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skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Throatwarbler posted:

How did people have kids before SUVs? :monocle:

I don't know, but our small SUV is a handy vehicle to have.

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Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


With the price of gas rising and the price of new trucks falling, I was hoping to get some advice on my current situation. I'm definitely leaning one way but I'm confused and could use some insight.

I currently drive a 1996 Toyota T100 which just hit the 300,000km mark (100,000km on engine). I was tweaking my Microsoft Money files, and found out I spent nearly $500/month on maintenance in the past 12 months on this thing. This is artificially high because it includes a major item (used engine), items which won't have to be done any time soon (new rad, plugs and wires, front ball joints), as well as wear and tear items which would have to be done to any vehicle I own (new tires, front brakes, oil changes).

I replaced the engine a few months ago because I knew I could sell my truck for more than the engine repair cost, but it would be worth next to nothing without a working engine. I'm now setting money aside for a new timing belt/water pump, some front end work (shocks) and a canopy. There's also some rust on the rear wheel which I want to get rid of, since it's been rapidly getting worse.

I love my truck, and since I know it's history for the past 4 years, I feel it'd be stupid to replace it with anything used. But for $400/month, I can get fairly well equipped F150/Silverado/Ram on a 4 year plan. I could probably have the truck paid off before the warranty expires.

At what point is it a bad financial decision to stop sinking money into a 16year old vehicle?

Nocheez
Sep 5, 2000

Can you spare a little cheddar?


Nap Ghost

Zeta Taskforce posted:

Might have been too cleaver with my wording. My point is that people will cry when they have to buy a gallon of gas for $3.50, but as it turns out, gas is the cheapest liquid that a gas station sells. However no one minds when they pay $1.49 for 12 fluid ounces of their favorite beverage.

I had to buy windshield washer fluid as I was completely out and I was already at a gas station. I paid $3, which pissed me off as gas was only $2.50 a gallon. Why would washer fluid cost more than gasoline?

But it would have cost me more to drive a couple miles and make another stop, so I grudgingly bought it.

skipdogg posted:

I don't know, but our small SUV is a handy vehicle to have.

My dad's kids have all moved out, but he still owns a Sienna minivan. It is extremely useful and he uses it to move wood and gardening supplies, and can seat 7 comfortably. The low entry point of the back gate makes it a lot easier to get stuff in and out when compared to most SUVs.

Nocheez fucked around with this message at 13:06 on Mar 12, 2011

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Throatwarbler posted:

How did people have kids before SUVs? :monocle:

Station wagon yo.

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


Reggie Died posted:


At what point is it a bad financial decision to stop sinking money into a 16year old vehicle?

When you can buy a new one (or even a new used one) for the price of your repairs each month.

200k miles is a good run.

Don Lapre
Mar 28, 2001

If you're having problems you're either holding the phone wrong or you have tiny girl hands.


Reggie Died posted:

With the price of gas rising and the price of new trucks falling, I was hoping to get some advice on my current situation. I'm definitely leaning one way but I'm confused and could use some insight.

I currently drive a 1996 Toyota T100 which just hit the 300,000km mark (100,000km on engine). I was tweaking my Microsoft Money files, and found out I spent nearly $500/month on maintenance in the past 12 months on this thing. This is artificially high because it includes a major item (used engine), items which won't have to be done any time soon (new rad, plugs and wires, front ball joints), as well as wear and tear items which would have to be done to any vehicle I own (new tires, front brakes, oil changes).

I replaced the engine a few months ago because I knew I could sell my truck for more than the engine repair cost, but it would be worth next to nothing without a working engine. I'm now setting money aside for a new timing belt/water pump, some front end work (shocks) and a canopy. There's also some rust on the rear wheel which I want to get rid of, since it's been rapidly getting worse.

I love my truck, and since I know it's history for the past 4 years, I feel it'd be stupid to replace it with anything used. But for $400/month, I can get fairly well equipped F150/Silverado/Ram on a 4 year plan. I could probably have the truck paid off before the warranty expires.

