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ebacherville 06-22-2009 04:32 PM

Government 4500 cash for clunkers.. what to get
 
OK folks the wife's aging mini van qualifies for this bill, the government will give me $4500 of my stolen tax money back when I upgrade to a new fuel efficient car.. see NHTSA.gov - CARS - Car Allowance Rebate System

I want to make our investment as little as posable and stretch this money as much as posable, we will run this car into the ground .. as we do with most cars we own..

So my choices are the Kia Rio , the Nissan Versa , the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris.. all four doors.. The honda fit is nice but a bit to rich for my blood.

The Honda fit is a bit to high of a price.. we'd like to stay under $13,000 Ideally the less the better..

We owned a 2002 Accent base model, and sold it to a friend when we had a kid, it was a 2 door.. not ideal for infants.. We did like that car.. was small but comfortable and efficient.

Were talking a base model car here not even air is needed as a option.. the Versa looks like it takes areo mods really well, and if we can find a base model , were talking 5500 bucks for a new car for the versa..

However the Hyundai and Rio's are tempting since they warranty the drive train for 10/100.. And surprisingly the Hyundai and Rio are rated up there with toyota for reliability now.

Your thoughts and ideas? Did I miss any sub 13k cars on the market?

P.S. the Areo-CRX is still going strong.. Im redoing the nose.. snow drifts and curbs got the best of it this winter.. :(

Blue Bomber Man 06-22-2009 06:13 PM

My roommate drives 2009 Yaris, no mods. Him and I competed a month ago on a road trip to see who would get the best mileage. I came in at 48 mpg (all highway miles). He does have a Scangauge though.

From my experience he has had no issues with it, and it is well built.

If you are willing to pony up more the Honda Insight is rated at like 42 mpg stock but that most test drivers see 50+ mpg without really trying. The Jetta TDI is a superb car that is rated at 58 mpg if you dont mind getting diesel gas (could brew biodiesel as well!)

Rough base prices (not looking these up)

Yaris: 12.9k
Insight: 19k
Jetta TDI: 22k

If I was to buy a car right now, I personally would get a TDI. But alas I am poor and refuse to buy a new car until a suitable electric, or perhaps series hybrid is available.

Goodluck, and I hope you and your wife enjoy whatever you get!

hyperyaris 06-22-2009 06:32 PM

New Prius...that almost makes up for the difference in price between that an Yaris..ok not really, but it helps lol

ebacherville 06-22-2009 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Bomber Man (Post 111542)

If I was to buy a car right now, I personally would get a TDI. But alas I am poor and refuse to buy a new car until a suitable electric, or perhaps series hybrid is available.

Goodluck, and I hope you and your wife enjoy whatever you get!

YEah Id love a diesel, so would my wife, we actually had a old benz diesel.. but even at 17k with the 4500 discount , the payments arn't to my liking were trying to get free of debt.. instead of create more, but this is a no brainer as the van is rusting badly in the unibody and there is no way in heck we would ever get 4500 for it as a trade in on any car.. more like 1000-1300 if we were lucky. we only paid 2k for it years ago so were going to make out like a bandit.

It's very tempting however, as Im a diesel/veggie nut, I have a truck on veg.. The Honda Fit is also tempting since hondas usually are very very very reliable..

In reality we could afford allot more but were looking at this as a way to gain a crap-load of equity (if you can say that about cars ever) and get better MPG for little cost to us.

Basically this is a chance to get a 100% new car for the cost of a 3 year old car.. because we'd mostly likely have to replace this one soon anyway. and would end up buying a used subcompact anyway..

If Obama wants to pay me $4500 for a $1000 car.. if I get a fuel efficient one.. he's a fool, but ill take that deal..

