So you’ve decided to buy a used car. Starting with research on cars available for your budget and reading a couple of reviews will help you make an informed decision. Sites like Consumer Reports can tell you which brands and models are most popular and reliable for use. Always pay attention to the estimated cost of repairs and replacements so you don’t end up over budget.
For $1500 you can expect to buy a car that’s been on the road for at least 10 years and that is likely to have 130,000 to 150,000 miles on the odometer. However, you can still get a car that is reliable and one which has quite a few years of use left to it. Get a vehicle history report from Carfax or AutoCheck for a clear idea of the quality of the car. You can also use this information to negotiate a realistic price for the car.
Toyota, Honda and Nissan models are very popular choices for the under $1500 price range. Japanese cars do well when it comes to reliability, but repair costs may be the higher than a domestic. A quick look around the Internet can give you hundreds of choices. Here are a few options:
Top Japanese Cars under $1500
- 1998-2003 Toyota Tercel, Corolla, Camry
- 1998-2001 Honda Civic, Accord
- 1992-1999 Isuzu Rodeo
- 1999 Suzuki Cultus
- 2000 Mazda Demio, Mazda Protege
- 1998 Nissan Sentra, Nissan Cefira
Top American Cars under $1500
- 1992 Chevrolet Camaro
- 1997-2000 Chevrolet Blazer
- 2002 Buick Century
- 1998 Dodge Caravan
- Jeep Cherokee
- Ford Taurus, Escort
- 1994 Ford Explorer
- Ford Crown Victoria
- 1996 Pontiac Gran Prix
European Cars under $1500
- 1998 Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Passat
- Mercedes Benz 300
- Renault Baccara
- 970s/80s BMWs
Although choices are limited for this price range, you can still make your choice easier by thinking about your needs before you buy. Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing your budget car:
- How far do you have to drive every day?
- Do you need it to withstand severe weather conditions?
- Will you be the only driver?
- Are you looking for fuel economy?
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