At what point is it a bad financial decision to stop sinking money into a 16year old vehicle?

If the car is still running well then $500/year is way cheaper than $400/m.

Arzakon
Nov 24, 2002

"I hereby retire from Mafia"
Please turbo me if you catch me in a game.


Reggie Died posted:

I replaced the engine a few months ago because I knew I could sell my truck for more than the engine repair cost, but it would be worth next to nothing without a working engine. I'm now setting money aside for a new timing belt/water pump, some front end work (shocks) and a canopy. There's also some rust on the rear wheel which I want to get rid of, since it's been rapidly getting worse.

Why are you setting aside money for a timing belt? I have to assume they put a new one on when they swapped the engine.

MrAmazing
Jun 21, 2005


Reggie Died posted:

I currently drive a 1996 Toyota T100 which just hit the 300,000km mark (100,000km on engine). I was tweaking my Microsoft Money files, and found out I spent nearly $500/month on maintenance in the past 12 months on this thing. This is artificially high because it includes a major item (used engine), items which won't have to be done any time soon (new rad, plugs and wires, front ball joints), as well as wear and tear items which would have to be done to any vehicle I own (new tires, front brakes, oil changes).

At what point is it a bad financial decision to stop sinking money into a 16year old vehicle?

You should looking at the differential costs going forward, not what you spent in the last year. Obviously past costs are predictive of future costs, but any truck would need tires and you shouldn't need to replace the engine or the radiator for the life of the vehicle now. Including it in the monthly maintenance inflates the costs going forward and would justify buying a newer vehicle when it isn't necessary.

Were I trying to the make the comparison in your situation I'd take the radiator and engine costs out of the equation and would only include the price difference in tires/brakes (I.E. if your truck takes more expensive tires than the other vehicle you'd buy, include the different. If they are cheaper subtract it.) Also consider the difference in insurance and fuel.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


MrAmazing posted:

You should looking at the differential costs going forward, not what you spent in the last year. Obviously past costs are predictive of future costs, but any truck would need tires and you shouldn't need to replace the engine or the radiator for the life of the vehicle now. Including it in the monthly maintenance inflates the costs going forward and would justify buying a newer vehicle when it isn't necessary.

Were I trying to the make the comparison in your situation I'd take the radiator and engine costs out of the equation and would only include the price difference in tires/brakes (I.E. if your truck takes more expensive tires than the other vehicle you'd buy, include the different. If they are cheaper subtract it.) Also consider the difference in insurance and fuel.

Your right, which is why I mentioned it was artificially high. I know the timing belt will have to be replaced, and I want/need a canopy for work, so those are some hard numbers I should evaluate and use when comparing new vs used.

I haven't looked into insurance, but I'm assuming it'll be $20-40 more/month. Gas is somewhat irrelevant because I get comped for my gas (which is 80% of my driving). I did some quick maths the other day, and it costs me ~$875 in gas for every 5,000km. I get reinbursed $1,500 for every 5,000 work related km ($0.3/km....it's low but better than nothing). After the cost of an oil change that leaves about $575 that goes towards truck maintenance. Switching to a V8 changes all that. But I'll probably need a bigger truck in the next few years anyway, if work and my job descrition keeps increasing at the pace it has.

I might go back to the drawing board and look at the possibility of becoming a sub-contractor. Would that change much between new vs used (in so much as both payments and maintenance would be partial tax write offs)?

Don Lapre
Mar 28, 2001

If you're having problems you're either holding the phone wrong or you have tiny girl hands.


If you are buying a truck for work you should buy the ugliest most reliable one you can find. Because you are going to destroy it. No point in doing that to a new one.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


Tell me about it. Which is why I'm leaning towards just keeping my current truck.

While my truck is mainly used for work, it's also my only personal vehicle. My current Toyota is in great shape cosmetically (aside from a bit of wheel well rust), so I wouldn't want to go out and buy an old beater. I also don't chuck oil drums in the back or have a fork lift drop pallets of tile into the rear. It's mainly to haul my tools around, occasionally pick up some materials. My boss has a trailer for garbage, which I don't use since my truck is a v6 and isn't geared towards trailering.