Blue Bomber Man 06-22-2009 06:55 PM

If you have enough mileage a year I imagine that a 60% increase in fuel economy might even pay for the difference. Also keep in mind, the TDI will perform much better, and will do significantly better in a crash. But then again, the TDI will cost twice as much as a Yaris/Fit after the discount price. On a side note, I thought the requirement for the rebate was both better fuel economy and the car had to be so many years old. I guess I'll have to take a look at the site that covers the requirements.

tasdrouille 06-22-2009 07:10 PM

With the current rebate at Hyundai the Elantra GLS is $12,120. You might want to give it a test drive. If you look at the fuel log I have for this car, my wife as been driving it exclusively since last summer and she's no hypermiler. Look at last summer tanks to see what's possible on the highway during the summer.

SVOboy 06-22-2009 11:33 PM

I would get either the Yaris or the Fit

EDIT: tell honda you are spending the rebate and dont want to blow more than X money and see if they will come down on the price

hyperyaris 06-23-2009 12:13 AM

The Prius gets better mileage than the Insight, and Honda and Toyota are almost tied for first place in reliability.

ebacherville 06-23-2009 12:16 AM

YEah the honda really makes me itch.. the fit is a very nice machine.. The one equipment for the rebate to get the full 4500 is it must get a epa combined average of 10mpg more, so it needs a epa average of 28 or more to work for out epa average 18mpg minivan.

Most will meat these requirements in the sub compact class..

The wife and I discussed this in depth tonight, were going to take a trip to check out the honda nissan toyota hyundai and kia offerings this weekend .. we may check out the chevy Aveo, but I have mainly heard bad stuff about them.. (plus I'm not to fond of buying a car from a company that totally bankrupt, ford isn't priced aggressively enough.. crysler, bankrupt and they dont have a model that will average 28mpg epa average.

Then again these car sales places may be really itching for sales now.. well see what they do.. when we offer them our business.

We know the lowest cost vehicle is going to be the Versa, were going to to start there and work our way up to the honda and compare them to that and see what we like better as we go up the ladder, We have always preferred the "base" model cars over the decked out ones.. less to go wrong and usually easier to do our own maintenance etc.. Even my colorado pickup truck has the rubber work truck floor..

We recently drove some higher class cars, like the Mercury Milan for a extended period of time, CHevy cobalt etc, it was a nice roomy car, drove well and got better than expected milage for its size, but wasn't worth 23k+

As for the honda fit , were going to check that out and hold the rest to that standard.. hardest part is comparing apples to apples , most dealerships don't stock base models with little to no options.. and thats what were looking for. We'll see what we can find.

ebacherville 06-23-2009 12:48 AM

One note on hybrids.. the battery packs on these are something I have hope for and fear..

The HOpe , in a few years youll be able to get larger capacity packs made with newer technologies that provide more power etc.. making your mpg get better..

The fear, these packs aren't cheap.. the cost of a MAJOR mechanical problem.. like a engine failure.. if in 5 years it fails. ill have one hell of a repair cost.. even though the gas engine has many more miles of life in it.. IM in MN and know what the weather can do to batteries up here.. we go from 100 degrees with 95%+ humidity to -50 and bone dry up here..

The batteries in these hybrids, they have a life span.. they will not outlast the engine.. but could be down the road a easy way to increase there mpg or even add plug in hybrid capabilities.

The big unknown here is fuel prices, if gas goes to $6 a hybrid may make up the added 15-20mpg in the initial purchace but at $4 a gallon the car would need 250k on it to make up that added increase, and thats doesn't include the cost of new battery packs ect.

Again thats always the gamble.. However I know I can get better than the EPA rated milage just by driving like a sane person.. every road we drive on is 55mph and not alot of city driving, I see getting over 40 mpg out of any of the subcompacts easily, add a few areo mods and some added air in the tires and we should be in the near hybrid area, for little cost. Sure I could get 60 mpg in a Insight.. but the balance between investment and gains is far lower at that figure than 20mpg to 40mpg.. Even at gas at a insane $10 a gallon it would take 2 years to make up the added $10,000 of a hybrid. At the highs of last year.. at 4 a gallon.. were talking 100,000 miles worth of gas.. 5 years at 20k miles a year... at todays prices of 2.60 a gallon were talking 7-8 years.. to pay for that extra 10k to get a hybrid... Hybrids are nice but unless your driving 30-40k a year.. they still don't add up.. if you are putting loads of miles on or in a "fleet" situation yeah they make sense. Or if you only drive in the city and do loads of miles like a Taxi.. yeah they make sence there too..

