T Nation

Buying Your First Car

I need a little advice here…

So I just graduated from school and I am working full time. I am needing to get a new (to me) car. My current car I have had since I turned 16 (almost 23 now). Its time to retire it.

I went to a dealership just to see what I could get or have my credit ran/etc. He told me ‘The problem is you have no credit. You just started working 3 months ago and you haven’t started to pay your loans back so you don’t have any credit yet. Maybe try back in a few months or get a co signer.’ I don’t have anyone available for a cosign.

I went to another dealership, and I bluffed a little with the guy and told him I had 1000 down payment, but explained my situation. I told him I didn’t want to just go and run my credit again (twice in one day, I was told it lowers your score each time). He said that I could get approved for 10-11k just from my explanation.

I also know some dealerships do deals for new college grads were they don’t make you require a cosigner.

I didn’t see much there so I didn’t follow up with it.

So the deal is, I need a new (to me) car, and I guess I’m looking for a loan for 10-11k… with payments around $200 month. I guess from a dealer that will finance me. Or my brother said I could try to get a loan from a credit union (He said banks wouldn’t be quick to lend to me given the current economy).

What should I do here? Or how should I go about it I guess. I plead ignorance to the whole concept… so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

What’s wrong with the current car?

Do you make enough money?

And what’s wrong with the current car?

A new car is a dumb decision if it’s not absolutely necessary. Put some money in the bank.

If there’s nothing wrong with your current car, keep it.

Once you have enough money to pay CASH for a car, buy it.

I suggest you read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. He also has the book on CD, which is a great listen.

There’s no reason to take out a loan to buy a car.

2 years ago the key broke in the door. I was using the spare. The spare just broke off in the ignition.

Two summers ago a bum broke into my car to steal my radio and destroyed my dash/center console.

A good amt of body damage.

Cold starts are not so good. Could need starter, spark plugs, something.

Will need new tires soon.

Rear window was down one morning last week when I went out to my car. It is completely off the tracks and doesn’t stay up.

Ummm, thats it I think.

[quote]Mister T. wrote:
If there’s nothing wrong with your current car, keep it.

Once you have enough money to pay CASH for a car, buy it.

I suggest you read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. He also has the book on CD, which is a great listen.

There’s no reason to take out a loan to buy a car.[/quote]

This is good advice. Many young people(old ones also)piss away their money on cars. Unless you just snagged a high paying job with a long commute, what are you thinking? Think about high finance rates and committing your self. How about this? Take the money and start building a IRA savings account-then using some of that money as down payment on your first house.
Good Luck my freind.

[quote]gabex wrote:
2 years ago the key broke in the door. I was using the spare. The spare just broke off in the ignition.

Two summers ago a bum broke into my car to steal my radio and destroyed my dash/center console.

A good amt of body damage.

Cold starts are not so good. Could need starter, spark plugs, something.

Will need new tires soon.

Rear window was down one morning last week when I went out to my car. It is completely off the tracks and doesn’t stay up.

Ummm, thats it I think.[/quote]

Its fair, though I think the prices of cars in the states are far less cost inhibitory than they are else where. Certain countries, will tax you the value of your car ontop of the cost you’re paying, then tax you again whenever you use it. Yes, things like this do exist. Case in point, save then buy (: . If not the full sum, at least 50%, take a shorter loan, which translates to lower interest and better credit. Fair compromise?

I must admit I don’t know the American market, but why have such a high loan for a car? Why not get a 5k car in reasonable mechanical condition, save the difference and spend less time in debt on a depreciable asset? Do you really need a car right now, or can you afford to save a while longer and pay cash in full?

I understand the desire to spend after finally getting a paycheque after years of student poverty (4 more years for me…), but is it the best choice to make?

[quote]gabex wrote:
2 years ago the key broke in the door. I was using the spare. The spare just broke off in the ignition.

Two summers ago a bum broke into my car to steal my radio and destroyed my dash/center console.

A good amt of body damage.

Cold starts are not so good. Could need starter, spark plugs, something.

Will need new tires soon.

Rear window was down one morning last week when I went out to my car. It is completely off the tracks and doesn’t stay up.

Ummm, thats it I think.[/quote]

You’re going to lose money on all those points whether you fix the car or sell it as is.

Find out how much it would sell for fixed. Find out how much it would sell for as is, then find out how much it would cost to get it fixed. Unless the body damage is absolutely horrible, I wouldn’t even worry about that. If it looks like you’d come out ahead if you fixed everything, then fix it and you’ll at least be more comfortable in your ride until you get some cash.