If it was only a work vehicle I'd buy a van.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007







You are posing a false choice. You actually have more than the two options presented (keep the old truck or buy a brand new truck).

I recommend buying a new-to-you used truck. Something say, four to six years old, with maybe some cosmetic problems that reduce the price, but strong healthy guts. You can often get a loan for a used vehicle from your bank or a credit union, if you need to finance it.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


I appreciate all the input and different perspectives. It's why I posted.

Leaperfish, you are correct. However, here are my thoughts and you can tell me where I'm wrong.

I currently have a 15 year old truck with a relatively fresh engine, new ball joints, rad, breaks(front and back) and other things I can't remember off the top of my head. My point is that i know the history. I fear that buying any kind of 5-10 year old used truck might bring with it unforeseen problems, and I'd be back at square one.

I could go a bit younger, say a 3 or 4 year old lease return that is still under warranty but has already seen some substantial depreciation. This was my first intention, though I've been having a very hard time finding Ext cab and 4x4(most of what I've found has either been high end trim line in crew cab or reg cab rwd). Of the trucks ive found that fit into my search criteria, they are only 2-3grand cheaper than buying their brand new counterpart, with a shorter warranty.

After typing it all out I'm starting to think im over thinking things. I've never had a car payment in my life, and I should probably keep it that way.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007







Well, you're right in that pickup trucks tend to be less prolific on the used market in the 2-4 year old time frame, because a lot of them - especially the cheaper ones that are mostly just a bed and a cab, no frills - are used for fleets and as work trucks, and those aren't just re-sold so quickly.

Also because 3 years ago, it was 2008 and nobody was buying new domestic cars at all really.

And also because trucks have inherent utility, you're also right that they don't seem to depreciate as quickly as most cars do.

So you're right, I guess. I wouldn't suggest buying a 10 year old truck to replace a 15 year old truck. If you could find some sort of 'sweet spot' - something like, I dunno, 5 or 6 years old, that might be enough cheaper than a new truck to be worth it, while being new enough to not have tons of miles and be really hammered.

A used vehicle always has the potential to have "problems", but many people are too focused on that liklihood. You can have a mechanic inspect a vehicle before you buy it, if you're worried (probably everyone should do this, at least for all private-sale used vehicles). Look at the odometer over the year, anyway, and favor a truck with fewer miles (although that's not a universal indicator, because city miles are harder on engines than highway miles, all else being equal).

So I guess what I'd suggest is take a few weeks to really look in earnest at the used market. If you're just not finding what you want, then you can always revisit the idea of a new truck instead.

The only other thing that confuses me a bit, is that you mentioned back in your original post that you were concerned about fuel economy. Frankly, you will not find a truck that gets good fuel economy. You can maybe do a little better than your old truck, but 23MPG is still poo poo. Really, really poo poo compared to virtually any economical compact car. It sounds to me like you might be well off getting a compact fuel-efficient car for all non-work driving, and keep using your truck for work. Fewer miles on the truck will reduce the monthly maintenance costs, and the car will help keep fuel costs down. Of course that means paying insurance on two cars, and parking two cars, etc., so I can understand if it's really not an option for you.

T0MSERV0
Jul 24, 2007

You shouldn't expect to defeat him, he is designed to be a war machine.


