What are the best used cars under $3000?
While buying a used car inherently means that someone else has enjoyed the “newness” benefits of a vehicle, that doesn’t mean a buyer will get stuck with junkyard hauling beater blowing its last gasket out the tailpipe. A number of good vehicles are available for three big ones with quite a bit of life still left inside them. And don’t forget, once you’ve bought the car, use a car insurance comparison site to get the best car insurance policy to match the savings on the car. Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool above!
The Mazda Miata is a surprising pick that three grand can make happen. Most people think these cars have gone the way of car collectors or the burnout pile. However, many of the first generation production cars are still around. The original buyers didn’t use them heavily, buying them as a second car to spin around in on the weekend. As a result, a good number of these 1.6 liter, four-cylinder little zip engines are available. Ideally, a buyer should look for one on the west coast or warmer areas. This avoids the problem of corroded parts, some which can be hard to find for replacement.
The Classic BMW
The BMW E30 3 Series shows off the classic late 1980s BMW look with a four door sedan function that makes the car fun to drive but practical when moving multiple passengers. The six cylinder engine model is the ideal version to find, which can take a little bit of searching with a price under $3,000. Fortunately, a number of folks love this car, so replacement parts are available with a strong market keeping them in production for years to come.
The Toyota Flashback
The MR2 was the zenith of 1980s sports car aura from Toyota. The car company took all its fame from the truck reliability and plugged into a sports car. The result produce a five-speed road ripper of a car that felt great to sit in and drive around curves. It was quite easy for a driver to feel like he was chasing a group leader in Monaco when driving in the MR2 down to the grocery store. The mid-eighties model can still be found for a few thousand, but much like the Miata a buyer needs to make sure to check the body and undercarriage to avoid corrosion baskets.
The Road-Sized Jackrabbit
In the early 1980s Volkswagon produced the Rabbit GTI, which became ubiquitous with a German-built quality commuter. Because the car was so clearly stuck in the 1980s with its design, owners unloaded the car as soon as the 1990s rolled around with curvier models. Rabbits can still be found today, moving people from point A to point B. When the cars work, they perform very well and most operate with a manual shifting gearbox. However, because then tend to be expensive to repair due to service charges working on Volkswagons, many prior owners unload them for small prices, placing a number of models under $3,000.
Go Jeep Go
For those who want to drive around cheap with the wind in their hair and the dog hanging out the back, a Jeep Wrangler fits the bill. With a four wheel drive gearbox, Wranglers make great beat-em-up vehicles on-road and off. The better model to find is the 4.2 liter six cylinder engine. Like anything that’s been exposed to the elements, and most Jeeps have been, buyers should check the frame and undercarriage for weakness corrosion and cracks.
Back to Sports Cars
For domestic car lovers, the Pontiac Fiero can be had for a few grand as well. This two-seater road burner was desired by every college guy who wanted to take his girl on a date with the windows down. The 1988 model is the one to find because the setup from General Motors was finally synced with good suspension, disc brakes, and a six cylinder engine. However, if one can’t find an ’88 model, many of the ’88 parts will fit earlier models for improved performance.
There’s Always Trucks
If nothing a good pickup truck can take a beating and keep on going. Toyota trucks have held a long reputation for surviving and still running no matter what. In fact, one TV show collapsed a building with Toyota truck on it and the vehicle still worked after everything it suffered. A number of good Toyota pickups can be found for less than $3,000, and the number keeps growing as more and more trucks cycle into used life status. While they’re not glamorous, many pickups will still keep going, and they make great all-around vehicles for commuting, hauling, and road vacations. Buyers should focus on finding a truck that hasn’t been used for hauling, meaning the transmission is still in good condition. More than likely after 80,000 miles the clutch needs replacement, but most Toyota trucks will still kick out another 100,000 before more issues.
Once you’ve found your used vehicle, it’s a good idea to get your car insurance straightened out right away. Just punch in your ZIP code on an insurance comparison site and a number of options can appear, fitting any budget need.