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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Auto loan interest rates depend mainly on your credit score, but buying used and not shopping around could raise your cost to borrow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.