Author Topic: Help me choose a car  (Read 1577 times)

Trying2bFrugal

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Help me choose a car
« on: May 30, 2018, 06:48:03 PM »
Edit:06/05
We decided to go with 2012 Camry hybrid with 70k on it for $10k. There is a accident in history but car is serviced and certified as toyota certified and was used by a physician, drove 80 miles a day. 40mpg. Tx for the advice.

Edit: 06/04
After test driving and discussing the points suggested we ruled out SUV types from our list. For now we decided to keep and ride the small cars for next 5 years and then decide if we need an Suv at that pointnin life.

Wife do not like under powered small cars (we felt Prius sluggish on highway).

1. Toyota Camry hybrid with accident history in personal lease then certified by Toyota (6more months to its warranty exp) for $10,000.
2. 2017 Toyota Camry for $16,000 with 35k miles
3. 2013 Toyota Camry for $13,000 with 50k miles
4. 2016 Hyundai Elentra for $11,000 with 60k
5. 2016 Hyundai Sonata for $13,000 with 60k

 I am not sure how well hyundai retain resale value.
Other options are with buying rental cars. But resale on them is also not sure.


Original post:
I had to get a second car (own a prius) as wife got a job in different place and we would be doing weekend travels (180 miles one way).
I always wanted to buy one bigger vehicle (wife may move or I may get new job near to her place in next 3-6mos) and one smaller one (precertified prius with this month it will be paid off).

My criteria:
<$15,000
Preferably hybrid or decent mileage.
Most high distance will be covered by Prius
Reasonable new (2010+) as I am not planning to sell it in next 5 years both cars.

After a lot of thinking I am confused with below options and in order ood my preference
1) Lexus hybrid
2) CRV
3) Acura RDX
4) Rav4
5) Camry hybrid
6) Avalon hybrid

If these dont work out then
7) Civic from a friend (know for sure he didnt had any accidents and he bought as new) for ~$9k
8) Or I would buy a honda accord/civic/camry interim until we get settled down.

Now what I dont know is about cars. Wife doesn't want another Prius.

I see currently in dealer or craigslist below cars which looked nice
2012 Camry hybrid 70k $12000
2012 CRV 87k $12500
2008 Acura RDX technology pack $8500 114k, 
2011 LEXUS RX 450H  110k

Is Acura good in terms of issue and maintenance?
Can I buy above with high miles? I see the carfax maintenance record exists on these vehicles.

When I go to $5000 range, I am not sure how I would avoid a lemon. I am sure I overpaid during 2014 when I got my 2010 Prius IV for $15,500 with 45k on it. But last 5 years, 60k miles driven, I spent $500 on rotar, $200 on oil change and nothing else.

Tried searching forum but still I am confused.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 02:17:57 PM by Trying2bFrugal »

catccc

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 02:27:57 PM »
I would analyze the potential buys on a cost per mile basis.  Set a goal mileage that you want your next car to hit.
Goal Mileage - Current Mileage = Ownership Mileage
Then calculate fuel cost of your Ownership Mileage: Ownership Mileage / MPG * Gas Price = Fuel Cost

(Fuel Cost + Purchase Price)/Ownership Mileage = Price per mile.

I'm car shopping right now, and with cars at different prices and mileages and efficiency, this allows me to quickly put them on some sort of spectrum for analysis.  Of course I am making some assumptions- that maintenance and repairs will be comparable across the options, that they will all get to my goal mileage, etc.

Also, call your insurance company and get an idea of what insurance will be.  We are replacing a 2005 Toyota Matrix at 200K miles with whatever our new ride will be, and the increase in insurance varies by car.  So then I am calculating the cost to insure over my ownership period and considering that cost, as well.

I would also think about why you want a bigger vehicle, and see if the increased cost makes sense.  We considered a CRV, but honestly, most of the time the space will be wasted, as our ride will mainly be a commuter car.  If my family of 4 wants a bigger car to go on a cross country road trip, we are better off buying a smaller car and paying for a larger rental than buying a larger car, as long as we stay under something like 70 rental car days over the life of the vehicle.  That's a lot of road tripping.  And it doesn't factor in the savings from keeping the road trip mileage off of our vehicle and having a more fuel efficient vehicle for all of the non-road trip miles.

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 03:10:28 PM »
If you get a pre-purchase inspection you can avoid a lot of problems. And/or if you get a manufacturer warranty (often offered/bundled with certified pre-owned cars) that can ease worries of future trouble.

