Used Cars Under $5,000: What to Expect

By

Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 


, Content Manager - October 15, 2021

When you’re shopping with a $5,000 budget for your next vehicle, it could land you a decent used car. If you finance, it could mean an affordable monthly payment and a smaller down payment. However, with a $5,000 budget, you may have to expect higher mileage vehicles, a higher risk of mechanical breakdowns, and possibly a high interest rate.

Inexpensive isn’t always synonymous with “cheap,” though, so looking for something reliable (instead of fancy) in this price range should be your goal.

With $5,000, you’re going to be limited to used vehicles. Most new passenger cars start around $20,000, and the going average for new vehicles overall is around $40,000. Some things you could expect from used vehicles under $5,000 include:

  • At least 100,000 miles or more
  • Likely some cosmetic damage
  • Some wear and tear on the interior
  • Around 10 years old or older
  • Chance of past accidents

A used vehicle within this price range is likely to have been on the road for a while, and could have had multiple owners. As far as where to get a car in this price range, an independent dealer or private-party seller may be a good bet.

Used Cars Under $5,000: What to Expect

While looking through used car lots, it’s a good idea to avoid vehicles with:

Any of the above issues could represent costly issues for you in the future. Ideally, you want to aim for a vehicle with a clean title and something with good bones that’s going to last. Reliability is key while shopping for a used car, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the first listing you see.

We recommend requesting a vehicle history report for the car you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to ask the dealer questions about its history. Additionally, a pre-purchase inspection is likely to be well worth your time and money.

While $5,000 may not be enough cash to get you behind the wheel of a Lambo, it's likely enough to get you something decent if you shop smart.

Check Out Used Car Listings In Your Area

, Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 


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