Skip to content

12 Types of Used Vehicles for Less Than $15,000

As money gets tight, consider pre-owned cars that are affordable, reliable, safe

blue Toyota Tacoma


You want the trifecta when shopping for a used car: low price, reliability and reassuring safety scores.

Now that the coronavirus pandemic has torpedoed the concept of normal and made finances seem shakier than a straw hut on the San Andreas fault, you naturally think of a good used car as an asset. You might want to sell your new-ish car that's still nicking your budget for payments that now seem too big and head for the used-car lot.

Or you might be between cars and think it's smarter to buy used.

Even in normal times, a used car can be the smart play. It's already done much of its depreciating.

Use the AARP Auto Buying Program for a hassle-free purchase experience

Used cars are a better fit in many budgets. And you should be able to get a nicely appointed used machine for the same as, or even less than, you would pay for a low-end new vehicle.

The database experts at iSeeCars sorted and searched for AARP and came up with cars, minivans, pickup trucks and SUVs, ranging from electric and hybrids to luxury sedans and get-'er-done workhorses. All are priced at $15,000 or less, enjoy good reliability scores and did well in safety tests.

Keep in mind that to fit the budget, some vehicles are perhaps older than you would prefer. One reason: They held their value well and took longer to drop into our price range. According to iSeeCars, its multi-million-car database shows these vehicles were considered reliable when new and continue to give dependable service.

We're looking at the categories in alphabetical order, but be aware that in the new-vehicle market, SUVs have nearly replaced ordinary sedans. The easy-in-and-out seat height is one lure; another is the improved view ahead and around because you sit higher.

Find your next safe car with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Find a car with safety features you want and get upfront pricing information.

Select Make

Enter Zip Code

Select Make

Enter Zip Code