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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a person I know is looking at buying a used car. She's on a fixed income and some people are convincing her to look at used fusions, trailblazers, and equinoxes around 12-15K but I honestly think that is really too much for her. She doesn't have health insurance, is about 26 years old, and doesn't have great credit. I'm not sold on SUV's either w/ gas, maintenence costs, etc. She currently has a '98 Lumina that just crapped out.

Any suggestions on good newer cars with low cost of ownership that she could get for something around 10K or lower (like '04 probably at the oldest)? She's real quick at ruling out cars on first impressions so it's kind of hard to get her to try out different cars (imports), but I think we can get her to open up.... She tried out an '05 Saab 9-3 today which she enjoyed but again that was about 12-13K.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah she needs a car for work...she has a little time where she can borrow a car but that's only for a couple weeks max. She likes the trailblazers but looking around online they've had quite a few issues (esp early ones) and obviously gas would be expensive.
 

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Adding to those already mentioned:

ION, Malibu, Grand Am, Impala, Focus, Taurus...you should be able to find any of these '04+ and within her price range, without too many miles. All should be rather efficient and reliable
 

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I agree with those listed by CadiEldo67 and F14CRAZY, I would try as hard as possible to steer her away from any SUV. Gas is going to rape her especially if she is basically living paycheck to paycheck. You should ask her if she can afford $100.00 fill-ups to make a point.

You should also get her to make some calls to her insurance company to look at rates for the vehicles she is looking at. The Pontiacs oddly enough can be sort of expensive for younger people... Somebody on here recently mentioned that at their insurance company they are labeled as high-risk vehicles.

Any way, good luck on helping her out, and hopefully you can convince her to buy something she can actually afford and won't regret buying down the road.

-Chase
 

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Cars she could look at that would be great choices... Around/under $10K that run and run and run and are lower long-term cost (gas, insurance, etc)...

-Last gen Protege
-1990's Honda and Toyota's
-Saturn S-cars

Cars like that are reliable, low-cost over time, and can be had for $10K and below depending on miles, yr, equipment, etc.

Other choices
-Previous two Malibu's
-4-cyl L-series (V6 has issues)
-Older Buicks

The cars CaliEldo lists would be very hard to find for much under $10K - especially the last 3 (that excludes the Prius)
 

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First of all....

-- Fixed Income
-- Bad Credit

Ask your friend this. "Why do you need a car?" Is it for job purposes?
If not, I'm sorry but tell your friend to take the bus.

Looking at a SAAB? With limited funds? You're not taking into account gas, maintenance, insurance. It is obvious this person cannot sustain a car -- of any price!!!

If a car is an absolute necessary... Corolla.... Cavalier.... Sunbird. Used Cobalts or a generation old Civic.
 

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Lesabre, Regal, Century(!) (how could I have forgotten the Buicks?).
 

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First of all....

-- Fixed Income
-- Bad Credit

Ask your friend this. "Why do you need a car?" Is it for job purposes?
If not, I'm sorry but tell your friend to take the bus.

Looking at a SAAB? With limited funds? You're not taking into account gas, maintenance, insurance. It is obvious this person cannot sustain a car -- of any price!!!

If a car is an absolute necessary... Corolla.... Cavalier.... Sunbird. Used Cobalts or a generation old Civic.
agreed. if I was in that situation I would spend $2000 or less.
 

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Look for a used Buick with the 3.8. You can find some real gems for under $2000. My current one I bought at 181,000 miles for $1700 and it's been a great vehicle. Not only is the engine great, but the build quality is great too. She'd be nuts not to consider one.
 

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i would stay away from saabs even though they are becoming more reliable. the first couple of years of the 9-3 were hit or miss with reliability and problems.
 

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Locally they're advertising new Suzuki SX4 sedans for 13 grand (+TTL). New Kia Spectras can be had for around that. Elantras for 15, possibly less. If she likes sticks, the majority of Spectras on lots around here are sticks, they go for 1000 less.
Big warranty will make up for some of the repair/replace costs a used car will come saddled with.
 

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yeah she needs a car for work...she has a little time where she can borrow a car but that's only for a couple weeks max. She likes the trailblazers but looking around online they've had quite a few issues (esp early ones) and obviously gas would be expensive.
She does not need a Trailblazer, 'nox, etc. unless she wants even more money trouble.
 

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Yeah, Cavalier / Cobalt, Civic, or Corolla. SUVs and Saabs are for people who have money. She's best off without a car if she can do it, but if not, she should get the most simple, basic car she can find. I don't know why people choose to be car poor... it's an awful way to live.

I'd put someone like that in the last Suzuki Swift or Chevrolet Metro with a 3-cyl engine. Getting around 50 mpg is the only way she'll be able to own a car and try and work her way back to healthy credit and away from living paycheque to paycheque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah the problem is she's in a rural area and she does need a car, but she really doesn't drive it that far and it doesn't need to be fancy like the ones she's looking at.

I guess I should clarify that she's not exactly struggling paycheck to paycheck, but if she adds on a 3-400/month car payment to rent and all her other expenses, things will be real tight for her. I don't think she wants an old car (2000 or older) but I think something like a Civic, Cobalt, Corolla looks like it could work from your responses.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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If she buys a new cobalt by April 30th, shw can have it for around $10k. However, insurance is always more on smaller cars VS the next size up (atleast here in MI).
 

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I agree with Mgescuro and others. This person is not too bright. Typical young American that has filet mingion tastes with a dollar menu budget. A vehicle for her should be as cheap as possible. She shouldn't even be looking at those vehicles- they're just gonna make her want more! If you can't talk some sense into her, I'd just let her do what she's gonna do.


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make 'em drink....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If she buys a new cobalt by April 30th, shw can have it for around $10k. However, insurance is always more on smaller cars VS the next size up (atleast here in MI).
around 10K?? that might be a good compromise or direction to point her...w/ the 1500 bonus cash I can only build them around $13,300 or so....how can you get $3300 off of that?
 

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She should buy something a couple of years old with an Ecotec, like a later-model Cavalier, Saturn L-Series, early Cobalt, older Malibu, etc.

Without knowing specifically what her budget is (or more accurately should be!), it's hard to recommend any specific vehicle. But if money is an issue I certainly would not buy any SUV (Trailblazer, Equinox, etc.) as the purchase price plus the operating costs (specifically fuel costs) will be out of control.

She needs something small with a four banger.

A larger GM car with a 3800/4 speed if well cared for would also be a pretty good choice.
 
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