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Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationBuying & Selling · 9 years ago

What to look for in a first car?

I need to work this summer and am stuck living at home, which is about a 40 minute drive from town. Therefore, I need a car. I have a small budget (as a student)- $4000, including tax, for the car itself. I have enough extra saved for insurance and stuff. My parents absolutely refuse to help me look, even though I know very little about vehicles. I've asked nicely if they might help me look this weekend, or even just drop me off at a few dealerships, but they could care less and aren't interested. So I'm pretty much on my own here. What should I be looking for? It's got to be cheap, reliable, and relatively affordable on gas. A car that looks nice would be awesome, but the other things are much more important.

Any tips?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'd go to some dealerships to test drive some cheaper cars, and then I'd go to craigslist or a similar site to find the actual car. But get an idea of what you like before you go shopping. In your price range, I'd probably go for something small and Japanese. I know another poster talked about the Ford Focus and Chevy Cavalier, but I don't think you'd be able to find a good Focus for that price, and I think Cavaliers are terrible cars. I'd look at Honda Civics, CRXs, and Accords. Maybe Volkswagen Golfs (more expensive to fix), or some Toyota (I'm not familiar with their small car offerings). But back to my original point; I think you should buy the car in a private party sale. Do a little research, find the type of car you want, find a similar car for sale in your area within your price range, test drive it, and take it to a reliable, reputable mechanic to have it inspected. Be sure the seller has the title in hand (if you live in a state where that's an issue) and you might also want to look at some insurance quotes to see which car has the cheapest insurance.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I would stick with a small, compact or sub-compact car like a Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Chevy Cavalier. Honda and Toyota are good cars, but tend to have higher insurance and more expensive to fix. Chevy Cavalier or Ford Focus would be your best bets I think.

    Go for small, coupe/sedan sized cars with good gas mileage.

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