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How much should I spend on my first car?

I am 23, I've had my licence since I was 16 but have never owned a car. I hardly ever drive so I still consider myself a brand new driver. Since the car would be my first chances of accidents are higher so I was initially looking at cheaper cars. I was looking to spend $4000 which would mean a 10 year old car with over 100K miles, and I'd have to look for someone looking to get rid of it or go to a sleazy dealer. I'm wondering if it's better to put the $4000 as a down payment on a better car that cost around $12,000 and get an 08/09 used toyota camry. I'm not too excited about a car payment, but I'd feel better knowing I'm getting a newer and more reliable car, better looking in good condition with less miles, plus a warranty from a more reputable dealer. I am a lady so I can't drive any old beater but I also don't want to strain my finances as money is tight. Where should I look and what should I get? Also I'm starting to consider buying from a rental car company like Enterprise. Terrible idea?

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  • 8 years ago

    Get a used Honda Fit. If this doesn't do it for you, I also recommend the Fiesta or Mazda2. These cars are new enough that any you can afford should take care of you for a long time, and get you your good gas mileage. The way you ask this question tells me that, in fact, you will NOT wreck it, and that if you do, it will be someone else's fault. Try to get GAP insurance if you can. Do NOT goto a sleazy dealer. The rental car idea is fine, but remember that when people rent cars they treat them however they want and you can't predict how brutal that car's first<however many> miles were!

    And $4000 is a great down payment to have, it will help your rating when they calculate your payments so not only will the payments be lower directly from the down payment, but the interest will be lower reducing them further.

    Source(s): I just know this stuff.
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  • 8 years ago

    The cost of the vehicle will depend on what vehicle you get. As for buying a rental vehicle, I would try and stay away from those. The only used vehicle I would buy would be something that is like new and with low mileage. With older vehicles, you may be buying someone else's problems. Depending on your financial situation, I figure if I am going to make payments, it might as well be on a new vehicle rather than a used one. You can get a carfax run on the vehicle to see if there are any problems on a used vehicle, but keep in mind, the carfax is only as good as the info that has been reported on the vehicle. Lots of vehicles have major problems that was kinda repaired by the owner, but most likely the owner didn't call carfax and report those problems.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Yeah I would probably go for a newer car around 2008. The Toyota Camry is very reliable, and yes car payments do suck and yes buying is better, but because you are tight on cash, and because you do not want to get stuck with a crappy unreliable car from 1995, I say go for it. Heck everyone during this recession is tight on cash, do whatever it takes, just stay afloat!

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Stay away from rental car. rental cars are rode hard. Since it is not their car those people who rent it push them real hard. A car that has had a rough life may cause you problems down the road

    A used Japanese car are nice and reliable. Since it is your first car, don't buy new. It will work the same anyway. Better save up for a bigger amount for down payment and get a nice car when you are 30s

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  • 8 years ago

    Hmmmmm I would go with a new car but honestly it comes down to you

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    About 5k

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