Author Topic: Advice for a "car guy"?  (Read 10250 times)

The Lone Mainer

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Advice for a "car guy"?
« on: January 13, 2014, 08:56:15 PM »
Hello all - I've been reading Mr. Money Mustache for a full year now and I'm well versed in the concepts. However, I was born with a congenital disease I like to call "reallylikehavingafuncaritis".

Without boring you all to tears, here is my automotive history:

Started driving a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was graciously given to me by my parents at the age of 16 (in 2003).

Graduated from college in 2009, gave the jeep back to my parents and bought a 2004 Nissan 350z for $16,500. I literally had no money; I bought the car with a $500 loan from my mom while waiting for my first paycheck at my new fancy pants job to come in. Had 8.75% interest rate on the remaining $16,000 due to my complete lack of credit history.

I was in automotive bliss for a solid 3 months. I had never driven anything this exciting and powerful, and now I OWNED ONE! Then I realized How much I owed. My inner mustache must have activated, because I then began paying as much as I could toward this toxic debt. I ended up paying the car off in 18 months instead of 5 years.

So, this brings me to the present. I still own the car, and it has been very good to me in terms of reliability and FUN! Every day I get to drive to work I am excited because I'm in my dream car.

Now we come to the present situation, which is that I own a home, live with my SO and our dog, and having a 2 seat sports car is not really practical.

The best car I have driven since realizing this is a Subaru WRX. Unfortunately, they are really damn expensive and I'd prefer not to spend more than what my car is worth (about $10,000). I really want to have something that is still fast and fun, but also practical. Fuel efficiency is not terribly important since I don't drive more than 7000 miles a year.

Any recommendations? (Apologies for the length of this post, but I wanted to impart a good idea of where I am coming from so all the replies aren't just "you're being dumb! Just get a corolla!". I despise corollas.)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 09:19:54 PM »
Hey, you've already figured it out!

I was in automotive bliss for a solid 3 months.
The novelty of driving a "new" car, whether it's one that has an AC that works when you're used to not having it, or a porsche when you're used to a BMW, wears off remarkably quickly. Recognize that, and make driving nice cars something special, like renting a fancier model when away on vacation. Or go to a racetrack and rent a Ferrari for an hour every 6 months, and you'll still come out WAY ahead of your cubicle companions stuck with their Lexus ES monthly payments while having 1000 times more fun.

Khanjar

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 09:33:09 PM »
Get something more useful and a motorcycle. No car that you would ever pay for(You're not planning on buying a Corvette or Ferrari anytime soon?) can outperform even a mid-tier motorcycle,  and it's a hell of a lot cheaper then the car to deal with.

Also, even when driving like a maniac it still gets 40+ mpg, take that hypermilers! I get to have fun AND save on gas.

greaper007

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 09:38:04 PM »
What about an older roadster like a Miata?   It might look sort of silly but they're lots of fun to drive, have small engines that get very decent mileage and if you get an older one the depreciation is already finished.   You'll likely sell it for close to the price you paid for it.      It's also safer than a motorcycle, though not nearly as cool.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 09:50:54 PM by greaper007 »

Allen

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 09:57:23 PM »
You can get WRX for less than 10k now surely?  They've been here since 2001.

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 10:24:31 PM »
Thanks for the advice so far. Also, Paul I am a fellow North Carolinian! I'm definitely not disagreeing with either of you, but when I say I was in bliss for three months, I mean I was in complete, drooling, car-obsessed, driving around on Sundays with no particular destination BLISS. Now, I have downgraded to simply loving my car a lot. Seriously, I do not want to get rid of my car, but I require something with at least a back seat.

Also, I am not particularly interested in a motorcycle. Nothing against them, I just appreciate A/C and heat too much.

Miata: unfortunately I am 6'2" so that is out of the question.

As far as WRXs for less than 10k, I'd prefer not to get a car with more than 85k miles (what I currently have on my car) and I am having a hard time finding one like that within 500 miles of Raleigh.

dragoncar

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 10:52:29 PM »
I do not want to get rid of my car, but I require something with at least a back seat.
...
Also, I am not particularly interested in a motorcycle.
...
Miata: unfortunately I am 6'2" so that is out of the question.
...
I'd prefer not to get a car with more than 85k miles

No offense, but this sounds like complainypants 101.  I freaking love swimming but I'm not going to buy a pool.  There are other ways to enjoy your passions beyond ownership.

