I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5172
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:37 am

Joxam wrote:Also totalling a car does not necessarily mean the car was completely fucked. All 'totalling a car' means is that the amount to fix it is worth more than the car's current value which is not necessarily the same as what a car dealer can get for it if they fix it. So with late model cars that could literally be body work. My car's rear bumper alone cost 2 thousand dollars when I got rear ended but the car was only six months old and had less than five thousand miles on it so the insurance had no problem with fixing it.


Very much this.

My car is an '02 Cavalier. I bought it at the beginning of '06. It had been totaled, but only for body damage. (It had solid scores in Consumer Reports as of '06; definitely listen to Mongrel and check out Consumer Reports. If you can't wait for this year's, last year's are probably still pretty worthwhile to pick up; I haven't checked what the book version costs or what a subscription to the website costs but whatever it is is probably worth it.)

It's been an amazingly reliable car. Some nonessential bits of plastic have started breaking off the interior over the last few years (hazards of the Phoenix sun), but it's continued to be perfectly usable for over a decade. As noted upthread, the AC recently quit working and I'm finally looking to get a new car, but it's safe to say I got my $4K worth out of this one.

It's a coupe, BTW, so yeah I'm definitely sympathetic to the "small car, good mileage" idea. (It's made it to Flagstaff and back on a single tank; that's around a 300-mile round-trip.) Think I'll probably go for a sedan next time just for those times I've got a couple more people in the car, but haven't decided.

Mongrel's right that Honda's probably top of the line, but keep in mind you'll pay a premium for that; even older models tend to stay pretty expensive. (Course, this could work out to your advantage when it comes time to sell it.) I'd say the extra cost probably exceeds the extra benefit; you can get a good enough car for considerably less. American cars may not get any of the top slots, but you can often get a good-enough American car for a lot cheaper than a comparable Japanese car. (My wife and I have had good luck with Chevy; hers is an Impala, '12 I think.)

I'm leaning Prius at this point (because why not be a liberal douche stereotype), and my research indicates they're good, reliable cars (especially the '10-and-later models, but most of the pre-'10 models are good too; I think there were a couple bad years but I can't remember them offhand) but not the most cost-effective; the lifetime savings you get on gas are basically just going to bring you to the break-even point for the extra upfront cost. Plus, if you're buying used you definitely want to check how old the battery is, because hybrid batteries are expensive to replace.

I haven't really begun the search in earnest yet. I've got a month or two left before it starts getting hot again and I really start missing that AC.

User avatar
malikial
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:11 am
Location: Tomah, WI

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby malikial » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:00 am

You also have to look at region of use when you buy a used car. Something that Thad, being in the burning south doesn't really have to worry about. Cars from the north generally just take tons more wear due to snow removal/ice melting being fucking death on cars. I would not buy a car that is over 5-7 years old in this blasted hellscape of northern weather we live in because you have no idea what kind of winter maintenance, under carriage cleaning and general wheel and break maintenance the previous owners have been doing.

Also little things matter. If you buy a car and you're like, oh it's fine the windscreen sprayers don't work but it's just a tiny thing. That's gonna be killer in January when you can't clean your windscreen and it's covered in winter gunk.

User avatar
Silversong
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:00 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Silversong » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:42 am

In conclusion, I bought a 2011 Mazda 3 last night. I looked into Hondas and apparently you cannot find a good used Honda anywhere in Michigan, they get snapped up too fast or something.

I like it, except I have to get used to the headlights not being automatic (and how, in fact, they even switch on).

User avatar
Büge
Posts: 2263
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:56 pm

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Büge » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:49 am

Silversong wrote:I looked into Hondas and apparently you cannot find a good used Honda anywhere in Michigan, they get snapped up too fast or something.


Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 7685
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:05 pm

Hey, I think a couple of you have done the used car purchase dance lately, so maybe I can tap your brains for some help? I haven't bough a vehicle of any sort in over ten years, so I'm farrrr out of the loop on the current tools.

So, my brother and his girlfriend are going to buy a van. High end of budget is $20k (Canadian) and low end is probably like $10k (Canadian). $20k CAD is about $15k USD right now, but the conversion is tempered by the fact that car prices are a bit different in the two countries - New car prices are about 25% higher in the US, based on figures from last October. So just bear that baseline in mind. My brother would be getting a line of credit from the bank to finance it.

They have two small kids (hers) and two big dogs and based on recommendations from friends and people they've known and met, they're pretty sure they would like to get a recent-model Dodge Grand Caravan and are currently looking at one which is I think a 2014 model with 74,000 kms (not miles!) on the clock for $14k CAD which would be close to $20k after taxes and fees.

I have not bought a vehicle of any sort in over ten years now, so I'm no help here, but my goal is to help them stay closer to the $10k mark than the $20, because my brother is pretty set on this and the $20k is really pushing his finances (and the girlfriend is pushing him a bit).

