Author Topic: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?  (Read 1047 times)

DeniseNJ

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I want a reliable car for my son, not expensive, good Mustachian milage, hatchback, small but not tiny as the kid is 6'2".  Where do I even start?  How much is reasonable to spend?  Will I get a decent car for 5 to 7K?  How many miles is too many?  I'm seeing cars with 100K miles on them for 8K.  Do I search on craigslist?  I know nothing about cars.  Or go to a used car dealer?  Do they still make station wagons?

rothwem

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Why not put this into the hands of your son? Give him a budget of $7k and tell him to go to town, find a good used car? I’m assuming he’s paying for the insurance and gas, it might be a good opportunity for him to learn how certain cars cost more to run than others.

ketchup

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 03:27:35 PM »
Overall size of car has little to do with headroom for a tall person.  Main thing to avoid are small SUVs as they aren't too tall but are pretty high off the ground compared to a typical sedan, leaving not much room in the middle.

Nissan Sentra and VW Jetta are two known good smaller "tall guy" cars.


bloodaxe

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 05:59:27 AM »
His height shouldn't affect what car he drives, unless he is like 6'10.

You and your son watch these two videos

https://youtu.be/vC8LbvYk6es
https://youtu.be/drbhNLvYxGQ

Then buy a beater for less than 5k on Craigslist.

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 07:27:51 AM »
Thanks so much.  I was looking at the Honda Fit?

Quote
Why not put this into the hands of your son? Give him a budget of $7k and tell him to go to town, find a good used car? I’m assuming he’s paying for the insurance and gas, it might be a good opportunity for him to learn how certain cars cost more to run than others.
You're absolutly right . . .but he might come home with magic beans instead, or a dogsled and a pack of shitsuis. (Sp?)
And no he doesn't pay for anything and yes he should as he is 20 but that's another long long story about all the ways I've screwed up parenting.

It's a car we'd be sharing although I don't do much driving.  And if I could pay 5K I'd be happy, but not more than 7.  I'll review the links you guys posted.  Thanks!!

Ecky

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 07:51:09 AM »
Thanks so much.  I was looking at the Honda Fit?

We love our Honda Fit! My wife drives it primarily, and she's averaging 46mpg - though it's a manual, and I understand the EPA economy numbers are much harder to beat in the automatic. We're up to ~230k miles and have never had any non-routine maintenance.

My brother has one as well. He's especially tall, and though he likes the car, he has expressed the desire for some kind of bracket to move the front seats back. I'd definitely sit in one and see if it works for you.

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2020, 07:42:33 AM »
It's official.  My car is "totaled."  It would cost more to fix than it's worth so insurance is paying me over 11K for it.  Long story, but the kid's last accident did more than knock the bumper cover off, whici I taped back on.  I had an estimate done and they didn't say anything about the radiator spilling juice into the engine.  I barely drove it since this was in March and we've been in lockdown.  Then it died on the way to dd's HS grad in July.  So needed a new engine, radiator, bumper cover, etc.  Finally, ins. declared it a total loss.  I never liked that car anyway.

Now I'm looking to spend as little as possible on a reliable used car.  I want to spend a few K and pocket the rest.  Don't know anything about cars, but will review links above.  If you know anybody selling a car in NJ, think of me. :)

acepedro45

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2020, 08:55:58 AM »
I think the best bet for some someone who “knows nothing about cars” but is shopping in the sub $5k bargain bin is to find a friend or acquaintance that wants to sell an old Honda or Toyota. I second your plan to put the word out.

If you’re going to be dealing with a random stranger or worse yet a dealer, you should definitely do a heavy dose of self-education from the links others have supplied.  If you can avoid a car that’s been seriously abused this is a great way to save money.

 

joe189man

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2020, 10:34:43 AM »
Mazda 3 hatchback should work well, a perennial consumer reports bust buy

Khaetra

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2020, 10:49:43 AM »
Stick with Honda, Toyota or Mazda.  Those three are the most reliable, cheaper to fix (parts available everywhere) and are pretty easy on gas.

cincystache

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Re: How do you even start to figure out what/where to get a "new" car?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2020, 05:44:34 PM »
I'm 6'5" and drive a 2009 honda fit. I love it. Plenty of head/leg room, 5 speed auto, 40+mpg highway (30+city). Bought it ~2 years ago for 3,500 cash off a relative with 135,000 miles. My relative wasn't the original owner but had it for a couple years prior. There is a ton of space for hauling stuff and the seats fold flat super easily. I can't say enough good things about the car and driving experience thus far...

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!