When buying a car what do you look at first?

When buying a car what do you look at first?

Dizzykakes Dizzykakes
I am hoping to buy a car in a few weeks. I really want something simple, small, and with great gas mileage. What do you look at first when buying a car?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Price
Dusk , moonch1ld , Alan & Michele , ToyingCouple , wetone123 , Vaccinium , CAKES , El-Jaro , padmeamidala , P'Gell , teeny <3 , Petite Valentine , BabyL0ve , Sohotdinosaur , LennaKieran , deletedacct , OhMy! , jzzrzz , cobiffle , PiratePrincess , daniel and frances , *HisMrs* , Akira , zizfaye , big b , Eva Schwaltz , kelaaa33wish , Devz , zracer , slynch , Lady Venus , liilii080 , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , Sir , cujo467 , angel142stx , DCorrelle , MaryExy
38
Looks
BabyL0ve , OhMy! , jzzrzz , darthkitt3n , Lady Venus , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , Howells
7
Insurance Rates
wetone123 , BabyL0ve , kelaaa33wish , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople)
4
Gas Mileage
wetone123 , Vaccinium , P'Gell , Redboxbaby , BabyL0ve , deletedacct , OhMy! , jzzrzz , PiratePrincess , darthkitt3n , zizfaye , big b , kelaaa33wish , slynch , dv8 , Taylor , Sir , LostBoy988 , Ms. Paprika , angel142stx , CoffeeCup , Miss Morphine , MaryExy
23
Up keep
Dusk , ToyTimeTim , wetone123 , P'Gell , Petite Valentine , Redboxbaby , BabyL0ve , Anjulie , ToyGurl , OhMy! , PiratePrincess , darthkitt3n , *HisMrs* , zizfaye , Lady Venus , Sir , Miss Morphine
17
Other
ToyTimeTim , teeny <3 , Redboxbaby , RonLee , Shellz31 , darthkitt3n , zizfaye , married with children , Rossie , MaryExy
10
Total votes: 99 (54 voters)
Poll is closed
05/22/2011
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Dusk Dusk
I would also love to know! I'm getting my first car in August and I need something used and cheap but also something that runs. Any suggestions from those with experience would be fantastic.
05/22/2011
moonch1ld moonch1ld
Price is always going to be the limiting/deciding factor for me. After that good gas milage is important and the perks like stereo and such
05/22/2011
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Manufacturer, price of parts for upkeep and age are all things I look at first. After 30 years of working on cars I know that quality is a better thing to look at than anything else. Cheap cars do not last as long as higher priced cars.
05/22/2011
wetone123 wetone123
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyTimeTim
Manufacturer, price of parts for upkeep and age are all things I look at first. After 30 years of working on cars I know that quality is a better thing to look at than anything else. Cheap cars do not last as long as higher priced cars.
What manufacturer is best in quality?
05/22/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyTimeTim
Manufacturer, price of parts for upkeep and age are all things I look at first. After 30 years of working on cars I know that quality is a better thing to look at than anything else. Cheap cars do not last as long as higher priced cars.
Totally agree with dwtim on this!

Gas mileage is pretty important to me too. 5 mpg's can make a huge difference, depending on how much you drive and the price of gas. Paying $500 more in the beginning can save you a lot more than that in the long run!
05/22/2011
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Quote:
Originally posted by wetone123
What manufacturer is best in quality?
Toyota, Honda and Subaru seem to be the best (and the ones I have not worked on much). My dad has had six Toyota's and each of them have got well over 200,000 miles. Four of them have hit the 400,000 mark with one getting to 700,000 miles (This one had one head replaced and the motor replaced at 650,000). He is a delivery driver and puts on 2-300 miles a day driving in city traffic. All of them get routine oil changes every 2000 miles and air filters every 3000. Most of them only needed brakes, alternators, and belts replaced. Stuff that is designed to wear out.

Of the american manufacturers, I have worked on more Chevy and Dodge cars/trucks than Ford with Dodge getting the most of my scraped knuckles. Dodge seems to have crappy wiring, although they make the best diesel engines. Chevy's are the cheapest to maintain as part are the least expensive and are readily available.