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 11:22:18 PM »
*sigh*

I was hoping my fist post wouldn't trigger cries of "complainypants", but alas, here we are.

Let me spell it out more clearly:

I drive a sports car with poor fuel economy that requires premium fuel.

I do not want to die on a motorcycle (this is a legitimate fear of mine).

I will drive a car with 200k miles if it is fun and reliable.

I think I can own a car for sub-10k that is fun, reliable, and economically viable. I came here looking for some advice.

Thanks again tireless mustachian army!

theSchmett

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 04:34:15 AM »
As a fellow car guy, I can tell you that this is NOT the place. I was figuratively shut down by a mod when I asked what the most mustachian car was with some flip answer like "a bicycle".

I'm a huge fan of Jalopnik.com, where your question can be posted via their blogging/commenting system kinja, which I've never used myself but I read the product of daily.

Ok my answer? If you can find an appropriately awesome used model year, Fiesta or Focus ST. This might be a stretch to find used for a decent price.

We love our Honda Fit bit it's NOT in the same league performance wise but great mileage, flingable handling, we got the sport with paddles but stick is avail. It's also ginormous inside.

If I could expound on a previous poster who recommended a motorcycle maybe get yourself some mildly interesting basic transport for day to day and keep your Z for weekends. It's not perfectly mustachian by any means but its a nice compromise. Or sell the Z, buy a used Civic, and something old+used+fun+cheap that doesn't need to be so practical or reliable.

Big caveat here is keeping them insured, my old Jeep (93 YJ Sport) is currently garaged and off the road because the expense of keeping it insured in NJ is far too much to make it worthwhile to keep on the road while I'm in kid transport mode.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 05:57:15 AM »
raggedtoad: Are you in Raleigh? Check the meetup subforum, there are a few of us in the Triangle meeting up every couple months, the more the merrier!
I think I can own a car for sub-10k that is fun, reliable, and economically viable. I came here looking for some advice.
Obviously everybody's idea of fun is different, but what about an older model from the luxury line from one of the reliable asian companies? I see people trying to get rid of their late 90s/early 2000s acuras all the time.

Jags4186

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 06:05:26 AM »
Problems with the car are you realize that you're not able to do something else because you have a car. It's going to take me several years more to save for a down payment because of the car choices I have made in my life. I'd much rather at this point have a hefty down payment than have driven new cats the last 10 years. I'm only 27 but I'm glad I've realized it now and not when I'm 45 and have wasted 10s of thousands more.

exranger06

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 06:09:34 AM »
As a fellow car guy, I can tell you that this is NOT the place. I was figuratively shut down by a mod when I asked what the most mustachian car was with some flip answer like "a bicycle".

I'm a huge fan of Jalopnik.com, where your question can be posted via their blogging/commenting system kinja, which I've never used myself but I read the product of daily.

Ok my answer? If you can find an appropriately awesome used model year, Fiesta or Focus ST. This might be a stretch to find used for a decent price.

We love our Honda Fit bit it's NOT in the same league performance wise but great mileage, flingable handling, we got the sport with paddles but stick is avail. It's also ginormous inside.

If I could expound on a previous poster who recommended a motorcycle maybe get yourself some mildly interesting basic transport for day to day and keep your Z for weekends. It's not perfectly mustachian by any means but its a nice compromise. Or sell the Z, buy a used Civic, and something old+used+fun+cheap that doesn't need to be so practical or reliable.

Big caveat here is keeping them insured, my old Jeep (93 YJ Sport) is currently garaged and off the road because the expense of keeping it insured in NJ is far too much to make it worthwhile to keep on the road while I'm in kid transport mode.
+1. I would look into getting a second, practical car while keeping your Z. I am also a car guy. I have 3 vehicles all to myself, and one of them is a big, gas-sucking, money-eating project car (And it's *gasp* an SUV!). Another is a gas-sucking pickup truck, and the last is a fairly economical sedan. You're not alone!

prodarwin

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 06:55:42 AM »
What about an older roadster like a Miata?   It might look sort of silly but they're lots of fun to drive, have small engines that get very decent mileage and if you get an older one the depreciation is already finished.   You'll likely sell it for close to the price you paid for it.      It's also safer than a motorcycle, though not nearly as cool.

