As a college student who knows nothing about buying cars...

Discussion in 'Community' started by Demon Hunter, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #1
    Once again I bow before my elders on MR. :)

    I'm a college freshman and my car is getting... well... old. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it. It's a red 1992 Jetta 5-speed with a moon-roof and cassette deck. I mean this thing is retro.

    Maybe this is why I'm in love with the new Ford Mustang Coupe. Normally I would just make it my desktop wallpaper, and move on. But I realized my sister is going to need a car very soon, since she just started driving. What if...?

    Basically my question is, how realistic is it for a college student to finance one of these bad boys? Especially since I have no credit to speak of?

    They go for about 19-21k with $500 cash back for students...
     
  2. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #2
    from a 42 year old that started his mountain of debt at your age:

    DO NOT finance anything. You can save enough to buy something to get you through the next few years.

    And I'd go back to a VW or Nissan or something foreign. Much higher quality as you have experienced with the VW.

    My wife and I are currently attending Financial Peace University . We're going through the process of ridding ourselves of thousands of dollars in debt, accumulated by wanting new things like cars. Now we can't afford things for our kids that we would like to do. But we will in time.

    Sorry to rant. The web site above has information for college students as well as just about any age and situation.

    p.s. how many miles are on the VW you now have?
     
  3. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #3
    Thanks for your insight... I've heard the horror stories, and thankfully I have no credit cards yet.

    It has about 104,000 miles.
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #4
    I have a '95 Pathfinder with 125k miles and going strong. Sure I put a little money into it - timing belt, gaskets, tires...but no major engine repairs or issues. All the mechanics I talk to say it'll go 200k miles or more. If you give/sell your VW to your little sister, will mom and dad help with something 'a little newer'?
     
  5. mrdeep macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #5
    *ehem*

    I'll have you know that there is nothing wrong with a vw from 1992.

    http://deep.wuputah.com/images/bigcar.jpg

    My 1992 vw passat is still good to go at 202,000 miles. I got it my freshman year of college, and now, my first year out of school, it is still fine. Every morning on my 45 minute drive to work, I play a little game where I count how many cars i see that are older than mine, the average is about 7.

    Every now and then, I want a new car, either a vintage vw, or a Golf V, then I realize that I already have the perfect car, it's get enough of a retro kick, and all the convinences of a modern car (air conditioning, etc). And my Air conditioner is the best that I've ever seen. I don't have a stereo head unit (someone stole it a couple of weeks ago), but now I have an amp in the trunk that I connect to my ipod for all my musical needs, this is the kind of hack that wouldn't work out very well in a fancy new car, but it's great in mine.

    Also, never underestimate the value of being able to not care about your car. At the moment, I take great joy in being able to not care about my car. Scratches, muddy dirt roads, parking in potentially sketchy areas, whatever. This is the kind of luxury you'll probably never get again, and its value is totally underrated.
     
  6. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #6
    Yeah my folks would help me for sure. You're right about the VW though, it's been an extremely reliable machine. We've had to replace a bunch of stuff but the engine seems to be doing fine. If I wait until I graduate or something I guess it'll be that much nicer, since my car is about as simple as they get. :)
     
  7. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #7
    Lol! Word. Right now I am beating the !@#$ of the HP laptop I'm using, while I wait for my Powerbook. I eat over it, never clean the LCD... ;)
     
  8. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pasadena, Ca
    #8
    i wouldn't do this but the other day i got in a talk with a tow truck driver and he told me that in the past 3 years he ahd only towed 1 KIA and that is becauseit was in an accident, the other good car he said was hyuindai or however it is spelled. i personally would not get them unless they are really cool looking like the chrysler 300, he also sais he had not towed one of those, but pretty much everything from brand new mercedez and other top notch cars he had towed.
     
  9. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #9
    First of all, coming from a jr in college, I just bought a new car. My first one was a 1993 Saab 9000 CDE. It was a beautiful car and if the dang transmission didn't drop out at the worst possible moment (right before a cross country move), it would still be my primary car today with a scant 150k miles. Unless there's alot of damage to your car, don't give it up, now is NOT the time to bring on extra debt (I'm paying my car off with a high paying internship).

    Second, I wouldn't recommend a Mustang. They're nice, reliable cars.....for the first 2 or 3 years. My buddy is on year 4 with his and it's a falling apart POS. On top of that, Mustangs tend to get driven hard, it's just the nature of the game, no matter what kind of a driver you are. It's a fun car, but not something that's going to last like your 92 Jetta is.

