Best car for $4000? Which brands?

Asked by Dec 22, 2015 at 03:01 AM

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I'm looking to buy my first car. I no nothing
about cars, and I have no one to ask about

I'm afraid I'll buy a car that need a new
transmission or something expensive after
a year or so.

Should I be worried about getting a car
with more miles as long as it has a good
maintenance record (whatever that should
look like. I don't even know)? Most car fax
reports just say that oil and filter have been
changed and tires been mounted and
Or should I try to find a car with low miles?
And what is low miles?

Any car brands at this price range I should
stick to and/or stay away from?

5 Answers

Tom Demyan

$4K, you'll be looking at cars around 100K on up. My advise is to find a car with a decent Carfax which you are already doing. Toyota or Honda, Ford, etc. Once you find one you like, Tell the dealer or seller you want to have your mechanic look it over before you buy it. You pay a small fee to a local independent garage and have them inspect the vehicle for you. They will get the car in the air and check the brakes, tires, exhaust, body for rust and or damage, etc. This way you know that you are minimizing your risk and not relying on the honesty of the seller.

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Best Answer
Bob Beaman

The fact is at the $4,000 price level you will not find many good low mileage cars. Do as Tom suggested, it's good advise.

Bob Beaman

Forgot, recommended brands. Toyota, Ford and Honda would my choices in that price range. I would avoid in that price range Hyundai, Subaru, Kia, Nissan, Suzuki, Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW. The last 3 would likely be money pits.

Thank you both for your great advice.


I would look into a used Chevrolet Malibu (1997-2003) They are very reliable cars. I have a 1997 Chevy Malibu with 155,768 miles on the odometer. So far it's just needed your typical maintenance I.e. tires, brakes, oil change etc...

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