Every ones situation is different but for us its all country roads, all low speed (55mph) and not a ton of miles.. we usually do 12-15k a year, and I used 20k a year as a heavily used car for us, my new colorado pickup is 4 years old and has 21k on it.. (and totally paid for) but we don't commute daily in it all the time, the CRX gets the nod most f the time unless I need to haul some big stuff..

I just don't see the hybrid making sense for us unless gas goes to some really outrageous numbers.. if thats the case.. I'll drive at 40 instead of 55.. get some better mpg's, thats should not be a issue as every one else will be not diving as they cant afford to put gas in there 23 mpg average american cars.

chuckm 06-23-2009 04:38 PM

If you are trying to get out of debt (and I'm a Dave Ramsey fan), then the $4500 rebate still doesn't make for a great deal. Either keep the old clunker clunking or swap it for a $3,000 used car. I got my Corolla for about $3200 last year, just as gas was hitting $4/gal. I'm debt free except for my house and I'll stay that way by never buying a new car until I'm a cash millionaire.

Southcross 06-23-2009 04:57 PM

Quote:

Even at gas at a insane $10 a gallon it would take 2 years to make up the added $10,000 of a hybrid. At the highs of last year.. at 4 a gallon.. were talking 100,000 miles worth of gas.. 5 years at 20k miles a year... at todays prices of 2.60 a gallon were talking 7-8 years.. to pay for that extra 10k to get a hybrid... Hybrids are nice but unless your driving 30-40k a year.. they still don't add up..
yay! someone else that can do the math... I forget who I always quote "A Hybred is an economy car for people who can't do math"

Until the "bill" includes: $4500, and a government subsidized car loan... I'll stick with my beat up 30+mpg rabbit

joey 06-23-2009 05:42 PM

As I said in a different thread, it depends on whether you prioritize FE or total cost. If you prioritize total cost, a new car should *never* be on the radar, no matter how many carrots the government or car dealerships offer. There are many used and reliable cars that can deliver 40+ with normal driving for well under $10,000. The hybrid tax is fool's gold, of course, but it's amazing how many understand that non-hybrids are far better values than hybrids, yet completely miss the boat on how used vehicles are far better values than new ones.

joey 06-23-2009 06:00 PM

As an example, my Taurus cost $2000, and I can reliably squeeze 30+mpg highway out of it (EPA highway rating is 26). The cheapest new cars you mentioned start around $14,000 off the lot, which leaves someone with a $2000 car with $12,000 extra to play with. At $2.60/gal gas, I get to drive 138,000+ miles before my purchase and fuel costs even catch up to (never mind exceed) what it cost you just to drive that Fit/Yaris/Rio away from the dealer. This doesn't even begin to take in the astronomical costs of insuring a brand new car compared to a 5-or 10-year old one, or the fuel you need to start paying for once the car is yours.

Factoring in insurance, maintenance, and fuel, the crossover point (where a new car achieves a lower cost than a low-priced used car) may not be reached for more than 300,000 miles--by which point, most drivers will be looking for a different vehicle anyway. If the mpg difference is slight, or if the purchase cost discrepancy is extreme (hello hybrid tax!), it's highly probable the crossover point will never be reached. There are very few fiscally prudent reasons to buy a new car, and the government cashback offer isn't an exception to the rule. I'd strongly advise you to focus on sub-$5,000 used cars and spend some time looking around. You don't have to choose between price, fuel economy, and reliability; it's very possible to have all three.

Southcross 06-23-2009 06:23 PM

I agree... If I'm planning to buy a "new" car, I definately want the most fuel efficient for the dollar as well as a $4500 incentive is nice too...

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey (Post 111770)
Factoring in insurance, maintenance, and fuel, the crossover point (where a new car achieves a lower cost than a low-priced used car) may not be reached for more than 300,000 miles--by which point, most drivers will be looking for a different vehicle anyway.

