The Best Used Cars for $10,000 or Less

Car prices are skyrocketing, and you might think there's no way you can afford a decent car on a $10,000 budget. Well, guess again, because there are a lot of used cars for sale that are reliable, great-looking and fun to drive for that price.

How to Buy the Best Used Cars

So what exactly should you look for when you're shopping for a used car? If you're in the market for a previously-owned vehicle, you're in luck. Car prices drop dramatically as soon as the original owner drives off the lot due to depreciation. Many pre-owned cars are still in great shape with a lot of miles left on them. In fact, $10K can buy you a lot of quality cars.

To find the best used cars in your price range, you should look for a clean vehicle history report, such as fom AutoCheck, a brand with a reputation for reliability, and a dealership where you'll be treated with honesty.

Where to Buy Your Next Used Car

You can find used cars for sale from various places. You could buy your car from a private seller or a car dealership, but there are great reasons to go a dealership that specializes in selling used cars.

Selection. Instead of searching through dozens of online and classified ads, hoping to find that rare jewel in your price range, you can walk in and see a wide selection of quality used vehicles of all types and price ranges. Keep in mind that a new-car dealership might only have a handful of used car varieties on the lot other than the brand of the new-car dealership It's better to visit a dealership that specializes in selling pre-owned vehicles.

Financing. Even if you have the cash to pay for a car, you may not want to tie up all your money that way. And if you don't have the cash, you will need financing. Unlike a private seller, a dealership can get you financed at an affordable rate that works with your budget. Some dealerships, like Best Buy Imports, even provide their own Buy Here Pay Here financing, making it possible to get financed even if you don't qualify for traditional auto financing.

Convenience. You may have to do a lot of driving and running around if you're looking for a car from a private seller. You have to hope you can spot it before it's sold, and then figure out a time and a way to go see it. You also have to hope that the advertisement was accurate and the seller is honest. If you do buy the car, you then have to take care of the tag and title paperwork on your own. It's much more convenient to just visit one place where you can see all the cars, get your financing, and complete the paperwork.

Best Used Cars Under $10,000

Because there are a lot of cars to choose from in your price range, Best Buy Imports has split our inventory listing into four categories. You can find a great used car that fits your needs for a reliable ride to work, hauling your kids and gear, or taking the open road in a sportscar. Our four categories are from under $10K to over $20K.

Reliable Commuters. You depend on your car to get to work, run your errands, take the occasional weekend trip and transport your kids around. You need and deserve a car that's comfortable and easy to drive. You also need a car that you can count on to get you through mile after mile of driving. Here are some of the cars fit all those needs and come nicely under your price range.

Chevy Malibu

The sedan with sporty lines, the Malibu is a great choice if you want a car that will go the distance. It's roomy enough to haul kids, groceries and work equipment while still being compact enough to get an average gas mileage of 25 mpg. The Malibu is easy to drive and well-appointed with many of the latest safety features.

Ford Fusion

If you want a car that's fun to drive, the Fusion answers the call with light, fast handling, six-speed transmission and a turbo four-cylinder engine. The Fusion lives up to Ford's reputation for cars that are reliable and nimble. This is a roomy car that comes with Bluetooth connectivity and other tech upgrades.

Hyundai Genesis

The Genesis has all the safety and luxury features you'd expect from cars in much higher price ranges. It's an elegant car that handles well, has a roomy interior and impressive trunk space. Hyundai has been getting high marks for safety and reliability. The Genesis offers all that and luxury styling too.

Mercedes Benz E-Class

Ride in style with the power and luxury of a classic sedan. You can find used models of this car that have leather interiors and other upgrades. You'll enjoy the handling and the reliability. The E-class gets about 15 mpg city and 20 mph highway.

Lexus ES

Get upscale styling and comfort at a bargain basement price. The Lexus ES is a durable car that's also comfortable and well-appointed with padded steering wheel, leather upholstery and a sunroof standard on all models. It comfortably seats five and will give you many miles of driving pleasure.

Honda Accord

You can get into a car that's legendary for reliability and resale value and still keep it under budget. The Accord is a sturdy vehicle that gets gas mileage of around 25 mpg and has high safety ratings. Some model years feature more exciting body styles than others, but all of them provide a dependable ride.


Smaller and sportier than the others on this list, the Mazda3 is one of our top picks for its impressive handling and its great gas mileage of 35 mpg highway. The Mazda3 is a car that's very dependable and fun to drive; it's a good choice if you want a sporty car with a high safety rating.

Toyota Avalon

Another great, dependable car from Toyota, the Avalon is a larger sedan with a luxurious interior. It's powered by a V6 engine, yet it gets decent mileage for a car of its size. If you want a larger, more comfortable ride, this is a good pick.

