Author Topic: buying a car?  (Read 409 times)

Briarly

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buying a car?
« on: October 10, 2018, 07:38:16 PM »
I am going to start a job with a longer commute in a few months (and more than doubling my salary).  A bike commute is completely out of the question and there is no public transit. 
Currently I'm driving a 2006 Civic with 160K miles on it, it needs a $700 air conditioner come summer time and I'm sure it has other inevitable old age issues.  I've had it for 9 years. 
I'm looking at buying a car.  It needs to do well in the snow, we live in New England.  It needs to fit one carseat in the back but no more than that. I'm not really a car person and don't really care about appearances or it being fun to drive or anything, but I do want it to be reliable.   
I would love an electric car and have a completely free source of electricity and a plug in already set up where I live. 

Any thoughts / experience on this?  I'm looking at the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Bolt, and the Pruius hybrid plugin - but would consider other options.

Thanks folks!   

Radagast

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 10:50:04 PM »
Isn't a 2006 Civic already ideal? I may need a commuting clown car in a little, and I was thinking something like a 2009 Fit with 120k miles would match my need, which in three years would look a lot like your car and would still be fine by me. But free fuel would be nice, so maybe now is a good time...

Briarly

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 02:47:33 AM »
I could definitely drive this car into the ground, yes!  It's been a good car.  I am balking at that expensive air conditioning when I know the car will not last THAT much longer anyway.  This summer I just went went without it when it died halfway through the summer, but I actually need it if I want to actually drive anywhere with my toddler, or ever show up anywhere (like work) not covered in sweat. 

I also will have to replace this car when it dies, and it would be really nice not to have to do that in a hurry out of necessity, but actually decide what I want. 

Ducknald Don

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 03:01:10 AM »
I am going to start a job with a longer commute in a few months

That's your real problem ;)

SillyPutty

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 07:16:42 AM »
It's not electric, but you might consider a Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe (same car, both made by Toyota, but Matrix production ended in 2013, Vibe in 2009).

I've had my Vibe since 2005 (only car I've ever owned!) and it's been awesome. Decent gas mileage—2013 Matrix has 26 city/32 highway. And I'm in New England too, never had snow tires but have driven in lots of snow—it's fine as long as you don't drive like a jerk in storms (same goes for heavy rain).

That said, I'm at 200,000 miles on my Vibe and will be having my first kid soon, and am beginning to think about what car I'll get when I need to upgrade. Prius is also top of my list. After such a great experience with my Vibe, feeling pretty loyal to Toyota.

ketchup

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 08:23:58 AM »
I'd fix the Civic.  You don't mention any mechanical issues, so it should be fine at least until 200k miles.  I'd consider keeping an eye out for a replacement once you roll over 200k (honestly probably a lot longer, but if you're considering ditching it at 160k, 200k is progress).

RWD

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 08:29:14 AM »
I'd fix the Civic.  You don't mention any mechanical issues, so it should be fine at least until 200k miles.  I'd consider keeping an eye out for a replacement once you roll over 200k (honestly probably a lot longer, but if you're considering ditching it at 160k, 200k is progress).
This is my vote as well.

catccc

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 08:56:38 AM »
Another vote for fixing the civic.  DH and I were recently considering replacing our 2005 Matrix with 205K miles on it, but decided we are going to keep it going for a while.  It's running just fine.  Well, the exhaust pipe to the muffler just broke the other day, so it is really loud, but we are going to see if our mechanic can weld a piece to fix it... fingers crossed!  And it needs new tires.  Anyway, the point is the cost of those things is not much compared to the cost of replacing it, since we expect to get many more miles out of it based on toyota's historical reliability records...

I raised the problem of being in a hurry to replace the thing if it goes unexpectedly, but fellow forum user pointed out that the amount I save using it for another year or two far outweighs the cost of renting a car for some time while figuring out what to buy, should it come to that.

$700 to fix the A/C is a lot less than getting a new car, and with a Honda you should easily get to 200K miles.  Even 300K miles isn't out of the question.  Also, depending on what is wrong with the A/C, maybe you can call around and see if it can be repaired for less?  Look into the fix and see if DIY is a possibility?

How were you going to pay for the new car?  If you drop $20K on a new car, you are also forgoing investment returns, so that's opportunity cost saved by continuing to use the civic.


Briarly

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 11:50:27 AM »
you guys have totally convinced me to keep this civic for now. Thanks!
I still want to hear other votes, though.
I’d pay in cash for the replacement.

FLBiker

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 12:41:32 PM »
I'd also vote for fixing the Civic.  We recently replaced our 1999 Ford Explorer Sport w/ a 2010 Hyundai Accent.  The Sport needed a new AC, but the more pressing issue was that I needed something 4-door to put a carseat in.  I feel like it's almost always cheaper to fix an otherwise decent car.

405programmer

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 01:00:12 PM »
I'd also fix the Civic but I'd keep the plug in hybrid Prius Prime, Chevy Volt, and Ford CMAX Energi on your radar. All those cars have the ability to function as an electric vehicle although the Volt has the best electric only range.

The 2018 models should be a great deal in 5 years ;)

patchyfacialhair

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Re: buying a car?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 01:30:06 PM »
Fix the civic. Even if you're looking at another 1k in repairs on top of the civic, that'll probably keep it going to over 200k miles. $1700 gets you 40000 miles? Not bad.

Figure that's 3 years of driving for the average driver, $47 a month when you think about it. At that point, it'll be a 15 year old car, which is older but not horrible at all. Both my wife and I have 15 year old cars and they work fine even with "high" repair bills here and there.