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What kind of car to get???

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posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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As some know, I totaled my car Thursday night during a sleep-driving episode. :shk: I know, I know.....not good, but no one was hurt and only the car paid the price.

So, now, after just getting that car paid off in October of last year, I am once again facing a car payment. And, I need some advice.

My last car was a brand new one....had 3 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. I don't know if I want to go that route again for a couple of reasons. One, the economy is bad and I don't want a massive car payment. Two, I don't want my insurance to go up all that much; it's already high enough.

I've done some looking on the internet at the dealers here in town, so I need some advice"

Go for new or go for pre-owned with less than 50K miles (mine had 54K and was 6 years old)?

Go for domestic or foreign (I've only ever had Fords with no big problems with them outside of wrecks)?

With the economy like it is, use the insurance pay-out as a big down payment or use it for a year or two's worth of payments?

I'm just looking for a little input.....




posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


We need a little more info skep.

Maybe a ball park of how much you can spend, some of the cars you've seen and like, sedan/SUV, etc ...

Usually slightly used cars are a much better deal than new but in this economy one can get great deals on new cars as dealers are desperate to empty their lots.

carsdirect.com is a very useful website. You can punch in any make and model and they will give you all the new car prices including all current discounts and rebates. Even if you don't buy from them you'll get a good idea of the prices you'll be able to negotiate in a dealership.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Well, I don't know how much I am going to get from the insurance, but I can swing around $300-345 per month for a payment if I absolutely have to. My insurance is already around $90 per month for the totaled car (2001 Ford ZX2).

I don't want a SUV.....I value gas mileage and my money a bit too much for that. I just need a regular old car to get me from home to work and back again and something that I can count on for years. I don't want fancy, but I am not ready for an "old lady car" either.

I just don't know if I want to go the brand new route again.....the tag fee each year is a killer here, the insurance will shoot up, and I have a problem strictly on principle if a car payment is more than my rent each month.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:53 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


Let's go through a process of elimination ...

Do you like the Mini Coopers?

Too small, too cutsey?



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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I've driven japanese cars all my life. I really see it as an only option for me now, as the American cars I HAVE owned all died around the 120k mark and my jap cars have gotten me 250+ every time.

I got lucky on my last one. I got a 2004 Honda Accord EX for 7 grand. Now, it sounds crazy, but it also had 200k on it. So I look at it this way. The previous owner was a traveling salesman and put all good road miles on it. This is extremely important for the transmission (he would've had to to put 200k on a car in 3 years). I now think that if that car gets me over 300k, its the best 7 grand I'll have ever spent.

I guess my advice would be to buy either a Toyota or a Honda, both blow away the competition as for reliability. Also, make sure you look on reports for your car, to ensure its only had one owner. Never buy a car that's been leased, as they are treated like garbage by the lessees. It takes a long time to find something crazy like I did, but its well worth it. I now drive around a car that I seemingly can't afford, but no.

I know I'll get crap for not liking American made cars, but they never liked me either. I think especially in this financial climate, buying American is a horrible idea, thinking selfishly of course.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


We don't have to do the elimination, SDog.
The Mini-Coopers are cute. I was looking at a used PT Cruiser (2007 w/46K miles for $9500)....I've always liked those.

My real question is going the brand new route or the used route. Mine was 6 years old with 54K miles and ran fine. I just don't know if the extra expense on all levels (payment, insurance, and tax/tag fees) is worth it for a brand spanking new car if a pre-owned with less than 50K miles is just as good.

I am a woman; I can shop for anything. But, cars are a bit out of my league.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:02 PM
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As Santa said earlier Toyota and Honda make really good long lasting cars. Also agree with Sdog with the current state of the economy deals will be easier to find. But in researching used cars, look for single owners preferable at an age above 30 to 40 years old as they are more likely to be better maintained.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


If the question is only new/used/lease then I would suggest the following ...

Identify which car you really want first and then do some research such as reliability rankings on consumer reports and the price difference between all your purchase options.

Like I said, with the economy being what it is there are some incredible deals out there for new car purchases and leases. I have actually seen new cars discounted so much that the price is almost even with their slightly used counterparts.

Your budget if you choose to use all of it can actually get you some pretty cool cars. I recently returned my Acura TL at the end of its lease and I was only paying $350/month. That car had every bell and whistle imaginable. So focus more on what you would like to have first and decide new or used later.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Good idea....

I just hate crap like this. I feel like an utter fool for totaling my car......when I was ASLEEP!!!! :shk:

I am probably making this harder than is should be as some sort of guilt induced self-punishment.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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Buying new is trouble for people under 35, in my opinion. It also never seemed logical to me, as a mid-20s guy, to want something new when my current used car is the greatest car I've ever owned. Sometimes a broken-in car can drive even better than a brand new one, seriously. My suspension rides much better than the new ones, and it feels more organic.

Anyway, do your homework on Consumer Reports. Those guys do EXTENSIVE testing on all makes and models and years and safety and comfort and stereos and room and blah blah blah.. Spend a couple weeks perusing the local faire and don't make a decision unless it feels perfect.

The bottom line is how much are you willing to invest in time? This is not a time to be impatient. You need to really read up on these things.

Also, if you DID read CR, you probably wouldn't even be thinking about a PT.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


Awww, sorry about the car. You'd feel worse if you totaled it while awake ( I think). Glad you're ok though.

If you go to a dealer, and he starts drawing 4 squares on a piece of paper, RUN! What's you're time frame? I've got an article for you to read, but I have to dig it up first (reporter goes undercover, and sells New cars, then Used cars).

How about you show us a couple of cars you're interested in? post a pic of your style. We want to to get a good deal, and a good car.


