First Car Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dmac77, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Hi,

    I know we have a first car thread going already so if the mods want to merge this go ahead.

    So I started Drivers Ed today, and my Mom has told me to start looking for a car, because I turn 16 in 13 months. She has offered me her 2007 Jeep Cherokee, but I do not want to deal with that thing. I can't afford a car that only gets 12 mpg during the winter. I just can't, so I turned her down. In addition to that, the Jeep has had a ton of problems, and I really don't want to deal with them.

    Maintenance costs aren't much of a factor, because my cousin-in-law owns a repair shop and has said that he'll do pretty much everything for free (except for huge things like new transmission, etc.).

    My grandparents will buy the car for me, as long as it is under $6000.

    So I found a 1999 Saab 9-5. Does anyone have any opinions on this car? How hard is it to maintain? Do they last for awhile, etc.

    I'm open to other suggestions if you have any.

    Thanks!

    Don
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    Saab's don't have the best reliability, nor are they particularly cheap to fix when they go wrong. I'd look for a good used Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Both are very, very reliable, excellent on gas, and cheap to fix. I had a Civic for my first car and it never gave me a lick of trouble, only ever needed basic maintenance, and returned fantastic gas mileage. You should find something very reasonable in your budget.
     
  3. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    Okay thanks, I'll look into some Japanese imports.

    Don
     
  4. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #4
    speaking from experience, stay away from cars with bad reliability history. I didnt buy my first car until i could pay the payments an d repairs and insurance, but i did buy a not so reliable car. My first car was a MkII Jetta GLI. It was an awesome car, and i spent alot of time over at the vortex, (vw vortex), but it nickled and dimed' me to death, so to speak.

    I would get a car that is from japan and is in good condition, not totaled (has a bad title), and you have CAR FAXED!!

    I would go and look at consumer reports and see what they say about various models.

    For a first car, i would go with a 1997 Honda Accord. They are very reliable, and re-sale is decent. I wouldnt spend any money adding parts to it that dont do anything to it, ie; exhaust, body kit, etc. Maybe a good head unit that will take an aux input and a couple of pairs of decent speakers from crutchfield.com.

    Believe me, i have lived it. There is absolutely no reason to spend money on a car other than maintenance. Cars are the worse investment that you can make. No matter how much you spend on aftermarket parts, it will never add value to the car, well enough to break even. What if you car gets totaled, or stolen? you wont get any money for a body kit, or header, window tinit, etc.

    I wish i would've gone back in time and listened to my step day. I should've just bought a 1988 Honda Accord (this was in 1997, mind you :) ) and be done with it.

    No point turning 18 and being in debt (you WILL get credit card shiest in the mail).

    I can recommend a 1997 Altima. I had mine for 80K miles (about 2 years, yes i drove alot) and all i had to replace was the brakes, oil, tyres and the alternator, but that was under warranty. What a great car
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #5
    Sounds like you have a good budget. I know you say your cousin-in-law can fix stuff for you, but what if you break down somewhere far away? And what about parts?

    You need reliability more than anything else, including gas mileage. An SUV getting 12 mpg is far more useful than a 1997 anything sitting in the driveway leaking oil because you can't afford to get the rear seal replaced.

    If it were me, I wouldn't look at anything older than around a 2001, whatever it ends up being. If you pick a model you see everywhere - Camry, Accord, most domestic pickups, Malibu, etc. - those are generally easier to find parts for on the cheap and easier to find someone who can fix it.
     
  6. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #6
    Whats with kids now days? I didn't get my first car until my second year of college (last year), and I had to pay for the entire thing myself. I was never offered an 07 or $6000 for a new car. Sheesh.

    But you should have taken the 07, and sold it.
     
  7. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    She wouldn't have let me do that. The offer was that I take it and keep it until I'm 18 and I can afford a car on my own, or she keeps it and trades it in next year.

    And you'd be surprised by what some of the kids at my school drive. Some of them get brand new BMWs and Mercedes for their 16th birthday, it's disgusting. There's a girl that got a fully loaded Mercedes SLK-350 for her birthday last week. It's a $65,000 car. I wanted to vomit, when I found out.
     
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #8
    Sounds like my high school. One girl drove a Honda S2000. Another got a new MINI every two years. I had a car - a used Honda Civic - but there were certainly some spoiled kids at my school, too. :)
     
  9. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    I'm just disgusted by the fact that some parents are stupid enough to buy their kids a car like that. She's a total ditz, and I give that car 6 months tops before she ruins it. But her parents will get her another one, thats what they did for her brother 6 months ago.

    Don
     
  10. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #10
    You should have seen my High School parking lot. 60% of the vehicles were Benz's or BMW's some of them were AMG's and M's. I have a Saturn Aura( ok, granted it was brand new and parents did pay for it. I admit I am spoiled. But, I am appreciative and said thank you 10 times a day for 3 weeks :p ).
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    At $6K, you can get a decent car, but you don't have to hit the limit either. Go for something on the smallish side, as it tends to get better mileage, and have lower maintenance and repair costs.

    Honda and Toyota have a good track record with such vehicles. The recommendation of sticking with '01 or so, and Car Fax checks on the VIN number, are excellent advise.

    I'm less sure on the idea of small domestic trucks, as I'm less aware of their insurance rates for a young driver. :eek: Certainly worth looking into. ;)

    Good Luck. :)
     
  12. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #12
    A chick at my school had a Bentley Continental GT, pretty awesome car. Why she deserved it, I don't know, but I suppose if you've got lots of money its just another way to spend it. I wouldn't buy my kid a car like that, but if I had a good chunk of change I'd probably spend $20-$25k on a new Honda for them.
     
