How much do I have to pay to get a car I actually want to own?
September 25, 2012 1:34 PM Subscribe
As a rule, what is the lowest price point at which I should buy a used car?
posted by sockypuppeteer to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So I received the news this morning that my beloved 150K mile, 1999 mercury sable needs a new power steering pump, rack and pinions, and rear end strut assembly... $1700 worth of work. The car has some other problems, including a permanently-on check engine light, worn tires, and is just in general rusty and leaky. So... pretty sure she is destined to be junked, RIP.
I have at this moment $3,000 to my name. I have a residential job, so I have no major expenses and don't actually need the car to get to work but for my social life and general happiness I would like to buy another one asap because I live in the middle of nowhere with no access to public transit. I am seriously thinking of relocating to a urban area or possibly overseas within the next year so I am not necessarily looking for something long term, and I don't think it makes sense to take on a car payment in this situation.
What is the least I can get away with paying for a used car that isn't a moneysink? I want a car now and I could pay up to 2500 or so at the moment, but if it will get me a significantly better deal to wait a while until I've saved more I can live with that. Or, if I could get something for less than 2500 I would love to not wipe out my savings.
ps bonus question: I just replaced one of the tires on the sable a few weeks ago for $100. I've only driven ~50 miles on it-- is it possible or worth it to sell this practically new tire?