There are many places to find used cars. Most people, however, are not aware of the benefits of buying from a charity. Not only do car charities offer some of the least expensive used cars on the market, they also provide some extra perks that you will not get at a dealership or buying from a private individual.
Each car charity has their own way of doing business. Make sure you check in with them about their sales process and procedures. This article is based on one of the most-popular charities in Los Angeles: Blok Charity Auto Clearance. They have been in the industry for over ten years and have sold over 80,000 cars within that time. We like them because they are upfront and because we have had a great experience with them.
One big perk of working with Blok or a similar charity is the sheer amount of cars they have on their lot. Blok has roughly 450 cars on their lot all the time. You will not find this kind of selection through a small car dealer or a private seller. Even bigger used car dealerships often limit their vehicles to only a handful of makes or models. It makes shopping for a car much easier if they are all there in one place for you to inspect.
Although this may not be true of some charities, Blok has a major incentive to liquidate its cars every week. It only has so much space available and new cars are being donated every day. To quickly move inventory, Blok holds car auctions every week. Whether you buy from the auctions or the lot, think of it as a negotiation. You can usually get discounts that are much cheaper than car dealerships or individual sellers. Charities have a lot more wiggle room and more incentive to get that car sold quickly.
Buying a car with a lot of miles can be risky. You never know what might break. Although you cannot take the risk out of buying a used car, you can mitigate it. Blok has each of its vehicles inspected by a mechanic and they provide a safety and smog certificate. An individual seller will not do this. A dealership will probably do it, but you have to pay a lot more for that kind of service. In addition to checking out the car for any problems, Blok also has the option for you to buy “insurance” in which you can return the car for its full value if it breaks after 48 hours.
When someone donates a vehicle, they select which cause they would like the proceeds to go to. Blok lets them select whatever cause they would like to support – from cleaning up the rain forests to helping battered women to feeding the homeless – the money from your purchase is going to help the community.
If you are in the market for an extremely inexpensive vehicle, a charity’s prices are typically much lower than what you would find at a dealership. Good charities also provide additional protections to you that you cannot get from an individual seller. They also provide many more vehicles to select from than private individuals can offer. We cannot speak for all charities, but we know that Blok Charity Auto Clearance has spent years perfecting their business and offers excellent cars at excellent prices.
Brandon G. Hampton @ March 6, 2012