Author Topic: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?  (Read 4357 times)

Baron235

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Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« on: September 24, 2014, 12:59:33 PM »
Sadly, I need a second car, so I have come for some help in getting the most economical car out there.   My needs would be basically be local driving.  I wouldn't expect more than 100 miles a month and the longest trips would be probably 70 to 100 miles round trip.  The car would need to fit 5.    I would hope the car lasts at least 10 years, but if it is more cost efficient to get an older car that lasts less time, I am okay with that.  So what say you?  What makes and model should I look at?  Is there a sweet spot for used cars?  5 years? 7 Years?

rjbf65

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 01:17:04 PM »
I bought an 06 Toyota Corrolla on craigs list 2 years ago for $5200.  Gets 35 mph.  The car had a little bit of body damage on the rear bumper or otherwise it would have been a good $1,000 higher.  Had 130K miles when bought.  Have never had an issue with it and it should get well past 200K miles before needing replacing.  I believe MMM has an article out there referring to the most mustachian vehicles out there.. 

forummm

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 01:26:01 PM »
Depending on your needs, you could get a Leaf as your primary and use the current vehicle as your secondary. I'm thinking about getting a 2nd Leaf and selling the Corolla. It's just such a great deal, cheap to operate, and fun to drive.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=20128.0

Gone Fishing

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 01:56:14 PM »
I like used Civics and Corollas, because I feel they are a bit more reliable than some of the other models out there, but so do a lot of other people so they carry a bit of a premium on the used market so they might not qualify as the "most" economical.  The Chevy Prisms were built by Toyota and were a great value, but most of them are getting pretty worn out by now.  One interesting niche that has developed is buying an older model hybrid with a dead/semi dead battery on the cheap and just driving it the way it is.  Rumor has it, power is reduced, but milage seems to hold up pretty well from what I have heard.   

justajane

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 02:09:49 PM »
Used Kia sedans are great, because they don't retain their value like used Hondas and Toyotas. But they are just as reliable.

jzb11

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 02:11:49 PM »
check out autotrader.com as a resource.

5 years old is a pretty good point.

You need to seat 5 adults? If so:

A 2008-2010 ford fusion is a decent option in mid size sedan.

A mazda5 is a fair choice as well if you need something bigger.

Otherwise any of the following compact cars should work:

Focus
Corolla
Civic
Mazda3

Hatch is certainly the more versatile/roomy of the options.

wtjbatman

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 02:28:37 PM »
Depending on your needs, you could get a Leaf as your primary and use the current vehicle as your secondary. I'm thinking about getting a 2nd Leaf and selling the Corolla. It's just such a great deal, cheap to operate, and fun to drive.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=20128.0

He said he may have to drive up to 100 miles in a trip. Why would you recommend an all electric vehicle that Consumer Reports says has a 75 mile range?

forummm

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 02:37:52 PM »
Depending on your needs, you could get a Leaf as your primary and use the current vehicle as your secondary. I'm thinking about getting a 2nd Leaf and selling the Corolla. It's just such a great deal, cheap to operate, and fun to drive.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=20128.0

He said he may have to drive up to 100 miles in a trip. Why would you recommend an all electric vehicle that Consumer Reports says has a 75 mile range?

I said: *Depending on his needs*, the Leaf could be his *primary*. The ICE would be available for longer trips. But we get 100 miles per charge in the summer on ours.

It's far cheaper to drive the Leaf per mile. We drive ours everywhere and only use the ICE when we both have to be separate places.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 02:38:28 PM »
Do the math, at 1200 miles per year, the mileage does not matter (at 15 mpg/$4 per gallon, your annual gas bill is $320).  If you want something cost effective, buy a used Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis.  They seat 6 comfortably, are depreciated and reliable and ride like a water bed.  Pick your price.  No competition because almost no one wants them.  They get about 20 MPG on the highway, so who cares!  My mother just stopped driving and ended up donating a 2001 with 22,000 miles on it (too bad for you!).  You can pick one up for a song.

wtjbatman

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 02:43:33 PM »
Depending on your needs, you could get a Leaf as your primary and use the current vehicle as your secondary. I'm thinking about getting a 2nd Leaf and selling the Corolla. It's just such a great deal, cheap to operate, and fun to drive.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=20128.0

He said he may have to drive up to 100 miles in a trip. Why would you recommend an all electric vehicle that Consumer Reports says has a 75 mile range?

I said: *Depending on his needs*, the Leaf could be his *primary*. The ICE would be available for longer trips. But we get 100 miles per charge in the summer on ours.

It's far cheaper to drive the Leaf per mile. We drive ours everywhere and only use the ICE when we both have to be separate places.

Good answer. OP didn't really give specifics on whether he's willing to replace his primary vehicle, but who knows, maybe that would work for him.

Not sure I'd push the "100 mile trip? That's cool, 100 mile range" idea though. Not like if you run out of juice you can walk to the nearest gas station and get a gas can full of Leaf power.

darkadams00

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 08:21:45 PM »
Not sure I'd push the "100 mile trip? That's cool, 100 mile range" idea though. Not like if you run out of juice you can walk to the nearest gas station and get a gas can full of Leaf power.

Yeah, but you ought to see how big a cord reel you can put in the back!

PeachFuzzInVA

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 07:15:11 PM »
Don't forget Toyota makes something even more economical than the Corolla...a Yaris! Although I'm not sure I'd want to be one of the ones in the back seat of that thing! I drive a '92 Civic. 40 mpg, 340k miles, seats 5, tows my utility trailer just fine, and if it depreciated any more I'd have to pay somebody to take it away.

forummm

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 07:47:15 PM »
Not sure I'd push the "100 mile trip? That's cool, 100 mile range" idea though. Not like if you run out of juice you can walk to the nearest gas station and get a gas can full of Leaf power.

Yeah, but you ought to see how big a cord reel you can put in the back!

It can charge in any standard outlet. And I do have a 120ft cord for the charging equipment. But I've never had to charge anywhere other than home.

Prepube

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 08:32:11 PM »
I love my Prius.

alsoknownasDean

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Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 09:18:18 PM »
Do the math, at 1200 miles per year, the mileage does not matter (at 15 mpg/$4 per gallon, your annual gas bill is $320).  If you want something cost effective, buy a used Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis.  They seat 6 comfortably, are depreciated and reliable and ride like a water bed.  Pick your price.  No competition because almost no one wants them.  They get about 20 MPG on the highway, so who cares!  My mother just stopped driving and ended up donating a 2001 with 22,000 miles on it (too bad for you!).  You can pick one up for a song.

This. At a mere 100 miles a month you could probably even get away with Zipcar.

Although, how is a ride like a water bed at all desirable? :)

Cwadda

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2014, 10:45:05 PM »
Good car choices based on fuel economy and reliability. In no particular order:

Ford Focus - The newer models have improved reliability I think
Mazda3 - 2012 and later models have very good gas mileage but the older ones not so much (high 20s, low 30s). The car has a lot of power though. I have an '07 and average 30 mpg. These cars are sportier though and don't have a lot of leg room in the back seat unless you go for a hatchback.
Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic - Can never go wrong with this car
Toyota Prius - But will be more expensive

MotoMM

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Re: Need a second car, what is the most economical car out there?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2014, 11:20:53 AM »
Long time lurker... just registered and thought I'd throw one out there - we have a 2008 Honda Fit that gets well over 30MPG, seats 5, and has good cargo space and an added roof rack.  Economical and reliable.  We love it.