Author Topic: Car Purchase for Texas  (Read 4315 times)

fasteddie911

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Car Purchase for Texas
« on: February 15, 2016, 05:39:19 AM »
I'm going to be moving to Houston in a few months and buying a car when I get there, and having visited there for just a day, I'm a little uncertain as to what type of car will be most appropriate there.  Typically I'd be economical and go with a corolla, however, I'm concerned about vehicle safety and I've read about and had friends from Texas tell me that everyone drives a large truck/suv there.  So I'm wondering if I should consider a larger and safer car?  I would love to have input from Texas members regarding this.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 06:35:58 AM by fasteddie911 »

Psychstache

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 06:00:52 AM »
Lifelong Texan here. I lived in Houston for 20 years and currently live in Dallas. Here is a snapshot of the vehicles I have owned.

Ford Taurus
Honda Accord
A couple of Toyota Corollas

I have had zero issues with these  vehicles and see no reason to own a truck as a white collar desk jockey.

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TomTX

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 06:17:25 AM »
I've driven a Saturn SL1 since purchasing it new in 1995 in Houston. Most of the truck drivers are just spendypants and hardly ever use the truck as a truck. They just commute in it. And it's a less safe commute because they roll over more easily.

Hell, my Saturn hauls better than a lot of these trucks. I can fit a dozen full-length (8 foot) 2x4s plus 2 passengers with the trunk closed. Most of these trucks are mere 4-6' beds and leave shit hanging over the back. I've hauled 12 foot long lumber (admittedly hanging out) - I've hauled 5 sheets of plywood (admittedly I had it cut first and only 1 passenger).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 06:34:53 AM »
Yeah don't do it because 'everyone else does'.

Chances are 'everyone else' is in debt paying for the thing.

Get the Corolla. Preferably with aircon I'd imagine. :)

fasteddie911

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 06:35:13 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies.  Just wanted to add that instead of compacts, I was thinking along the lines of a mid-size (camry, accord, etc.) or small suv (cr-v, rav4, etc.).  I'm still trying to stay economical and my wife has to be comfortable driving it, so I can't go too large on the car.  I'm just wondering if the slight price increase from a compact to a mid-size or suv is worth the slight increase in safety, both the measured safety and perceived safety of driving a larger car.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 06:47:54 AM »
Lived in Houston for over 20 years, married to a Houston native. He drives a Scion Xa (small hatchback) and loves it. Good friend of ours drives a Honda Fit and loves it.  I drive a Nissan Rogue (small SUV) and love it.

Don't get a certain type of vehicle just because everyone else says you have to. Find one that fits your needs, has good safety features, is priced right and gets great gas mileage and don't forget to factor in the insurance costs as well.


As long as you drive defensively and are aware of your surroundings, the standard safety features of most smaller cars will be enough to protect you from most crashes. You can get creamed just as easily driving a truck as you could driving a sedan if you have bad luck.

Not going to sugar-coat this: Houston is pretty awful as far as poor drivers - we apparently won worst drivers and rudest drivers in the last couple of years (sigh). You need to be scanning and aware of intersections (lots of red light runners), asshole drivers that cut across several lanes to reach an exit or stop suddenly (don't tailgate - 2 car length minimum if you can!), and if you miss a turn, just go down and turn around when you can... cutting someone off can spark road rage, and Houston assholes love their guns too. (double sigh).






ooeei

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 10:39:06 AM »
Lived in Houston for over 20 years, married to a Houston native. He drives a Scion Xa (small hatchback) and loves it. Good friend of ours drives a Honda Fit and loves it.  I drive a Nissan Rogue (small SUV) and love it.

Don't get a certain type of vehicle just because everyone else says you have to. Find one that fits your needs, has good safety features, is priced right and gets great gas mileage and don't forget to factor in the insurance costs as well.


As long as you drive defensively and are aware of your surroundings, the standard safety features of most smaller cars will be enough to protect you from most crashes. You can get creamed just as easily driving a truck as you could driving a sedan if you have bad luck.

Not going to sugar-coat this: Houston is pretty awful as far as poor drivers - we apparently won worst drivers and rudest drivers in the last couple of years (sigh). You need to be scanning and aware of intersections (lots of red light runners), asshole drivers that cut across several lanes to reach an exit or stop suddenly (don't tailgate - 2 car length minimum if you can!), and if you miss a turn, just go down and turn around when you can... cutting someone off can spark road rage, and Houston assholes love their guns too. (double sigh).

