What kind of car should my attorney husband buy?
March 17, 2014 3:01 PM Subscribe
Neither my husband nor I are "car people", so we have no clue what kind of cars we should be looking at for him. Details under the cut.
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (56 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Our family has two cars - a 1998 Camry and a 2006 Altima. The Camry was mine until we had a baby, then we switched cars because it seemed more prudent from a safety perspective since I do 95% of the driving with the kid. The Altima and Camry are both fine and haven't given us too much trouble. The Camry has low mileage for its age, less than 100k. Possibly around 80k. The problem is that the Camry looks its age. We live in the Pacific Northwest and it has that old mossy PNW hoopty look. All the polishing in the world can't make this car look nice. Which we wouldn't care about at all, but my husband is a self-employed attorney who occasionally has to visit the sites of clients and potential clients. On those days, he drives the Altima, but it's not great to switch cars and clear back seat of child seat and toys.
We are exploring the possibility of buying a new or new-to-us car that seems like a nicer car than the Altima. We don't know what that would be, though. Requirements:
1. Must be reliable! No special-needs vehicles. My husband commutes about 150 miles per week, with longer trips here and there.
2. Appears "professional" and "successful-but-not-flaunting-it." We are not trying to impress other attorneys or high income professional urbanites; we do need it to convey a sense of trust and solidity. We'd prefer the car not to read as any particular demographic. For example, we know a Prius is not appropriate at this time, as it reads very left-wing. (We are left-wing, but the clients don't need to know that!) Husband is open to an SUV-type thing. He usually dresses nicely, on the formal, tailored-ish end of business casual or a suit and tie. We're in our 30s with kids. We live in a modest neighborhood - I would prefer that the car not attract any special attention.
3. Comfortable to drive, my husband is tall.
4. Cost - we have no idea. Net income varies from year-to-year, but about $150k. We could probably pay $30-40k cash for a car this afternoon and not flinch, but we'd much rather not as we are generally quite frugal people who live well below our means. But I put it out there to as we don't need the "drive your current cars forever!!!!" budget-minded folks to lecture us. We have the money, it's not an issue. But could we get a nice car for $20k? ... $15k? See, we have no idea. But let me emphasize again that we are frugal and we hate to shop. It's very important to us to keep our general household budget flexible and not over-encumbered with high fixed expenses.
So, within those parameters, what kind of car should we buy?
(Anonymous because I don't want my username affiliated with this question.)