I'm kinda partial to this:


Street legal, but impractical.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


That's a bit much for me.


I expect to hear from the insurance company tomorrow or Tuesday, so I'll probably get something this week. I don't want to drag it out and pay for a rental for longer than necessary.

I really like the Honda Civics and Accords. The Toyota Camerys are nice. And, I know they tend to better than domestic models in the long run.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


With the camerys you can replace all the toyota emblems with lexus emblems and have a boot leg lexus


Sounds like you may not of need help after all.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:05 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


Yeah, steep for me too..It's my mid life crisis mobile.

My wife has a Nissan Versa, it's two years old now.
Great Mileage, and it's amazing the amount of stuff we can carry in that little hatchback.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
reply to post by skeptic1
 

My wife has a Nissan Versa, it's two years old now.


Tell the people the truth spacedoubt ...

When we met up he pulled up in a tricked out orange vette.




[edit on 5 Apr 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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S1... don't beat yourself up. Having to go through the whole process of dealing with your insurance and car shopping is punishment enough. We all have our moments. I'm just glad to hear you are ok, this is what's most important. Sounds like you maybe in more need of sleep then wheels right now.


Here's my two cents that have worked wonders for me. There are plenty of dealerships with used cars online, as well as auction houses, and they usually provide the VIN# if not send them an email or give them a call. So what you do is find a car you like, then copy and paste the VIN# into CarFax (have to pay for this service but it's well worth it)... in the report it pulls, you want to make sure that the vehicle didn't change more then two hands. One previous owner is best... 3+ is a good sign that it's a lemon. Any previous accidents the vehicle has been in will show on the report, avoid all cars with such records they are usually plagued with issues.

When noting the miles, high miles are not an issue if most of those miles are highway miles... you can usually figure this out based on the previous owner's home address (should be listed in the report)... a rural address is a good sign.

To find the current value of a vehicle and what's really a deal or not... enter the year, make, model, miles and general condition of the car into Kelly Book. This price is key to determining when/where to top your bid at an auction and gives you the leverage to negotiate on a dealer's set price.

You can do the same with a private owner and there are some online sources i.e. similar to craigslist format, where owners can provide pictures along with the specs of their car but usually you have to request pics and a vin#.

Remember when you go to test drive a car, it's always a good idea to pop the hood and have a look at the condition of the battery and the cables and general appearance of the engine bay... if it looks like you were the first to take a look in years then this may give you some concern. Prior and after a test drive take a look under the car for any signs of leakage, either on the pavement or on the under belly of the body.

Ok now that i have saved you mucho dinero and many future heart/head aches did you get my u2u?


[edit on 5-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


shhh, you'll ruin my environmental image.
There was a 1.6 litre in that car.



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:27 PM
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Cars...

Although, I've only ever owned one in my short lifespan, I've driven all of the vehicles either of my parents have owned for the past 7 years (a lot, I know, but backup vehicles were a must when my dad was doing the paperboy thing).

I have a Volkswagen, and I actually would recommend one to anyone who was looking for a car... But, I would encourage that a diesel transmission would make it more worth while. My car (Beetle) gets around 1000km/tank highway driving, and around 800 in town driving. When i worked out of town last year, I was driving to work 6 days a week - and filling up once every 2 weeks - around $50-60 for a tank of fuel. Pretty economical in a world that's going to crap.

My car as close to 300K on it (I drive a lot) and has never had any major issues outside the regular maintenance. (The only semi-major issue I've had was when the mass airflow sensor went, I thought my car was dying, not the case.) The only problem with VW's is you really should keep to the dealerships and the specialists when having it worked on. But that's just my personal experience. Also, my car (which is a 99) has survived a roll over (little damage to the actual body, moreso to the undercarriage), being run off the road by a blind woman, and "the bucket incident" which I don't talk about because it makes me angry still. Yup that's right... a Beetle..

I would not, recommend the 2006 year for ANY of the VW's. But anything before that would be a good choice - they had good bodystyles and good engines from 2001 - 2005. The only reason I don't suggest a 2006 is because of the problems that dad had with his, mostly due to the new engine they put in the new models. Other then that, the car handled extremely well in winter driving (Did 3 winters on the worst road in Alberta - death highway as I like to call it - every day for 3 years). Traction Control, ABS, and had a sturdy enough body that it survived hitting various numbers of animals (no wonder I'm happy dad has retired from the paper business).

It all depends though, what you're driving the car for. Is it lots of out of town stuff? Or in town driving.

Currently dad has a Honda Accord, 2005, which is an excellent little car. He bought it with less then 50K on it, and I think paid $13000 for it. Drives smoothly - but gas is what kills it. It gets around 600km/tank on the highway. But I'm just spoiled for driving a diesel. When I borrow his car, I feel like I'm going broke, which isn't necessarily the case.

As SDog suggested, a Mini Cooper is good - but I would upgrade and get the S version. More horsepower and I believe it has a performance chip built in. We took one for a test drive this year and it was amazing. Hugged the corners really well, although depending on if you're going to have people in the back seat - not so much comfortable for long trips.

My bestfriend drives a Mazda3Speed and she loves it. It's a sport edition car, and mostly only gets driven in town - but is pretty great on the highway. Good handling, and such. I'm not sure what her fuel bill is like, but we made it from my town, to her grandparents (around 500K) on one tank of gas.

It all depends what you're looking for and what you want it to do...

I still suggest a VW... you know, you could always get a Microbus



- Carrot



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


I should have clarified ...



I meant Chevette.





[edit on 5 Apr 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I think for the first time in my life I may be slightly ashamed of being a born southerner. Thank you for that Sdog thank you. :shk:



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