Buying a Car for My Dad's 65th Birthday (Budget under $10k)

Hi fellow Ozbargainers!

I'm after a few recommendations of cars I could buy my dad for his 65th birthday. It's something I've always dreamt of doing for him and I'm finally in a position financially to do it! Been doing lots of research but need some advice on a cheap run around for him to drive his wife and friends around Sydney in.

A bit about my dad… super low maintenance and easy going person. Currently drives a 00' Toyota echo which has been looked after but it's pretty outdated and banged up. Quite a small car also so not the safest or fun to be a back seat passenger in!

Looking for an affordable low maintenance car that's easy and comfortable to drive, has power windows and 5 doors with a decently sized trunk and storage. I realise tech features aren't going to be too flash at this price point but anything like a reversing camera, or Bluetooth would be a nice to have.

Budget: under $10K
KMs: under 150,000
Auto transmission

Would love to hear your suggestions



    Camry? ‘09 onwards has BT, reverse camera

    • +7 votes

      Look to the Aurion. Few more features, bigger engine, but generally not something people look for so value for money can be better

      Can get a 2011 Aurion for within desired specs

  • +1 vote

    If you buy a lemon, who will be responsible for repairs?

  • +2 votes

    Second hand lexus is250 if you want something more prestigious but still with Toyota reliability.

    • +2 votes

      Hard to find under $10k in good condition. Aurion would be my pick.

  • +2 votes

    OP, have a look at this search, but select your state

    Rule out the Cruze and Captiva, and see what appeals


      I have a Cruze :(

      • +23 votes

        My condolences

        • +4 votes

          Any comment I make, will probably jinx myself… so I'll just stop myself here


    a small SUV? Higher for easier entry for the older generation.

    Either that or keep it simple. Corolla.

  • +2 votes

    lancer CJ? or outlander ?

  • +1 vote

    If there is nothing wrong with your dad's existing car - then keep it and hold out.

    Second hand car prices have never been higher.

    If you still want to proceed - then have a look at the various cars being auctioned on manheim in your home state - particularly if ex-government/council cars.

    They generally sell for a little bit more than the redbook trade price for the car - but under the private price guide.

    This 2017 ex-police Camry ASV50R Atara SX with 94k on the clock sold for example today for $17500 here in QLD - leather interior and low Ks.

    If you find a car you like in your price range on that auction site, then you can hit up carsales and see if you can get a few bites from 'offers'.

    Do your homework though and pony up money for a pre-inspection by a mechanic! It could save you from buying a lemon.

    That manheim site does have a buy back gaurantee as well for certain auctions -


    Aurion - nice car / bit thirsty V6 / more bells and whistles.

    Camry - functional / frugal 4cyc / basic amenities.

    I would go for value for money: within budget / lower miles / full service / accident free (small minor bings ok).

    Get a mechanic (reliable one) to look it over.

    Watch out for 150,000km I think the Timing Belt is due then (approx $1000).

    Best of Luck - Your dad is a lucky man to have a kid like you.


      No timing belt on those, maintenance free timing chain.


    Suzuki swift


    Legend move buddy!

    A couple of things - completely understand the feeling of giving back to the old man. Amazing move! All credit!
    But, in this case, if the current car is only a little beaten up, you could get a few quotes from small dent and panel repairers and see what sort of dollars that might cost. I'm sure he will be super grateful. With the current 2nd hand car price, it might be best to hold off. Or if you want to get him something nice, what about a nice timepiece?
    Not sure what your old man is like, but could be worth considering, and can be something that's handed down… in future.

    If you are set on the new wheels, then I'd go with a Honda or Toyota sedan. There are also things like a small to mid-sized Ford SUV or the likes.
    Consider the parts costs too for the future. Honda, Toyota, and Ford are just a few which parts are usually and generally reasonable if needed.

    While Euro would prob be a nice thought, it will be a killer!

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: Don't worry about the tech too much. If you want Bluetooth and the head unit is a single din, then you can pick something up for $100+/- + install if you can't do yourself.

  • +3 votes

    It’s a really nice sentiment, but $10k won’t by anything amazing. It may be an upgrade from what he currently has, but he might want his next car to be different/better than what you can afford right now. If you’re going to do this, be sure he’s wants it and that you have a good idea of his preferences.

    • +2 votes

      It’s all relative. $10k isn’t anything to write about for some people. If you are driving a 20yo echo you could get a fairly decent improvement with $10k.

      Just because you think a $10k car is junk, doesn’t mean everyone does.

      Do agree a surprise gift of a car might not be the best idea, unless the receiver has been talking about getting xxxx for a while and you actually do get xxxx




    2013 facelifted Yaris? Not sure if it's the best car you can get for less than 10k but it will be a nice upgrade and also very familiar - even the engine! Also has 5 star ancap which isn't too shabby. E.g. + a few extra k for auto

    Here's the gumtree search, just have to check every day and see if something nice comes up:


    10k doesn't get you much at the moment


    Honda Accord Euro 2010+
    You'll find one for $10k with with decent KMs and condition.

    No rear camera but it has front and rear sensors.

    Suits his age well and roomy for 4 passengers

    It does take 95 unleaded but it is such a refined engine.


    What did you end up with OP? I hear Toyota and Honda have lowest cost for ownership. That's what I would narrow down to by default.. (about to look for a first car for relo)