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      04-14-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
BOOSTFTW
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Commuters for <$12k

Hey y'all!

I got a new job that requires me to commute quite a bit so I'm looking for something that's easy on the gas yet super reliable. Few options I have:

Option A: 20XX Honda Civic/Accord
Option B: Slightly older and higher mileage Japanese car for ~6K and throw in 4k to fix it up
Option C: Spend around 8K to throw in a new engine and transmission on my e36 m3 and call it a day

(yes, I am aware that options b and c do not add up to 12k lol)

Goal is to have the most money in my pocket after I sell the vehicle 3 years later.

Suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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      04-14-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
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I'd go with new motor/trans in Beemer! Cheapest of the 3 and will probably be worth a decent amount in 3 yrs due to the new stuff installed.
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      04-14-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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Option A without a doubt.
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      04-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #4
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If you're looking for most money left in pocket after 3 years, I'd go with option B. Something like an older civic or corolla. You probably don't even have to spend that much to fix it back up. You'll save on gas money too.
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      04-14-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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You can even get a comfortable CPO Camry for that. Or what about a Golf or Jetta?

I assume work compensates you for fuel, right? So you'll make 55c per mile. How many miles will you be driving? You could even make MONEY off this entire deal...
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      04-15-2014, 07:54 AM   #6
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You could find a 2000 civic with A/C and PS for a couple grand and pocket the rest. It more than likely won't break down ever if its got a D16, and whatever maintenance it does need will be cheaper than dirt.

Not to mention the MPG's.


Or you could spend a little more and get a newer Civic.
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      04-15-2014, 06:07 PM   #7
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Wow, so many mixed suggestions. What do you guys think about salvaged vehicles? I see a ton of them (often very new) with low mileage. Are they reliable?

Really appreciate the responses. Please keep them coming!
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      04-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #8
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Option A without a doubt.

I bought a 2010 civic lx 2 years ago for 11k (salvage title) with 9000 miles on it. Now has 60k and zero issues what so ever.

My dad bought a 2009 civic lx for a commuter a year ago for less than 8k with 50000 miles and it now has almost 80k with zero issues.

Salvage titles have a bad rep but if you know who did the work and don't plan to resell the car for several years they are a good way to get more car for less $$$
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      04-15-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Save your money. Lease a brand new Honda Civic. Roughly $1,500 down plus $200/mo for 36 months equals <$9K.
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      04-15-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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You could buy a used Civic and sell it in 3 years and end up paying next to nothing. My personal belief is it only makes sense to lease high end cars, and generally when you change cars often anyway.

I don't think blowing 9k to lease a Civic is saving money.

I would choose option B but find a car that needs minimal TLC ( < $1k ) and drive the snot out of it, then get rid of it.

In fact it's not that much different from Option A. You should be able to find an early 2000's Civic or even Accord for $6k. Just don't buy one from a punk kid. Buy one from a family or old lady, and you'll most likely get a good example that hasn't been abused.
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      04-16-2014, 03:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbosc297 View Post
Option A without a doubt.

I bought a 2010 civic lx 2 years ago for 11k (salvage title) with 9000 miles on it. Now has 60k and zero issues what so ever.

My dad bought a 2009 civic lx for a commuter a year ago for less than 8k with 50000 miles and it now has almost 80k with zero issues.

Salvage titles have a bad rep but if you know who did the work and don't plan to resell the car for several years they are a good way to get more car for less $$$
Did you bring in a mechanic to inspect the car before you purchased it? I just want assurance that it doesn't break down in 3 years that will cost me an arm and leg to fix it lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632 View Post
You could buy a used Civic and sell it in 3 years and end up paying next to nothing. My personal belief is it only makes sense to lease high end cars, and generally when you change cars often anyway.

I don't think blowing 9k to lease a Civic is saving money.

I would choose option B but find a car that needs minimal TLC ( < $1k ) and drive the snot out of it, then get rid of it.

In fact it's not that much different from Option A. You should be able to find an early 2000's Civic or even Accord for $6k. Just don't buy one from a punk kid. Buy one from a family or old lady, and you'll most likely get a good example that hasn't been abused.
I see a lot of early 2000s civics for sale in my area, but they all have 200k+ miles on them--will they last for another 60k+miles?

Thanks!
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      04-16-2014, 08:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOSTFTW View Post
I see a lot of early 2000s civics for sale in my area, but they all have 200k+ miles on them--will they last for another 60k+miles?

Thanks!
They can last another 60k miles but with that mileage there will be definite maintenance costs. Honestly a 200k mileage car would not be ideal, of course.

You can expand your search area further out to less populous areas and look for lower mileage examples. 150k miles isn't a lot. Prices should also be lower than in Bay Area.

Alternatively you can spend a couple K more and get a 6-8 yo model (mid 2000's) with less miles.

Luck is definitely a factor in finding a good car with reasonable miles at a decent price but if patience is on your side, it isn't an impossible proposition.

Bring a mechanically inclined friend with you for test drive when you've narrowed down your search.
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      04-16-2014, 10:01 AM   #13
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A.
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      04-16-2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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Dude I don't know your zip code but a 300 mile radius search shows up lots of early and mid 2000's Civics with way less than 200k miles on AutoTrader. These are all under $7k. All private party which means well negotiable.

Linky
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      04-16-2014, 10:54 PM   #15
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If you're after gas mileage, reliability, and resale value...Honda all the way. If you want to splurge then Acura RSX, TSX.
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      04-17-2014, 12:45 AM   #16
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Honda gets my vote.
Our family drove 2000 Accord v6 coupe for 200k miles. Only problem we had was alternator failure($50 fix). Other than alternator, everything was from factory.
Ran like champ when we sold it in 2012 for $4k.
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