Well, regarding second hand cars with a budget of 10k, I’ve kind of rooted for several possibilities, including a surprising one.
Kancil seems to be a very common choice, but I’ve heard it’s a bit fragile and the 660cc model actually uses more fuel than the 850cc due to lousy acceleration and climb. The good news is that spare parts are plentiful. I don’t know how reliable it is, how often it breaks down, etc. I would actually prefer the Kelisa model, which got good reviews in UK and Australia, and has a good reputation in terms of performance and reliability even here, but that reputation plus its sporty looks means dealers can “jual mahal” (sell high). I couldn’t find a second hand Kelisa advertised for less than 20k.
Proton. Also a very common choice, I haven’t really done any research though. Spares are abundant, but supposedly the reliability of the newer homegrown models is questionable. The early Sagas are rebadged Mitsubishis, they may be reliable… need more research! They do seem to be much more abundant than, and cheaper than second hand kancils, at least the ye olde Saga model are. Getting conflicting opinions on Lowyat forum about reliability and maintenance.
The surprising choice is Nissan Sunny 130Y. I hadn’t even considered it at first, until I heard about its legendary reliability, low fuel consumption and low maintenance requirements. It’s selling cheap too, likely because of its unremarkable appearance. However, I get the impression that the Nissan Sunny is a diamond under that plain exterior. Some cars from the early 1980s are still running with minimum maintenance! It’s a car that might suit a complete engine tyro like me.
The question mark is the availability of parts, as the old style Sunny stopped being produced in the late 1990s. There’s a brand new Sunny coming up, but I don’t think the engine parts will be compatible. If Nissan parts are easy to come by and older parts compatible with new cars, the good old Sunny will be a strong contender.
Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a second hand Toyota advertised for less than 15k. Toyotas are solid cars, and dealer and driver alike know it.