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Used Car Buying ‘17

I’m aiming at anything from 08-11. $14000 luxury or just comfortable. Anything from a mid sized to SUV. Are there any cars that don’t have catastrophic failures costing in the thousands to mend? I intend to use it up driving rideshare. I have the cash but I feel like I’ve ruled everything out.

If you are worried about repairs then cross luxury label vehicles off the list. Second why not just make a good down payment on a new vehicle with warranty , you can get low to zero interest on new vehicles. Third , there are close to a Zillion threads on this site alone from people wanting advice about what to buy . Fourth , most of them never reach a clear conclusion.

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2008 Acura TL. It’s in your price range, it’s relatively luxurious, has a great engine, handles very well, and my '07 has cost me less than $500 in repairs in over 120,000 miles.

Of course, you’re going to have to look hard to find a well cared for example, because most people treat their cars very poorly - but that’s true of any vehicle that’s 6+ years old.

Look for a midsize car with auto transmission for commuting. Stay away from luxury brands. You can get most of the same features on lower level brands at a savings. I’d look at the Accord, Camry, Elantra, and Malibu. SUVs are the most popular segment, and that will translate into extra cost to you if you buy the less popular segment, midsize cars. Find the best examples, test drive them, and when you find one you like, get a prepurchase inspection from a mechanic you trust. It’ll cost you $100 or so, and it’s worth it.

Consumer Reports Used Car Guide is where I’d start. Most bookstores & public libraries have it.

I do like the Malibu. I took shop in high school I do know what I’m looking at, what to smell for… but things have changed a lot since 1994. In the time between I haven’t worked on anything born after the millennium. Being that we’re more than two decades since I’ve had my finger on the pulse I’m sure things have changed as much as they’ve stayed the same. I don’t want to finance. It’s a cash buy. I don’t want to spend a pile of money on something that’s going to have to have the engine pulled. Tolerances now don’t allow for the slop I would impose doing that on my back by the roadside, and I can’t pull together thousands of dollars easily. I’m looking to make a living with this car so it has to do better than my 97 Grand Prix. Which in its defense has been bulletproof apart from the rockers falling off of it, and the front suspension suffering Chicago roads. She’s been kissed by a few strangers but still pretty her right side is her good side. She’s now for sale if anyone is into that kind of thing.

So this is going to be your first post 2000 model year car? A bit of advice from someone who doesn’t own such a vehicle, but hears about their common problems here: Many car engines of the post 2000 era use a technology called “variable valve timing”; it’s a good thing generally, better mpg and better engine performance. But if your next car has it, be sure to pay close attention to what the owner’s manual advises for the oil spec and the oil change intervals. VVT engines are not tolerant of dirty or low oil, and expensive repairs will occur if the oil maintenance is ignored.

I dutifully change oil every 3000 or less. It’s habit. But I thank you.
Caveat emptor.

I disagree. I bought both of my sons 1999 Lexus models (ES, LS) due to their different size. Anyway, it’s been a fine investment. No serious trouble in either car. Such cars often get excellent care.

@2boots Have you looked at the requirements to drive for Rideshare ? I think the vehicle has to be 2010 or newer plus extra insurance . Also have you done any research as to how much money you can really make ?

08 luxury is he minimum for uber select. 02 to drive regular service. But
it’s okay because I’m on a ‘15 Malibu LTZ. Seems pretty solid if
maintenance is regular. The money will have to bear out. But $20/hr is what
my friends are telling me they make. Flexible scheduling is ideal. Better
if I get a proper job and drive rideshare to cover the cost of the car.
Fingers crossed.

I would seriously doubt your friends . It sounds like they are not considering the expense’s : higher insurance rates - taxes they will have to pay as self employed - vehicle operating costs.

I’m sure they aren’t. But I have accounted for those factors. Still beats
sitting at home waiting for an interview

What you do is entirely up to you . But I would like you to put ( how much do uber drivers make ) in your search engine and find the Wall Street article that shows that it is really difficult to make a supporting wage that way. Especially since it appears you are using a sizable chunk of your savings.

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If you do rideshare you will have to pay both your share and the companies share of social security taxes next year when you file a tax return. You will also have no income taxes deducted from your pay and will have to pay them at the same time. The rideshare company you drive for will send both you and the IRS a 1099 form showing what they paid you for the year. Figure coming up with about 30% for the feds. You will also have no unemployment, workers comp, disability or hospitalization, paid holidays or vacations. If you notify your insurance they will charge you more or drop you. If you do not notify them they may decline to cover a claim.

Yeah, sounds like a GREAT way to make a living.

I don’t have many options. It seems my resume is toxic

How about volunteering for a few hours a week?

If things go well, they might offer you a job, or call in a favor and get you an interview somewhere else. If nothing else, they could write a recommendation

Depending on who you’re volunteering for, it might help to pad that resume

After you go for interviews, are you making follow-up phone calls, or are you just waiting for them to call you back? I’ve read that some companies pay attention to that kind of thing. People making follow-up calls are seen as having initiative

I just signed on a Lexus GS 300 awd 70000 miles.

Volunteering could be a thing just to fill the time. Might not hurt to be
out there more. I do have a number of interests besides so I stay pretty
busy.

Following up in my experience hasn’t bore fruit. HR managers I’ve worked
with don’t like the bother. I’ve gotten used to sending my resume into the
vapor. I’m pretty confident I know why. I think the best thing I can do is
to be self employed. This is the best way I can be sure about that.