Best cars under $5,000

Just because you’re shopping for a car on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to wind up behind the wheel of some old beater that barely runs. There are plenty of affordable options for motorists who want decent cars for their money, and Jalopnik recently asked its readers to recommend their top choices for drivers who want to buy used vehicles with bad credit car loans. For the most part, the top ten choices were all made in the 1990s and early 2000s. These cars were not chosen for their performance, their good looks or their fancy features. Rather they were chosen because they are reliable options that drivers can count on to last and not cost them a fortune.

The Nissan Sentra was the number one choice because of its reliability, and a 1999 model in good condition can be purchased for $2,300. The low price is due to the immense volume of Sentras in the U.S., and the car is nothing terribly special. The base ’99 model came standard with a 1.6-liter inline-four engine and only kicks out about 115 horsepower.

The reader recommendation that came in third is not a specific vehicle, rather Jalopnik lists old trucks as a good option, whether you prefer the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma or any other pickup. The news source cites availability, practicality and mechanical simplicity as a few of the reasons that trucks are affordable vehicles, but keep in mind that you’ll likely be the one your friends and family call when they need help moving. If you don’t mind doing this or if you have a lot of stuff that needs to be hauled around, a truck could be the right choice for you.

The Honda Accord from the 1990s is the tenth car on the list because it is inexpensive – a 1999 model sells for about $3,300, according to Edmunds.com – and it’s reliable. The news source reports that the parts are durable and standard so when they eventually need to be replaced, the new parts will be less expensive than you might find in other cars.

Other cars that made the list include the Ford Crown Victoria, Buick Regal, motorcycles, Geo Prizm, Ford Escort, Buick LeSabre and Kia Rio.