Best Car for a 16 and a half year old?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by G5Unit, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    Apr 3, 2005
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    I'm calling the cops
    #1
    Ok so before I start I don't wan this thread to end up like my phone thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=295478

    Anyways, I am getting my liscense soon and I will be in need of a car.

    I don't want a new car, yet my parents insist so I'm going ahead with it.

    To sum it all up, for under $16,000, what is there for a teenager?

    (I pay for all accessories)

    Thank you!
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #2
    Are your parents going to pay for the insurance too?
     
  3. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #3
    Yes, they're paying for everything except the things I want to add on.

    I plan on paying them back for the course of the next 5 years for it though.
     
  4. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    Chicago
    #4
    The new Ford focus's are nice. Get one of those.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #5
    Wow........ :rolleyes:



    Get the cheapest, running, reliable used car you can find. You're 16 and just got your license, the odds of wrecking your first car are extremely high. I know your parents insist, but convince them otherwise. It's just stupid for a 16 year old to have a brand new car
     
  6. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #6
    I would say get something small, that way it's easier to park, and gets good gas milage.

    Something like a Yaris maybe
     
  7. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #7
    For 16k your options are pretty good, take a look around and feel out what you like in a car and what you expect from it. Also keep in mind that the sportier and faster the car is the more expensive it is to insure. Also Hondas and Toyotas tend to be higher to insure because theft rates are higher.

    Take a few test drives, narrow it down to a few cars that you liked in your budget, once you do that grab a Consumer Reports guide to new cars and see how they rank along with going online and looking at how that car has treated others in the past. Keep in mind when looking that the most vocal may be the ones with the most problems though and not the majority.

    Get what you like, & what you can afford in the long term since a car costs more than just the sticker price in the long haul.

    Now with that said I'll get these out of the way so that you can get more advice.

    Common MR comments in "what cars should I buy threads"... :D:p:eek:
    Honda Civic

    Toyota Corolla

    Save your money and take transit/save the environment.

    Some cheaper used car and put the rest in savings for college, etc..

    Good luck to you :)

    Ed
     
  8. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #8
    When you're just getting your license, the best car is the cheapest piece of **** you can find that moves and passes inspection.

    Get a piece of **** car and drive it for a couple of years so you can get some experience (and hopefully stay incident free). Once you have a few years of experience, your odds of getting in an accident go down and then you can get a nicer car.

    The last thing you want to do is get a brand new car and wreck it in a month. I know a ton of kids (I'm 19) who wrecked their first cars.

    Tell them this, and if they really want to buy you a new car, tell them to buy it for you for a graduation present. However, if they're just loaning you the money and you have to pay them back in a few years, I STRONGLY advise you to buy something for less than $3000 and put the rest of that $16000 in the bank. That money will pay for a year of state college tuition&fees, or about 1/4 of a year at private college. :/
     
  9. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

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    #9
    Under 16k, eh? Well then it's simple: A used Volvo. It won't cost anything near 16k, they're reliable as they get, and you can use the rest of the money to turn it into a mega-sleeper. I bet you could get over 300hp. (Look at IPD's website for upgrade kits, especially for S/V70 series)
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #10
    Something cheap enough that you can live with liability coverage only, aka -- you wreck it you lose it.

    Just put money into another one.

    A cheap $3000-4000 car in good condition will be reliable as a new one.

    I'd almost say get a mercury grand marquis or something that really drops rates low -- or is dirt cheap to insure, though the teenager tax probably torches that. Right now the fully covered Mercury Grand Marquis is costing less than the same older Ford Crown Vic vehicle with liability only.

    Check around and talk to the insurance agent and give them the VIN before you buy, so they can give you a quote.

    You may pay more for gas and some repairs, but losing it in a wreck won't make you sad ... just get another one.
     
  11. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

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    #11
    BAHAHAHAHA..

    Tell that to the high school kids at my school. I swear, every single one of them gets a brand new car, probably $20k on average. And I doubt they'll give a thought about insurance.

    (If you haven't figured it out, kids at my school are dumb. Rich parents that don't seem to figure out that their kids are gonna be screwed when they're on their own.)
     
  12. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

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    Apr 12, 2005
    #12
    And I know a ton of kids that have some sense of responsibility and have kept a new car in relatively new condition. I got a brand new car when I was 16 (1992 BMW 325i), I drove it until i was 19 and it had no more than some door dings on it when i traded it in. Most my friends had new or newer cars, out of the majority of people I knew, those with cars never wrecked them, a few got in accidents, but none that I know of totaled a car or treated it like ****.

    Not all young drivers are irresponsible, however the bad ones seem to get the spotlight. Driving is a privilege and not a right.
     
  13. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

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    #13
    Write that down, OP. Whatever you get, drive it like it's full of babies or something.
     
  14. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
    #14
    Honda Civic, coupe or sedan. The new Ford Focus is fairly nice as said above. I like the Mazda 3 too. Personally I'd proabably try to get them to spend the 16k on a used car with under 20k miles, you could get a used car that would be much nicer than what you could get new for that money.