Will second this post.  Only lived here a year and a half, but I see no reason to get a big truck.  Just be aware of your surroundings.  Basically, assume other people aren't going to follow the rules, and you'll be fine. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 12:48:06 PM »
Had no problems commuting there in my Honda Fit.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 03:11:41 PM »
There aren't nearly as many pickup trucks in the area as there were 20 years ago (but there are still a lot).

I drive a Toyota Prius (as does pretty much every third household in my neighborhood). My husband has an Accord.

I liked my previous car (a Subaru Forester) because I could see a little better when I sat higher up, but I can deal with the slightly lower visibility in the Prius.

Honestly, gas mileage in Houston is probably most important, because you have to drive everywhere.



slugline

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 03:21:51 PM »
Another Houstonian checking in -- be assured that large trucks and SUVs are not driven by "everyone." I'm a CR-V driver and will probably go smaller with my next vehicle choice.

You didn't mention where you were going to live/work, but in certain areas inside the Loop, having a large vehicle can be a pain to park.

fasteddie911

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 04:10:55 PM »
Thanks for the replies and reassurance.  I will be living inside the Loop and doing most of my driving within that area for work and such.  I'm starting to lean back towards a smaller car.

slugline

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2016, 08:13:05 AM »
You're obviously aware of the dangers from traffic accidents. But the another hazard of inner-Loop driving you should know about is street flooding. Houston one of the rainiest cities in the United States in total inches of precipitation. It's not like Seattle with rainy days all over the calendar year. Rainy days come less frequently here, but when they come the downpours can be heavy and temporarily overwhelm the street drains. So pay attention to traffic/weather reports on when it rains and ask your neighbors/coworkers about low-lying flood-prone roadways to avoid on those days.

Spork

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2016, 08:35:36 AM »
Life time Texan here.

I drive a Matrix (Corolla hatchback).
I've also owned a tiny British sports car for the past 30-something years.

Your biggest issue with big trucks isn't mass. Your biggest issue here is "can they see me?" A little defensive driving to keep out of their blind spots is recommended. Other than that, you'll be fine.

fasteddie911

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2016, 10:46:51 AM »
You're obviously aware of the dangers from traffic accidents. But the another hazard of inner-Loop driving you should know about is street flooding. Houston one of the rainiest cities in the United States in total inches of precipitation. It's not like Seattle with rainy days all over the calendar year. Rainy days come less frequently here, but when they come the downpours can be heavy and temporarily overwhelm the street drains. So pay attention to traffic/weather reports on when it rains and ask your neighbors/coworkers about low-lying flood-prone roadways to avoid on those days.

Funny you mentioned this as I was just talking to someone about this the other day and had me thinking about an suv more, but it seems that with some planning and common sense, it shouldn't be a problem for any car.

Life time Texan here.

I drive a Matrix (Corolla hatchback).
I've also owned a tiny British sports car for the past 30-something years.

Your biggest issue with big trucks isn't mass. Your biggest issue here is "can they see me?" A little defensive driving to keep out of their blind spots is recommended. Other than that, you'll be fine.

This goes the other way too if I'm driving an suv, I've noticed that some suv's have large rear pillars and create a huge blind spot.  As much as I don't want to get hit, I wouldn't want to hit someone else either.

MsPeacock

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2016, 05:51:39 PM »
Car size aside, get a car with a light color interior and exterior, and get your windows tinted. Otherwise you and everything else in your car will cook during the summer. A/c is mandatory for your car too. The heat is unbelievable in the summer.

TomTX

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2016, 07:32:52 PM »
Car size aside, get a car with a light color interior and exterior, and get your windows tinted. Otherwise you and everything else in your car will cook during the summer. A/c is mandatory for your car too. The heat is unbelievable in the summer.

Yes, get the windows tinted with the good stuff. Whatever the legal max tinting is.

dudde_devaru

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2016, 08:04:39 PM »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2016, 05:05:54 AM »
The difference between drowning the engine of a small car, a big car, and drowning the people inside is not very big. Flooded streets = don't drive, not "need a bigger car".

The flood gauges on the Allen Parkway go to twelve feet as I recall.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 06:57:52 AM »
When I was working in Texas (Spring, so Houston area) the most common car in the employee parking lot by a long shot was a Honda Civic. (Mine was one too...)  Of course, we were all teachers.  The most common car in the pickup line was a Suburban.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car Purchase for Texas
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 12:04:00 PM »
Former Houstonian here.  Drove a '94 Civic and a '95 Corolla.  Zero issues.  I don't quite understand the hate for Houston drivers--I've found that in my current Chicagoland, the drivers are a lot less accommodating.