Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Car

I woke up today to find that my poor 2000 Jaguar S type with 260,000 miles had been rear ended. The bumper and trunk were torn up pretty bad and broken glass was all over the ground. I have a card from the police department saying "your vehicle was hit by a suspected DUI driver"

I haven't been able to get any information about the insurance for the other company. So it is hard to say what will happen. However at least an 80% chance they will total it. Hopefully I can talk them out of at least the last six months of repair costs for the car(close to 3k) but it is hard to say.

Anyways, barring a miracle giving me a new bumper and roof to my trunk I am in the market for a new car. Actually I am in the market for a used car. Five years of the Jaguar make me want the cheapest car to maintain I can get. Having a 1000+ dollar repair every few months has got really old. This year has been an easy one compared to the last two, yet I have still payed over $3500 in maintenance I have little remaining tolerance for blowing money on high cost status symbols.

I have decided on a few criteria:
I want a 4 door car.
I want high gas mileage, over 30mpg would be ideal, but really 25 would be acceptable. I drive the LA to San Jose drive a lot and making that drive cheaper would really help be.
I want power locks. I realize this is an odd one, but really it is too easy to leave cars unlocked with manual locks.
I want a working AC. I have never been able to afford fixing the AC on the Jaguar. The repairs it typically cost just to keep it running was all I could justify.
I don't want a hybrid. I just don't think that the cost of the battery makes sense. High mileage cars without them just seem to make more financial sense.

So far my list of potential cars consists of the: Ford Focus; Toyota Corolla; Honda Civic; Toyota Camry; Mazda Protege; Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Elantra.

I suspect I will limit myself to about a $5000 car. I just don't believe in digging myself into much more debt. Four years in a $5000 dollar car should really be enough for me to pay off my credit cards, pay off my student loan debt, and perhaps save up for a $10,000 car. Or perhaps a second $5,000 car while I save up for a house.

Right now a Hyundai Elantra is the top of my list. They have depreciated really fast. A 2003 one is something in the range of $3000-$4500 while a 2005 one is $5000-$7000. This seems to be more based off of poor image of the company, than an actual deficiency of the car. This seems like something I should take advantage of. Also, I shouldn't be paying much for future depreciation which is the most expensive part of owning a car. I still haven't driven one though. I may decide that this is a little too wimpy of a car even for me.

No comments: