Smart buyers can find cars for under $2000. The trick is looking in the right places. Patience helps, too. Finding a reasonably priced car that is mechanically sound is more of a challenge now that it was in previous years.

The first decision is whether to accept a vehicle that is not as attractive as a newer model. Though this is not desirable, it may be necessary. Cars for sale under $2000 will usually not be new or sporty models. Even higher-mileage imports are rarely on the market for this price. This may mean that an American-made car is the best choice. American made older cars might not look as great, but they can run well.

The best way to begin the process is to talk to family, friends, and co-workers. It can be surprising how often this tip will work. People can be great resources. No one wants to disappoint friends or family. Buying a car from an acquaintance means that the sale is more likely to be honest and aboveboard. Any problems with the vehicle will probably be disclosed honestly. Another way to be sure to get a good used car under $2000 is to purchase one from a senior citizen. In general, older people drive less often and take very good care or their autos.

Online resources are the next best way to look for used cars under $2000. Search Craigslist or eBay postings. Stay local for best results. Taking a long road trip to retrieve a vehicle can cancel out any money saved on the price of the car. Never provide payment in advance. Take the time to review the seller's record and examine the vehicle before giving anyone any money. Unfortunately, dishonest sellers do exist. Sometimes, they are sneaky enough to slip by unnoticed. No online company can eliminate all of them. The best defense against frauds is to become well educated. Use the Kelly Blue book and NASD guides to evaluate the worth and condition of every vehicle. With this knowledge, it will be easy to tell if a car's price is much too low. Look for danger signals, too. If a seller is unwilling to show the vehicle, that is not a good thing. It does not matter how many autos the seller can place online, if they cannot be inspected before purchase

Cars for under $2000 can sometimes require a good deal of work or care. Be cautious about this. Include any repairs or maintenance in the budget. Extra costs can increase the more the car is driven. This is not the time to purchase a project car. Do not shy away from vehicles with more miles on the odometer, especially if they have been well maintained. If the car comes with a detailed record of oil changes and service that is a definite plus. Compare records carefully. Mileage logs and oil changes should coincide. The changes should have been done at the correct mileage level or time frame. Highway driving is less damaging to cars. Sellers who can prove that the car has been driven mainly on the highway have an advantage. Even if these records are not available, there are other ways to check on a used car. Title searches and CarFax reports can be obtained for $10-$20. Be sure to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) to use in the search. Insurance companies will sometimes also offer this information. Insurance companies will do this for a lower cost, but it will take more time. Keeping all these considerations in mind, cars under $2000 can be a good investment.