Mechanic reveals what used cars to buy with $10,000

@royaltyautoservice/TikTok RossHelen/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘No. 3 would be a Toyota Corolla’: Mechanic reveals what used cars to buy under $10,000

'Some can be as low as $5-$7k.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Feb 26, 2024   Updated on Feb 26, 2024, 11:40 am CST

In the market for a used car but low on cash? This mechanic has got you covered with his recommendations on what vehicle will get you the most bang for your buck.

Since the pandemic used cars have become a hot commodity. Supply chain issues tore through the auto industry, making it more difficult to produce new cars, and lessening the supply of used cars on the market.

After reaching peak highs, prices have calmed down a bit but are still higher than pre-pandemic. As of February 2024, the average used car is listed at $26,510, according to Kelley Blue Book.

And the lower your budget, the smaller the inventory available.

But don’t fret. If you’re ready to buy a car now and have a budget of around $10,000, there are still reliable cars that will be worth your money.

In a viral TikTok with more than 2.5 million views, Sherwood, a mechanic from Royalty Auto Service (@royaltyautoservice) in Georgia, gives his tips on what used car is worth the investment.

Before even getting to the brands or models, Sherwood points out that it’s best to buy a car that’s located in the south of the United States or even California to avoid rust. For those unaware, cars that are in snowy weather tend to rust because they’re exposed to the salts used to melt snow and ice.

He also recommends having a mechanic check out the car before you buy it to make sure it’s in good condition.

Here are Sherwood’s top four used car models:

4. Honda Civic

Sherwood recommends a Honda Civic from 2005-2009. It’ll have some miles on it but you’ll likely be able to get it in the $5,000-$9,000 range, he says.

His one note: “Make sure it’s not been pimped out,” he says, referring to cars that may have flashy but unnecessary additions.

3. Toyota Corolla

If you’re spending $10,000, you might be able to get something in the newer range, and Sherwood recommends a model year from 2005-2010.

“Good cars, last a long time,” Sherwood notes.

2. Honda Accord

The Accord follows the same 2005-2010 rule, but Sherwood says to stick with the 4-cylinder model. “Do not buy the 3.5 liter V6. It had issues,” he claims.

He estimates this car will run buyers between $6,500 to $10,000.

1. Toyota Camry/Avalon

With these two Toyota models, Sherwood says you can go back as far as 2004.

“Those are probably gonna be a little higher mileage, but great cars,” he says.

Sherwood adds that any of the cars on the list are reliable and he still has customers come in with old models of these cars that are still in great working condition.

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“Those are good budget cars under $10k. You’re not gonna have problems with [them], as long as you have it looked over beforehand,” Sherwood concludes.

The video garnered a whopping 4,100 comments, and viewers had mixed thoughts.

“I just bought a 2015 Toyota Corolla with 30 thousand miles for 10 grand and I feel better now,” a person shared.

“10k is plenty. Someone of us are actually balling on a budget lmao,” another wrote.

Some noted that used cars used to be cheaper.

“10 k isn’t a budget. 2k is,” a person said. “20 year old cars for 10k is crazy,” another chimed in.

“These are vehicles under $10k that we recommend. This doesn’t mean that they will cost that much. Some can be as low as $5-$7k and in some cases you can get newer or lower mileage then what we said in video. Just depends on each individual situation,” Sherwood clarified in a follow-up email.

The Daily Dot reached out to the mechanic shop via email.

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*First Published: Feb 26, 2024, 5:00 pm CST