I do want to buy a used car

DrunkenBastard

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I recently bought a zero turn mower and it use tweels on the back. No issues with flat tires now.
 

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sedrosken

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I'm looking around getting an idea of what I want to move over to once I get moved, and I'm thinking somewhere in the range of a 2010-15 compact of some brand or other. I'm not picky as to goodies -- hell, I could make do just fine with the base model as long as it has air conditioning and either bluetooth or an aux port (I've got a bluetooth dongle I could just perma-attach to it) -- I hear Florida summers are brutal and hearing my podcast/audiobook and navigation through the car speakers is always helpful. I hear good things about Toyotas and Hondas but I am concerned about price -- I'm targetting about $2,500 down or so and roughly $300/mo as a payment. Ideally I'd not go over 30 months on the term so I'm thinking my budget is around 10 grand total (doubtless I'll be approved for more if I want it, they salivate over people with good credit). I can drive a standard, though I'd need an adjustment period to get timing down again, I'm out of practice. Cruise control would be nice but I'm in that budget range where I feel like I should just take what I can get, and I'd take something a little newer or a little better shape without it over one with. Disk brakes are preferred -- I hate working on drums but I don't mind to do my own brake work to save a little money overall.

Another option I could look at is catching a new Kia Optima at their model-year-end closeout, they apparently heavily discount them to get them off the lot and I could get a 10y/100k-mi warranty, which is worth thinking about with how little I joyride -- in two years driving I've only just now put 10k on the odometer of my Maxima, though how much of that is just me not wanting to leave the house and how much is me being scared to drive through town lest something go wrong I'm not sure. I imagine I probably would either get the max of the time term or close to out of it assuming my habits and tastes don't significantly change -- even allowing for a doubling of my total current yearly mileage.

As for why I'm not really looking to buy outright, I don't think I can gather enough together quick enough to do it that way or I would at my range. I'm going to need a car probably within a month or two of getting down there, and if I've got to get a loan anyway, I may as well get a newer, hopefully more reliable vehicle with some semblance of a warranty instead of getting a car loan at the bank, getting taken for a ride on a piece of crap and never see the end of the problems and sinking more and more money into it like with my current car.

Bitter? No, I'm not bitter, I'm just not looking to deal with that nonsense again if I can help it at all.
 
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jtr1962

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Owning a car is a great way to remain poor. Before you go out and spend all that money see what your needs really are. You might be able to get by with an e-bike, for example, especially if most of the time the only thing you're transporting is yourself. Or perhaps look at motorcycles if an e-bike isn't suitable. I never owned a car in my life. I don't really feel I missed out on anything. I was always able to go where I needed to go. Only had to bum a ride off someone a handful of times.
 

sedrosken

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I appreciate your input jtr but I don't think that would work for me. I'm looking at around, at minimum, a 20-minute drive to wherever I want to go in town down there, and that's in a car. Plus I don't have very good balance.

The public transport situation down there isn't very good either.
 

jtr1962

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You might want to start your search here then:


Better to just buy outright and get the least expensive car you can for now. I'm sure you can find something halfway decent for the amount of your down payment. Once you have steady work, if the car starts getting costly to keep on the road buy something better.

How far are you from things in terms of miles, not minutes? Also, you said you're rooming with your cousin and his mother. Do either of them have a car? If so, any chance just sharing, and kicking in something for the expenses, might be feasible?

I'm not suggesting any of this to be a pain in the behind but I know people who are my age and still don't have a dime to their name because they spent it all on cars. The first thing I tell anyone starting out is if it's at all possible to get by without a car, then do so. You'll be glad you did 10 or 20 or 30 years down the road.
 

DrunkenBastard

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Used Toyota Camry or Corolla would be solid choices. I would avoid Kias and Hyundais, they had serious engine failure problems for many years with the Theta engine.

Which Hyundai vehicles are included?
The “Class Vehicles” are 2011–2019 model year Hyundai Sonata, 2013–2019 model year Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, and 2014–2015 and 2018–2019 model year Hyundai Tucson equipped with 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter genuine Theta II gasoline direct injection engines within OEM specifications.


Also, never buy a Chevy Equinox 4 cylinder, those are ticking time bombs as well. That's why the used market is flooded with them, all super cheap.

Regarding credit scores, not sure if you are aware but auto loans use a different scoring factors from normal FICO, that is more weighted towards past auto loan performance. If you dont have prior installment loan history you may need a cosigner or settle for unoptimum interest rates.
 

sedrosken

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I'm sure one of my family down there wouldn't mind to cosign with me, but I wouldn't do that personally. As stupid as it is of me to not accept help I'd rather stand on my own feet and make it by my own merits. So I suppose I'll just have to live with whatever interest rate they decide I deserve. As long as it's not something ridiculous (i.e. much over 10%) I don't think I'll do too badly.

Thanks for the information on the Kias and Hyundais. And the Equinoxes -- though they're not the class of vehicle I'd like to find myself in, as I find in general SUVs get rather horrific gas mileage and I just don't like how they sit.
 

jtr1962

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This gives you a good idea of the rates to expect:


They mention that a typical used car loan rate is 9.69%, which is pretty high if you ask me. Like I said, try to see if you can get something decent with whatever you can swing for a cash payment. If you know anyone knowledgeable about cars, have them inspect any vehicle you're considering so you don't get stuck with a lemon.
 

sedrosken

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Thanks for the link. 9.69% seems about average, my cousin just locked in a 4% rate for her new car but she's got a lot more going for her than I have for myself. My own expected rate looks to be somewhere in the 6-8% range depending on how the thing they use to rate me that's more specifically weighted to auto loans goes, I actually have pretty decent credit especially for my age.

