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Old 01-30-2005, 04:22 AM   #1
Nichol Bolas
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Location: Ocala, FL
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Life decisions-Car and otherwise

I was very lucky when I started driving. My mom let me use her car until I destroyed it and even after, my mom was very patient with me and let me occasionally drive my car, though it wasn't under my insurance. I love my car, and will continue to drive it, but I just recently had to face the fact that is, in fact, outdated and quite possibly on its last legs. My Z34 Lumina is 13 years old and it idles high. This car is an inverted V6 which is not only hard to work on, it's almost impossible to find parts for. My dashboard is sundamaged beyond repair, the dash speakers are dead, the MPH gauge is broken somewhere beyond my abyssimal dashboard, the roof fabric is coming off, and the interior is showing major ware and tear. This is a powerful car, and I love how it drives. My odometer is broken at 135k miles and I've driven it for about 6 months broken as such. I am 17 and no matter how hard I try, I cannot keep from driving the car like I'm racing. This will eventually blow the engine, and I can see it comming. This car is a bit too much for me to handle. I know I'll eventually wreck it and I cannot stand the thought of destroying another car. The cost to make it pristine again is unfathomable considering all of the sundamage and the replacement parts I'd have to buy, not to mention a new paintjob. I don't think this car is really worth it. After not much, but very careful consideration, I've decided to start saving towards buying a new Chevy Cobalt SS. This car is not only fast and sleek, but it's safer and if I buy it new, it's only $22,000 dollars, easily affordable with a good, steady job. In addition, I can run it like it's a race car BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY MADE IT TO BE RAN LIKE. What do you guys think? Am I thinking in the right direction? Do you think now is the right time to start buying a new car? My thought was to get a new car before I am financially obligated to other things, such as rent (and utilities.) I want something to be proud of. Do you think I would be able to pull it off?

This is a dreamcar for me, here's the link
http://www.chevrolet.com/cobalt/

Every and all feedback is wanted, positive and negative.
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:44 AM   #2
Martian
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If you drive your Cobalt too hard it'll be in the same condition before too long. No car is made to be handled like that all the time, it causes a lot more wear. Go to driving school before dropping over $20 000 on a new car, because that's not the sort of investment that you want to lose to a moment's stupidity.

Aside from that, I always recommend against buying new. The simple fact is that the first three years are the worst for depreciation and it's essentially throwing money. If you're dead set on buying a Cobalt, get yourself a beater to drive for a few years until you can find a used one on a lot. A Cavalier Z24 or Beretta Z26 won't handle exactly the same way, but is fairly sporrty and would do you in the interim. I just bought a Beretta GT for $3000 CDN, so it's a lot easier to manage.
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:56 AM   #3
Nichol Bolas
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm sure if I were to buy a cobalt, I wouldn't drive it nearly as hard, seeing as I wouldn't be capable of it (I don't know how to drive a standard.) In addition, I only would consider my driving too hard for my current car because it's an automatic and because of its age.

On another note I would prefer to get a new car because it would have at least a warranty, and plus, as I said before, I want something to be proud of. Why are the first three years the worst for depreciation? Are you referring to the price, or the condition of the engine and the car itself?
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:10 AM   #4
Martian
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When I say depreciation, I'm referring to market value. The car's value drops drastically in that time (I'm sure you've heard the old saying that a car starts losing value as soon as it rolls off the lot). So looking at it as an investment, you'll get more of your money back out of the car when you go to sell it if you wait a few years and buy it used. Or mre accurately, you'll get roughly the same amount of money out of it but you won't put nearly as much into it. Quite aside from that, you can get a used car fo thousands less, which means that you may not need to finance or if you do you'll be able to pay it off sooner. If you ask me, owning a decent car outright is more something to be proud of than making payments on a new one. As to the warranty, that's well and good, but remember that they tend to be restrictive and you'll nearly always hit the mileage cap long before the stated length.

I've never been in a car with you, so I don't know what your driving habits are like. It's worth remembering that driving fast and driving poorly are two different things. I, for example, have been driving since I was 16. I'm 21 now and I've never dented a fender, not so much as a parking ticket. I routinely go 10 over the speed limit, sometimes faster depending on conditions, but I know how to handle my car. That's what I mean when I say learn to drive properly.

EDIT - It's worth noting that I've been in the car with precisely one other person besides myself who I consider to be a good driver and that's my best friend. I have pretty high standards that way.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:18 AM   #5
Nichol Bolas
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Are you referring to my Z34 as being a good car? If so, thanks for the compliment. It's a bit run down, but it's my baby. I know my car's limits. I easily caught on, unlike my mom's explorer, which ended up hydroplaning and wrapping it around a tree. I, actually, learned how to drift from playing Initial D, and avoided 2 accidents using drifting. My driving is far from poor (but I guess people could say different.) I do drive fast, however.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:36 AM   #6
Martian
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I don't remember saying it, but a Lumina Z34 isn't bad for a sedan.

You're aware that drifting is considered an uncontrolled situation for a reason, right? Again, I've never seen you drive so I'm not going to say you're a good or a bad driver. But video games aren't the best way to learn to drive.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:41 AM   #7
Nichol Bolas
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Haha, Initial D is better than most It's a full simulator that even has the weight factored in to the gram for each car. Glad I played that, otherwise I might not have my Z.
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