Typically the best ways to find a used car under $2,000 are through public auctions, independent used car dealers and private sellers. These types of sellers tend to have lower priced vehicles but lack some of the benefits of traditional car dealers, such as warranties and certification.
Public auctions sell cars that have been traded in, leased, repossessed or even totalled. Cars sold in auctions can be purchased at a significant discount; however, they also range greatly in condition and quality. Watch out for cars marked as salvage titles, as this means they were totalled and later fixed by a body shop. Many experts advise avoiding these cars unless there is an opportunity to thoroughly inspect them beforehand.
At auction there will be other buyers competing for the best cars, including used car dealers. Set a clear budget, and take time to research the cars before the auction starts.
Independent used car dealers are single location operations that buy and sell used cars. They will often have lower prices than chain and franchise dealerships; however, they may also employ more aggressive sales tactics. Read reviews of the dealership before shopping, and ask to test drive the car before buying.
Private sellers are individuals selling their cars directly. Make sure to inspect the vehicle and take it for a test drive before making a purchase from a private seller.