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I am looking to buy a first car for my 17 yr old daughter and have about 3k to spend. I need to find the ideal combination of safety, reliability, street cred and low(!) insurance. Do you have any advice - please.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patricia Algier , Owner at Valley Dealer Exchange Inc Hi Elaine, You have a tall order! For reliability Japanese is your best bet but they are also pricey. Low insurance pick a 4 cyl 4 door car that does not get stolen. Saturn and Mitsubishi and Nissan Sentra are affordable and a good value for the money. Patti http://www.valleydealer.com

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Elaine, Unfortunately three thousand dollars is not a budget that lends itself to a safe, reliable used car. They are out there, but hard to find. A front wheel drive, four door sedan would be the vehicle to start with. You will want to do what I call a pre-qualification inspection to make sure the vehicle is even worthy of thinking about. You don't want a vehicle that is rusty, leaking fluids and spewing smoke out the exhaust. Be sure to ask if the previous owners have all the repair and service records. This will tell you the history of the vehicle. Please make sure you bring it to a professional auto technician to do a thorough used car inspection before you purchase it. It may cost up to $130.00, but is worth every penny. All My Best, Amy Mattinat

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