12 reliable and cheap used cars

It’s fun to see all the new car launches and marvel at the beautiful specifications and designs. I could look at pictures of concept cars all day, but let’s be honest. Most people can’t afford to spend $60-$80,000 on a new car, so although the dream may be fun, we also need a car to get to work.

So, what are the practical budget cars on the market that will get us to and from work without taking our entire paycheck?

Jalopnik asked its readers to share their top recommendations for the perfect car for broke people, and they had plenty of great ideas for reliable, affordable rides.

And spoiler alert: They’re all known for their fuel efficiency and reliability. What else is there?

Toyota Corolla

Image credit: nitinut380/Shutterstock.

Toyota Corolla is known for its reliability, fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs. It is considered one of the best cars on the market, and you can get one for around $10,000 if you are looking for a car Model 2014-2017. The Corolla has good resale value and reasonable repair expenses.

Honda Fit

Honda Fit
Image credit: Automobile/Shutterstock.

The Honda Fit is a compact car with five doors and a hatchback body. It has enough space inside, has excellent fuel efficiency, and is very easy to work on yourself. Honda is known for its high quality and reliability when owners perform regular maintenance. If you are considering purchasing a Fit device, request maintenance records and research Model 2010-2013.


Woman driving a motorcycle
Image credit: Aidan Grunberg/Shutterstock.

If you’re just looking for a way to get around town and don’t need the space of a car, a motorcycle could be a great option. They are generally more fuel efficient than cars, and if you find a used car, they may be inexpensive.

Geo Prism

Second geographical publication
Image credit: IFCAR/Wikicommons.

The Geo Prizm is just a modified version of the Toyota Corolla. Everything that is true about the Corolla is true about this car. You can just search for it under a different name for more options.

Buick LeSabre

Old Buick LeSabre
Image credit: Ken Morris/Shutterstock.

These cars may look like grandfather’s cars, but they are known for their spacious interiors. Since most people do not think these cars are attractive, their price is as low as possible. If you just need a car that can get you from point A to point B, and don’t care about style, this is the car for you.

Toyota Echo

Toyota Echo
Image credit: Walter Eric C./Shutterstock.

Everyone thinks this car is funny looking. And since the design is quirky, it makes the price look really good. The Echo is a small, economical option. It’s simple, thanks to Toyota’s reputation for excellence.

Third generation Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius
Image credit: CL Shibley/Shutterstock.

Another option for Toyota. surprised? has not been. Toyota is great at producing reliability. The third-generation Prius is a hybrid, which means you save more money at the pump. By now, these cars have depreciated enough to be affordable without being too old.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi Mirage
Image credit: nitinut380/Shutterstock.

The Mirage is one of the most affordable new car options. It’s cheap and slow, but reliable, and leaves your dollars in your wallet. Pick one that’s between 4 and 5 years old, and you’re good to go.

Toyota Camry 2000

Toyota Camry
Image credit: Art Konovalov/Shutterstock.

If you are lucky enough to see an older Toyota Camry, such as a 2000 edition, please get it. Some are available for under $5k and can give you another 150k miles down the road with enough love and care.

General Motors Delta platform car

2005 Pontiac G5
Image credit: RAMFIX/Wikicommons.

There are several options for GM’s Delta platform, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5. These cars often have reasonable prices and great fuel efficiency, and after a quick Google search, I found one for under $4k. In this market, that’s as cheap as it can get.

Saturn ion

Saturn ion
Image credit: IFCAR/WikiCommons.

The Saturn Ion is a practical choice, but not necessarily a pretty one. But we are not looking for beauty; We are looking for cheap. I did a quick search on CarGurus and found three options in my area under $8k with less than 100k miles, so there are a lot of these options that could break down.

Pontiac vibe

Pontiac vibe
Image credit: Art Konavaloff/Shutterstock.

This option is cheap because Pontiac has gone out of business, but great because it’s basically a Toyota Corolla. It has excellent cargo space, and you can probably find one for under $5k if you do your homework and haggle a little.

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