University student buying first car

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by cmack, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. cmack

    cmack New Member

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    Aug 28, 2013
    Hey I am female university student...going to buy my first car.

    I am going for a used car. Price range is between 0-12000. Few questions I would like a little feedback on!

    -I feel like I should go through a dealership instead of private (ie: kijiji) so I do not get dooped....I dont know a lot about cars...Agree or disagree?

    -I am thinking either a Nissan Versa (circa 2008-2009) or a Volkswagen Golf? Or a Golf City? What should I go for? one of these three or something else???

    I want something to get me around the city, good on gas and fairly cheap to maintain.

    Appreciate the help!

  2. MPAVictoria

    MPAVictoria Active Member

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    Sep 17, 2011
    Hi cmack,
    The Nissan Versa is a good little car. You should be able to find a newer one for 12,000 bucks. I have seen year old ones with not that many miles going in that range. I would avoid Volkwagens as they can be unreliable and expensive to fix. Be sure to check Autotrader to get an idea of the prices in your area.

  3. Mbogo

    Mbogo Senior member

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    Jun 12, 2005
    Some random thoughts from someone who has bought and sold a couple dozen of my own cars, and also sold cars at a dealer for a short while:

    I, too, would recommend against against a VW. They are nice cars, but can be expensive to maintain.

    In order of reliability, I rate them: Toyota, Honda, then a bit of a jump down to Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Suburu, then a another jump to Ford, Kia, and VW which are still pretty good. GM is second-worse only to Dodge.

    Don't assume that buying from a dealer is safer than from an individual. Dealers, IMO, have more tricks available to them to disguise an abused car than most consumers do.

    If you dig deeply enough at the dealer about a particular car, you may find out it was a former rent car. I think buying a former rental drastically increases the chances it was abused.

    I used to rank Nissan in the same reliability category as Honda and Toyota, but don't anymore. Hondas and Toyotas are truly remarkably well-built vehicles. I currently own a Nissan and really like it, however.

    One thing I like about the idea of buying a used Honda is that they are not used as rent cars, AFAIK.

    The WORST dealers are the small independent dealers unaffiliated with a new car dealership. They only get their cars at auction, which isn't necessarily bad, but again, increases the odds you might get a lemon. They are also more likely to do the major stuff like buying a wreck and piecing it back together and selling it.

    Used cars are always a gambling game, so it's all about reducing your risk. I found I liked dealing face to face with a private car seller that I got a good feeling from.

    There are really cheap lease deals and such now. Is there any way you could buy new?

    My vote for you would be a Civic, Corolla, or or other small Honda or Toyota. I've had the lowly Toyota Yaris as a rent car and it's actually not bad.

    Take it slow, good luck, and don't make an emotional decision. Like, "Oh, this Fiat is so cute!" :facepalm:


  4. upthewazzu

    upthewazzu Senior member

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    Jan 15, 2012
    Pullman, WA

    That statement is pretty much bullshit, especially since she'll be looking at newer cars (2008-2013). A used Cobalt (with ecotec 4-banger) or Cruze will last pretty much forever.

    My only piece of advice is to steer clear of Hyundai/Kia. They have gotten better, but remember it's relative to where they started. I say this as the owner of a 2010 Santa Fe.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013

  5. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    May 27, 2008
    El Barrio
    I once broke a side view mirror off of a Kia by slamming the door too hard. 15 years ago, but i'd still think twice before buying one.

  6. Zachgranstrom

    Zachgranstrom Senior member

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    May 12, 2010
    Hippie Territory
    Kia's aren't so bad now (VW's either), but yeah, I'm going to agree with the rest of the group and put a vote in for the Nissan Versa.

    Ewwww, a dirty cougar!

    (just kidding!) :D

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