    My advice is, if absolutely necessary, get a nice used euro car in the 12 to 16 range. Think Saab 9-3, Audi A4 (both high maintenance), Jetta, Passat, etc. They're nice cars, will last long than the mustang, and look better on an interview when you get out of school.

    Good Luck!

    BEN
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    Heh. Your Jetta is newer than any car in my family.

    Simply, buying a new car and suffering the depreciation on it is likely the single biggest financial mistake you could make in your life.

    Before you think of that ultra-cool 'stang, do this. Figure out what the lease payment or bank payment would be on it. Let's say $300 per month.

    Now budget that into your life, but instead of buying the car, put it into savings (ask your parents about where/what you should invest in) and keep paying in that $300 per month for the next year. After the end of the year, you will have discovered either 1) You can't afford $300 a month without starving and you fell off the bandwagon on month three, so buying the car would have been a bad, bad idea -- or 2) You are disciplined enough to save $300 per month and now have $3,600 plus interest in the bank, PLUS you have survived the year with the Jetta.

    Now, If you'll take my advice, you'll --- keep saving until you have enough to buy what you really need for cash (what you NEED, not just what will please your ego/image/cool factor) because by then you will have also put another year of learning under your belt on the matter of priorities. When you need to replace the Jetta, then look for a 2 - 3 year old car that some other sucker has paid the first 30% depreciation on.

    Paying interest on a loan is wasted money. Pay yourself instead.
     
  11. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    #11
    I would suggest a Nissan, Honda, or Toyota. The Japanese cars will have great reliability. If your looking for an SUV Jeep is the way to go. Get a '97 or older with the 6 cylinder Rambler engine- very good engine. One of my nephews has a 1997 or 1998 (before the newer ones came out) and it has been a very good car even with 180k miles on it.

    Many teens seem to have Jettas. Many of the highschoolers where I live have new Jettas so I guess people like them. One of my mother's cars is the Passat W8 and it has been nothing but trouble. My Cousin has the V6 4Motion and it has been quite troublesome. My neice has the 2002 Passat 1.8T and it has been troublesome as well. My friend has a GTI with the VR6 and according to her, its been reliable. All the teens in my neighborhood have the Jettas have the TDI, or VR6. I'll ask their parents how well they run. My brother-in-law has the Toureg with the V8 and he says its reliable. Obviously these cars are newer but VWs relibility seems to be so inconsistant.


    Wow I know a lot of people with VWs!!
    :rolleyes:
     
  12. Demon Hunter thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #12
    Thanks for all the great advice everyone! So much to learn about finance, credit, saving...

    Right now I have a regular savings account with 0.10% interest... is that good for the $300/month you suggest?

    I was lucky enough to test-drive a Toureg, it's an amazing SUV... more of a luxury SUV though.

    Yeah, VW does seem to have some inconsitency. From what I've heard, the older models seem to have the greatest reliability, which is kind of strange!
     
  13. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #13
    :eek:

    Hey, if you've got the money, go for it. But only if you're proper loaded. Debt is not a nice thing, take it from someone who knows.

    In other news, I'm finally going to learn to drive later this year -- I'm 22, and only now because someone else has agreed to pay! :eek:
    Hoping to get a 2000-1 Volvo V70, or a Ford Focus Estate, however old, depending on insurance quotes. But I'd really, really love the Volvo... you can keep yer Mustang!
     
  14. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #14
    dont forget even if you get the Stang insuring the thing will be a pain since it will be required (and it just planly stupid not to) be full coverage and it is rated as a sports car so it will be pretty nasty.

    Also if you car is still going strong I would not worry about it to much.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #15
    The insurance costs will bury you.

    They may be more than the loan payments. Wait until you're 25 to purchase a sports coupe unless you're wealthy enough that your only concern would be where you laid your checkbook.
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    Kia and Hyundai are the same company, you pretty much cant go wrong with either.

    I know some people will immediatley say Hyundai's suck and whatnot. Not the truth. I've got a 2004 Hyundai Tiburon, my parents have a 2004 Hyundai Sonata, and they are both excellent, reliable cars. None of them have ever had a problem except a power window motor and door lock actuator went out in my Tiburon, both replaced by the dealer under warranty. So I'll add a Hyundai to the list of cars recommended.

