Author Topic: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?  (Read 15632 times)

Vgfns

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Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:11:01 AM »
Hi gang!

I was hoping to get some recommendations for a new used cars that I should be on the lookout for.  Here is my situation:

26 year old attorney living in Atlanta GA.  I have to drive a lot for my job, going to other cities to appear in court, and I would like a car that looks professional.

I have the savings to pay up to 20k for a car, and I am looking for something that can have a long life with minimal maintenance. 

Thank you in advance for the recommendations, and I feel like Cars should have their own section on the forum since they are such a big part of our financial lives! 

Ishmael

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 08:16:53 AM »
Toyota Corolla.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 08:20:23 AM »
Mazda 3

drell_

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 09:05:18 AM »
Seconding both suggestions - they're cheap, dependable, good on fuel, and above average classiness. Just don't buy new!

schimt

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 09:10:35 AM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

the Hyundai Elantra Touring (2007-2009) also looks like a professional choice on this list from MMM.

mlipps

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 09:14:17 AM »
I like the ideas others have given better, but if your colleagues idea of professional is something fancier, you could look into a used Lexus CT Hybrid. They're pretty affordable used (although obviously still luxury cars), great mileage, lots of space, and Lexus is made by Toyota. They're my Mustachian dream car. Don't judge me. ;)

I also think that in the line of entry level sedans, the Hyundai Elantras are MUCH nicer looker for the price than the Corolla & Civic, inside & out. But I don't know how they rate reliability wise in comparison; I wouldn't give that up for a car that looks more expensive. I also don't know that much about cars, so it could just be my uneducated eye.

FuckRx

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 09:25:23 AM »
mini cooper. very professional, elegant. drives awesome and has back seats for when you need to load a couple extra people. and very good on gas mileage.

adwel81

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 09:27:47 AM »
Toyota Corolla. Much better fuel economy than Mazda 3, and will hold value longer due to Toyota reputation. Also low maintenance costs.

Case study:
I purchased a used Corolla with 76k miles on it about 4 years ago for $8600. It never had any major issues, but it was totaled recently due to falling ice (I was not in it). The insurance company valued it at $7500 - So, after driving 29k miles over the course of 4 years (putting the car at 105k) it was only valued at $1100 less than what I got it for four years earlier! Seemed like pretty minimal depreciation to me.

CarDude

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 10:16:38 AM »
Prioritizing both safety and reliability, if you're dead set on spending 20k, I'd recommend either a 2008 or later Honda Accord or 2010 or later Toyota Camry.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 11:30:08 AM »
Why does it need to look nice?

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »
Go to Hertz car sales.. yes ex-rentals.

We just bought a 2012 Chevvy Cruze with the leather interior, absolute cherry condition for $12,000.

Then take your left over $8000 and invest it in Vanguard stock ETFs.

Frank

xfactor9600

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 12:31:58 PM »
Toyota Corolla.
Agree. I'm a somewhat older/young attorney at 36 and drive a Chevy Cruze.

SDREMNGR

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 12:38:14 PM »
I second used Prius.  Always looks professional.  You can get one under warranty for less than $10k.

MPAVictoria

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 12:53:34 PM »
"Go to Hertz car sales.. yes ex-rentals.

We just bought a 2012 Chevvy Cruze with the leather interior, absolute cherry condition for $12,000."

Excellent advice. The Cruze is probably the nicest car in the compact class to drive long distances. If you are looking one size up a lightly used Ford Fusion or Honda Accord would also be a good bet.

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 12:57:54 PM »
"Go to Hertz car sales.. yes ex-rentals.

We just bought a 2012 Chevvy Cruze with the leather interior, absolute cherry condition for $12,000."

Excellent advice. The Cruze is probably the nicest car in the compact class to drive long distances. If you are looking one size up a lightly used Ford Fusion or Honda Accord would also be a good bet.

Yes we love ours.. My Wife was convinced she needed a bigger car for that "big car, quiet luxury feel".. This one was way better in that regard than any of the mid size cars we drove and they had a LOT of them at Hertz.

Have to get the LT2 trim package though.. with the leather, absolutely gorgeous and get GREAT MPG too.

Frank

schimt

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 01:31:49 PM »
mini cooper. very professional, elegant. drives awesome and has back seats for when you need to load a couple extra people. and very good on gas mileage.

I would shy away from Mini's for reliability and cost of repairs reasons, they are BMW's after all

Cwadda

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 01:35:28 PM »
Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, and there are some sportier Honda Civics out there. All of these will cost 10K and under.

Cassie

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2014, 01:43:15 PM »
Honda Accord.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2014, 02:17:09 PM »
Prius or Accord.

