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Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


Melting Eggs posted:

Proposed Budget: $5,000-$6,000 or less
New or Used: used
Body Style: whatever
How will you be using the car?: daily driver, road trips
What aspects are most important to you? Low TCO (fuel, maintenance, repair, etc.), reliable

Looking at the ~2000 Chevy Prizm. Any other cars worth looking at that fit the above criteria? I know I'm looking for a unicorn of sorts.

I'd suggest expanding your search to include less common reliable small cars like Mazda Protoges. Maybe look at Toyota Echos as well, and hopefully someone here can talk about a reliable Domestic from around 2000 but I can't think of any besides Buicks with the 3800 engine but they will get worse fuel economy. I don't think you're looking for a unicorn, there are a ton of people that want a solid driving appliance around $5k. I'm not sure where the Ford Focus stopped being terrible, but $5-6k would get you into the mid 2000 model years.

Also, if you're willing to pay that much for a Prizm it had better be the nicest Prizm ever seen. My girlfriend bought a '99 Prizm for $1500 about a year ago in pretty good shape, and it's still a gigantic turd because it doesn't even have power locks and has a 3 speed automatic like most of them. The 3 speed auto makes it really lovely on the highway, and it likes to consume oil when you drive at high speeds despite its solid maintenance history.

Twerk from Home fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Aug 31, 2012

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Necc0
Jun 30, 2005

by exmarx


Broken Cake

KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

If you're buying new and you hate salesmen, and you know approximately what you want (in terms of model) email the internet/online sales managers of the dealers in the area, let them know what you want and tell them to make you an offer. Then shop the guys against each other. They'll typically make good, no bullshit offers because a) it's their job to deal with online inquiries and b) you already know what you want, so they don't have to sell you on the car and c) they can move cars pretty quickly without too much trouble.

If you can't get down to a couple hundred over invoice pretty much hassle free, I'd be shocked.

I did this and ended up getting ~$3k off sticker without any haggling. Definitely recommend this route

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Later builds of the first gen Focus are pretty reliable. You might also be able to grab a Chevy Cobalt for that price. The Cobalt is not bad as an appliance but it's not up to the quality of Civic/Corolla etc.

Nissan Sentra around then is a decent value as well.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Success! She's found another car she likes!

loving Mini Coopers.



I hate my life.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Well that's still a big step up in price. But also a lot better car.

See if you can talk her into a Fiat 500...

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Leperflesh posted:

Well that's still a big step up in price. But also a lot better car.

See if you can talk her into a Fiat 500...

I found an '03 Mini automatic with 73K miles for $8K. Still more than I wanted to spend though.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






I thought you were spending her money? Are you seriously buying her a car but letting her dictate which car you buy her?

Does she tell you what to get her for Christmas, too?

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Leperflesh posted:

I thought you were spending her money? Are you seriously buying her a car but letting her dictate which car you buy her?

Does she tell you what to get her for Christmas, too?

She's paying a portion of it but I'll be putting down the bulk of the cash. I also didn't want to finance anything as I'm within a stones throw of being entirely debt free.

Guinness
Sep 15, 2004



At least Mini Coopers are significantly better cars than Beetles. They're not as bulletproof as a Corolla or whatever, but they're also way more fun. A coworker of mine has an 02 or 03 base Cooper that he has been pretty satisfied with and it's near/over 100k with only a couple of relatively minor issues in that span. Just don't get one with an automatic.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Guinness posted:

At least Mini Coopers are significantly better cars than Beetles. They're not as bulletproof as a Corolla or whatever, but they're also way more fun. A coworker of mine has an 02 or 03 base Cooper that he has been pretty satisfied with and it's near/over 100k with only a couple of relatively minor issues in that span. Just don't get one with an automatic.

She can't drive stick. Seriously, I've attempted to teach her numerous times, my father tried to teach her, my sister tried. She just can't do it.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Ok, trying this again now that I've thought about it a little more.

Proposed Budget: Up to $15,000 initially. However this is somewhat flexible and my primary concern is cost over the long run.
New or Used: Either. Whichever is more cost-effective.
Body Style: Compact or Midsize
How will you be using the car?: ~15 mile roundtrip commute. Occaisional weekend trips out of the city
What aspects are most important to you? Cost-effectiveness per year. I'm thinking of a car purchase as being almost entirely a financial decision. I've got some flexbility with up-front costs, but what I really want is low cost over the long run. Whatever car I buy I will drive until the wheels fall off and it catches on fire. So what I'm really trying to figure out is how do I get the lowest number out of (initial cost + repair costs over lifetime) / years I have the car. I'm sure there's no silver bullet here, but I'm interested in any insight. Initially I thought a used car would be best because I thought depreciation takes off thousands in a short period of time, but I'm finding that this is not as much as I hoped.

