Which reliable first car should I buy for $6000?
I am 17 years old and have just gotten a driver’s license and now I need a car to get to and from school. I have a limited time to find a car. I don’t have much money, at most 6,000 and I’m in a state that has high car prices and low paying jobs. How do I find a car that has good mpg, can find cheap parts for, is reliable, in good condition, and has newer accessories like a built in touch screen if possible? I’ve looked through countless car buying sites, I’ve been on Facebook marketplace for months and I’ve even looked at auction sites. I feel hopeless that I’m going to find a car that I won’t have any frustration with or that’s cheap.
How do I find a car that has good mpg, can find cheap parts for, is reliable, in good condition, and has newer accessories (...) ?
Reliability and aging overly complex electronic crap do not go hand in hand.
Personally, on my Corolla I just installed an after market android screen and it has been fine, so that might be the solution.
90% of OEM infotainment screens I've used were terrible - absolutely useless 10 year old cheap tablets stuck to the dash, especially the "renowned" Ford Sync. Personally when I look at cars I rather them not have an old infotainment screen, all you need is a phone holder to use Waze (/ whatever NAV app you use) and the car to have an AUX jack.
I need a car to get to and from school (...) at most 6,000
Generally, the cars you'd want for reliability and mpg are:
If they have been serviced properly and not abused they can last a ridiculously long time, the lower the millage the better (often than maintenance quality that's the second factor)
If you can't find those, maybe try going for:
It's built by Mazda, they have the same engine and transmission as some Miatas, really not bad at all.
But be warned, these tend to last less so I wouldn't recommend one with over 120k miles as after that they begin to deteriorate.
Any scion that is not equipped with any of the 2.4L variants and not 1.8 in the years those had issues (2008-2009)
@itwt has linked to some great recommendations. The Fit is decent for what it is (but don't overpay, especially not for the newer ones with CVTs) and the 1st generation Pontiac Vibe can be a good deal.
If the market is REALLY bad:
A reasonably low millage manual Ford Fiesta with a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder isn't all that bad. about 95% of issues on that car are with the automatic or the 'ecoboom'.
Other cars that aren't great at all, but aren't too terrible are the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent (conventional automatic or manual only!) - they last 100k-125k miles (but usually not more) reasonably dependably and after that you discover where they cut costs and how built in planed obscene.
Maybe an old Toyota Echo, although those are cheap death traps that shouldn't be worth over $2,500 - if it's clean with 0 rust.
but definitely NOT Ford Focus automatics and NOT Chevies.
Feel free to share more info on what cars you're looking at so that we'll be able to give more in-depth information on those.
Try looking into Honda Accords! I myself think im gonna go for a 2007 one, either the 2.0 or the 2.4