Best Used Cars Under $10,000

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Buying a car on a budget may sometimes be a burden, but great cars can be found at reasonable prices.

If your budget means looking at cars for under $10,000, your best bet is to shop the used car market. And what better place to start than the CARFAX used car listings, where every car listed comes with a free CARFAX Vehicle History report.

While these pre-owned vehicles may not have the latest and greatest features or gadgets, they will get you from point A to point B – for a good price, too.

Below is a list of the best used cars under $10,000.
Alternatively, you can shop for cars under $10,000 right now.



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2008 Ford Fusion – This mid-size family vehicle is both sporty and roomy with available all-wheel drive creating a very smooth ride. Automatic or manual transmission can be paired with either a four-cylinder or the V-6 all-wheel drive. Gas mileage averages 20-25 miles per gallon. Safety features such as antilock brakes and six airbags come as standard on the Ford Fusion 2008.

2009 Ford Focus – A smaller but reliable car, the Ford Focus comes in both a sedan and a coupe. Similar to the Fusion, the Focus comes as standard with six airbags and either automatic or manual transmissions are available, however, antilock brakes are optional. With slightly better gas mileage than the Fusion, the Focus gets around 28 mpg.

2008 Ford Taurus – With a name like Ford, you really cannot go wrong. One of the best features of the Ford Taurus is its large backseat, making traveling with passengers very comfortable. Reviving the Ford Five Hundred, the Taurus offers a more powerful engine, an interior that is comfortable and quiet, with cosmetic enhancements to both the interior and exterior.

2007 Ford Escape – If you’re looking for an SUV, the Ford Escape is reliable and sturdy, if well maintained and taken care of. This model comes with a powerful V6 engine with a hybrid alternative for fuel efficiency. The key to finding a quality Ford Escape looking for one that was taken care of properly by previous owners.

2011 Ford Crown Victoria – Bigger than the Focus and the Fusion, this full size sedan is a perfect match for anyone shopping for cars under $10,000. The pros of this vehicle are its comfort, roominess, and reliability. However, fuel efficiency is a definite con. The Ford Crown Victoria is also the preferred ride for police officers and taxi drivers because of its comfort and size. Check the vehicle history report to find out if it was used in a fleet.



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2005 Honda Accord – Hondas have a reputation that if they are taken care of they will last forever. Such is true with the 2005 Honda Accord. With up to 31 highway mpg, the Accord offers a stylish interior with great safety features, making it a great family sedan. With hybrid availability this car is safe, powerful, smooth, and fuel efficient.

2006 Honda Civic – Similar to the bigger Accord, the Honda Civic is efficient and affordable, with several reviews choosing the Civic as the top compact car. The 2006 model was completely redesigned and features a more powerful and fuel efficient engine, internal and external styling enhancements, and more premium features. This model is available in either a sedan or coupe, with additional hatchback body types being discontinued. If you are looking for a dependable, fuel efficient car, the Civic is a great bet!



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2007 Hyundai Sonata ­– The affordable price tag is not the only attractive thing about this vehicle. The style provides luxury and comfort for those on a budget. Hyundai is also known for having great protection and coverage for their vehicles, so chances are these cars have been well maintained. The Hyundai Sonata is stocked with safety features such as antilock brakes, stability control, and above par airbags.



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2008 Mazda3­ – Zoom! Zoom! In true Mazda spirit, the Mazda3 provides athletic handling, a refined engine, and impressive styling. These cars, regardless of the year, go zoom! The two engine options available include a 140-horsepower four-cylinder and then a more powerful 156 horsepower edition. If you are looking for a sports performance vehicle and are searching for used cars under $10,000, definitely invest time looking into the Mazda3.



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2012 Nissan Versa – The newest car on the list for under $10K, the Nissan Versa is practical and reliable with its four-cylinder engine. The Versa is available as a hatchback and a sedan. This car is both inexpensive and popular, so you can get into a relatively late model compared to some other choices on our list.



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2008 Toyota Corolla – The Toyota Corolla is known for reliability, quality, and fuel efficiency and the 2008 model is no different. Shoppers looking for a compact car should definitely consider the Corolla, which gets up to 35 mpg on the highway. It is available in the base Corolla CE, the Corolla S, and the Corolla LE. All models also come with the option of a manual or automatic transmission. This car is similar to the Honda Civic and Mazda3, both on our list.

2007 Toyota Prius – The Toyota Prius is full of features and is known for its positive impact on the environment, owing to its excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions. The Prius is hard to beat at 45-48 mpg with a 110 horsepower engine. One thing it lacks is power, however, that is made up for by its eco-friendly efficiency. This is a great car for shoppers on a budget with long commutes.

2005 Toyota RAV4 – Do not count out SUVs just because of budgetary reasons. This compact SUV offers a reliable and safe ride with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. Safety features include eight airbags, while the all-wheel drive makes for a comfortable and balanced ride. While modern and stylish, this RAV4 model will give you the SUV you were looking for at the right price.

2006 Toyota Sienna – Looking for a family van that fits the budget? Look no further. The Toyota Sienna offers a smooth ride with up to eight-passenger seating arrangements, available all-wheel drive, and fuel efficiency that is hard to beat. Notching the top ranking in its segment, this minivan will not only get the family where they need to be, but will do it safely and cost effectively.

All of the above can be classified as dependable cars for those on a budget. After finding the right car with the right history, getting the best used car for under $10,000 depends not only on the car’s condition but negotiation with the dealer.

Good luck and happy budget-buying!


Discuss and find the best cars and deals currently available at our Car Buying Forum!

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By | 2018-02-13T20:58:19+00:00 December 8th, 2014|Car Buying|5 Comments


  1. Howard December 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I don’t think you should recommend any Hybrid as a good used car. If a customer wants a car under 10K, he likely won’t be able to afford to replace the Hybrid batteries when they go bad, and they will go bad. $4-8K in additional costs makes the under 10K hybrid an unecessary expense.

  2. jill chang June 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I drive a ’02 Honda Civic handed down from my father-in-law who bought it new. I do my own maintenance so there’s minimal maintenance costs, no depreciation, low insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda) and registration costs, no car wash expenses (I park it outside when it’s raining) and people think twice before trying to cut in front of me. Did I mention that it’s super safe??

    It’s a comfortable ride on the highway but is also nimble on dirt roads. I could easily afford a new car but then I’d have to fuss about dents, scratches, car washes and all those other costs. It’s got a 3.1L V6 that achieves 30 mpg on the highway. As long as it continues to pass smog it’s a keeper.

    • Tony July 7, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Can I ask how u got the low insurance. I got on the Panda website, they quoted me Progressive, which is not low… pls advice. Thx!

    • Fred Flintstone January 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Your ’02 Civic does NOT have a V6 under the hood. Maybe if you have an Accord. But no such Civic. No doubt its a good Honda – enjoy it.

  3. Ed September 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    2006 Honda Civic motors are notorious for cracked blocks. Honda will not help.

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