Besides financials, good manuverability and good visibility would be nice if possible, because this isn't an easy city to drive in.

Thanks for any help!

Agronox
Feb 4, 2005


Weinertron posted:

I would greatly appreciate some new-car buying advice on how people pull off these deals. I previously had thought that economy cars and cars with very few options had less wiggle room on the price, but then my dad picked up a 2013 Kia Soul+ for $1200 under invoice and I have no idea what a good price target is anymore.

I'm doing my best to research, but have no clue how to pick a price target because there's such huge variance. How can you know when it's OK to walk up and offer them 25% under their sticker on it like you did there and when an offer like that will get you laughed out?

There are some good first steps. Check out truecar.com, carsdirect.com, the Edmunds "prices paid" forums, Edmunds incentives page, and cars.com. You want to gauge the market for how hard or soft the model you're looking at is.

From there you can get a sense of what a good deal is on the car.

Then you do what the poster above mentioned, start playing the dealers off of each other. Ideally you can do all of this via email, but I've found that sometimes it's worth going in to local dealers that don't do internet sales and lowballing them with offers that you did find on the net. But make sure they don't waste your time, as they would like to.

Have deep knowledge of what car you want, what incentives are out there, and what other people are paying. That way, while you might not necessarily get a great deal (no one's getting a Fit for $3k under invoice, for instance), at least you'll be sure these assholes don't rip your face off.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

If you're buying new and you hate salesmen, and you know approximately what you want (in terms of model) email the internet/online sales managers of the dealers in the area, let them know what you want and tell them to make you an offer. Then shop the guys against each other. They'll typically make good, no bullshit offers because a) it's their job to deal with online inquiries and b) you already know what you want, so they don't have to sell you on the car and c) they can move cars pretty quickly without too much trouble.

If you can't get down to a couple hundred over invoice pretty much hassle free, I'd be shocked.

Necc0 posted:

I did this and ended up getting ~$3k off sticker without any haggling. Definitely recommend this route

Going off of Agronox, there are definitely floors that dealers won't usually breach so researching the current market for a specific model is a very good idea.

Also, while tales of getting $3k off via playing dealers off one another is a great motivator to try the method, the amount you'll get off greatly depends on how much the initial car is worth. This is why you can routinely hear stories of pick-ups being sold at many thousands below sticker (because the starting price is in the high 20s or low 30s). But a subcompact may not go far beyond a thousand, if that.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




What exactly is an "administrative fee"? I read a site that told me that dealers like to throw in document/ customer service fees that are essentially "free money" for them, is it similar?

Whatever it is, my girlfriend paid $400 for it when she got her car last year. This is in Canada, if that helps.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


Professor Shark posted:

What exactly is an "administrative fee"? I read a site that told me that dealers like to throw in document/ customer service fees that are essentially "free money" for them, is it similar?

Whatever it is, my girlfriend paid $400 for it when she got her car last year. This is in Canada, if that helps.

It's bullshit. When I bought my truck I found a delivery fee on the paperwork before I signed it. A delivery fee on a vehicle that was already on their lot.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Ramrod Hotshot posted:

So what I'm really trying to figure out is how do I get the lowest number out of (initial cost + repair costs over lifetime) / years I have the car. I'm sure there's no silver bullet here, but I'm interested in any insight.

OK, here's an anecdote.

In 2005, I decided to buy a car. Like you, I intended to own it for the entirety of its useful life. I wanted a hatchback. I did some used car shopping and discovered that a Honda or Toyota hatch with reasonably low miles cost almost as much as a new car.

I looked at new cars: Matrix, Scion, Golf... the options for a new hatchback were limited. Ultimately I settled on a Golf - while the reputation for maintenance costs weren't great, it got decent mileage, I loved the interior, and it had by far the best visibility (which was important to me). Best of all I could get one for about $16k.

By buying new, I could be certain that my car was well-maintained. Unlike a new car, I figured there'd be no risk of hidden problems that would be revealed only when it was too late: an abused clutch, a missed oil change, a botched brake job, etc.

So I bought a new Golf, and I paid for it for four years, and I was very happy with my car. Unfortunately, on the 4th of July 2010, while the car was parked out front of my house, a (presumably drunk) driver crashed into it, and then sped away before any witnesses could catch his plate. He was not caught.

Of course I had comprehensive insurance, so I was out my $500 deductible only. Amica gave me a little more than I was expecting - about $10,500 after deductible. For that amount of money, I could replace the car with an equivalent...

