What's the Cheapest Running Car for Sale In Your Area?

Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, your local paper — there's gotta be some good, cheap cars near you.

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Photo: Rutger van der Maar, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Like many of you, I’ve been car shopping recently. With my track-prepped Miata listed for sale, I need a new chariot that can spirit me away to track days and car meets — something reliable, fun, and most importantly, cheap. But I’ve come across a problem, one you all are familiar with: Buying a car right now sucks.

Prices are up, quality is down, and anything with an even remotely reasonable price has fallen victim to decades of rust and rot. But the hunt has led to an interesting question: What’s left at the bottom of the used car classifieds?

New York’s cheapest car. Maybe.
New York’s cheapest car. Maybe.
Photo: Craigslist
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To find the absolute cheapest cars, though, we need to set some rules. For starters, we’re only looking for listings from a vehicle’s owner. No dealers, because we all know, dealers advertising on local classifieds often engage in some price shenanigans. No “$1 cars” here, please the listing has to be for a reasonable dollar amount, and that price has to reflect an amount the seller would happily accept to get rid of their car.

The other big rule is that your listing has to be priced for a cash sale. No lease takeovers that just list the monthly payment amount, no “price listed is down payment,” and no rentals. Just good old-fashioned cars, for good old-fashioned sale. Sound good?

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Image for article titled What's the Cheapest Running Car for Sale In Your Area?
Photo: Craigslist

Here in New York, those rules bring us here: A 2006 Lincoln Navigator, in what can only be described as “early-aughts beige,” for a mere $750. The listing does say it’s “FOR PARTS OR MECHANIC SPECIAL,” but it sounds like the car would run fine with just a new battery.

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If that need for a new battery disqualifies the Navigator, we don’t have to go much further down the list to find a fully qualified entrant. This 2003 Sonata, with a “very low” 105,000 miles and a lot of body damage, comes in at only $825. Hey, it’s transportation.

Those are the cheapest cars available near Jalopnik’s NYC headquarters. How’s the market out by you? What’s the cheapest car on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or even AutoTempest in your area? Give us your best, cheapest listings, and we’ll collect that data to determine a location for our car-based commune for a slideshow tomorrow afternoon.