When a car is worth less than $3,000, the free market has written it off as undesirable. Prospective buyers have seen it listed for sale and moved on — due to its age, mileage, condition, or make and model. It’s not even that a sub-$3,000 car is undesirable, but that buyers assume it’s about to need repairs so expensive that it makes more sense to spend that money on a better car upfront. And often enough... they’re right.
But if your finances keep you on a strict budget, and you’re prepared for the possibility of needing repairs, we’ve rounded up the 10 best used cars under $3,000. We’ve confirmed that these models are generally available at these prices, but so much of the sub-$3,000 market is about luck: who’s selling a decent car for such a low price at the time you’re trying to buy. And like any used car, a lot depends on the mechanical condition of the individual car you’re looking at, and getting a mechanic’s opinion is invaluable.