I just sold my 1990 Turbo Firefly with 200,000 Kms on it for 500 dollars. It had holes all through the exhaust and the drivers door was rusted so bad that I'd have to crawl through the passenger's side. The transmission was all messed up too. It was going to cost me more to fix it than what it was worth.
I had this car for 8 years and drove it almost everyday. I will miss how economic it was. I could drive 500kms on 30L of gas. Just fabulous.
Now only if they'd make an SUV that economic ;P.
I have been a hatchback fan for years and won't buy anything else so far. Started with the 1978 Chevy Chevette, then a 1988 Chevy Sprint, to a 1994 Geo Metro, and now I am going to purchase a 1991 Pontiac Firefly for $600 with a nearly perfect body.
The Geo I purchased for $1700 seven years ago. It has a rebuilt motor that I have put only 25,000 kms on, but the body is now ready for retirement. These are great little cars for driving around town in. Great on fuel and easy to park. Believe it or not, the hatchback area can move a lot of stuff. If you're looking for a small putt-around-town little car, forget the Smart car which is extremely overpriced and can't carry much.
Basically, other than regular maintenance, my cars have cost me $7500.00 over 21 years. That's about $357 a year. Sure beats $357 a month. It's not pretty, you won't turn heads, and highway driving won't be perfect, but you will save money on gas, find parking easier, and enjoy low maintenance costs.