Best "sit-in-the-driveway" car

They just hauled off my 1994 Suzuki Swift with less than 50,000 miles on it. I drive so rarely that my cars just rust out before their time. Any suggestions?

…And don’t just tell me to get a bicycle! I use my bike to get to public transportation, etc. But not having a car sure zaps the serendipitous trip. I use Zipcar sometimes.

A bicycle and public transportation.

You are probably one of those rare people to whom I would recommend a good used Saturn with the plastic body panels. If you can find a 3-4 yerar old one with low mileage and have it checked out by a mechanic first, you may have a long term ownership of a reasonably good looking vehicle. A friend of my wife bought one in 1993 and now with 130,000 miles on it the body still looks great althought he mechanicals are getting tired!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

Where you live must be a winter road salt area or you are close to an ocean. We live in the upper midwest. Our neighbor has a 1996 Chevrolet that you would swear was from a southern location. He runs it through a car wash weekly during the winter. If you do this, make sure that they spray new, not reused, water at the underside.

Possibly Suzuki was too new at car designing in 1996 to have the car experience to know how to rustproof. Honda had problems with premature rusting in their early days too.

I would buy a 3-5 yr old car with less than 50K miles on it, that otherwise suits your driving/travelling needs. A Chev Malibu, Buick Century might meet the need because they generally have high depreciation but are reasonably reliable. Not sure why your cars are rusting out. do you live near the sea or salt water?

Move out here to New Mexico. My 79 has little rust.

Rent one when you need it. Then you never have to worry about your car.

Here’s a suggestion-try washing and waxing your car, or if you’re too lazy for that just buy a car cover and just leave it covered until you use it. Cars don’t rust out anymore unless you really want them to.

My parents have a 1990 Acura Legend and live beside the ocean in New England and there’s one rust spot the size of a quarter on the tail gate. The thing is that’s the spot where it was repainted years ago when they were rear-ended, so if we’re counting factory paint there’s no rust.

Rental is the way to go if you live near an airport. or or (then travel, then rental) gets you fine prices. Always a nearly new car, it’s insured and you don’t have to be, and you put the miles on their car. I always rent for a weekend trip. Last time I took a 3 day weekend I got a mid size car from Priceline for about $80 and drove it 800 miles. Obviously this doesn’t work if you live far from a rental location, but try it and see if it works for you.

IMHO, 14 years is a long life for ANY car despite low mileage.

If a Suzuki Swift met your needs maybe a used Sentra, Hyundai Elantra or Accent?

And some car rental companies will bring the car to you. I’m sure you’ve seen the ads on TV.

At least the folks who live here have their priorities right!