All my car people, I need your advice! I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that I’m moving to San Diego. When I move there I’ll need a car. No more public transit or riding my bike to work for me unfortunately.
My original plan was to do a two year lease on a car. That seemed like a good idea until we broke down the mileage. 12,000 miles a year just wouldn’t cut it for me I fear. The overage charges for a lease are pretty high and the amount of money spent over the two years is closing in on the cost of a decent used car.
So that leaves me with buying a car. Deal is I might only be in San Diego for six months so buying a car to own for years and years might not be practical but at the same time I don’t want to suffer through six months of a clunker right?
Here is where your advice comes in. I’ll list a few needs and maybe you can give me some ideas of what car to get, should I go used or new and maybe even where to buy it in San Diego?
- Cost – I’d like to spend less than $15,000 if I buy a car. I can spend more if I must but I’d like to be smart with my money so it goes further. No one likes a car payment!
- Miles Per Gallon – Great gas mileage is important. I’d go hybrid or electric if it fit my budget but I have a feeling even for $20,000 I’d be short for a decent hybrid/electric.
- Keep it Small – I prefer a small car like a Honda Civic. Just seems super easy to get around town in and makes parking a breeze.
- POWER! – I don’t need 500 brake horsepower but I need to win the fight of the I-5 entrance ramp. San Diegans are VERY aggressive drivers.
- Features – Doesn’t have to be the definition of luxury but I’m known to like a great audio experience and am a gadget dork so these sorts of things make me happy.
- Reliability – I love mechanics but I hate visiting them at work.
- Status – Used or new I don’t really care. Either way I will finance it with the intention of paying it off within a year. No one likes a car payment!
So if you were me, what would you do? Go ahead with a lease? Buy out someone else’s lease? Buy a used car on Craigslist? Buy a new car from a dealer? Buy a used car from a dealership? What car would you get? So many questions!
Thanks for your help! Perhaps I’ll share a bottle of wine with you to celebrate my decision!