Author Topic: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?  (Read 2779 times)

wishfulsaver

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Hello all,

As stated, my non-Mustachian car was totaled in a car accident in December. My arm was broken, so I was unable to bike/drive during the past 3 months due to recovering. I signed up for the car share programs and used public transit along with ride share to get around, however I discovered even by simplifying my commute, I was still paying too much per month versus owning a car. This was even after taking public transit, asking friends and family to help me out, etc.

I'm looking for a vehicle under 10k, which is a hatchback, preferably with high mpg.

I am considering a used Nissan Leaf, although I live in a condo, so unable to charge where I can park here, but there is a overnight charging station within walking distance, about 2 of them, along with charging stations at my university. I figure for any longer distances or mountain trips, I can use the car share program or ask to use a car. I was trying to explore the options for buying new with tax credits, versus just buying used and the warranty, and got really confused.

I've also been looking at Honda Fit, VW Rabbit, Subaru Impreza Hatchback (for those mountain trips?), Nissan Versa Note, Toyota Prius (would prefer a C, but out of my price range), Hyundai Elantra Touring Hatchback, etc. Lots of these have been high miles and when I look at service records, it's been a game of cat and mouse. I've been comparing the price with my insurance and trying to make estimates for gas prices. I also move big items quite frequently, which is why I insist on a hatchback instead of a sedan.

I bike when I can, but due to weekly appointments and visiting home, it turns out going carless isn't the best option for me. I end up paying per hour for the car share to park when I am doing these things.

Thanks for your help.

neo von retorch

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 02:07:40 PM »
Not sure what area you are in, but $10k would get me a 5-6 year old Fit with 50-80k on it, which isn't bad. Obviously lower would be nicer!

daverobev

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 02:14:49 PM »
Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix.

olivia

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 02:15:35 PM »
I would go for a Prius if I were in your shoes. I also considered a Leaf, but I needed a car for longer distance trips on a pretty regular basis. I couldn't justify buying a car AND paying to rent a car for longer trips.

Other things to consider about the Leaf vs. a Prius or other car: how often are the 2 overnight charging stations near you in use? What about the stations at your university? Do you typically drive to the university anyway, or do you typically bike there?

wishfulsaver

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 02:35:41 PM »
I can bike/take public transit about 2 days a week and need to drive for the other 2 days, this varies because of my weekly appointments. I walk by the charging stations on a regular basis, the ones close to my home seems busier on the weekends, but not at night, which is probably when I would charge. I also can visit my family home and charge in their garage if necessary. The university one, I rarely see any vehicle there. I'm in CO, which I understand has huge tax incentives for new electric vehicles.

I was interested in electric vehicles at first, then shifted over to ICE hatchbacks with high mpg, now shifting back to looking at EV.

I've test driven quite a number of vehicles, the main concerns I have are insurance costs, vehicle maintenance, and mpg. Whenever I look at a dealership or private party, I always ask for service records, and if they don't have a through documentation, I tend to skip over it.

otter

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 03:22:40 PM »
Some kind of Prius would meet your criteria and fit your budget.

Consider a Mazda 3, probably around 2010-12. From 2013 or so they got a new engine that delivered significantly better fuel consumption, but before then they were still perfectly good. This range is probably a sweet spot for a car that doesn't have overly high mileage, gets good fuel econmoy, and fits your budget. They are great cars and you avoid the Honda/Toyota tax.

An older Elantra Touring is fine, but a 3 is better. A newer Elantra GT is good, but probably too expensive.

You may be able to get a current-generation Focus hatchback within your budget. I'd skip the automatic in one of those.

Subaru also upped their game recently with the fuel consumption of their powertrains, but those are going to be over your budget.

ToughMother

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 04:33:44 PM »
I got a 2 year old, 40K mile 2012 Honda Insight last year for $11K.  At this point, I suspect you too could get a 2011 or 2012 Insight.  Love the car, great mileage, WAY cheaper than a Prius.  Don't get the 2010 or older though -- the redesign in 2011 made big, terrific, improvements!  Highly recommended.

BrickByBrick

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 05:07:23 PM »
I'm not sure where you are but may want to check out: https://www.hertzcarsales.com/

In my area they seem to regularly have 45 - 60K mileage hatchbacks for around 7K - 9K.

It's where I'm planning to get my next car when mine finally goes, I figure since they were former rentals you can somewhat expect they kept up with regular maintenance (although I can't vouch for that).  Plus, they come with a not-bad limited warranty.

No haggling - which I hate - but the prices seem reasonable.

Tester

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2016, 05:12:22 PM »
Might be offtopic, but Ford also produces hatchbacks - Focus?
I also looked at Nissan Versa Note, Prius, Mazda 3 but in the end I got a Focus hatchback.
I was wondering why they are not recommended and am still wondering.
My final idea was that the Ford was cheaper than the others, maintenance prices seemed comparable, as it is a locally produced car...
Will see if I did a wrong move in several years :).

BMEPhDinCO

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Re: Car Totaled - Need Used Vehicle under 10k. Maybe Nissan Leaf?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 06:29:00 PM »
I'm not sure where you are but may want to check out: https://www.hertzcarsales.com/

In my area they seem to regularly have 45 - 60K mileage hatchbacks for around 7K - 9K.

It's where I'm planning to get my next car when mine finally goes, I figure since they were former rentals you can somewhat expect they kept up with regular maintenance (although I can't vouch for that).  Plus, they come with a not-bad limited warranty.

No haggling - which I hate - but the prices seem reasonable.

I second this - a quick look in CO gives 90+ options under $10k, most of them are 2014.  We personally have a Fit and an Elantra and enjoy them...I wouldn't get an electric car though, with the snow and weather, you might run out one day while still commuting!