A Miata is LESS practical than the Z.  A clean, low mileage model is going to go for nearly what he can get for the Z.  Also, they get pretty awful mileage.  My Miata doesn't get much better mileage than my Z32 did, about the same as my S2000.

You can get WRX for less than 10k now surely?  They've been here since 2001.

Yes, easily.  A well maintained Saabaru would be my choice (if I had to buy a WRX)

Thanks for the advice so far. Also, Paul I am a fellow North Carolinian! I'm definitely not disagreeing with either of you, but when I say I was in bliss for three months, I mean I was in complete, drooling, car-obsessed, driving around on Sundays with no particular destination BLISS. Now, I have downgraded to simply loving my car a lot. Seriously, I do not want to get rid of my car, but I require something with at least a back seat.

Also, I am not particularly interested in a motorcycle. Nothing against them, I just appreciate A/C and heat too much.

Miata: unfortunately I am 6'2" so that is out of the question.

As far as WRXs for less than 10k, I'd prefer not to get a car with more than 85k miles (what I currently have on my car) and I am having a hard time finding one like that within 500 miles of Raleigh.

1)  I hate to jump in with the others but... not owning a car with more than 85k miles?  Complainy-pants for sure.

2)  You can fit in a Miata.  Aftermarket seats, foamectomy, etc.  Or buy an NC.  They are down around 10k now, are great cars, and you can fit.  But again, no more practical that when you've got.

3)  Do you need a back seat?  Does your SO have a car with a backseat?  My SO has a 4-seater, so I'm considering downsizing and making my primary driver a STR Miata.

4)  If gas mileage isn't a concern, get an RX-8.  They depreciate like crazy, but are great cars.

captainawesome

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 07:13:28 AM »
Test drive a mazda3 S variant (2.3 liter engine) good amount of pep, light steering, cheap (generally).  I have an 08, and my only qualm is that it isnt a hatchback (which you might not care about but if I had to pick between the two I'd go hatch).  As far as my previous cars, I almost bought a Z back in the day, ended up with a mustang mach 1, then a GTO, F-150,  then an is250, xterra, grand cherokee, and now the 3.  While my previous car purchases weren't logically based (emotion/fun/thought it was a good idea), I would say that the 3 has brought me a good amount of smile when I drive.  Yeah it's not going to be the same as a true sports car, but it is fun when I want it to be. 

daverobev

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 07:58:13 AM »
Mustang? Common, decent. Not the same kind of thing as the Nissan but still 'a sports car'.

If you can fix it yourself, older Audi?

What is 'fun' though - how it handles on the corners? Wouldn't it be just as fun getting a Camry and modding it?
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The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 08:11:29 AM »
Wow, thanks everyone for the input! I do appreciate the ratio of constructive criticism to insulting criticism ;)

I think sleeping on this one has brought me somewhat to my senses. I just REALLY liked the Subaru I test drove. Now I am realizing that what I really want is just far too expensive (the cheapest used ones are well over $20,000). So, my ideal pearl white WRX hatchback is off the table :(

prodarwin brought up the most significant point, I think. My SO does have a very practical car. It's a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited that we got an incredible deal on early last year (as in, 30% below KBB value - to this day I have no idea why it was priced that way).

We use her car already for most road trips and hauling stuff/dog around town. I was hoping to take some of the burden off her car, but it really doesn't make sense.

So, as I see it, I now have two choices that aren't terrible ideas:

1. Keep my car, which I owe nothing on. Downsides here are continued depreciation and the cost of premium fuel combined with average gas mileage of around 19mpg.

2. Get rid of my car and get something really practical. My biggest concern here is still losing the fun of having a sporty car. I need to give a used Mazda 3 a drive and I actually do want to try a Honda Fit since I've heard nothing but good things about them and they are offered with a stick.

Thanks again for taking the time to offer some solid advice! Also, Paul I am in Raleigh so I will check out the meetup subforum to see what's up.

