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Know Stuff about Cars?

October 26, 2004

Okay, guys, here's the deal: I need a new car.

By "new" I mean "used, costing $2000 or less." By "new" I also mean "not the junker I have been driving for two years" and "not a piece of crap that is going to fall about in about, oh, thirty seconds." So, I need your knowledge and advice! What kind of car should I buy? Where should I buy a car? What kind of car SHOULDN'T I buy and where should I avoid like the plague?

I'm thinking Honda, Toyota, or Nissan (are you sensing a pattern in the type of car I am seeking?). No Fords, please, I still haven't gotten over that whole exploding Pintos thing. I want something small, sleek, silver and stickshift. Sure, I can't drive a stickshift but I'm willing to learn.

How can I tell if a car is garbage before I buy it? Any advice would be much appreciated. I have never had to car shopping before! (It sucks! Is buying a car on ebay a really bad idea??)

OPTIONS I'm considering:

GOODWILL Auto Auctions

Ebay Motors

(updated 10/26/04)

Moira at 02:22 PM :: Comments (4) :: ::
Comments:

Hi Moira!

If you don't have to rush out and buy something right now, I suggest taking some time to research the cars you are interested in and learning more about the overall car buying process.

The internet is a great place to start. I have not purchased a car from carmax myself, but have looked up used cars and prices there for friends several times. The information on their website should prove useful in getting a feel for the price range of cars you are interested in even if you end up buying from another source. www.carmax.com

You can also check retail prices for used cars at www.nadaguides.com (You can get these guides at the library too.)

Also check out back issues of Consumer Reports magazines. They have great info and tips for buying used cars and you can also find reliability information for specific makes/models/years you are considering to help in making your final decision.

Good luck and keep your readers posted on your car search!

Posted by: rosemary at October 26, 2004 03:59 PM

Everything rosemary just said is awesome for a start. You might want to consider asking people around if they know of any auto-auctions (police impounded or just re-sale) and seriously consider that. You may even want to broaden your search for cars as well, I'm saying settle for fords or anything but consider your saturns, acuras, madza, even oldsmobile (a widely slept on company but they have some decent old cars). The big thing for me when I'm in the market is when I'm talking to the seller and thaty can't tell me anything past the car looks shiny I usually run away. Try to find someone who has the faintest clue and drag them everywhere to look stuff up.

Oh and be prepared to hear about how every car has been owned by a old lady whe never drove it, despite the fact that it has over a 1000,000 miles on it.

Posted by: Hashim at October 26, 2004 11:18 PM

Rosemary -

Thanks so much for the suggestions! The two sites that you recommended have been great for providing me with much needed information! Also, today I was at the SHU library looking for a book we discussed in Writing for the Internet today and instead I found a booksale, complete with three back issues of Consumer Reports for 75 cents each. Score!

Hashim -

Thanks for the tip on auto auctions! I'm working my connections for an in on that market... I have a friend of a friend of a friend who goes to those things every month or so. I'm going to get in contact with him as soon as I can.

Your suggestion that I broaden my search criteria is also a good one - really though, I'm being pretty open minded about it. Ideally I want something slick, sporty, silver, and stickshift but I know that I realistically might end up with something not at all like that. And I don't even care. My biggest requirements right now are something small and dependable. I don't care if it's ugly as long as it gets me from point a to point b for at least a couple years. Can you recommend any smaller cars that I can research?

I have a friend that I've enlisted to go with me car shopping. I know that if I go alone, it will be like "bling, bling, bling" as soon as I walk in the door. Sometimes it's particularly annoying being female. :c(

Funny story about little old ladies: My car before my current car was a 1982 Ford Fairmont with hardly any miles on it. It was owned since 1983 by a woman named Lulu who was approximately 2,000 years old. So... sometimes the story is true! ;c)

Posted by: moira at October 27, 2004 01:39 PM

Here's a list of cars you may be able to afford that don't completely suck

Acura: Legend, Integra, Vigor
Buick: Park Ave. or Regal
Daewoo: Any (they made good cars the problem was they didn't market well here in the states which also makes the parts harder to find)

Honda: Civic or Accord (mostly Mexicans and Asian kids gobble these up since those damn Fast a Furious movies came out so be prepared for competition)

Hyundai: Any car
Kia: same thing
Mitsubishi: Eclispe, Galant, or Lancer
Nissan: Sentra or Stanza
Saturn: any sedan
Subaru: any old car/ most of them look just like Jettas

Toyota: Celica(most overlooked car), Camry, Carolla, Tercel

VW: Jetta, Fox, Rabbit, Cabriolet, Golf, or Thing (which I can you driving)

Posted by: Hashim at October 27, 2004 09:48 PM
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