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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 11:09 AM   #21
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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You might want to kick up the money a little and just buy a fairly stripped new one.*
Ya know, when you live near Tijuana as Laurence does, that description has a totally different meaning... but the Federales probably turn over more used vehicles than all the San Diego dealers combined.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 12:02 PM   #22
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

My Dad has an '03 Regal LS, and for what it is, it's not a bad car. FWIW, the Regal was the most "youthful" Buick until the Rendezvous came out, with an average buyer age of something like 57 years. In contrast, stuff like the Century, LeSabre, and Park Avenue had an average range around 70!

I teased my Dad when he bought it, because he was 57 at the time, joking that he was just barely old enough to drive that car! Well, that was 2 years ago, and he hasn't had a bit of trouble with it. And they are cheap cars to buy. This one was $10,995 back in September 2003 when he bought it with 19,500 miles on it.

Now the car isn't without its faults. The interior might as well have "Body By Fisher-Price" stamped on it, because it does have a cheap, plasticky feel to it, and the way all the parts line up is pretty sloppy compared to the Japanese, Koreans, or even a 1983 Chrysler K-car. And I think the back seat is cramped, but I'm also 6'3", so most cars feel cramped in the back to me. And driving it, it has kind of a numb, 70's car feel, although I blame that more on the fairly narrow 6" rims and the tall-ish 215/70/R15 tires than the car. On the plus side, the driving position's comfortable, no squeaks and rattles, and the car is pretty quiet. And despite the cheap interior trappings, the body itself feels pretty solid, like when you close a door, trunk, etc. It just has a heavy, sturdy feel to it, like it'll last you a good long time. Of course, that doesn't mean that it will. :
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 12:19 PM   #23
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

There have been several posts about a few cars (Taurus, Regal).

The common thread here is that these cars are bought used cheaply because they are cars in rental fleets. The economics of these cars is hard to beat. They often sell for half of MSRP after 6 months and 20-30k miles of service (or so).

So if you want to get a screamin deal on a car, Think ex-rental car.

I know, not everyone will go for this strategy, but it is worth considering.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 12:53 PM   #24
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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So if you want to get a screamin deal on a car, Think ex-rental car.
I'm going this weekend to check out the cars Enterprise has for sale. From their website, I haven't seen any good deals yet. I'll see what they have on the lot and report back.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 01:11 PM   #25
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

well, Enterprise may have a good deal for you. However my experience is that their cars are dirty, a bit beat-up, and have lots of miles on them.

For the best deals, see if you can find a high-volume dealer that specializes in selling ex-rentals. They ususally offer very good prices.

Also the time of year is a driver in prices. This time of year (around Halloween) and just after Christmas to the end of January can be great times to pick up an ex-rental. There's something about this time of year with the model year changeover that seems to give the best deals.

For some examples of pretty good prices check out this website, and look under their used cars. Almost all of them are ex-rentals:

http://www.reynolds1915.com/en_US/

Notice that they have 2005 Impalas for $11k and a Bonneville for $12k. I have seen their cars and they are almost always very clean, Something that you'd actually be proud to own. I can't say that about the cars at Enterprise.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 02:27 PM   #26
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
So if you want to get a screamin deal on a car, Think ex-rental car.
I've heard this a few times and I'm not so sure I agree. Ever heard the term
"go mental on the rental"? Yes, rentals have regular maintenance performed,
but a lot of people are VERY hard on them.

Laurence, what about the Chevy Cobalt? I've heard good things about them
and it seemed nice to drive when I rented one (please note, I treated it
pretty well when I rented it.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 03:37 PM   #27
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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"go mental on the rental"?*
Well I had similar concerns. The suspension of the vehicle and the transmission may be somewhat at risk. However the price break that one gets is more than enough to pay for any repairs. Also the cars often have many thousands of miles left of the manufacturer warranty.

For what it's worth, statistically ex-rentals have (as agroup) been very reliable. Any used car is a crapshoot though. Would you rather have a rental or a Civic from some young urban-racer type ?

Personally, I bought a Sable ex-rental nearly two years ago. I have had no problems with the car - None - zippo. The car is extremely comfortable and I've put nearly 40k miles on the car. I bought the car two years ago when it was less than a year old for $10k with16k miles on it. I'll sell it in two more years with around 85k miles on it for maybe $4500. Including the sales tax and initial license fees, I figure that it will cost me around 10 cents a mile to operate a late model car. Just try that with a new car and you'll get reemed.

After my experience, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another rental car from a reputable outlet. In my opinion the combination of late model reliable car/factory warranty/ and cheap to buy makes it a hard to beat deal.

Still I recognize that buying an ex-rental isn't for everyone and I accept their different thinking. Also I recognize that some wouldn't be caught dead in domestic iron. But for me, someone who does lots of miles it's a great deal.

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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 03:56 PM   #28
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderALot
I've heard this a few times and I'm not so sure I agree. Ever heard the term
"go mental on the rental"? Yes, rentals have regular maintenance performed,
but a lot of people are VERY hard on them.

Laurence, what about the Chevy Cobalt? I've heard good things about them
and it seemed nice to drive when I rented one (please note, I treated it
pretty well when I rented it.
My wife got a Cobalt as a rental, she loved it. Good idea, I'll look for one. You are all right, any used car is a crap shoot, at least you know the rental had it's oil changed, and if there is still a warranty, well hey! Thanks for the tips, guys! I'll check out that website. Is the Cobalt on the Malibu frame or what?
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 05:52 PM   #29
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Take a look at the Toyota Corolla.
Not as popular or as "desired" as the Honda Civic,
but sells at a discount to and in my opinion is a very
safe and reliable vehicle. Toyota has been making this
model for over 25 years.

