No. of Recommendations: 1
You don't need to buy a "cheap used car"--buy a nice, not that used car, say for $10k. And there are lots of brand-new cars for well under $30k--my own 2-year-old Honda CR-V cost a little over $20k (got the lowest trim line--I wanted the fine engine and interior carrying capacity, not leather seats and so forth, but I regret paying so much extra for 4-wheel-drive, which I haven't needed nearly as much as I expected, and that also cuts down the gas mileage). One of my friends likes to buy used Volvo station wagons. Her current one, a loaded model bought just off-lease at 4 years old, is now 12 years old. It's doing fine, but she & her husband are beginning to search for her next lightly used, safe, and fairly high-end vehicle. I urge you not to take out a loan on a depreciating asset when there are such good alternatives!

I bought a cheap used 1992 Ford Escort in 1996, to get me where I need to go for $2200, and keep it in pretty good mechanical condition - Works, for me. My former wife, mother of our daughter and grandmother of our 3 grandchildren gave me, to my surprise, a 1970 MGB Roadster that she had bought for $3500 (about what it sold for new), mostly kept it garaged - The body is in very decent shape. I completed some mechanical and suspension repairs on it, reupholstered the seats, capped the dash, installed a new top, and could probably now sell it for $7,000 to $8,000 - $10,000 to $14,000 in a better economy. She asked me to leave it to our grandson. I will honor her request, as best as I can... It ain't all that, but might be worth something, someday:

Since buying my first car when I was 18, a red 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, with a white convertible top, I've spent, roughly, around $500/year in buying, restoring and maintaining cars, on average... I wish I still had the '56 Chev, a 64 MG Midget that I bought for $75 and restored, a 69 Dodge Super Bee and a 69 Plymouth Road Runner. I had the engines balanced and blue printed and reassembled them myself - They ran really great. The MG Midget ran like a sewing machine and cornered on a dime. The Chrysler products were very powerful. The 56 Chevy nearly got me a ticket for drag racing with a Pontiac GTO on public highways - The highway was clear, and I was 4 car-lengths in front of the GTO. I wouldn't do it again. I also once converted a 79 Olds Cutlass Salon from the ubiquitous Olds 350 diesel engine to gasoline, with some performance modifications. After I rebuilt the engine, I took it for a test drive. At a stop light in the wee morning hours, a high performance Corvette pulled up next to the car and the driver revved his engine. There was no traffic. When the light turned green, I stepped on the gas pedal and arrived at the next stop light a couple of car lengths before the Corvette. The driver of the Corvette rolled his window down and asked me what the heck I had in the car... I pointed to the diesel emblem that I had left on the car and replied, "Diesel"...

Probably more information than you cared or needed to know.

Bob <- prefers cooking to working on cars, houses and computers, nowadays.
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