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16 Cars Anyone Can Buy For Under $1,000 (Because They're Junk)

There are some old vehicles, and some not so old vehicles, that anyone can buy for nothing because they’re junk. By junk, we just mean that they are either too old, have too much mileage on them or they are just not even worth our time because they were terrible vehicles even when they were new, that no one wanted to buy. The few persons that took the plunge and bought the vehicles probably just wanted to get rid of them as quickly as possible, so they would sell them for next to nothing or under $3000.

Sometimes, these vehicles may come for as little as $500, and they may be functional and capable o getting you from points A to B. But you should not expect these old vehicles to have too many frills because some are more than 20 years old and will not have airbags, air conditioner or even automatic transmissions. Despite being junk, some people like to buy vehicles under $1000 so they would not have to pound their everyday cars. If you are a mechanic, you can buy these older vehicles and modify them. A few of these vehicles are vans, and some of them are not that old, but still junk that you can buy for cheap.

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16 1997 Cadillac Deville d’Elegance

YouTube

The only reason someone will go out of their way to get this car is that they can get it for under $1,000. However, some seller may be honest enough to offer the car for parts only if you’re lucky.

But even if you have a similar model, jazzing up one with parts from the other may be a cool pastime activity for you.

Though these older cars often tend to be a money pit. But if you get the car for parts at a steal of a deal, you can disassemble the car, and sell the parts separately. You are definitely likely to make a profit selling the car this way.

15 2005 Saab 9-3 Arc

Mercedes CLA Forum

This car isn’t too old, but you will be able to get the car under $1,000 because Saab went bankrupt a few years ago. People are not going to go out of their way to buy Saab cars, because sourcing parts for their cars may be difficult. But Saab enthusiast remains and 190,000 miles on an odometer is not going to deter them from getting their hands on an orphaned Saab for what they may consider a steal of a deal. If you are considering this older vehicle, you should definitely look at serving options and cost as well as the supply of parts for these junk vehicles.

14 1995 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon

YouTube

Volvos are not junk vehicles, but any vehicle irrespective of a brand that has more than 400,000 miles on its odometer is a piece of junk even if it is driving. The more mileage a vehicle has on it, the more maintenance would be expected.

But it seems that some Turbo Wagons can tally more than 3 million miles, and this was recorded by the Guinness Book of Records.

Because this junk traveled the most miles by one of its owners, the retail price is going to be a bit high (in the $900 vicinity) when it probably should be valued way less.

13 1991 Lincoln Town Car

Because, Cars

Lincoln Town Cars are known to take serious poundings, and some have passed the 200,000-mile mark. Miles are not the only things that take a toll on vehicles but age as well as wear and tear. This vehicle is older than some of us, but if you want to get a luxury vehicle for less than $700, you can consider getting yourself a Town Car. While we don’t support the purchasing of junk vehicles that would cost a lot of money to maintain, we follow the slogan of the 21st century “reuse, reduce and recycle.” In this instance, you are reusing the vehicle.

12 1999 Ford Explorer XLT

Cardomain

Even if Ford’s are good vehicles, there’s not much you’d want to do with an almost 20-year old vehicle for fear that it will shut down when you’re driving it off-road.

But if you have things to transport infrequently and you are interested in a cheap off-road vehicle that can cost you less than $1,000, why not get it?

By using this vehicle, you also maintain the pristine condition of your hopefully newer vehicle. You can expect to get this vehicle reading over 200,000 miles, but it will come equipped with 5.0-liter V8 engines and four-wheel drive. A piece of junk, but not bad.

11 2000 Buick Century

Wikipedia

If you’re getting a Buick for $900, you should not take it! Buick isan expensive vehicle and regardless of whether you get a new one or an old one, the parts are going to be expensive, unless of course, you can get them use. While the Buick may look good, you should still inspect for lower body rust as the car is old, and in Northern locations, the car would have to drive over chemically treated roads. All vehicles should be checked for corrosion before buying. But if you’re paying $900 for a Buick, you should expect it to be a piece of junk.

10 2000 Nissan Maxima

BestCarMag.com

Nissan Maximas are priced pretty reasonably used at under $700. But despite these cars being junk-ish, Nissans are generally cheap, but they tend to go the distance and you may find some models of the car that have traveled over 300,000 miles.

Maximas of the 2000 period boasted of a good performance and handling, and Nissan marketed the car as a four-door sports car.

If you get this cheap car, don’t tell your friends that it is a sports car, as they are likely to tease you for weeks about it. Maybe then it was considered a sports car, but now, with wear, tear, time and use it’s just a piece of junk.