Edit: Just spent 5 minutes and found a number of nearby Honda Fits (less than 5 years old with low mileage!) for sale for around the same price I will sell the Z for. This is looking promising!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 08:21:47 AM by raggedtoad »

prodarwin

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 08:46:48 AM »
What makes your car unpractical?  Just the poor gas mileage on premium fuel?  As you said, at <7000 miles a year, it isn't a big problem.

FWIW, the Fit is fun in its own way, but downright awful to drive compared to any real sports car.  There are plenty of "practical" cars that can crush the Fit from a fun-to-drive standpoint.  Of course, a lot of them were made in the 90s and you probably won't want to deal with their age.

Of course, budget a few grand extra and almost anything you buy can be made into something quite fun to drive.

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 08:47:27 AM »
Since this is the MMM forum, I won't detail all of my other car choices, but I did have a mustachian 'sports car' for about 5 years.  It was a '94 Nissan Sentra SE-R.  I bought it for $1,600, drove it for a few years, put a clutch in it for $150 and drove it for a couple more years, ended up selling it for $800, when I couldn't get it to pass inspection.  That car actually replaced a WRX, which I ditched to start saving for a house.  I've spent a lot of time autocrossing with the SCCA, and while having a lot of HP is fun, it isn't required to have fun.  You can have a blast driving a Z06, but you can have just as much fun in an old N/A MR2.  My current daily driver compromise is a Jetta Wagen with a manual transmission.  At the moment it is the right balance of fun, economy and practicality for me.  It isn't the most mustachian choice, but it is far cheaper than the F150 I had last year.

jba302

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 08:48:49 AM »
1. Keep my car, which I owe nothing on. Downsides here are continued depreciation and the cost of premium fuel combined with average gas mileage of around 19mpg.

At $3.50 / gallon (prices here, not there), you're running $1,300 / year in gas costs. Do a cost benefit analysis on any car you are going to pick up to determine if this is going to be worth it. When looking at a NEW car, mileage is huge but you are already at 0 on this one so the math might not be as big of a thing. Although you are in a non-salt area so your cars last longer. Depreciation occurs on every car and I think you should look at "longevity" not depreciation. Project your math out until "car dies and I call a cab to drive me home" and it might be more appropriate to swap up.

Quote
Edit: Just spent 5 minutes and found a number of nearby Honda Fits (less than 5 years old with low mileage!) for sale for around the same price I will sell the Z for. This is looking promising!

On this option seems you are saving $650/year in fuel at present costs which is worth it to me. Also look into maintenance costs. I had a 2005 G35 which is basically the same car and the god damn maintenance was annoyingly expensive and tricky. Thay may be a newer car complaint though, I'd almost give my wife's first born to get a newer model car that was mostly mechanical like the older ones.

the fixer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 09:01:38 AM »
I've known several people over the years with similar car obsessions (plus drag racing) but have no money. They get by with old 80s cars that have been heavily modded, the Civic being most popular. The cars and junkyard parts are really cheap. The best part of this approach is you get a car that's YOURS, as opposed to a 350Z or WRX where I can walk into any Nissan or Subaru dealership and buy a car exactly like yours. What's the point in owning that? You'll also learn a lot about cars and working on them/customizing them.

Along those same lines, have you checked out relayrides? Are there people nearby with sports cars you can rent by the hour to get your fix?

prodarwin

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 09:14:51 AM »
while having a lot of HP is fun, it isn't required to have fun.

I'm probably one of the few enthusiasts who would argue that more HP can often be less fun.  Even my painfully slow, but not as slow as a fit, DD (a 98 Saturn) can exceed the speed limit on my commute in only a few seconds.  Having an extra 50 hp would periodically be fun, but it doesn't add nearly as much pleasure to the driving experience as a decent suspension, some ST tires, etc.

I used to co-drive an STX WRX, and while it was a lot of fun to blast around, it was rare that I ever had the opportunity to do so.  Same with my Z32, same with my S2000.

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 09:26:30 AM »
Quote
while having a lot of HP is fun, it isn't required to have fun.

That is very true. I was talking to another car enthusiast in the office and I literally just said "there is nothing more frustrating than hitting 60mph in 2nd gear and not being able to go any faster because you're already at highway speed". If I was in a Fit or similar small-engined car, I  would be able to actually use 100% of the car's potential. It's a lot like what people have been saying about the Subaru BRZ/Scion FRS - it is only 200hp but it's a blast to drive because you can utilize every bit of it.

