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Old 12-16-06, 11:58 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Should I start saving for a car?

This has been on my mind. I don't mind riding to where I need to go, but don't always want to get my right pant leg stained. Sometimes my destinations are a decent distance, and I don't want to spend my time riding when I need to be somewhere. Also, as winter is approaching I am finding it not very desirable to ride. Come January when snow and ice are all over the earth, it is not feasible. If I go to Hampshire College, I think I will want a car to visit family, go to Boston, or anywhere else I need to go. Should I save for a car? Or am I better off dealing with the inconvenience for now?
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Old 12-16-06, 12:25 PM   #2
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no! cars are a useless waste of money until your out of college
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Old 12-16-06, 12:37 PM   #3
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save, and keep thinking about a car. look into alternative transportation for longer distances in cold weather - bus, carpool, etc. If you need a car every now & then, it's cheaper to rent than to own.
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Old 12-16-06, 12:52 PM   #4
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Yes. Taking busses and trains and asking for rides... is a pain in the ass. As far as renting, a lot of place won't rent to people under 21.
I sold my Ford Ranger pickup to a college kid who worked for me this summer. I sold it for $800. It was a 1996 and ran great. I'm sure you can find something cheap to get you where you need to go.
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Old 12-16-06, 01:02 PM   #5
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Save (you should be saving anyway) but wait to see if you really need a car, a lot of people get by without one while in school. Remember you'll probably be home during winter break, with is about a month long, so that'll be a big chunk of the winter right there.

But, you seem like a handy kid, so getting an older POS car for cheap that you can keep running might be a good learning opportunity...
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Old 12-16-06, 01:07 PM   #6
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Save up now or not, that's up to you. But cars generally are not necessary in college.
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Old 12-16-06, 01:16 PM   #7
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I am already saving now. I get a weekly paycheck. Every other week goes into an education IRA, the other week goes into my savings account (which is what my spending money is). My IRA gets a pretty good interest rate, and is tax free if I use it for educational purposes. I am going to wait until I get to college to see if I need a car or not. If I was going to a place like Northeastern, or anywhere in a city, I would not bother with a car. But I don't want to go to a school in the city.
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Old 12-16-06, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I am already saving now.
Good for you. <-- root beer

Quote:
Originally Posted by PC2
I am going to wait until I get to college to see if I need a car or not.
Sounds like a good plan.
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Old 12-16-06, 02:31 PM   #9
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I have a cheap 95 subaru Impreza with 268,000+ miles on it for sale.... if you really NEED a car.
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Old 12-16-06, 02:33 PM   #10
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I am going buying cars that are within an hour or two's worth of driving distance. Thanks though
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Old 12-16-06, 02:34 PM   #11
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I had a car in college but rarely used it. Some of my friends even put their vehicles up on blocks because we lived on our bikes. But it's nice to have it, when you really want it. Save.
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Old 12-16-06, 02:35 PM   #12
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The tour guide at Hampshire did say most students end up getting a car. Taking the bus is only free if you go to another college campus...
To go to Boston is about 40 dollars.
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Old 12-16-06, 02:59 PM   #13
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(oh, but the riding's great in WV! Worth a trip down!)
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Old 12-16-06, 03:11 PM   #14
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Cars are a PITA. Aside from they depreciate immediately even if they're used, you have high insurance rates for being under 25, gas, parking permits plus people messing w/ your car and traffic. Sometimes you need one, but while you're in college, get a beater winterized ice bike instead like a cross bike and just use that and keep saving your money. Your friends will have cars so just sponge off them and kick in for gas/beer.
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Old 12-16-06, 04:23 PM   #15
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The bus system in amherst is pretty nice and free or very cheap to get around. Once we missed the last bus from hampshire back to amherst at like 1am, and had to walk/hitch back though. You will also meet people who have a car and can give you rides.. even to boston.
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Old 12-16-06, 04:36 PM   #16
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The real question is, can you afford a car?

decent used car (decent toyota/honda)- $1000-2,000
insurance at least- $100-150/month,
parking pass at college- $100? $200? $300??

gas
maint.


Many (most?) colleges won't let you bring a car to campus as a freshman.
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Old 12-16-06, 05:12 PM   #17
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Depending upon where you live, a car isn't really necessary. I had a car for road-trips to bike-races, but most of the time would use my motorcycle or ride my bike to work and to get groceries. Rode the bike to the school as it was faster than driving all the way around, hunting for parking for 20-30 minutes, then walking 5-10 minutes to class. There were bike-racks within 2-3 minutes of most buildings, so it'd only take me 5-6 minutes from my front-door to ride to class.

