Cheap Reliable Cars

cheap nice carsCheap reliable cars for under $5000.  You bet. Lots of good cheap nice cars can be found in this price category if you are flexible enough to overlook and deal with a few minor flaws these vehicles might have. Some of these cars may have more miles and years on them than you would like, but if you buy right you can get a cheap reliable car that will give years of good service. I have been buying used cars under $5000 for many years and have gotten good service from all of them.  Your chances for successfully doing the same will be greatly improved if you do your homework first.

Been looking at used car prices recently?  Then you know prices have been going up and the used car market is tight right now and likely to remain so for sometime.  The cheapest nice cars for under 5000 sell quickly.  So it is essential that you use all the tools at your disposal to find that right car.

So what are these tools?  Some of them are networking, online classifieds like craigslist and autotrader or even your own local newspaper classified section. Credits unions and banks sometimes have repos available to bid on. If you live on near a larger city there are probably auto auctions open to the general public. And don’t overlook Ebay motors.

Alright, you’re going to give it a try. Where do you start? You can start anyplace but I like to look at craigslist first because it is the easiest way to see what is available in my price range. Using the craigslist search feature to list your price range will quickly pull up a list vehicles currently listed in that price range. I used the 2500 to 5000 range to pull up the following cars:

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Sep 26 - 2001 Toyota Corolla LE - $4000 (Fort Worth) pic

Sep 26 - 1997 Mustang GT - $4300 (Burleson) pic

Sep 26 - Black 2001 Dodge Dakota SLT - $4000 (Weatherford,Tx) pic

Sep 26 - 1979 CJ7 - $4250 (Decatur,Tx) pic

Sep 26 - 2001 Dodge Ram Club Cab 1500 - $4400 (Burleson) pic img

Sep 26 - 2001 Acura 3.2 CL, Black, Auto - $4750 (Mansfield) img

Sep 26 - 2000 Honda Civic EX sedan - $4900 (Fort Worth) pic

Are these cheap reliable cars?  They might be, but you will have to do a little more investigation first before you know.  Before you put any money down on any vehicle see my article 8 tips to avoid used car rip-offs.

Auto trader   (  )  is another useful online tool you should consider. Like craigslist it has features that allow you to narrow down your searches to specific vehicles in specific price ranges and you can decide if you want to only look at for dealer cars or cars sold by owner.

Another great source for cheap nice cars are people you or your friends know that have cars they don’t need or want anymore.  Many great used cars haven’t been put up for sale yet because people just haven’t gotten around to trading it in or trying to sell it yet. When they hear that you are looking for a good reliable used car they may offer it to you at a fair price. Many good used cars change hands this way. So tell your friends your looking for cheap reliable car and you might be surprised at the opportunities (affordable nice cars) that come your way.

New car dealers send to auction trades that are not a good fit with the general quality and value of most of the used cars on their lot. Those cars may have a few to many dings, miles, or other more serious issues than they care to deal with. However, Used car lots can also be a great source for used cars under $5000. I once bought a used car at a new car dealer for a great price that had just been traded in and not even cleaned up yet. I saw it in the back of their lot and asked about it. It had a few dings and other blemished but it only had 86,000 miles and was very sound otherwise. The dealer was planning to send it to auction because it was not a good fit with the higher end used cars on their lot.  I bought it for $3200 and my family drove it for seven years. It was a great used car.

Last year I finally sold our family minivan. We drove it for eleven years. I bought this van used from the original owner for $3700. It was basically in good condition but needed some mechanical and minor cosmetic work to bring up to top condition. I immediately took it to my mechanic and spent about another $1200 on it.  That used minivan was as reliable as a new car would have been.

Before selling our minivan I decided to buy another vehicle in the under 5000 range first. Following all the methods mentioned in this article I looked for a cheap reliable car and found a 10 year old camry on craigslist that looked promising. It had 126000 miles and the owner wanted $3500. Before even looking at the vehicle I had obtained a vehicle history report on it and had done some internet research on potential mechanical issues with this car that I should be concerned about. The car was selling well below market value because it needed tires, had graffiti sprayed on one of the doors, and needed some other minor paint and body work. I new there were a lot of body shops in my town who would give me some competitive bids to take care of these cosmetic issues. I looked at the car carefully enough to know it was structurally and mechanically sound.  Long story short, the owner took $3000 cash for it. After paying a local body shop to take care of the paint and body issues and my usual mechanic to take care of all the mechanical issues I have $5300 in it and that includes tax, title & license fees. The car looks and drive great and has been as reliable as a new car.

Finding a good reliable cheap used car or truck for under $5000 can take some time and effort but it can payoff in a good used car that gives years of good service at a substantial savings over the costs of buying new. That said, if you buy the wrong used car it can be one headache after another and easily end up costing just as much as a new car would have but without all the  problems.

So, if you have decided to buy a cheap  used car or truck, before you head out to see that vehicle your interested in make sure you print out and take with you the used car checklist on this site.

About Richard

I have been a car enthusiast my whole life and have been involved in the car industry for over 25 years. It is my hope that you will get some useful information and enjoyment from this blog.
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