What is The Best Used Car to Buy Under $3000?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/19/2022 Posted: 02/04/2019

It may be hard to believe that you can buy a good used car for less than $3000, but it’s true. It is possible to get cheap used cars, but it is essential that you exercise caution when choosing a car. You do not want to end up paying a lot of money to repair a used car.

2005 Honda Accord Hybrid $2,900

This 2005 model was the first generation of the Honda Accord Hybrid. In this model, Honda combined a V6 engine and the hybrid drivetrain to improve fuel efficiency. Depending on the mileage, you can get this car for less than $3000.

1990 Mazda MX5 Miata $1,990

The Mazda MX5 Miata was unveiled in 1990. By 2016, over one million of these cars had been produced. The sales success of the Mazda MX5 Miata means there are many of these used cars in the market selling at less than $3000. Depending on the age, mileage, and how well the car has been maintained, you can get a fairly priced used car at an online car selling site.

2002 Toyota Camry $1,700 – $2,900

This is one of the most popular cars produced by Toyota, on the market since 1982. Pre-2002 used Toyota Camry can be bought for less than $3000. Because of its popularity, you are likely to find many Toyota Camry’s available for sale. This gives you more choice even if you have a limited budget. The features in this car include a 4-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.4-litre engine that cranks out 157 horsepower.

2000 Toyota Corolla $2,990

This is one of the most popular cars around. It was one of the most reliable cars of the 1990s. This car has undergone various changes over the years. However, for less than $3000, you can get the older models of the Toyota Corolla. It would be best to compare prices of various sites, including Auction Auto Mall to find out who has the best offer.

2009 Chevrolet Aveo $2,990

Older models of the Chevrolet Aveo, preferably those unveiled before 2010, could easily cost less than $3000, depending on the condition of the car. This is not just a cheap car to buy, but it is also easier to maintain than most. It has a 4-cylinder 1.6-litre engine with a horsepower of 106. It is also fitted with a manual transmission. Its estimated MPG is 27 city and 34 highway.

2002 Infiniti i35 $2,999

The price of the used Infiniti i35 varies depending on its condition. If you are lucky, you may get a well-maintained car at a ridiculously low price. Some of the features of the 2002 Infiniti i35 include front wheel drive, 4-speed automatic transmission, V6 cylinders, and a combined MPG of 20.

2000 RAV4 $2,990

The used 2000 model Toyota RAV4 has a combined MPG of 23. It comes with the option of an all-wheel drive or front wheel drive, 5-speed manual transmission, and a 2-litre engine with a 127 horsepower. It is essential to ask your mechanic to inspect the car before investing in this car, especially if the price is too good to let go.

2005 Volkswagen Jetta $2,995

The 2005 Volkswagen Jetta has a 6-speed automated manual transmission, a 1.9-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine, and has a fuel economy of 30 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. If you are lucky, you may get a car with front seat heating. However, it is not Bluetooth enabled. The price varies depending on the condition of the car.

2006 Ford Fusion $2,995

The Ford Fusion has a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder engine with a 160horsepower. The EPA MPG is 20 city and 29 highway. It comes with the option of either a manual or automatic transmission, power mirrors, ABS Brakes, cruise control, and Bluetooth.

2000 Honda Civic LX $2,589

The 2000 Honda Civic LX received excellent reviews when it was unveiled. Over the years, it has continued to be a favorite, especially for its reliability. The interior, especially the rear seats, is quite roomy. Should you buy this car, you will compromise power for fuel efficiency. It comes with a 1.6-litre engine that cranks out 106horsepower, 5-speed manual transmission, and an estimated MPG of 32/city and 37/highway.

Further Reading

Where to Buy Cars Under $3000

Auction websites

Nowadays you can find a number of website with a great selection used cars for sale, like Auto Auction Mall. You may be surprised at how low the prices are at websites like Auto Auction Mall. Among the selection of used cars for sale, you will also find many salvage cars that can be repaired and made road worthy at a low cost.

Craig’s List

This is a website where individual car sellers advertise cars they have for sale. If you are looking to make a quick buy from the car owner, you should consider this option. However, be aware that there are some risks involved.

Car Sales Websites

Car owners use online car selling sites because they get buyers faster. You can explore the various websites to see a vast selection of cars that cost less than $3000.


Older models usually cost much less than newer models. However, you will likely get a higher reading in the odometer of these cars. But if you are lucky this will not represent the actual condition of the car. You should always have your mechanic at hand to inspect the car before committing yourself to buying it. Most of these cars may need repairs before they are considered safe to test drive. However, the costs of repairs might not impact on your overall budget significantly.