The Cheapest Car on eBay Costs Less Than an iPhone 15 Pro Max

The inflation has left its toll on everything, including the used car market, where you can no longer buy a decent ride for a three-digit sum – unless you are patient and really lucky. But we have already covered this topic in a previous article that you can read here, so it's now time to take yet another venture into the world of cheap used vehicles and see which one costs the least.
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier 10 photos
Photo: eBay | A&R USED CARS INC
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier2004 Chevrolet Cavalier
Nothing under $1,000 on eBay can be driven (at the time of writing), as they're only beat-up old rides hoping that someone would give them a new lease on life. They are essentially bottomless pits that will keep a potential enthusiast up at night searching through internet forums to try and fix all kinds of issues. Therefore, we had to scroll down almost to the $1,5000 mark to find something that looked driveable, and that's where we stumbled upon this sedan.

Can't tell what it is? Why, of course, you can. After all, it has prominent Chevy emblems at the front and rear, looks relatively modern, and is not that appealing from a design perspective. It is a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier, which puts it in the third generation made from 1994 to 2005. This model was made in the United States, Mexico, and Venezuela, sharing its platform with the even uglier Pontiac Sunfire, and was nothing to write home about in terms of performance.

The engine family consisted of straight-four units only, mated to manual and automatic gearboxes, and is a bit smaller than the modern-day Toyota Corolla. Power comes from a 2.2-liter mill hooked up to an automatic transmission. It has a black paint finish on top of a gray interior, and for the most part, it looks quite decent. Sure, it may feature steel wheels, and we couldn't come across any images of the interior, but it should get its future owner to and fro without complaining too much.

This 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier is located in Clayton, New Jersey, and we'd recommend those in the area interested in it to take a trip there and inspect in person, preferably accompanied by a friend who knows a thing or two about these rides. Who knows, maybe they will be able to slash the price further and turn it into an absolute bargain that they will be able to use on a daily basis until they get back on their feet. And we certainly won't judge them if they get this ugly sedan, as we've all struggled at one point, haven't we?

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier
Photo: eBay | A&R USED CARS INC
One positive aspect, besides the affordable price tag attached to it, which we will get to in a minute, is the fact that it has a clean title. On a different note, however, it is not exactly a low mileage example. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the odometer reads nearly 300,000 miles (~480,000 km). As a result, chances are it might need some elbow grease before being ready to hit the open road again, so its future owner should not be afraid to get their hands dirty if they want to save an extra buck on maintenance.

But how much is it to write your name on the dotted line and drive it home from the dealer lot, where it breathes the same air as other rides, including several that are also on the affordable side? That would be $1,495. We will remind you that the new iPhone 15 Pro Max costs more – well, as long as you go for the 1TB version, which is $1,599, as those with less storage are cheaper than this Chevy sedan. You could also get a nice bicycle for a similar amount, though we think this Cavalier certainly beats walking.

Should you add five bucks to the asking sum, then you could get a 1991 Ford Tempo or a 2001 Chrysler Sebring. Go closer to the $2,000 mark, and you might get things such as a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 2005 Hyundai Sonata, a 2003 Honda Accord, a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, a 2011 Kia Soul, a 2007 Mazda3, a 2005 Nissan Murano, a 2005 Ford Taurus, and so on. Thus, if we were you, we'd try to save a bit more and get something for roughly $2,000, as it would be newer and better overall than this Chevy Cavalier.

But what would you get for this kind of money if you really had to? Hit the comments area below and work that keyboard. For me, it would probably be an older MINI, as this model comes with affordable maintenance, most of which can be performed at home, not to mention a feisty motor under the hood and the craved-after go-kart driving feel. Plus, it doesn't look bad either, and you could always imagine that you're pulling your very own Italian Job.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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