CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Need to buy 2 new cars

We would like to buy 1 small car for myself to just go around town in. The 2nd car needs to hold 4 of us for travel and when I am showing homes as I am an real estate agent. My husband is short for his weight so 2nd vehicle must be roomy. Gas mileage is very important for both vehicles. This is the kicker, I only want to pay $600 a month for both. We have cash to put down but would prefer to only pay cash for tax and tags. We live in Surprise AZ. Thanks for any advise. Danielle

Sounds like a couple of used cars. Used Camry/Accord for one…used Corolla for the small.

My husband is really not a sedan kind of Guy. His belly would pop a sedans airbag. We really need something larger for him. I’m afraid of used cars. We got burned on a sub. We called it a ron-da-vu-du. Witch craft and the AZ mob were involved.

The best advice is to go shopping and pick the combo that meets your needs…

Danielle, What Are You Both Driving, Now ? Did You Suddenly Become A Real Estate Agent And Did Your Husband Suddenly Become “Short For His Weight?”

Tell us what you’ve got and what is good and bad with the vehicles. That gives us a starting point.

Also, why do you want to make no down payment or a very low down payment ? You will start out “upside down” on two cars. Real estate agents know all about that. I guess it could possibly make sense if you’re going to pay them off in a couple of weeks or somthing like that. Then why not just buy one car now or save more money first ?

It sounds like You’ve got a case of champagne taste on a beer budget. My advice is to save. I made payments for 8 months on my first car as a teenager and I’ve paid cash ever since then.

So, tell us what’s working for you and what’s not. Why do you need 2 new cars with payments and little or no down payment ?

Is Surprise near to Truth Or Consequences ?

CSA

Exactly, how can you expect appropriate advice on limited info ?
Your husband is short for his weight, tells us little. A 6’5", 300 lbs is short for his weight. That he doesn’t like sedans would also be good to know. You’re now talking buses as even today’s sedans are made for the “typical” American. The Accord is classified as a large car by the EPA with full adjustable steering column. If he can’t fit one of those, a minivan won’t help either unless he has his own driver.

Danielle

How about listing some of the cars into which your husband cannot fit?
If we have some clue regarding what size car is not big enough, we might be able to come up with something appropriate.

Truthfully, I am beginning to think that your dual goals of high fuel economy and a vehicle large enough to accomodate your husband may be incompatible, but you have to give us better info before we can even hazard a guess.

Also, We Need To Define “Gas mileage is very important for both vehicles.”

If they were both formerly driving F-350s, good MPG could be different than if they were currently driving VW TDIs.

CSA

Pontiac Vibe would be a good choice for in-town car and a minivan would be a great choice for showing homes and traveling.
One piece of advice that will save you a lot more than you may realize is NEVER tell the salesman how much you want to spend each month. $300/month will bring you to a price of about $15,000, so shop for vehicles less than $12,000 to bring it to the $15,000 mark(tax, title, etc.)

For the large vehicle, I recommend a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. They get slightly better fuel economy than an SUV, and they are roomy. For the smaller car for you to go around town, I would consider a Ford Focus.

I think your objective would be possible if the second new vehicle could be a sedan. If that really wouldn’t work for you, buying new for both of them is going to be almost impossible. If your looking for a small vehicle new, check out the Hyundai Soul, Nissan Cube, Nissan Versa etc. One of those could be had decently optioned for about 14k. That leaves you about 16k for the second vehicle. What about a Dodge Grand Caravan? Plenty of room, easy access and for 16k, you could get a very nice lightly used one. Very carefully get the used one checked out, make sure it has a decent maintenance history. I just quickly checked Cars.com and saw a 2009 Caravan SE with 32,215 miles for $16,995, which could most likely be talked down to 16k. Good luck!

For this amount of money, the only two new cars you can buy (not lease) will need to be inexpensive. Go to a Kia dealer and see what they have.

2 new cars on $600 a month total payments and you only want to use your cash for sales tax and tags? This seems like an impossible mountain to climb. If you want nice cars you are going to have to lease at least one of them. Go for the current Camry lease. At least you can get some tax write offs as a Realtor.

The small car could be a Corolla. You might get a good deal on 2 cars from one dealer and Toyota is most aggressive dealer in town these days.

Volkswagen New Beetle was a “Cartalk” suggestion some months ago for large drivers.

Even the Golf/Rabbit is pretty good for larger drivers. The Golf is the only car I’ve ever driven (full-size trucks included!) where I had to scoot the seat forward!

Kia makes the Soul, Hyundai makes the Accent

I agree that the New Beetle is an excellent choice. Daniel Pinkwater, an NPR contributor, is both tall and corpulent. He drives a New Beetle and has no problem with it. I wouldn’t normally advocate a lease, but your work car could be a full sized sedan, like a Honda Accord, leased for much less than $600 per month.