9 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

highlandmotorschicago.com

Maybe we should not call a Jeep Cherokee a piece of junk, but sometimes it is good to call a spade a spade. If it’s priced at $1,000, it is definitely a piece of junk despite Jeeps being known for their longevity when given proper care. What do you expect from a $1,000 Jeep? Well, for the price you get a 4.0 liter, six-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive for off-road adventures. Off course it sounds too good to be true for $1,000, and it is because the Jeep would come with more than 200,000 miles on its odometer. If it drives, you can go on off-road adventures.

8 2004 Chevrolet Aveo

via the diary of driver 88

In some markets, this car goes by a different name. While you can still get this 2004 in later models new, used, this car retails for less than $1,000.

There is a reason a car that is not yet 15 years is sold for less than $1,000.

Well, the car hadn’t generally been rated high for safety by consumer agencies and automotive reviewers, so it is not a car that you would want to have your kids in. Apart from the safety issues, it is not the best car to drive, and it has cheap plastics. Don’t waste your money on this car.

7 Fiat Punto

Wikipedia

It doesn’t matter what year model you get in this car, you just shouldn’t get it period. The Punto may lure you with the promise of value for money, but you would be better off buying one of its rivals used. The Punto is a car that is poorly built, wasn’t very reliable even when new and it is a bit uncomfortable and uninspiring to drive. You can get the 2002 version for as little as $400. However, don’t be fooled by the cheap price, the replacement parts may cost a mint and well, Fiat has stopped production of the car.

6 Subaru 360

Wikipedia

Subaru actually tried to copy Volkswagen a bit between 1968 and 1970 when they came up with their own version of the Beetle look alike to enter the US market.

The car was a disaster, was lightweight and powered by an engine that could have been used on a home motorcycle.

Barely 2,000 was sold, and it is sometimes labeled as one of the worst cars ever sold in America. The car finds it a bit difficult to go over 45 miles per hour. So, while you may get this car cheap as is, a modified one could cost you above $8,000.

5 Yugo GV

Wikimedia Commons

A list of junk vehicles would not be complete without the Yugo. The hatchback vehicle was imported from Yugoslavia between 1985 and 1992 and it could be purchased for $4,00 brand new. It was cheap, so a lot of people were interested in getting it based on the price alone. However, the criticism of the cheap car alone, so made buyers reluctant to buy it. Now, some regard the car as the world’s worst car. So even if you can get it for $500, don’t because an entire book, “The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History” was written about it.

4 2001- 2006 Mini Cooper

Motor1.com

Never ever consider purchasing a Mini Cooper with the CVT automatic transmission. The transmission actually received a lawsuit by owners against the car. If you get this car, you will have to worry that the pump will go out.

If the pump goes out the repair will be expensive, and damage can also be done to the engine.

So, yea, this is why this Mini Cooper is so cheap, because it is a piece of junk that is hazardous, and no one feels comfortable driving it. But if you’re risk-averse, you can get your hands on this death buggy for $1,000.

3 2003-2006 Subaru Baja

YouTube

If you’re getting this pickup, it has to be for one of two reasons. It’s either really cheap or you desperately need a vehicle and it was the only thing available. That’s how bad the Baja is. It is a weird mashup that had no appeal. It is too big to be a car, yet to small to hold the title of pickup. It definitely isn’t the best-looking vehicle, and it also isn’t the most fuel efficient. Lucky for the general public, Subaru has paused its production of pickups. Hopefully, we don’t have to see anything like the Baja again from them for a long while.

2 1997 Ford Escort

Wikipedia

You can get this Escort for only $480. In all honesty, you have to be desperate to want to get this car. First, you shouldn’t expect much performance from this 20-year old car, especially in terms of its body, engine, and mileage on the odometer.

Even if you have a teenager who is now learning to drive, this car is not recommended because it does not have airbags.

It is probably also not going to have a functional air conditioner or heating. You should only get this if you plan to modify it or do some work on it. But if it’s driving $480 is not a bad price.

1 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup

via wikipedia

You would only want this truck if you can get it for less than $1,000. There are several uses for having a pickup around, even if it is going to be a piece of junk. This piece of junk may have over 200,000 miles on its odometer because pickups tend to do a lot of driving. But if you have the occasional boxes to transport of vehicle to tow like a trailer, you may just want to consider getting this pickup for under $1,000 just for convenience. It has a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, and it is going to have a manual transmission. Just ensure it is functional before you get it.

Sources: cars.usnews.com, inews.co.uk, autowise.com, sfgate.com

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