How much should I spend on my first car?

I am 23, I've had my licence since I was 16 but have never owned a car. I hardly ever drive so I still consider myself a brand new driver. Since the car would be my first chances of accidents are higher so I was initially looking at cheaper cars. I was looking to spend $4000 which would mean a 10 year old car... show more I am 23, I've had my licence since I was 16 but have never owned a car. I hardly ever drive so I still consider myself a brand new driver. Since the car would be my first chances of accidents are higher so I was initially looking at cheaper cars. I was looking to spend $4000 which would mean a 10 year old car with over 100K miles, and I'd have to look for someone looking to get rid of it or go to a sleazy dealer. I'm wondering if it's better to put the $4000 as a down payment on a better car that cost around $12,000 and get an 08/09 used toyota camry. I'm not too excited about a car payment, but I'd feel better knowing I'm getting a newer and more reliable car, better looking in good condition with less miles, plus a warranty from a more reputable dealer. I am a lady so I can't drive any old beater but I also don't want to strain my finances as money is tight. Where should I look and what should I get? Also I'm starting to consider buying from a rental car company like Enterprise. Terrible idea?
6 answers 6