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If you had $3000 and needed to buy a vehicle outright, what would you get?

(You have two kids, and prefer enough trunk space to go to Costco without having to worry if it all fits, and enough room to put two kiddie bikes in to ride at the park.)

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Asked by sojourner. at 12:36 PM on Sep. 19, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 11 (541 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • Honesty I just bought a car outright. You aren't going to get much for that. You might be able to get a 90's compact car for that out here. You also have to pay sales tax which is around 700, plus transefer title and license, not just the price of the car. But good luck! I hope something pans out!

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 12:39 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • $3k is what I look at just to stay within my budget. There's more put aside for all the fees that go with it. I'm just kind of looking for what people would old station wagon? Some mid-90s minivan off of a used car lot? Random full-size sedan from Craigslist? I want to know what other people would look for, if they found themselves in that situation.

    Comment by sojourner. (original poster) at 12:47 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Clark Howard (money guru) says it's best buy car outright, put away "payments" for 2 years then take that money and trade in the car for a better car. Keep doing that 2-3 years at a time until you can afford the car of your dreams.

    Answer by keisha613 at 12:47 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • For $3k? Well, a down payment on an SUV. I certainly wouldn't outright buy a car for $3k though.

    Answer by thatgirl70 at 12:48 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • thatgirl70 - what would you do if you didn't have a choice? what if you couldn't afford payments?

    Comment by sojourner. (original poster) at 12:50 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • I wouldn't trust Craigslist, no warranty and you really have no clue what you are getting. I'm sure there are nice people out there, but you just don't know. Everytime we bought something for that price there was something severly wrong with it very soon after purchase and the repairs would cost almost as much as the worth of the vehicle. At a used car lot, they will jack up the price a few grand over what it's really worth to make a profit.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 12:53 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Ack, you really can't get much for $3000. It's great to buy a car outright (we did with our last two cars) but it would also suck to spend $3000 cash and then have to sink in a ton of money on repairs or another car when that one dies in a few months. I honestly wouldn't trust any car that was either so old or in such bad shape that I could get it for $3000.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 12:54 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Musicmom, I think Craigslist is a place where you have to really wade through a lot of crap to get to something genuine, but if you're careful, you can get a decent one. We were able to buy my husband's work van (a Honda Odyssey EX-L) for $9000. Actually, the best car I've ever had was a CR-V we bought on Ebay. That thing lasted five years and had 230,000 miles on it when it was totaled in an accident. There are honest people out there. You just have to be super careful finding them.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 12:56 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Um Julie, I never said you couldn't, read thoroughly pleaseI just said it's risky and I don't trust it...I have purchased a vehicle off craigslist. No one said you couldn't. But the owner didn't know what the vehicle needed and we paid big $$ for it, and my mechanic buddy came with. I would not suggest someone who only has $3000 for a car go looking on craigslist for a car with no warranty. I don't know what kind of point you were trying to make by pointing me out.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:02 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • No, I agree I wouldn't trust any car that was only $3000, regardless of where it came from. Seems like Craigslist is so full of crap these days, I just wanted to add that there are still some decent people out there.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 1:06 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

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