Getting a new used car

Getting a new used car

My fiance's car died a couple weeks ago. His grandmother is going to give us $3,000 towards a replacement and we decided to trade in my car. Kelley Blue Book online gives it a trade-in value of $2,500. Since we will only be paying for gas in one car, one insurance, and one parking spot, we can afford a max monthly payment of $150. I'll be pretty much taking the bus every day to work as a result, which is easy enough. He needs a car to get to work and classes (across town, bus doesn't run to place of work) otherwise we'd do nothing but public transit. I thought having one car overall would be better for our wallets, the environment, and our goal of living more simply. I also thought $3,000 wouldn't be enough for a car that wouldn't need work every couple months. I'm not sure that 9,000ish is enough though. We are hoping to get a car that will last at least 5 years without any major repairs and looking for something with really good gas mileage. We don't need a lot of room either. Mostly something reliable and with at least 30mpg (I have an SUV right now and HATE it). Our cars have been hand-me-downs so far so neither of us have ever bought a car before. We don't know where to begin so please, any advice you have would be great. What makes and models are good? What should I be aware of going into this? Any tips for getting a good price (does gender/age/appearance affect the prices we'll be given?) Any websites that give this information in a concise and easy to understand manner? Would we be better off trying to sell my car privately and using those funds towards the car? Thank so much.
shasta daisy

shasta daisy

myroom

myroom

mexi-sun bloomage

mexi-sun bloomage

A brief intro & my room =)

A brief intro & my room =)

Free flowers

Free flowers

The Curse of the Black Thumb

The Curse of the Black Thumb