Time for a New Car?

With the recent issues found in my current car, my dad’s been suggesting that I might want to purchase a new car instead of investing $1k into repairing a car which currently has a ~$6k resale value. Plus he says the sales tax would definitely help me with taxes for the year 2010 and if I purchase a hybrid, I may even save more.

That got me start thinking about getting a new car. I’ve had my current 2001 Honda Civic EX since high school and it’s still going great, still giving me ~28MPG, but it’ll turn 10 years old this Thanksgiving. Kelley’s Blue Book says I can trade-in my car for ~$6000. However, a bunch of stuff is going on right now in my life and I haven’t really even decided what type of car I want yet.

After speaking with Derek, I decided I’d probably fix up Civic for now and somewhere down 2010, purchase a new car. As for fixing my Civic, instead of going to the dealer, I’ll be getting quotes from other auto shops around town. @rothgar gave a really good suggestion about checking out AAA certified auto shops. There also appears to be a good list on Microsoft Prime.

So Derek and I were brainstorming ideas of what my next car should be. I decided I’d be willing to spend between $30-50k (funny that I actually have just over that in liquid assets). On an unrelated note, Dad also said I should probably open a HELOC and start borrowing money to accrue interest for 2010 tax purposes.

I’ve always been a big fan of the BMW M3 since vonlobster introduced it to me back in college, but that might be out of my price range. Derek also says that the M3 is a harsh ride where you can feel every acceleration, corner turn, roaring engine, etc., and wasn’t sure if I’d be a fan of that. He also suggested if I was interested in an M3, to purchased it used would be his recommendation, like what he did.

I was initially thinking of a BMW or an Audi, but Derek’s been scaring me with high maintenance costs for BMW and Audi cars (i.e. oil change for the M3 is $250 because it uses special motor oil). The Audi A4 and A5 are looking beautiful. Derek also suggested that I may be interested in the BMW 335 or 135, which look sweet also.

I may also consider getting an Acura or Lexus. For some reason none of the current Acura car line-up looks that great. Maybe I just don’t like the way the front looks. On the Lexus side, the IS looks really nice.

Probably need to get together with Derek someday to talk more about cars.

Update: The more and more I compare, I’m starting to really dig the Audi A4.

3 Replies to “Time for a New Car?”

  1. Wow, we have pretty much the same taste in cars, although I think the BMW 1-series are one of the ugliest cars on the road. It seems so ‘cheap’ in the design category compared to the 3/5/7-series.

    I love the Audi A5; I think that’s the most beautiful car on the road for the price – the daytime running LED’s make any Audi stand out on the road. Same thing goes for the A4. (I’d pick up the V10 Audi R8 in a heartbeat if I had the money).

    Have you thought about just leasing the car, instead of buying?

  2. in the mean time, you may want to switch to full synthetic oil for your civic. I do my own oil changes and use Castrol GTX (used to use Royal Purple) and have noticed about a 10-15% increase in my gas milage. I have the same 2001 Civic Ex as you do and I regularly get ~32 mpg (the highest i ever got was 44 mpg on a road trip) Full synthetic also has the benefit of not needing an oil change as often (in the civic it is about 5000-6000 miles instead of 3000.
    Personally I don’t think I would ever buy a car brand new and if I were buying from a dealer it would be in Q4 to get end of the year sales which are typically the best deals.
    Good luck either way.

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