    There's nothing wrong with getting a new car at 16-17. While I didn't get a new car, I did get a car that was more expensive than what the poster is asking about. If you drive responsibly you won't have a problem. Just make sure you get insurance that'll cover you if some else drives like an idiot. Haven't had an accident or ticket since I started driving (about 4 years), knock on wood.
     
  15. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #15
    No, not all young drivers are irresponsible, but they are inexperienced. I've always considered myself to be a responsible driver. But one day when I was 17, I made a stupid mistake and ended up wrecking my first car. Fortunately, it was a old piece of crap beater and not a brand new one. The accident wasn't a result of me being irresponsible and acting like a moron, I just didn't look hard enough when making a turn, assumed I had enough room to go, and didn't.

    And for someone who is a responsible driver, wrecking their car is one of the best things that can happen for them, assuming everyone walks away from the accident of course. 4 years after the accident, I'm still more careful now than I ever was before and always make sure there's enough room to make a turn and play it safe and wait if I'm not sure. You learn from experience, and unfortunately, bad experiences play a huge part in learning.
     
  16. stevegmu macrumors regular

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    #16
    Definitely a Rabbit. I got a new VWCorrado when I was 16, and pitied those driving beaters as their 1st car. VWs are safe and fun to drive.
     
  17. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
    #17
    Only $20k? I went to school with a girl who drove a Bentley Continental GT that her father gave her for her 16th birthday, man was that a hot car, but the interior was the ugliest orangish color. There were some nice older porsches, a few bmw's (one nice M3), some G35s, I think the student parking lot had nicer cars than the faculty. We had our share of slight above average (me) and average high school student cars as well. Don't get me started on the cars at my college (Lotus, BMW (6 series, M3), new Land Rovers, Porsches (Cayenne, Turbo), seems like everyone is rich there, oh well, welcome to private school I guess.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #18
    If he must get a new car, I second the Rabbit. I absolutely love my GTI, and the Rabbits are almost as fun.


    But if he takes my recommendation and goes used, I'd probably pass on an older VW. Their reliability back then is a bit questionable. If he goes used (and I sure hope he does), I would say something like a Honda or Toyota.
     
  19. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

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    #19
    Daaaaaamn... I see what happened with your cell phone thread. :D

    Yeah I'll stick to recommending cars from now on.

    If you haven't noticed, I'm kind of a Volvo fanboy. (Maybe it's the Swedish side of me)

    Here's a moderately extreme example of how a Volvo can be a mad sleeper. The car itself wouldn't cost more than 6k and the 10k you could slap in a bigger turbo, get better suspension, new brakes, water injection, some gauges to monitor all this... fun fun fun.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbHEPbS9ZeU
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #20
    As far as new and around that price point, the Rabbit is a winner.
     
  21. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #21
    Indeed. One thing I noticed about the Jettas and the GTIs (and I assume the Rabbit as well) is that everything is standard, whereas on the competition, you have to add a bunch of packages to match the features of the VW. My dad's looking at new cars, and the Jetta base model was more expensive than it's competition's base model (mainly the Mazda 3 was what he was looking at), but by the time you add all the packages to the other car to match the features, it's just as expensive, if not more than the VW.

    Plus, there are a bunch of minor cool features my GTI (again, and I assume the same is true for the Rabbit, since it's pretty much the same car sans the 2.0T engine, 6 speed tranny, HIDs and a few other small things) has that I don't think any other car has. For example, If I tap my blinker stalk, it will flash 3 times and shut off, great for changing lanes. And today I discovered, that when I have the front wipers on, when I move the shifter into reverse, the rear wiper switches on automatically. How cool is that?

    So yeah, if you must get a new car, I recommend the Rabbit. But I still recommend against getting a new car. I'd hate to see a brand new Rabbit (or any car for that matter) sitting in pieces in a junk yard ;)
     
  22. iJesus macrumors 6502a

    iJesus

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    Reno, Nevada
    #22
    Agreed, the VW Rabbit is probably the best car for the price. I think base is $15,600.

    I'm 16 as well and plan on getting a new car as well. I'm really looking into the Rabbit's myself. I live at Lake Tahoe so I also need a pretty good snow car (although it's not a huge hassle since we've got an extra 4x4 SUV I could drive)

    By the way, you seem like a cool kid =)
     
  23. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #23
    Okay, don't mean to sound elitist or anything, but...
    There aren't many teenagers with a grand marquise on their list, in fact its probably in the realm of impossibility. Car companies make different classes of vehicles for a reason, grand marquise = 75+ crowd.

    To the OP:
    I've been looking at the 2007 Jetta, and Altima slightly used. I'm on the same budget so I've been doing a lot of research. I also would recommend the Volvo S40, its an awesome car but lacks an upgradeable head unit which is a must for the iPod.
     
  24. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #24
    Well, at first I had an idea for a 16 year old, but you said 16 and a half so that of course changes everything. With that, I second whoever said a used VW. They're good cars. Don't spend 16K on a car that will be wrecked within a year.
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    Honestly I would say a 10 speed. Or something used.
     

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