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The Royal Nonesuch
Nov 1, 2005



Pillbug

So it's time to get my sister a first car, and she and my mom have found a 2008 Dodge Caliber with ~18k on the clock for $10,000. They're all gung-ho about it despite my warnings against econo-Dodges, but the drat things aren't old enough yet for me to point out any obvious deal killers. I've pointed out a nice Honda would cost less and surely be more reliable, but my Mom is unfortunately one of those AMERICAN CARS 12-07-1941 NEVAR FORGET people.

It's not worth it to me to argue against that, but I was curious personally if anyone has firsthand experience with Calibers... are my fears unfounded? I'm sure it's boring to drive and has a loud interior etc, but hell it's a first car, my sis hardly cares about those things.

The Royal Nonesuch fucked around with this message at 00:45 on Aug 3, 2009

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The Royal Nonesuch
Nov 1, 2005



Pillbug

kimbo305 posted:

They're not good cars. Also, a used one for $10k is a terrible deal, and you'd be much better served spending $10k on something else. If your mom insists on an American car, how bout a nice Mexican built Focus?

This thread might answer your question better:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=2341562
I don't know if you noticed, but the last couple questions to be asked in here didn't get answered.

Thanks, I knew I was missing a thread

The Royal Nonesuch
Nov 1, 2005



Pillbug

Don't stress too hard calrissian, cars are cool and fun! I got my own license a little bit late and was scared of driving for whatever reason - now I have a BMW, a temperamental old Jeep I take on terrible roads far out in the desert, and a modern insane Italian motorcycle with manual gears and life-altering traction control settings and do the maintenance on all of them myself. Also I now post on a small silly part of a dead gay comedy forum. All the cars I've bought/sold have been through craigslist, so the following thoughts apply largely to that but are useful otherwise:

-You can ask for carfax reports but it's unlikely a private seller will have one because they cost $40. Used car lots or Carmax etc should have them (avoid small used car lots if you can, they can get pretty shady). If you're planning on looking at a lot of cars you can get a 60 day unlimited-search carfax account for $70. Avoid anything with a "salvage" title for your purposes (basically, these are cars that have been damaged in a way that the insurance company decided wasn't worth to fix).

-If the seller has a big bundle of paperwork/receipts/maintenance records that is generally a good sign in my opinion. Most private sellers probably won't have this, but if they do it's a +1. Look for things like OIL SERVICE/TIRE ROTATION/FILTER REPLACEMENT/BRAKE PADS and other technical things.

-It's not common knowledge, but in California someone selling a car has to provide the buyer with a current (within 90 days) SMOG certificate. This certificate means the car meets all of the emissions requirements. The certificate is electronically filed with the DMV when the vehicle is checked, so if the seller has done this it will just look like a generic printout/receipt from ABC SMOG CHECK 1234 AVENUE DATE (<90 days). Feel free to ask for it. If this has not been done, you will have to have the SMOG check done at (almost any) shop and pay $60-80 yourself before you can register/insure the car. This isn't a big deal but at the least you're out ~$60 and an hour or so.

-When you're test-driving a car such as the ones you're looking at, it should be quiet. If it vibrates/shakes/rattles noticeably at stoplights, if it makes clunk/bang/pop/chunk noises when going over bumps or turning around corners, don't buy it. If the dashboard has any bright little lights that match these, don't buy it (these mean the car needs expensive work!).

-Trust your gut feeling on the seller! I guess this depends a lot on your life experience and social awareness and all bets are off because Goons, but if you feel skeeved out and think this person might be hardselling you some garbage just lol and go test drive another Toyota because there are a billion of them. All prices on Craigslist are inflated at least $500-$1000 because haggling is expected and natural. I suck at haggling but I have still never paid the asking/listed price because just don't.

-When it comes to insurance, you can get quotes from all the major places online but I really recommend going to your local AAA office - you can sit down and talk with an agent and they'll explain all of the coverage levels and you can ask dumb questions in person. I have asked a million dumb questions/added or removed multiple vehicles/gotten discounts and my agent knows me now. AAA coverage rules too because if you break down you get free towing and they have certified mechanic shops and just rule in general. You can also do a lot of the normal registration and renewal paperwork there instead of hellish DMV offices.

-If by Valley-East-of-Los-Angeles you mean SGV, I know a good honest mechanic/shop in the Pasadena area who won't do you wrong.

Oh also freeways are safer and easier than streets just stay out of my fastlane ok

The Royal Nonesuch fucked around with this message at 10:02 on Jan 8, 2017

The Royal Nonesuch
Nov 1, 2005



Pillbug

lmbo calrissian posted:

SGV is where I live Royal Nonesuch yes! Dude I would totally love to hear about this shop, since I'm so close to Pasadena and I'll need a future mechanic. I don't have PMs but can you get me the info? I appreciate it!

Here you go!. My dad's been taking his cars to Joe for over ten years now, he's a super nice & honest man.

As to the selling price thing, well, what Godholio said. It is super common however. You're in the big boy world of car ownership now so the number you write is up to you Also (if I'm understanding you correctly) the private sale price on a car like that doesn't really factor into your insurance rates except in situations like collector cars, etc. You could buy it for $1 but it will still cost the same to repair if you get in an accident. Your insurance rates will be determined by what model of car it is, how old it is, your (lack of) driving history, the region you live in, what levels of insurance you choose to carry, the number of seashells on the beach, the price of beef in Omaha, and any number of other factors and arcane calculations.

The Royal Nonesuch
Nov 1, 2005



Pillbug

lmbo calrissian posted:

Really? Is that true in California? Well I'll just be safe and put a middle ground sale price/ I'll just be safe to say rates will be through the roof for me cause I'm new. Dude thanks again. <3

Think of it this way: your wealthy parents give you a brand new car for your birthday, but you are paying the insurance. You got the car for free, do you think your insurance company will charge you less because of that? Nope, it will still cost them the same $$$$ when you mash it into someone while texting.

Raluek posted:

This conversation should be in the questions thread, not in the reference thread, I think.

This is also true. We love answering car questions, so feel free to ask more in the appropriate thread!

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