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Kiplinger’s List of Best Cars for Graduates is Absurd

radcen

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An advisory article that's actually practical and reasonable.
Kiplinger’s List of Best Cars for Graduates is Absurd

Yahoo!

My favorite quotes:
Kids don’t get in car accidents because their cars are unsafe. They get in car accidents because they drive like idiots.
Buying a regular cab will also make it unlikely your kid will be driving around with half the school inside.
 

GottaGo

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It was actually pretty refreshing to read. I found myself laughing and nodding my head at the same time.

The same here.

Used to be the day, $500 would get you a reliable used car for your first. Now, that doesn't even cover the tires.

I laughed when I recognized the 'old fogey' makes and models that would horrify most 18 year olds to have to drive. But they are pretty solid and reliable cars.
 

radcen

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The same here.

Used to be the day, $500 would get you a reliable used car for your first. Now, that doesn't even cover the tires.

I laughed when I recognized the 'old fogey' makes and models that would horrify most 18 year olds to have to drive. But they are pretty solid and reliable cars.

I talked my then 20 yr son into buying a 1992 Mercury Marquis (I think) a few years ago. He hated the idea, but later admitted that it made him virtually invisible to the cops and they left him alone. I think he actually learned the value of being under the radar and not attracting attention to oneself. :lol:
 

GottaGo

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I talked my then 20 yr son into buying a 1992 Mercury Marquis (I think) a few years ago. He hated the idea, but later admitted that it made him virtually invisible to the cops and they left him alone. I think he actually learned the value of being under the radar and not attracting attention to oneself. :lol:

My first car was a 1962 Dodge Dart... talk about under the radar..... :lol:
 

ttwtt78640

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Assuming that the graduate needs this vehicle for reliable transportation to work, it is best for the parents to offer a modest down payment for a decent used model and to co-sign the note iff the kid stays within their boundaries - no beaters, no hotrods and no party busses.
 

ecofarm

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I talked my then 20 yr son into buying a 1992 Mercury Marquis (I think) a few years ago. He hated the idea, but later admitted that it made him virtually invisible to the cops and they left him alone. I think he actually learned the value of being under the radar and not attracting attention to oneself. :lol:

Highschool - Red '69 Camaro, jacked up, chrome, sidepipes (around the damn unibody). I still ain't learned that lesson.
 

ttwtt78640

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My first car was a 1962 Dodge Dart... talk about under the radar..... :lol:

Mine was a 1964 Dodge Dart GT with bucket seats, push button automatic linkage and a 273ci V-8, which I was shocked that my parents allowed. They supplied a $200 down payment - the balance of $550 was mine to repay.
 

GottaGo

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Mine was a 1964 Dodge Dart GT with bucket seats, push button automatic linkage and a 273ci V-8, which I was shocked that my parents allowed. They supplied a $200 down payment - the balance of $550 was mine to repay.

I have no recollection of what was under the hood, other than it would vapor lock when it got hot.

I borrowed the $500 for it from First National Mom, repaid with interest. She repo'ed it once when I was late on the payment. :lol:
 

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I talked my then 20 yr son into buying a 1992 Mercury Marquis (I think) a few years ago. He hated the idea, but later admitted that it made him virtually invisible to the cops and they left him alone. I think he actually learned the value of being under the radar and not attracting attention to oneself. :lol:

The cops will leave you alone if you don't drive like an idiot, regardless of what car you're driving.
 

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This was my first car, a 1967 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, it was my aunt's that she had stored in her garage for years before I bought it. I paid 100% for this and every single car I have ever owned, I would never just "give" a kid a car, they have to earn it.

2840228788_1847c4eb3c.jpg
 

Andalublue

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I was 26 before I bought my first car. Living in a European city you are much better off not owning a car; less hassle, less stress, less expense. Buying a school-leaver a car is thankfully not a common practice over here.
 

molten_dragon

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It's a pretty funny article, but I don't necessarily agree with all their advice. Buying based on gas mileage for example. Money is tight when you're still in school, and every little bit helps. Buying something that gets better mileage makes owning it a little cheaper.

I don't agree with their suggestion of a Jetta Wagon as a good car for a new driver either. VWs are really expensive to fix when they break down.
 

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I don't agree with their suggestion of a Jetta Wagon as a good car for a new driver either. VWs are really expensive to fix when they break down.
But they break down a hell of a lot less often than other makes of car. A Jetta would be a great choice.
 

radcen

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But they break down a hell of a lot less often than other makes of car. A Jetta would be a great choice.

I've heard this, but my anecdotal observations tell me otherwise.

