I don't own a car, but I've got a job interview for a job 20 minutes away (so I'd have to buy one if I got it.) And I do want this job - it sounds like a much better environment than my current one. So I, in my obsession with planning everything possible ahead of time, am looking at cars (you know, in case I get this job and need one.) I don't have enough saved to buy one outright so I want to make sure payments are quite low - with my age, insurance alone will probably run $75-100 a month, so I want to get a car that's about $5-7k so that the payments won't be too bad. The salary that I'd want to get in order to equal my current one (considering that I get $6k of retirement contributions free from my current employer) would be about $7-8k higher than I make now, so that I can swing a car and still sock away lots of money for retirement. (Salary is obviously a key issue - if they can only pay me what I get paid now, I'd effectively be taking an $8k paycut between the retirement money and the car costs.)
Anybody got any suggestions for a good used car? I basically just want a small sedan and I'd rather get something older that's more durable than something newer that only cost $10k to begin with.