Trucks and SUVs.  While new-car prices have soared all over, it’s even more-so of pickup trucks and SUVs. These larger vehicles have become ridiculously expensive if you want a new one, which is why it's good to know that you can get great deals on used pickups, SUVs, and Minivans.

Ford Explorer

This roomy, midsize SUV offers plenty of bang for your buck. With a powerful engine and 83.7 cubic feet of storage, it's great for any road trip or trips around town. The Explorer can handle small towing and seats seven. You can find rear-wheel or four-wheel models and a choice of engines in this price range.

Subaru Forester

The Forester seats five comfortably and has 69 cubic feet of storage space. Subaru's vehicles are known for their safety. The Forester holds its value for many years, and you get full-time all-wheel drive to let you tackle snow, rain, mud and more.

Jeep Wrangler

This rugged SUV is ready to go anywhere. Its durable construction, high ground clearance and your choice of hard or soft tops make it a versatile option. The Wrangler easily converts to a convertible and is suitable for all terrains.

Saturn Outlook

Like all Saturn models, the Outlook has been unjustly overlooked as a used car option. The Outlook made "top ten SUV" lists when it was released, and it remains an excellent choice. The Outlook’s three-row configuration provides seating for eight, and it delivers powerful handling for a vehicle its size.

Toyota Sienna

with all-wheel drive and room for seven or eight, the Sienna is a great choice if you want to hit the road with the whole family. Comfortable seating and driver-assist technology are standard with later models. Like most Toyotas, it holds its resale value well and is solidly reliable.

Dodge Ram

Known as the most comfortable full-service truck, the Ram features a number of features designed to make driving easy. It has a roomy cab with padded seats. It also delivers impressive hauling and handling ability with an available Hemi V-8 engine.

Ford F-150

Get a full-size heavy-duty hauler that will do everything you need at a great price. The F-150 is one of the most durable trucks ever built, and the later models feature comfortable cabs with upgraded features. The F-150 gets about 15 mpg in mileage, which is about average for a full-sized truck.

Chevrolet Silverado

Get a comfortable ride in the solidly-built, hardworking Silverado. The Silverado features an optional 6.0-liter V8 engine and all the hauling that you need. This is a good, solid work truck that you'll enjoy driving regularly.

Fun and Sporty. Do you think that your small budget dooms you to a boring, uninspiring car? If your heart is set on a sporty model, you can easily find a good one in your price range.

Mazda Miata

This little roadster routinely makes the top of every "best used sportscar" list at any price range. The iconic convertible may be tiny, but it packs a lot of punch and gets respectable mileage of 20 to 25 mpg.

Ford Mustang

The classic muscle car is surprisingly common on the used car market. You can find a wide range of Mustang model years and mileage numbers at a $10K price or under. If you want the ultimate all-American sportscar, this is the one.

Honda S2000

Although not as easy to find as a used Mustang or Miata, used S2000s are out there. If you can find one, it may be a slick shift with high mileage on it, but it will be a well-made sportscar that should hold up well for years to come.

Take Your Pick. These are only a few of the many great used cars you can buy in your price range. You'd be surprised at how far your money can go when you find a dealer who specializes in quality used cars.

Hybrids. Hybrids have a reputation for being expensive, but that's only the case if you buy a new one. Used hybrids will save you money now and save you lots of money later. Go for miles without having to fill up in one of these models:

Toyota Prius

With an estimated 50 mpg city and 46 mpg highway, the Prius will keep you rolling happily for a long time. It's a comfortable car with a smooth, silent ride. The Prius offers a roomy interior and up-to-date Toyota technology.

Toyota Prius 2

You get all the performance of the original Prius in a sportier hatchback style. The slightly smaller Prius 2 gets even better mileage with an estimated 51 mpg city and 48 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Volt

Drive the cute Volt and get an average 37 mpg mileage. This four-door, sporty sedan comes with new driver-assist technology and other updated features. The Volt is one of the most popular hybrids on the road today.

Ford Escape Hybrid

If fuel efficiency is at the top of your SUV list, you'll get that and more in this hybrid model. The Escape averages 31 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. It also has 65 cubic feet of cargo space and seating for five. The Escape Hybrid is a popular model that tends to get sold quickly. If you see a used one, don't let it slide by.

Get Ready for Your New Wheels at Best Buy Imports

Now that you know our choices for some of the best used cars under $10K, it's time to think about getting behind the wheel of one for a test drive. At Best Buy Imports, we have everything you need to help you buy your next used car:

Stop in today at either of our two convenient Frankford Avenue dealerships and get ready to get behind the wheel of your next used car.