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The Best Used Cars Under $10,000

Buying a used car is the smartest way to save money. And now is a great time to buy a used car while prices are still low - they will steadily increase towards summer and peak in August.

Consumer Reports has compiled their list of the best used cars for under $10,000. These vehicles have scored well in road tests, most have the latest safety equipment, and all have proven reliability.

All of the models listed are for the 2006 model year - this is a sweet spot because most of the depreciation has been absorbed by the original owner. All vehicles are assumed to have 75,000 miles, and the price is what you can expect to pay at a dealer.

To save even more, look for these cars through private party listings on Craigslist or Carsabi.

Make & model MSRP (new)

Dealer Price (avg)

Drop in Price vs. MSRP
2006 Ford Fusion $17,145 $8,625 50%
2006 Mitsubishi Outlander 20,099 9,000 55%
2006 Pontiac Vibe 16,430 9,050 45%
2006 Toyota Corolla 14,905 9,100 39%
2006 Hyundai Tucson 18,745 9,325 50%
2006 Honda Civic
15,360 9,325 39%
2006 Kia Sportage 18,395 9,475 48%
2006 Mazda3 13,710 9,550 30%
2006 Mercury Milan
18,345 9,600 48%
2006 Scion xB 14,830 9,800 34%
2006 Nissan Altima 17,750 9,900 44%
2006 Toyota Matrix 16,060 9,900 38%





3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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