If you’d be better off selling as is, then find out what it would take to find a suitable and temporary replacement. Given the current gas craze, you can probably find a compact pickup that’ll get nearly the mileage of a compact car, with less miles for less money. $4k, maybe $5k. Save up the cash for this, and drive it until you can afford to pay cash for an 11-12k vehicle like you want. Depending on your income, this might be in a year or two.

Total Money Makeover. Go buy it now.

[quote]Mister T. wrote:
Total Money Makeover. Go buy it now.[/quote]

Best advice on this thread.

Put it this way, if you started a thread asking about foot placement on a squat. T’s answer would be the same if Tate knocked on your door, dragged you to a gym, then got you squatting twice what you have now… Then JB came and cooked a post-workout meal for you.

Buy the book, amazing eye opener for many.

I think Mister T has given some great advice there

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Mister T. wrote:
Total Money Makeover. Go buy it now.

Best advice on this thread.

Put it this way, if you started a thread asking about foot placement on a squat. T’s answer would be the same if Tate knocked on your door, dragged you to a gym, then got you squatting twice what you have now… Then JB came and cooked a post-workout meal for you.

Buy the book, amazing eye opener for many.[/quote]

…and that’s not to say that my advice on squatting wouldn’t be pretty damn valid as well. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I flirt with the line dividing confidence and arrogance. Sue me.

If you have poor/no credit, DO NOT finance through the dealership. They won’t talk interest rates until the very end, after you are already sold and think you are a few minutes from driving away in your new(to you) car. Figure double the interest rate(or more) in that scenario.

Always go back to the bank(or credit union preferably) you have a history with, you will get better rates.

Forget the ‘no credit’, you basicaly have poor credit because your only credit history is the student loans you haven’t paid back yet, so you are probably sitting on a big chunk of debt right now.

If you must buy another car, my advice would be to find the most reliable car you can for the least amount of money, one that will last a few years. Save your money for a few years, focus on paying off your loans. When you are making a bit more money and have paid off a decent chunk of loan, and have saved some money up, then buy a car you want.

I know it sucks to say all that, and sucks even more to actually do it, but it will serve you better in the long run. With the economy the way it is, the last thing you want to do is carry a bunch of debt with you.

And Dave Ramsey is THE MAN. My wife and I went through his Financial Peace University last year, and it has worked wonders for us. Got us to where we could afford to live on just my salary(active duty E-6 over 14), and we did for a while, until gas jumped.

I’m rambling, but take anything ramsey says, and follow it, and that’s about as good as it gets.

[quote]Mister T. wrote:
If there’s nothing wrong with your current car, keep it.

Once you have enough money to pay CASH for a car, buy it.

I suggest you read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. He also has the book on CD, which is a great listen.

There’s no reason to take out a loan to buy a car.[/quote]

A FUCKIN MEN!

This is an easy trap for someone to fall into. You’ll have a lot of extra income compared to before and you think a $300 car payment will be easily affordable.

Do what you want, but listen to experience.

with the way the economy is going in the shitter, I wouldn’t waste money on buying a “new” car if the old one is reliable.

I was looking in Craigslist and next to brand new cars are very cheap now.

I found an 06 Audi A6 AWD for 4500 and a 06 Jetta TDI for under4k! both low miles too

[quote]DF85 wrote:
I was looking in Craigslist and next to brand new cars are very cheap now.

I found an 06 Audi A6 AWD for 4500 and a 06 Jetta TDI for under4k! both low miles too

[/quote]

A favorite quote of mine from Dave Ramsey:

“If it’s too good to be true, it is.”

There are plenty of scammers on CL, dude.

Buy a used car. It’s easy to find a low-mileage, well-maintained used car for less than $7K and even around $5K.

I suggest looking for cars that have been known to be reliable over the long haul such as Honda, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan.

I’ve wasted A LOT of money over the years buying new and used cars.

My first car was bought in 1993. It was a 1990 Honda Civic LX. It had 55K miles on it, and I got it for $7,400. After being rear-ended in 1995, I no longer wanted the car so I gave it to my dad. He agreed to just pay off the remainder of the car. Believe it or not, the car is still running and has more than 250K miles on it (my step mom has it after my dad passed away two years ago).

I ended up buying my friend’s 1992 Acura Integra at that point and had it from 95-2000. This was a great car! It had 50K miles when I bought it and 135K miles on it when I sold it (and was paid off).

