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Buy older used for college kid or newer used for parental units

We need to add a car to our driveway. Our college age son will be driving daily for his internship this summer. We have a 2003 Crown Victoria with 105,000 miles that runs very well. We’re trying to figure out if it would make more sense financially and practically to replace the Crown Vic with a newer used car with lower mileage, or spend $5,000 to $7,000 to obtain a decent older used car with higher mileage for our son. We can’t afford to simply get a new car for ourselves unless it’s a Yugo.

Older car would be fine for son - how long will his commute be?

His commute will be about 40 miles round trip.

It is hard to beat a Crown Vic for reliability and reasonable cost of repair. They even get decent mpg if you drive reasonably. Let him use the Vic. If he wants or feels the need for another car he can buy what he wants with his own money.

Of course you should buy something new and appropriate for your son, he only has one chance to make a first impression. Showing up in a used car would certainly hurt his chances.Nothing less than an Audi and preferably a BMW.

While I would personally prefer a smaller car maybe the Yugo,  Financially I would recommend the Crown Vic.   It is likely to be a better choice than buying an totally unknown from a stranger.

The Crown Vic is the PERFECT car for an inexperienced driver because it is extremely safe and the last thing he wants to be seen in! If he wants something else, he has a job, right?

Get something nice for you and your husband.

I would suggest you turn the Crown Vic over to your son to commute with temporarily and hold the $7K as an option to get the absolute best buy in a compact Focus, Corolla, Mazda etc. with out feeling rushed. Even though the CV will be decent, with prices over $4 per gallon, ultimately a newer compact with half those miles makes sense too. You can afford to take your time though.

+1 for the votes for the Crown Vic. If I had the room (and spousal approval), I’d like to have one. 105,000 miles isn’t very much. Keep the brakes good, oil and coolant clean and the tires inflated. Whatever you spend on a used car, add 50% to get it the place you know about the Crown Victoria.

But would you want to spend the money on repairs/maintenance that a $5~7k Audi or BMW will need?

Dagosa says to get a compact, but I’ll suggest something a little bit bigger like a Fusion, Accord, Malibu, or Camry. Nothing worse than feeling cramped inside the car you’re driving.

If you decide to get rid of the vic let me know, as I will buy it for our daughter returning from college, and if the deal happens I don’t want to hear any crying. If it was mine I would not buy another car.

If you can find something you like for yourselves, buy that and let your son use the Vickie. Remember, you will soon own 2 cars and he will be allowed to use one. It’s not his.