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great, I gotta search for a car now.

Old 08-24-11, 11:11 AM
  #26  
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should I just look into getting a new car instead?
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Old 08-24-11, 11:38 AM
  #27  
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i've never even been in a hybrid car. does it does this stand by shut off thing my friend is talking about?
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Old 08-24-11, 11:43 AM
  #28  
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Fly to India and get a Tata Nano. Stuff it in your luggage for the trip home.
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Old 08-24-11, 11:49 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ____asdfghjkl View Post
should I just look into getting a new car instead?
Normally a good used car is a better deal, but times aren't normal so demand for used cars is higher. I've seen some outright rotten deals. For example, I've seen the car I drive sold used for more than I paid for it new

With a new car, the downsides are fast depreciation and higher insurance rates. However, you also get a warranty, and even more importantly, those early miles are the trouble free ones. My Subie will pass 100K next week. It still has the factory battery, brake pads, etc (i.e. no repairs yet). But eventually, you get into older car issues.

Since you live in OR like me, my general sense is that Japanese cars are way overvalued even if they are good. Detroit is way less popular, so the deals are often better. Once source of cars you should definitely check out are the ones auctioned from the State Motor Pool. Those are well maintained and since the good citizens are quick to call anyone who speeds or who otherwise isn't driving like a total nerd, they have not been abused.

Also, see if you can't buy a used car through family or other connections (i.e. a situation where you know something about the drivers and vehicles) who won't want to take advantage of you.
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Old 08-24-11, 12:02 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
Even if your $2000 car needs a new engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, and windshield, you're still coming out ahead over a $25000 new car.
While it's true that it's almost always cheaper to repair an old car than to get a new one even with some major stuff factored in, the costs of owning an old car can be highly unpredictable. Also, you don't know when you're going to get stranded.

If the OP has a sense of adventure and is willing to take some risk, the $2K car could work out great. But she needs to be mentally prepared for what could be involved.
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Old 08-24-11, 12:03 PM
  #31  
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I have been told to never own a depreciating asset. The caveat is that it's okay to own a depreciating asset if you intend on owning it until it disintegrates into a pile of dust.

Then we got in a wreck with our 2000 Civic (in '08) and realized that a two-year-old Civic cost the same as a brand-new Fit. It was no contest after that.
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Old 08-24-11, 05:32 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
I think you are talking about the Taurus that was stopped for a year. I had to fix it up and give it to my ex (court order). She sold it and got a minivan, and a monthly car note. Some people never learn.

I also had a Cherokee some months ago, but I sold it when my office announced we were going to be outsourced. Now is just the Accent. The cohabitant has her own car, Hyundai too, Elantra... 6 years younger than my Accent.
I like the Hyundai,bought one for my wife last year.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:40 AM
  #33  
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your requirement will depend on what you need it for - why do you need a car?

I have owned exactly one new car in my life, and that was b/c I started school and knew I'd be driving 80 miles round trip four days a week (plus local driving to work on weekends), and my old car that was held together with scotch tape wasn't gonna live through all that.

Other than that, and I lived in a must-own-car area for another 15 years, I always had total beaters - cars I paid $200-500 for (that's about $1200 or less in today's money). yes, they were colossal PoS cars and yes, they required little repairs and once or twice they left me stranded. But b/c I always used them for local runs (<10 miles) I could always get home with a phone call or my two feet, if necessary.

If you need to regularly do a longer drive, save up as much as you can and get something a bit newer than 10 years old, my two cents. But if you go with what's been said here, ca. 2000 car for about $2000, you should be okay. If you know anyone who knows cars, buy them dinner and have them come along to give the top candidates the once over.

I'd also recommend spending an afternoon or two at your local library reading the car sections of Consumer Reports magazines. They give pretty spot on general advice on buying a used car and list the past reliability records, which are very helpful.

I haven't shopped for a car in a while (that may change if we move) but iirc, for basic no-frills reliability, it's Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru...in that order.

We just sold my wife's 1995 Nissan 200 SX last summer b/c we never used it anymore and it was a major PITA finding parking here. We basically paid about $2000/yr for insurance and it just sat around. I think the last time we used it was to go to the PA for the 2009 Covered Bridge ride, and it started acting up on the last long drives we did...but as a station car on short local hops? I'd have kept that thing and drove it into the ground (not needed here, bike and mass transit do it all)...kinda wish we still had it.

good luck!
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Old 08-26-11, 10:41 AM
  #34  
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pgoat, i thought you drove a jetski?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:43 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
pgoat, i thought you drove a jetski?
I'm actually designing mass transit jet skis. They'll do it all.
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Last edited by pgoat; 08-26-11 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:45 AM
  #36  
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I'm just finishing a biography of the two Henry Fords - fascinating stuff....and am going through major car nostalgia. I really wish I still had my dad's old '68 Custom - low priced sedan, but a beautifully designed car, aesthetically speaking (mechanically, however....).

I still dream regularly about my first car ever, a '54 Chevy four-door. My, she was Yar!

