Believe it or not, I have not had a car for 3 years. I was the proud owner of a Honda Civic many, many years ago, I had a three year lease and when it was over, SI just let me use his older second car. It was perfect, we didn't travel a lot, work was close - I didn't need anything too wonderful. When we moved to NJ we purchased a Toyota Highlander, which was my primary vehicle. I LOVED that car; it rode beautifully. When I moved out, I took the car (filled with boxes). After many conversations, he allowed me to keep the car for a little while - however I had no idea when he'd want it back. It was a constant thing that was hung over my head and used to threaten me with. About a year later he took it back and told me he'd car shop with me. Although I had no money to purchase a car. I just gave up. I lived within walking distance to the train so I'd only need a car nights/weekends...but don't forget the first two years of the breakup, I was in a fog. I didn't have a social life and I had no desire to go anywhere, so it was never an issue. I eventually purchased my apartment close to my family so walking or getting picked up was really easy. It was not until very recently that I decided I needed a car again. I have started making some new friends, new hobbies, etc that I found borrowing a car to be burdensome for my family late at night when I'd return the car.
I started searching many websites, including craigslist to look for a clunker. So many of the car advertisements are not real. I emailed a few people and I'd get a notice that the listing is no longer available (and the posting was from that day or the day before - hard to sell a car in 4 hours!) . Others claim to be near where you are...but are not. I asked my uncle if he'd keep an eye out for something that came his way (he's a mechanic) but he is so busy that him going around to see cars could be unpractical.
Let car shopping commence.