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Old 05-11-2009, 12:23 AM   #21
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She's an adult with a good (future) income, I don't see why she'd need or expect help from you for this purchase.

She might not be able to qualify for a loan until she has a job. Until that time, have you got a car that you could loan her? It would give you an excuse to drive out and visit her, help her get set up, leave the car and fly home. Then, in a few months she can buy a car, and you can retrieve yours (and pay her another visit).

Car prices are low now, interest rates are low, and she needs a safe, reliable car. If she'll have the discipline to drive it and take care of it for 10-12 years, she won't spend much more for it (per year) than she might spend for a few used cars over the same period. She probably doesn't have the desire or time to tinker with a bunch of nagging little problems that do arise when you buy a used car. Toyotas and Hondas depreciate so slowly that there's not much money to save by buying one that is a few years old. OTOH, I think Kias and Hyundais do depreciate more rapidly over te first few years, and many wil probably last a long time--if she finds a model she likes, that might be a good bargain for her. A nice 2008 Hyundai Sonata can be had for less than $15K. If she buys a new Hyundai, the powertrain is under warranty for 10 years/10K miles, and virtually everything else on the car is covered for 6 years/60K miles. The new car dealers are desperate, and the Ford Fusion got good reviews, good crash test results, and is heavy enough to be safe.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:08 AM   #22
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I'd get something reliable that will last a long time, but not something new. Maybe something like a 3 year old Civic coming off a lease.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:19 AM   #23
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Anything wrong with another Toyota Echo?I'm sure low mileage 04 and 05's can be had for your price range,Mine has just turned 200k with no problems at all,i was so impressed with the reliability and economy that i've added an 08 Yaris sedan to the stable.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:05 AM   #24
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Well, it is one of her first BIG decisions, so of course she wants pop's help. I would look at two options:

1)New domestic car (practically giving them away, most have a 100,000 warranty, any mechanic can fix them. With huge rebates and incentives, she could get something like Ford Focus for a decent price. Since she was raised in frugality, she will have it paid off in 2 years or les anyways.....

2)3 year old import. Honda Civics run forever, as do Corollas. I am sure they are everywhere. Even the Nissan Sentra is not a bad car........

I would not get her a 10 year old car or anything, for a few thousand more she get reliable transportation and one less worry for you and her.......
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:16 AM   #25
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Good advice available upthread.

I'd add:
  • Simple is better, try to find one without power windows, power locks or any other complexities.
  • Unpopular is cheaper. You may get a better deal in a D3 car than an import.
  • Maintain it and it will have a better chance to last
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:08 AM   #26
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I recently went used car shopping with my sister. I was surprised at how over priced the Japanese cars were.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #27
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When I did my recent bit of car shopping/info hunting the Edmunds guys did say to look for the "dark horse" used car candidates - ie not a honda or toyota, but a car with documented reliability. I believe nissan and mazda are pretty cheap and some of them have good reliability/value - and some of them suck (friend has a nissan that is a joke). So far my new mazda is great!

Can't help you with more dark horse names, but sure they would pop up under a search or two...
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:47 AM   #28
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When I did my recent bit of car shopping/info hunting the Edmunds guys did say to look for the "dark horse" used car candidates - ie not a honda or toyota, but a car with documented reliability. I believe nissan and mazda are pretty cheap and some of them have good reliability/value - and some of them suck (friend has a nissan that is a joke). So far my new mazda is great!

Can't help you with more dark horse names, but sure they would pop up under a search or two...
Nissan Altima, Mazda 3 and 6, Hyundai Elantra,
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:57 AM   #29
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Good advice available upthread.

I'd add:
  • Simple is better, try to find one without power windows, power locks or any other complexities.
  • Unpopular is cheaper. You may get a better deal in a D3 car than an import.
  • Maintain it and it will have a better chance to last
I'd disagree on the power locks and windows, from a security standpoint. My DW used to have such a car and I was always finding one or more doors unlocked. Also not being able to roll down the passenger's window from the driver's seat is a real PITA, like when someone asks directions or vice versa.

Agree on the American cars - there are some real values out there on cars with good reliability, but that are not too sexy. Ford Focus comes to mind. Check out Consumer Reports' recent Auto Issue.

Definitely maintain it, but to the manufacturer's schedule - skip all the flushes, 3000 mile oil changes and dealer money making stuff.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:03 PM   #30
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A lot to be said for a Taurus coming out of a fleet. Prejudice aside, these are excellent cars, reliable and safe.