    Don't go domestic. My parents previously owned GMs and had nothing but problems with them. Now, they have the Sonata and a 2000 Ford Focus, and the Focus has some issues now (really bad squeaking, shaking at idle). American cars aren't known at all for their relability. Stick with European or Asian if you want a good car
     
  17. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #17
    i personally would not finance anything unless you are earning yourself. since your a college student try to avoid this because if u miss one payment due to an unforseen accident then man you credit rating drops and bam ur in trouble
     
  18. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    #18
    KEEP IT!

    If anything, supe it up, or put a CD player in it with some new speakers. It probably still gets pretty good gas mileage, which is an advantage these days.

    I agree the new Mustang looks VERY nice (hahah GM! your Holden Monaro, I mean, GTO, will be cursed with lagging sales). But I wouldn't recommend anyone under 25 to buy one unless you have a lot of money for insurance. My 1999 Saab 9-5 costs me $1800 a year just for insurance. I can only imagine a new sports car being more.

    If you really want a newer car, I'd recommend a used Japanese car for reliability. However, if your Jetta is still going strong, you might as well get your money's worth.

    Also, debt is a sin.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #19
    Firstly, yes, I'd go with Japanese over Euro or American cars. Simply based on insurance costs, you're going to win.

    And secondly, yes VW is horrid with reliability unless they're very old. ;) I don't know why either, but basically avoid anything from 1997-2003 or 2004. Anything from 2004 to 2005 is good, but VW is expensive for what you get new.

    My stepfather follows cars, and he said Hyundai has great reliability, about as good as Toyota if you got a newer Hyundai. The company is in very good shape. All they have to do is build their reputation, because they're selling great cars at the cheapest prices simply because their rep is not as good as Toyota or Honda. Once people catch on, they'll start selling their cars at what they SHOULD cost.....much more. They offer a great warranty, and because of the low cost to fix them and their reliability, insurance is cheap.

    I just got my very 1st car 10 days ago..... a Hyundai Getz. It replaced the Accent in Australia and in Europe (I think). In Canada (and the US), they still only have the Accent, but if they ever get the Hyundai Getz, I'd highly highly recommend it. :)
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #20
    Whats the Getz supposed to be anyways? A mini-mini van? They look, weird, but then again, all of those tiny cars in Europe look weird to us Yanks. I'll stick with my much more sexy Tiburon ;)
     
  21. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #21

    buy a house first if you can. and then learn to play stocks. THEN buy a car with the cash and equity you get from the previous two things. :)
     
  22. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #22
    payments

    You should be able to call you insurance company and find out how much FULL converage would be for a new mustang. Then figure out your payments for the car. Then start putting that much money aside every month on the same date WITHOUT fail.
    No exceptions. If you default on a car payment your credit will stink and you can lose the car as well.

    If after 6-12 months you have managed to maintain that payment, you will have a good deposit on something, and also a cash fund in case you do need to fix anything on the Jetta.

    Then, I would seriously look at a Hundai or somethin like that. I have a good friend who sold VW, Audi, Porsche, as well as Mazda and Toyota. He bought a new Accent for like $7500. So he has a new car, with full warranty and such, and no car payment.

    If you can repeat the montly savings process, after a few years at your post-college high paying job (hopefully), then you should be able to drop cash on the 2008 mustang, which should have the bugs of the new model worked out.

    The less you debt you have, the happier you will be.
     
  23. MacPhreak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #23
    If they are 2004 models, they better not have problems! Come back in ten years and tell us about their reliability! :)

    And as for all this "don't buy American" BS, it's just that, BS. I've had a 1985 Buick LeSabre and am currently on 1997 Chevy S-10. The Buick was a hand-me-down from my father, which he bought new, and never gave any problems what-so-ever up until the day we sold it in 1997 or 1998. I bought my 1997 new, and it has not given me any problems at all, outside of normal maintenance (brakes, belts, etc).

    Something else to think about: I'd say a good guess on the average car loan is about $300-400/mo, for a decent vehicle. Outside of oil changes, I MAY have ONE $300 repair bill (brakes run about $350, an so on...) per year. So, it's much, much cheaper to keep fixing my old car once, twice, heck, even three or four times a year, than to buy a new one and have to chomp down on a huge payment every month.

    Plus, insurance is really low when you get over 25 and drive an old vehicle. Mine is $270 every six months. Chump change in the world of insurance.
     
  24. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #24
    Mine's $350 and I drive a new car. Well, 2002, but it's still got full coverage.

    That's what happens when you buy a diesel. That and your fuel bills get cut in half. I'm driving this car 'til the wheels fall off.
     
  25. MacPhreak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #25
    Duh. That's with full coverage. Thanks pseudobrit!
     

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