By fairy_princess813 from Rochester, NY
I know that if you are on a limited income and are very poor some churches will donate cars to you based on first come first serve bases and recommendations and needs, reasons, etc, but seeing you have children that is a must to have a car. That is one suggestion but if you make much money and can save, there are always second hand stores and look it up on kellyblue book it will recommend prices and car quotes, etc. I would do that first, Also Craigs list has a great line of cars in your area craigslist.com I believe. Try those but remember Kellyblue book will tell you what is the best price for the indivdual car. You can always do a background check I believe.
I just bought a 2006 two weeks ago as a replacement for my eleven year old car. There does come a time when you need to replace, not just repair. I am in the Albany, NY area, so not too very far from you. I can tell you there are a LOT of very nice used cars out there right now for reasonable prices. Just be sure to check out several dealers so that you can compare, and shopping near the end of the month is also a very good suggestion.
There are so many very nice used cars out there now that it seems a shame to buy new. I know you don't know what the problems may be but new cars aren't problem free either. I'd get a trusted male friend (ok, I don't know any female mechanics but maybe you do) to take a good look at one you're interested in. If you can afford it you could go to one of those places where they put it on a rack and give you a diagnosis of any problems.
My dear, the cheapest car you can drive is always to fix the one you have. The engine overhaul will be far cheaper than buying a car for that price and you'll keep the whole rest of the car for no extra charge. Not the fun answer you wanted, but the real one.
If you do buy a new car here is a tip. I used to work for a car dealership. Almost all car salesman work on a monthly quota. If you go in on the last or second to last day of the month they will work even harder to get you a deal and themselves one more car sale. And yes, there is someone in that back room!
A GM dealer in my area is advertising new Malibus for $14,000, which sounds like a pretty cheap deal to me. I don't know if the present economy is driving down used car prices to the point where you could save all that much buying used.
Although I've purchased several used cars I was happy with, it's been a while. I checked Consumer Reports for their top recommended used models in my price range. (You can find that info at your library if you can't research it online.) Then I watched the for-sale ads for individuals (not dealers) with one of those cars for sale. I felt like I could tell a lot by talking to the owner, sizing up how they maintained their house and yard, etc. Once I found a real "cream puff" owned by a guy who'd kept every single oil change receipt, etc. The car was old, but spotless. His yard looked like somebody trimmed it with nail clippers. I paid next to nothing and drove it for several years.
The idea of waiting until the 2010's come out and then get a 2009 is excellent! Car dealers, especially during this economy, are often willing to take off 15% to 30% of the sticker price but you have to be willing to wheel and deal and go to at least two, if not three, dealerships for bargaining leverage!
Also, do not get any 'add-ons'! By this I mean protective sealants, extended warranties, etc! They just add to the price and you will be paying interest on those added items which generally are a waste of money!
Also, if possible, pay the tax, licensing and title fees up front or else you'll be paying interest on those, too :-(
I purchased a Hyandai Elantra Wagon new a decade ago and that little puppy is still in great shape and going strong and I haven't had a single major problem and it will most likely be on the road without major problems for at least another five to ten years :-) It's not the fanciest but who cares ;-)
I have only had luck with one used car in the 38 years I've been driving even when I had a mechanic check them out before purchase :-( The one used car I did buy that I had luck with was a little old couples fifteen year old car that literally had only ever been driven to the market or appointments and kept in their garage when not being driven :-)
Beyond the one lucky deal on the one good used car I ended up dumping so much money in the other used cars that it ended up it would have been better to have bit the bullet and bought a new car in the first place ...
Good Luck and let us know what you end up deciding :-)
On the news they were saying you can get good deals on new cars, but we checked several places and you get a break on interest, but they haven't lowered the prices of the cars, at least not here.
My husband says the 2010 cars will be coming out in a couple of months, and when they do, the 2009s will go on sale, so we are going to wait until then to buy one.
When you buy a new car you realize that as soon as you take possession the value drops depending on the type of car. Also you will be paying higher excise and sales taxes and fees on a new car. You could buy a lease or program car from a dealer. These are cars that were leased from a dealer and have 36,000 miles or less on them. They will cost less and taxes and excise taxes will be a lot less. I buy this way from dealers. My present car is a 2003 Buick that was originaly bought as a lease car. I bought it in 2005 for $12,000 with 19,000 miles and have had no troubles with the car. It now has 87,000 miles on it. I don't believe I will ever buy new again.
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