Years ago I bought a new Mazda from a dealership that sold Mazdas, Hondas, and VWs. As a perk from the dealership I got every other oil change free for two years. Pretty much every time I was in for my oil change, I would be sharing the waiting room with at least one brand new VW owner whose car was in for major maintenance right out of the factory (within the first 10,000 miles). No Mazda owners. No Honda owners.

I know that VW has an almost sycophant and cult-like following, but ever since then I've been skeptical.
 

Superfly

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My first car was a 69 Dodge Coronet 440. Bright red, with a black Landau top and black interior. Hated that car. It's worth a fortune now, but I traded it in like 30 years ago for a Monte Carlo, which I loved.

My girls are getting to the age where they want a car, and I'll do the same for them that I've done for all our kids. I'll supply the down payment if they have a job to pay the payments and help with insurance, and if their grades are good. If the grades start dropping, the car gets parked. My middle daughter is learning to drive now, but understands that a driver's license doesn't automatically mean she gets to drive everywhere. Not gonna happen. Driving isn't a right. It has to be earned.
 

radcen

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My first car was a 69 Dodge Coronet 440. Bright red, with a black Landau top and black interior. Hated that car. It's worth a fortune now, but I traded it in like 30 years ago for a Monte Carlo, which I loved.

My girls are getting to the age where they want a car, and I'll do the same for them that I've done for all our kids. I'll supply the down payment if they have a job to pay the payments and help with insurance, and if their grades are good. If the grades start dropping, the car gets parked. My middle daughter is learning to drive now, but understands that a driver's license doesn't automatically mean she gets to drive everywhere. Not gonna happen. Driving isn't a right. It has to be earned.

Ha! My first was a 1969 Dodge Coronet 500 with a 383. Ugly step-brother of a Charger. I put that car through so much abuse!
 

Superfly

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Ha! My first was a 1969 Dodge Coronet 500 with a 383. Ugly step-brother of a Charger. I put that car through so much abuse!

:lol: Mine never stayed running long enough to abuse. It's why I got tired of monkeying around with it. I will say that when I had it, I was young and poor, and all my friends were young and poor. I was the only one with a car, and we all piled up in it to go riding around. Many times, I'd coast home on fumes, moving the gear shift into N when we'd hit the top of a hill, so we could coast and save gas. Only once - once - did I get confused and go from N to R. The car died. :lol: It started back up no problem, though. Boy that sucker was cold-natured.
 

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judging from what i see on the road every day and from my experience with the model, my opinion is that the best dirt cheap car is the 1992 Buick Century. i see tons of them still on the road. in 2003, i bought one for my ex, and you literally could not kill this car. pro-tip : you have to unplug or replace the TCC solenoid, or the car will die once it gets hot. factory defect. we chose to unplug, and it did just fine.

every time is see one still on the road, i have to giggle. i used to drive that thing around and marvel at how well it ran for the 8 million miles it had on it. i bet her car is still out there somewhere; we sold it right before i made the idiotic decision to cosign a brand new car, which i ended up paying for most of after she left. that's a whole different story, though.
 

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I've heard this, but my anecdotal observations tell me otherwise.

Years ago I bought a new Mazda from a dealership that sold Mazdas, Hondas, and VWs. As a perk from the dealership I got every other oil change free for two years. Pretty much every time I was in for my oil change, I would be sharing the waiting room with at least one brand new VW owner whose car was in for major maintenance right out of the factory (within the first 10,000 miles). No Mazda owners. No Honda owners.

I know that VW has an almost sycophant and cult-like following, but ever since then I've been skeptical.

I think US-sold VWs are produced in Brazil, Mexico or Tennessee, so perhaps they aren't made to quite the high standards that the German-produced ones are. I drive a 13-year-old Golf diesel and it's never let me down. My brother drove the same Golf for 12 years with nothing more than a windscreen wiper motor going wrong. Everyone's anecdotal evidence will be different but VWs rock!
 

radcen

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I think US-sold VWs are produced in Brazil, Mexico or Tennessee, so perhaps they aren't made to quite the high standards that the German-produced ones are. I drive a 13-year-old Golf diesel and it's never let me down. My brother drove the same Golf for 12 years with nothing more than a windscreen wiper motor going wrong. Everyone's anecdotal evidence will be different but VWs rock!

I do know many people personally who swear by them.
 

GottaGo

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I'd love to have an old Beetle. I've always wanted one.

Ah, fond memories of pushing a friends old Beetle down a street in NYC....

Had to stop at a pub along the way, left the Beetle sitting in the street. Hour and a half later, it was still there. Even the car strippers didn't want it. :mrgreen:
 

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Ah, fond memories of pushing a friends old Beetle down a street in NYC....

Had to stop at a pub along the way, left the Beetle sitting in the street. Hour and a half later, it was still there. Even the car strippers didn't want it. :mrgreen:

:lol: They are definitely not easy cars to drive.
 
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