Cheap and reliable don't always go well with each other. If you are looking for a reliable car, then I would go to a dealership to see about their used vehicles that have some warranty left on them. Or, when I was divorced from my first husband, I went to a used car dealership and gave them my wedding ring and another expensive ring just to start credit there. It worked. This was back in 95, and I got an 89 Honda Accord. It didn't have any warranty on it, and it had 89 thousand or more miles on it when I bought it. I was really pleased with that car and the only thing I had to fix was the belts which don't cost hardly anything; but usually foreign cars like, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan are pretty reliable used cars. Most of them you can run them into the ground and they'll keep going. I know you can't spend much, but for the safety of your children and your own, try to invest in a more reliable car that might take a bit extra money. Also, look in the AZ Central Classified ads and see if there are any cars on there that only had one owner and will sell for cheap. Usually one owner cars are the best ones to get because they're taken care of. Best of luck to you. G.