Considering I average only like 4,200 miles a year in my daily driver (lets round up to 5k miles)... it would take me 60 years to break even :laugh:

Vwbeamer 06-23-2009 09:17 PM

1. You sux :) LOL, I wanted to trade my truck, but it's too old.:confused:..man, i wanted that 4500 bad!!!!:mad:

2. The TDi holds it value very well.

3. Most people hate them or love them, but the Chevy HHR are pretty nice little vans. They go as low as 16000 new. And they get good gas mileage to be so roomy.

4. the KIA soul is a nice little car.

I would suggest driving the HHR, the Honda and the Kia soul.

Don't drive a VW, you will end up buying it once you feel all that mad torque...LOL

The Atomic Ass 06-23-2009 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ebacherville (Post 111642)
One note on hybrids.. the battery packs on these are something I have hope for and fear..

The HOpe , in a few years youll be able to get larger capacity packs made with newer technologies that provide more power etc.. making your mpg get better..

The fear, these packs aren't cheap.. the cost of a MAJOR mechanical problem.. like a engine failure.. if in 5 years it fails. ill have one hell of a repair cost.. even though the gas engine has many more miles of life in it.. IM in MN and know what the weather can do to batteries up here.. we go from 100 degrees with 95%+ humidity to -50 and bone dry up here..

The batteries in these hybrids, they have a life span.. they will not outlast the engine.. but could be down the road a easy way to increase there mpg or even add plug in hybrid capabilities.

Consider then, the manufacturers warranty. At least with Toyota's Prius warranty, it goes farther than the drivetrain warranty, oddly enough:

Hybrid-related components for hybrid vehicles are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions warranty. Refer to applicable Owner's Warranty Information booklet for details.

So you'd be covered for 8 years roughly either by mileage or time. In 8 years who knows, you may be able to find plug-in conversions for super-dirt-cheap, and not have to use fossil fuels directly at all. :thumbup:

Also, never say never... We don't know how long GOOD NiMH batteries last yet, as people are still running the factory packs in the few RAV4 EV's running around. Although hybrid packs are smaller and thus subject to much heavier cycling, they could still last as long as 10 years, which for your driving style is still 120-150K miles.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ebacherville (Post 111642)
Every ones situation is different but for us its all country roads, all low speed (55mph) and not a ton of miles.. we usually do 12-15k a year, and I used 20k a year as a heavily used car for us, my new colorado pickup is 4 years old and has 21k on it.. (and totally paid for) but we don't commute daily in it all the time, the CRX gets the nod most f the time unless I need to haul some big stuff..

I just don't see the hybrid making sense for us unless gas goes to some really outrageous numbers.. if thats the case.. I'll drive at 40 instead of 55.. get some better mpg's, thats should not be a issue as every one else will be not diving as they cant afford to put gas in there 23 mpg average american cars.

Even at those low speeds/short distances a hybrid can still make sense. Driven properly it may not be a matter of 15-20mpg, but more like 30-40.

Don't let me try to talk you into something that'll make your checkbook retch, though. :p

brucepick 06-23-2009 10:06 PM

OK, I'll shoot my mouth off a bit.

Remember - with a new car, you end up at the dealership for anything more complicated than changing oil or a bulb. When it does something weird, it's too new, and so smaller shops don't know what to do with it, so you end up a the dealership. Plus, of course you don't want to mess up your warranty. You also need to maintain the nice shiny new appearance of the car so you're now responsible for taking care of all that cosmetic stuff. Been there, done that.

With an 8-10-12 year old car instead, your local independent shops will know how to fix it. Those are the cars those mechanics own and drive.

There are many decent fuel-economical cars you can get for $2000-5000. My 45-mpg Civic HX cost me under $3000, plus about $1000 to straighten up what it needed when I bought it (4 tires, wheel bearing, t'stat, some other things). There are plenty other decent cars in that price range, just go with your preference.

2nd rant, on hybrids and gas prices etc.
Gas prices are only going to go up. Sooner or later.

