No. of Recommendations: 4
I agree with Ishtar (and other replies).

1) Forget about new cars period. They are a complete rip-off. Don't go into debt for a car, ever, if you can help it.

(Personal anecdote, I was still forced to borrow $6K for a *used* car, because DW's car had a blown-up engine. I bought it from a private party, not a dealer, and even this small level of debt over a car makes me mad. I hate car payments. My truck is paid off, with 120K miles, and I will drive it another 100. It needed a few parts (clutch, etc. at 88K miles) and has been bulletproof ever since.

2) Forget about dealerships. They charge double or triple on everything, especially repairs and bogus "warranty" offers. Buy and sell cars privately, through craigslist, or some other low cost method (newspaper ads). If this scares you, use an independent auto broker not affiliated with a dealership. For a small fee (but usually better than dealers) they will find you a used car at auction in the price range you tell them to find.

3) Find a good mechanic. Ask *SMART* people you know, who they use. Independent garages (Stan's Auto, etc.) kind of places where the same people have been in business for *years* are often better than large chains with low-skill workers who turn over constantly. However Maaco got good reviews from a consumer survey I read, and I have also had decent service at Sears in the past. YMMV (your mileage may vary).

4) Research the most reliable used car make/model/year at places like, and check out Consumer Reports in your local library, or online. CR recently came out with the worst 10 cars. Half of them were Jeeps, and some were Chevys. Only sell or trade your current car if it is an unreliable model.

Hope you don't drive a Jeep.

Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.