Ideal used car

I am looking to buy a used car for everyday ride so I am looking for something really reliable. I was thinking Lexus as it seems those cars have very little car complaints.

It seems though they are more expensive compared to Toyota, not sure how much more that if it is worth buying it. I was wondering if it is worth buying a lexus over toyota.

Also my main goal here is to find a car with a good proof of oil and transmission maintenance so I know I won’t have any serious issues caused by poor maintenance. I am willing to pay up to 8k as long as I find one with good maintenance records.

Is it too much ? not sure what would be a smart move to buy a reliable car to save some money on repairs in the long run. Paying more or less ? Lexus or Toyota or maybe even another brand that is as reliable ? I usually go to car complaints . com and check the year and the model of the car to see if there is a widespread mechanic issues but that is the best idea I got to make sure I am not buying a bad car.

I am a college student and do pizza delivery as part time job I drive alot like almost 20k a year so just looking to save money with a reliable car instead buying a 2-3k car but end up paying as much in few years where I could buy a good one but pay almost nothing in few years and maybe longer. That is my thought process not sure how correct I am.

So yeah any tips advices would be much appreciated thank you all in advance.

Only you can answer that. Lexus isn’t going to be more reliable than Toyota. Only more luxurious. To me, it was worth it. Others wouldn’t see the need.

That said, at $8k, you’re probably going to find that the Lexus ES is about the same price as the Toyota equivalent, the Avalon. That’s because luxury cars tend to depreciate faster than regular cars, and by the time a Toyota is old enough to cost only 8 grand, it’s fairly old and the equally-old Lexus would have lost enough value to bring it down to the Toyota’s level.

Whatever you get, it’s going to be old, and you’ll be lucky if there’s any maintenance records at all. You’ll want a pre-purchase inspection before you buy.

Based on a quick look, you’ll be shopping for early to mid 2000’s cars with 100,000+ miles on them.


A car is a machine.
All machines wear out from use (mileage), corrosion (age) or damage (accidents or lack of maintenance)
Since most similar machines share the same basic technology, most of the cost difference goes towards, size, comfort and status.
However, part of the difference may also be in the machine’s materials and the manufacturer’s quality control.

That’s the basics, so it’s just a matter of finding your optimal solution at your price point.

My personal preference for someone in your situation would be a “no nonsense Grand Dad’s car”.
A one owner, basic sedan, low mileage, regular maintenance, garage kept, rarely driven in rain, never in snow, at night or over 50 mph.

Some of the retirement communities will have such cars being sold by the remaining family member(s).

What s your budget? I’d get a Camry instead of the ES350 for any given budget.

At this point in your life, you are probably better served by a less expensive car. A Toyota Corolla or Yaris, depending on the age, could be a good choice.

Mind going to ND? Sure a little political but 1 in 1000 have died of Covid, could be some good car deals.


Consumer Reports keeps records on used cars. They have an auto issue every April(?). I read the library’s copy. Better yet, I use the library’s on-line subscription from home. The last time I looked Honda’s Fit was the most reliable and one of the cheapest to own.

If you want reliability and low cost of operation, the less bells and whistles the better. I would need at least a Camry, but is you can get comfortable in a Corollam it would be a better choice.

Bear in mind, that inused cars, condition is king. Also, with all the people chasing Toyotas and Hondas, there are other makes that can be good bargins, especially if you do your own repair work.

We bought a 2015 Mazda 3 hatchback for my daughter for $7250 earlier this year. It’s our first Mazda. I’ve been very pleased with it.

Ideal used vehicle ? It could be almost any brand , any year or even the amount of miles it has traveled. When looking at used vehicles each one must stand on its own . That is why most members here say pay a shop to look it over . That will not keep one from having problems but puts the odds in your favor.

As for service records very few used vehicles will have them or easily checked .

Edit: Back on 11/03 you asked about scams regarding selling a 1996 mystery vehicle . I guess you still have it as you need a vehicle for work . You have several choices but in your case you should think of several things while you are still in school.

Could this present vehicle be made usable for less than the 8000.00 figure ? It might be best to trade it in at a good used vehicle lot to avoid the scams you are worried about .

I know you’re focused on the initial quality ratings here, but keep in mind that a $50,000 car that’s depreciated to $8,000 is going to be much older and more used up than a $25,000 car that’s depreciated to $8,000. If I were in your position, I’d be looking for a small Kia or Hyundai sedan or hatchback.


Good luck on finding a car with full maintenance records and keep in mind that the majority of used cars are not properly maintained. This is especially true of cars which have had 2 or more owners.

You should not be fixated on the brand so much. Everything with wheels breaks and as a mechanic I’d like to have a dollar for every time I’ve heard “But…but…but it’s a (Fill in The Blank!) Why is this happening?”.

Any car you choose should go through a pre-purchase inspection and even after doing that there is no guarantee the car will be problem free. It swings the odds into your favor a bit.

You plan on driving 20k miles a year. Each one of those 20k miles is going to carry a maintenance cost with it; which means paying as you go along or fixing it all at once when things do go south.

There’s also the issue of how diligent you are going to be with oil changes, raising the hood to check all fluid levels, and so on. It does not take much neglect here to create major problems.

As for internet car complaints many of those should be taken with a grain of salt. Many are easy to read between the lines and the problem is what could be called “operator error”. Someone failing to check their motor oil level and losing an engine because of this needs to look in the mirror if they want to see whodunnit.


Not at that age. The Avalon is a good deal cheaper than the ES, but the 15 year old ones are worth about the same at around the same mileage. And they’re both nice cars, so if OP wants Toyota or Lexus, they should get whichever one is in better condition.

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Well, a 2010 Camry XLE is $2000-$3000 cheaper than the ES, and just as reliable.

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OK, and the Yaris is even cheaper. I was comparing like to like. The ES is a gussied up Avalon, not a Camry. You’ll pay the upcharge for getting an Avalon over the Camry. You won’t pay a “luxury” upcharge for getting the equivalent Lexus.

It is a 96 camry with 238k miles it leaks oil, bad alternator, no ac and 3 bad engine mounts around 700 for repairs as I am in north San Diego county.

Total trash I kept it as a spare car because it was 1100 and drove. I drive a 05 Malibu with 220k miles it since 156k miles and I had to replace water pump twice, serpentine belt, 3 calipers, wheel hub, starter, tie rods, a rear shock and probably few more things.

Now I know about cars so I do most of the stuff myself I just paid for water pump, belt, starter and wheel hub because I didn’t have a spare car and needed to be at work or I didn’t wanna get in all that work.

Forgive my bad writing it is done on my phone.

I am not worried about scam I was just asking to make sure I am not ignoring real buyers.

I am selling the 96 for 1k now as I started from 1500 lowered it over the 2 weeks nobody really wanna buy it I guess because I am too honest in the description, lol. Can’t help that. Now there is a lot of buyers with this price.

What are the other options you were talking about ?

Then you should be able to find a decent used vehicle without help from a bunch of strangers on the web.


You are the most passive aggressive person I ever seen.

Thanks I guess ? only if knowing how to remove some bolts and parts was slightly related to knowing how to buy a good model,year car. I literally went out of my way wrote very detailed stuff and you came up with “oh you know about cars ? ok then you can handle it yourself ok bye” jesus christ my man.

I missed the passive part I guess.