...but not really. My car had had synthetic oil of exactly the right (special grade) VW-approved type, changed religiously every 5000 miles. My car had never been abused. My car had flawless paint, an interior I had detailed every three or four months... it was like new inside, even after nearly six years.

I had a hard time finding another 2005 Golf with 50k miles on it. Certainly not another one of the same color, with such good condition. Forget about the price, I could find older ones or not as good ones for $8k or $9k... my car was irreplaceable, basically.

So now I have a used 2003 Protege5, I'm reasonably happy with it, etc. But the point is, I can't really say for certain if it was maintained properly during the first 6 years of its life. It certainly has plenty of dings on the bumpers. But will it live as long as it could, if I'd bought it new? Maybe, maybe not.

The moral of the story is, don't assume that buying a new car is the best financial option "because I'll be able to ensure it is always cared for properly so it will last 300k miles". That's only true if no rear end in a top hat smashes the gently caress out of it and then leaves. You can't guarantee that. Figure the uncertainty of ownership-for-life into your math.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Leperflesh posted:


The moral of the story is, don't assume that buying a new car is the best financial option "because I'll be able to ensure it is always cared for properly so it will last 300k miles". That's only true if no rear end in a top hat smashes the gently caress out of it and then leaves. You can't guarantee that. Figure the uncertainty of ownership-for-life into your math.

Yes, this is probably the number one "con" I have on my list for buying a new car. Something about putting an object I just spent my life savings on into a highly dangerous place (roads) makes me very uncomfortable. Still, it's difficult to weigh such an intangible factor against the potential benefits. Argh.

lol internet.
Sep 4, 2007
the internet makes you stupid

Thought this thread might be a bit relevant to ask my questions:

1. Pros and cons of dealership mechanic vs wal mart mechanic? I was told the transmission and transmission fluid needs to be replaced by the Toyota mechanic.

2. When do you know the transmission needs to be fixed? Is it mileage based?

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

lol internet. posted:

Thought this thread might be a bit relevant to ask my questions:

1. Pros and cons of dealership mechanic vs wal mart mechanic? I was told the transmission and transmission fluid needs to be replaced by the Toyota mechanic.

2. When do you know the transmission needs to be fixed? Is it mileage based?

1) Ignore both and find an independent shop. Check Yelp, ask around (someone you know knows someone who's REALLY into cars), and try a couple of different garages out. You'll be amazed how much better you and your car will be treated by a trustworthy and independent mechanic.

2) Transmission stuff usually revolves around checking the fluid once every great while. If its dirty, it probably just needs changing. If it's dirty far prior to the regular interval, something may be wrong. Anything beyond fluid gets expensive real quick because transmissions are pricey.

It's one of those issues where if it looks like it's going to go south, you just have to wait for it.

Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


lol internet. posted:

Thought this thread might be a bit relevant to ask my questions:

1. Pros and cons of dealership mechanic vs wal mart mechanic? I was told the transmission and transmission fluid needs to be replaced by the Toyota mechanic.

2. When do you know the transmission needs to be fixed? Is it mileage based?

1. Do your best to find an independent mechanic near you. You'll get better results with that than a Walmart or dealership. The dealership shouldn't charge you an excessive amount to drain and fill transmission fluid, though.

2. Your car's manual will have a maintenance schedule in it. If it claims that the transmission fluid is "lifetime", then go ahead and replace it every 60,000 miles anyway. Lifetime ATF doesn't really exist, unless you want the car's "lifetime" to be very short.

Edit: Wait, your transmission needs to be replaced? That's going to be very, very expensive. Good luck. Find an independent mechanic.

remeez
Jan 10, 2007







I have to choose between a 2008 Ford Escape with 76k miles for 13 grand or a 2010 Dodge Charger AWD with 30k miles for 19 grand. I live in New England. Almost everything I read online about the Escape is negative, anyone have some insight?

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




What? Who's making you choose? Those are totally different vehicles.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Thwomp posted:

Going off of Agronox, there are definitely floors that dealers won't usually breach so researching the current market for a specific model is a very good idea.

Also, while tales of getting $3k off via playing dealers off one another is a great motivator to try the method, the amount you'll get off greatly depends on how much the initial car is worth. This is why you can routinely hear stories of pick-ups being sold at many thousands below sticker (because the starting price is in the high 20s or low 30s). But a subcompact may not go far beyond a thousand, if that.

I mean you're not gonna get much below invoice no matter how hard you try unless there's serious incentive cash going to the dealer. This is why I posted Edmunds which includes pretty accurate invoice pricing. Invoice plus a few hundred is a pretty fair deal for all parties involved.