I sold it in 2000 to buy my “dream car” a 2000 Acura Integra Type R. I LOVED that car. It was awesome. But like a retard, I got involved with a girl financially when living together. She screwed me over real good at one point, so I decided to sell my Integra Type R in order to pay off debts. I didn’t want to do this because I really loved this car and had worked hard to be able to buy it when I did, but I felt it was my only choice at the time because of bills and how tight things were.

The thing about the Type R was that I bought it online through a company called Greenlight.com (now bought out by carsdirect.com). At the time, they were offering some of the most incredible deals on cars that I had ever seen. In fact, I bought the Integra Type R for LESS than invoice ($21K). Greenlight.com actually wrote the dealership a check for the difference between what they promised me and the actual MSRP of the car ($24,500). So I saved more than $4,500 and they ended up sending me another check for $500 for using them!!!

So basically, I was out the door (taxes, tag, title) for $22,700 on a car that invoiced for more than that and actually sold at or above MSRP on a rare car that they only made 750 of each year for a short period of time!

Now the only good thing about selling the car after owning it and driving it for two years was the fact that I sold it for $20,500 and since I had put $7K down on it when I bought it, I only owed $10K, so I made over $10K on the sale.

However, by selling the one car I really loved and wish I still had to this day, I ended up buying and selling a bunch of cars after that because I couldn’t find anything I really liked.

After I cleared up finances, I decided that I wanted another new car. I ended up buying a brand new 2002 WRX. I didn’t like that car and sold it only six months after buying it. Then I bought a 1996 Honda Civic because it was a steal of a deal from an older couple. But I didn’t like having a regular Civic, so I sold it to a friend and ended up buying a real nice 1989 Honda CRX Si. I had that for a while and really liked it. But I had a friend who really wanted to buy it from me.

So I sold him my CRX Si and bought a 2001 Honda S2000. I liked that car, but decided to trade it in only three months later for a 2003 Honda S2000 because I wanted something newer and with the upgrades they had made.

Then, when my dad had cancer, money was tight and things were falling apart in my life, so I decided to sell my S2000 thinking it would help. Then I realized that I did the exact same thing I had done earlier…I sold a car I really loved. So, I didn’t learn the first time around when I sold my Integra Type R (to get out of a financial mess) and sold my S2000 to do the same. I sold the S2000 and bought a 1996 Miata (and I do still have it).

So I sold two cars I loved only to go through a bunch of other cars I didn’t like and lost money each time. And don’t even get me started on the mistake I made co-signing car loans with my girlfriend (the same one that got me into a financial mess with the Type R in 2002)!!! Luckily, I was able to get out of that mess by the time we broke up several years later, but that was stressful and a big mistake on my part.

And when I looked back, if I had just kept the Integra Type R, I would still have it now completely paid off and I could have bought the 03’ S2000 and had that car as well and had it paid off next year!!!

Instead, I have my Miata which doesn’t compare to either the Type R or the S2000. But at least it’s paid for, it’s reliable, it has low mileage, and it still looks good and drives well.

So learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste your money on cars until you have money to spare for a new car. And don’t get involved financially with a girlfriend either! Just buy something used and reliable for now and invest that money in other things like savings, IRA, etc.

[quote]Mister T. wrote:
A favorite quote of mine from Dave Ramsey:

“If it’s too good to be true, it is.”
[/quote]

I’m not so sure Ramsey was the first to say this…

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
So learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste your money on cars until you have money to spare for a new car. And don’t get involved financially with a girlfriend either! Just buy something used and reliable for now and invest that money in other things like savings, IRA, etc.[/quote]

I’m gonna follow this advice with my first car.

speaking of first cars…

what do you guys think of a 91 Nissan 300zx w/ 138k miles for $5,000

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/ctd/875280298.html

^this is her, and aint she so purrdy?

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
speaking of first cars…

what do you guys think of a 91 Nissan 300zx w/ 138k miles for $5,000

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/ctd/875280298.html

^this is her, and aint she so purrdy?[/quote]

I’m into sports cars and even started an import sports car club several years ago in my town.

Many of the people in the club purchased older cars like the Nissan 300zx, Toyota MR2, RX7 and Toyota Supra and fixed them up or made many upgrades.

That’s not a bad deal for a good sports car, but it doesn’t appear to be a twin-turbo version. In that case, I’d get them to knock the price down to at least $4,500 if not $4,000 due to the age of the car (even though it has low mileage and appears to be in good shape).