  13. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    A parent buying a Bentley for their kid proves my theory that people are idiots.

    Don
     
  14. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #14
    Yeah, it was pretty dumb, but if I were the kid I'm sure I wouldn't be complaining. Though I don't think I would have chosen a Bentley. I don't think she ever actually drove it to school, probably got a second car for that, it would have been keyed a few hundred times had she driven it to school.
     
  15. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    How true, and she would have deserved to get it keyed. Why can't my mom or dad be a rich lawyer or doctor or something like that?

    Don
     
  16. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #16
    Why would she deserve to have it keyed? Why would ANYONE deserve to have their car keyed?
     
  17. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #17
    If she would have been stupid enough to drive a bentley to school she would deserve to get it keyed, for being that stupid. That's just my opinion.

    Don
     
  18. DrStrange macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
  19. shfreelance macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Eustis, FL
    #19
    Alright, I notice you said in the winter she get's 12 MPg? So does it snow up there and need a 4x4? If so then you may need to look into that if the roads are poorly plowed. If the roads are plowed allot in the winter, then just get a nice FWD Honda/Toyota. If you need a 4x4, I know the Toyota Tocoma is a tough bitch. My advice when buying a car, is not get something driven by a teen (I know I am 18, see how others my age drive.) or "riced" out, as they have been abused. Get something stock or mostly stock, driven by someone older.

    As for insurance, I live in Florida, near Orlando and always had Geico. I have a clean driving record. This is what I paid for slightly above basic coverage. (Just as an FYI.)

    16-17 Years Old, Penis Tax.
    1997 Acura TL 3.2L: Parents listed first, I as occasional driver. But I was really driving it all the time (cheaper this way). $90 a month.

    18 Years Old, and get a bigger male product tax.
    1998 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 (I liked and penny pinched, and emptied my bank :D) : I insured this on my own and to my surprise cheaper to do so. But get taxed heavily for being an 18 male at $150 a month.

    This is just an FYI for some cost...

    Also for people in high school who drive a new BMW that is sick... My parents bought my first car, the Acura for $3,000 and it's a damn nice first car. But I see no problem with a parent if can afford so, buying there child an reliable new economy car, such as the Saturn Aura.
     
  20. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #20
    I wouldn't say she deserved to have it keyed, but I mean, really, driving a Bentley to a public high school where most cars are from $7000-$17000 is asking for the other high school students to do something to it.
     
  21. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #21
    Thats the problem with society.
     
  22. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa City, Iowa
    #22
    I used to have a problem with all the rich kids and their excessive, ludicrously expensive cars in the lot. Some days, I would sit and think about it for more than a minute or two.

    In the end, I realized it was a combination of jealousy and disgust mixed together. However, neither of these is terrifically productive in the end.

    Who gives a crap. Someone is always richer, smarter, better looking, with a bigger phallus or a more cushy job. So what. I got my car from a dead grandpa. I'd rather have my grandpa back, but I appreciated his rustbucket inheritance he left me. I drove it with a big, ridiculous smile because it was MY car, and I was happy to have that pure American freedom to drive wherever I wanted to.

    Cars are an individualized means of conveyance, nothing more or less. Some are stylish, or fun to drive, but most importantly they serve the social function of carting your arse from point A to B. At your age, get the cheapest, most reliable one you can find. Pocket or invest the extra cash. Probabilistically, your car will get wrecked, or dented, or damaged, or broken down, or whatever. Cars = crap investment.

    Good luck in your search. I highly recommend the 1997 or 1998 Toyota Camry. 194,423 miles on mine as of yesterday, thus far I've only replaced the starter motor in it, plus regular maintenance. I recommend it highly.
     
  23. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #23
    I wouldn't say society, I don't think you can generalize the actions of a bunch of jealous 14-18 year olds to everyone. I know quite a few people with $150k+ cars, they've never had a problem with them being keyed or otherwise vandalized. In fact, I think I've had more problems with door-dings on my less than $20k Nissan than all of them combined.
     
  24. Victor ch macrumors 6502a

    Victor ch

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    San José, Costa Rica
    #24
    I'm kinda in the same deal here, 18 in October, graduate in November, new car in December, although my limit is near the $34K (which won't buy you that much of a car here, a safe, good and comfy one yes, but not a luxury car per say)

    I really really agree with you turning down the Jeep, those monsters are gas chuggers, and US made cars aren't that good after a few years (I am telling this from my mom's and other people experiences, please don't hate).

    I second the getting a used Japanese car, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, etc manufacture really good cars (even if they're not assembled in Japan) and will likely be more fuel efficient (which is a key factor for these days)
     
  25. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Accoville, WV
    #25
    Hyundai.

    I bought my '02 Elantra GT in October of '06 for $5700. It's fully loaded, with the exception of ABS/Traction Control. It has leather, keyless entry, power everything, sunroof, etc. It has almost 92k on it now and SO FAR, I haven't had any issues with it.

    Quality is damn near on par with Honda and Toyota for a lot less. I went and test drove a Mercedes a couple of months ago and the woman who had the Mercedes was impressed with the quality of my car. In fact, she tried to trade me out of it, but I declined. I love my car. I just wish it had ABS.
     

Share This Page