If you don’t mind an older vehicle, some minor damage or high mileage, you could just get a real bargain that you can do up and make your own. I can’t believe the quality of cars I’ve managed to track down, and you could too if you have the time, love, and effort to breathe new life into a neglected car. So let’s see what I managed to find for a mere $1,000.
2004 Honda Accord EX-L
Right off the bat I have found a one owner, 5-speed automatic 4 cylinder Accord in Gold with only 96,722 miles on the clock. The seller says the car runs and drives great with no major issues, and that the engine and transmission work perfectly. It also has a power-sliding sunroof and leather upholstery, air conditioning and cruise control. What I can tell from the two photos provided is that the driver’s seat is a bit worn and would need replacing. No photos under the bonnet though. Can’t see any signs of rust, but again you would need to ask or see it in person to judge for yourself. The condition is listed as ‘excellent’. Overall, it’s not a bad car for $850. Honda have a good reputation for reliability, just make sure it is reflected in a pre-purchase inspection.
2001 Audi S4
That’s right – an S4 Audi for $1,000 with plenty of photos and seller comments. It’s an automatic, V6 engine, all-wheel drive Quattro silver sedan with lots of recent work done including both turbo’s, the timing belt and water pump, valve cover gaskets, front suspension arms, tires and windscreen replaced, cluster pixel repair, and it comes with a custom exhaust. The interior looks in good condition with nice window tinting, and 120,101 miles on the speedometer. There are no warning lights or damage I can see, so definitely a bargain.
2002 Chrysler 300M
I’m finding it hard to believe this deep blue Chrysler is priced at only $850. It is also in ‘excellent’ condition according to the advert, with only two photos, but one of them shows the undercarriage of the car. It is in amazing condition under there. The other shot of the front and driver’s side shows no damage. It has a 3.5 liter V6 engine and has an automatic transmission with just 62,000 miles listed. ‘Runs great no problems’ is the comment. A must see in person before anyone else sees the advert.
1988 Ford Bronco II
I couldn’t go past this one. This Bronco is a true classic with 152,000 miles on the speedometer. Now, I know it’s a little older and with a few more miles on the clock. However, it is a 2.9 liter V6 engine and they can go for hundreds of thousands of miles if looked after with regular servicing, everything kept in great order, and has been responsibly driven like this one has. The photos show a well-kept, rust-free Bronco in two-tone brown with metallic running boards, bonnet protector, immaculate plush seats and floor carpets, really clean under the bonnet with no sign of leaks, and even a spare tire cover. The owner states it ‘runs and drives excellent’ and comes with power windows, power door locking, cruise control, air conditioning – all which works. This automatic is yours for $1,000.
1995 Honda Civic DX
More Honda reliability, this time in the form of a green two-door Coupe Civic for $999. An economical 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine with automatic transmission, ‘ice-cold air conditioning and hot heat’ as the owner says, new tires on the front and near-new on the back, good brakes, and the interior is in great condition. It comes with an aftermarket security system and just 66,088 miles on the dial – yes, less than 70,000 miles! The owner has had the car repainted because of previous fading paint – so needs to be checked out for any previous damage on the pre-puchase inspection.
2001 Toyota 4Runner
This 6 cylinder one owner SUV looks to be in amazing condition with no damage or rust. It’s automatic, all-wheel drive, has a sports exhaust, bonnet protector, and the seller says it ‘…looks and drives great!’ It may be a 20 year old vehicle, but it still has plenty of life left in it including air conditioning, alarm system, cruise control, front driver and passenger air bags, and power brakes. It has traveled 127,250 miles and the owner has all the history and service records for just $1,000. It has plenty of space and is great for off-road adventures.
1985 Toyota Celica GTS
Be the envy of your friends in this retro classic convertible. The original sleek black exterior, pop-up lights, and immaculate interior turn heads. The seller has put pots of money into this rare beauty including new tires, new battery and cables, new struts, new shocks, new dash cover, new rotors, new brakes, has restored the original OEM wheels, and the working soft-top is in good condition. The air conditioning doesn’t work, however you get a lot of car for $1,000 so getting the air-con fixed shouldn’t be a hassle if that’s all that is needed. 114,400 miles traveled, the owner says it drives great, but you should inquire more about the engine and transmission.
You are not going to get a pristine car for this sort of money, although I have spotted some that are not far off the mark. However it pays to do a thorough check of the car to spot any problems that need addressing so you know how much you will need to get it roadworthy or to a standard you are happy with. Cosmetic things can be done as you get the funds (like replacing cracked dashboards, door cards, or even the car stereo). Remember that if buying through a dealer, there will be tax, title, license, and service fees. Don’t bother looking at adverts with no photos unless the location is just down the street, move on as there are plenty of bargains to be had. I prefer to search for private sellers at this price point, as they know the service history, how it runs, and can usually point out any faults. Check out bestcarfinder.com for more great bargains.