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View Poll Results: Would you buy a basic $5000 car?
In a heartbeat 3 6.67%
Yes, but only if it was dependable 9 20.00%
Yes, but only if it had a tiny engine and manual trans 8 17.78%
Depends, not sure, maybe 12 26.67%
No, it would probably be a rolling piece of junk 3 6.67%
No (other) 10 22.22%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-07-2015, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A lot of good points. About confirms my suspicions. There is not much of a demand for a "basic cheap car". There are laws that keep the price high (safety and emissions). There is also the issue with quality.

I for one wouldn't have a problem spending $10,000 for a good and dependable new car if I knew it would make it to at least 300,000 miles without major issues. I'm already aware of the near instant depreciation of brand new cars, however those who buy such cars brand new may drive them 100,000 miles without doing any maintenance to them. That will of course shorten the overall life of the car. There are times when buying NEW can be a good idea. The extra cost could be repaid with a longer vehicle life. The issue for me (and probably many) is the really high cost of a new car. $15,000 can buy just about any reasonably decent small car in the USA (and new cars don't generally seem that small anymore). $25,000 can buy a reasonably decent new truck. However I would probably suffer a great deal of stress handing over $15,000 of my money to a company for.. a car. The closest to new I've ever owned is the Red Bean. Fourteen years old and just under 140,000 miles. The oldest I've owned was thirty eight years old with unknown miles (an old pickup truck).

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Old 07-07-2015, 01:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePrudentNinja View Post
Never seen a $20K vehicle sell for $5K within a few years. Usually seems to take a decade...
That's what I meant by "a few". I suppose it's a matter of perspective, since my two autos are 15 and 27 years old :-)
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Contrary to everything said so far, IMHO two things account for it:
  • The dollar buys 1/10th what it did in the 40s and 1/5th what it did in the 60s, when the Beetle was 'under $2000 again'
  • Speed (with safety) costs money. How fast do you want to go. Faster than these folk?


Edit: I voted No (Other). You need a choice for 'Yes, but only if it had a 10Krpm single speed motor-generator'. That would've gotten my vote.

Quote:
However I would probably suffer a great deal of stress handing over $15,000 of my money to a company for.. a car.
The best deal right now is 2nd-hand Leafs. They're $9K and under. What's happened is the battery's warranty period is conservative, they are lasting longer that anyone expected. But the public perception is that you could get stuck buying new batteries so they're not getting much on the used market. And new ones sales will slow because of the depreciation hit.

So the best deal now is to lease for 2 years (for as little as $100/month) and then walk away. All according to EVTV. Hey, they should have a new episode up!

Last edited by freebeard; 07-07-2015 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The cheapest and maybe the only way to meet safety and emissions requirements is with fancy electronics.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Here's an example of what you describe. The first car to market with electronic fuel injection; the 1971 VW Type III Squareback.



This is exactly like what I was driving until mine got rear-ended and totaled. On the lot for 'months', it's down to $4995 (who knows how much Bondo under that re-spray). I should take a job to buy that car.

It's about half-way between a Porsche and a panel truck; they don't make 'em like that anymore.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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We had members discussing what they would do if they had the money to purchase a used Tesla. I could not imagine. Well, if I could afford a $5,000 new car, I would fix a few things on my Civic, pay off my credit card, and try to forget about the rest.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Here's an example of what you describe. The first car to market with electronic fuel injection; the 1971 VW Type III Squareback.
But maybe the price reflects classic/antique value? You could try visiting your local Craigslist auto section. Entering a $5000 max price will likely find you lots of Hondas and Toyotas.
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
You could try visiting your local Craigslist auto section. Entering a $5000 max price will likely find you lots of Hondas and Toyotas.
Depends on the area it seems. In my area most cars on Craigslist under $5000 are domestic cars with serious issues. On occasion you will find a diamond in the rough but rarely. I've had better luck just asking around, driving around looking, and such. The last three cars I've had were not found online. The rolling turd was sold to me from a family member who obtained it from an estate auction. The Honda was a sort of hand me down. The Red Bean was purchased from another family member who purchased it from a neighbor who was both moving and "upgrading". Seems the best deals on used cars require a network of people who all have their eyes and ears open. The Rolling Turd and Red Bean were offered to me because I was asking around the family (and family members like to talk to each other). I let it be known I was looking for such and such and since they could potentially benefit from helping me, it was a win win for them to keep an eye out. However, in my situation, the two family members also sold cars as a business so had the experience and knowledge to find decent used diamonds in the rough.

The rolling turd set me back $1000. The Honda set me back $0. The Red Bean set me back $650. The rolling turn was in active use for about two to three years. The Honda has yet to be put in use. The Red Bean is not technically in use yet since there is paperwork that needs to be done which is taking a little longer than expected. For $650, if I used Craigslist in this area, I would only find essentially "junk cars" that need extensive repairs. For $1000, I might could find a few junkers that at least run and drive, but they probably wouldn't for long before you would have to sink more money into them. For the $5000 mark, you have a much better chance at finding something decent but you still have to wade through a bunch of crap first. When you are a buyer, every sellers car is gold. When you are a seller, every buyer sees your car as junk.

That "Cash for Clunkers" thing ruined the used car market by taking so many decent used cars off the market for good. Right after, the used car market here dried up and only the junkiest of cars seemed to remain. Since then there are more and more modern used cars for sale but modern cars tend to have some seriously expensive issues with age.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Get a Toyota Echo, they come stripped without air, no power steering, crank up windows.

http://wilmington.craigslist.org/cto/5111910571.html

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Old 07-08-2015, 05:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I put no, other.

Being 6'4" 250lbs and 18" wide at the shoulder micro cars are rather uncomfortable.

My pickup is pretty basic, AM/FM Cassette, AC, manual everything else. Though even then it was $17,000 back in 99, and I barely fit comfortably. It has been a very good little truck, and well worth the money I spent on it.

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