Trying to find cars that are unlikely to have serious issues in the first place is a good goal. I use Dashboard Light to check reliability of specific models/years. You can also search car forums for discussions of vehicles you are interested in. A lot of models have dedicated forums/fan bases.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 05:55:45 AM »
I would analyze the potential buys on a cost per mile basis.  Set a goal mileage that you want your next car to hit.
Goal Mileage - Current Mileage = Ownership Mileage
Then calculate fuel cost of your Ownership Mileage: Ownership Mileage / MPG * Gas Price = Fuel Cost

(Fuel Cost + Purchase Price)/Ownership Mileage = Price per mile.

I'm car shopping right now, and with cars at different prices and mileages and efficiency, this allows me to quickly put them on some sort of spectrum for analysis.  Of course I am making some assumptions- that maintenance and repairs will be comparable across the options, that they will all get to my goal mileage, etc.

Also, call your insurance company and get an idea of what insurance will be.  We are replacing a 2005 Toyota Matrix at 200K miles with whatever our new ride will be, and the increase in insurance varies by car.  So then I am calculating the cost to insure over my ownership period and considering that cost, as well.

I would also think about why you want a bigger vehicle, and see if the increased cost makes sense.  We considered a CRV, but honestly, most of the time the space will be wasted, as our ride will mainly be a commuter car.  If my family of 4 wants a bigger car to go on a cross country road trip, we are better off buying a smaller car and paying for a larger rental than buying a larger car, as long as we stay under something like 70 rental car days over the life of the vehicle.  That's a lot of road tripping.  And it doesn't factor in the savings from keeping the road trip mileage off of our vehicle and having a more fuel efficient vehicle for all of the non-road trip miles.

Thanks! This calculation really helps. I didnt factor the price increase due to insurance.

I was looking at hybrid (2010 Camry hybrid vs 2014 Civic at $12k) as for the same price I would get same mileage but better car. Then thought why not a 2009 Lexus hybrid. I see my desire take over the needy pants.
If you get a pre-purchase inspection you can avoid a lot of problems. And/or if you get a manufacturer warranty (often offered/bundled with certified pre-owned cars) that can ease worries of future trouble.

Trying to find cars that are unlikely to have serious issues in the first place is a good goal. I use Dashboard Light to check reliability of specific models/years. You can also search car forums for discussions of vehicles you are interested in. A lot of models have dedicated forums/fan bases.
Thanks! I always thought the reliability of Acura is great but the site proved wrong on many of my belief except for Toyota. I live in Michigan and I feel some of the private sellers make odometer changes, so planned to get vehicle from good dealerships and ready to pay some premium for it.

For Preinspection, will all autoshop do it? Or is it better with mobile mechanic? I have no known mechanics.

When price factor is same, Is it a good idea to get a newer (2011 camry) car of toyota or a older but well maintained Lexus (2006 400h)? How to define the line between this?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 05:58:47 AM by Trying2bFrugal »

Car Jack

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 07:22:13 AM »
That's a lot of miles and I'd have to assume a good portion is going to be highway driving.  If that's the case, a hybrid is a poor choice.  Why?  When a hybrid is driving along for hours at a time at 65 mph, it's a regular gas car that's dragging hundreds of pounds of batteries that are doing nothing but sopping energy out of the gas engine to keep it moving against all the resistances (rolling, air, etc).  You're going to want to look at the highway mpg only for cars you're looking at.  You have some good choices to easily work with.  For example, you can buy a Camry in a hybrid and non-hybrid version.  Gear ratios also matter.  Some cars are geared very high (low numerically) which allow low RPM at highway speeds.  This will help mileage.  Between the reduced weight and price differences, I think you're going to be able to find a gas only car that's more efficient and less costly all around than a hybrid.

If you lived in CA where hybrids or EVs only get to go in a faster lane, then it might make sense to get something to allow you to go in those lanes.  But out in free highway land, not really.

CYANiDE

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2018, 07:29:37 AM »
Keep in mind that a Lexus will bring with it Lexus repair costs. I would also have the dealers check the battery on the hybrid system to ensure it is in good health before purchasing a higher mileage hybrid.

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 07:45:30 AM »
If you get a pre-purchase inspection you can avoid a lot of problems. And/or if you get a manufacturer warranty (often offered/bundled with certified pre-owned cars) that can ease worries of future trouble.

