a car without all the expensive pieces (insurance, payments, etc.).
  18. Ride a bike or rollerblade to your destination. This is a great way to get exercise, and it won’t take you that much time to get where you need to go. Of course, you won’t be able to carry much with you, so this isn’t the best option if you need to go on a shopping trip, for example.
  19. Finally, walk. This is good because you’ll get plenty of exercise in the process; however, it’s not efficient, especially for going long distances. At the very least, you should be able to make reasonable trips to places within 2 miles of your origin.

Any more ways? Leave them in the comments!

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3 Responses to “I Need a Car But Have No Money: 19 Ways to Proceed”
  1. Lacy says:

    So what do you do if you don’t live near family members and live in a city where there is no public transportation,all of the better jobs are 20 miles out, have a college degree and a low paying job and all of the better jobs that will help you save require a license or car? No license because there is no one to let you use their car to take a test in let alone teach you how to drive? Have one kid and one on the way so makes saving harder to do? Been looking for a work at home job but afraid of scams or for the legit ones can’t afford to pay or risk investing?

  2. Dennis says:

    I am looking for a car, I have a good job , but do not have the money to put down on another car, what can I do. I would like to take over payments if possible

  3. tommy keith says:

    Me and my lady don’t have a car it hard to find a job and get places for are beautiful girls we really need help we are we nice people and giving when we ask ask for help no one seems to care please help tommy keith

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