If you want to own a new car, you should probably spend at least $4,500 on the first year.
That’s the minimum you should pay for a 2018 Honda Accord, 2018 Chevrolet Malibu or 2018 Hyundai Sonata.
A 2017 Ford Focus RS is cheaper, but it costs much more to buy than an Accord, and you’ll likely want to shell out more for a 2019 Toyota Camry.
Even if you’re just starting out, a 2019 Chevrolet Cruze will set you back $19,400.
In general, you’ll pay about half the price for a new vehicle if you buy a used car, said Richard Kestelman, director of auto sales for the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The key is to find the right car, and make sure it meets the standards for safety, emissions and fuel economy.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that you’ll be paying about $20,000 more than you would if you were to buy a new sedan.
“If you are an older owner, it’s a lot easier to save money,” Kestelmans said.
You can’t get away with saving money if you are buying a used vehicle, he added.
The new 2017 Ford Fusion is the best value, but the price tag might be too high.
Ford Fusion owners should start with a new 2017 Nissan Sentra, and then buy a Fusion after that.
“That’s a great vehicle,” Kiestelman said.
Buying a used pickup will be the best option for many people.
“I love buying used,” said Jeff Lutz, a retiree from West Virginia who lives in West Virginia City.
“It’s nice to have a vehicle that’s not going to break down, so you can spend less time in the garage and spend more time on the road.”
For people who have cars that are no longer in good shape, the cheapest used pickup for 2018 will likely be the Toyota Camaro ZL1, according to Kelley Blue Book.
But that might be a better option for some.
“We’re seeing a lot of new cars going for under $100,000,” Klestelman said, noting that the price is often less than the original sticker price.