Trying to find cars that are unlikely to have serious issues in the first place is a good goal. I use Dashboard Light to check reliability of specific models/years. You can also search car forums for discussions of vehicles you are interested in. A lot of models have dedicated forums/fan bases.
Thanks! I always thought the reliability of Acura is great but the site proved wrong on many of my belief except for Toyota. I live in Michigan and I feel some of the private sellers make odometer changes, so planned to get vehicle from good dealerships and ready to pay some premium for it.

For Preinspection, will all autoshop do it? Or is it better with mobile mechanic? I have no known mechanics.

When price factor is same, Is it a good idea to get a newer (2011 camry) car of toyota or a older but well maintained Lexus (2006 400h)? How to define the line between this?
Depends on the Acura. The TSX is very reliable, for example.

You should call a shop ahead of time to ask about pre-purchase inspections. Expect to pay a small fee for the service. Check reviews online and ask friends/relatives in your city for mechanic recommendations.

Newer Toyota or older Lexus is a personal choice. I would assume a newer Toyota would be cheaper to own, but hard to say for sure. There are a lot of variables besides purchase price: fuel economy, maintenance/repairs, depreciation, insurance, etc.


If you lived in CA where hybrids or EVs only get to go in a faster lane, then it might make sense to get something to allow you to go in those lanes.  But out in free highway land, not really.
That is going away:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-toll-lane-zero-emission-20180426-story.html


Keep in mind that a Lexus will bring with it Lexus repair costs. I would also have the dealers check the battery on the hybrid system to ensure it is in good health before purchasing a higher mileage hybrid.
I don't think Lexus repair costs will be that bad unless you insist on servicing it at the dealer. They still use Toyota parts, after all. But it is definitely a variable to keep in mind. According to Consumer Reports Lexus maintenance/repairs costs were about 40% more expensive than on Toyotas over 10 years of ownership.

Cole

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 08:11:33 AM »
I would analyze the potential buys on a cost per mile basis.  Set a goal mileage that you want your next car to hit.
Goal Mileage - Current Mileage = Ownership Mileage
Then calculate fuel cost of your Ownership Mileage: Ownership Mileage / MPG * Gas Price = Fuel Cost

(Fuel Cost + Purchase Price)/Ownership Mileage = Price per mile.

I'm car shopping right now, and with cars at different prices and mileages and efficiency, this allows me to quickly put them on some sort of spectrum for analysis.  Of course I am making some assumptions- that maintenance and repairs will be comparable across the options, that they will all get to my goal mileage, etc.

Also, call your insurance company and get an idea of what insurance will be.  We are replacing a 2005 Toyota Matrix at 200K miles with whatever our new ride will be, and the increase in insurance varies by car.  So then I am calculating the cost to insure over my ownership period and considering that cost, as well.

I would also think about why you want a bigger vehicle, and see if the increased cost makes sense.  We considered a CRV, but honestly, most of the time the space will be wasted, as our ride will mainly be a commuter car.  If my family of 4 wants a bigger car to go on a cross country road trip, we are better off buying a smaller car and paying for a larger rental than buying a larger car, as long as we stay under something like 70 rental car days over the life of the vehicle.  That's a lot of road tripping.  And it doesn't factor in the savings from keeping the road trip mileage off of our vehicle and having a more fuel efficient vehicle for all of the non-road trip miles.

Thanks! This calculation really helps. I didnt factor the price increase due to insurance.

I was looking at hybrid (2010 Camry hybrid vs 2014 Civic at $12k) as for the same price I would get same mileage but better car. Then thought why not a 2009 Lexus hybrid. I see my desire take over the needy pants.
If you get a pre-purchase inspection you can avoid a lot of problems. And/or if you get a manufacturer warranty (often offered/bundled with certified pre-owned cars) that can ease worries of future trouble.

Trying to find cars that are unlikely to have serious issues in the first place is a good goal. I use Dashboard Light to check reliability of specific models/years. You can also search car forums for discussions of vehicles you are interested in. A lot of models have dedicated forums/fan bases.
Thanks! I always thought the reliability of Acura is great but the site proved wrong on many of my belief except for Toyota. I live in Michigan and I feel some of the private sellers make odometer changes, so planned to get vehicle from good dealerships and ready to pay some premium for it.

For Preinspection, will all autoshop do it? Or is it better with mobile mechanic? I have no known mechanics.

When price factor is same, Is it a good idea to get a newer (2011 camry) car of toyota or a older but well maintained Lexus (2006 400h)? How to define the line between this?

Odometer changes are not easy to do so your run of the mill seller most likely hasn't changed it. Also, you can run a Carfax to give you a clue to if the mileage is correct. Most private sellers (the ones you should buy from) are just normal people so ask yourself if you have the 10k tool to connect and modify the mileage in the ECU (engine computer).

