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.