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Old 02-08-2012, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice on buying (old/medium/new)

Probably getting a new car, have about $5000 in the bank, can pull more from stocks but would prefer not to. Seems like the used car market is still awfully high, so I'm tempted to think about buying new. What seems like the best of these options to you guys?

1. Old combustion
People are asking about $3,000 for old HXs with 150,000 miles or more.

2. Old hybrid
Found an old Insight with only 50,000 miles but it's $10,000

3. New cheapie
New small car (accent/rio/fiesta/etc) can be had for $13-14,000 base. Not THAT much more than the insight, and the Korean makes have great warranties.

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Old 02-08-2012, 11:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How are your mechanic skills? How long do you plan on keeping the car? How important is mileage to you?

You can get decent "old combustion" stuff pretty cheap. I picked up my 1998 SL2 for a relatively high $3000. Its got leather, sunroof, etc. and is great condition. It had 100k miles on it. I enjoy buying things in this range as I can sell them in a year or two after driving 30 or 40k miles and the depreciation hit is very minimal (and sometimes zero). Also the required maintenance is still pretty low.

That said, if I planned on keeping a car longer than 3 or 4 years (which is very hard for me to do), I'd snag a used Prius as the money saved on gas would be enough to offset the depreciation and higher purchase price.

Finally, if I had zero mechanical skills, I wouldn't fault anyone for buying a new car for $13K that they are guaranteed to have no problems with. Those first 100K warrantied miles cost about 10 cents a mile more.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDarwin View Post
How are your mechanic skills? How long do you plan on keeping the car? How important is mileage to you?

You can get decent "old combustion" stuff pretty cheap. I picked up my 1998 SL2 for a relatively high $3000. Its got leather, sunroof, etc. and is great condition. It had 100k miles on it. I enjoy buying things in this range as I can sell them in a year or two after driving 30 or 40k miles and the depreciation hit is very minimal (and sometimes zero). Also the required maintenance is still pretty low.

That said, if I planned on keeping a car longer than 3 or 4 years (which is very hard for me to do), I'd snag a used Prius as the money saved on gas would be enough to offset the depreciation and higher purchase price.

Finally, if I had zero mechanical skills, I wouldn't fault anyone for buying a new car for $13K that they are guaranteed to have no problems with. Those first 100K warrantied miles cost about 10 cents a mile more.
All I've technically done at this point is change oil, change tires, that sort of thing. I'm a good learner, but if I can't find detailed info on how to do something I probably won't be messing with it.

I don't really have a strong preference for how long I want to keep the vehicle.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know this might push you a bit more upmarket, but the pricing and epa numbers on the Prius C just came out. 2012 Prius c Specifications - CleanMPG Forums Wayne saw some pretty awesome numbers on an all highway trip.

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justjohn View Post
3. New cheapie
New small car (accent/rio/fiesta/etc) can be had for $13-14,000 base. Not THAT much more than the insight, and the Korean makes have great warranties.
How about a 2nd hand new cheapie with long, transferable warranty on it
Buy it with 1 to 2 years behind it.
The first owner will have absorbed the major loss.
You'll get a cleaner, likely even safer car than when getting an old clunker.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would love to do that, but the Accent only started posting the impressive MPG numbers in the 2012 model. The Fiesta I *might* find, but even that I kind of doubt.

As for the Prius, that would have to wait until I get a better job or at least make a couple really good picks in the stock market.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will never understand soliciting "what car should I get" advice online. Don't you know what you want? You know everyone is going to recommend what they are driving.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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5 grand buys 5 geo metro s

5 grand will buy 5 geo metros
or 1
with 4 grand leftover for whatever

or you could pay 20 grand for a new econobox
that does not equal the geo metro's fuel economy

or
20 geo metros


Last edited by mwebb; 02-09-2012 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: and , geo metros are chick magnets
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