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2018, 09:25:58 PM »
We found a 2012 Camry Hybrid with 75k miles for $10k.

We test drove, the car was in good shape on my non mechanical eye and on wife eyes but we were not good at mechanics.

The owner is a physician (i verified that) and he stated it wasnt in accident after he got, he had this for 4 year, drove 70k miles (18k/yr), he drove it in highway for work (i visited his house and he is at a facility, its distance to match what he said). It has 100k bumper to bumper dealer coverage that he said i could transfer to my name or it just works and that he confirmed.

Now i came back home, ran Carfax, found
the car was on personal lease
 it met accident at 6000 miles
 then serviced by Toyota
offered as Toyota Certified car in 2014.

Attached the carfax report (attached). He had the dealer sticker which matched the carfax number. He didnt stated about previous accident, but i only asked what is the current issue on the car that he know of. He said there is no issues that he know of currently. But said that he didnt need to change anything in the car. I asked if the title was on his name and he said it is.

Now i am not sure how bad would this. Is it good deal? Is there a way to check if it was Toyota certified when he got it?(but he said so).

The next 2012 Camry Hybrid xle with 70k is listed about $12k dollars. I guess i am spoiled with Prius and i am not able to justify anything lessthan 30mpg.
 
I plan to keep the vehicle that i buy for next 5 years or until we ride 100k on it. Will this be an issue?

The 2017 Camry normal gasoline costs $16k on dealership. (40mpg vs 30mpg). The more i get closer to deeper research more the confused mind i get.

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2018, 09:47:36 PM »
The accident shouldn't cause you any problems during your ownership (assuming it wasn't a shoddy repair). But keep in mind it will affect your resale value. Given two otherwise identical vehicles someone will always pay more for the clean history, regardless of how perfect any repairs.

getmoneyeatpizza

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 09:53:10 PM »
You list no reason you need a big car. get a 2016 Nissan Versa for $10k with 40k miles. 40mph highway

https://www.hertzcarsalesphiladelphia.com/certified/Nissan/2016-Nissan-Versa+Note-108ae4ea0a0e0a6b128cb9095c132b45.htm


debbie does duncan

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 12:10:15 PM »
Stick with Toyota. Just finished with my 1998 Corolla with 317kms. great car , no problems.
 Lexus needs premium gas and a  $$ repair bill. 2012 Matrix now in driveway.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 05:07:57 PM »
The accident shouldn't cause you any problems during your ownership (assuming it wasn't a shoddy repair). But keep in mind it will affect your resale value. Given two otherwise identical vehicles someone will always pay more for the clean history, regardless of how perfect any repairs.
Thanks. Thats what i thought. My friend adviced me to get a 2014 and above, his stance is also same as you. He dont think the vehicle will have any issues but warranty is only 6 months for its 7 year. I am still thinking in this car.

You list no reason you need a big car. get a 2016 Nissan Versa for $10k with 40k miles. 40mph highway

https://www.hertzcarsalesphiladelphia.com/certified/Nissan/2016-Nissan-Versa+Note-108ae4ea0a0e0a6b128cb9095c132b45.htm


Thanks, you are one way correct.

After the test drives on dealership yesterday, wife surprisingly ruled out SUV, so no lexus or CRV or Rav4. Right now only looking at Sedan and Hatchback (she doesnt like underpowered hatchback but i like them). We may need to do 200 miles a leg (400miles over weekend) for next 6 months to one year. Later one of us would drive long distance if we end up getting a job that way.

 We like the ride a little comfortable without much sacrificing the mileage. Thats the reason we initially thought of bigger sedans. Hybrid are for that reason to keep mileage. The price difference is less different jf we go one or two year lower but i wasnt sure of that decision. Friends suggest to go atleast 2014 and above.

One question though. When i read about buying rental cars, the reviews are mixed. How do you score a car from these rental agencies? And when you want to trade or sell to orivate party how does it has impact?

Stick with Toyota. Just finished with my 1998 Corolla with 317kms. great car , no problems.
 Lexus needs premium gas and a  $$ repair bill. 2012 Matrix now in driveway.
Thanks. We plan to keep it Japanese.
In order,
Toyota
Honda
Nissan
Kia
Hyundai

« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 05:14:41 PM by Trying2bFrugal »

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Help me choose a car
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 10:24:04 AM »
Updated the options we are thinking now. Thanks for all your suggestions, it is easy to focus on narrow options now.