To find cars under $5,000, visit online automobile sales platforms like Edmunds.com and look for used cars, ask a local mechanic to look out for cars within your budget, or seek referrals to private sellers from friends and family. Hire a mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchase.
Automobile sales websites such as Edmunds.com give recommendations for car choices in the used car market. To find cars under $5,000, look for non-luxury models like the 2004 Hyundai Elantra. Most reliable cars that sell for $5,000 or less are usually five years old and above and have a mileage of about 100,000. Alternatively, befriend a mechanic who knows the service history of cars in the locality, and ask him to look out for a budget car in good condition.
Unlike car dealers, private sellers may not outmatch your bargaining skills and offer better deals. Ask around, and seek referrals to people willing to sell the cars they don't use. Check several cars to gauge and compare the relative value of different models. Carry a car checklist to ensure you don't miss vital components, and have a mechanic inspect the car of choice before purchase. If the mechanic finds defects in the car, it is an opportunity to negotiate for a lower price.