How many times have you started a car search with filters set to “$5,000 and under,” most often with the manual transmission box checked? The answer is probably more times than you’re willing to admit. I, too, have wasted time doing that, but I think I’ve found something that’ll help us all. Seat Time Cars is a site that tracks down sales ads and puts them all in one place, and every single car it lists is five grand or less with a friggin’ stick shift.
I came across the page while scrolling through Instagram and quickly became obsessed. Before I could make a marriage-ending financial decision and buy a $3,500 Mazda RX-8, I wanted to talk to the site’s founder to find out more about it.
Josh Mullineaux started the site after spending hours searching the internet for cheap cars that could be driven on-track. He started out manually searching for the cars and listing them on his site before transitioning to a more automated system that aggregates vehicles from various sites.
It’s worth noting that Seat Time Cars accumulates listings from other sites and filters them to meet the specific criteria for price and function, kinda like Car Gurus. Mullineaux said he found that most cars in the sub-$5,000 price range generally sell quickly—typically within three days—so he wanted to create a service to alert people as soon as the ads were posted. Every day, the site sends out a newsletter with fresh listings and pulls ads from all over the internet, including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
You can see the available cars for free, but to actually view the full ads, Seat Time charges $10 per month or a one-time fee of $49.95 to access the listings. If you don’t want to pay, the sales ads are all out on the internet for the finding—they just won’t be all in one place.
It’s tempting to call Seat Time an enthusiast-friendly time suck like Bring a Trailer, but you won’t find high-dollar collector items here. Then again, that’s kind of the point—and when was the last time you saw a car sell on BaT for under $5,000?
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