Good idea on working on savings right now though.
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Old 12-16-06, 05:16 PM   #18
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Save up to get a nice set of tools, then take those tools to a junkyard and start taking apart/putting together stuff, then start looking for a car. If you fix your own chit it's the equivalent of paying yourself (including the cost of the part) $20-$70 an hour rather than paying someone else to do it. Auto*one is great because most of their stuff comes with a lifetime warranty, and you can buy/return tools at no overall charge. Also, by going to the junk yard you can catalog what's usually there and for how much. That way, if you see a clean whatever for $200 bucks that's not running, you can go take a look at it to figure out what's wrong, then go to the junk yard to grab the part needed and drive off a nice condition running car for less than you paid for your tools. And if you don't have a car, you'll probably need those tools for other chit at some time in your life. You can never have too many tools!
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Old 12-16-06, 05:27 PM   #19
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its not just about buying it...it costs alot of money to own a car
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Old 12-16-06, 05:33 PM   #20
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its not just about buying it...it costs alot of money to own a car
Tell me about it, it costs almost a grand a year for me to insure, register, and drive 10,000 miles, but what hurts about buying is that it's one big chunk, not spread out. If the OP was determined, I think they could grab a little hatchback for $700 including reg/insurance for a year, plus the cost of repairs (maybe have $500 set aside for that), and get unlimited mileage for an extra $300 if they're smart about it.
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Old 12-16-06, 06:40 PM   #21
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It's funny how all the people telling you to just ride everywhere live in the southern part of the country where you can feasibly ride all year long. Up here, it's just not feasible. You have to dress for riding, then be able to have a place to change and store all your cold outdoor stuff. Also, things here are generally spread out more and you need a car to get from place to place.

Finally, regardless of what you think, if you show up to pick up your date on a bike you're not going to be getting any after you drop her once hot ass (and now frozen solid!) off at her dorm/house. Not all that impressive.

Being car free is noble and all, but in most areas of this nation it's just not feasible. Live in the big city, especially in the south... no problem. Live in rural America, especially in the north in the winter and you need some type of vehicle. It's just the reality of life in this age.

Phantom - yes, start saving. If you have an income that would support it, use someone else's money to finance a car (0% rate for as long as you can get it... it's free money!). Otherwise, find a reliable beater and enjoy.

Oh and as for the advice to mooch, borrow, whatever... do you want to known be "that guy who's the mooch"? I certainly didn't. And having had a car in college, I knew the mooches.
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Old 12-16-06, 06:58 PM   #22
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i could probably make the switch to car-free. I only live about 2.5k from my office, i have 3 pretty big grocery stores, about 5 bars, a movie theatre, dentists/optometrists/doctors offices all within a 3 block radius from my house, i have a company vehicle for work purposes. I think the only reason i dont get rid of it is there are plenty of times where i have to do something on the spur of the moment that would take at least an hour by bus, and i dont use my company truck for personal use.
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Old 12-16-06, 09:04 PM   #23
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Yea...
it is a lot easier to live car free down south. Where I am not is all that rural, but the surrounding towns are pretty rural so I guess you could say it is.
I am 95% sure Hampshire allows cars on campus for Freshmen. I remember the tour guide person saying how she got a car ASAP upon moving into the campus from LA
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Old 12-16-06, 09:07 PM   #24
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Forget about a car...last I checked, you're still "it". Get over to the "Tag" thread!
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Old 12-16-06, 09:08 PM   #25
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I don't like mooching either. RIght now I mooch off my parents ;p
Next year, that won't happen. I am not excited about paying for insurance though. In college, I doubt I will drive the car a huge amount. The bus system seemed to be pretty good, and Amherst is your typical college town with plenty to do. The car would be for going to a store where I can't easily carry things, or visiting a very good friend who adds to my toy collection. These are items I don't want to be seen with in public! Folks already are on to the fact I am a true nerd, might as well not confirm it .

Going out of Amherst, like Boston for example. And of course, visiting family! I've got a life here in Dover. I will try to get a job on campus wherever I go, so hopefully there will be no commute. I know I can get the skills to my own car. My dad likes to collect old Mercedes Benz cars and tinker with them. He has been doing this all my life, so I've learned something growing up with this.

Maybe I could get a Jeep
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