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    First Car, Need Advice 
    #1
    Bluelighter lman_15's Avatar
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    I've saved up roughly $15,000 and wanted to purchase my first car. I have about 1.5-2 years driving experience. I would appreciate any advice as far as what model, make, mileage, etc. I should expect to get within that price range. I'm ideally looking for a car that is sturdy, durable and will last a while. I can't drive manual so it has to be automatic. It'll mainly be for commuting to and from school and work as well as the occasional road trip. I prefer 2 door cars or 4 door trucks. Any advice and/or suggestions are welcome, thanks in advance!
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    #2
    if leasing is an option you could look into a new honda accord coupe. the most recent version starts around $25k. it would fit all your needs, however a road trip with more than one passenger would be a bit cramped. if you can afford to spend 15k i would find a way to purchase a new car. too many risks with used autos.
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    #3
    I'd get something used honestly and hang on to the rest of your money. There's no reason you shouldn't be able to get something decent for $5000 or less as long as you're careful. Too me it's pointless to shell out a bunch of money just because it's new, but of course that's just my opinion.
    Last edited by nuttynutskin; 01-11-2016 at 16:41.
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    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lman_15 View Post
    I've saved up roughly $15,000 and wanted to purchase my first car. I have about 1.5-2 years driving experience. I would appreciate any advice as far as what model, make, mileage, etc. I should expect to get within that price range. I'm ideally looking for a car that is sturdy, durable and will last a while. I can't drive manual so it has to be automatic. It'll mainly be for commuting to and from school and work as well as the occasional road trip. I prefer 2 door cars or 4 door trucks. Any advice and/or suggestions are welcome, thanks in advance!
    what are your other requirements? where do you live?

    there's a pretty big difference between a 2-door car and a 4-door truck - why those two?

    what other cars have you seen that you like?

    alasdair
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    #5
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    Get a used Honda or Toyota sedan/coupe. Sturdy, sensible, easy to maintain.
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    #6
    Bluelighter JoeTheStoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttynutskin View Post
    I'd get something used honestly and hang on to the rest of your money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Felonious Monk View Post
    Get a used Honda or Toyota sedan/coupe. Sturdy, sensible, easy to maintain.
    ^ this

    i was juggin outta honda for like a decade. 94 accord coupe, damn i loved that whip. like the felon says, sensible and reliable. anyone who says to spend all your cash on a new whip is foolish.

    and peep https://www.reddit.com/r/whatcarshouldIbuy/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/whatcarshou...under_15k_usd/
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    #7
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    Though I would also say consider a Prius. I drive an electric car now and have enjoyed the experience, but a Prius would have been the best of both worlds. You can get a relatively new C within your price range (the C is the smallest one, like 50+mpg).
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Felonious Monk View Post
    Get a used Honda or Toyota sedan/coupe. Sturdy, sensible, easy to maintain.
    Yep. Mazda works, too.
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    #9
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    I too go with the "used" option. You can get something just a few years old under $10,000. A lot of dealerships offer good deals on formerly leased cars

    The reason I say not to waste your money going "new" is because the initial depreciation is absurd. You lose so much value in that first year. Even just driving a new car off the lot--takes off thousands in resale value


    Cars that are only a few years old often still have the factory warranty in effect. I would look for something low mileage, still on warranty, and reliable. You got some good options from others

    Just saying, I bought a 2007 PT cruiser for $2000 a few months ago, with low mileage and was a one owner car. There is no way you need to spend $15,000 to get a decent car. Obviously, you have more $ to work with, but I saw many many good cars less than 5 yrs old for $10,000 and under.


    Plus, your insurance will be lower with a used car...
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    #10
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    You could also easily get a nice sports car with that amount. Almost any past gen Miata, S2000, Nissan Skyline, Cosworth Mercedes, SRT Chrysler 300, certain Porsches, Dodge Challenger RT. Those would be some of my considerations with $15k
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    #11
    I must admit being envious of your car prices in the states.
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    #12
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    I'm going to chime in and third or fourth the opinion that you should buy used, Cars lose so much value the first inch you drive them off the lot. I've driven Subarus, Hondas and Volvos--all old, all easily capable of going up to 250,000 miles. I just gave my old Honda to my mom because she is 87, hers broke down and I figure that my car only had a couple years left and I'm praying she will feel done with driving in two years. I'm hoping to find another used one myself but haven't found it yet.

