$1,000 can get you a high-end phone, a next-gen gaming console with a selection of recent games, and a base model MacBook. It’s a lot of money, and it gives you the freedom of choice in most product categories. But when it comes to cars, $1,000 is nothing.
Your options are very limited if you have a budget of $1,000 and you will have to look long and hard to find a suitable vehicle. It’s not impossible, though, and if you stick with the following makes and models, you could still purchase a reliable vehicle that will see you through the next few years.
Toyota Camry 2002 to 2006
The 2002 to 2006 Toyota Camry is the fifth generation of this popular vehicle and it’s usually available for between $1,000 and $3,000. It’s a very good price for one of America’s best-seller cars.
Subaru Outback: 1999 to 2009
The second and third generation Outbacks often fall into this price range. Of course, it means that you’re potentially getting a car that is over 20 years old with a lot of mileage on the clock, but that’s the price you pay when you want a reliable SUV for less than a grand.
2000 Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is another very popular vehicle and while the 2000 model is over 20 years old at this point, it should still have some life left in it.
This all-wheel-drive offers plenty of cargo space but this price is usually only available on used cars with over 120,000 miles on the clock.
Early 2000s Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is one of the most reliable used cars in the United States. It’s also produced in huge numbers and there is no shortage of these vehicles being bought and sold every year.
If you go back 15 to 20 years and ignore some potentially huge mileage, it’s possible to get a Civic for around $1,000.
Where Can I Find a Good Car for $1,000?
Look through the classifieds and check with local dealerships and traders. $1,000 is not a lot of money, but there are still many vehicles out there that fall within this price range.
Bide your time, check the mileage, think about fuel economy, and be prepared to negotiate. The fact that you have a very limited budget doesn’t mean you should settle for the first car that you find, nor does it mean that you’re limited to compact cars and old sedans.
What it does mean is that you need to settle for much older vehicles, which means you should be prepared to pay more for your insurance and give optional extras like comprehensive insurance a miss.