How Much Should a Cheap, Reliable Car Cost?

I’m giving this 1999 Honda Civic to my oldest son. I feel Civics are good candidates for cheap reliable transportation, mainly because I have so much experience with them. However, there are several other cheap reliable vehicles out there that you can find.

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46 thoughts on “How Much Should a Cheap, Reliable Car Cost?

  1. 2003-2008 Toyota Corollas … no brainer used cars. Closest thing to a bullet proof work car if you halfway take care of it.

  2. $2000 in my area doesn't get you anything that's running..yes these people want a million dollars for their junk cars/suv/trucks..Blown motor, Blown transmission, NO state inspection …or on its last leg,…On facebook..laughable!!!

  3. Got my 98 honda civic for $450 just replaced the front wheel bearing and battery its serviced me well no problems👍 can't beat a honda

  4. I just bought a 04 Ford Explorer XLT ({sks Top Of The Line) for $2300. I love it, and I don't plan to spend a dime on it for the next 6 months if ever.

  5. Bought a 2002 civic 6 months ago for £500 as a runabout. Failed MOT in November on a binding front caliper, sorted that out and changed discs and pads while i was there, £40 for them. Also done a rear bearing as it was making a bit of noise, £20 for that. Just done the timing belt and water pump for piece of mind as previous owner didnt have it done and no idea when it was, £60 for them parts. All in all, ive put 5000 miles on it and its serving me well (touch wood), cant complain.

    Obviously helps and saves £££ that i do all work myself on cars.

  6. Your awesome eric! bought the same car, a 1998 also green for $300, and dumped a good amount into it, all mostly Honda parts and runs awesome. Bought an A/C kit from Amazon and blows really cold. Love it! Keep up the good work!

  7. I just bought a 03 civic coupe 5 spd with 305k for $500. Just replaced all the break lines, needs new windshield, rear shoes and drums, i just added new battery, i also have to figure out why all the sudden it won't start.

  8. I spent 3800 on my first car. it was reliable and slow. it needed few things here and there but got the job done. I had a new car for a while and got sick of it so I went back to used and found a 1 owner Integra for 5 grand. no regrets.

  9. 500 car 2k honest mechanic but bad mechanic 5k +….if u don't know about used cars when you do buy a used car never buy a luxury car and just buy honda or camry the least expensive car to fix..but the worst part bad mechanics they charge alot with aftermarket parts that don't last

  10. I just bought a $500, '99 Honda Civic & replaced, flushed, replenished & bled the radiator, JB Welded a tiny crack in the transmission casing and re-adjusted the steering wheel locknut. I hope that's it. All the work & replacements that you had to do doesn't seem worth it.

  11. So yes, unless you can do repairs yourself, don't buy beater cars unless getting them checked by a mechanic. And if you're buying a car under $5k, expect 1-2k repairs in the first 3 years imo.

  12. Main point of this video, stay away from debt in cars. You can get an inexpensive, reliable car for 5k or under rather than get a car that is new, lose money in minutes, and overall lose over half the value over the course of owning it.

  13. You just described $3000.00 to fix A $500.00 car if you can't do it your self for maybe 3 to 5 hundred.
    My mistake make that $5,000.00 or $6,000.00 in work. A big part of the problem is living in the rust belt.

  14. got a 2500$ accord 2007 with 99 000miles planning on driving it till 200000 miles sometimes the little extra cash might save you some $$$ down the line

  15. A running 90s civic is great….

    When they don't have any of the issues you had to fix.

    You did like $1500+ amount of work on it. At least that's what a mechanic would charge. I don't see many dyiers being able to do it unless they have knowledgeable friends/ fam or are a mechanic themselves

  16. Eric please please do a power steering rack rebuild video for all us cheap / poor people. There are workers out there "refurbishing" racks and if they can do it so can you so that you can show us how it goes. We can't afford to keep replacing these racks as a whole. Thank you!!

  17. Sounds like a negative value vehicle! and I thought my 500$, 2005 ford focus was Junk! all vehicles, regardless, whether Japanese or Domestic, are prone to ageing. if you don't have the means and resources to maintain them they can be a case of false economy. So basically, if you don't have the expertise, time, and resources to invest money into a 500$ car, don't buy it. Eric is right I put about 770$ worth of parts on my '05 focus after I'd bought it for 500$. if i would have sold it right after attending to all deficiencies, i would have made a loss.

  18. Basically ….RUST kills. OEM brake lines are a pain but best; just coat with aerosol undercoating. Interesting to substitute with braided lines here. The surface rust here is supremely intense.

  19. My friend who had an old civic similar to this one ended up replacing the entire motor and doing a bunch of work that ended up costing more than $2000 for a car that only cost $1000.

  20. I fixed up so many auction cars that wrote "suspected head gasket", only to find out there was just a cooling leak or the thermostat was stuck. It's certainly not that straightforward to diagnose, without the kit.