Honestly, have you considered keeping your current truck and just buying a car? Dedicate the truck to work (which makes it cheaper for upkeep, since you can stop caring about bodywork etc.), and get a car that's a few years old. The great mileage you want will be easy with a car, ditto the 2-3 years old sweet spot on price, and since you're used to driving trucks even the tiniest sedan will have more room than you're used to.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


Leperflesh posted:

The only other thing that confuses me a bit, is that you mentioned back in your original post that you were concerned about fuel economy. Frankly, you will not find a truck that gets good fuel economy. You can maybe do a little better than your old truck, but 23MPG is still poo poo. Really, really poo poo compared to virtually any economical compact car. It sounds to me like you might be well off getting a compact fuel-efficient car for all non-work driving, and keep using your truck for work. Fewer miles on the truck will reduce the monthly maintenance costs, and the car will help keep fuel costs down. Of course that means paying insurance on two cars, and parking two cars, etc., so I can understand if it's really not an option for you.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm not concerned about fuel economy in the sense that I want a more efficient vehicle to offset the cost. I was just thinking that the recent spike might have been a reason for the bigger discount on trucks Ive seen recently (at least from the big 3). I'm sure there are other factors in play as well.

And your right that I'm overly paranoid about used vehicles, but I think that comes from my current truck. The engine blew with pretty much no warning, despite being in what I thought was pretty good condition prior. It caught me off guard financially, since I had alot of my money tied up in new tools at the time. From personal anecdotes, I've had a coworker spend a grand just getting spark plugs pulled from his 5.4l F150, and a sub have the transmission on his 2 year old Sierra require a rebuild.

Leperflesh posted:

So I guess what I'd suggest is take a few weeks to really look in earnest at the used market. If you're just not finding what you want, then you can always revisit the idea of a new truck instead.

I've been looking since my engine was replaced ~6months ago, almost obsessively so. I've always had the frame of mind that "new vehicle = poor financial choice", but my findings haven't really indicated that. It was my main reason for posting. I think that I might have better luck applying your advice to the American used market, because re-sale value of trucks in Canada is still relatively high to their *newer* counterparts.

Eventually I'll need a bigger truck / replace my aging Toyota. I'm just trying to be as proactive about it as possible. Being without a vehicle for any length of time means no income.

For the time being, I'm happy with my current truck. I just don't know long I should be putting money into it. Every dollar I put into it is lost (won't increase the re-sale value) whereas every dollar I put into a car payment is partly paying interest and partly paying for a depreciating asset. It's lose lose!

Case in point, I'm about to spend $600-$1000 on a used canopy, which adds little to no resale value of my truck. Though it'll save me time in the long run from tarping up my tools every day its raining, so I guess in that sense it's priceless.

Nocheez
Sep 5, 2000

Can you spare a little cheddar?


Nap Ghost

Take what you will be spending on a car payment, and put it in a Smartypig account. Once your truck gives up the ghost (or you save as much as you wanted) you can pull that cash out and buy your new-to-you truck.

Reggie Died
Mar 24, 2004


That's the plan, though it hasn't been going so smoothly. I put aside $100/month for maintenance and $500/month for new truck savings. Have been doing the savings since the engine replacement, but I had to pull from that for the post engine items because the maintenance fund was depleted for the engine. Once I buy a canopy it'll be pretty much empty but I will keep it up.

ShadowHawk
Jun 25, 2000

The company has no assets of any significant value.


Do 6 month car leases exist? Or would it be better to do a long-term monthly rental?

(I'm likely getting my grandmother's car at that point)

ShadowHawk fucked around with this message at 07:03 on Mar 22, 2011

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


You could buy something for $1000 on craigslist, drive it for 6 months and then sell it $1000. You'd need to deal with registration and have someone who is comfortable checking the car over with you though.

BruceDoh
Jul 2, 2006


With the Canadian election on the horizon, I am in the position where I have a job with Elections Canada for about 6 weeks. This job is about 20km from my home, so not having a car becomes a huge inconvenience. I live close enough to my regular job that I just bike to work, or take the bus if the weather sucks. Therefore, I'm really not interested in continuing to pay for a car after the election period.

I reach out to you fine goons to help me decide whether it is worth it to buy a used car that I would use for two months, and then sell. I understand I would have to pay HST as well as registration fees, though I'm not exactly sure how much they would be. Renting a car for the same period would cost about $1500, plus $25/day or something like that for the insurance. I'm also only 24, so I would imagine there would be some newb tax on top of that. Biking/bussing is also a last resort, since either one of those would take about 3 hours out of my day.

