My First Car


I got my Permit in November and I have been practicing with my parents and I have gotten responsibly good other than liking the right side of the road. But I have been looking around at cars and I have been saving up money and my parents said they might split the cost of the car with me and so i’m looking for a car under 10K. I have seen a lot of cars for under 10k and a lot of cars that i like but my parents don’t. My favorite being a 2001 Audi TT, this is probably because of Insure cost. What does everyone think. My dad thinks I should have the suburban but its really hard to drive i almost took out a taxi in it. I also know that I should be lucky getting any car.

I don’t think you should have either. The Audi is going to cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance, and you’re going to be broke until you graduate from college anyway. No point having hundreds of dollars in repair/maintenance every year.

And the suburban is too freakin’ big. It’s a gas guzzler and inherently more dangerous than a normal car.

A good car for a high school / college student is a Honda Civic with a manual transmission. Cheap to run, cheap to maintain, reliable, and if you get the Si version, still very fun to drive.

I thought that might be true with the Audi and I think i might kill someone in the suburban so i do agree with you. Ill check out the civic. I also wanted to learn to use manual so that will be good.

Yep, Civics are good, and for your budget you can get a newer one. Avoid the Audi, it’ll be a money pit for sure. And the Suburban is not good for new drivers, you’ve found that out for yourself. If you want a bunch of ideas go get the Consumer Reports used car buyers guide.

Thanks and parking can be really hard

Yes an audi might look cute, so did an MG my buddy bought, looks in the parking lot have no relation to expense of ownership.

Yes, an Audi (or any European car, except maybe VW) will bankrupt you. Honda Civic Si would be great for you.

Trust me–you don’t want a 2001 Audi TT.
I know a woman who had one, and she finally unloaded her financial headache after 8 years of suffering through countless electrical/electronic problems.

The most comic problem concerned her windshield wipers, which could only be turned on by banging very hard on a specific part of the dashboard after turning on the WW switch. The car went back to the Audi dealership countless times for this problem and finally she just learned to live with that problem as well as other weird, impossible-to-fix electrical problems.

My son drives a 2000 Camry and it has been very good for a new driver. Few repairs, big enough for safety, small enough to handle and park without mishap. He had one accident which clipped off the driver’s side mirror, with some dents and scratches in the driver’s side front fender. It was reasonable to get a good repair at a local body shop. Insurance isn’t cheap for any new driver, but the car doesn’t hike up the rates any higher.

Stick to a basic sedan, nothing too fancy. Spend about $5 to 6K of your budget so you have money for insurance, gas, repairs, etc. No Audi TT’s, no VW’s, no Volvo’s; all those brands come with too many and too high repair bills as they get to be older cars. Also avoid any Dodge Neon over 4 years old, same problem lots of repairs.

Avoid anything European (especially VW/Audi) or Korean (except newer Hyundai) or anything made by Suzuki or Mitsubishi or Chrysler.

Best choices for the price range you mention are Ford Focus, Chevy Cobalt or Malibu, or Hyundai Sonata or Elantra. You could also get an older Honda, Scion, or Toyota, but those tend to be overpriced in the used car market due to their great reputations. (not necessarily a bad thing if they have been well maintained).

Avoid all wheel drive unless you live where it snows constantly; these vehicles require more maintenance and get lower fuel economy. Front wheel drive is easier and safer for a new driver to handle.

No matter which car you choose:
–Have it inspected by an independent mechanic before purchase.
–Do a VIN number search (carfax, etc). Ask for proof of maintenance.
–If the car has 60k to 100k miles, ask if the timing belt has been changed.
–Research the price you want to pay and the market prices on NADA, Kelley Blue Book, etc.

Buy a car cheap enough so that you only need liability insurance & not collision. There’s a good chance you’ll just end up wrecking it anyway.

I don’t understand your logic. Yes, a young driver is likely to crash, but with collision the insurance company pays for damages caused by the driver to his or her own car minus the deductible. No collision = SOL.

Si might have high insurance costs. A regular Civic with a VTEC engine might be a more economical choice.

Depending on the car, collision could be SOL as well. If the car is old enough they’ll total it if you dent a fender, and then give you some crap sum that you couldn’t possibly buy another car for. In such cases it’s better to save what you would have paid in premiums in an emergency car-replacement fund.

Buy a car cheap enough that you don’t care if it gets dented up a little bit.

Find out how much insurance will cost BEFORE you buy anything.

Insurance is extremely expensive when you’re a teenager - then it doubles when you report your first accident.

I found a 2006 Scion TC for 9k which will work for me and only has 41k miles on it witch is pretty small from what I know.

So Would a 2006 Scion TC be good its 9k with about 41k Miles on it. It’s also Manuel which I want to learn how to use. don’t worry i still have a few months till i can drive on my own.

You should drive the Suburban. First, you are an accident waiting to happen. You have next to no experience, and as you gain some, driving the Suburban will keep you safe from almost any other vehicle. And as soon as you think you can drive, you will be most dangerous behind the wheel. I know this from person experience and from watching my three children learn to drive. Besides, the Suburban is probably old, and your parents won’t be too unhappy if you ding it. That’s why my kids drive a 1998 Buick Regal that used to be my commuter car.

If you buy a car with a manual transmission, price out a clutch replacement job and save that amount of money for a rainy day. Many new drivers learning to drive a manual transmission trash their first clutch in short order. Not all do, but many do, unless they have an excellent teacher and a good amount of confidence. Many of my peers burnt up their first clutch learning how to drive stick, but my father still has the 1990 Chevy Cavalier that I and my brother and sister learned to drive stick in, and it has 200k miles on the original clutch. To avoid that expenditure, don’t be afraid to stall the engine. It may be embarrassing, but the car will thank you. Stalling does no harm to the car, but excessively revving the engine and slipping the clutch to avoid stalling will fry the clutch quicker than anything.

Didn’t think about that thanks. my dads going to try to and teach me.