Buying a decent car without good credit can be tough. In Connecticut, car dealers can charge up to 19% interest. All too often, dealers charge prices are well above book values, and that is before the cost of conveyance fees and other “extras” are added to the price. Consumers without good credit frequently wind up paying too much for cars of questionable quality. Our clients frequently ask us what they can do to get a decent car at a fair price. Our advice is to avoid the “easy credit” dealers and to purchase from a private seller. We know that it can be difficult to come up with the cash to purchase a car, but if you can can get by without buying a car and set aside the amount that would otherwise go to monthly payments, in less than a year, you can save several thousand dollars. That might be enough to buy a car that would cost much more at a dealership. Private sellers usually are willing to sell for somewhere between the book “trade-in” value and the retail value, which is quite a bit less than what most “easy credit” dealerships charge for cars. Look for cars that are recommended by Consumer Reports as being reliable. The most important tip of all is not to buy a car without having it inspected first by a mechanic that you know and trust. When looking to purchase a car from a private seller, beware the “curbsiding” scam. If a car is REALLY bad, most dealers will not want to put them on the lot. Many of those cars wind up in the hands of unscrupulous people who will pretend to be private sellers. Do not be shy about asking for the seller’s identification to confirm that the person you are dealing with is the actual owner of the car. You can get a serviceable car at an affordable price if you avoid the curbstoners and get an independent inspection. While this may not be the car of your dreams, you can “upgrade” soon enough by continuing to set aside the amount that would otherwise go for car payments.