Best First Cars Under $10k

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Looking to save on your next car? Check out the best used cars under $10K and drive off the lot with a better value than ever! We’ve compiled a guide to some of these cars, so shoppers in Brook Park, Cleveland, or Parma, Ohio, know where to start.

Many pre-owned cars in this range are compact cars and small SUVs. Feel free to search the vehicles under $10K in our inventory and see what you find here at Montrose Auto Outlet! Contact us today.

Chevy Spark: For a Fun Splash of Color

Your path to fun-sized efficiency, the Chevy Spark is available in all sorts of standout colors. Choose from Caribbean Blue, Red Hot, and even Passion Fruit Purple may be on the table, if you choose the perfect model year. The hatchback body style means you’ll have plenty of cargo space.

It comes standard with a Rear Vision Camera, too, so you can see your surroundings in more detail when you need to back up. Plenty of other driver-assisting features are available, too!

Mitsubishi Mirage: For Fuel Efficiency

So small it may look like an optical illusion at first glance, the Mitsubishi Mirage prizes its MPG. You’ll get some of the best EPA ratings in the segment, no matter which model year you’re considering.

This small hatch uses Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body construction to help keep you safe in the event of an accident. Plus, with a touchscreen infotainment system, you can link up a smartphone and have your most important apps literally at your fingertips!

Honda Civic: Sportiest Sedan Around

Not every sedan looks as sharp at the Honda Civic. As you move up trim levels, you can even find race-inspired models! If you’re sticking to used cars below $10K, however, you’ll want to consider base trims first and foremost.

Many used Civic models come equipped with Honda Sensing® driver-assistance features. From collision-avoidance assistance to a gentle nudge to stay in your lane, these features help you drive more safely.

Kia Soul: More Space for Adventures

Remember those hamster commercials? The Kia Soul uses a chameleon as its mascot as of late, but you can still find Soul models from the hamster era if you’re looking hard! Noted for its boxy shape, this isn’t a hatchback—it’s a compact SUV with more cargo space than any car on this list.

Make room for more gear than ever. An optional UVO infotainment system will keep you well-connected on the road, too. Settle into that cozy driver’s seat for a long drive ahead.     

Sports Cars Under 10k Near Me

We feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to used cars under $10K. Drivers in Brook Park, Cleveland, and Parma, OH, can check out our selection of affordable pre-owned cars online.

You may find the cars listed above, and you may see totally different models available. Reach out to our sales team to learn more, then schedule your test drive at Montrose Auto Outlet!

Still on your P plates? Tired of borrowing Mum’s car? Here are 10 cars under $10K to suit your needs

You’ve scraped and saved $10,000 to buy your first car, but all your friends and family appear to hold different views concerning which car you should buy.

It goes without saying that if you’re still on your P plates there will be restrictions on the type of car you can own anyway. High-performance cars will be off the table, for a start.

And then there are your own restrictions re the choice of car. You don’t want something too big, because it will be hard to park until you’re more experienced with the art of parking. Nor do you want a dog-eared and awful car that’s already past its expiry date, so first things first — limit yourself to around 60,000km travelled.

Something safe – rated five stars by ANCAP, for instance – and something economical and reliable. You don’t want to place yourself or your friends and relatives at risk in the event of a crash, and nor do you want to be spending all your hard-earned cash on fuel and repairs. So, buy a car that’s a 2013 build or later for standard (mandatory) stability control to keep you and your passengers safe.

Comfort may be a consideration too, you won’t get limousine levels of features and refinement in a $10,000 light hatch, but anything sold in Australia from 2013 onwards should be acceptably quiet and soft-riding.

What all this indicates is that your first car is probably going to be quite boring. But boring is good (sort of). Anxiety-inducing — not so much.

One tip to bear in mind before we begin, however: Don’t buy an ex-rental car. It has passed through many hands over the years, and is unlikely to have led an easy life. If you can, buy a one-owner machine.

In no particular order, but based on P-plate approved, four-cylinder, bulletproof, five-star safe machines that run on 91 RON petrol, our list begins with…

Nissan Pulsar

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Nissan has a long history of building worthy but unexceptional cars that are easy on the pocket. The reborn Nissan Pulsar from 2013 is reasonably frugal, rated at 6.7L/100km. If you want an automatic – which most new drivers likely will – the Pulsar comes with a continuously variable transmission that will do the job. Our reviewers were less than kind when we compared the Pulsaragainst other small cars in 2013. But in 2019, it’s quite affordable and sufficiently fit for purpose, with RedBook valuing a 2013 ST sedan with CVT at no more than $8700, and ANCAP delivering a five-star crash safety verdict when it tested the Pulsar in 2013.

Buy a Nissan Pulsar for under $10k

Holden Spark

Not to be confused with its predecessor, the Barina Spark, the Holden Spark should have sold in larger numbers than it did, but arrived just as the market was turning away from passenger cars as small as this one. Holden did itself no favours by offering the micro hatch at light hatch prices. By the time buyers had spent the extra for the self-shifting CVT, the Spark was knocking on the door of Toyota Yaris pricing. But there’s nothing terribly wrong with the car itself. In 2016 it was rated at five stars for crash safety by ANCAP, and RedBook proposes that buyers can purchase a Spark in good condition for $10,500.

