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Seriously, I've spent like an hour searching and there appear to be absolutely no used cars in the US or Canada priced at or under $500. In fact, they're not even really close. I can only find a handful of cars under $1000, and they all seem to be parts cars that have major issues that are insurmountable for all but experienced mechanics who happen to have a spare engine laying around.

Am I just searching in the wrong places or what? Where have all the cheap-ass cars gone in this car-mandatory society?

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[-] nat_turner_overdrive@hexbear.net 17 points 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago)

They've completely disappeared thanks to inflation, not even mentioning the damage to the cheap old car market done by cash-for-clunkers

even beat panther platforms are $2k+

[-] hexaflexagonbear@hexbear.net 4 points 1 week ago

I imagine lower than usual demand over covid also means there's a few years where fewer than usual cars entered the used market, both from private owners and rental fleets, which has downstream effects.

[-] Frank@hexbear.net 16 points 1 week ago

I think Obummer's Cash for Clunkers thing somehow permanently fucked up the used car market. But i haven't ever looked in to it in detail.

[-] hexaflexagonbear@hexbear.net 9 points 1 week ago

I think the two shocks from covid and subsequent "return to normal" probably had a bigger effect. On the one end there's fewer cars that entered the used market and the ones that did had a higher sticker price, followed by a sudden spike in demand.

[-] Cummunism@hexbear.net 7 points 1 week ago

maybe, i think a big factor is the simple fact that new cars are way more. Even a certified Honda Civic, which was $14k when i bought mine in 2017, is now at least $20k.

[-] ComradeSpahija@lemmygrad.ml 4 points 1 week ago

Thanks Obumma

[-] sourquincelog@hexbear.net 12 points 1 week ago

Car prices went dummy thicc right around 2022 and haven't adjusted back and seems like they won't. But those 10 year old dodges and Nissans can't hold their value forever

[-] came_apart_at_Kmart@hexbear.net 10 points 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago)

in addition to things others suggested, I think there is an additional squeeze on the used car market due to the larger transition from ICE -> EV.

few people want to be the bozo that buys the last ICE vehicle, while manufacturers certainly don't want to eat a ahitload of inventory leftover from the ICE paradigm once EVs become the default. hence their hesitation in being transparent about a transition timeline.

additionally, apart from bazinga brains, most people are waiting for more generations of EVs, more diverse offerings, and experiences with reliability and maintenance. including the prospect of EV maintenance/repair that is not connected to car dealerships as they are NOTORIOUS for a long history of crooked behavior with ICE vehicles.

so all this means, if you are not bazinga & your current ICE vehicle is trashed, are you going to buy a brand new ICE vehicle that you might be stuck with for a while? or are you gonna try to find something used to reduce your total sunk cost and keep your options open over a shorter window?

I didn't invent this logic. some guy published a white paper like 6 years ago predicting this crunch to happen around this time. I think COVID and the general state of the economy (unstable) made more people risk averse, hence tightening the market for an affordable vehicle even further.

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[-] KhanCipher@hexbear.net 9 points 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago)

The same reason why it's rare to ever find interesting stuff at yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets anymore. The internet and that nearly everyone having a phone has made people a lot more aware of what they have, and if not that the existence of flippers. People who make it their life mission to be as close to a leech on society as landlords are. What they do more often than not is find someone who doesn't know what they have, buy it off them, then fix any minor issues, then flip it for a lot more than they paid and put into it.

[-] Greenleaf@hexbear.net 8 points 1 week ago

The Cash for Clunkers program really was the death of the availability of very cheap old cars in the US.

[-] hotcouchguy@hexbear.net 8 points 1 week ago

Your only chance at a cheap used car is to buy from an old person who still defaults to 2002 car prices

[-] oscardejarjayes@hexbear.net 8 points 1 week ago

to get a car under 500, you gotta know a guy. besides that, they are gone.

[-] Ocommie63@lemmygrad.ml 8 points 1 week ago

Yub, probably

[-] wtypstanaccount04@hexbear.net 8 points 1 week ago

Cash for clunkers obama

[-] Dickey_Butts@hexbear.net 7 points 1 week ago

At certain points during the pandemic used car prices were through the roof because new cars weren't getting shipped or whatever. Market never recovered of course.

[-] driving_crooner 6 points 1 week ago

Have you check if an e-bike can fulfill your needs?

[-] EmmaGoldman@hexbear.net 6 points 1 week ago

I don't think a used $500 ebike can be modded funny enough for a gambler, or go 500 miles offroad.

That said, I have an ebike that I use for 100% of my day-to-day actual transportation and I love it so much I sold my actual car.

[-] driving_crooner 6 points 1 week ago

English is not my first language and I don't understand what gambler means on that context and tough it just mean a cheap car.

[-] EmmaGoldman@hexbear.net 10 points 1 week ago

Ahh, I see. The Gambler 500 is an event with a price limit, where you buy a car for no more than $500, modify it for offroad use, then try to drive it 500 miles offroad. Many of the entries in the event have been very silly, such as old stretch limousines or road sports cars that are turned into offroad Monster Trucks, or economy sedans where the roof is sawed off to make it into a tiny pickup truck.

this post was submitted on 03 Apr 2024
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