I’m moving from New Jersey to southern Louisiana in the fall for a yearlong position as a volunteer for an environmental group, serving the area on a very low stipend. Right now, I’m between vehicles, but have two affordable options: buying my father’s 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport, or my grandmother’s 2003 Honda Civic. Aside from the obvious gas mileage disadvantage/advantage respectively, I’m having a hard time weighing the options without my family’s bias.
Dad has been the only owner and has taken great care of the Jeep, but it’s up there in mileage (130k or so). It’s running great, and has only needed predictable, routine maintenance along the way. But despite being so fun to drive, the gas mileage is pretty awful.
Grandma has also been pretty responsible with her car, but I have no idea if the age outweighs the stereotypical little old lady mileage (less than 40k). Plus, I’ll be living very close to the Mississippi River, so if there’s any flooding in my neighborhood, I worry such a small car could be a goner (vs. the stainless steel and higher up exhaust system on the Jeep).
I would definitely go with the Civic if there are no other needs such as hauling cargo.
Likewise, with the caveat that “volunteer for an environmental group” suggests the possibility of going into the back-country where the Civic would be far out of its element. Of course, a lot of the back country in Louisiana is swamp, and the jeep wouldn’t do any better there. Figure out what you’ll be doing with the car, and if it will stay on city streets, go with the Civic.
A “very low stipend” is highly unlikely to be able to support a Jeep…even without 130,000 miles on it. I’d go with the Civic. It’ll be a lot cheaper to keep.
I agree with @mountainbike on the financial consideration - fuel as well as repairs will cost more with the Jeep.
Also, that Jeep will tarnish your environmentalist “credentials” at least a little, if not more.
I’d suspect your concern about the consequences of flooding, though plausible, are unlikely to manifest. If there’s a hurricane coming, you’ll know far in advance and can act accordingly.
Everyone likes a Jeep, like a gussied up hooker out for a good time…till it’s time to pay.
Get something like the girl next door who is dependable and just needs be treated right to give you a year of faithful service. That’s the "Civically " thing to do.
Take both this way…DONOT buy anything from dad !!,!! He’s loaded and doesn’t need the money. If he isn 't , it’s not your problem and he has squandered his wealth.
Buy the Civic, cause grandma needs the money, and have dad GIVE you the jeep to use as a spare as you don’t want hard feelings when it breaks down. Make it a Gift you can set aside for high water. Motto… Never buy a car from a relative unless Grammy needs the money.
Thanks, everyone! “Buy” was probably too strong a word to describe the Jeep exchange, although I would properly buy the Civic for what it’s actually worth. It seems so obvious that the Civic would otherwise be the more efficient choice, I just wasn’t sure if there was more to “little old lady” cars (just driving to church and the grocery store), or if they’re as ideal as they seem.
The Jeep might tarnish the environmental part of my identity, but I think it boosts the “outdoorsy adventurous type” part…
If you have a legit need for it’s off road prowist for daily use that would damage the Civic…that would be the only way I would consider it.
You’re right to be a bit concerned about the Civic, but that can be quickly answered by reviewing the maintenance records and having a mechanic give it an inspection (about $100 or so). You will be driving long distances in it, make sure it’s in good shape.
I’d go with the Civic for two reasons. It’s going to have a cheaper per-mile cost of ownership, and it’s going to be more comfortable to drive.
I hope in all this decision making you stop to realize how fortunate you are to have such a generous and supportive family. No matter which vehicle you choose, you are a very lucky person. Be sure to love them back.
the same mountainbike, thank you! You have no idea how great they are! I promise I love them fiercely and daily
Take the Civic; the Jeep, although well maintained, is about to become a money pit at that mileage.
Corrie, I vote for the Civic, but whichever one you choose you’ll do great with a support system like you have.