Drive Smart, Save Big: Check Out the 6 Most Affordable Used Cars for the Average American

As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting. 

GOBankingRates taps into the expertise of various industry professionals to guide consumers through this process, focusing on the crucial aspects of budgeting and the best used car options available.

Budgeting for Your Car: An Expert’s Take

Joe Giranda, the director of sales and marketing at CFR Classic, offers a straightforward formula for car budgeting.

“Given the median American income of about $74,000, it’s wise to limit car expenses, including payments, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, to 10%-15% of your monthly income,” he advises. 

This translates to roughly $616 to $925 per month, based on an average monthly income of $6,166.

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Top Used Car Recommendations

Toyota Corolla

drive-smart-save-big-check-out-6-most-affordable-used-cars-america
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

Known for its durability and fuel efficiency, a used Corolla is usually priced between $16,000 and $23,000.

Honda Civic

Photo by Bestami Sarıkaya on Unsplash
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

John Lin from JB Motor Works recommends the 2010-2015 Civic models, available for $8,000-$10,000, citing their reliability and fuel efficiency.

Ford Focus

drive-smart-save-big-check-out-6-most-affordable-used-cars-america
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

Giranda points out that the Focus, while less popular than Toyota or Honda, offers affordability, with prices ranging from $9,000 to $18,000.

Toyota Camry

drive-smart-save-big-check-out-6-most-affordable-used-cars-america
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

The 2007-2011 Camry models, suggested by Lin, are praised for their reliable engine and longevity, costing around $7,000-$9,000.

Hyundai Elantra

drive-smart-save-big-check-out-6-most-affordable-used-cars-america
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

With a price range of $6,000-$8,000 for the 2011-2016 models, the Elantra offers good fuel economy and a comfortable interior.

Honda Fit

drive-smart-save-big-check-out-6-most-affordable-used-cars-america
As 2023 draws to a close, the quest for finding the perfect used car heats up. However, with a plethora of options and budget constraints, this task can seem daunting.

For compact car enthusiasts, the 2013-2016 Fit models, recommended by Doornebos, are priced between $7,000 to $10,000 and offer great fuel efficiency.

Honorable Mentions and Market Trends

Todd Bialaszewski, founder of Sell My Car Online, highlights the shifting market post-COVID-19, with some models like the Toyota Highlander seeing a 24.6% price increase. For budget buyers, he suggests looking at models like the 2014 Dodge Avenger, 2014 Chevrolet Spark, and 2014 Kia Forte, all priced under $10,000.

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