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Car Purchase

Our son is moving from California to Chicago in August which means it is time to trade in the 1995 Toyota Camry. We’re not sure what type of vehicle we should purchase and would it be better to purchase a car in Chicago as opposed to California. We are considering buying a Camry, Corolla or Accord. We understand there will be more wear and tear on the car due to the salt on the roads which is something we don’t experience in Southern California!

Toyota cars were often the first cars to start when the temperature gets down to -30 F. I wouldn’t want anything but a 1995 Camry to go to Chicago with. You take a Ca. used car to Chicago. It makes little sense to get a new car and subject it to that kind of weather. You probably won’t see temperatures that low. You can’t drive anyway until the roads are plowed anyway. The people stay home when a lot of snow falls anyway.

Our son is moving from California to Chicago in August which means it is time to trade in the 1995 Toyota Camry.

Why? I can’t think of any reason you would want to change cars based on anything you wrote.

Agree: Chicago is also very hot in the summer! Toyota’s are some of the best cold weather cars, and have good bodies; all your son has to do this fall is make sure the battery is up to scratch and the right oil is in the crankcase of the engine. You might be out a maximum of $120 to “winterize” the car for Chicago.

"Our son is moving from California to Chicago in August which means it is time to trade in the 1995 Toyota Camry. "

I suppose you just want to pamper him. Well, why not.

Since any sensible car will do well in Chicago, why not just ask him what he wants? There are a number of suitable sedans and coupes that will appeal to a young man more than others, perhaps for sportiness. They will all serve him quite adequately in Chicago.

As you’ve read, there’s no ‘need’ to get him a new car, but if you want to, any of those will do. One other thing to consider getting would be a set of dedicated 4 snow tires on rims if he has a place to store them. Check out Tire Rack or Discount Tire web sites in a month or two.

I don’t know if it’s still true (although others on this forum might know), but at one time (mayeb early '80s) CA cars had extra equipment on them to meet CA emmissions. If that’s still true I’d wait until he got to Chicgo to buy a new car. Otherwise it probably doesn’t matter.

He has enough to worry about without a new car. As long as it will make the trip, take the Camry to Chicago and drive it for a while. At some point he may decide he needs or wants a new car, and he can buy one there.

I’d say if your son is a grown man then let him make his own decision, including the purchase. If he’s a student and you can afford it that’s a different matter.

If the car is solid right now, and considering it’s 14 years old, I say drive it until oblivion and get the full value out of it. When the engine finally goes or it’s rusted like the Titanic then consider something else.

O.K., you say from California to Chicago. I assume that you are not in a big urban area now since you mention the state and not another city. That means that he is changing from a rural or small town or city to Chicago. My experience tells me that this move means that he is changing from an environment where there is a fighting chance that people will give a rat’s whatis about other peoples’ cars and try not to hit them outright and ding the doors etc. In any major urban area that is just not the case.

I think it would be a far better thing for you to wait and buy him a car when this one gets totaled, stolen, falls off the hook of a tow truck, has a major mechanical failure, or he moves out of Chicago.