As far as aftermarket modifications, I just personally am not terribly interested in it. Could be in the future, and I'm sure the Mazda3 and Honda Fit are both great candidates for some cheap mods.

Also, I've never heard of relayrides before. What a cool idea! It's a little sketchy for the person renting out their car, and I certainly would never let some random dude drive my Z for $75 a day, but I might look into being on the renting side of things.

Greg

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2014, 09:32:49 AM »
I totally relate to the car enthusiast thing.  I'm into older Italian cars.  Have you looked at 2+2 versions of your car or similar cars?  Or some sort of sport wagon?  Volvo had (has?) some nice options there.

A back seat is always a trade-off.  For track days it's useless, the rest of the time it can sot of "pay for itself" by allowing dogs or kids to come along. Otherwise it's just you and a passenger at most.

As for fuel, do a little research into your engine management.  Many newer cars have knock-sensor ignitions that will automatically de-tune (retard the ignition timing) to accommodate low-grade gas.  Check the owner's manual, the fuel door or door jamb sticker for more info on the required fuel grade.  I mention this as a way to accommodate your concern about the ongoing cost of premium fuel.

prodarwin

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2014, 09:35:22 AM »

As far as aftermarket modifications, I just personally am not terribly interested in it.

Shame, because the WRX really improves with some mods :)

adam

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2014, 10:46:54 AM »
For some reason this popped out at me, not sure what used prices are right now, but its probably higher than you want:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_G8

A Trailblazer SS is also "practical" lol, and fun.  By fun I mean 400hp LS2. (also requires premium gas and gets 16mpg)

I am a recovering car guy.  Sentra -> Lexus ES300 -> Supercharged Frontier -> Mustang GT -> S2000 -> Trailblazer SS -> Sequoia (blah) -> Silverado (also blah, but tows a boat).

Really though, you should probably keep the Z and buy something "more practical" and cheaper to be a DD. When I was driving the S2000 I also had a 4cyl Accord to do the booring stuff like that.

Also, to be honest, if you want to be more 'mustachian' you sure as hell don't want to listen to me when it comes to cars.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 10:52:18 AM by adam »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2014, 10:49:03 AM »
Personally I have way more fun on my 800mpg bike than I do with cars, but anything with a stick can be really fun. Probably my favorite car was a late 80s Celica. Only a 4-cylinder but the gearing on that is ridiculously short. Terrible highway mileage but great pick-up-and-go in the city. Hard to find ones that aren't rust buckets.

Older Civics, heck, even manual Ford Escorts can be really fun cars. They're light, cheap-cheap-cheap to buy and get parts for. Easy to work on.

Subarus are great but the AWD makes them very thirsty. Not the most economical choice from an mpg perspective.

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The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2014, 07:50:58 PM »
UPDATE:

This evening after work I test drove a 2008 Mazda3 and a 2009 Honda Fit. I'm a man of action! No time to waste continuing to spend too much on my ridiculous sports car!

I really went to try the Fit, but they happened to have a manual Mazda as well. Unfortunately, the Mazda had 110,000 miles on it. It was only $7,000, so it had that going for it. Regardless, the clear winner was the Fit. It was definitely slower, but in terms of overall quality, driving feel, and utility, it was way better than I anticipated. In addition, what I was saying in my last reply was definitely true. I had more fun shifting from 1st to 4th in that little thing than I did going from 1st to 2nd in my car.

So, this particular one is pretty well in line with what I want. It's got 33,000 miles, which is fantastic. It looks brand new both inside and out. It's also the sport model, for whatever that is worth. I'm just glad it has alloys instead of hubcaps. The asking price is $12,000. I don't think I have much negotiating room since the kbb value seems to range between $12,000 and $13,000. As always, I will sleep on this one and revisit the idea in the morning, but in the meantime do any of you fellow mustachians have any thoughts on the price, year, mileage, etc...?

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2014, 09:38:01 PM »
You don't need a low mileage car with the amount of miles you drive a year. Save your money and buy one with around ~100k. Honda Fits with that mileage/year around me go for more like 8-9k.