[/hijack]
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Old 08-26-11, 07:06 PM
  #37  
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I need a car to commute to work, I would bike but it is definitely too far. I'm tired of sharing with my parents: means i have to wait for one to come home before I can actually leave to go to work. It would definitely suck if their car broke down and I had to be at work within the next 30 minutes.

still lookin'
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Old 08-26-11, 07:41 PM
  #38  
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I'm telling you - used Subie!
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Old 08-26-11, 08:20 PM
  #39  
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Might have missed it, but what kind of distance are you needing to cover for the commute?
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Old 08-26-11, 08:53 PM
  #40  
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Give Saturns a thought. Craigslist has '98-'03 Saturns all day long for < 2K. They have depreciated rapidly due to being discontinued. Pontiac also (though here they seem to hold their value a little better).

It doesn't sound like you drive many miles. Mazda has zero-down $199/mo lease 48mo deals right now on the Mazda3. That works out to $2400 a year, but you know you wouldn't have to worry about any hidden costs of a $2000 used car. Of course, the second year would be $2400 also. And the third, and the fourth. But if you were just saving a couple hundred extra bucks each month, after four years you would have $9600 to buy a nice used car with. Or, luck out with a $2000 car that MIGHT make it four years, pool all that extra money, and you would have $17000+ to possibly reinvest in a *sweet* used ride.
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Old 08-28-11, 02:45 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
...my general sense is that Japanese cars are way overvalued even if they are good...
My opinion on Japanese cars aside, doesn't your Subaru fall in to that category?

Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
Give Saturns a thought. Craigslist has '98-'03 Saturns all day long for < 2K. They have depreciated rapidly due to being discontinued. Pontiac also (though here they seem to hold their value a little better).
It doesn't sound like you drive many miles. Mazda has zero-down $199/mo lease 48mo deals right now on the Mazda3. That works out to $2400 a year, but you know you wouldn't have to worry about any hidden costs of a $2000 used car. Of course, the second year would be $2400 also. And the third, and the fourth. But if you were just saving a couple hundred extra bucks each month, after four years you would have $9600 to buy a nice used car with. Or, luck out with a $2000 car that MIGHT make it four years, pool all that extra money, and you would have $17000+ to possibly reinvest in a *sweet* used ride.
The problem with leases is that they have a mileage cap that makes them uneconomical unless you plan to buy a new car regularly. I looked at it when I had a 130 mile r/t commute and it turned out I would run through the allowed miles in less than 6 months between work and travelling. i tend to agree with the sentiment that you can put a lot of repairs in a used car before it exceeds the cost of a new one.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:07 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Toyota and Ford are joining forces for hybrid technology. Didn't think I'd ever see the day.
Toyota has its fingers all over Tesla. Real EV cars are here.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:13 PM
  #43  
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Best advice I can give; 1.) buy the best used* car you can afford to have paid off in short order. 2.) Drive it until the wheels fall off. 3.) See step one.

*If you have the income to replace used with new and still have it paid off in short order, then do that.
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Old 08-28-11, 04:39 PM
  #44  
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i once knew a wise man who always bought a 2-year old, lightly driven car, (paying cash) kept it ten years and then sold it and started over with another 2-yr old cream puff. worked out very well for him. that's gonna be my strategy if'n we need a car sometime soon.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:35 PM
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^ Problem is, these days good used cars are really holding their value. Hondas/Toyotas ... two years later a $20,000 Civic is still selling for $18,000. Even the more desirable American cars are seeing similar returns. You have to go out more like four years to get a good deal. But you can get a four year old Civic for $10,000 - drive it for eight years and still sell it for $3000 - with probably zero dollars in repairs. That's a heck of a deal.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:41 PM
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Lease vs New vs Used: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/...r-buying-used/


I say, get an old early 90s Subaru. Like an early 90s Legacy, Impreza or Loyale. All will last you for a while with minimal maintenance.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:49 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by ____asdfghjkl View Post
I need a car to commute to work, I would bike but it is definitely too far. I'm tired of sharing with my parents: means i have to wait for one to come home before I can actually leave to go to work. It would definitely suck if their car broke down and I had to be at work within the next 30 minutes.

still lookin'
Just out of curiosity, how far is too far?

Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
My opinion on Japanese cars aside, doesn't your Subaru fall in to that category?
Generally speaking, Subies are less overpriced than Toyotas or Hondas, but in our particular case we got a screaming deal. So good that even though we had no intention of buying, we paid cash same day.

Just by chance, I was at the dealership the other day to pick up some more oil filters. There's no way we'd pay anywhere near the prices they were asking for the updated model.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:05 PM
  #48  
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How is public transit in the area? When I was still living with my parents and I didn't own a car, I was busing across town to work.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:27 PM
  #49  
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Small truck: Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc.

If it runs, all you need to know is to keep it lubricated, keep it cool, and keep it in order. It doesnt take rocket science for that.
Besides, if youre gonna drive, you need to step up to this level of involvement.

Can this be had for $2000. Yes.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:34 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
^ Problem is, these days good used cars are really holding their value. Hondas/Toyotas ... two years later a $20,000 Civic is still selling for $18,000. Even the more desirable American cars are seeing similar returns. You have to go out more like four years to get a good deal. But you can get a four year old Civic for $10,000 - drive it for eight years and still sell it for $3000 - with probably zero dollars in repairs. That's a heck of a deal.
good point, thanks - I was using a dated example - he'd buy mid-priced American cars in the 50s-70s like that. It worked out well for him b/c he got the major depreciation from the showroom - maybe 25-30% off the sticker price - in two years on a car with maybe 10-15,000 light use or highway miles. The more up-to-date example you cited is a great deal indeed...so that is what I'll shoot for now.
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