I myself drive a Ford as does the wife. I have a 04 F150 and the wife has an 95 Explorer. Even thou her Explorer blew the motor at 135,000 miles it was the best vehicle she has owned. We bought it with 55,000 miles on it and have only had to put minimal money into it in 12 years
05/22/2011
Redboxbaby Redboxbaby
Quote:
Originally posted by Dizzykakes
I am hoping to buy a car in a few weeks. I really want something simple, small, and with great gas mileage. What do you look at first when buying a car?
I have had many cars. My worst nightmare car was a Mercury Mistake (it was really a Mystique - the A/C condensate line drained into the floorboard making for a musty, moldy, wonderful ride to work everyday when we lived in Alabama, the dash board literally fell off and into my lap in pieces once - it was in the shop more than my driveway), and the most recent one was a Subaru Outback that leaked oil from day one (the dealership insisted I was crazy...I had oil all over my garage and could see where it was dripping from on the undercarriage, but they could never find it...oh, and did I mention it was NEW-and in the shop nearly every week or so?). Both cars lasted less than 6 mos. with us.

I have had cars that cost little to begin with, but cost me a small fortune to maintain. We have had our best luck with Honda and Toyota. Yes, they cost a bit more in the beginning, but as long as you change the oil and tune it up every 100,000 miles it is relatively inexpensive. Both trucks in our garage are Honda.

My husband is currently looking at an Audi A3 or is it A4 (diesel), I don't remember. He likes the idea of getting 600 miles to a tank of gas when he is driving at least 500 miles a week, just for work. As it is, he has to work one day a week just to pay for the gas it costs for us to get to work. However, it really doesn't make sense to go out and buy a new car just for the better mileage when we have two others that are paid for sitting in the garage.
05/22/2011
Redboxbaby Redboxbaby
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyTimeTim
Toyota, Honda and Subaru seem to be the best (and the ones I have not worked on much). My dad has had six Toyota's and each of them have got well over 200,000 miles. Four of them have hit the 400,000 mark with one getting to 700,000 miles (This ...
I will second this! My father and my mother both have only owned Toyota or Lexus ever since I can remember and NEVER do they do anything to those cars other than standard maintenance.
05/22/2011
Redboxbaby Redboxbaby
Quote:
Originally posted by Redboxbaby
I have had many cars. My worst nightmare car was a Mercury Mistake (it was really a Mystique - the A/C condensate line drained into the floorboard making for a musty, moldy, wonderful ride to work everyday when we lived in Alabama, the dash board ...
"...change the oil and tune it up every 100,000 miles it is relatively inexpensive."

What I meant to say was change the oil every 3,000 miles and a tune up every 100,000.
05/22/2011
wetone123 wetone123
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyTimeTim
Toyota, Honda and Subaru seem to be the best (and the ones I have not worked on much). My dad has had six Toyota's and each of them have got well over 200,000 miles. Four of them have hit the 400,000 mark with one getting to 700,000 miles (This ...
Thanks for the info Tim! I've got a Ford right now and it's not been too much trouble although it has over 200,000 miles on it. I keep it maintinanced best I can. Bought it used. Never had a brand new car Being that I know very little about cars, and have no reliable personal source of info for this sort of thing, I am very thankful you are here to advise!
05/22/2011
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Quote:
Originally posted by wetone123
Thanks for the info Tim! I've got a Ford right now and it's not been too much trouble although it has over 200,000 miles on it. I keep it maintinanced best I can. Bought it used. Never had a brand new car Being that I know very little about ...
No problem, feel free any time.
05/22/2011
Anjulie Anjulie
Definitely the upkeep, then safety and price
05/22/2011
RonLee RonLee
Performance. Not only straight line acceleration. Stopping distance, 60-0 in 114 feet or less is for me more important. Turning circle is important as well, if a car cannot make 35 foot circle or less, it's probably not for me.
05/22/2011
deletedacct deletedacct
Toyota, hands down. I have one & my mother has had a few, never failed me. Ford= fix or repair daily, found on the road dead, etc.
05/22/2011
OhMy! OhMy!
We've owned both "domestic" and "foreign" cars, but since many are made here in the north america, it's hard to really call any car domestic or foreign. Honestly, no manufacturer makes EVERYTHING perfect, so keep your mind open when you shop. The best metric is cost of ownership, since it is the biggest thing you can't change after you've bought it. Rather than look at just price, look at how much the car will cost you in gas, insurance, and parts. How often will it be fixed? How easy (and plentiful) are factory or aftermarket parts? And most of all, how often will you have to fill it up? Some cars will be cheap to buy, but will kill you in gas, parts, or other items. Others, are much better about this.

Some manufacturers, like Nissan, offer no or limited aftermarket parts since they maintain strict control of their specs. Others, like Honda, Mazda, Ford, Chevy, and Subaru, have other options when you need equipment.

