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Am I naive?
Howdy folks! New to the forum here, and I registered to ask this question: As a 38 year-old who has never owned a car, I've been shopping around, mostly at dealers here in south Louisiana, and it seems like everything I'm looking at within my budget (around 10k, after tax and title) is junk! One SUV I test drove smelled of burning oil after just 3 blocks; another Tacoma had a squeak coming from underneath and when I asked what it was, the salesman told me that the exhaust wasn't connected properly, that they knew about it and hadn't bothered to fix it. Am I naive in believing that I can get a decent used car or truck for 10k that will last me for years and not have any major issues? It seems everything I'm finding online (cars.com, eBay motors, Craigslist) points to me needing to spend more like 20k to get that reliable vehicle that I need. I know people who have spent far less than I have in my budget and wound up with some solid wheels, but maybe they've just gotten amazingly lucky? I'm feeling way out of my league here and getting very frustrated, so any advice, help, soothing words would be greatly appreciated!