Forum Thread

First car purchase/lease, any advice?

CourtC4337 32 10 October 19, 2015 at 04:10 PM
Hello sder's, I'm looking into my first car purchase or lease. Any advice would be much appreciated. I have about $15,000 in liquid cash. Obviously don't want to spent it all but can if necessary. I don't commute too often. Don't really have any preference in car other than sports cars not really suiting me. I'm in socal. Any other information I am more than willing to provide but don't want to overload my first post. What I'm looking for is any advice; website suggestions, forums for advice, steps to be taken, lease or buy, even links to cars. I'm also willing to provide a finders fee.

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#2
Quote from CourtC4337 View Post :
Hello sder's, I'm looking into my first car purchase or lease. Any advice would be much appreciated. I have about $15,000 in liquid cash. Obviously don't want to spent it all but can if necessary. I don't commute too often. Don't really have any preference in car other than sports cars not really suiting me. I'm in socal. Any other information I am more than willing to provide but don't want to overload my first post. What I'm looking for is any advice; website suggestions, forums for advice, steps to be taken, lease or buy, even links to cars. I'm also willing to provide a finders fee.

Personally, I would advise, never buying new and never leasing (unless you are a business). I have found that buying 1-2 year old used cars to be the best bang for the buck. The price is often 33-45% off the new car price and depending on the make you still likely have part of the manufacturer's warranty in place (and can always buy an extended one if you like). There really is no justification for paying 33+% more for a new car to get an extra 10000-20000 miles on it imo. As to where to look, last time I used KBB online and found a listing from a dealer with the 1-2 year old used car I was looking for in stock on their lot for awhile (which means they want to be rid of it). Obviously you have to know what you want and do your homework on prices and features.

As to leasing, it is a bad bet unless you plan on getting a new lease\car every few years (which is not something I would recommend). Then again, I am definitely in the buy it and drive until it is no good anymore camp lol.

My 2 cents.
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#3
Do your research first. Figure out what cars you might be interested in and your price range. Use websites like truecar to get an idea of what your targets sell for. A while back, edmunds.com used to have a forums section that you could look up any car model, and one of the threads were just random people listing out what model car they purchased and for how much. It's good to have a benchmark for prices, so you'll know when you see a fair/good deal.

other minor considerations when buying a car: (for convenience)
- If you dont already have a trusted mechanic and will be servicing your car at the Dealer, consider the location of the closest brand dealer. My sister bought a honda because there's a honda next to the public transportation subway, so when she has to service the car, she drops the car off, jumps on the train to goto work and then picks up the car after work. it's convenient.

- consider the maintenance costs of the car. The german brands including VW tend to cost a bit more for their scheduled maintenance. you can find these service menus at the dealer sites.
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#4
I'd suggest buying a 2-4-year-old car, in cash. 8-10k range. Save the rest for any repairs, maintenance, and an emergency fund. Look for something highly reliable, low maintenance. I like to use MSN Auto's for research, as they indicate the # of issues reported for various cars, and what the average issues are and costs. Also helps you determine what to look for when looking at the vehicle in person/questions to ask.

Do you have an emergency fund on top of this liquid cash? If you spend all your cash, murphy will come knocking on your door to put you in a bind.
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Last edited by malicxv October 20, 2015 at 08:46 AM
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#5
Quote from malicxv View Post :
I'd suggest buying a 2-4-year-old car, in cash. 8-10k range. Save the rest for any repairs, maintenance, and an emergency fund. Look for something highly reliable, low maintenance. I like to use MSN Auto's for research, as they indicate the # of issues reported for various cars, and what the average issues are and costs. Also helps you determine what to look for when looking at the vehicle in person/questions to ask.

Do you have an emergency fund on top of this liquid cash? If you spend all your cash, murphy will come knocking on your door to put you in a bind.
Quote from dmyh View Post :
Do your research first. Figure out what cars you might be interested in and your price range. Use websites like truecar to get an idea of what your targets sell for. A while back, edmunds.com used to have a forums section that you could look up any car model, and one of the threads were just random people listing out what model car they purchased and for how much. It's good to have a benchmark for prices, so you'll know when you see a fair/good deal, obviously would prefer not to be put in that postions though.

other minor considerations when buying a car: (for convenience)
- If you dont already have a trusted mechanic and will be servicing your car at the Dealer, consider the location of the closest brand dealer. My sister bought a honda because there's a honda next to the public transportation subway, so when she has to service the car, she drops the car off, jumps on the train to goto work and then picks up the car after work. it's convenient.

- consider the maintenance costs of the car. The german brands including VW tend to cost a bit more for their scheduled maintenance. you can find these service menus at the dealer sites.
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Personally, I would advise, never buying new and never leasing (unless you are a business). I have found that buying 1-2 year old used cars to be the best bang for the buck. The price is often 33-45% off the new car price and depending on the make you still likely have part of the manufacturer's warranty in place (and can always buy an extended one if you like). There really is no justification for paying 33+% more for a new car to get an extra 10000-20000 miles on it imo. As to where to look, last time I used KBB online and found a listing from a dealer with the 1-2 year old used car I was looking for in stock on their lot for awhile (which means they want to be rid of it). Obviously you have to know what you want and do your homework on prices and features.

As to leasing, it is a bad bet unless you plan on getting a new lease\car every few years (which is not something I would recommend). Then again, I am definitely in the buy it and drive until it is no good anymore camp lol.

My 2 cents.
Thanks guys, all really good advise. That kind of finalizes it on the leases for me. They seem enticing but family and others had the same to say as you guys. I guess I'll start the long search process on used cars. Is there any brands that hold their value well or brands I should avoid. My friend swears by Toyota everything and is suggesting a 4runner or Tacoma.

And yeah that is most of my money. I could probably put another $5,000-$10,000 which includes selling my car. Definitely want to leave $5,000 for emergency's. However if it's a situation where spending that much more on the next tier of car's will get me significantly more value and reliability, I'd consider doing so.
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#6
trucks and SUV's in the city are only tolerable if you have your own parking space. Parking a tacoma/4runner on the street would suck, imho. whatever vehicle you get, especially if a truck/suv, try to get the version that has the back up camera and/or parking sensors. its' really useful. most late model hondas (i think maybe 2012 and newer?) all have backup cameras. there might even be a law that all new cars come with a back up camera. and consider gas mileage and what type of gas (premium vs. unleaded) the car takes. it's great to have a fast BMW or whatever, but when you have to fill up with premium every week, the cost of gas starts to be a drag.

try to plan on having your car for 4+ years or more to get the most value out of it, so think about what your car needs may be in 4 years, so as not to get something this year, only to realize you did need that SUV in 2018...

for your price range, you have some great options for cars/small suvs.
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#7
If you don't commute too often, what will you be using it for?
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#8
5k car from Craigslist.... search autos and trucks then enter in search "records"... you'll get a list of cars that will include service records usually I have good hits using this.. of course you have to browse various types of cars.. but the most important part of buying used is making sure it was taken care of..

using this you will find 1 owner cars with good service records for various types of cars.. just go with a reliable brand like Toyota hyundai Honda etc. and see what come up... there plenty of good Lexus cars in that price range too.
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#9
try this link for los angeles if you are in San Diego or inland empire try their craigslist. I went to the cars section by owner only price range of 5k to 7k and searched by "records"..

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/...ry=records
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