To find a reliable truck under $1000, start by searching classified ads and auto listings for potential vehicles, and then set up a test drive. If everything seems to run well during the test drive, take it to a mechanic and pay for a thorough inspection before purchasing the car.
Websites that let you search by price are good for narrowing down the listings. Craigslist.org and eBay.com are two popular examples. Try to work with private sellers, because most reputable dealerships do not sell trucks for under $1000 because there is no room for profit. Be wary of cars that are not currently registered or have not been driven for a long time.
During the test drive, listen for any knocking sounds or other odd noises or smells. Talk to the owner about the car's history and be wary of any references to past accidents, engine problems or other issues. Be willing to compromise on nonessential things, such as a damaged interior, if the engine runs well. Minor body damage is also not a big deal, but consider getting a vehicle history report to make sure the car was not in a serious accident. Many cheap cars also have minor electrical problems, such as power windows that do not work or broken air conditioning, which are probably worth overlooking if it is in good condition otherwise.