  21. If the brake lines are rotted what does that tell you about the condition of the rest of the car? I owned a 1993 galant that had almost no rust and certainly no rotten brake lines, bushings or engine mounts.

  22. Hey I got a question Eric if you can answer me in time I got a 97 Civic it is not getting caught it showing and the cooling fan is not cutting on even when I cut the heat on the AC on the cooling fan doesn't come on

  23. lol, $500 car plus $4000 worth of repairs. I don't think Civics are good candidates for SAFE transportation, too small and will get squashed like a bug by all those trucks and SUVs out there.

  24. So your $500 civic would cost the average person almost $2000? Huh does not seen like a good buy.
    I paid $600 for a 72 D100 drudge truck. Yeah it got 8mpg, no gauge worked and there was no heater nor ac but hey it was $600 and I was 16.

  25. No other mechanic on YouTube would admit to mixing up left and right tie-rod ends. This is what makes ETCG so great; it's why he has so many followers – people trust him.

  26. I bought a 2002 Honda Accord EX recently for 2500 that was pretty much a garage car with only 120,000 miles on it. All I really needed to do was replace the engine mounts, timing belt, and brake pads. Best car ever

  27. Eric, if you were looking for a daily driver for commuting to the office and expect to add about 16,000 miles on the odometer per year in a mixture of city & highway driving (max speed limit about 70 miles per hour) and bumper to bumper traffic jams. Primarily looking for hatchbacks (as I like having a rearview windscreen wiper) & I'm only looking for automatic cars than have less than 62,000 miles on the odometer.

    Which of the following automatic transmission vehicles would you consider to be ultra-reliable and provide the best solution (I prefer the smaller build size as it's easier for parking & maneuvering in the city):

    Mazda 3 SP25 2nd Gen(BL; 2008–2013) using Mazda L (L5 SVT) 4 Cylinder, 2.5 L engine or the Mazda 3 SP20 SkyActiv BL Series using Mazda SKYACTIV-G 4 Cylinder, 2.0 Litre engine. Sports Automatic Transmission

    Hyundai Accent Elite, SR, or Sport 4th Gen (RB; 2010–2018) using the Hyundai Gamma (1.6 Gamma GDi [G4FD]) 4 Cylinder, 1.6 Litre engine. Sports Automatic Transmission

    Kia Rio Sport or Si 3rd Gen (UB; 2011–2017) using Hyundai Gamma (G4FABU or the G4FDBU) 4 Cylinder, 1.6 Litre engine. Sports Auto Transmission

    Kia Cerato S 3rd Gen (2012-2018) [Known as Kia Forte 2nd Gen (YD) in the USA] using Hyundai Nu (G4NB) 4 Cylinder, 1.8 Litre engine. Sports Auto Transmission

    Hyundai i30 Active (GD; 2011–2017) [Known as Hyundai Elantra GT in the USA] using Hyundai Nu (G4NB) 4 Cylinder, 1.8 Litre engine. Sports Auto Transmission

    Honda Civic VTi-L or VTi-S 9th Gen (2011–2015) [Acura ILX in the USA] using Honda R (R18Z1) 4 Cylinder, 1.8 L or Honda R (R18Z4) 4 Cylinder, 1.8 L engine. Sports Auto Transmission

    Honda Jazz VTi Second generation (2007–2014) [known as Honda Fit in the USA] using the Honda L (L15A7) 4 Cylinder, 1.5 L engine. Auto Transmission

    Hyundai i30 SX First generation (FD; 2007–2012) [known as Hyundai Elantra Touring in the USA] using Hyundai Beta (G4GC) 4 Cylinder, 2.0L engine. Auto Transmission

    Toyota Corolla Levin SX or Ascent 10th Gen 2007-2013 (E140/E150) [known as Toyota Corolla or Toyota Matrix 2nd Gen in the USA] using Toyota ZR (2ZR-FE) 1.8L engine. Automatic Transmission

    Honda Civic Sport, VTi, VTi-L, or Limited Edition 8th Gen (2005–2011) [Known as Acura CSX] using Honda K (K20Z2) 4 Cylinder, 2.0 L engine or Honda R (R18A) 4 Cylinder, 1.8 L Engine. Automatic Transmission

    Mazda 3 SP23 First generation (BK; 2003–2009) using Mazda L (L3 SVT) 4 Cylinder, 2.3 Litre engine. Sports Auto Transmission

    Honda Accord Euro (8th Gen 2008–2015) [known as the Acura TSX in the USA] using the Honda K (K24Z3 LEV) 4 Cylinder, 2.4 L engine. Automatic Transmission

    Toyota Camry RZ or Atara R XV50 (2011-2019) using the Toyota AR (2AR-FE) 4 Cylinder, 2.5 Litre engine. Sports Automatic Transmission

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