What do you get for 5,000 Bucks???

Los Angeles Freeways, If you live in Southern California you know them well.
by Michael Satterfield

The economy is still pretty bad and if you live in Southern, California like I do, you know that the only choice you have is to drive. Public transportation never caught on here in California, well that, and the Big Three bought up and closed down most mass transit companies back in the 30's to make sure that the Freeway would be king in the west. 

But the politics aside, people need to get around and on a budget that can be hard, plus in California's car culture, your car is as much a statement as it is a place you'll spend about a 1/3 of your life (mostly sitting on the 405).

So what can you get in LA for $5,000, while still sporting some LA style??? Checking around on Craigslist, Autotrader, and eBay there are some surprisingly good options.

If a classic is more your speed this vintage 1972 Mercedes was listed for just under $5K. But just remember that you might get loads of style, but you'll also get some high repair bills. On the plus side, insurance is generally pretty cheap on classics like this, no smog in California on cars older than 1975, and lower registration costs, could off set the increase in repairs. Just get any classic checked over by a good mechanic before you fork over the cash.

If you can shift this 5 speed manual MINI Cooper was listed for just $5,000. The nice thing with the MINI is that the styling does not change much over the years, so this 2002 still looks like a newer car. This one has over 160,000 miles, but if it has been taken care of, it will have lots of life left in it. Plus it was loaded with leather, premium sound, sun roof, and most other factory options.

A classic convertible is always a great choice for LA, with the beach just a few miles away and great weather year around, a classic drop top could be your LA ride. This MGB looks great, but just remember that it is British... on a plus side parts are cheap and LA is full of British Car specialist that know these cars inside and out. This little roadster was listed at just $4,950.

Nothing says LA more than driving a Hybrid, this 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid is listed for just $4,500. While it does have nearly 200,000 miles on it, pulling the H-card will get you more chicks at the collective than driving up in a earth killing classic. Plus if you find one with HOV lane stickers you will love passing up everyone as you drive alone in the car pool lane.