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May 21, 2015

How to Find a Good Used Car for Under $10K

Find an Affordable Good Used Car

With the average cost of a 2015 model year new car hovering around $30,000 (for a new light truck or car, according to and the price of used cars rising, as well (according to a January USAToday,com report), you may think it’s well-nigh impossible to find a good used car (one that’s just 3-5 years old, with low mileage).

And you’d be wrong.

Sure, it’s getting harder to find such used automobiles. But “harder” does not mean “impossible.”

Read below for some tips on how to find a good used car for less than $10,000.

Buying a great used car for under $10K is going to take some leg work, but it’s definitely doable.

Understand that when it comes to used cars today, you may have to sacrifice model year and/or mileage to find a good used car for less than $10,000.

It’s best from a best-value standpoint to purchase a car that’s between three and five years old, but with less than 50,000 miles on its odometer.

U.S.News,com has ranked the best small used cars to be found for under $10,000 and ranked them thusly:

  1. 2009 Scion tC
  2. 2010 Suzuki SX4
  3. 2011 Nissan Versa
  4. 2009 Hyundai Elantra
  5. 2009 Pontiac Vibe
  6. 2011 Suzuki SX4
  7. 2010 Hyundai Elantra
  8. 2009 Kia Rio
  9. 2010 Nissan Versa
  10. 2009 Suzuki SX4

The magazine ranked the best used hatchbacks for under $10,000:

  1. 2011 Nissan Versa
  2. 2009 Pontiac Vibe
  3. 2011 Suzuki SX4
  4. 2010 Nissan Versa
  5. 2009 Suzuki SX4
  6. 2009 Toyota Yaris
  7. 2010 Hyundai Accent
  8. 2010 Nissan Cube
  9. 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit
  10. 2011 Ria Kia

As for larger cars, U.S. News didn’t even rate mid-sized used cars starting at $10,000 and under, but started at best used mid-sized cars for under $15,000.

What that tells you is that if you want to purchase a relatively new used car (no older than the 2009 model year), you may have to forgo a mid-sized car or truck and look to a smaller car/hatchback.

That doesn’t mean a low-mileage, mid-sized car or truck can’t be had for less than $10K. It just means you’re going to have to look harder.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • The most important thing is to decide on a budget and stick to it! If you really can’t afford more than $10,000, stand firm.
  • You’ll probably be able to find a low-mileage car for under $10K if you look in the less-popular models. In other words, steer clear of the Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, etc. and instead head for the Pontiacs, Buicks, Fords, Chevys, etc.
  • Do your due diligence. Check sites such as and the Kelly Blue Book for the true value of cars in the mileage and model year categories you seek.
  • Take the car for a test drive.
  • Make sure you check the Vehicle History Report. The car may look great and have low mileage, but was it stolen once? In an accident or flood? These could be red flags .They may not be, but such a history is why it’s imperative that you….
  • ….take the car to your trusted mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.

If you live near a PAACO location such as Waco, Longview or Granbury, visit us to take a look at our warrantied used cars and trucks. Give us a call at 877-810-4555.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/

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