If buying a pre-owned car, there are various choices depending on your budget.
If your budget is < $4000-A car with approx 70,000 miles and around four years might be a good buy-Focus / neon / if lucky civic or corolla-all this if you want to drive less than 20 miles a day to get used to US driving. But remember to buy AAA membership-comes in handy for emergency towing. Also when you are ready to buy a new car- don’t worry about selling it, donate it and get a tax rebate at the end of the year.
If your budget<$8000-Try hard for getting old civic/corolla 60,000 miles and four/five years old. Do not invest that kind of money on American cars no matter what kind of a deal you get-they don’t have any resale and the car will die on you.
If your budget is <12,000- Haggle for a pre-owned Camry with 60,000 miles and roughly four to five years on it. Also a good trade off might be a pre-own Honda certified civic LX.
If your budget is $14,000 (basically you can afford installments of $ 250 a month-five years)-best bet New Civic.
If you can afford up to $300/month-Camry is excellent choice.
Lease is not a financially sound option, though it looks tempting!
Helpful websites to do research on car prices for both new and pre owned- www.kbb.com, www.Edmunds.com and for checking history of car www.carfax.com
Confidently haggle with no shame; you can save thousands! Check the previous post for financing and insurance.