Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Any suggestions on a used car?

I don't own a car, but I've got a job interview for a job 20 minutes away (so I'd have to buy one if I got it.) And I do want this job - it sounds like a much better environment than my current one. So I, in my obsession with planning everything possible ahead of time, am looking at cars (you know, in case I get this job and need one.) I don't have enough saved to buy one outright so I want to make sure payments are quite low - with my age, insurance alone will probably run $75-100 a month, so I want to get a car that's about $5-7k so that the payments won't be too bad. The salary that I'd want to get in order to equal my current one (considering that I get $6k of retirement contributions free from my current employer) would be about $7-8k higher than I make now, so that I can swing a car and still sock away lots of money for retirement. (Salary is obviously a key issue - if they can only pay me what I get paid now, I'd effectively be taking an $8k paycut between the retirement money and the car costs.)

Anybody got any suggestions for a good used car? I basically just want a small sedan and I'd rather get something older that's more durable than something newer that only cost $10k to begin with.

8 comments:

Lisa said...

I would recommend anything Toyota or Honda. They both have excellent reputations for quality and reliability.

Ms. MiniDucky said...

Definitely seconding the Toyota and Honda route. You're probably wanting something along the lines of the Corolla or Civic. It can be a little more difficult to find sometimes, but it's well worth the money in the quality. Generally you can expect not to have any costs beyond typical maintenance, especially if they've been treated decently.

D said...

I am an American Girl. I only buy from the big 3. It is my little contribution back.

I think Saturns offer great cars at great prices. Even the new ones are reasonable.

What ever you decide, make sure you have a mechanic look at it first. As a woman, I know I can't detect things my husband does. Paying for a once over could possibly save you mucho bucks later when buying someones trade in. Buyer beware.

Good luck to you on the job hunt.

Bob said...

Definitely third the Toyota/Honda idea. Great reliability. You could get one with 120,000 miles on it for a few dollars and still drive another 80,000 mi, no problem.

http://www.columbuscars.com/

HC said...

I'd fourth the Toyota recommendation, although I've enjoyed the trips in my friend's Ford Focus as well. Both of them get good ratings in the Consumer Reports car issue, which I strongly recommend you check out.

On the payment side of the equation, I just got a notice that several area credit unions are having a used/new car sale near me. If you or one of your friends is a member, credit union loans are usually VERY competitive.

JLP said...

Go for a Ford F-250 Quad Cab with EXTRA big tires and rims! If traffic gets bad, you just take that bad boy OVER the cars in front of you.

Of course I'm joking. I would go with a Civic. You should be able to find one in your price range.

JLP

AllFinancialMatters

GolbGuru said...

I would suggest Honda Civic. It's very similar to Toyota Corolla in terms of reliability and gas mileage, but I think it has a better safety record than Corolla in terms of crash test ratings. Also, it may cost you a bit more than a similar model year Corolla.

prlinkbiz said...

This is right up my alley. As a hobby, I buy and sell used vehicles. I find them on cars.com and use kbb.com to gauge pricing. I loook for vehicles I'm interested in that are priced at or below kbb private party price with a motivated seller. I take along a boy to look the car over, and I also bring cash so I can make an even lower offer and drive the car away right then and there. Then I have no car payment, and I can sell the car for more and make money on it. Be safe- but make money girl!