Car advice

queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

Ok, completely off the topic but…

To make a long story short – I have no car right now. My old car bit the dust back in October and is gone and I really miss it. :( Anyhow, I have kind of been borrowing cars since than but it getting harder to do and I would like to get a new one since I am getting sick of not having my own car which I am used to having.

But, since I just moved, I am still looking for a job right now. I don’t have alot of money to put down but I have great credit.

Normally, in the past, my dad or someone else would help me pick out the car and would help me with where to go (normally a car dealership).

Anyone have any advice of a good place to go to get a car (it can be used but a newer model would be nice) where I wouldn’t have to put any money (or hardly any money) down and I wouldn’t have to make any payments for a while?

What about places like CarMax? Should I go to a car dealership? I love craigslist but I don’t have the cash to buy.

I am Silicon Valley area of California (Just moved here) and I would LOVE to get a Prius if possible.

Any advice for me?


  • craigslist has dealerships too… i would say yes, go to a dealership if you are comfortable with that. it might be hard to get a car on just credit if you are unemployed, even if you do have great credit. sorry, wish i could be more help.

  • cannibalwarriorcannibalwarrior Raw Newbie

    Buy a bike! Even if you live far from places, it can’t be too bad with the weather!

  • michigan romanmichigan roman Raw Master

    ive never liked buying used cars from unknown sellers / dealers .
    thusly ide look at leasing a new car . ive never leased but my friends college age daughter just started leasing upon graduation from high school and her parents are up to date on everything and also very bright and that was their judgement as to whats best .

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    ugh dont lease, they get you in the small print i have a long sad story about brotherinlaw and leased lexus….dont do it…i have bought my last two vehicles new an then driven them into the ground…going on 300 thousand with my 2000 model. get a car fax on any used model you get if you go that route or go buy a new prius… the dealerships are hurting right now, check on consumer reports get your cost in order and see what kinda financeing you can get…good luck!

  • Hey…I don’t have a car either, but I use zipcar ( it si great? you can use a car for an hour, or overnight…just make the reservation online. there is a one-time $25 joining fee, then you can pay as you go, or buy blocks of time. The rates (which are around 5 – 11 dollars for hourly rates, and 50 – 65 for daily) include all gas, insurance and parking! it’s really a great service. between zipcar and my bike, i’m cool. i know it’s a national service, but not sure where your located. peace and blessings…

  • oops…meant to say it is great! also, just saw that you’re in northern cali like me. so, this might work for you.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Thanks for the advice so far!

    cannibalwarrior – I actually do have a bike but there is something wrong with it right now – tires. It is in the bike storage rack here but it is hard for me to drag it up and down the stairs by myself so it mostly for leisure riding. I am not a serious bike rider – not in bike rider shape. I wish I was though. Where I live now everything is pretty spread out so short trips around here is OK (go to store etc) but to a job will be a challenge.

    Michigan roman and Omshanti – I have heard leasing before but didn’t know really what it was – sounded great until I read omshanti’s post. I would like to eventually own the car of coarse – my guess leasing is like “rent to own”? not sure what would be more expensive – either getting loan (financing) to pay off the car of leasing it? I would prefer a brand new car but I am trying to save some money. I have gotten some financing before through the car dealership when I have gotten cars before.

    batyah – Hmmm, great idea! I’ll have to look into that. I am in Mountain View. Looks like the closest zipcar is in Stanford – so might not work. It would definately be useful for short period of time. I just figure out that I live a mile from the CalTrain. Of course, that doesn’t go everywhere but maybe it might work out for some trips.

    It is weird because I from Chicago where the public transportation is very good (at least in or near the city). I guess I just really like the independance of having the car there when I need it. ;)

    Has anyone ever gone through CarMax or a place like that to get a car?

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    queen fluff, leasing is not rent to own, its paying for a car then giving it back which if you dont read the fine print they slap you with mileage charges and everything else including wear and tear to the seat fabric ect ect….big rip off that zipcar thingy sounds great!!!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    omshanti – Ah I see! Thanks! Ok, no leasing for me! :)

  • I just spent a good amount of time replying to this topic and it didn’t save. =( It was extremely long so I’m not going to re write it. Sorry queenfluff. I know a wealth of info about buying/leasing/financing cars that would be very helpful and what I had written would have summed everything up for you but since it’s lost now…oh well. Here is a website you can go to to read about leasing vs. buying Also, has a ton of info. But if you have anymore questions, then let me know. I would be more than happy to help. Buying a car is not an easy task and it takes skill. (Gosh I’m so bummed that it didn’t save.) Good Luck!

  • Queenfluff, I have a friend who has bought all of her used cars from rental car companies. She has done this because the cars are well maintained and that is documented and after a year of service the cars get sold. She swears by it. Omshanti is right leasing is a trap. If you do purchase from a dealer you will have more recourse if something goes wrong than with someone from craigslist. I have a Prius and absolutely love it. Different subject, you should try the MountainView farmers market on Sunday mornings at the Caltrain station. I’m in San Jose and drive up a couple of times a month. Good luck!

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