T Nation

Poor College Student Buying First Car

Well I and my family have been without a car all my life and I get the opportunity to buy one soon. I have about 9-10k right now for a vehicle, going to school full time and have a job at the university where I work 15 hours a week. I live in El Paso.

I am thinking used, someone told me to buy one at those car rental places and was looking at a Toyota Corolla or Camry at hertz as someone told me that Toyota was dependable.

I’m gonna say go with a Civic…

toyota corolla, have had mine for 4 years, '94 model, 120k+ miles, and still runs great.

My first thought was a Civic as well. They’re a bit popular to steal, but because they’re popular, parts are cheap, and there are lots of people who know how to work on them. They’re not great in crashes though, I’ve wrecked two with impacts to teh drivers side front corner. So don’t crash (obviously). They’re also great on gas mileage.

If you do go with a Civic, watch out if you get one used. They’re a popular tuner car, so the previous owner might have thought he was a racer and treated his car as such. So just make sure you get it checked out. I recommend taking any car you’re thinking of buying to Firestone for their whatever-number-of-points inspection. Its only $20, but it can save you a lot of money.

And be very careful about buying from a car rental place. Why? Think about how people treat cars they rent: like crap. So most cars coming from rental places have gone through hell in their life. Thats probably not what you want to be buying.

As for Toyota? Its probably comparable to Honda: relatively inexpensive, decent quality, reasonably good on gas, and common enough that parts and work for it are reasonably cheap.

If the prices were comparable, I’d go with an off-lease car before a prior rental. Leasing has incentive to treat a car really good. Rentals… kinda the exact opposite


.

I second the Civic vote, for that price range you will be able to get something pretty decent that will last you a long long time.

Or a truck. You can get a decent Tacoma for around that price range and those trucks are indestructible.

Camry would be good if you have a large family but both the Civic and the Corolla will serve you really well. I am biased in that we’ve owned mostly Toyota’s in our family but hoping next year or after to upgrade to a Civic or Accord. Mileage, repair costs, maintenance will be good on both.

Well I got the Camry, anything I should keep in mind for maintenance, insurance and other stuff?

Steal one and use 3k to guy a body kit and mod that shit up.

tvs and rims and shit, bro…

dont get a rental…

ford focus, depreciate quick so itle be cheap, easy repairs and the newer ones are pretty reliable

Mazda 3, or protege. Mazda is often overlooked, it is a smaller manufacturer than Honda or Toyota but the quality is at least on par. They feel pretty solid on the inside and when you drive them, check one out for sure. Probably cheaper than Honda/Toyota too

[quote]JoabSonOfZeruiah wrote:
Well I got the Camry, anything I should keep in mind for maintenance, insurance and other stuff?[/quote]

Not really. They are very reliable. Parts are generally cheap as well. If you want to improve fuel economy consider steps to improve the handling on the road (better tyres, strut bars, suspension).

[quote]JoabSonOfZeruiah wrote:
Well I got the Camry, anything I should keep in mind for maintenance, insurance and other stuff?[/quote]

Mine has 120k and has never needed so much as a belt replaced. Its a 98 just passed emissions and ispection.

With all the money you’ll be saving on gas, you can afford to buy your own hooker for the year!

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Mazda 3, or protege. Mazda is often overlooked, it is a smaller manufacturer than Honda or Toyota but the quality is at least on par. They feel pretty solid on the inside and when you drive them, check one out for sure. Probably cheaper than Honda/Toyota too[/quote]
04-06 are pretty shit, alot of problems, i own an 04, i love it but build quality is bad in certain respects

Get a ~2000 Accord or Civic for $1500-$2000. Keep saving. Five years from now, buy something in the $4k range. Keep saving.

Can’t go wrong with an older Ford Mustang. I bought my daughter a 94 Mustang for $3000 a couple years ago and since it’s still in great shape they are actually selling for around $4000 now. It’s a V6 and gets around 30 MPG too. I’ve had Hondas and Toyotas - they’re good but around here (ND) the older ones are rust buckets. It won’t matter in El Paso but that Mustang started all winter without a garage too. Good Luck!