Looking for advice on buying my first used car

strekozastrekoza Member Posts: 3
edited January 2018 in General
Hello there,
I am new to these forums and would like to ask for some advice.
In the past I have leased all my cars, but unfortunately I am now in the position that I must buy something used within a budget of 5-8k.
I would really like if it was a European make, but besides that i'm open to all options.
The lease on my Volvo S60 is ending in less than a month and I must choose something asap.
All advice will be greatly appreciated! :)


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,153
    edited January 2018
    What are your needs? Are you looking at a sedan, hatch, CUV? Any requirements for fuel economy, range, ride, handling, transmission, features, etc.? There are a LOT of options out there for $5-8K cars!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 43,084
    where are you located? That can make a difference.

    I understand wanting the Euro, but generally, you will do better in lower price ranges with a domestic or Asian brand. May not actually be cheaper to get into, but running costs can be a lot lower. And that has a huge impact (a cheap car that needs tons of repairs, is no longer cheap. So add a cushion to the budget).

    usually best to not worry about brand too much, and lean toward less "loved" models, since you get more car for the money. And focus on condition, maintenance records, and miles instead of bling.

    The other key is how you will use it. Most of the time at a price point, you will have a choice of newer but higher miles, vs. older and lower miles. So if you won't drive much, the newer car makes sense. But maybe not if you have to put on a ton of miles.

    With all that said, here are a few options from a local place to me.

    boring and cheap. But a solid option for basic transit at bottom of budget.


    this looks like a nice clean car for a little more money.


    here is your fancy Euro model. Might eat you alive though.


    Probably the Mazda is the best of the bunch option considering all the factors.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • strekozastrekoza Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response.
    I would like a sedan or coupe.
    The more fuel efficient, the better.
    Can only drive automatic.
  • strekozastrekoza Member Posts: 3
    Those all seem like decent options. However they all have like like 90k and over miles on them.
    Isn't that a bit much?
    I don't really trust dealers, feel like they always have something up their sleeve. Just hoping to find someone decent selling something in good condition from their garage.
    Just not sure exactly what to look for and how to know if I'm getting something reliable.
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioMember Posts: 791
    Get yourself a high mileage more recent Camry-- 4 cylinder, or older low mileage one. Try to get a one owner one. Non smoker/garage deal. There's plenty out there. Stay away from euros-- too high maintenance costs.

    Example: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/725333233/overview/
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 43,084
    edited January 2018
    That is normal mileage for that price range. with some looking, can find something lower, but might be a few years older. And dealers tend to have the nicer units. Can certainly shop private (in theory, might save money) but helps to really know cars. Just not as easy to deal with. And sadly, not every seller is honest. Good idea to get it checked out by a trusted mechanic. But, clean, low mile cars just don't last. So you don't always have a chance.

    this one was listed somewhere in the 6's. Much lower miles because less popular brand.


    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,682
    If you look hard, you could find a Volvo C30 with lowish miles within budget. 

    I think a mazda3 is probably the safest bet, though.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 43,084
    well, if you want a 1 owner 12 YO camry, got one of those too!


    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

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