Buying a used car



We are looking to spend $5,000 to $7,000. Which brands would you recommend. T


Can’t go wrong with a Miata!


What do you want from the car ? High mileage, comfort ?


The car is for my son up at Boulder. Just to get around boulder from CU to Work (in Boulder).
Comfort or mileage good question. I want something that just runs, bomb proof, and safe. He graduates in August and may end up living in China, (major is Mandarin Chinese).
I know about Honda, Toyota reliability, what other brands should I consider? No Fords, no way, no how.


Thanks, I check into them


Chevy, Hyundai


In the $5-7K range you’ll be talking about used, smaller cars, with some age and mileage on them. While brands/models do vary some in overall reliability the biggest question for this kind of purchase is how well the vehicle has been cared for by the previous owner. Having a trustworthy mechanic to look over potential purchases and having sellers with things like service records will go much farther than brand.


Look at a 2004 Chevy Malibu. It’s not pretty, and that’s the main reason it is inexpensive. It is reliable and will be quite safe for tooling around Boulder. You can’t get up much of a head of steam in town anyway. Sure, the roads are straight, but there are plenty of traffic lights to slow you down. The 2004 averages about $7000 while the 2005 Accord averages around $10,000. In the short time he owns it there should be minimal depreciation.


"The car is for my son up at Boulder. Just to get around boulder from CU to Work (in Boulder). "

In that case, the best bang for the buck IMO is the Chevy Prism/Pontiac Vibe. Prism earlier models, Vibes later. It’s the cheapest way to get Toyota quality (if you think they’re worth it) for American brand name used car prices. Go on line and search for any models of these cars in your price range from local dealers. That’s how I got all 3 of mine for my kids and was never disappointed in the deals or the cars. You can deal lower if you’ll accept a “smoker’s” car and willing to go through the hassle of several sessions over a 6 months period to clear the stain and smell. After he’s done with it, you’ll still have a good car for yourself or one that will depreciate very little anymore for buyers that know what great used cars they make if you choose to sell.