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #31
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She is your one and only daughter. She has a job coming up. For heaven's sake get a safe, reliable car. She needs her safety, and she needs her time and energy for making a professional and social life for herself, not for struggling with crappy cars.

Ha
To me this is the answer. Thread over.

I can't imagine why you would want your daughter who lives in another city having to drive around in a cheap old car? Help her out a little and get a new or slightly used car like a civic with an extended warranty.

There are too many other things to worry about in life.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:27 PM   #32
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Simple is better, try to find one without power windows, power locks or any other complexities.
I've never had a problem with the power windows and doorlocks, except in a Ford Minivan (refused to operate in the summer, but was fine in the winter...imagine that). But in this car, everything seemed to break, all the time.

The JP cars have always been fine. My Civic went 200,000 miles before I replaced it, more out of worry than because of problems...never had a problem with it.

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:20 PM   #33
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I've never had a problem with the power windows and doorlocks, except in a Ford Minivan (refused to operate in the summer, but was fine in the winter...imagine that). But in this car, everything seemed to break, all the time.

The JP cars have always been fine. My Civic went 200,000 miles before I replaced it, more out of worry than because of problems...never had a problem with it.

R

Whatever, has worked for me and mine.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:18 PM   #34
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If she's buying new, I'd go with a Honda Civic. They're reliable, great on gas, hold their residual value and safe. My DW has one and it's a great car...well great for $16k.

If she wants to save some cash and go used, I'd recommend not getting a Honda or Toyota. I'd go with a reliable off brand like Hyundai or Kia. There's an Edmunds article about this -- I think another poster has referenced.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:26 AM   #35
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T-Al, you haven't mentioned WHERE she will be buying the car. If it's an option, I think that purchasing a used car in California and driving it to KS might be a better choice than buying a used midwest car, since a Cali car would probably have less exposure to salt/road chemicals and therefore less body corrosion. Maybe not true if the used car came out of the Sierras, but prob. OK.

Also, less likely to get a flood-damaged used car in CA. At least theoretically.

And I can say that we bought our 2003 Honda Accord and 2006 Honda Odyssey new and I've never regretted a single penny spent on either of them. They've been terrific cars for us. My brother swears by his Civic, now about 10 years old (he drives it about 80 miles a day and barely maintains it).

Congrats to DD on her job offer!
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:20 AM   #36
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T
And I can say that we bought our 2003 Honda Accord and 2006 Honda Odyssey new and I've never regretted a single penny spent on either of them. They've been terrific cars for us. My brother swears by his Civic, now about 10 years old (he drives it about 80 miles a day and barely maintains it).
HEY, I've got a 2003 Accord and a 2006 Odyssey too........

And another car that shall remain nameless.......
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #37
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Ive recently own and owned an Elantra and Altima both ran fine and had no problems. The Altima is new I dont expect any for awhile. Now my older Mustang. It would freeze up if you left it outside over the winter..
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:52 PM   #38
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T-Al, I sold my Kia Sephia a couple of years ago on Craigslist. It was a good car, reliable, safe, 6 years old and 75,000 miles on it. The thing was close to impossible and a pita to sell. The most I could get for it was $2700. I was satisfied with that because I only paid $3500 for it. I bet the car is still running today.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:19 PM   #39
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A lot to be said for a Taurus coming out of a fleet. Prejudice aside, these are excellent cars, reliable and safe.

Ha
Yep. The Taurus and Sable are very common fleet cars and usually available from the major rental company sales outlets or CarMax for under $10k at less than 3 yrs old and 30k (or so) miles.

My 96 Sable with well over 100k miles has been a champ. I've had it since 98 and have been pleased with the reliability. Our other car is a 2000 Civic, so we have a good basis to compare against.

While it's always possible that a running beater could be obtained for $2k - $3k, personally I wouldn't have the young lady prioritizing her time with car issues at this stage. Work out a situation where she'll have a reliable, late model car and let her focus on excelling in her first job....... rather than wondering if "Ole Betsy" will start this morning in order to just get to the job.
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Article on vehicle resale value and lifecycle cost
Old 05-13-2009, 05:36 PM   #40
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Article on vehicle resale value and lifecycle cost

globeandmail.com: globeauto.com That bargain may not be a deal come resale time
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