Friday, July 2, 2010

Bleg: buying a car

My car broke down yesterday, and it's at the point where I should just get a new one. Well, new to me. I would like tips on getting a car. Here is my rule for advice:

  • Anecdotal evidence doesn't count.

Every car has some problems, and every model has some lemons. I hear that most lemons are made on Mondays and Fridays. Anyway, I want to consider overall statistics about reliability and total cost of ownership.

I'm thinking of getting a car that's 2-3 years old. I hear that buying a brand new car is a bad deal. I also don't want to buy a car that's cheap, but so old it's about to die. Do you have any ideas about the sweet spot in terms of the age of a car?

I'm re-watching Fargo as I write this: are there any scams that I have to watch out for like Trucoat?

I'm interested in a few features, so if you have experience with these, let me know: * An aux-in plug for my iPod. I don't want a special iPod docking port, just a regular 3.5 mm jack. Also, it's really important that there's a 12 V adaptor for my iPod and GPS chargers. * The seats in the back seat should fold down so that the trunk can hold a bunch of stuff.

My family has had great experiences with Maven Motors. It's run by an Orthodox Jew who is honest and offers deals so good that he doesn't let you haggle. He has these cars on hand. I'm thinking especially about the Ford Focus and the Ford Taurus, and I'm leaning toward the Focus. Are there any other cars listed that catch your eye? Do you know of any reasons I should have trepidation about the Focus or Taurus?

I've also heard good things about CarMax. Any ideas?

Again, I'm not looking for one-off experiences, but overall insight that's evidence based. Thanks!

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