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i like whiskey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My primary vehicle has about 85k miles on it. I just had to drop $740 on repairs. Considering it was the first repair money I've ever had to spend on it, it is no big deal.

Talking with the wife, she said "You are going to need to have a truck to take hunting with you, so what if we got you a car to drive back and forth to work in. And that way your truck would last longer." I thought that was a good idea if we could find something that was inexpensive-ish, large enough, reliable and got good gas mileage.

Keep in mind I know nothing about cars. Trucks I know. So what can I get for say $4000-5000? I was thinking Nissan Altima or similar.

Is that budget OK? Should I just spend the $ on the truck and keep it running? Comments?
 

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No hero that's understood
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The way I see it, buying a $4,000 - $5,000 used car may also create the need for maintenance and repairs. There's also additional insurance and space to consider. I've often pondered the third vehicle scenario. I want to do the opposite of you and buy a beater truck as a third vehicle, but I've never been able to make it work in my mind. I think it sounds good, but I'm not sure it actually makes sense. Having an extra vehicle sitting around not getting used doesn't seem to make much sense. I think there is a third option that you may want to consider. Use the additional money you were willing to spend on the car and upgrade your truck. That way, you sort of have the best of both worlds.
 

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still shedding season
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innergel said:
I was thinking Nissan Altima or similar.
Wifey put about a quarter million miles on hers and got rid of it because the a/c wasn't worth fixing - all with a less-than-perfect maintenance schedule...

But q&a's right. Two vehicles to maintain, insure and license. Adding up all of the expenses it doesn't usually work out. How far do you drive to work, and how many days/week?
 

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Seat's not level
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How far is your commute? How far is your wife's commute?

When we got married my wife had a Subaru and I had a Honda. After we got married we bought a truck for skiing, and hauling bikes and such. We now had 3 vehicles to keep running.

My wife got a job 4 miles from home, Mine is 32 miles away. After a year or so we figured that she could drive the truck and I would keep my Honda. We sold her Subaru. She doesn't really like driving the truck, but she doesn't really go that far.

Last year when my wife was job looking, we were talking about getting another car if her new job would require her to drive more than 15 miles. She probably would have taken over my car and I would have bought a new one.
 

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banned from the museum
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I never pay more than $7500 for a car. My last three have been good runners that had at least 100,000 miles left in them.

You can easily find a car like you describe.
 

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$4k - $5k is a lot of money for a commuter.

Any generic Honda Civic/Nissan Sentra/Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord/Nissan Altima/Toyota Camry would work for you. Subaru's would too but IIRC your location doesn't make AWD anything more than drivetrain power loss.

Word of advice: Say no to automatic transmission Honda's.
 

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i like whiskey
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mileage to work is 25, each way, five days a week. City miles, not highway. Approx. 20k miles a year.

Wife's commute is short and she only works part time. Her main mileage is hauling kids around. Her car (07 Ford Freestyle) is paid off and runs well. Her using my truck is a non-starter.

I'm thinking it's gonna be a push at best on the money. My concern at this point is that I'll need to always have a truck of some sort, and since current truck is paid for, I might as well keep it. This would be a way to extend the life of the truck, although Silverado's can go 200k with good maintenance.

There is no rush to this decision either.
 

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Good news everyone!
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I bought my 01 Camry several years ago with 80k miles on it for 5 grand. I did a brake job in it right away, and put a new brake booster on.. a total of maybe 250 bucks in repairs that I did myself. Other than that, just wear and tear stuff like tires. I'm still not sure that you're going to save money in the long run though. I was driving a paid off truck that got 14 MPG and I still think it would have overall been cheaper to drive it every day when you factor in repairs, maintenance, insurance, and registering it. 5000 dollars goes a long way to pay for repairs, maintenance, and gas for another vehicle.
 

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+1 on Honda.

I've got 140,000 miles on my 03 Honda Civic that we use mainly as a commuter, and I'm just breaking it in.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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I have 28c tires on my commuter. They are a little slower than 23's, but I get less flats. 25 miles each way from the new place is a little easier than 32 miles from the old one.

HTH.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Argentius said:
I have 28c tires on my commuter. They are a little slower than 23's, but I get less flats. 25 miles each way from the new place is a little easier than 32 miles from the old one.

HTH.
*Like*, ^^^^this, epic win
 

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waterproof*
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just keep the truck... seriously.. start running the numbers and the truck comes out way ahead on TCO
 

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GirchyGirchy said:
They seem to be pretty hit or miss...coworker has 250k on his original auto tranny. He's never done a fluid change on it.
My wife has 160k on her 1996 automatic Civic. Haven't had to put money into it for awhile.
 

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i like whiskey
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Argentius said:
I don't have kids, so I wouldn't understand.
I was actually agreeing with you, not trying to be snarky. A commuter bike is a great option. Although I have a difficult time working out the route in a few spots. There is one particularly dangerous intersection I can't get past too easily. And a dead Gel would not do anyone any good, except maybe Mrs Gel after she got the life insurance settlement.
 
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