Both of us currently own "foreign" cars - a Honda CR-V (4 cyl) and a Mazda 6 (4 cyl) and we love them both. The 6 is fun to drive and sweet on gas mileage, while the CR-V gets us just enough utility for the odd-size things. You could probably pick-up a used Mazda 6 at a nice price, and be very happy with your speeding tickets...er, we mean, driving experience. We're both car geeks, so feel free to "talk shop" with us if you want.
05/22/2011
Shellz31 Shellz31
The very first thing I look at is the make of the car to determind how reliable it is. There's a lot of shit on the road today!
Then the looks/colour and then price.

The fuel side of it isn't a consideration at all to me. Mostly cause, all the cars I love, are the big 6 cylinder beasts so the fuel bills are the price I pay for having the cars I like.

We have a Honda CRV - I wouldn't own another one! Reliable but too bloody expensive on repairs.

One of my favourite cars, isn't found in the US.
05/22/2011
Dizzykakes Dizzykakes
Thanks for all the posts it really is going to help me.
05/22/2011
cobiffle cobiffle
Price because you can buy some really nice cars for cheap, if you limit yourself to certain types of cars you could be screwing yourself over
05/22/2011
daniel and frances daniel and frances
Quote:
Originally posted by Dizzykakes
I am hoping to buy a car in a few weeks. I really want something simple, small, and with great gas mileage. What do you look at first when buying a car?
Price first, cause if it's out of my price range I won't even consider it.
05/22/2011
darthkitt3n darthkitt3n
I usually look at the mileage on the car and its body first. If it's got more than 70k miles and the body is in bad shape or has rust, I won't buy it. I only look at subcompact cars or sedans, so I don't really worry about the gas mileage. When I got my last car, I had a limit of $10,000, which allowed me to get a pretty good car. I'd rather pay more for a good car than pay next to nothing for something that will need new parts soon.

Another thing I did before I went to look at cars was to read consumer reviews on the ones I was really interested in buying. This allowed me to get to see the pros and cons from people who actually drive these cars every day, rather than hear only the pros from the car dealer.
05/22/2011
zizfaye zizfaye
THe first thing I look at is height. I like to be higher off the ground but not as high as say a van. I have a Jeep Cherroke which is perfect for me. I can't buy a car that is too low, so there just wouldn't be any point to considering anything else. After that the first thing I look at is what kind of gas milage I can get. This is especially important because its what you are going to end up spending the most money on, esp. with gas prices the way they are now. Then I look at what kind of upkeep to expect, cause that is where you could really end up spending more money than you expected to. Of course price is important as well. You don't want to pay more than you can.
05/22/2011
married with children married with children
I look at the price, where the parts come from for upkeep cost, where the car was made, how many recalls the company has had in the past, and how well the car was made and will hold up to years of use. I have a $35,000 suv and my friend has a $50,00 suv. They are both about the same size and get the same mileage. Mine has twice the miles on it then his. And mine looks brand new, while his is falling apart already. It is not about how much you spent on it, but how well it was made.
05/23/2011
big b big b
make.ford man
05/23/2011
liilii080 liilii080
I look at price and Edmonds car reports about upkeep, maintenance, and safety. Definitely do your homework before you buy!
05/23/2011
Rossie Rossie
Make, brand, price, check Edmunds.com to learn and compare information on the vehicles I'm interested in.
05/23/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Well, I ask my husband what he thinks, lol. I look for things like gas mileage and reliability and serviceability. A lot of cars these days just weren't designed to be worked on very well and if one of those ends up in the shop with the cheap end of labor ending up about $95 an hour, that can add up really quick.
05/23/2011
CPTInsanity CPTInsanity
It all depends on what you need the vehicle for, and what kind of driving you will be doing. If you are looking for good mileage, and you have a good sized commute than I would sugest the vw jetta diesel. It gets the best bang for the buck for that kind of driving. If you drive a few miles at a time in and around the city, than go for one of the hybrids. But those aren't very efficient on road trips. If you want something sporty and not very expensive than look at the new V6 mustang. They have over 300 horsepower and get like 30 miles to the gallon. If you need a truck that gets good power and gas mileage look at the ford f150s. Those should cover most kinds of needs for vehicles.
05/23/2011
LostBoy988 LostBoy988
Definitely gas in this economy.
05/24/2011
Ms. Paprika Ms. Paprika
Toyota and Hondas tend to have rabid fan followings, and for good reasons-the cars will run well and last forever. They're usually middle of the road in terms of performance and looks, and get decent mileage depending on the model.
Ford Focus is a pretty good car from what I've heard from my friends who drive them. (We're all starving college students, so gas mileage and reliability are key for us.)
05/24/2011
Total posts: 30
Unique posters: 24