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First car

We are thinking overtime about the used car purchase process. There is no point living in America without a car! We have a 3o day deadline to close the deal. We are reading websites  like the Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to understand what we should be looking at – costs (purchase price, running costs), mileage (gets counted in running costs I hope), comfort, looks, resale value, etc. We have decided that our budget will be between 3000 and 4000. I don’t drive to work. So I estimate that our monthly miles will be under 700 and for the long drives, we can always rent cars. If we need the car for 3-4 years, resale price shouldn’t be big on our priorities. The idea is to get a decent car with low running costs. We have been talking to friends and most of them talk about 3 Japanese cars – Honda/Toyota/Nissan and buying from individuals. For a 3-5 capacity, we would need a compact or mid-size sedan. We have started looking at ads on craigslist and sulekha. What will you recommend us? You have a week to suggest :) I’m looking to tips from SK and Archana.

PS: Jax has written a splendid post on reading for freshers.

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  1. SK
    18 July 2010 at 11:09 pm | #1

    Hey I suppose you got tips from DH. :–)
    Go for Honda or Toyota, more so Honda. Dealer for safety, individual buyers be careful, get the inspections done.
    Good luck and happy hunting. :–)

  2. 25 July 2010 at 12:55 am | #2

    Ouch – looks like I missed the one week deadline :-(. Still, in case you need it: I second the opinion that Japanese cars have higher reliability especially as the mileage gets higher. I avoided dealers since I really can’t deal well with smooth-talking people. With individuals, do the carfax check, look at the maintenance records and take it to a mechanic.

    Most of all, try not to let the buying process consume all your thoughts (it did, for me though, advice is easy to give :-D) – when the right car comes along, it just clicks. But respond very quickly to ads – demand is always high for Jap cars. And once you really like a car, negotiate and put down a deposit. At least out here in the bay area, the good Jap cars go REALLY fast. Email or call me if you need more tips.

    Good luck with your hunt!

  3. 11 August 2010 at 7:10 am | #3

    Thank you SK and Archana, we are close to a deal with the Camry. Thankfully things worked out faster.

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