Reliable Used Cars Under $10,000

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Contributing Writer

Bethany Hickey is a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. She is a content writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs, as well as the Poetry Editor for UM-Flint’s writing magazine.


, Contributing Writer - December 21, 2020

Reliable and cheap don’t usually go together in many people’s minds. However, due to the quality of vehicles that automakers are putting out, cars are lasting longer than ever before. Thanks to a recent survey, we have some recommendations for reliable and affordable used vehicles under $10,000 and under $20,000 for borrowers looking to get the most out of their hard-earned cash.

Affordable Used Car Suggestions Under $10,000

Buying a car is one of the most expensive things you’re likely to do, and you may have to do it every few years or so. If you’re not looking to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your transportation, looking into reliable vehicles under $10,000 could be the way to go.

Toyota and Honda are dominating the reliability lists of many surveys. The reputable website iSeeCars published a survey of affordable, reliable used cars by evaluating 6.1 million vehicles from 2011 to now. All cars listed have an overall safety rating of at least four stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

These vehicles each have an average selling price under $10,000:

According to iSeeCars, the average price for a used, passenger car is $18,404. The average amount financed for used vehicles, reported by Experian in the third quarter of this year, is $21,438. That’s not exactly chump change!

Loan amounts over $20,000 can mean years of financing – the average loan term is around 72 months right now. Additionally, the more you need to finance, the higher your car payment.

If you’re looking for a short loan term and/or a smaller monthly payment, but still need a reliable vehicle, consider a used car around $10,000. If you’re a bad credit borrower, this could also mean a lower down payment requirement.

Most subprime auto lenders require at least $1,000 or 10% of the vehicle’s selling price to qualify for financing. The lower the selling price of the car, the lower down payment you’re likely to need if you’re applying with a bad credit lender.

While these vehicles are all under 10 years old, they’re close to hitting this point, which is a cutoff for many bad credit lenders. If you’re working with a subprime auto lender, they generally don’t finance cars that have over 100,000 miles or that are over 10 years old.

Reliable Used Vehicles Under $20,000

If you’d like a newer model, but still something used, affordable, and reliable, we have some more used vehicle suggestions from the iSeeCars survey.

Some affordable cars under $20,000:

Getting Approved for an Auto Loan

Finding the right make and model that fits your budget and needs is just half the battle – finding an auto lender that can work with your credit is something else entirely. If your credit score isn’t great, it can be hard to find auto financing. But it doesn’t have to be if you start with us at CarsDirect.

Not only do we have new car and used car listings, but we also have an expansive network of dealerships that are signed up with subprime auto lenders. To get matched with a dealer in your local area with bad credit options, fill out our free car loan request form. There’s never an obligation, so start today!

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, Contributing Writer

Bethany Hickey is a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. She is a content writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs, as well as the Poetry Editor for UM-Flint’s writing magazine.


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