Used car $8000 WV, Honda, Jeep


I’m looking for some advise on buying used. I would like to get a nice, clean, dependable car or small suv for around 7 or 8k cash. I’ve seen some Jetta’s, Civic’s,Volvo’s and Jeeps in my price range but with very high millage (over 100k). Are these cars still good after that many miles? I don’t need this car to last forever but would like to avoid expensive repairs (obviously). Any advise would be welcome. I know very little about cars.

Thank you!!

Skip the VWs, the Jeeps, and the Volvos. All three lack reliability and are expensive to maintain. Higher mileage makes it worse.

Go to your local library and read a copy of Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue for 2010. It contains a wealth of information about new and used cars, including a list of “Best Bets” grouped by price range.

There are also lists of most and least reliable used cars. You should read both. Make copies and keep them with you while you shop.

There are reliable cars out there in your price range, you just need some advice to help you find one. You’ll get plenty of recommendations here, some of them good, but for a person with little knowledge of cars CR is a great source of unbiased information.

Plan on spending $1,000 per year maintaining and fixing even a “good” car. Things wear out. You can’t totally avoid repairs. Some years you’ll get by cheaply and other years will seem expensive. Set money aside during the good years for those $2,500 bad years.

For $8000 you can get a very good Hyundai Elantra or Hyundai Sonata, an older Honda Civic or Corolla, or a very good Mazda Protege or Mazda 3.

As mentioned, go to the Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide for more info. Avoid all the cars you mentioned.

You might consider a 2007 Kia Rio, Kia Spectra, or Saturn Ion. They are not exactly fun cars, but they could easily have under 50,000 miles, and they meet your price point. A 2006 still might be around 50,000 miles. For that year, you could add the Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and Nissan Sentra. We have a 2009 Cobalt and like it.

Ford Focus, Chevy Cobalt or Cavalier, Hyundai Elantra or Sonata or Santa Fe, Mazda 3 or 6, anything Buick.

Thank you,

That sounds like a really good idea!

You should be able to find Civics, Corollas, and Focuses in that price range with lower miles.