Jamesqf

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2014, 02:28:24 PM »
I don't know what your definition of "professional" is, but as you're young and single, you might look at the Honda CR-Z: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CR-Z  It's a hybrid with good mpg, so gets green credits, but unlike a Prius is not a boring, stodgy sedan.

Another alternative might be a Mazda Miata.  The looks haven't changed a lot in a decade or more, so an older but well-polished one can be cheap but look like you spent on a new one.

2527

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2014, 06:32:02 PM »
Just checked out Hertz…very interesting…never knew about it.

GalTexas

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2014, 10:35:24 AM »
i prefer the look of Accords over Camrys.  But have only driven toyotas so what do i know, eh?

But anytime someone has an accord or camry it's understood people don't think you are pretending to be something you're not.  if you notice these two cars seem to transcend all socio-economic levels. 

keep your coworkers guessing. always.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2014, 11:16:20 AM »
Toyota Highlander

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2014, 11:23:11 AM »
Toyota Highlander

Huh?.. Your kidding right?.. Gas guzzling SUV, not very MMM at all..:)

Frank

Vgfns

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 08:37:12 AM »
Hey guys!  Thanks for all the rec's.  I will check em out, and then keep my eyes open to see if I can find some deals!

Scandium

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2014, 08:53:32 AM »
Why does it need to look nice?

I question this as well. Do you drive into the court room? Buy a "boring"car and get a nicer suit..

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2014, 09:03:43 AM »
I'd stay away from Volkswagen, our repair and maintenance costs were quite high. We've been very happy with our Subaru for the intersection of costs, repairs, and durability.

You can seriously get a Prius for under 10k? If so I'd look into that.

RetireAbroadAt35

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2014, 11:56:33 AM »
The smartest financial decision I ever made was buying a $3k 10 year-old Honda Civic when I started my first "professional" job.  I bought it with cash, using my sign-on bonus, and drove that car for three years before I sold it for the same price and upgraded to something a little bigger for my long commutes.

I have a friend who is an attorney and drives a Prius.  The other attorneys mock her for this choice, but they would mock any car that sells for less than $50k.  You can't please those people and be Mustachian, so do as my friend does, and say fuck 'em.

My recommendation:
Buy a cheap, economical car that will hold it's remaining resale value.  Research maintenance and particular issues for your make/model/year, have that addressed by a competent shop, do the required maintenance going forward, take good care of it so you can sell it and enjoy the cost savings. 

There are lots of options out there.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 11:58:24 AM by RetireAbroadAt35 »

CarDude

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2014, 06:27:06 PM »
I'd stay away from Volkswagen, our repair and maintenance costs were quite high. We've been very happy with our Subaru for the intersection of costs, repairs, and durability.

You can seriously get a Prius for under 10k? If so I'd look into that.

Yeah, I've spent too much time on the VW forums to ever recommend any modern (2000 or later) VW. They break down too often, and they aren't nearly as easily repaired as Japanese or American cars.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2014, 06:53:14 PM »
I would NOT buy a new car.

Here's the kind of thing I would be looking for.  (I just did a quick Craigslist search, I have no idea about this particular car.)

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/4319736205.html

(Someone please toss up a link to the MMM post about what cars to buy.)

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2014, 07:03:18 PM »
I'd stay away from Volkswagen, our repair and maintenance costs were quite high. We've been very happy with our Subaru for the intersection of costs, repairs, and durability.

You can seriously get a Prius for under 10k? If so I'd look into that.

Yeah, I've spent too much time on the VW forums to ever recommend any modern (2000 or later) VW. They break down too often, and they aren't nearly as easily repaired as Japanese or American cars.

We had a new beetle and the headlights were so hard to get to that it was a full hour of labor to change them. Every frikkin time one burned out. Oh the humanity.

chasesfish

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2014, 07:50:16 PM »
Who sees you in your car?  Who are your clients?  I was a banker in Atlanta at your age a few years ago.

Prius is a good choice in most cases, unless your a construction litigator.   I'm not a personal fan of the Prius, but know lots of highly successful people that do it either to be green or because they'd rather not buy oil from foreign countries that don't like us.

Your car might matter at some point, depending on your type of law.  One of our better creditors rights attorneys drove an old civic though,  He was a younger partner at one of the major midtown firms.  He just told people his kids take all his money if anyone asked.

Your in a field and part of the country where lifestyle inflation can be insane for attorneys, some of them think they must have a European vehicle and membership at one of the $80k private club memberships.

The richest attorneys I ever met around Atlanta tended to work in a suburban town and used their nice income to buy rental properties around the courthouse.  One told me his rental properties would really be crappy if everyone got along and nobody broke the law, but have otherwise been great investments.

happy

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Re: Car Recommendation for a Young Professional?
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2014, 05:20:17 AM »
Another vote for Prius.