Do your homework on the library's computers.
We have done a few top five budget lists before, such as V8 cars for less than $10,000 and 400-horsepower cars for less than $20,000. However, to some people even these budgets may seem astronomical. Young people who are saving up for a first car have other things that they need to buy. For example, a nice laptop might set you back almost $2,000. So we thought, could you actually buy a car for less than it costs to buy a really nice computer?
What better way to kick off a list of awesome (cheap) cars than with a Porsche? We knew that the 944 had become cheap, but $1,995 sounded just a bit too good to be true. We found our 1987 944 S in Virginia with a flood on the title. A flood can be disastrous to a car and we don't know how bad the damage is here. If you are willing to buy a project, you could potentially bring this car back to its former glory. The 944 is starting to gain some traction as a collectible, and buying one for less than $2,000 seems pretty cool. The original 2.5-liter inline-four produced 190 horsepower, although if the engine turns out to be unsalvageable you may just want to drop an LS1 in there. This 944 could become a cool race car project.
If you're buying a car for less than $2,000 you might expect it to break down a lot. Since you're already expecting the car to break, you might as well buy something unreliable like a Fiat. We found a 1975 Fiat 124 Spider with only 95,000 miles on it. The car is listed by a private seller for just $2,000. Who would have thought that you could buy a vintage Italian convertible for so little cash? With the introduction of the new 124, this car will start to gain more attention, so if you can spruce this one up you should end up with a really awesome classic car. It won't be fast as 0-60 mph takes over 10 seconds. Just drop the top and enjoy the fun of the four-speed manual transmission and the car's aged Italian beauty.
Like we said earlier, if you only have $2,000 to spend on a car, you should expect to get something unreliable. Or should you? We found a 1992 Lexus LS 400 for just $1,950. The car is offered by a private seller and has 237,000 miles on the clock. For an LS 400, this is barely broken in.
Perhaps you like the idea of buying a big, cushy car, but the Lexus was a bit too boring for you. You may think that something German like a BMW would be out of reach for just $2,000, but what if we told you that you could buy BMW's flagship model for less than Apple's flagship laptop? We found a 2001 BMW 740i with 171,000 miles on it. When it was new this car cost over $60,000 and can now be had for a fraction of its initial cost. The car came with a 4.4-liter V8 with 282 hp and 325 lb-ft or torque. It is amazing to think that in 15 years the 7 Series could go from being in the driveway of a CEO to the garage of a budget-conscious car enthusiast with a paper route and $2,000 saved up.
Our final car is by far the coolest on this list. Frankly, we can't believe that it costs less than a nice laptop. This 1999 Jaguar XJR is for sale at Island Honda in Kahului, Hawaii, so you will have to travel quite a bit to pick it up. The car has 96,000 miles and is offered for $1,995. The XJR features a 4.0-liter supercharged V8 with 370 horsepower. The Jaguar is the most powerful car on this list, and might just be the best value that we have ever seen. If you do live in Hawaii, or know a good way to ship this car cheaply, you might be able to get yourself an amazing British super saloon for less than the price of a new computer.