Hybrid batteries don't worry me. Taxi drivers in NY City and San Francisco are driving Priuses and other hybrids hundreds of thousands of miles per car. Don't you think we'd hear about it if their batteries were failing? Those cabbies push those cars hard and they keep going. It's just a case of fear of something new. Now, a 20-25 mpg car - that's something to be afraid of! Be afraid you won't be able to pay for gas to get to work one day!

Sorry for the rants. It's late, I'm tired.

Live long and prosper.

hyperyaris 06-23-2009 10:10 PM

I do not know about you, but I keep cars for 10 - 15 years. A hybrid minus the $4,500 would be worth it for me.

ebacherville 06-23-2009 11:41 PM

Well were seriously considering the Honda Fit, Rated evry very highly and hondas historically last forever and holde reslae better than most others.. this is my wife's car not mine i have the areo-crx, it turns in 54mpg in the summer..

MY wife is replacing the minivan thats rusting on the unibody, sure we could go get a used car, however i want that $4500 of my tax dollars back if i can get it.

AS for the Hybrid, we could easly afford the payments on even a fully loaded prius, but we don't want to if it doesn't make sense.. Most average drivers are getting 40+ mpg with the base model fit with out trying , my wife can hyper-mile ut not like i can.. she was making my colorado truck get a respectable well above EPA 28mpg, with the scangauge, I could get a round trip of 34.5 mpg..

SO the van we have will need to be replaced.. and in the next year, we have the opportunity to drive a new fit of the lot for about 10k.. THe fits are really nice, very well appointed cars even in the base model trim. and they easily blow away the EPA estimates even in the hands of non hyper-milers.

I checked and Honda does the 8 year battery warrantee also, the added cost of the hybrid would be about $5500 The Insite would be what we would look at for a hybrid.. and we are going to look at them..

The $4500 cash for clunkers program has many rules to qualify, first the traded in vehicle has to be 18mpg or less epa average, has to be newer than 1984 model year.. we meet those qualifications, next the car needs to be registered and in your name for 1 year and insured for that year... my dad missed the qualifications by 2 months on his jeep.. he was going to get a new hybrid.. to get the full $4500 we need to get a car that has a epa average thats 10mpg more than the traded vehicle.. so that puts it at 28mpg for us.. most sub compacts easily qualify.

The one thing we really need in the new car is versitility of a mini van.. sure a sub compact wont do exactly that, but the fit seems to be pretty utilitarian. I can only hope the Insight shares those trates since its based ont he same platform.

Initially wer were thinking go for the lowest cost to use this program but now were thinking, go for the best investment we can get..

We have time to decide this as we wont do this till Aug 1st, but were getting our ducks in a row and nailing down exactly what we want now so we can pounce on it when the time comes.

Were going to look at the honda dealer this weekend and some others.. hopefully do some decent longer test drives.. Ill be sure to report back those findings.. wonder if they would mind jacking in the scan gauge for the test drive :)

joey 06-23-2009 11:55 PM

Ah, that reminds me of something: if you can't afford to buy a car all at once (i.e., with a signed check), you can't really afford the car. At some point in society, people began viewing cars like houses (which merit a thread unto themselves), replete with monthly payments and finance rates. It's bizarre.

There are a lot of things viewed as normal that are wholly abnormal; one of them is buying a car piece by piece and paying extra for the privilege because you can't actually afford to buy the car in one go, but are too (greedy) to buy one within your means.

Simply put, if you can't drive off the lot knowing every part of that car belongs to you, you just bought something beyond your budget, and have signed over years of unnecessary wage labor to the dealership.

hyperyaris 06-24-2009 12:34 AM

I agree, although as a poor person with a job, I could never afford any car, new or used, unless I paid on time. I would have to walk 20 miles every morning and night, which is not reasonable to survive. So I for one am glad to buy certain necessities on time.

