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Old 11-21-2013, 02:14 PM
 
156 posts, read 201,974 times
Reputation: 85

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Hi there,

I'm moving to LA from Europe, and I'm gonna need a car, so I'm thinking of getting one in the first few weeks. However, I'm on EXTREMELY tight budget, so I can only afford something in between $1000-$2000.

Can anybody say anything about either Accord or Civic, which one should I shoot for? I've seen them on craigslist being offered for under $2000 and the come in different years, from 1990 to 2001 (both Accord and Civic). I'm pretty firm on these two because of the good MPG, cheap parts and the fact that they break down less often compared to most other cars of these years.

Obviously I'd like to get the newer one, but how much below the market price this is? I'm kind of paranoid of paying too low because there's obviously something not right with it.

What would you recommend? Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:15 PM
 
1,214 posts, read 2,245,161 times
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I would recommend a civic for that budget. You might be able to find a 2000 but will have high mileage
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:18 PM
 
156 posts, read 201,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cats234 View Post
I would recommend a civic for that budget. You might be able to find a 2000 but will have high mileage
Wow that's some fast response!

Yeah, I'm leaning towards a Civic myself because of better MPG (Accord coupe just looks better). The problem that I have is this: I see on craigslist Civic 1994 and Civic 2001 both for $1500; sellers say both clean titles and in good standing. Should there obviously be something wrong with the 2001 one? $1500 must be way below the market price, isn't it?
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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OP, hands down Civic. Better mpg. Much better dynamics. Much better reliability.
Best years for Civics are late 80s through mid 90s. Also, make sure you have one made in Japan. You can also buy Mitsubishes for that years. Or, Dodge Colt, which was a very reliable pony. Suzuki Swift, Geo Metro. Geo Metro hatch is amazing car.
Just make sure that timing belts were done. Ask for proof.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Watch out for salvage titles, and suspiciously low mileage (engine rebuild, but the rest of the car has 200,000 miles of wear and tear?).

You will want to take the car to a mechanic, and pay the 75 bucks to have them look over the car.

Honda and Toyota top the list for resale value - that's good for the seller, but not necessarily good for the buyer, so don't be afraid to branch out into other brands, since you might find you can get more car in better condition.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:04 PM
 
156 posts, read 201,974 times
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Hey thanks for the advice guys, really appreciate it!

I'm still kind of leaning towards Civic because I know Hondas better. I stay away from American cars as I know absolutely zero about them, although I'd love to drive one when I can afford it.

Speaking of mechanic, I wanted to ask you: do I arrange this with the seller first and let them know that I would like to take the car (together with the seller, obviously?) to the nearest auto shop? Is that how's it's done here? And is it worth the trouble when the car is just around $1500? Back home I have friends who are good with cars so I usually take them, but it's not the case here.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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I think it's worth it, a repair can easily be 1,500 dollars, and on old, high mileage cars, the odds of an expensive repair are just that much higher.

Not sure what to tell you about finding a good mechanic to use, though...
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
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No offense, but if you can only afford a $2,000 car in L.A., how can you afford RENT in L.A.?
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,902 posts, read 23,179,513 times
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For $2K Budget I would look for a $1500-$2K 03-05 J-Body in Good condition with a 2.2 Ecotec they may not be great but they are dirt cheap and pretty reliable, parts are easy to find and any independent shop can fix them for next to nothing.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,222,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusOCR View Post
Hi there,

I'm moving to LA from Europe, and I'm gonna need a car, so I'm thinking of getting one in the first few weeks. However, I'm on EXTREMELY tight budget, so I can only afford something in between $1000-$2000.

Can anybody say anything about either Accord or Civic, which one should I shoot for? I've seen them on craigslist being offered for under $2000 and the come in different years, from 1990 to 2001 (both Accord and Civic). I'm pretty firm on these two because of the good MPG, cheap parts and the fact that they break down less often compared to most other cars of these years.

Obviously I'd like to get the newer one, but how much below the market price this is? I'm kind of paranoid of paying too low because there's obviously something not right with it.

What would you recommend? Thanks!
Anything short of a miracle won't do on 1-2K. Are there cars out there at that price? Sure. A good running Accord or Civic? Not likely. Try Bagdad. Miles may be high along with the bullet holes but, for 2K, you can't expect much....try going up to 3K and things start to open up. Expect to spend another 1K over the first year in reconditioning cost. However, if you do follow this advice, you will have a decent car that will last years. But, go Toyota. It's better than a Honda. Especially the AC if you care about that (and you will). The parts are slightly less and in my humble opinion, not as finicky as a Honda.

It's just a slightly better car where it matters. Auto transmission, AC, room, road noise, lower end torque...the Hondas are twitchy and you will hear the road noise. A used Camry is as much as a used Corolla in that price range. Why? So many of them out there used. You don't need to spend more than 4k to find; good transportation. 2K? Lots of headaches me thinks. That or someone that just can't squeeze anymore out of it.
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