Author Topic: Should I buy a new-to-me car?  (Read 2519 times)

windawake

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Should I buy a new-to-me car?
« on: November 29, 2013, 05:02:27 PM »
On Monday I'll be starting my brand-new full-time job. Now that I have some cash that will finally be coming in after grad school, people keep telling me how to spend it. Everyone thinks I need a new car. My parents gave me a '99 Ford Escort when I graduated college. It's the car my brother and I both used in high school and it is very beaten up. Due to a hit-and-run it is missing a big chunk of back bumper and had serious damage done to both front wheel bearings. There are apparently thousands of dollars of tune-ups and repairs needed, and due to some of these it could stop functioning at any time. There are all sorts of little quirks with this car that are annoying but also somewhat endearing. I picked out this car when I was 16 and it's served our family well.

Though I'll be biking to work most of the time; I'll need to be visiting clinics occasionally for my job. This car is really banged up and I'm worried about showing up at a clinic for work in it. It's dented, missing 1/3 of the back bumper, scraped, and has rust peeling out from beneath it. If work was irrelevant, I'd drive this car into the ground. However, I'm concerned about appearing at least somewhat professional. If I were to buy a new car it'd be an early 2000s ('03-'04) model something or other. Hopefully with all parts and not too many dents. I'm thinking $4,000-$5,000.

What are your thoughts?

stevesteve

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Re: Should I buy a new-to-me car?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 10:28:01 PM »
In what capacity will you be visiting clinics?  If you're a medical device salesperson then maybe I'd worry about it.  I think it would be overly paranoid to change your car because you're worried your coworkers will judge you.  In the end if you're nice your coworkers will be fine and it will just be a quirk that they may joke about.  I'm the guy with the 'antique' old cell phone but everyone thinks I'm pretty competent.  Just make sure it's safe.  Unless you would be fired for your car breaking down just have some cash on hand to replace it quickly if necessary.

windawake

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Re: Should I buy a new-to-me car?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 11:17:28 PM »
I'll be visiting clinics as a project coordinator for the corporate office of a physician group practice. I'll be working with clinic employees to implement various quality improvement measures and improve compliance with certain regulations.

marblejane

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Re: Should I buy a new-to-me car?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 11:13:47 AM »
First, I am assuming that you have graduated debt-free and therefore don't need to use this money to pay down student loans. Second, you state that you will bike to work "most of the time." If I were you, I would wait until you are at least a month in to work to see how frequently you actually need to use your car for the clinic visits. I agree with stevesteve that you may be worrying too much about what your coworkers think. It sounds like you have been living car-free already (since the Escort was a graduation present?) so I would just hold off on making any major buying decisions until you get settled at your new job.

windawake

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Re: Should I buy a new-to-me car?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 08:15:09 PM »
Thanks for the input. I do think I am being swayed by others' opinions about the car. I am debt-free. I just graduated from grad school and the car was a present from undergrad, so I've had it l for several years.  I'll wait to see how frequently I'll need to be using a car for work and decide from there.