Some excellent brand-new cars don’t cost $20,000 (the 2015 Ford Focus and 2015 Subaru Impreza, for example). So that kind of budget for a used car offers a lot of leeway. But what to choose: a lightly used compact car or an older luxury model? It all depends on what’s required — everyone’s needs (and desires) are different.
One aspect worth checking out, though, is certified pre-owned (CPO) cars. Different manufacturers have different programs, but they’re usually up to five years old with no more than 100,000 miles covered. They’ve been inspected, refurbished and come with warranties. They’re almost like new cars, only without that initial hit of depreciation. As for the rest of the used-car world, we’ve listed several different ideas. Happy shopping — spending up to 20k on a car is a nice conundrum to have.