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What would you buy for $1000?

Posted in EcoLust, Economy Cars, General, Other Rides, Rides, Used Cars by MrAngry | March 23rd, 2011 | 12 Responses |

Toyota Tercel

Prices for premium fuel are bouncing over $4.25 here in the Northeast, which means I’m seriously considering picking up a fuel efficient beater car to have as a daily driver. I’m looking at everything from used Toyota Tercel’s to Honda Accord’s and everything in between. There is however one major catch – my budget is $1000.00. Obviously a 1k budget eliminates anything that one would consider to be “nice”, but as I already have a nice car, I’m not too worried about its looks. What I am concerned with however is how the car runs and has it been serviced regularly. Now some of you may be thinking that you can’t find a good car for $1000.00, but I completely disagree. In fact I’m betting I can find a good old lady car for a G-note right in my neighborhood if I look hard enough.

Buick Century

First off you’ve got to lower your expectations about driving anything nice. Setting your sights nice and low means that things can only get better. Next you must identify your targets, for example stick with budget cars from the mid-1980’s to the mid-1990’s and you’ll be fine. Cars like the aforementioned Toyota Tercel, old Buick Century’s, Regal’s and Chevy Cavalier’s are a dime a dozen and all get upwards of 25-30 mpg on 87 octane fuel. Once you’ve identified your targets look at multiple cars, throw out a low ball price and go from there. My bet is that you’ll get something better than you originally thought and come in under budget. Stay tuned because I’ll keep you posted as to what I find.

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12 Responses

  1. 4th Gen CB required* says:

    …been thinking about this as well, my straight six and heavy foot are costing me more than a few pennies at the pump recently. ~possible early 90’s honda DD in my future?

  2. Leigh says:

    A pre-1993 Saab 900. You don’t strike me as a Saab guy, but I can’t see you in a Tercel either. Anyway, that’s what I would get.

  3. SNAK3 says:

    old beat to hell civic

  4. Lee says:

    A nice old 3-series

    • Lee says:

      I spent a whole summer looking for a $500 car for something close to a Topgear challenge and this was one of the best for the money. However, I did end up with a free Ford Crown Vic so maybe try one of those. =)

  5. Art says:

    $1000, insurance, registration, maintenance, in exchange for marginally better gas mileage on the days you can bring yourself to drive it? I haven’t done the math but would be surprised if it saves any money.

  6. Alex says:

    … I got an 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue for $600. Runs absolutely perfect. :D

  7. Alex says:

    OH. You mean fuel efficient…

    Hmm. I’d personally shoot for an early ’90s twin cam Saturn. Bulletproof, fuel efficient and they’re pretty damn quick for what people think they are.

  8. xstingstreetx says:

    I bought a 89 chevy s10 for $650.00 and i had a total of 276,XXX miles before I sold it (in perfect working order) to buy something better. Mine was the 4.3L v6 not a 4 banger but gas was not that bad :) Check one of those out.

  9. Will says:

    I’d buy a 91-94 Tercel personally. They’re cheap, parts are beyond plentiful, super easy to repair and don’t require a ton of maintence, and the 40+mpg.

    I had a 91 Tercel 2-door as my first car. I had to commute 100 miles a day round-trip between school and home. At the time 20 bucks filled up the tank and would last me 4 days. Wasn’t bad at all.

    The car didn’t have any problems and when one would pop up, such as my alternator went out, it was a fast, cheap repair.

    I do miss that car and am considering looking for another.

  10. I would pick either a used civic or accord and find the newest model i could find for $1k. The honda economy cars look better than the Toyota ones (Corolla).

  11. PFULMTL says:

    if you don’t take the highway to work, I would pick up a used Honda Ruckus scooter. Those do about 100 miles per full tank, which hold 1.5gallons.
    Haven’t seen many for $1000, but new one is about $1800.