When the paycheck can’t come fast enough, it’s good to know that the cheap cars we drive won’t give up the ghost and destroy whatever hope we had of making ends meet. That’s why I asked you cheap bastards to choose the most reliable cars for less than a $2,000 on eBay, and to be honest, I couldn’t have done any better if I tried. Bravo.

10. 1984 Ford Ranger


This Ford Ranger is the little truck everyone needs. It’s slow as hell, uncomfortable, quite ugly, and has panel gaps you can fit two arms through. But it will never die and parts are stupid cheap. I’ll let AJC explain:

If something breaks, it is usually cheap and easy to repair. had a timing belt break a couple weeks ago. Had it repaired the next day.

plus, this example is rebuilt (supposedly), and $1500, leaving $500 for tires, beer, or something else fun.

(Suggested by: AJC)

9. 2000 Toyota Avalon


This Toyota Avalon was the almost-Lexus that served as the pinnacle of Toyota’s most luxurious models. Now it’s a little worse for the wear, but should be just as reliable as when it left the factory. I’ll let PotbellyJoe and 42 others explain:

So it needs a battery. On the plus side at 344,000 miles, anything the would have broken, would have already broken. And you’re like 170,000 miles away from having Toyota refurbish the thing and put you in a commercial.


(Suggested by PotbellyJoe and 42 others)

8. 2005 Lincoln Town Car


This Lincoln Town Car is the car that replaces refinement with pure, unadulterated, comfort that is a refreshing as it is cheap. I’ll let dustynnguyendood explain:

Panther Ford, particularly Town Car. Currently on the look to add to my fleet as a backup/road trip car. The Crown Vics are mostly ex-cop cars or cabs and beat to shit, the Grand Marquis’ are mostly grandma cars and while nice, overpriced compared to the relative bargain that the Town Car gives. Many are L models, (long wheelbase, the back doors are about 5" longer that standard) being retired from Livery service. Miles are often high and they have bumps and bruises from all that parking but most are very well maintained. Parts are cheap and for the size they pull down decent gas mileage (I routinely cleared 25 in my Grand Marquis).


(Suggested by dustynnguyendood)

7. 1997 Saturn SL


This Saturn SL is the forgotten, dent-resistant, unkillable little gem that you never knew you needed as a fail safe. I’ll let Rusty Starship explain:

So, why a Saturn? Because they’re simple. Body panels are plastic and cheap. This one’s a manual, keeping your commute interesting and engaging. Plus, from my experience when I owned my own Saturn SL-1, it is absolutely possible to get 42 mpg from one of these. They’re great little cars.

Oh, and they’re a blast in the snow, too. Just don’t wind out the engine too much... They don’t like that.


(Suggested by Rusty Starship)

6. 2000 Honda Civic NGV


This Honda Civic takes all the usual reliability, build quality and ease of use of a gas-powered car, without all those pesky emissions. This car runs on natural gas, and although filling stations are few and far between, the car itself stands as a testament to reliability and innovation for the future. If you can have a filling station near you, you’d be foolish not to consider this awesome little car.

(Suggested by Arv Raman)

5. 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme


This Cutlass is a car made in the days of “planned obsolescence,” without necessarily following that mantra. The 3.1-liter V6 wasn’t fast, economical, or high revving, but it was crazy reliable.

This two-door Cutlass also has some traditional ‘90s shapes that are just getting back in style, without the high nostalgia tax that these things usually come packaged with. Thousands of grandparents across the country can’t be wrong.

(Suggested by skurdnee)


4. 1989 Toyota Truck


This plucky little truck had the death-defying 22R 4 cylinder engine that is so overbuilt will likely outlast its next five owners. At this price, it’s a ton of utility for what amounts to giving up one cup of coffee per day, for a year.

(Suggested by my car smells like crayons)

3. 1990 Volvo 240 DL


This Volvo 240 is a staple in the cheap car marketplace as a reliable, reasonably well-equipped, and unmistakably retro econobox. You can buy a few of them for under the budget, so that’s what you should do.

Don’t wait, just do it and experience all the intricacies of Swedish budget motoring.


(Suggested by Nate)

2. 2003 Toyota Corolla CE


Of course this Toyota Corolla made the list. It’s modern-looking, has reliability that has tank designers wondering where they went wrong, and parts prices that can prove how beautiful supply and demand can truly be. It’s not the most fun to drive, but it’ll get you to where you need to go on your brokest of days, and that’s the point.

(Suggested by whale-tail)

1. 2001 Chevolet Cavalier


This Chevy Cavalier isn’t a great car, but it is one that won’t die at an inopportune time like some prima donna Italian roadster. It also won’t attract unwanted attention and won’t get stolen, because its parts are worth less than the effort to steal them.

This is the cheapest cheap car that will get you where you need to go with dignity. I’ll have drdanteiii sum it up:

Because a GM will run bad longer than most cars will run at all.

(Suggested by drdanteiii)

Tavarish writes and makes videos about fixing and modifying cars on the internet. Sometimes they actually run.

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