So far, I've looked at cars in the under $5000 range, and I like the look of this 2005 Saturn Ion: http://www.carpages.ca/used/2005/Sa.../Ontario/673837
I know I could probably get something cheaper too, but looking at all of those cheap cars scares me, since I don't know much about cars, and don't know how reliable they will be.

So what do you goons think? Would this be a smart move, or do you think I would end up spending too much money on fees and taxes? What other options do you think I would have? Thanks in advance.

Through The Decade
Mar 3, 2010

BANANA?!?!?



In Ontario buying a cheap car is easy to do especially if you don't plan on keeping it for long. You will have to pay HST, plus the cost of plates, plus the cost of a safety test and emissions test.

If you get it from a dealership then you pay the tax right to them and not at the MOT. If it's a private sale then the amount you pay is based on either the sale price or the book price, whichever is higher. For something like the Ion you posted it would likely be the sale price. Common cars from the 90s are mostly now valued at $0 which means if the seller is willing to write you a bill of sale for less than it's actual sale price you can save a bit that way.

The cost of new plates is 20 bucks. Whee.

Safety is done by a garage and is 50 bucks or so if I recall correctly. Emissions can often be done by the same garage and is always 40. Avoid the stress by shopping for post-2000 cars, and if they don't come with a safety/e-test then get it done before handing over any money. It's a very common thing to ask the current owner to get it done on your dime, and if they refuse then it's because they're hiding something and you shouldn't buy it anyway. Never never buy just on the promise that it'll pass, if they're that sure then they'd have gone and gotten it themselves. As a very general guideline, you'll want to pay 4 to 5 grand certified for something around 6-8 years old.

Then again you're only hanging onto it for 2 months, so while it's not often possible to get a safety on something that's inches from death you can pretty safely cheap out and get a late 90s car that has a year or two left on it's life.

sweet_jones
Dec 31, 2006



We are approaching the end of a 60 month auto lease that we entered with, more than likely, not enough understanding of what we were getting ourselves into. It's a 2006 Toyota Matrix, which was leased with an "agreed" value of $18295 and a residual value of $7068 which I understand is the price if we were to purchase the vehicle. Based on what I've read, clearly we would have built more equity had we purchased the vehicle and made the $240/month payments we've been making.

We'd actually like to make an educated decision moving forward, and are discussing either buying the car or getting another Matrix, which at this point may be more cost effective. Aside from what I'm sure is a meticulous inspection, what else should we expect when we return the lease? If it matters, we leased the vehicle when we lived in another state, so obviously it can't be returned to the dealership of origin. I unfortunately am feeling overwhelmed at this point and wondering if anyone has advice for us? FWIW, we are credit union members and an auto loan is an option through that avenue. Having read the 22 pages thus far, I can confidently say no way to another lease moving forward and I'd rather finance through the CU if financing if necessary.

Nocheez
Sep 5, 2000

Can you spare a little cheddar?


Nap Ghost

Is there anything wrong with your current Matrix? If not, the smart thing to do would be to buy it out and keep driving it until it needs replacing.

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


Seconding keeping it, if you could buy it out in cash even better.

sweet_jones
Dec 31, 2006



sanchez posted:

Seconding keeping it, if you could buy it out in cash even better.

We've garaged this thing and kept up scheduled maintenance, so I'm more comfortable with this rig vs. buying a similar vehicle used. It's a leap of faith for SO to go off warranty, but we really haven't had any issues to date. It did seem like $7000 would be reasonable for an 06 Matrix all other things considered, though of course in retrospect we would have been better off buying it in the beggining.

What would the purchase process look like? Do I need to deal with the dealership and their jedi mind tricks?

Nocheez
Sep 5, 2000

Can you spare a little cheddar?


Nap Ghost

jfballin posted:

We've garaged this thing and kept up scheduled maintenance, so I'm more comfortable with this rig vs. buying a similar vehicle used. It's a leap of faith for SO to go off warranty, but we really haven't had any issues to date. It did seem like $7000 would be reasonable for an 06 Matrix all other things considered, though of course in retrospect we would have been better off buying it in the beggining.