Buy a Holden Spark for under $10k

Hyundai i20

A smaller car than the Pulsar but larger than the Spark, the Hyundai i20 was cheap to buy when new. But it was one of the Hyundai models developed after the Korean brand got its act together. Expect it to be robust and reliable, as well as economical to run. There’s nothing too fancy about the mechanicals – including the four-speed automatic transmission – and parts shouldn’t cost exorbitant amounts. Like all these cars, it won’t cost a fortune to insure either. An i20 in good nick will set you back $9100, according to RedBook. In 2011 ANCAP’s crash test of the i20 produced a five-star result, but as ANCAP testing became tougher over the years, the i20 slipped back to four stars in 2015.

Buy a Hyundai i20 for under $10k

Holden Barina

The Holden Barina, like the Hyundai i20, is a light car – smaller than small cars like the Pulsar and Lancer, but larger than the Spark. It was trendy to knock the Barina over most of its long model history – dating back to 1985 – but the final TM series models were reasonably driveable and comfortable. Rare in this sector of the market, the Barina offers a six-speed automatic transmission option. The Barina scored five stars for crash safety when tested by ANCAP in 2011. A Barina CD sedan with auto from 2012, in good condition, can be purchased for $6700, according to RedBook.

Buy a Holden Barina for under $10k

Mitsubishi Lancer

If it seems like the Mitsubishi Lancer has been around forever – and there’s one everywhere you look. That’s because it has — the Lancer in this CJ series is essentially the same car that Mitsubishi launched here in 2007. Like the Pulsar, the auto Lancer is fitted with a continuously-variable transmission, so expect some droning around town. But the Lancer is a roomy (in this company) and fairly capable touring car which is frugal in the real world. In 2013, the Lancer was tested by ANCAP and earned itself a five-star rating, so it’s as safe as any six-year old car can be. RedBook suggests a Lancer ES hatch with auto from 2013 will set you back $8800 for a good one.

Buy a Mitsubishi Lancer for under $10k

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Toyota Yaris

For many buyers, the Toyota Yaris is the unequivocal choice of first car. Backed by Toyota’s extensive dealer network and sold in such large numbers that it’s easy to find one in good condition at an affordable price, the Yaris is one car that can withstand the rigours of fleet ownership and still provide years of safe, affordable and reliable motoring in the hands of a young driver. The automatic transmission is limited to four forward speeds, but it’s a trusted unit. Tested by ANCAP in 2017, the Yaris boasts the requisite five-star crash safety. A Yaris YR auto hatch in good condition costs no more than $8700, according to RedBook.

Buy a Toyota Yaris for under $10k

Hyundai Accent

Selling alongside the i20 for a couple of years, the Hyundai Accent, eventually supplanted the older model, introducing ‘de-contented’ versions at a discounted price in the light passenger-car segment. Early models came with a four-speed automatic, but buyers didn’t have to wait long for an upgrade. Sedan and hatchback variants were both available. The Accent from 2015 was not tested by ANCAP, so its crash safety remains unassessed. Buyers can pick up a used Accent in good condition for as little as $8100, according to RedBook.

Buy a Hyundai Accent for under $10k

Kia Rio

The previous generation of Kia Rio is the one that everyone loved; it looked the part and earned ‘Respect’ from its television advertising campaign. Backing the clever marketing, the Rio drove well too thanks to its excellent suspension tuning for local conditions — although the combination of 1.4-litre and the four-speed automatic was no fireball. This particular generation of Rio was not tested by ANCAP, but EuroNCAP rated it five stars for crash safety. A Rio S from 2013 is valued by RedBook at $8400 for an example in good condition, but the stronger performing Rio SLi from the same year costs $9900 – and it’s well worth it if the budget goes that far.

Buy a Kia Rio for under $10k

Suzuki Swift

Between 2011 and 2017, the Suzuki Swift was an outstanding success story for the brand in Australia, frequently accounting for half of all Suzuki car and SUV sales in the local market. While it was undeniably affordable, reliable and roomy, the Swift also attracted younger buyers with its purposeful style, recalling the wheel-in-each-corner stance of early Minis. This generation of Swift was tested by EuroNCAP and achieved a five-star result. RedBook values the Swift GL auto from 2013 at $8400 in the used-car market.

Buy a Suzuki Swift for under $10k


The Mazda2 sold here between 2007 and 2014 was built on the architecture common to Ford’s Fiesta from the same period. Despite being overshadowed by its SKYACTIV-powered successor, this generation remains popular, boasting good driving dynamics, practical packaging and low running costs. Earning itself a five-star crash safety rating from EuroNCAP in 2007, the Mazda2 from this era was not crash tested locally.. A basic Mazda2 Neo with automatic transmission from 2013 is valued at $8900 in the used-car market, according to RedBook.

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