Sticker is basically an irrelevant number. Dealers care about cost plus.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



Rhyno posted:

She can't drive stick. Seriously, I've attempted to teach her numerous times, my father tried to teach her, my sister tried. She just can't do it.

Might want to invest in a car that has an auto trans with a good track record then, especially if it's coming out of your pocket.

remeez
Jan 10, 2007







KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

What? Who's making you choose? Those are totally different vehicles.

The only 2 cars I found around here that can do anything in snow/don't have a million miles on them/okay price

lol internet.
Sep 4, 2007
the internet makes you stupid

Thwomp posted:

1) Ignore both and find an independent shop. Check Yelp, ask around (someone you know knows someone who's REALLY into cars), and try a couple of different garages out. You'll be amazed how much better you and your car will be treated by a trustworthy and independent mechanic.

2) Transmission stuff usually revolves around checking the fluid once every great while. If its dirty, it probably just needs changing. If it's dirty far prior to the regular interval, something may be wrong. Anything beyond fluid gets expensive real quick because transmissions are pricey.

It's one of those issues where if it looks like it's going to go south, you just have to wait for it.

Thanks. I will need to follow up with my wife, she just said needs to change transmission and fluid.

When you say independent shop, I assume places like Mr. Lube and Wal Mart don't count correct?

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

how few people do you
need before you can
change the world?


leica posted:

Might want to invest in a car that has an auto trans with a good track record then, especially if it's coming out of your pocket.

These are things I keep telling her.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

Rhyno posted:

These are things I keep telling her.

Your wife is the best kind of car shopper - Knows nothing about cars except exactly which car she wants. Next time go and have her test drive a Range Rover Sport.

quote:

The only 2 cars I found around here that can do anything in snow/don't have a million miles on them/okay price

Any FWD car with snow tires is perfectly adequate in snow. What engine do your choices even have? I'd go with the Charger if it has the V8, it's very reliable and pretty fast. If it's a V6, eh, it's still all right but there are probably better cars out there. 3.5l SOHC V6 with no VVT is getting pretty tired for a 2010 car.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






lol internet. posted:

Thanks. I will need to follow up with my wife, she just said needs to change transmission and fluid.

When you say independent shop, I assume places like Mr. Lube and Wal Mart don't count correct?

They don't count. You want something like Bob's Auto or whatever (but get recommendations). The ideal situation is a shop with one rugged-looking old dude and five employees, who is doing tons of work and has a lot full of customers because he's built up a reputation for the last 30 years of being awesome and every one of those people in his lot is a long-time loyalist.

jonathan
Jul 3, 2005

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


The Infiniti m45, how does the engine deal with 87 octane fuel ? Is the ECU able to retard the ignition timing quickly enough to avoid pinging ? The remote areas I travel to will mean I will occasionally have to fill up with regular grade fuel.

Perhaps if I drive without mashing the go pedal I can avoid engine damage. My old racecar had high compression and a lot of boost, but I drove it with 94 octane on occasion without destroying the gaskets.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

jonathan posted:

The Infiniti m45, how does the engine deal with 87 octane fuel ? Is the ECU able to retard the ignition timing quickly enough to avoid pinging ? The remote areas I travel to will mean I will occasionally have to fill up with regular grade fuel.

Perhaps if I drive without mashing the go pedal I can avoid engine damage. My old racecar had high compression and a lot of boost, but I drove it with 94 octane on occasion without destroying the gaskets.

My Chrysler Intrepid with the 3.5l requires 89 Octane fuel. The general rule of thumb is that for every 1000 ft of altitude above sea level you can take 1 octane point off the requirement, so I use 87 in Calgary with no issues. If I drive west, by the time I get to between Kamloops and Revelstoke, I will get a CEL unless I top up the tank with 91.

So if you are going out to the sticks, fill up with premium first, then top up with the best stuff you can get and you're probably OK.

Farbtoner
May 17, 2011

by Y Kant Ozma Post


So, I just finished college and now that I have a job that requires a regular commute it's time to replace my old car. I don't really know too much about cars (yet) so bear with me if I overlook anything.

Proposed Budget: $5000-$8000

New or Used: Used

Body Style: Pretty much any style sedan is fine, I don't haul a lot of things or people so I don't need anything bigger.

How will you be using the car?: Since I live in the typical suburban hell I'll mostly be using it to commute to work/friends' houses/etc. and general errand-running.

What aspects are most important to you? Cost/economy and reliability are the most important to me. I don't really care about appearance and I'm not a gearhead so I probably won't do much tinkering with it (though I am planning on brushing up on basic repairs and maintenance work), I just want something that will last me a few years without bleeding me dry from repair costs and poor gas mileage or stop working at inopportune times.