What would the purchase process look like? Do I need to deal with the dealership and their jedi mind tricks?

No, you already have an agreed-upon price. You'll just have to cough up the amount or get a loan to pay it off.

Look at it this way: if you were to lease another car you'd be putting money down at the onset, likely $2500 or so. That would pay for an engine or transmission replacement if you had a catastrophic problem. Your car is still relatively new and Toyotas have a reputation for being reliable. Keep it another 5 years and laugh all the way to the bank.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


In a nut shell you want to look at what very similar cars are selling for right now. At the end of your lease you have the 'option' to either give the car back, or buy it. If you can replace the car for less than it costs to buy it at the end of the lease, you should do so, if you can't you should keep the car.

I would say a well cared for car that you know the history of is worth a premium, and in my area a 2006 Matrix is being listed for 9,995 dollars, so I would recommend keeping the car.

Xtopher
Feb 18, 2007

You are all weirdos.

NOTinuyasha posted:

I just put a deposit on a new 2011 Elantra Limited, only paid $100 above invoice (~$20,100 plus $720 destination), 2.9%/48 months. I'm 20 with a 640 credit rating, $4000 down and had my grandfather co-sign. The insurance comes out to $160 a month.

Other cars I test drove :

-Fiesta, really narrow thanks to a big center console and narrow wheelbase, terrible rear seats
-Cruze, higher price, annoying styling, GM resale value
-Mazda3, higher price, crappy fuel economy, way too common

I didn't bother with the Corolla/Civic/Fit since all seem to be end of lifecycle for 2011.

The Hyundai dealer wasn't pushy at all, but the Elantra seems a bit difficult to pin down, they didn't have any on the lot except for the one I test drove, which was sold the next day. I wanted a specific color anyway, so it's getting shipped in this week :)

Very interested to hear how you like it. That's the car I plan on getting (Limited w/premium package) in about 4 months or so, just as long as I enjoy the test drive and no other cars catch my eye. It will be the first car I've ever purchased/owned. Scared to death to go to the dealership.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


NOTinuyasha posted:

I just put a deposit on a new 2011 Elantra Limited, only paid $100 above invoice (~$20,100 plus $720 destination), 2.9%/48 months. I'm 20 with a 640 credit rating, $4000 down and had my grandfather co-sign. The insurance comes out to $160 a month.

Other cars I test drove :

-Fiesta, really narrow thanks to a big center console and narrow wheelbase, terrible rear seats
-Cruze, higher price, annoying styling, GM resale value
-Mazda3, higher price, crappy fuel economy, way too common

I didn't bother with the Corolla/Civic/Fit since all seem to be end of lifecycle for 2011.

The Hyundai dealer wasn't pushy at all, but the Elantra seems a bit difficult to pin down, they didn't have any on the lot except for the one I test drove, which was sold the next day. I wanted a specific color anyway, so it's getting shipped in this week :)

Great choice, I have a Hyundai and absolutely love it as well. It has been one of those purchases every time I get in the car I feel good about my purchase, even a year later. Also the ipod hookup is great the way it can be controlled through the actual stereo.

One thing though, maybe try shopping around on insurance. Unless those are Aussie dollars, you have been in a wreck, or have a $0 deductible, it seems quite high. I have a Sonata with full coverage $500 deductible and its $69/mo.

Don Lapre
Mar 28, 2001

If you're having problems you're either holding the phone wrong or you have tiny girl hands.


alreadybeen posted:

Great choice, I have a Hyundai and absolutely love it as well. It has been one of those purchases every time I get in the car I feel good about my purchase, even a year later. Also the ipod hookup is great the way it can be controlled through the actual stereo.

One thing though, maybe try shopping around on insurance. Unless those are Aussie dollars, you have been in a wreck, or have a $0 deductible, it seems quite high. I have a Sonata with full coverage $500 deductible and its $69/mo.

