Buying used for under $6000 - is it possible?
I'm looking to buy a car to get me through a relatively short daily Montreal commute - despite it being only 20 min or so, there's no feasible public transportation route (that doesn't take 3x as long), nor can I go by bicycle. Thinking distances, I'd probably only drive the thing about 8-10,000 km/year.
With that in mind, and since I know nothing about buying used cars, I thought I'd ask the wise people here to please help check on my assumptions and expectations and help me adjust them to something realistic.
I would be looking at a used car at no more than $6000 (plus tax + registration) and would like something that's 2010 or newer and has under 140,000 km. I think this would give me 3-5 years of service which would fit my needs.
I would prefer a sedan (think Civic, Corolla) and would prefer to stick to those two brands (Honda, Toyota) but am super flexible in both form factor and make - given the above criteria I know I can't be picky and I'll settle for anything that gets me there and back and has only infrequent breakdowns, proper maintenance taken into consideration.
Another thing I would like is using a dealer of some sort, as I don't feel confident dealing with private sellers. Is it a terrible idea to go to one of those used car lots so I can peruse their inventory and find something that fits the bill? (which on the other hand I can pre-screen online to ensure they have several options within my criteria). I'm in Montreal, so would also appreciate either suggestions on decent nearby dealers or advice to run as far as I can from them
What do you think? which of the above ideas or expectations would I have to adjust?