Also, I live in Florida so I've never even seen snow much less needed to worry about driving in it.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda3 or Protege, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




We should sticky that. If you want to spend 5-15 grand on a commuter car, Focus Civic Corolla Protege Cobalt etc. If you want to spend 15-25 on a commuter car, buy a Prius.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



I apologize for posting this again, but does anyone know of some kind of analysis, like an article or something, comparing new vs. used over the lifetime of the vehicle (a google search revealed mostly crap) ?

Ramrod Hotshot posted:

Ok, trying this again now that I've thought about it a little more.

Proposed Budget: Up to $15,000 initially. However this is somewhat flexible and my primary concern is cost over the long run.
New or Used: Either. Whichever is more cost-effective.
Body Style: Compact or Midsize
How will you be using the car?: ~15 mile roundtrip commute. Occaisional weekend trips out of the city
What aspects are most important to you? Cost-effectiveness per year. I'm thinking of a car purchase as being almost entirely a financial decision. I've got some flexbility with up-front costs, but what I really want is low cost over the long run. Whatever car I buy I will drive until the wheels fall off and it catches on fire. So what I'm really trying to figure out is how do I get the lowest number out of (initial cost + repair costs over lifetime) / years I have the car. I'm sure there's no silver bullet here, but I'm interested in any insight. Initially I thought a used car would be best because I thought depreciation takes off thousands in a short period of time, but I'm finding that this is not as much as I hoped.

Besides financials, good manuverability and good visibility would be nice if possible, because this isn't an easy city to drive in.

Thanks for any help!

Scrot Eel
Jan 22, 2002

Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!

I don't see to many suggestions for Hyundai in this thread. Is there a general consensus against their cars for some reason?

I was thinking about test driving a Sonata and an Elantra soon, so just wondering.

Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


Scrot Eel posted:

I don't see to many suggestions for Hyundai in this thread. Is there a general consensus against their cars for some reason?

I was thinking about test driving a Sonata and an Elantra soon, so just wondering.

Many of the recommendations in here are for used cars, often relatively old used cars because budgets are under $10,000. Hyundai only started making excellent cars around 2010, and only started making passable cars a few years before then. Because their cars got so much better so quickly, long-term reliability isn't certain either way right now. The warranty makes it very nice for first owners, but they are still trying to prove that they are real competitors.

If you're looking for peoples individual opinions, I think that today's Hyundais and Kias are going to end up like 90s Japanese cars: reliable little econoboxes that undercut the competition and will last a long time.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




I would be careful (more so than normal) purchasing a new car from a Hyundai/Kia store. They're geared toward the "give the car away and make money selling money" model of car dealership operation more than the other brands. I have heard that their incentive structures from the manufacturer reflect this.

Not that it's a reason to not purchase a Hyundai or Kia. They make decent cars at this point. Just something to be aware of walking in.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Scrot Eel posted:

I don't see to many suggestions for Hyundai in this thread. Is there a general consensus against their cars for some reason?

I was thinking about test driving a Sonata and an Elantra soon, so just wondering.

If you are shopping for new cars, Hyundai/Kia should be on your list. Any of their recently refreshed cars seem to be solid. They have a big focus on value with high MPG figures (there's some debate if they are tuned especially to score high on the EPA tests) and long warranties. I have heard of some issues with the steering being off but nothing else really major.

The only models I'd say to stay away from are the current Kia Forte (rolled out just before the Koreans' big push around 2010 and being replaced for the 2014 model year) and the outgoing Hyundai Veracruz (being replaced by the 'new' Santa Fe which is not the same as the old Santa Fe which is actually being replaced by the Santa Fe Sport. Yeah. ).

Just be aware that, while all signs point to solid reliability at the moment, long term reliability is still an open question but that's an issue with almost any new car that's only been on the market for 2-3 years.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Sep 5, 2012

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Captain Capitalism
Jul 28, 2009



My current car is starting to die after several good years, and I need to start looking for a new one.

Proposed Budget: 13,000 - 15,000
New or Used: I would prefer used, but if a new car ends up being more cost effective I'd be willing to go that route.
Body Style: Sedan
How will you be using the car?: I'd be using it for a 20 mile commute 5 days a week as well as driving 25-50 miles on the weekends.
What aspects are most important to you? I'd like a car that is a little more recent that has some of the newer technology, power steering and windows. If I could reach a bit, I'd like a sunroof. Basically my car is a machine that gets me from A to B, but I don't want to get a beater.

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