20 years old with poor credit and full coverage, $160 doesn't really seem that bad.

dennyk
Jan 2, 2005

Cheese-Buyer's Remorse


alreadybeen posted:

Great choice, I have a Hyundai and absolutely love it as well. It has been one of those purchases every time I get in the car I feel good about my purchase, even a year later. Also the ipod hookup is great the way it can be controlled through the actual stereo.

One thing though, maybe try shopping around on insurance. Unless those are Aussie dollars, you have been in a wreck, or have a $0 deductible, it seems quite high. I have a Sonata with full coverage $500 deductible and its $69/mo.

I'm paying a little under $100/mo for $250-deductible full coverage with 250k/500k/250k liability on my '08 Sonata. $160/mo probably isn't bad for a 20-year-old, though you should definitely still shop around.

Also, remember that you should almost always carry more coverage than your state's minimums; minimum coverage levels are usually ridiculously low, and if you cause a wreck that does a lot of property damage or hurts someone, you'll be on the hook personally for everything beyond the limits on your policy. If you screw up and total some dude's $50k Mercedes and you have some state-minimum $10k/$20k/$10k liability policy, you're in deep poo poo, and if you injure him seriously in the process, you're pretty much screwed for good. Go for the biggest limits your insurance company offers that you can afford; the price increase for higher limits is usually not too bad.

Seconding the Hyundai love, by the way; I've had my Sonata for over three years and 24k miles now (don't drive all that much) and I still love it (though I am a bit jealous of the new 2.0Ts... :v: ). Haven't had a single mechanical problem with it (just body damage from idiots running into me while I'm stopped or parked :argh: ).

Sephiroth_IRA
Mar 31, 2010



So my wife's 96 Rav 4 just kicked the bucket so it looks like I'm now sitting in the used car market; the problem is I don't know jack about cars and I don't want to rush into a purchase but we could definitely benefit from having another vehicle as soon as possible.

I'm not in a terrible financial situation, We can afford to spend up to $5k but I'd prefer to spend as little as possible. Actually, I just want a beater.

What I need to know is what makes/models are the most recommended for someone say in Cornholio's past situation? What's a fair price for such a vehicle? What are some things I should be concerned about? What questions should I ask the owner? Should I ever go to a used car dealership?

Actually, any useful information about purchasing used cars would be appreciated. I'm lost.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Orange_Lazarus posted:

So my wife's 96 Rav 4 just kicked the bucket so it looks like I'm now sitting in the used car market; the problem is I don't know jack about cars and I don't want to rush into a purchase but we could definitely benefit from having another vehicle as soon as possible.

I'm not in a terrible financial situation, We can afford to spend up to $5k but I'd prefer to spend as little as possible. Actually, I just want a beater.

What I need to know is what makes/models are the most recommended for someone say in Cornholio's past situation? What's a fair price for such a vehicle? What are some things I should be concerned about? What questions should I ask the owner? Should I ever go to a used car dealership?

Actually, any useful information about purchasing used cars would be appreciated. I'm lost.

What kind of car do you want? 4 door compact? Small SUV?

In general you want to find a small 4 door compact sedan from an import manufacturer. Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, they all made solid cars in the late 90's to early 00's which is where your price range is going to take you. I ford focus newer than '04 won't be a bad car either. In general though I would go find the newest Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic you can afford, pay a mechanic a couple hundred to look at it and go for it.

What's wrong with the Rav4? It can probably be fixed for less than the price of a new beater.

CornHolio
May 20, 2001



Toilet Rascal

I still say most Hondas and Toyotas are overpriced, especially in the current market.

If you want a cheap beater, look for a GM with the 3800 series engine (most of the full-size vehicles have this engine; the smaller engines had some major problems and I would suggest avoiding them); a geo/chevy prism (rebadged Corolla); Mazdas and Nissans tend to be very good values as well (especially any Nissan with the 3.0L V6 which is bulletproof).

