Author Topic: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!  (Read 2022 times)

Healthie

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buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« on: May 01, 2015, 12:16:38 PM »
Hey guys,

My first car (1990 toyota corolla) has kicked the bucket, and now I'm in the market for a new car. My budget is around ~10k-13k, and I'd like to buy something I'll drive for the next 10 years. Although my budget is this high, I would not mind getting something like a Toyota Yaris or Honda fit in the 5k price range.

The style of the car isn't important, I just want something that is reliable and has good fuel mileage. I've been thinking I would get a  used Prius, but this is because I don't know of other alternatives.  I would like to get some personal insight and some websites with information on the MPG of cars and approximate cost of cars. Thank you!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 12:29:43 PM by Healthie »

TheFixer

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Re: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 12:30:32 PM »
Prius is a good choice, as are other reasonably inexpensive imports: Corolla, Sentra, small Mazdas, newer Hyundai & Kia.
Subaru is ranked high for reliability, but the MPG is usually not very good, compared to others of similar performance.
Honda has fallen quite a bit in the CR reliability ratings over the past several years, but the used market still values them highly.

RunHappy

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Re: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 01:20:40 PM »
I bought a 2012 Ford Focus last year for $11k and just love it.  I get between 34-40 mpg (I'm inconsistent with my driving style).  The seats lay back allowing me to fit a ton of stuff in there.  I put snow tires on it this winter and it was a beast in the snow.  I'm a big fan of my car.

Exflyboy

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Re: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 01:29:28 PM »
One option we used was to check out the local used Hertz rental car places.

We picked up a gorgeous, fully loaded Chevvy Cruse with leather interior, heated seats etc etc for just over $12k. Does 38mpg on a run easily. It was exactly 2 years old when we bought it.

The good thing is they won't negotiate, but their prices are very keen plus you normally get a wide range of cars to test drive.

Healthie

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Re: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2015, 03:00:18 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone! I had a look on Craigslist for car prices - Yaris's & Fit's are around 4-5k and a prius is around 12k. The prius has 50mpg vs. ~30-35 for these. I'm leaning a bit more on getting a 5k car, as the high initial cost of a prius is a bit debilitating.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: buying a car, a bit clueless, could use some direction!
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 03:10:39 PM »
You must not live in California if you're seeing good condition Fits and Yarises for $5k, that's for sure!  How many miles a year do you drive?  What is your tolerance for failure?  For example, do you have a job where you can call your boss and have everything be OK if your car breaks down on the way to work, or do you need reliability above all else?  Do you have a spouse or other family member who you can carpool with if you need to have your car in the shop for a few days?

My hesitation on suggesting you buy anything in the $5k price range is the fact you said you want to have this car for at least 10 years.  Over that kind of timeline, fuel, repairs, and even insurance make up a huge portion of the total cost of ownership, not just the purchase price.  A $12k Prius likely has a bit more life left in it than a $5k Fit or Yaris, but on the used car market everything is a case of "it depends."