It's AN option...
But whether or not it happens to be a particularly GOOD option depends entirely upon the specific vehicle you intend to buy including it's current mileage, condition, mechanical soundness, and (most importantly) how it was driven and how well it was cared-for and maintained. Care and maintenance can be even more meaningful than mileage.
You can't really approach this from the perspective of "what car should I buy for $11K" because you can find examples of just about any vehicle ever made that will range in cost from at or near the original sticker price all the way down to a few hundred dollars of scrap value. What you must do is begin by determining how much you have to spend and proceed to choose from the available vehicles to which you have access the vehicle that best happens to suit your needs. The same holds true whether you're 16 or 60.
Keep in mind that no matter how well a car may have been cared-for, certain components will require replacement at certain intervals. They're designed that way. Also keep in mind that any money you try to save on purchase price can easily come back to haunt you several-fold in additional necessary maintenance and repairs. No matter which vehicle you choose, you should set aside sufficient funds for insurance and repairs if necessary. If you have $11,000 to spend, I would purchase a vehicle no more expensive than $7,000.
Before buying ANY vehicle, you should do three essential things. First, you should have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic with the proper skills and tools to provide you with insight into any potential problems with the vehicle like odometer fraud, its emissions compliance, and its general condition. You should also purchase a CarFax vehicle history report which will help you know whether or not the vehicle has ever been previously salvaged, severely damaged, or returned under the lemon law. Finally, you should have your local police verify the VIN (vehicle identification number) against any currently-stolen vehicles.
Above all, you should always keep in mind that all used car purchases are FINAL. There's no "cooling-off period" or any other law to protect you from making an uninformed purchase. You can't completely eliminate the risk inherent to buying a used car, but you can greatly improve your chances for a positive outcome; but if something goes wrong and you've failed to do any of the previous three things, you will have no one to blame but yourself. With that understood, if you take an interest in the process and use any of the many resources the Internet makes available to you, there's absolutely no reason to believe you won't be able to find a vehicle that meets your needs very well whether it's a Pontiac G5 or any other of the vehicles for sale within your price range.
Best of luck. I hope this helps.
· 10 years ago