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.