Personal transport is a huge costs for every budget. I have noticed folks who aren't very auto savvy will miss some of the finer points to consider when looking into a vehicle. Some ways to really save is to consider these points: Tires and Rims: The bigger the rim, the bigger the price tag. My 14" tires cost about $50-100 each new. My girls 18" tires set her back $700 for the set (and she got a really good deal) and I know guys who have spend over $1000 (on rubber alone!) Engine Size: The bigger the engine, the more fuel you burn. Engines size can be described by the # of cylinders (I4, V6, V8 ect) as well as the displacement of those cylinders (350, 2L, 4.5L ect.) The smaller these numbers the better. Unless you are towing or doing heavy work, you do not need anything larger than 4 cylinders and 2.5L's of displacement. Insurance: Always check how much insurance will be before buying. Good rule of thumb is the smaller, less expensive the less insurance will be. Older cars also have lower premiums. Repairs & Maintenance: Domestic cars cost less to repair than imports. Luxury vehicles cost WAY more to maintain and fix. Larger engines take more oil, so oil changes are more expensive.