8 Unique Cheap Cars to Buy Used

Keep your eyes peeled for models like the Honda S2000, Mazda RX-8, Nissan Cube, and Toyota MR-2 when you want a used car with a bit more pizazz.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
You’ve hit the jackpot if you come across a used Honda S2000 for cheap—but why limit your choices? There are plenty of affordable options when it comes to rare finds. You’ve just got to know what you’re looking for. 
Call it commodity or collecting—some may even call it camp comedy—but
shopping for a used car
can open the door on a variety of rides that are completely out of the ordinary. You may as well look for something a little wacky or wild so long as it doesn’t completely break the bank.
Unique, cheap, and functional may seem like a hard combination to come by in the world of used cars, but
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is here to make your search easier. From curvy to boxy, to lifesize versions of your childhood toys, Jerry has got you covered when it comes to the coolest used cars on the market.
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Honda S2000

Years to look for: 2000-2009
Price to look for: Less than $15,000
Two words:
sports car
Honda S2000
has a sleek, rounded exterior with an elegant elongated hood and enticing convertible drop-top. However, its most unique feature lies beneath the hood—a very attractive Honda engine with powerful performance and trustworthy reliability that will have track enthusiasts screaming.
There’s no guarantee that you can actually find a Honda S2000 for cheap. On the contrary, you rarely will, but that’s exactly why it’s on this list. If you do find the S2000 for $15,000 or less, you’ll definitely want to consider some financing options before you pass it over.
MORE: 7 things to look for when buying a used car

Fiat 500 Abarth

Years to look for: 2012-2014
Price to look for: Less than $10,000
A European oddity, the
Fiat 500 Abarth
is graced with Fiat’s signature bug-like design with a short hood, rounded headlights, and a frame resembling the likes of a bowler hat. Add a couple of racing stripes and a pop of color on the side mirrors and—well, you’ve got the idea. 
These cars were very popular in Europe but not so common in the United States, so finding one means you’re in for a treat. Better yet, the Abarth influence gave these tiny two-door tuners some serious engine power that merited the nickname “Wizard” from its admirers. 
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Mazda RX-8

Years to look for: 2005-2011
Price to look for: $5,000 to $10,000
We’re going to return to the world of used sports cars for just a little bit longer with a supercharged, smooth, and sporty ride—the
Mazda RX-8
. Yes, these cars contain the last rotary engine sold in the US, but don’t be fooled. The truly unique feature of this supposed sports coupe is a second set of rear-hinged doors that open in the opposite direction.
Picture this: you’re going to take some friends for a ride and the ones sitting in the back think they have to pull the front seat forward to get in. Instead, you open the front door, pull an inside handle, and bam! You blow their minds when the second set of panels swing out like a pair of saloon doors and unleash the future.

Audi TT

Years to look for: 2001-2008
Price to look for: $5,000 to $9,000
Ok, yes, another European sports car, but the
Audi TT
makes the list solely for its beautifully-curved design. Almost every edge of this car appears to drape with a soft elegance like satin on a cloud-shaped bubble. This enticing trim is finished off with ironically square headlights that curve perfectly with the suave, rounded facade of the hood.
Look for the vibrant blue, green, or charcoal paint jobs to perfectly accentuate the design features that make this car unique.

Subaru WRX

Years to look for: 2002-2004
Price to look for: $5,000 to 10,000
Subaru WRX
has some interesting aesthetic features matched by a highly-customizable engine and great performance across all seasons. This is the unique car to go with when you’re looking for your next tuner, year-round reliability in rain and snow, or both. It has a bit of bulkier design similar to that of a traditional sedan but with a vented hood scoop to visually set it apart from other cars.

Nissan Cube

Years to look for: 2008-2014
Price to look for: $5,000 to $9,000
It doesn’t get more unique than the
Nissan Cube
’s boxy design, asymmetrical wrap-around rear window, or shag carpet patch decorating the top of the dashboard. Affectionately dubbed by some drivers as the “toaster-on-wheels”, the funky Cube is perfect for a driver who likes to break the mold on beauty standards. 
MORE: How to take good car pictures

Pontiac Solstice

Years to look for: 2006-2007
Price to look for: $8,000 to $10,000
With the
Pontiac Solstice
looking like it came straight out of a spy movie, you may be tempted to live your 007 fantasy. With a clean curved shape similar to that of the Audi TT and a stunning convertible feature, this coupe has got some serious style. Even though it’s made in America, the Solstice’s finishing details have some clear European influence like a short frame, rounded headlights, and an unassuming kidney grille. 

Toyota MR2

Years to look for: 1991+
Price to look for: $6,500 to $10,000
Drive like you’re cruising one of those toy race tracks you had as a kid when you buy a used
Toyota MR2
. These sleek, classic vehicles have an angular racecar look from the sharply-pointed nose with peekaboo headlights to the rear drag wing. Obviously, classic red is the way to go if you can.

Should you buy an older used car?

The Toyota MR2 is a true classic in both style and age, with used models dating back over 30 years. When buying any used car, take note that the age of a vehicle will be a continuing factor in your costs and upkeep. 
Your collector item’s age can directly impact the following:
  • Repairs and part replacements: You’ll likely be looking at some maintenance and updates to keep the car functioning well. Make it fun by turning it into a tuner project
  • Car loan availability: Some lenders will not approve loans for a used vehicle older than a certain age. Since you’re going to be looking at a slightly smaller loan for a used car, try
    going through a credit union
    for your best odds.
  • Car insurance: Older cars typically garner higher insurance rates, but that doesn’t mean you have to get expensive insurance. The
    app is your best tool to help offset the costs.
MORE: How different kinds of cars affect your car insurance rates

How to find unique, cheap, and functional car insurance

Whether you go for the “A-list celebrity racing down a palm-tree lined boulevard” vibe or the simple novelty of car doors that open in different ways,
can help you find
cheap car insurance
for your used car.
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to getjerry.com. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from 50-plus top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one. No long forms. No calling around. No hard work. Just savings. The average Jerry user saves $887 a year on car insurance.
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Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
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