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ChocolateReigns's avatar

How good of a car could you get for $7200?

Asked by ChocolateReigns (5619points) November 17th, 2010

Yeah…I figured out how much money I’d have if I charged $5 an hour and babysat 3 nights a week, and took out money for spending money. I figured I’d have $7200 by the time I’m 16 – time to buy a car! Could I get a decent one?

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you could get a fairly safe and reliable car for that price.

squirbel's avatar

Yes! You could get a used car, perhaps only 4 years old at that price.

Or you could make a deal with your dad to pay the last third and get a new compact car. xD

JilltheTooth's avatar

OK, I’ll play the meany here. Have you factored in insurance and stuff like that?

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@JilltheTooth No, I was just kind of thinking of this on the spot. I know I’d have to have more money to put into it. While I was doing all this math, in addition to taking out spending money, I also took out 10% for savings, so I’d have some money saved for stuff like repairs and insurance, plus babysitting money and maybe even money from a job. So, who knows, I might be able to pull this off.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ChocolateReigns ; Well, good luck, then! Sounds like you are covering your bases.

mrlaconic's avatar

I was able to get my recent car for 6000 and it’s nice. 2002 Dodge intrepid, all leather, sun roof and it had 90,000 miles when I bought it. Not bad. You’ll be able to get something good for 7200!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Hmmm… let me throw another wet blanket on the plan.

Why do you need a car at that age? If you’re making that kind of money without a car, why not just keep that up? Keep doing the same things that are working to generate that kind of savings, and instead of buying a car (a declining asset that will eat up even more time and savings after you buy it) learn to invest your savings.

If you put off the purchase of “a car” for awhile (I know how anxious you are to drive; I’m not so old as to have forgotten) and if you learn to invest well enough, and with enough discipline, you could get to a point in a few years where you could buy an even nicer car with investment profits, and continue to have capital to invest.

I know a 14-year-old boy in my neighborhood who has a lawn-mowing / snow-clearing business with three employees, last time I talked to him (a couple of months ago). I haven’t asked him about his savings, but I do know that he’s buying better and better equipment all the time… for cash.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I’ve also thought of that. I suppose I don’t really need a car, but if I’m going to be able to go where I want and not have to worry about my parents having the car or anything like that, I’ll need my own. My brother had his own car (which got totalled two years later by some mad cows in a cattle trailer behind him) when he was 16, and he loved the independence.

Winters's avatar

Yep, in fact I got a 66 Mustang for $5,000. Its a beau and it runs like a dream (I just hope my Dad is treating her properly while I’m away).

phoebusg's avatar

I second @CyanoticWasp – I’m 25 and made it this far without a car. Invested in education and forming a capital for housing/construction later on. Most cities have a decent busing systems, just learn that like the back of your hand :)
Independence is more of a state of mind than a vehicle.

I’m thinking about leasing an electric car in the future. Or “wasting” some money on buying my very own leaf. Making a point with it and pushing the long delayed EV revolution.

jaytkay's avatar

Buying a used car, the key thing is having a mechanic you trust look it over. You don’t want to discover that your $X car needs 2 times $X in repairs.

But I agree, no car is a lot cheaper than a cheap car.

GeorgeGee's avatar

If you save $7200 for the car, you might also want to save:
$2000 per year for the insurance; it’s pretty expensive in most places to cover a 16 year old
$1500 per year for gas, assuming 200 miles per week, 20mpg, $3/gal
$700 per year for repairs and tune-ups
$100 per year toward tire replacement (every 4 years)
Parking, tolls, dependent upon where you live

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@GeorgeGee Wow…that’s a lot more than I thought I’d need to save additionally…I might need to wait an extra 6 months or a year. Which wouldn’t be too terrible.

Bagardbilla's avatar

In 2000 I bought a 94 Toyota 4Runner (fully-auto, loaded), with 90k & a blown head gasket kit. A usual prob with that model (thanks Internet!) for $800
I bought a re-designed head gasket from Toyota dealer for $380, and had a mech install it for $1700, he replaced the timing belt, water-pump, all other belts, plugs, injectors, a few other things which were exposed…
I drove it to Princton NJ (fr Atl) and back (with a trailer) in two days with three passengers, and all in 4wd.
For $7200 dude you can find a very reliable car with plenty to spare to put in a 401k!
just do your research, learn to live within no, below your means, and think ouside the box.
best of luck!

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