1) Negotiation tools! Online resources, data to use to compare deals, tricks and tool to get the price down - tell me these! I know people are getting better deals these days by going to the dealership forewarned and forearmed and I know fuck all about the actual process, especially specific sites for doing price comparisons on used cars. I mean, there's basic stuff, like always be willing to walk, and to get information from a wide number of dealers so you can compare, but specific sites/tool recommendations would be good.

2) Obviously they should be getting the vehicle history from the DMV, but can they get the dealer to pull this if they're going through a dealer (save a couple bucks or don't trust the dealer)? Anything else they should have pulled records-wise?

3) They're really preferring to buy from a dealer for the certification, etc. and they're really gun-shy about buying something in a private sale. Private might be cheaper, but less guarantees, etc., which I feel makes at least some sense as neither of them know much about car repairs, whereas I and my dad are be more comfortable with that sort of thing. I dunno if anyone has any compelling arguments for looking at private sales. I and a couple friends have already talked him out of the dumb add-on warranties they try to sell in favour of looking for something factory-reconditioned where the warranty is just intrinsic, since they're insisting on a dealer purchase or just not worrying about added warranty if it's not on offer.

4) Line of credit will make repayment flexible, but is there and offhand "How much car can you afford" shorthand the way there is for shelter (i.e. you shouldn't be spending more than a third of your income on shelter). I'm always super-conservative with this sort of thing, but he's pushing it a bit, certainly if he goes to max budget, even though he works two jobs.

5) Is a Grand Caravan the best choice? Other options or ideas? They need a real van of similar size, because they want to go camping and these are damn big dogs they have (a Great Pyrenees/Bernese mix and a Maremma). Some friends have suggested they also look at Honda Odysseys.

Thanks guys.
Image

User avatar
Joxam
Imperisaurus Rex
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:23 pm

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Joxam » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:10 pm

The thing you have to realize about vans is that most now-a-days (at least the American manufacturers) are built on the same base with minimal differences per brand. This is good for many reason (diagnostics, repair cost) but bad for a very specific reason. Your transmission will more than likely fail at a little over 100k miles.
Image

User avatar
beatbandito
Posts: 1440
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:04 am

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby beatbandito » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:26 pm

vans should be purchased based on the mural only
Image

User avatar
nosimpleway
Posts: 2040
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:31 pm

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:37 pm

I really can't recommend buying a van for any reason.

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 7685
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:46 pm

Joxam wrote:The thing you have to realize about vans is that most now-a-days (at least the American manufacturers) are built on the same base with minimal differences per brand. This is good for many reason (diagnostics, repair cost) but bad for a very specific reason. Your transmission will more than likely fail at a little over 100k miles.

Yeah, I've been warned about the transaxle failure/fires on the 3L V6 Caravans.


nosimpleway wrote:I really can't recommend buying a van for any reason.

Is this the most deadpan post possible? If not, it's got to be up there.
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 7685
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:48 pm

Anyway, they want a van regardless, so it's more my trying to help them get the best deal rather than talking them into a different purchase.

He's stubborn, so I know I can't change his mind, but I sure can appeal to his desire to keep as much of his money in his pocket as he can.
Image

User avatar
Silversong
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:00 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Silversong » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:38 am

Mongrel, I had several dealerships offer me the Carfax (total car history report) for cars I was only casually looking at. I think many good dealerships will print one for you for free so definitely ask.

I used autotrader.com a lot to search and compare area used cars. I'm not sure whether it works for Canada.

Make sure to negotiate on the "office fees" line of the bill (or whatever they happen to call it), you can probably get it reduced or negated.

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 7685
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Mongrel » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:49 pm

Thanks!
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5172
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Thad » Fri May 19, 2017 8:18 pm

So I finally got a new car. I like it! It's nice!

(That's one of the reasons I haven't been around for a few days, just in case anybody missed me. There have also been various birthdays and graduations keeping me busy.)

Not only did I get a car with air conditioning just in time for triple-digit temperatures, I also got a car I can plug a music player into just in time for an NPR pledge drive. Everything's coming up Milhouse!

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 7685
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 19, 2017 10:07 pm

What model/year?
Image

User avatar
Grath
Posts: 1314
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Grath » Fri May 19, 2017 10:34 pm

"plug a music player into"... How old are you? Do you not have Bluetooth?

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5172
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: I'm Driving! I'm a Driver!

Postby Thad » Sat May 20, 2017 1:28 pm

Mongrel wrote:What model/year?

'16 Camry.

Grath wrote:"plug a music player into"... How old are you? Do you not have Bluetooth?

Can't fit my whole music collection on my phone; bought a FiiO that doesn't have Bluetooth.

Also don't particularly want to pair my phone with my car. Motherfuckers shouldn't be talking on the phone while they're driving, even hands-free (1 2 3 4).

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests