Author Topic: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...  (Read 2994 times)

babysnowbyrd

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Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« on: August 05, 2015, 01:55:13 AM »
I've recently moved to another state, and my current paid-off car has a number of issues ('92 Honda, needs new windshield and breaks to make it legal and relicense in new state, provided it passes a safety and emissions check, plus fuel pump, plus timing belt.) My dad is a car guy and pretty frugal, so after the most recent new issue I asked him if it would be better to fix all the issues with the car and keep it going or to cut my losses with this one and get a new(er) car. His recommendation was to get something else.

So from recently selling my RV, I have $6,000 in cash right now, but the MAX I'm willing to spend on a car is $4,000.

With a lot of searching and some help from my dad, I've narrowed it down to three choices

1) 2002 Toyota Prius for
    $3,900
    145k miles
    Clean title. According to ad, everything works, no repairs needed.

2) 2007 Chevy Aveo
    $2,495 + dealer fees
    115k miles
    Rebuilt Title. Few details other than "runs good, looks good"

3) 2000 Hyundai Elantra
    $1,650 + dealer fees
    119k miles
    Clean Title. Few details other than "this car is very good"

I feel that the obvious frugal answer is the Elantra, but I want the Prius. I think I could make a lower offer and the owner might accept, but even if not, I can still pay cash.

Problem is, my hair is on fire, so I feel that the 13-year old Prius might be too "fancy" for someone in my situation. The Elantra seems ok, gets decent mileage and is much cheaper, leaving more money for debts. The Chevy Aveo is kind of middle ground for me. It's much newer, has the fewest miles, and the price is pretty good because of the rebuilt title.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but I feel that I'm less likely to need to pay for repairs on the Prius except maybe the battery but even after that, it'd be pretty smooth sailing, while the other two cars could be a crap shoot. I know I'd be pretty bummed if I got the Elantra but ended up having to put in a sizeable amount of repairs in the not-too-distant future.

My primary use for the car will be long trips, and anytime I have my niece with me. I have a relatively short commute, but I've been biking it until I lost a small piece that keeps the left pedal on. It'll be fixed soon, but I'm new to biking so I don't feel ready to give up on a car completely, and I don't think I'm ready to go bike only this coming winter (northern utah) but I'll definitely be giving it a try.

Repairs are a concern but I have a lot of other reasons (i.e. justifications) for preferring the Prius:
1. My ex sister-in-law is a bit anal about types of cars her baby rides in, and I'm pretty sure Prius would get her highest blessing.
2. The Prius is LIGHT BLUE and really CUTE and I love it
3. The more I bike, the less I'll be driving it, so it could potentially last me a REALLY long time,
4. If I get it, it'll be hands-down, the NICEST CAR I'VE EVER OWNED.

ok. Facepunches? or would the MMM community support the Prius over the other two?
 

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 04:39:38 AM »
Check out the Prius to see if the battery has already been replaced.  Also try to find out if the brakes have been replaced recently.  Those are two very expensive repairs on a hybrid.  If those are good to go, I'd pick the Prius.

The Elantra may be a decent choice.  Not as reliable as a Toyota, but o.k. if it's been well maintained.  Find out about the timing belt - if it hasn't been replaced, you would need to do that immediately, as it is supposed to be replaced around 60k miles.  It also might need brakes, which could run $400+ if it needs new rotors and/or drums.  If the struts haven't been replaced, it's probably going to need those, too (another few hundred dollars).

I'd stay away from the Aveo due to Daewoo/GM's generally poor reliability reputation.

Matt_D

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 06:45:32 AM »
Is a car completely necessary for your life, or could you bike/transit and occasionally use a car share service (or taxi/Uber/Lyft)?



DEL

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 07:23:19 AM »
Check out the Prius to see if the battery has already been replaced.  Also try to find out if the brakes have been replaced recently.  Those are two very expensive repairs on a hybrid.  If those are good to go, I'd pick the Prius.

The Elantra may be a decent choice.  Not as reliable as a Toyota, but o.k. if it's been well maintained.  Find out about the timing belt - if it hasn't been replaced, you would need to do that immediately, as it is supposed to be replaced around 60k miles.  It also might need brakes, which could run $400+ if it needs new rotors and/or drums. If the struts haven't been replaced, it's probably going to need those, too (another few hundred dollars).

I'd stay away from the Aveo due to Daewoo/GM's generally poor reliability reputation.


I agree with Monkey Uncle. I had a 2005 Elantra, and I had to replace pretty much everything he mentioned (except brakes) + belts and tires. It had about 130k miles on it, if that can give you an idea.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 10:41:17 AM »
I'd go with the Elantra, personally.  Yes, ask about the timing belt.  It's expensive to have a mechanic do it, and it's a pain in the neck to do it yourself (like I just did).  Brakes are pretty easy to DIY (and parts are really cheap), and plenty of places will replace pads/rotors for pretty cheap.

babysnowbyrd

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 01:43:33 PM »
Is a car completely necessary for your life, or could you bike/transit and occasionally use a car share service (or taxi/Uber/Lyft)?

The car is necessary for driving around my niece anywhere. Her mother would probably have a cow if I took her anywhere beyond a few blocks with my bike, and she'd prefer it if I never took her anywhere with it at all.

My parents live out of the way of any public transport, so it would be necessary for trips to see them. I'm biking more and more, but I don't think I'm equipped or experienced enough to do winter biking full time.

lbmustache

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 02:20:42 PM »
Check out the Prius to see if the battery has already been replaced.  Also try to find out if the brakes have been replaced recently.  Those are two very expensive repairs on a hybrid.  If those are good to go, I'd pick the Prius.


The brakes are not a huge deal depending on where you do and who you ask: http://priuschat.com/threads/front-brake-pad-change-no-big-deal.104998/


Monkey Uncle

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 04:23:39 AM »
The Elantra may be a decent choice.  Not as reliable as a Toyota, but o.k. if it's been well maintained.  Find out about the timing belt - if it hasn't been replaced, you would need to do that immediately, as it is supposed to be replaced around 60k miles.  It also might need brakes, which could run $400+ if it needs new rotors and/or drums.  If the struts haven't been replaced, it's probably going to need those, too (another few hundred dollars).

I failed to mention that if the timing belt was replaced at 60k like it's supposed to be, it's about ready to be replaced a second time.  So with the Elantra, you're probably on the hook for that expense no matter what.

babysnowbyrd

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 12:42:30 AM »
Thanks for your replies everyone!

Unfortunately, the Prius and the Elantra sold before I could get either. I was 5 minutes too late for the Elantra, grrr...Back to square one.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Facepunch please? Need help buying a car...
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 04:20:19 AM »
Search for Corollas and Civics in the same mileage range.  They'll be a little more expensive than the Elantra, but less than the Prius.  The big bonus is they will only be half worn-out, whereas the Elantra probably is 2/3-3/4 worn out at that mileage.