Also Jeep Cherokees with the 4.0L engine, and most small pickups are pretty reliable and cheap.

Just my .02

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





CornHolio posted:

I still say most Hondas and Toyotas are overpriced, especially in the current market.

Absolutely. Hondas you have two problems with - inflated perceived value, combined with the scarcity of a cheap Honda that you actually would want to buy (ie not riced to death). Toyotas have the second one, I just sold a '98 Camry that quite frankly would not be worth nearly as much if it wasn't a Toyota. It's one of the big reasons the two newest vehicles I've ever owned are both Mazdas.

Anything in this price range is going to have some issues, but buying wisely can reduce that a lot. You do need to figure out first what you actually want in a vehicle before you can really narrow anything down.

IOwnCalculus fucked around with this message at 19:30 on Apr 4, 2011

Don Lapre
Mar 28, 2001

If you're having problems you're either holding the phone wrong or you have tiny girl hands.


Orange_Lazarus posted:

So my wife's 96 Rav 4 just kicked the bucket

What is wrong with it? Unless its an engine failure you can fix most things for less than replacing it i bet.

Sephiroth_IRA
Mar 31, 2010



Thanks for the responses.

skipdogg posted:

What kind of car do you want? 4 door compact? Small SUV?
What's wrong with the Rav4? It can probably be fixed for less than the price of a new beater.

1. Small truck or a sedan/compact. Preferably the latter two. I looked into the "What's up with the used car market" topic after making my post and learned about the inflated pricing which should have been obvious to begin with but I've never been in this situation before. I'm hoping there may be some deals out there, looking on auto-trader and I let everyone I know, know to keep me in mind if they see a deal.

2. Cracked head. Mechanic quoted the repair at 1400, It also leaks oil (Not sure if it's worth fixing the leak. Not even sure where the oil is leaking) and if I'm going to spend 1400 replacing the head I'd prefer to get the leak fixed as well which I haven't received a quote for. You're probably right but I'll continue looking for a replacement for the moment and keep that option in mind if the market turns out to be dry.

quote:

In general you want to find a small 4 door compact sedan from an import manufacturer. Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, they all made solid cars in the late 90's to early 00's

Thanks for your suggestions, I currently own a 2009 Hyundai Sonata (Sweet car) which the wife drives; surprisingly in this market it seems that the car is actually worth more than what I currently owe on it (and not too far from the original selling price). However I remember reading that older Hyundais need to be avoided like the plague, is this still true and if so when did Hyundai turn around? I've been looking for Hondas/Toyotas and I will continue to keep them in mind but like others have said their prices seem to be a bit inflated atm.

Great Advice CH, will add those to my list.

The hardest part about this experience is keeping the wife convinced that we need to be patient.

Sephiroth_IRA fucked around with this message at 23:14 on Apr 4, 2011

Arzakon
Nov 24, 2002

"I hereby retire from Mafia"
Please turbo me if you catch me in a game.


If there is an actual crack in the head, then there is one thing that is leaking oil.

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Sephiroth_IRA
Mar 31, 2010



Leaked (dripped) oil before the head cracked and I was topping it off on a weekly basis.

Edit: It's never really been determined if the head was actually cracked however all signs seem to point to yes according to the mechanic and a few of my educated friends. The car was overheated and the check engine light came on. The thermostat was checked and replaced but the issue continued. When I filled the radiator with anti-freeze it would boil out of the radiator and continue to overheat

http://i55.tinypic.com/1tqa2c.png

Considering heading out to test-drive this tomorrow. It's been listed for a few weeks now on CL and AT so I'm hoping the dealer may give me some room to haggle over it. Low miles for a 1999. Please tell me why this is or isn't retarded.

Speaking of mileage, how often does odometer tampering occur? I actually know a few people that have admitted to messing with their odometers in the past. It makes me feel safer going through a reputable dealer based on that.

~I apologize if I've hijacked this thread. :| Is it more kosher to start a thread on AI or to post here?

Sephiroth_IRA fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Apr 5, 2011

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