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2014, 09:54:45 PM »
[quote author=prodarwin link=topic=12440.msg197002#msg197002

A Miata is LESS practical than the Z.  A clean, low mileage model is going to go for nearly what he can get for the Z.  Also, they get pretty awful mileage.  My Miata doesn't get much better mileage than my Z32 did, about the same as my S2000.
[/quote]

Taking a look at fuelly, the bell curve for all years of the Miata is right at 27 mpg.http://www.fuelly.com/car/mazda/mx-5%20miata   That's not Prius or TDI territory, but it's fantastic for a 2 seat sports car

I've seen plenty in the sub $5000 range on craigslist with less than a hundred thousand miles, that's low miles to me.    I share a minivan with my mom (she needed transportation for her month long trips to town) that I bought with 140,000 miles.   I figure I have at least 10 years left on this car with the amount I drive.   My other 2 cars are all 80,000+ and I plan on keeping them for at least another 10 years.    Why get low mileage?  I thought the point was just something fun to cruise around in, and fixing it is half the fun. 

You could even buy one with a blown engine and turn it electric for a few thousand dollars total.    $3 for 80 miles depending on your grid situation.

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2014, 10:04:08 PM »
_JT, I drive about 7,000 miles a year now, but my SO and I are making a significant effort to be more efficient, so she might be selling her car soon. That would probably raise The mileage on a shared car up to about 10k. Not sure if that still matters. I am still completely open to a new-ish Fit with something like 90k to 120k on it.

_JT

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2014, 10:52:04 PM »
I mean, 10k miles a year still means it takes you a decade to go from 100k to 200k miles, which isn't exactly scary territory for a Honda. The car will mechanically rust apart before you'll wear out the engine at that pace, more or less.

jba302

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2014, 07:13:34 AM »
Do cars rust in north carolina?

prodarwin

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2014, 07:35:46 AM »
Not really.  Not in that time frame.  Maybe over the course of 30 years.

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2014, 08:18:01 AM »
jba302 - no, there are practically no rust problems down here, except possibly for the western mountains where they get more regular snowfall.

The issue I've found is that most of the high volume used car places around here buy cars from auctions, and most of them were originally registered up north. For example, I just found a Fit that is a 2008 model with 73,000 miles for $8,000. That looks like a great deal compared to the 2009 with 32,000 miles for $12,000, but then I realized it spent practically it's entire life up north going through 5 salty winters.

Would it not be wiser to spend a little more up front to (almost) guarantee a more reliable car? (Not to mention the 2009 is a newer generation compared to the 2008, and it is nicer in every way).

the fixer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2014, 10:17:47 AM »
The issue I've found is that most of the high volume used car places around here buy cars from auctions, and most of them were originally registered up north. For example, I just found a Fit that is a 2008 model with 73,000 miles for $8,000. That looks like a great deal compared to the 2009 with 32,000 miles for $12,000, but then I realized it spent practically it's entire life up north going through 5 salty winters.
Would you really expect to have to spend an extra $4,000 maintaining that vehicle because of some snow and salt? That's about the cost of a new motor! If you were concerned about reliability, you could buy a junker "backup" car with the 4k you save.

I also doubt you can make a rational argument that the 2009 is worth that much more in terms of features.

jba302

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2014, 10:49:18 AM »
5 north carolina winters no. 15 winters in Minnesota, maybe, depending on how it was treated. I know it is in an issue "at some point" but I couldn't tell you where to draw the line. Taking a loot under it to see how much rust intrusion there is would tell you a lot. It's hard for me to see a mid 90's car on CL up here that looks as good as a 1983 from AZ or CA :).

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2014, 10:50:58 AM »
I think the better question is can I find another one with similar miles/price but has never been through a northern winter. My guess is yes. And I will gladly pay a small premium for that. $4,000 may be excessive, but I don't think <$1000 would be.

_JT

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2014, 10:53:48 AM »
Do cars rust in north carolina?

Cars rust everywhere except the desert, but then, I wasn't being literal. :)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2014, 11:13:27 AM »
Chapel Hill is PACKED with Fits, they are EVERYWHERE. I would be surprised if you couldn't find a better deal with a little patience. You might even be able to call dealerships in a few weeks and see if they have one they reluctantly accepted as a trade in during the christmas new car madness events and has been sitting there ever since.

