Buying a Car Questions (small cars like a Honda Civic)


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 25, 2007
I'm going to be buying my first car within the next three months. The budget is $7,000, but if needed, it probably could be pushed to $8,000. That being said, I want a small car, and my top choice would be a Honda Civic.

To anybody who has a Civic, how do you like it? I'm assuming they are incredibly reliable, as my mom has had an Accord for 4 years or so and has never had to bring it into the shop. Insurance wise, what is it like? I am a first time driver in NC, so I know that insurance for me at least will not be cheap. Also, I found a nice 2 door Civic with a low mileage. Is insurance going to be substantially more than a 4 door?

Also, what other cars would be recommended that are comparable to the Civic? I started looking at a 2005 Ford Focus, but the safety ratings (especially the side impact) really turned me away. Lastly, how many miles is too many? I'm trying to keep below 100,000, but should I go lower?

Thanks, I know that was a lot of questions.


macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2009
Insurance wise, what is it like? I am a first time driver in NC, so I know that insurance for me at least will not be cheap. Also, I found a nice 2 door Civic with a low mileage. Is insurance going to be substantially more than a 4 door?
I can't help you much with the Civic specific stuff, but I would recommend making an appointment with an insurance agent and getting specific quotes for the cars you are looking at. If your mom likes the agent she has, go with that one. Otherwise ask around or search online. If you go before you buy, you will know exactly how much it will cost and if you don't like the agent there is a lot less pressure to commit, since you don't actually have the car yet.


macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2006
Same country as Santa Claus
Yes, talk to an insurance broker before buying a car. My co-worker moved here recently and she bought a car before getting quotes, it's over $300/month on insurance. :rolleyes:

I have a 2001 Civic and it's bullet proof. Have over 100,000 miles and it never went to the shop other than regular maintenance.

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
No matter what you get your insurances is going to suck and be very costly. under 21 drivers have the worse rates.
As for Honda they are very good cars. My dads current Honda is over 10 years old and has 180k miles on it. During those 10 years the most costly thing that had to be done to it was the clutch at to be replaced but that is expected to happen around 100k for any manual.

I drive a 2004 Sentra and with 70k miles on it. Minus a sensor going out on me nothing really major.
My AC compressor might of been failing but I have no way to know about that one as I did rear end some one so it could of gotten damaged in that when it completely failed on me. Currently my radiator is leaking but again it was a replacement part so does not trace back to the original equipment.


macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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Civics are good cars, and reliable. However, just they have a good reputation does not mean that it won't break down anyway, so make sure you budget around $1000 for the unexpected.

Also, Hondas don't depreciate quickly, especially Civics. Perhaps a Mazda3 or Nissan Sentra, both of which are also reliable but depreciate a bit quicker than a Civic, would allow you to buy something a bit newer and better.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2009
Brooklyn, NY
If I were you I would also take a look at some Acura's like the Integra if you like 2 doors. They are pretty cheap got my 00 Integra GS for 5500 (from a dealer) and up here cars are more expensive than in NC. Acura's are made by Honda so you have that reliability as well. Or look into some Jetta's and Golfs those are some pretty solid cars, my friend got one with 100,000 miles on it for 6 grand and 75,000 miles later its still running strong, never broken down just the regular maintenance.


macrumors 68020
Jul 12, 2009
Los Angeles, CA
for some $2000 dollars more you can get a used 2008 Toyota Yaris in some dealers......they run at 36 MPG!!!!!!!!!!:D:p and u think green a little bit...


macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
Pasadena CA
We just part-ex'd our 2002 Focus. I would pic a Civic over a Focus every time. Sadly - our Focus was a nightmare. Honda's VTEC engines are nothing short of bullet proof.
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