I would like to remind my fellow friends that you should have a mechanic to check your car before you buy one. I also understand that if you are going to buy a car around $3000 it would be unreasonable to hire a mechanic, but if you could bring an experience friend who know cars it would be great. It is best if the dealer or owner could lift the car up for you to check underneath the car. Also CARFAX are good to see how many owner the car had and if the car was wreck or not too. These are some information that could help you to find a good car for this price.
For cars with more than 10 years if you can’t find anything wrong with the body or engines you still should check for shocks or struts, bushing, engine rubber component, brakes, rotors, tires, and any electric inside the car. Because these items may seem to be unimportant compare to engine and body, but they cost to replace and fix and could exceed your budget.
Observe well and you can minimize cost on repairs.