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Old Feb 10, 2013, 07:28 PM   #1
andreydzung
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Buying a car or not?

Hi all, I have saved up some money (10k) and thinking of what to do with that. Here is my situation: I live in Chicago suburbs, with good public transporation. My roommate also has a car and we use that one for groceries. But it's not a good thing to borrow his car since insurance/personal problem. Also my workplace is walkable from home.

1) Buy a used car: Go out of town sometimes, and network with people (this is especially beneficial as most of the time now I just work, and stay at home/do grocery in weekends) Chicago has a lot of cool places not reachable by public transporation or will be very time consuming (1-2 hours one way). And driving itself is so relaxing.

2) Not buying it: Use Zipcar or car rental, but rightnow I'm not eligible for Zipcar yet due to 1 year driving history requirement. Probably I'll use the money to invest then, but it'll be all work for me then ..
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:05 AM   #2
eric/
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Probably don't need a car. It's a huge hassle anyway. Gotta pay for gas, insurance, etc...
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:11 AM   #3
ChristianJapan
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Rental sound like a good idea until car sharing is possible .. If you not really use it daily its quite waste of money.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:53 AM   #4
maflynn
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I'd say that you really don't need a car though it would be a nice to have and may provide some benefits.

I'd look more to the zip car for any usage needs and save your money.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:08 AM   #5
eric/
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I'd say that you really don't need a car though it would be a nice to have and may provide some benefits.

I'd look more to the zip car for any usage needs and save your money.
Yup, invest that $10,000 instead in an IRA
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:00 AM   #6
prostuff1
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If the room mate would be up for it just have him/her add you to there insurance policy. Offer to pay the difference (or the entire year of insurance depending on how much it is) and put gas in the car every one in a while.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:07 AM   #7
Kissaragi
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Buying the car is the cheap bit. Insurance, tax, petrol, repairs, service etc are the bits that really add up.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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You have good public transport...no need to buy a car!
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:30 PM   #9
whosnut
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I wish I lived somewhere that I didn't have to use a car to get everywhere. With a car, you have to think about: insurance, maintenance, parking, fuel expense. I just replaced my front axle and now I need new brakes. I swear, even keeping up with the service schedule, something new always pops up that needs to be repaired.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:53 PM   #10
stonyc
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No car.

Just wait until you can qualify for ZipCar for when you really do need a car.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:44 PM   #11
malman89
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Chicago (and you suburbanites ) have some of the best public transit in the U.S., so just stick to it.

ZipCar and the other near identical Chicago service (blanking on the name) are the easiest things ever. Just wait for it.

Sometimes living in a commuter area I do miss my U-Pass or CTA Plus Card
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:50 PM   #12
wordoflife
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Cars itself aren't that bad, but insurance, petrol, maintenance all add up. I'd probably avoid getting one unless you really felt that you needed it.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malman89 View Post
Chicago (and you suburbanites ) have some of the best public transit in the U.S., so just stick to it.

ZipCar and the other near identical Chicago service (blanking on the name) are the easiest things ever. Just wait for it.

Sometimes living in a commuter area I do miss my U-Pass or CTA Plus Card
Agreed, if I was you I wouldn't buy a car.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:52 AM   #14
Synchromesh
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If you can live without it then go for it. Having a car is only worth it if you use it enough.

As for me, I moved out of Boston to the suburbs so I could drive. I love the car, hate public transportation with a passion. Every time I take it in Boston I want to barf. Luckily this happens 1-2 times a year so it's survivable.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:33 PM   #15
malman89
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Cars itself aren't that bad, but insurance, petrol, maintenance all add up. I'd probably avoid getting one unless you really felt that you needed it.
Can't believe I forgot the incredible chance (50%+) that your car will get hit in Chicago - even if you just leave it parked! Some idiot is going to run into the front, back, or side of you, or some act of fate will scratch/dent/mess up your car if you don't have private parking.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:56 AM   #16
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Do not buy a car, it really doesn't sound like you need one.

Seriously...It is a HUGE expense. Insurance, gas, maintenance, and not too mention since you live in the city parking may be an issue for you.

Take that money, stash it away and forget about it.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:27 PM   #17
Zombie Acorn
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Been riding public transit for the past 2 years, its really not been bad at all even though my journey to work is almost an hour. I save a lot of money and I catch up on my reading daily.

Id vote for staying on public transit and save your money.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:11 PM   #18
Micky Do
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Why not get a small motorcycle?

It might not be the solution for everyone, but it has worked for me.

Since I left school 40 years ago I have owned a small (sub 350cc) practical motorcycle for all but about three years (a total of eight motorcycles, of which I still own two; one here in Thailand and one in NZ). I have owned cars off and on for about five of the same years......

In the past nine years I have rented a car on just 3 occasions, and borrowed my sister's once.

My day to day ride, within a 10 - 12 radius of home, is a sturdy bicycle with a carrier and a basket. Public transport where I live is abysmal.

All vehicles I have owned were second hand, paid for in cash with none costing more than $US 1,200.

I reckon that there are better things to do with money than buying an "asset" that devalues quickly, and costs a heap to simply own, and a whole lot more to run. Use the alternatives, and rent when you need to.

On the other hand, if you do have the disposable income to spare, go ahead and buy a car.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:24 PM   #19
Mac'nCheese
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Do not buy a used car. Save up more money, make sure you earn enough for insurance and buy a nice, inexpensive new car. It will probably last forever if you are only using it for smaller trips, weekend stuff and still walk to work. Or go with a scooter if the weather is good enough for most of the year and you have a garage to store it in. I had one. They are a lot of fun and cheap to fill up with gas.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:48 PM   #20
Micky Do
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Do not buy a used car.
Why not?

Every vehicle I have ever owned has been used - 8 motorcycles (two still owned; two running well when stolen) and 4 cars since the mid '70s - No problems.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Micky Do View Post
Why not?

Every vehicle I have ever owned has been used - 8 motorcycles (two still owned; two running well when stolen) and 4 cars since the mid '70s - No problems.
UNless you know enough about cars to make sure you're getting a good deal, its too risky.
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