What is a good car i should look at?
Do you like Honda Civics? Pontiac G5s?
Chevy Cobalts? Toyota has 0% interest on most of their cars right now. If you can negotiate a really good deal and get 0% interest! thats perfect.
Now is the perfect time to buy new, the 08s should have decent deals on them because the market is super slow and people want to move metal. I worked at a dealership next to MAZDA and they sold more cars than we did but didnt make much profit because they were literally just giving cars away lol. If you buy used.... buy off the street, have a mechanic look at it.
U mention your budget is 17,000... are you looking to pay cash or to finance? if your looking to finance, Are you more concerned with the price of the car or your monthly payments? I was a salesman, if you want to keep in touch... shoot me an email and we'll discuss more options if you want.