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Cheap, Reliable, First car for a new driver

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I'm currently looking for my first used car, but I have a severely small budget at the moment since I'm just about out of college (two days left). That being said I need something relatively cheap too because I don't have a whole lot of money saved up. It's going to need to be able to take me between 20-50 miles per day as well. I've looked at older Honda Civics and Nissan Maximas as I've learned that they're both fairly reliable vehicles with very low price tags. I just need whatever car I get to get me through at least a year until I can invest in another, more reliable vehicle. Any tips or suggestions?

Priorities: Price or payments / Reliability & durability / Warranty, maintenance cost / Handling / Discounts & incentives

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe / Sedan

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town / Long trips

Primary Driver(s): New driver

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 200000
Maximum age: 20 years

Maximum price: US $ 2000

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Response from toddcurry

10:25 pm December 15, 2014


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Honda Accord
Ford Focus

Response from Member6256

8:55 pm December 17, 2014

Have you considered any Toyotas? I'm not a fan of the brand because I don't like their aesthetics and I find them a bit dull to drive but they're famed for their reliability (Toyotas in general consistently finish near the top of Consumer Reports' recommendations). Camrys and Corollas are also very common so you should be able to find one that fits your budget.

Honda is quite similar to Toyota in the reliability department so you're probably looking in the right direction if you're considering the Civic. The Accord suggested by the user above is also a good choice.

Both brands being so common means that even if you do have to take your car in for repairs, you should have lots of choice for mechanic shops and parts shouldn't be too expensive or hard to find.

Good luck!


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Toyota Camry
Toyota Corolla

Response from mkaresh

5:50 pm December 18, 2014

The hard part with a $2,000 budget is only very old Hondas and Toyotas cost that little. You can get a newer "less reliable" model for the same amount of money. The age difference could cancel out any inherent difference in reliability.

I often suggest the Ford Focus as a good car that doesn't cost as much used as a Honda or Toyota. But I don't know if you can get one that's new enough to be reasonably reliable for $2,000.A Chevrolet Cobalt might also serve well, though a $2,000 example might have a ton of miles.

Whatever you find at this price, pay a mechanic $100 or so to thoroughly evaluate it, so you know what you're getting into. It's the rare $2,000 car that doesn't have problems. If you can find a car that seems to have been well-maintained, this is a big plus.

Anyone here have experience buying in this price range?


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Ford Focus
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