Easiest way to obtain a car

This is for anyone who has bought their own car in the past and knows a little bit about it.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this for a VERY long time. What I’ve decided is that I definitely don’t need one, I’m accustomed to walking everywhere and I’d rather NOT spend the money I don’t have on it.

The thing is, not having one works for me, but it puts a strain on my social life and having one would make most of what I do a lot more convenient. And besides, you can’t impress a girl without wheels, no matter how shitty they are.

What I want to know is what kind of time and money investment it’ll take to get a junker. I’m not looking for a BMW (so you can stop reading now, Sin :P). I’m looking for a cheap metal cage with four wheels that can go from A to B.

I basically want to know how to obtain a car with the least amount of effort in the shortest amount of time, where I should look, what an acceptable price is, and other first-time buyer advice. Talk to me.

A friend. Seriously. Your friend will give you the hookup, not only in price, but he’ll be more forthcoming about the issues with the car, and knows it better. He’ll also write out the receipt of sale for less than the actual sale price, meaning you’ll pay less in transfer fees (assuming the canadian DMV works the same as the US one).

Failing that, look in your local newspaper or craigslist. Don’t go to a dealer, seriously, even if it is a “friendly” place like CarSense…its just not worth it.

In terms of price, Kelley Blue Book, the pricing guide used by dealers, is available free online. Once you know what is available to you, check the blue book value, they even have a private party price.

e: and yeah, for first time advice, i’d say the biggest one is to get the sale receipt written out for less than the actual sale, you’ll pay less in transfer fees,


If it works in video games, it will work in real life. Just be careful, because you arent going to have wanted guage to keep an eye on.

My first car was a '99 Fiat Punto which cost me 2K€. The thing had its good points like getting me from place A to place B during winters when I couldn’t use my bicycle to get around, plus it also saved a few lives during times when I promised to make a few pickups in town. I hit a used car place with my old man and picked it up.

Sure, 1.1liters which chugs put 48hp doesn’t seem like anything impressive, but it was my first car I paid for myself. Although at 100 kmph, you’d probably get rheumatic after all the shaking the car did. Also, check the condition of the exhaust pipe. I had to change mine after a year since the thing was so rusty that it fell off. Didn’t consume much gas either.

Now I drive an Opel Astra Sports which has an impressive 1.6liter pumping out 100hp. Much better audio too, so longer drives are muuuuch more tolerable. Then again, it did go to 7K€… Then again, the backlights are pretty damn sweet. Went to check a few exchange spots again. A pretty good deal. Although I’m still getting used to the bigger engine and economical driving aspect.

To sum it up: Yeah, a first car is a first car, even it moves and handles like a shopping cart filled with logs. But it gets you around if you have a long distance to reach your social life. Heck, I usually drive a 20km trip to pick up a few friends to go 'round driving somewhere else. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, remember that if you get a junker, you’ll also spend the junker’s worth of money on gas alone. So check the consumption too!

I’ll tell you something: don’t get a junker. You’ll spend more money on repairs than you would on a good used car (or “pre-owned” for the more pretentious of us). But if you were looking for a junk car I’d check the swap sheets, want-ads, and talk to friends. Just be prepared to spend a LOT on repairs.

GAP is right about getting a good used car. Junkers are cheaper up front, but are expensive on the back end. I’d recommend a Toyota or Honda since they are pretty cheap and last a long time. I would recommend against buying from a friend just because if there are any problems with it, or something happens down the road, it could cause hard feelings. Also, if you have a friend that knows a good amount about cars, I’d advise you bring him along to check-out the car to make sure it is in decent condition.

Since you don’t have a job, I wouldn’t advise getting a car. You need a lot of money to get the car in the first place, then you need to pay for your driver’s license and insurance (which in Quebec is RIDICULOUSLY more expensive than California - which is why I’m keeping my CA license - , so I’d definetly check what its like for the rest of Canada. You also need a constant cash influx to deal with routine stuff like oil changes, gas, whatever repairs your car will undoubtedly need.

GAP and Info are right. The problem is that hondas especially tend to conserve their value, which is good when you own one, but not good when you want to buy a cheap one. I also second the call to look at Kelley blue book.

Look online and in the newspapers for sales of used cars. Go with a friend that knows what he’s talking about when he looks at cars. When you found a car , pay a reliable mechanic to give it a look and tell you what kind of work needs to be done so you know if you’re getting a lemon.

I have one lined up. I wouldn’t be asking this if I didn’t. Still, I’m going to be doing this on bottom-of-the-barrel struggling-university-student income, hence the junker mindset.

But by junker I don’t mean something that needs a lot of repairs. Of course I’ll weigh the initial cost against that and decide for myself. I’m especially cognizant of this because one of my friends just bought a car and the brake cable snapped after less than a week. It’s a NICE car, too. He’s still in high school though so he has more money to go around than me. Something like that, I wouldn’t be able to repair for a long time.

Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about Japanese cars, how solid and economic they are, especially compared to North American scrappers. I’ll look into that.

I’m not too worried about gas right now. It’s something that’ll come up later, but I’ll only be using my car scarcely. What I’m worried about is insurance. I’ll take that as it comes.

It’s a car. It’s going to need lots of repairs regardless of it being a Model T or a Ferrari. Also, the only way to not spend fortunes in gas is to simply not use the machine AT ALL, in any other circumstance you’ll still need to fork over a lot of cash.

Any car will create a constant monetary vacuum when everything works correctly, and it will suck your blood when anything goes wrong. Don’t underestimate that. If you want to be able to keep the car running, hang to that job or any other fo dear life.

Don’t be stupid. Gas isn’t pay nothing or pay everything. There are middle grounds and you underestimate my ability to be stingy.

And not all cars need repairs. Your cynicism wont change that and I’m getting sick of hearing it. -_-;;

On the topic of gas money, if you’re getting this car for social reasons then ask your passengers to chip in on gas money when you need a fill up. That seems reasonable.

let’s see … no repairs? still need to change the oil in the engine regularly (100$), have winter and summer tires swapped when the time arrives (between 150-250$ if you don’t have the tires yet), pay for windshield washer (20-30$ depending on brand), have winter and summer wiper blades also swapped when the time arrives and you can pretty much make that swap on your own (between 40 and 70$ depending on quality) and make sure transmission, break and engine coolant fluids are all up to standard (needs to be checked and replaced if needed 100$).

Now before even buying the car, it’s a good idea to take it for a spin and have it evaluated at a garage (assuming you buy used) and that usually costs around 50-75$. Don’t get it evaluated and you could be getting screwed over big time…

Now assuming the car is all nice and well maintained then you should only need to do the basics (oil, fluids, tires) but if it’s not then your car experience will be a very unpleasant one… I’ve been driving for four years, mainly my dad’s cars, and he takes very good care his automobiles, and trust me on this, cars are a vortex that suck every penny gained in your pocket. Oh and you can say that you’re a safe driver, but you never know when a flat tire, assholes driving like idiots clipping you, bumps and scratches caused by unrespectful people slamming their bumbers and doors against your car might happen.

Can’t think of anything else other than that… might be missing some stuff, n’ways!

Dude, all cars DO need repairs. You can get a '93 Honda beater or you can get a '93 Honda that “just runs”. Each car is going to have a slew of things wrong with it that are going to need to be repaired eventually, the beater just has more pressing issues. You’re going to plunk down the price of the car, easy, on repairs alone in the first year or two that you own it. Hopefully there isn’t inspection in Canada either, because once you take your whip in for inspection, all the little things that are wrong with it that you thought you’d never need to get fixed, need to get fixed…and thats another chunk of change.

And where are you going to be taking this car? From home to Uni? Thats a calculable distance, so you know just how much gas you need, that way you don’t spend too much…the ‘middle ground’ you seem to think you can get by on. But you said you wanted this car for chicks. What happens when you want to go out on a date, and activity with arbitrary destinations at best? You’ll need a full tank and its hella expensive.

What is your income right now? Insurance alone is absurdly expensive, unless your parent’s plan lets you have a branch under them since you’re a student.

Hell no I’m not taking it to Uni. I can bus there for free.

Drak: What you call repairs, I call maintenance. What I call repairs is stuff like brake pads, transmission, windows, anything that can actually break, not just stuff that needs to be refilled (though you have a point in that). I don’t consider wiper fluid or oil a repair anymore than filling the tank.

Good advice though. I’ll keep it in mind. And I don’t consider myself a safe driver :stuck_out_tongue: I’m pretty much going to be mariokarting it for the first while, and I already don’t trust other drivers.

Dev: Like I already said, insurance is the only thing that has me really worried. It’ll cost me more than anything else in the long run and if I have trouble finding money for anything, it’ll be that.

Insurance and maintenance are pretty damn heavy costs and if you don’t have a job, forget it. If you ever have the displeasure of needing to do actual repairs, gg.

Funny, I recently just got mine:
<img src=“http://i9.ebayimg.com/01/a/07/52/fe/83_1.JPG”>

Insurance is hell, and gas is a bitch. I don’t have a job, but I’m thinking about putting in some applications sometime this week. I just hate the loss of free time I’m going to have :frowning:

Man, that’s the kind of vehicle I want. Old but sturdy and it has character, but still maintains a bit of class.

What model is it exactly?

Ford Bronco, the kind OJ drove.

There is no guarantee that because its a bronco that it is sturdy , reliable, and won’t need repairs. You’re just getting the same delusion people have when they buy SUVs.

You’re calling me deluded for something I never said.

Hades is an expert at buying cars