Yeah, winters in the non-western part of NC are a bit of a joke. My car is currently going through its 19th winter here and there is barely any rust. The lack of harsh conditions makes maintaining beaters a pleasure down here. I'm sure it would be very easy to give in on purchasing something newer when it's well below freezing outside and it's the second time this month the car is giving you trouble.

sdeng87

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2014, 03:49:54 PM »
There is no problem buying something for yourself as long as you know are aware of the impact it will have on you financially. Just please don't be that "car guy" that gets his frills driving like a douchebag. The road is not a place for you to get your adrenaline rush.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 03:54:42 PM by sdeng87 »

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2014, 03:58:12 PM »
Erm... I'm sensing a bit of misplaced aggression. Did you even read the other posts? This thread has turned into me deciding what kind of HONDA FIT to purchase. Even if I bought a brand-spanking-new one, I wouldn't be crippling my finances, and I'm pretty sure the 117hp would make it a lot less tempting to drive like a "douchebag".

But hey, thanks for contributing nothing to the conversation while simultaneously making condescending remarks to someone looking for advice!

golfer44

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2014, 04:19:55 PM »
There is no problem buying something for yourself as long as you know are aware of the impact it will have on you financially. Just please don't be that "car guy" that gets his frills driving like a douchebag. The road is not a place for you to get your adrenaline rush.

Erm... I'm sensing a bit of misplaced aggression. Did you even read the other posts? This thread has turned into me deciding what kind of HONDA FIT to purchase. Even if I bought a brand-spanking-new one, I wouldn't be crippling my finances, and I'm pretty sure the 117hp would make it a lot less tempting to drive like a "douchebag".

But hey, thanks for contributing nothing to the conversation while simultaneously making condescending remarks to someone looking for advice!

Ok, ok, lets all chill. I'm guessing the first poster didn't read the original post, as I found absolutely nothing offensive with it, or subsequent posts.

To the OP, the only car 'bargaining' advice I can offer is to state your lowest price with zero emotion, and don't budge. Never fall in love with "the car" or in this case, "the fit". There are many more out there, so do not be afraid to walk. As a matter of fact, you should walk away from every deal (assuming they don't accept your first offer).

Scenario, car is listed for $12,000, you want to pay 10k.

You: "My offer is $10,000"
Salesman: "Blah blah blah 11,500 my boss says this my boss says that"
You: "Ok thanks, I'll be on my way, but here's my # should you change your mind"

I guarantee you'll get a phone call within a few days from at least half of the dealerships you try.

You've got a perfectly fine, functioning car and only WANT a new car, you don't need one. So you're in the drivers seat (pun slightly intended).

Good luck!

"I like turtles" -Jonathan

The Lone Mainer

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2014, 08:42:46 PM »
Thanks golfer44, that is really solid advice. I definitely fell for the dealer tricks when I bought my current car. You are 100% correct that I "want" the new car - mine is definitely working fine and I'm certainly in no rush to get rid of something that has brought me so much joy over the years. Since this next car is almost completely a financial decision instead of an emotional one, it will be much easier to pursue the strategy you outlined. I'll be sure to report back with my results.

RobsEG

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Re: Advice for a "car guy"?
« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2014, 09:58:08 PM »
I see you're leaning towards the fit, but seeing as how attached you are with the 350z I can't help but suggest an 05-06 v6 Nissan altima (02-04 v6 altima's have the same motor, but the 05-06 has a slightly different, more aggressive look. especially the se-r model, talk about sex on wheels!)

about 260 hp/260 tq, has the same 3.5 liter vq35 motor as the z (with the z's ecu being a little more tuned for power, thus about 20 hp extra), plus has rear seats! essentially a 4 door, front wheel drive z! and I average about 26 mpg.

I own an 04 v6 altima (bought before my mustachian transition) when I was single and I love it. great torque off the line and great horsepower for higher speeds. it's paid off and now that I'm married its the family/wife's car. I now drive a 95 civic hatch, single overhead cam. used to get 35 mpg. but my old anti mustachian ways seduced me into turbo charging her. but hey at least I still get 30 mpg.

anyways, I bought my altima 2 years ago this February for $10,150 out the door. so it's perfect (cheaper) for your price range in case you wanna take this route.