P.S. I used to buy cheap, used, old cars for the only money I had all at once. They would drive for a month or two, then have some major failure that I could not afford to fix. So, I would buy another. I once calculated a monthly payment for a new Toyota with how much I was paying by buying clunkers every few months, and the new car was cheaper. Sorry, but some of us are poor and HAVE to pay on time, or else we could not drive, and therefore could not work, and therefore would starve to death and die.

cfg83 06-24-2009 12:41 AM

ebacherville -

I like your thought processes. I think one of the reasons that the Fit/Jazz has been a worldwide hit for Honda is that it serves as a stylish mini-van in a compact footprint.

CarloSW2

hyperyaris 06-24-2009 12:46 AM

Yaris gets better mileage than Fit hehe. Don't shoot me.

cfg83 06-24-2009 01:02 AM

hyperyaris -

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperyaris (Post 111823)
I agree, although as a poor person with a job, I could never afford any car, new or used, unless I paid on time. I would have to walk 20 miles every morning and night, which is not reasonable to survive. So I for one am glad to buy certain necessities on time.

P.S. I used to buy cheap, used, old cars for the only money I had all at once. They would drive for a month or two, then have some major failure that I could not afford to fix. So, I would buy another. I once calculated a monthly payment for a new Toyota with how much I was paying by buying clunkers every few months, and the new car was cheaper. Sorry, but some of us are poor and HAVE to pay on time, or else we could not drive, and therefore could not work, and therefore would starve to death and die.

I hear people saying that "driving is a privilege". But, the economic argument can be made that driving is a *necessity* for making a living. It has been true for me, especially in Los Angeles.

Today a new car is considered second only to a mortgage in terms of "lifetime purchases". This was not always true. You can also use the new car loan to build-up your credit rating.

I've never bought a car with cash. In my life, I've bought two new cars and one used car, all with 60 month loans. Then I make block payments to pay-off the car early (so the bank gets less total interest, hee hee hee). However, if I were to lose my job, I have a low payment. If I then get a lower paying job, I'm still able to make my payment.

CarloSW2

cfg83 06-24-2009 01:43 AM

Hello -

Here is a buying guide :

Cash for Clunkers: Brand-by-Brand Buying Guide

CarloSW2

The Atomic Ass 06-24-2009 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joey (Post 111818)
Ah, that reminds me of something: if you can't afford to buy a car all at once (i.e., with a signed check), you can't really afford the car. At some point in society, people began viewing cars like houses (which merit a thread unto themselves), replete with monthly payments and finance rates. It's bizarre.

Why a signed check? Why not roll into the dealership with a briefcase full of musty dusty twenty dollar bills, some dating back into the 90's?

If you're going to buy in CASH, why not use cash... :D

cfg83 06-24-2009 03:07 AM

The Atomic Ass -

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atomic Ass (Post 111845)
Why a signed check? Why not roll into the dealership with a briefcase full of musty dusty twenty dollar bills, some dating back into the 90's?

If you're going to buy in CASH, why not use cash... :D

When I was buying my first new car (a 2nd gen Honda CRX), they brought in the "closer" to get me to sign on the dotted line. The closer said something like this :

"Look, we really like you. We want to sell you the car. You're not like the other people who come in here with bags of money. You know who I'm talking about. We charge them FULL price, no exceptions!"

What he was talking about was drug money. If he was telling the truth, then he was *boasting* that he was laundering money for drug dealers. I was stunned and too wet behind the ears to get up and walk out the door.

CarloSW2

99LeCouch 06-24-2009 07:41 AM

My fiancee just got an 09 Fit Sport. It's a very nice little car. Well, little on the outside. It feels like a much bigger car when you're driving, until you go to park it.

Talk about roomy, it only gives up ~10 cubic feet of space to my Buick for interior volume. And the back seats are super-easy to use.

She really likes it, and it's impressed me for sheer utility, driving fun, and gas mileage without trying. I got 42 MPG on a highway stretch when the car had 600 miles on the odo. That figure will only get better with time.

