I am 19 years old and car hunting for my first car. What kind of car should I be looking for that will be cheap to maintain in the long run and very reliable?
let us be serious, most people think that car operating costs and maintenance are the only expenses to having a car, and that is not true. You must include insurance that is almost never considered in the equation. Because of your age, insurance will be sky high, because of your short term road driving experience to the insurance world. In this case, believe it or not larger cars are considered safer and therefore insurance premiums are even lower. Next you need to decide how exactly you will use the car? Will you need it for school/work? Most likely your monthly cost for car will exceed $400 per month between insurance and operating costs and maintenance. That is based on average 25 mpg and driving 20 miles a day, $60 for gas, $40 for maintenance, $300 for insurance. Question is can you afford it? Unless you have your parents cover insurance you will not be able to afford it. Your generation is lucky because you have other options. You can rent a car like zippy car for about $10 an hour, and you would never have to worry about insurance expense, gas or maintenance, and if you do the math, it is actually cheaper. You can share the car with several friends, take the car for several hours and you are still ahead. Plus you are riding newer reliable cars, where you do not have to worry about anything. Just consider the idea, and you might thank me for it. Remember 95% of the time your car will be idle. If you insist on buying a car, go with Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and last but not least Honda Civic! My kid is 16 and I know and I am trying to convince him too.