    Congratulations on saving your money--that is great! No matter what you decide that is a good amount to have. If you go used, you could get a great car for 10K and take a luxury road trip (+ a few more trips!) with the money.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSacredTree View Post
    You could also easily get a nice sports car with that amount. Almost any past gen Miata, S2000, Nissan Skyline, Cosworth Mercedes, SRT Chrysler 300, certain Porsches, Dodge Challenger RT. Those would be some of my considerations with $15k
    Man I would love a skyline, but aren't they are illegal unless they are 20 years old. I would get a 370z or a stang and do an drop on it. IMO
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    #14
    Bluelighter protovack's Avatar
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    Don't listen to the people telling you to buy used. You only buy used if its your only option and you only have a little cash with no stable income.

    You have 15k saved up, more than enough for a solid down payment on a new car. As long as you have a job and can afford payments, you should definitely buy a new car. For your money, you will buy yourself a car with 0 miles, a warranty and a virtual guarantee of not having to worry about car-related stuff for at least 3-5 years. That is extremely valuable. Unless you like going to the repair shop and buying car parts, I suppose.

    It really just depends on what you need it for. Just commuting to school and work? Get something smaller and fuel efficient. Lot's of small crossovers and hatchbacks out there.

    Seriously, don't let the supposed "depreciation" deter you. People who say that are not factoring in the value of getting a car with zero miles and a warranty. As someone who bought multiple used cars over the years, because I only ever wanted to spend "$5000", guess what, I did that about 4-5 times before I finally decided, wtf am I doing? Why didn't I just buy one nice car to start with and just keep it till it dies?
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    #15
    Yeah car payments really aren't that unmanageable

    Everyone likes to think they'll just get someone they know to fix their used car real cheap for them when it needs maintenance but then they realize that parts still cost money and your friend doesn't like you enough to do you any favors when your PT Cruiser needs to be worked on for the third time in two weeks

    and I get it, there's something about owning a vehicle paid off that is cool, and if you total it then no big deal.
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    #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by protovack View Post
    Don't listen to the people telling you to buy used. You only buy used if its your only option and you only have a little cash with no stable income.

    You have 15k saved up, more than enough for a solid down payment on a new car. As long as you have a job and can afford payments, you should definitely buy a new car. For your money, you will buy yourself a car with 0 miles, a warranty and a virtual guarantee of not having to worry about car-related stuff for at least 3-5 years. That is extremely valuable. Unless you like going to the repair shop and buying car parts, I suppose.

    It really just depends on what you need it for. Just commuting to school and work? Get something smaller and fuel efficient. Lot's of small crossovers and hatchbacks out there.

    Seriously, don't let the supposed "depreciation" deter you. People who say that are not factoring in the value of getting a car with zero miles and a warranty. As someone who bought multiple used cars over the years, because I only ever wanted to spend "$5000", guess what, I did that about 4-5 times before I finally decided, wtf am I doing? Why didn't I just buy one nice car to start with and just keep it till it dies?
    there are costs and benefits to both approaches and neither is objectively 'better' than the other.

    he explicitly said "It'll mainly be for commuting to and from school..." so it's possible he doesn't have a job and can't afford car payments*

    alasdair

    * i appreciate that you did say "As long as..."
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    #17
    it indeed is situational. i just bought a car new. i plan on driving it into the ground. with that in mind, i determined it would be silly to buy used and sell the best few ten-thousand miles of my car before even receiving it. also, used would have limited me to the 2016 model, and the 2017 is the next generation.

    i really second guessed that decision while crunching the numbers again and again, because i too have heard lightly used is the way to buy all my life.

    lightly (about 20 - 40k miles) used might be the way to go for a first car though. especially if $15k is your budget, not your down payment.

    you can get insane deals on craigslist, but they're often money pits. don't get suckered into a $15k beamer (the three repairs you incur in the first year are a few grand each). that's how we sell all of our cars. on craigslist for dirt cheap. my family does not sell a car until it's done. we're honest and people still buy them. makes no sense. and i imagine not everyone will tell you, "this car is garbage and i'm selling it because it constantly breaks down," as you're trying to buy it. careful about that. also, sometimes it's a dealer buying that money pit of a car from us to pass it on. do NOT buy a heavily used car.
    Last edited by hydroazuanacaine; 03-01-2017 at 22:15.
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    #18
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    I would suggest a late model used Toyota Corolla. They are very reliable cars. I have had a 2000 model and upgraded from that to a 2012 model in 2014.