KJSatz 06-24-2009 11:15 AM

I'd probably get the Yaris...I love the Fit and Civic though.

chuckm 06-24-2009 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperyaris (Post 111823)
P.S. I used to buy cheap, used, old cars for the only money I had all at once. They would drive for a month or two, then have some major failure that I could not afford to fix. So, I would buy another. I once calculated a monthly payment for a new Toyota with how much I was paying by buying clunkers every few months, and the new car was cheaper. Sorry, but some of us are poor and HAVE to pay on time, or else we could not drive, and therefore could not work, and therefore would starve to death and die.

And from cfg83:
Quote:

I've never bought a car with cash. In my life, I've bought two new cars and one used car, all with 60 month loans. Then I make block payments to pay-off the car early (so the bank gets less total interest, hee hee hee). However, if I were to lose my job, I have a low payment. If I then get a lower paying job, I'm still able to make my payment.
So far, I've bought only one car on payments. The first car I bought was an '81 Corolla. I bought it in 2000 for $200 cash. It shook like a wet dog at any speed over 60mph. Over the next year and half, I replaced a starter, alternator and battery, water pump, and head gasket. In each case, I was replacing original parts... not bad for a 20 year old vehicle with around 250,000 miles. Total repairs cost me around $450, doing the work myself (except machining the cylinder head). I then bought my only payment car: an '01 Alero. No major issues, just replaced a battery. I sold it in '04 when I was given a 95 Taurus and thinking about starting a family. Only major repair was a blown transmission ($1,200). Sold it in 06 when I decided I wanted a truck (01 Ford Ranger, wrote a check for $6000). No problems. When gas went through the roof last year, we bought my 01 Corolla (wrote a check for ~$3200). No problems. On the wife's side, in '03, we bought my wife an 01 Ford Explorer (wrote a check for ~$10,000). No problems. If I lost my job or took something lower paying, I don't have any payment to worry about.

Hyperyaris, I'm sorry you've gotten burned, but a cash car doesn't necessarily mean clunker. I got slightly burned on a free-to-me Taurus, but hell, the car was free. And new doesn't mean reliable. Afterall, until recently, 3 year / 36,000 mile warranties were the norm. For total cost of ownership, the Alero was, BY FAR, the most expensive. Buying a car for cash isn't easy, $3 - $10k isn't chump change, but we just do something too few Americans know how to do: SAVE. We make a car payment each and every month to ourselves. My wife plans to keep her explorer a total of seven years, paying herself around $175 each month. We sacrifice a lot of little things so that we get out of debt (only the house left!) and never get into debt again.

hyperyaris 06-24-2009 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chuckm (Post 111890)
And from cfg83:

Hyperyaris, I'm sorry you've gotten burned, but a cash car doesn't necessarily mean clunker.

Well, I agree to a point. When you are poor and ALL you have is $300, though, the chances of getting a clunker versus a gem at $300 change drastically lol.

Southcross 06-24-2009 05:49 PM

the "average" person is already in debt to the gills... $10k in CC debt is the national average? The "average" person would have a car that fell into the "$4500 trade-in car" category, that same "average" person probably wouldn't qualify for a car loan for a "new" car that qualifies for the "trade in"... so... the people buying new cars are probably doing so on a "X number of years" rotation and unless the vehicle was beat to death and a SUV... they won't qualify for the trade in. something isn't making the ends come together

now... if the government said they would pay me $4500 in cash (each) for my car(s)... I'll head over to the ol' safety deposit box and grab two of my titles right now

rkcarguy 06-24-2009 08:01 PM

You can't go wrong with a honda, nissan, or toyota, but I'd avoid the others. Hyundai has this warranty that attracts alot of people, but the car is built to fall apart a year after the warranty expires. I used to sell engines, I know this is a fact. I used to get calls all the time for 10-1/2+ year old Hyundai's, Kia's, etc.
My top pick would also be the fit, and then either the Versa or Yari's depending on the deal and which suits you better.

If $10K in credit card debt is average, then someone else has $20k in debt to make up for me:)

theunchosen 06-24-2009 08:34 PM

Fit
 
I would go with the Honda Fit and do as SVO suggested and say you've got this much its from a rebate and if you can't get it for X you'll HAVE to get a Toyota or a Hyundai or a Kia.

