28 Best Used Cars Under $10,000

2014 Hyundai Elantra front 3/4 view driving down the road
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The Best Used Cars That Won’t Bust Your $10,000 Budget

Finding a used car is easy; there are nearly a million in our used car listings. When your budget is tighter, say $10,000, there are still plenty of pre-owned cars to find, but many of them will be so old, high-mileage, or dilapidated that they’re not worth buying. 

If you have to spend as much on repairs each month as your car payment, your wallet’s not going to be very happy. 

Finding a used vehicle with outstanding quality, a history of excellent reviews, low cost of ownership, good safety scores, and a price tag less than $10,000 is challenging. That’s where our used car rankings and reviews come in. They’ll help you find a used car that won’t break the bank, either when you buy it or as you own it. 

In general, a newer car is a better choice than an older model. Not only will it likely have fewer miles on the odometer, but it may also have updated cabin and safety technologies. In the first section of this guide, we look at 11 of the best 2014 or newer pre-owned cars you can buy for $10,000 or less. They’re a mix of compact or subcompact cars.

If you need a bit more space or you’re looking for a sports car, you’ll have to go back a bit further in model years to find a great used vehicle for less than $10,000. In the second section of this story, we look at the best affordable used cars from our various used car classes. 

Note that prices and scores can fluctuate over time. Those you see on the following pages may not match the costs and ratings you see on each vehicle’s individual review page.

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