Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2001 Hyundai Elantra GT or 1998 Honda Civic

I have a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT manual hatchback. It has 70,000 miles on it. I have a warranty that goes until 110,000 miles or 2011. The warranty covers some stuff, but every 5 months or so I have to take my car in to get something fixed. Even with the warranty I end up spending around $300 on average. I love driving this car, but am anxious about it needing upkeep all the time. I also am still paying it off and have about $3800 still to go.

My boyfriend is selling his 98 Honda civic hatchback with 110,000 miles on it. I am thinking about buying it from him. This would mean no more car payments, no interest. He also has only taken his car in for general maintenance. never any problems and will sell me the car for $3200.

Should I switch? Selling my car also makes me nervous because my car has a big dent in the passenger door that I probably need to fix first. It has affected the front right speaker which now pops and hisses. There is one other scratched up area of my car on the back bumper. I don’t know if i am going to end up spending too much money to get my car fixed to sell.

Any advice on this???

Owing $3,800 on an eight year old vehicle is not a good position to be in, especially when the value of the vehicle is so close to the amount you owe. You’re almost “upside down” meaning you owe MORE than the car is worth, and considering the dent this may already be the case.

Have you had the timing belt replaced on your Elantra?

Has your boyfriend had the timing belt replaced on his Civic?

This is important because both cars need this as part of normal maintenance, and it’s not cheap. In addition, the internal engine damaged caused by a broken timing belt can render either car nearly worthless.

The answer to the timing belt questions would make a big difference to me if I were in your position.

Can you give us this information?

Yes, we have both replaced the timing belts in our cars. yes, i am fast approaching being upside down if not there already. i’m worried i’ll have a difficult time selling my car anyways, but if it’s the smarter move to take on the civic, then i’m definitely willing to try.
what do you think, knowing that i have replaced the timing belt?

This is tough. If you get enough for the Elantra to pay off the loan what will you use to buy the Civic?

If you have $3,200 now to buy the Civic you could toss it onto the Elantra loan instead and you’d only owe a few hundred. A few more payments and you’d be debt free (at least as far as cars go).

Based on what you’ve told me I’d say it’s a toss-up. Which car do you like better?

Unfortunately, i don’t have $3200. I would just be making a monthly payment to my boyfriend sans interest. which is good as long as the relationship is good. Yikes! haha. but it’s also very possible that i’m going to lose some money selling the elantra.

Honestly, i like the Elantra better. But i am under the impression that the civic is a more practical, reliable choice. But this is why i wrote in. i was expecting someone to tell me to definitely trade the elantra for the civic. but after looking up click and clack’s description of the elantra, i’m surprised by what a high rating they gave it. I guess i thought that korean cars were less reliable than japanese and even if his civic has more miles and is older, that this might be the smarter way to go. if it is a toss up, maybe i should just stay with the elantra. i think it will be easier for him to sell his civic anyway. hmmmm

Owing money to your boyfriend is NOT a good idea, regardless of the state of your relationship. This, by itself, is a good enough reason to stick with the Elantra.

I suggest making extra payments (if you can) to get the loan paid of ASAP. Even a few extra dollars each month makes a difference. If you can afford more than that, pay it. The sooner you pay for this car the better off you’ll be.

thanks for all your advice. i really appreciate it. your capital NOT is resonating with me…deep down, i think you are right.