Having someone more knowledgeable look at them for me is a good idea, and I'm sure my family down there knows someone who wouldn't mind looking at them for me, but I'm frankly leaving most of the actually mechanically inclined family behind here. I'll admit, it is a little scary, which is why ideally I'd get something with some modicum of a warranty.
 

fb

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Personally I would go with a used Toyota, like drunkenbastard suggested.They are good quality to begin with, they are boring = lower probability that they have been punished by aspiring F1/Indycar drivers. And smaller cars like the Corolla means less weight/less stress on the materials.

Last time I drove a Toyota the sound insulation was not great, but that might have changed.
 

sedrosken

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As long as I can hear my GPS telling me when to take a turn, I don't care about sound insulation. Toyota and Honda was already on my short list, alongside maybe the Chevy Cruze, and the more I hear about them the more I want one.
 

Mercutio

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You say that but I wind up in a lot of $40/day rental cars from my quick trips out of town. Hop in a Nissan Versa or Dodge Neon. Those things sound scary if you're not used to road noise.
 

sedrosken

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I've driven my dad's old Ranger that had basically zero noise dampening. Sounded like you were trying to kill it if you took it on the interstate. As I said, as long as I can hear my navigation over it, I don't care.
 

sedrosken

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Well it's a bit late (I got the car June last year) but I'm now running a 2010 Corolla S. Had 112k on the odo when I got it, has a bit under 120 now, and since I got it it's needed a new alternator, I've replaced the tires (Kumho Ecsta 4x), and had the oil changed twice. It's a perfectly Fine™ car, can cruise at 90 on the interstate (you need to down here just to not get run over!) and I'm going to be paying on it for probably the next couple years unless I can throw money at it once I get this promotion. I paid a bit over 8k and you might think I got robbed, but the prices are even worse down here since I got it! I could probably make money off of it if I sold it. It kinda suffers from the same thing all Corollas of this gen do where if you're giving it half-throttle you're essentially giving it full-throttle, but considering I don't drive like a maniac anyway it's fine. I tend to wait for an opening instead of making one where there isn't one.

In the future I want to replace the head unit with one that'll do CarPlay and Android Auto -- mostly because audio comes through an FM transmitter right now and I get awful alternator whine from it, though navigation on the dash instead of up in the windshield would also be nice -- and install a backup camera since most aftermarket head units have the input for it. They're getting surprisingly affordable but it's not in the cards for a long, long while yet.
 

sedrosken

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Well it's a bit late (I got the car June last year) but I'm now running a 2010 Corolla S. Had 112k on the odo when I got it, has a bit under 120 now, and since I got it it's needed a new alternator, I've replaced the tires (Kumho Ecsta 4x), and had the oil changed twice. It's a perfectly Fine™ car, can cruise at 90 on the interstate (you need to down here just to not get run over!) and I'm going to be paying on it for probably the next couple years unless I can throw money at it once I get this promotion. I paid a bit over 8k and you might think I got robbed, but the prices are even worse down here since I got it! I could probably make money off of it if I sold it. It kinda suffers from the same thing all Corollas of this gen do where if you're giving it half-throttle you're essentially giving it full-throttle, but considering I don't drive like a maniac anyway it's fine. I tend to wait for an opening instead of making one where there isn't one.

In the future I want to replace the head unit with one that'll do CarPlay and Android Auto -- mostly because audio comes through an FM transmitter right now and I get awful alternator whine from it, though navigation on the dash instead of up in the windshield would also be nice -- and install a backup camera since most aftermarket head units have the input for it. They're getting surprisingly affordable but it's not in the cards for a long, long while yet.

Forgot to elaborate based on the prior posts I made regarding loans -- apparently my credit is way better than I thought because while I am on a 66mo term (of which I've paid roughly 10), my interest rate is only 3%. I barely qualified for that, and it was likely only because I was asking for so relatively little -- $8k is a bit scant to get a decent vehicle from a reputable dealer, especially out here.

Also having to replace the alternator that early on sounds bad -- and indeed I also forgot I had to replace ignition coils and spark plugs back in December or so, which I have no excuse for since I did that work myself -- but it was SO early on in my having it that despite my buying it as-is, the dealer took pity on me and covered the costs of the alternator replacement. It's been a minute, as it was right after I got the car, but I believe his exact words were "I know as-is means as-is, but three days are a bit much." Thankfully my battery was brand new and recovered from the deep-cycle event -- or they replaced it without my knowledge, as it was stone dead when the tow truck came to pick it up.

It was... an experience. I lost power steering and traction control cresting a bridge heading out of Ft. Walton into the "island" area, and managed to limp it almost to Destin where I worked at the time before the bumper-to-bumper traffic finally hit and I had to pull off to the side as the engine was trying to die the whole time without giving it gas. I waited for two hours for a tow truck in the heat of the Florida summer before my aunt came to get me and bring me to work. My car wasn't going anywhere without a tow anyway -- even my hazards cut out after about an hour and a half. I had my car back a couple days later and aside from maintenance related stuff, it's been fine.
 

LunarMist

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Well, you are young and have to suffer a little. ;) When you are more established you can buy a newer car. :)
I started driving in a hand-me-down, used old car that needed something done every few months. That was in the old days when they had RWD, big block V8s, and 3-speed auto trans with 10-12 MGP. :eek: I had two of those type in series until I bought a 1-year-old car about a year after undergrad.
 

sedrosken

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I'm actually fine with my car, being perfectly honest, and don't think I want anything newer where the driving is all done by inputs to a computer. The things I had to replace are all either bad luck or timing, or things that should have been replaced anyway. I fully expect to get another 100k on this odometer before I'm either ready or forced to retire it. I'm quite happy with my purchase.

Now, my first car? The one I had before this? That was a death-trap.
 
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