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1999 Beetle

My daughter is looking at one of these but i am not sure it is a good first car for a 16 yr. old. I am hearing about alot of mechanical problems and interior quality issues. What do ya’ll think?

I think you should stop by the local bookstore and get a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyer’s Guide. Not only will you get lots of good information on the reliability of the car, you’ll have a valuable opportunity to teach your daughter a valuable car buying skill…researching consumer publications!

Here’s the deal, these cars are a nightmare from a reliability standpoint and they’re not the cheapest to fix. BUT, is it your daughters dream car? If so, what the heck, she’s probably not going to be logging thousands of miles on the car and she’ll be happier than you can imagine. My first car was a nightmare and had lots of issues, but I loved it and wouldn’t have had any other car. If she doesn’t really have to have this car, or like it THAT much, then find her a Toyota or Honda. Besides, the Honda Civic is this generations 1955 Chevy.

If you are willing to pay 2 to 3 times the amount it would cost to repair an American or Japanese car, and have a large wallet, go for it. Otherwise, something like a Miata would be nice.

I have a 2002 NB. No problems with mine. Looking at the real numbers the real differences from car to car are not really all that big. There are real trends however, but anyone who takes good care of their car will do far better than someone who does not no matter what car they have.

That said the NB can be difficult to work on so it will cost some more. Do find a local independent mechanic locally who will inspect the car before you buy it and can service it after.

The first major expense you would be immediately looking at would be to replace the timing belt. Unless you get documented proof that the timing belt has recently been changed, you must consider it past due. When the timing belt goes, it causes expensive damage to the engine. To replace the timing belt will cost $1500 plus. As long as it’s love, cost doesn’t matter.