    Very good reliable easy to maintain car that gets really good mileage. Its a popular car and parts are easy. Servicing is easy.

    Get a used car that is within your saved money and font get a car loan. They are a waste of money as cars devalue as soon as you buy it snd its very hard to save for future things when paying off a loan.
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    #19
    Bluelight Crew tathra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protovack View Post
    For your money, you will buy yourself a car with 0 miles, a warranty and a virtual guarantee of not having to worry about car-related stuff for at least 3-5 years. That is extremely valuable. Unless you like going to the repair shop and buying car parts, I suppose.
    you can get all that from a car thats a couple years old too, for like half the cost. i've had 3 used cars so far* and none of them ever needed to go to the shop except when it was my own fault from fucking up extremely bad, never had one break down on its own from a situation that wouldn't also cause a brand new car to break down. "Used" does not mean "junker". if you get a car that's about 4 years older than brand new they're usually just as good as new for practically half the price.\

    * 2002 toyota corolla bought in 2005, worked perfectly with very little maintenance until my ex crashed it in 2010 and we got rid of it. next was a 2000 hyundai elantra, which i got when i slid on ice in 2009ish and put the corolla out of commission for a while, worked great for as long as i had it. current car is a 2012 kia optima bought last year, again very little maintenance needed and runs like a dream. there is a LOT in between "brand new" and "junker", and those 2 extremes are what you want to avoid. a nice used car will last you a long time with only basic maintenance.
    Last edited by tathra; 04-01-2017 at 19:11.
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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tathra View Post
    you can get all that from a car thats a couple years old too, for like half the cost. i've had 3 used cars so far* and none of them ever needed to go to the shop except when it was my own fault from fucking up extremely bad, never had one break down on its own from a situation that wouldn't also cause a brand new car to break down. "Used" does not mean "junker". if you get a car that's about 4 years older than brand new they're usually just as good as new for practically half the price.\
    yep. and, in general, you'll still be covered by things like general factory warranty and/or powertrain warranty.

    alasdair
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    #21
    i imagine used is the way to go more often than not, but a four-year-old car is not good as new. it's easier to go by miles/kilometers, but, at four years, on average, the best of the car's life is behind it (as in best drive, lowest probability of needing repairs) and it only has about 2/3rds of its total life left before it's worth parts or whatever you can write it off at. there's a reason cars rapidly lose value.

    and you're not often going to be covered by a factory warranty much past four years out.


    relevant reading: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2...-own/index.htm

    the average model in our study costs almost twice as much to own the first year as it does the second year.
    if you can afford it, lightly used.
    Last edited by hydroazuanacaine; 05-01-2017 at 00:15.
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    #22
    Bluelighter queenbee1127's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the cost of insurance! Full coverage on a new car is going to be WAYYYYY more expensive than liability only or even full coverage on an older car. People always forget about this part! Can take your $250/month car payment to $400+ real easy.

    I agree with going used. Your car loses SO much value the minute you drive it off the lot. If you do go the used route, take it to a third party mechanic you trust - do NOT trust the dealership/seller and their 'maintenance' records. I have had more friends than I care to admit trust these types of things and three weeks later they are replacing brakes/radiator/etc...
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    #23
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    Most people who trade in their new cars do so after 3-4 years because thats about when maintenance costs begin--tires and brakes for starters. Most of those people are also "hard drivers". Sure you can find a cheap car. But youre going to be buying a set of tires and brakes in the next year or two guaranteed. And you never know how they treated the car.
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    #24
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    Honda Civics and Honda Accords both have great reputations as being reliable, and nearly guaranteed to last 300k or greater, if maintained properly.
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by queenbee1127 View Post
    If you do go the used route, take it to a third party mechanic you trust
    This... Or you could also take someone who knows about cars with you when you go check it out.
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