What car? Inexpensive, easy to repair myself.

05-06-2008, 12:41 PM
Greetings all.

My family of 6 is down to one vehicle (the minivan) and its driving my wife insane and as collateral damage, driving myself insane in turn. I'm trying to find an inexpensive vehicle and am looking for suggestions of make/model/model year.

I am reasonably mechanically inclined and can follow directions, but haven't worked on cars much in the past. I don't have much in initial funds and don't want to take on another auto loan, my credit is bad and the credit market is tight.

My criteria is as follows:

Purchase price - 1000$ or less 2000$ max if necessary.
Easy to repair myself, easy to learn to repair, inexpensive parts.
Seats five, even if cramped, three seatbelts in back no passenger-side airbag or able to disable passenger-side airbag.
American manufacturer is preferable. I work at an American manufacturer that chooses to show solidarity by making driving a foreign car into the parking lot a gigantic pain.
Reasonable gas mileage, the higher the better.
Able to withstand the rigors of having roughly 500-600 miles put on it in a week with proper maintenance/repair.I'm new to the forum, thank you all, in advance for your help.

05-07-2008, 01:47 AM
Given the criteria you have listed, I would say my first choice would be a Full size GM car from the late '80s through the mid '90s. These cars had a lot of room fairly decent gas mileage, ( my '95 Roadmaster get 24-25 mpg on the highway with an LT1 V8).They also are fairly easy to work on and the parts are widely available and not that expensive. Many of these vehicles were used for police, taxis and delivery vehicles and saw rough service, and were able to withstand the rigors of rough service. And they currently are in th eprice range you specified.

05-08-2008, 11:34 PM
If you're looking for something a little more efficient, I'd look for a 4 cylinder Chevy S10, GMC Sonoma, or Ford Ranger.

An older Cavalier or Escort will also fit in your price range and are pretty easy to work on.

05-15-2008, 03:42 AM
If you want an abundance of parts for your car, Japanese cars are the answer.

Among Japanese brands, Nissan cars have very low resale value so scouting for second hand cars considering your target price range would be very probable.

05-15-2008, 10:36 PM
The GM minivans from 1998 to 2002 are a great buy in the used market. Resale is low but quality and durability are good. I'm talking about Chevy Venture, Pontiac Montana and Oldsmobile Silhouette. They seat 7 or 8 and mileage is 19 city/26 hwy. Repairs are not necessarily easy, but doable.

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