Hi all. I am dizzy with all the Used Car recommendation sites and have decided to choose this one and stick with it. I am in the market for a solid used car under $10,000. If this is an appropriate topic, would the Community be willing to help me? Thanks so much.

My first recommendation is to go buy the Consumer Reports used car buyers guide. Lots of good information, lets you pick what fits your needs and priorities.

Your best bet is to find a vehicle that suits your needs and price point. Then pay about $100 for an mechanical inspection. just because an unknown person with a screen name says to buy a certain vehicle does not mean you should. Used vehicles are a gamble anyway.

Go to as many new car dealers as you can and sit in the various models. Reduce it down to the top two or three contenders and take them out for test drives. Then, look for a 3 - 4 year old one at half MSRP. Original owner, full service records and clean Carfax are a start. Research pricing on autotrader, NADA, etc. Get a PPI and enjoy your new ride.

This has all been said before but vehicles in that price range run from “Excellent” condition to basically “Scrap.” Your job is to find the best one you can for the money and make sure you get a mechanic to check out the one you select.

What do you need in a car besides a price under $10,000? How many people do you need to carry? If it is a car, do you need rear doors? Do you have a family? If so, I would only look at cars with 4 doors. What about fuel economy?

Generally, I would suggest you look at compact cars or midsize cars if you need more space. Based on your list above, it appears that a basic car without luxury features is what you are interested in. Almost all cars have an automatic transmission today, but if you want a manual transmission you can find it, and it will cost a little less.

I happen to have a copy of the 2015 New Car and the 2013 Used Car books published by CR here. Briefly, what they say is Pontiac Vibe seems to get pretty good ratings in the under $10K used-car category. When owners are asked which small cars would they buy again, Mazda3, VW Beetle & Jetta TDI, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Versa and Sentra, Kia Rio seem to get good reports. I’d include the Ford Focus, & Honda Fit and Civic in the list of possibilities too, based on mostly good reports we see here on those cars.

If you want to make the decision simple, me, I’d buy what is probably the most popular car in the world, the car I own, the Corolla.

Whatever you buy, before writing any checks, have it pre-purchase inspected by a good mechanic first.

The Pontiac Vibe is basically a Toyota Matrix which is based on the Corolla. It SHOULD have a good rating since it is the best “GM” product built (by Toyota).

But even the newest Vibe is already several years old, since Pontiac got the axe some time ago