Tractors aren’t cheap. Well, not new ones, anyway. A good quality new tractor can run tens of thousands of dollars. But even if you don’t have that kind of budget, that shouldn’t stop you from getting a machine that can help you get some work done. Fortunately, most tractors are built to last and even older equipment can give you many years of service on a tight budget.
Some things to keep in mind when buying a used machine:
- Safety is number one. Used equipment sometimes has safety equipment such as ROPS or PTO shields removed. These are definitely items you’ll want to replace.
- Think about repairs. If you aren’t mechanically skilled to fix the machine if repairs are needed, find a local mechanic who you can turn to for reasonably priced repairs should the need arise.
- Have realistic expectations. This isn’t a brand new machine, so you’re going to compromise on comfort and convenience features when buying older equipment.
- If it’s too good to be true… it probably is. Watch out for scams! Not just the typical online scams where you see a $20,000 machine advertised for $5,000, but the kind of scams that involve a machine with a bad engine or failing transmission. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, find a local pro to help you out.
- Budget for attachments. As you’ll see on our list, some of these great finds under $5,000 for used tractors won’t have any attachments. That should definitely factor into your decision making process, especially if you know you need a front-end loader. Best bet is find a machine that already has a manufacturer-matched loader.
- Take your time searching. Our list is just a few examples. Please keep in mind that these machines on our list are just examples of the types of deals we found when searching online. You might find better deals, or better machines than the ones on our list. Or maybe not—who knows. Every market is different, and there’s no such thing as a used tractor factory. Each one is different.
Regardless of budget, get a tractor that fits your needs
Are you going to mow with your tractor? Move dirt? Till a garden? Plow snow? All of the above? The tasks will determine the tractor—if all you’re going to do is mow and haul a trailer, maybe you don’t need 4WD, and maybe you don’t want ag tires. If all you’re going to do is box scraping, more weight will come in handy.
What you can find on a $5,000 budget
When looking for a compact utility tractor on a $5,000 budget, you’re going to find a lot of machines that have had a fair bit of use. High hour machines and machines that have seen the end of their useful life by one or more owners. Depending on your plans for the tractor, you might want to filter those out and start to look at machines that are in good condition and have some life left on them.
On a $5,000 budget, we would search for:
- A brand we trust and can find a local dealer for parts and service needs.
- Under 40 horsepower
- 4WD (unless you don’t want 4WD)
- Good tires (can be expensive to replace)
- All safety equipment installed
- Good physical condition, no major rust or missing panels
Where to search for a used tractor on a $5,000 budget
Watch For Scams!
Second warning about scams! Unfortunately tractors have been targeted by scammers because they are a high ticket item and some buyers have fallen for these scams. We recommend completing deals in person and never sending money to a seller before seeing the tractor in person. Doing business across state lines with a trusted, reputable dealer is a safer way to conduct out of state transactions than buying from an individual seller in another state.
What we found on a $5,000 budget
Check out the machines that we found for $5,000 or less. Keep in mind that these are examples and are picked from all around the United States. These are the types of deals that are out there if you dig for them:
Cub Cadet 7000 Series
We found this nice 1997 Cub Cadet 7273 for just $4995. Other similar deals can be found if you look around. Doesn’t have a loader, but this one is a nice modern machine with less than 1,200 hours on it. Looks like the tires are in good condition, too. If you don’t need a loader, and just do mowing and 3PH work, this is a good buy.
Kubota BX Series
The Kubota BX series is a great choice if you can find one under $5,000. We stumbled upon this BX1800 with loader and mower for less than $5,000 and although deals like this are rare, you might find one out there. You can certainly find a used BX with just a mower for $5,000 or less, which like the Cub Cadet we mentioned above, is a great unit.
John Deere 670 / 770 / 870
Who knew you could find a 28-horsepower John Deere for just $5,000? Well, this 2WD John Deere 870 with 4,000 hours was just $4,000 when we found it. Most of the used John Deere compact tractors you’ll find under $5,000 are going to be 2WD, but the 2WD machines have their uses as well (orchard, arena, etc).
Small Kioti Tracor
This used Kioti LB1914 we found was just $3,800, the lowest priced tractor on our list. It had 4WD and new front tires, too!
We’ve been showing you some more modern compact utility tractors, but old iron is out there for under $5,000 too and if you’re looking for a heavier, higher horsepower machine for 3PH / PTO tasks, this could be a good option as well. In fact your selection of older machines will be a lot greater than the newer tractors.