Both the Civic and the Corolla are a little small for
family type cars, but should meet your criteria well.

gwix
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 05:55 PM   #30
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Yesterday the Toyota Corrolla was listed as one of the top 10 worst cars in a crash test.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 06:00 PM   #31
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
* You are all right, any used car is a crap shoot, at least you know the rental had it's oil changed,
We put a lot of trust in rental companies. I can not begin to tell you how many units I have had that were well past the mileage shown for next service.
Trust but verify
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 06:05 PM   #32
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Yesterday the Toyota* Corrolla was listed as one of the top 10 worst cars in a crash test.
As a first cut vehicle weight is the best indicator of vehicle safety. Since the Corolla is pretty light it can never be all that safe in the real-world.

Many times crash-test scores are not indicative of how well cars perform under real-world accident conditions.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 06:52 PM   #33
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
But since the Subaru is 4 wheel drive, that probably brings its fuel economy down a little.
Fuel economy on our legacy is 27 mpg. The Forester is 29. The problem is that because they are popular in the resale market, you will have trouble finding one for $10,000 without going back at least 5 years or 75,000 miles. When you do find it, you'll be able to drive it for a long time.

I didn't see Brewer's similar comment before I posted this.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-01-2005, 09:20 PM   #34
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
As a first cut vehicle weight is the best indicator of vehicle safety. Since the Corolla is pretty light it can never be all that safe in the real-world.

Many times crash-test scores are not indicative of how well cars perform under real-world accident conditions.
Well that may be true but we have to base our decisions on data that is available.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 06:44 AM   #35
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
As a first cut vehicle weight is the best indicator of vehicle safety. Since the Corolla is pretty light it can never be all that safe in the real-world.

Many times crash-test scores are not indicative of how well cars perform under real-world accident conditions.
I look at crash test scores, but what I ultimately give the most weight to is the IIHS persoal injury loss data. I usually pick cars that are well below oaverage for bodily injury losses.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 11:42 AM   #36
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Well I have to throw in for the Saturns, because all this talk of foreign jobs is too rich for my blood! The last new car I had was at 18, a GMC Jimmy that I put 385,000 miles on.* All the rest have been way used.* The most recent:* a 1988 Cutlass Ciera from a lady going to a nursing home for $1600, a 1996 Saturn 5-speed for $2000, and a 1997 Automatic Saturn for $3000.* All are awesome so far, and cheap to run. I love to argue with friends who say that used cars cost a lot to fix and are unreliable.* In the past 10 years, I've put an average of $ 400 yr in repairs and parts into our POS Fleet(what my parents jokingly call our cars).* That includes oil and regular maintence.* And the insurance--dirt cheap since we don't have comprehensive!* *$5000 would be our limit to pay for any car, based on our experience.* *
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 11:58 AM   #37
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Mclesters:

Well I have in the past been a big proponent of your strategy. Buying simple cars when they are past their prime may indeed be a money saving technique. However your strategy is not for everyone. You have to be willing to work on your car yourself. Also the time that you spend and the pain that old cars can give may not be worth it to everyone. I remember several episodes of being late on Sunday night with an old car torn apart knowing that it had to get put together to get me to work on Monday morning. Now that's pressure - and it wasn't so much fun. Now that I am a bit older we keep late-model more reliable cars for the daily drivers. Having a reliable car and paying a bit more is worth it to me. My days of using an old car as my daily driver are behind me.

I do have a 21 year old car right now with 242k miles on it. But that is a special case which I don't drive everyday - just on the weekends. And when it needs some attention I can park it for weeks until I get around to it.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 12:51 PM   #38
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

If you need your car for work, like I do occasionally, you have to be able to rely on your vehicle. I'm always willing to pay a little bit more for the peace of mind that me, my wife and daughter won't be stuck on the side of the road waiting on the tow truck. I grew up with my parents' cars always breaking down and needing work. Too much for one lifetime!

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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 01:16 PM   #39
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

We have two spares in the POS fleet for just that possibility!* But I agree we are an unusual case!* Not everyone has room for 3 cars, a pickup truck, and an Airstream motor home in the driveway (I did say it was a POS FLEET).* And yes, my husband has experienced the Sunday night car torn apart feeling you describe!* He is 42 and will probably want later model cars when he becomes a "late model" himself in a few years, but for now, I've convinced him our possum living is leading to his retirement at 50!*
Sarah
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-02-2005, 01:20 PM   #40
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Two thoughts:

I have a 1994 Honda Accord. *I get 30 mpg around town, 35 on the highway (it's a 4 cylinder). *I have often wondered what I would get for it if I sold it, and it looks like it would be only around $2500-$3000. *It's not for sale! *I have 130K miles on it, and it's probably good for that much more. *I am going to see just how long I can make it last. * So I'd never hesitate to buy a used Accord.

My brother bought a brand new (bare bones) Hyundai Elantra for under $10K about a year ago. *I thought he was nuts (a Hyundai??) but right after he bought it there was an article in a reputable publication (I forget where) that gave the Elantra really good marks. *I had to admit to him that maybe it wasn't such a bad decision. *He's had good luck with it so far. *I still don't think I'd buy one, but just wanted to offer that up.

Good luck!
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