Two notes, 1 Hyundai's a reliable but if it breaks parts are somewhat difficult to get your hands on. I was working on one last week and we had to order a part from the dealer and it still took a week to get it(the car rolled out Tuesday after sitting on the lift Monday last week coming down, being rolled out by hand, and lifted again this Monday and staying there till Tuesday afternoon). The second note. . .the Prius is not even close to more FE than the old Insight.

If you are buying new I vote Fit with some negotiations, if you are buying used I would still look at a Fit. If it becomes a possibility the 1st gen Insight is the car to have and the rebate makes it around a 4-6K car. . .

ebacherville 06-24-2009 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cfg83 (Post 111824)
ebacherville -

I like your thought processes. I think one of the reasons that the Fit/Jazz has been a worldwide hit for Honda is that it serves as a stylish mini-van in a compact footprint.

CarloSW2

YEah it does fit that bill, first time i saw it i though it looked like a cros between a toyota "egg" van and a Pontiac transport..

hyperyaris 06-24-2009 09:53 PM

You cannot go wrong with a Yaris. Better mileage than the Fit, and just as reliable.

ebacherville 06-24-2009 09:55 PM

As for the debt/credit issues, Were pretty debt free, Compared to most americans were very debt free.. we do use credit, however I cant remember that last time we didn't pay of a debt early... and we have assets up the wazoo.. real estate in multiple states One property totally debt free the other with under 80k owed, multiple RV's, motorcycles, 2005 truck paid for in full way before scheduled..

Literally I could plop down a the title for the RV and the truck for collateral and get 30k to play with, get a fully loaded Prius if i wanted to.. but as I stated before that just wont pay off.. were looking at the best choice for the lowest cash to utilize this clunkers program.. we were planning on getting a high mpg car to replace the mini van in the future.. like 1 year out , this just gave us the boost to do it now if we can get a new car for the price of a 2 year old car.. seems like a no brainer..

As with hypermileing its making the best with what you have to work with.. and this is the same case, We want to get the best car for the minimum investment..

Right now our two top choices are the Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa.. both have the largest interior space... after all we are replacing a 7 seat minivan.. we never use the 3rd row, but would like as much space as we can get. The Yaris is nice car but its small by comparison..

As for the Hyundai and Rio offerings.. As I stated before we had a 2002 Accent 2 door, I sold it to a buddy when we had our son( not infant friendly) My friend racks up 25k+ a year, still running strong and he's well over 130k now.. The recent offerings from Hyunda are not the like there old ones.. I know they used to be really bad.. Im not scared of Hyundai.. as for Kia.. don't really know but there are owned by Hyundai.

As for negotiation we are going to negotiate the price no matter what car we get, I know exactly what they pay for the cars, including the holdbacks they get from the manufacture. With haggling and shopping the field, I plan to walk out of there paying less than MSRP including the destination tax and title fees. So about 1000 under MSRP.

Do you think a stingy hyper-miler who challenges them selfs to save a few cents in gas would do anything else :)

Allot of the manufactures incentives expire at the end of this month.. 6 days , well see what they offer up for this next quarter.. the quarter that the clunker program covers.. We have heard some murmuring of them plugging the program.. However I don't know how many people are going to qualify , 18mpg average is SUVs, trucks, and a few minivans, and how many of those people are going to give up a truck, or 4wd to take advantage of the program.. And then how many of those people that would like to do it actually could do it.. with the economic issues ect.. I know a couple people that there car would qualify and they need a better car and would love to do it , but they are either not working or have a bankruptcy or a foreclosure and HUGE amounts of debt already.

It will be interesting to see what people do, gas isnt expensive again.. if gas were $4 I could see people downsizing.. at $2.60 people are going to drive there SUVs..

SVOboy 06-24-2009 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hyperyaris (Post 112032)
You cannot go wrong with a Yaris. Better mileage than the Fit, and just as reliable.

Not as cool though!

hyperyaris 06-25-2009 12:26 AM

Why would anyone not get a Prius who could?? Man, they have better mileage than Insights, and are very reliable. I do not understand how rich people operate LOL


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