Looking to buy a car on a budget and more clueless now then when I started

Asked by May 17, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Hey everyone,

I'm going to give you the long story of this question, so you have a better idea of

Three weeks ago, I got laid off after 10 months of working at a place and moving
across the country (midwest to new england) for a job. Two weeks after that, I ended
up totaling my car after an encounter with some deer on the interstate. Since I got laid
off, I can't finance a car even though I have stellar credit and I also don't plan on
staying around here for that much longer. I'm applying to jobs all over the country, so
who knows where I will end up.

With that said. I got my insurance check and a little more money, so I'm looking for a
car in the 7000$ range at the highest. I can't drive a stick and I would rather have a car
over a truck or anything, just because of gas. I also don't know much about cars in
general. I can check the fluids and tires, but that is about it. Everything else I'm
clueless about.

I've spent this entire week going from dealer to private person, test driving, carfaxing,
and everything. Looking at craigslist, autotrader and cars.com about everyday.

So far, I've came across 3 maybes. (I'm not sold on them, so any other suggestions I
would love to hear.) All of them are from used car dealerships, which are always
shady. For whatever reason, I can't find a decent car from a private person or when I
finally get ahold of them, the car is already sold, though it has been a week.

Anyway, the first car was a 2005 Ford Taurus with about 87K miles on it. The engine
kinda revved up and down slightly when it was idling, but I don't know if that is normal
for a ford taurus or if I was looking too much into it. It also had some weird rust spots
on the under side, also I don't know what is normal vs what is bad. The dealer wanted

The second car was a 2005 Honda Civic with 119k miles on it. The brakes where kinda
bad, but other than that everything else seemed alright. The dealer wanted 6900$ for

The Ford and the Honda was from the same dealer, who out of all the ones I've met,
has been the most helpful and "honest" guy. I don't really trust anyone selling a car,
because I've just came across to much bs. But I mean, he said he wouldn't sell
anything to me until he delivered me carfax reports (his computer was messing up, he
showed me, seemed legit) and he also wanted to do some regular maintenance
because the cars were new. Also, when I googled the shop/dealer it got stellar reviews.
Not to mention, he said I should take any car I want to purchase to a mechanic of my
choice. The fact that he recommended it to me, before I brought anything like that up
also makes me like the guy, if that makes any sense.

The last car I've came across was a 2003 Chevy Malibu with 82K miles on it for 4200$.
The car drove the best, but reeked of smoke. But I mean it didn't idle weird, fluids
seemed to check out, brand new tires, overall really nice. Since I'm trying to do
research before I buy anything, I told the guy I was leaving and he immediately
dropped the price to 3000$. I mean, it seems like a good deal, but it also seems like
TOO GOOD of a deal, if that makes sense. He was also hesitant on a car fax report,
so I did my own and it was clean, but still, the dealer seemed like a regular slime ball.

So that is where I am now. Any advice? Should I continue to look? Anything else I
should check out on the cars? I need a car within probably 2 weeks, because I will be
moving again.

In any case, anything you will tell me will probably be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers


Here's my 2 cents worth. Forget the Taurus, just too many problems with them, the Honda should be an OK car but the dealer should have fixed the brakes as that is a safety issue, the Malibu was over priced to begin with, there selling them here from 2200 to 3500 depending on the condition. So of the 3 the Honda seems the best, but I would keep looking a while longer if time is not an issue. If you do find a car that you like then defiantly take it to a shop that will do a used car check it will be money well spent.


You should continue looking.... All the cars priced above are way overpriced for what they are going for in the market, I have a 2002 Toyota Camry. 160K in good running condition I'm selling for $5900, I also have a 2003 Honda Element DX, 112K, very clean for $7000. that gives you an idea what kind of pricing you should be looking for. Stay away from American cars, their resell value and their mechanical quality for the most part sucks. you're welcome to call me at 770.366.4224. JunisLLC.com

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