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Looking for an older car

My car problem is that I do not have one. I am 63, poor credit, recently divorced, but gainfully employed. I do not seem to qualify for the charities that provide cars. I am low income and cannot afford car payments. Even car insurance may be a challenge but if I get an older model perhaps I can afford it. I need some advice and direction. Than you

You clearly needed a better divorce lawyer. You may wish to explore whether you divorce settlement can be re-opened with a more aggressive lawyer.

Thanks! He is very ill now so it would be a lost cause at this point. I will keep searching. Thanks

You seem to have drawn conclusions that make car ownership impossible. I recommend you move close to work and buy a bicycle.

Lol. Funny man. Thanks for your response.

Not trying to be funny. If I take you at your word regarding your financial situation, a bike is a practical consideration. You didn’t say if you live in Florida or Minnesota so I can only advise based on what you tell us.

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Thank you. I live in Phoenix Az. Tried a bike but with my health issues I can barely walk without falling let alone ride a bike. My job is 30 miles from home where I live with my daughter and son in law. I pay rent, buy my groceries, and pay medical bills not yet covered by insurance until I meet my deductible. I just finished paying off debts from divorce and working towards building credit. I tried ride share at work but no one lives near me. The bus takes approx 2 1/2 hours one way. I have fallen twice getting off the bus but was denied city transport qualifications with their ride share. I Need transportation to doctors appointments mostly. I have my groceries delivered but there is a fee and they add their on tip on top of it. I work 11:30 am - 8pm. Not real safe at night. Robbed once. Don’t want pity. It is what it is. Just thought you may have a resource I was unaware of. Again thank you.

I don’t knw what your medical problems are, but 63 is way too young to not be able to walk without falling over, Are you capable of exercising? 30 miles each way is too far to trave; for a low wage job. A 60 mile daily commute has real costs that you simply cannot afford. The IRS says it costs over 50 cents per mile to operate a car. Do you have a spare $8000 a year? Also you car insurance may be higher because of poor credit.

Your plans should be based on reality, not wishful thinking.

Yor medical costs should drop when you are 65. There are medicare advantage plans that are very inexpensive and have no deductibles.

Are your physical problems severe enough to qualify for Social Security Disability? I hate to recommend it to anyone because I see it as the most widely abused program in the country, populated by people far more able bodied than I was and I worked until I was 75, only stopping when I could not pass the eye exam for driving a school bus.

Thank you. I am sure your intentions and information are sound. You are correct, you are not aware of my medical conditions and do not need to be. I am well aware of all you have stated. Been through all the different processes for assistance. Which are very confined and strict. I am elated for you that prevailed for so long. My request was simple. Is there an option other than those I researched for a free vehicle. I am not looking for a handout as much as what may be available for me. I also agree the system is abused and that is the reasons behind the limitations for assistance. I have worked since I was 14 and will continue to until my health takes its toll as it did with you. My employment is a blessing and I will not change that. Yes my dear I exercise, walk, yoga, Thai chi, etc. My credit is now clear and I am taking steps to reestablish.

Your judgement and opinions are unwarranted.

Again my request was simple. The rest of our conversations are unnecessary. I am proactive in every area of my life. This was another avenue I sought. Apparently you are not qualified in this area. I do not see any reason to continue any interaction. Thank you again.

Let’s not “should” all over Donna. If you don’t have a suggestion, best to leave the discussion alone. Obviously she’s in a tough spot and trying to rebuild her life.

All best to you, Donna. Hope you can figure your transport situation out somehow.


Huh? It sounds like the family was poor, meaning that the ex-husband has little money, so I’m struggling to see how a “more aggressive lawyer” could create wealth where there is none. Do you understand what happens when a court orders a man to pay money that he does not have, and cannot get? That’s right–it doesn’t get paid.

Back to the topic at hand. I also live in Arizona, and it is very easy to find used cars for sale on Craigslist for less than $3000. Rust is not a problem here, so even an old car can still have plenty of life left in it.

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Have you contacted any churches and other places of worship in your area? Maybe they could let folks who might donate a car know about your needs.


Your neighborhood association might be a valid resource

Our neighborhood association president was talking about setting up a program to donate good used car(s) to deserving people who couldn’t afford to buy one

Just an idea . . .


Thank you for your kind response. This is an option I had not considered. I will look into this. In the meantime I will consider other options as well. I am also setting aside monies for a possible down payment. It is also my emergency fund so what ever comes first.

Pay a visit to the nursing homes and local hospitals. Maybe they have someone who is not driving any more and the family would be willing to give the car away for less than the market value.
There are cars that can be bought cheap, but for a 60 mile a day commute, they might need repairs fast. So you have to budget for that too.

I would be very cautious about Craigslist, it can be a dangerous place. If you go there anyway and see something interesting, do not give the seller any personal information and agree to meet at a police station. If the seller won’t do that, then there is a good reason why and a better reason for you to not deal with them.

If you belong to any groups that have a lot of older members, see if any of them are selling a car. The elderly often give up driving for some reason and their vehicles are usually well cared for and have low miles. They are often very reasonably priced as well.

That seems to imply payments on a car, versus buying something outright . . . ?

Since money seems to be tight, I advise against making payments . . . because you’ll have to pay comprehensive insurance, which can be quite expensive, until you pay off the note, at which point you’ll have a choice

If you intend on buying your own car . . . versus somebody donating one . . . then I advise you to buy a decent used car outright, and buying cheap insurance

How are your back and legs?

Do you need a vehicle with specific seating requirements, such as power seats, adjustable pedals, adjustable lumbar support, heated seats, or something else?

If you don’t have any such requirements, then there might be plenty of decent used cars available for you

I don’t know how important fuel economy is for you, but if you can get by with so-so fuel economy, a mid-sized car might be a good all around vehicle, and one which is more likely to have comfortable seats and a good ride

domestic vehicles have historically NOT held their value well as used cars, so that’s something to consider when shopping. You might be able to buy a newer vehicle for your money, versus trying to buy a used Honda or Toyota

The biggest “danger” of buying a cheap car on Craigslist isn’t the very remote chance that you’ll be robbed–it’s the risk that the car will be a piece of junk, or you won’t be able to register and title it. It goes without saying that during the initial visit to look at and test drive a car, you do not bring the money with you. You only bring the money after you have decided to buy the car, and checked that there are no hidden liens against the VIN.

In the state of Arizona, you can check for hidden liens online:
This is VERY important, because a seller can hand you a signed, notarized title, but there may still be hidden liens which do not show on the title, and will prevent you from transferring the car into your name. For example, someone can apply for a title loan online, yet they still have the physical title. Also, the state can place a lien on the car if the registered owner owes parking tickets, criminal fines/restitution, child support arrearages, etc.

This is all valuable information. I learned the hard way regarding Craigslist. I have a friend of a friend that owns a reputable car repair shop. He offered to keep his eyes open for a vehicle for me and also offered to check the possible purchase to make sure it is road worthy and a good investment. I frequent the senior center and posted on the community board. My church is also assisting me in my quest. I also posted on my work place community board. My job is supportive and I have an account with The Standard/FMLA to protect my job do to my health conditions. My doctors and specialists are caring, warm, and professional. Although my conditions are incurable and progressive, my medications and diet, exercise, etc., have slowed the degeneration. They too are aware of my quest. Thank you again.

One place to search for a car is on bulletin boards at a college or university and to pick up a college or university newspaper. Right now is a good time because it is near the end of a semester. There may be a faculty member going on leave needing to get rid of a car or a student going on a foreign study program that wants to sell a car.
The positives that are in your favour are that you are employed and have a contact so that you can have a vehicle inspected.