When and why did you decide to be done with beater cars?

Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
7,404
Location
Connecticut
I got teased in my Camry a couple months ago when I drove 3 coworkers to lunch, it was hilarious. "Nick, how did you go from driving a Tesla to this?" "Why doesn't the seat belt work?" (Turns out one doesn't work), "My window doesn't go down", and I've had the same steering column meow since I bought the car almost 7 years ago. Another time we went to lunch in it, 25 miles one way, I got asked "Are we gonna make it?" :ROFLMAO:

I now try to guess which days we go to lunch together and drive the Grand Cherokee on those days.
That's called character.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
94
Location
Formerly CARJ Olathe, KS
I went from a 97 Honda Civic beater in 2020 to a 2018 VW GTI and am now selling the GTI and will go back to a cheapish beater. I've always driven nice cars so my first real experience with a beater was that Civic. I bought it from a friend for $600 and got it fixed up so it was a decent little car. Interior condition is really important to me so I made sure it was super clean inside. I sold it because I was ready for a different car. Now I am going back to a sub $5k car again. I love the GTI but car payments suck and I can sell it for a lot more than I bought it for. In our current economic climate, freeing up an extra $366 a month feels like the right thing to do. There seems to be plenty of Civics, Accords, Camrys, and Corollas for sale in the $3500 range that I can buy and drive. Having a reliable backup car (my 4Runner) makes me feel better about having a low buck car. Also, new car project (if you know what I mean).
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
913
Location
illinois, usa
I'll be turning 59 in few months and have always bought cars in the <5,000 category.

I did try to buy a new car once but I guess my credit history was not good enough. In the long run it was a blessing, never had to deal w/ monthly payments.

At this time, I can afford a new car but not interested in the current stuff. The main focus on the screens, and the nannies which I hate.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Messages
883
Location
MD
The mistaken idea that a cheap purchase price saves money is just that. Cars have a specific lifespan, and purchase price is only about 1/3 of the total cost of ownership. Add in that old cars don't have a long expected lifespan and the price reflects the expected service life.

A well purchased new car is only about 10% more expensive "per mile" than a used car.

Yes and no. I've seen new or new-ish cars break down and require pretty expensive repairs. Having a new car does not insulate one from unscheduled downtime. They are generally a poor value unless you have to have the best, which they are.

Lots of 5-7 year old Mercedes, etc. getting towed away. I would rather deal with a 10 year old Chevrolet.

Your point has some validity and is understood. There is a point where getting a 20 year old rust bucket ends up costing too much.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Messages
883
Location
MD
Car repairs are no fun. New car payments get old quick. New cars need new tires just as fast as used cars with fresh tires. Insurance costs, convenience, fears over door dings, depreciations, one new vs multiple beaters, risks with buying old lemon vs new with warranty, inconveniences of breakdowns, etc etc etc…



One of the best things about buying used that I like is that there is generally plenty of data out there on how reliable that particular make and mode vehicle is likely to be, and with things like carfax you can do your best to avoid buying abused vehicles. This helps swing “luck” in your favor of avoiding a heap of junk money pit.

Great points.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
1,272
Location
Colorado
In 2018 I had a 2006 Nissan Sentra with 206K miles on it.
It needed front brakes and rotors plus struts all around.
I was going to fix it but one day the drivers door would not open.
That did it.
All fixable but probably $2000 at a shop, I dont wrench anymore.
The same day the door broke I went to my local Hyundai dealer and got a brand new Elantra GT.
The junk yard got the Sentra and paid me $205.
 
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
398
Location
Ames, IA
We got rid of the beater New Beetle last week. It went into limp mode for no apparent reason, and my daughter had to call me for help. So, she took my 233k mile Camry to dance class and I hopped into her 108k mile Beetle and drove it home with no problems. Restart seemed to reset it.

This car has been constant work, so my wife agreed it was fine to say goodbye. I put it up for sale for a junk price and it sold within 24 hours.

The only bummer is that it drove perfectly during the test drive. Even to the point where I second guessed selling it. You have to be able to trust a car and that was not possible anymore.

My daughter is enjoying her new to her/cast away by me Camry and I found a 15k mile Rouge that makes me happy. No more beaters in our house.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
953
Location
Minnesota
I've been driving new cheap cars for a while now (see sig). But I do occasionally buy a beater to have some fun. I like the idea of being underestimated. Driving a $3k car (pre-covid) with no debt outside the mortgage, wife and I with what I consider good jobs. But many people would assume you don't have 2 pennies to rub together.
 
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