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Way WAY OT...time to buy a new car...recommendations?


Jun 23, 2002
Vancouver BC Canada
Good morning All:
As the title says...it's time to get a car again.
I haven't owned one since 2012...I've relied on a combination of public transit and a car co-op called Modo, and up until 2020, a bicycle.

Now I find myself unable to walk to the bus stop and from the bus stop to the shop (Multiple Sclerosis) but I can still drive although I've become accustomed to the penny pinching cheapness of public transit so I'm resisting this new reality as hard as I can.

Life being what it is though, I'm forced to this choice.
So I'm looking for a new sled.

Here's what I need:
Cheap to buy
Cheap to run
Reliable as Hell
Flash NOT required.
Single occupant (driver) only for a daily commute of about 20 miles (10 miles each way, twice a day).

I'm open to buying used.

Any recommendations that stick out for you?


I have put over a million miles on hondas, wit no major repairs. Bought 3 new, usually sell em at a quarter million miles, a couple low mileage used. 8 years now on my honda fit, no problems, 40 mpg. In canada, though, you have more options for small cheap cars they dont sell in the USA. General rule of thumb, dont worry as much about specific model. Buy lowest mileage, newest one you can get cheap. I always go for fewer options, less bling.

Toyota Prius
Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic

The folks I know who own these cars love 'em.

I've been very happy with the 4-banger, stick shift Ford Rangers I've driven since 1996, but the new-model Rangers are a different animal, and the used ones are usually pretty beat.

Beyond that, we've had two Ford C-maxes in the family hat have been reliable and cheap to run, but all the ex-factory C-max batteries have been in use for a fair bit of time now
If I had MS I would not be thinking I would want to buy a 20 year old car and wrench on it to save money. Buy something small, unsexy, slow, ugly, and newish. Honda, toyota, mazda, kia, hyundai, under 50 k miles, young enogh it may only need a battery and tires. I spent my time changing clutch plates and swapping water pumps while lying in the street. I like a car that I dont open the hood for a year at a time, and pay for synthetic oil changes…
With the japanese car companies being numero uno currently and for a while now :popcorn:

I usually buy Toyota.

Locally(Utah) there are a ton of people that buy Subaru, its because the all wheel drive car deal works very well in the snow, and Japanese car is muy bueno.

So my boss said to get one, he was buying, so I did, who am I to say no to a free car.

and it fit all the bills, was not as costly as a Toyota or Honda, sweet gas mileage (400 miles per tank) reliable, goes in the snow as good as my 4runner:nutter:

I will buy another one for shizzle my nizzle.

Subaru Crosstrek is what I got.
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Toyota Prius
Toyota Corolla
Honda Civic

The folks I know who own these cars love 'em.

I've been very happy with the 4-banger, stick shift Ford Rangers I've driven sine 1996, but the new-model Rangers are a different animal, and the used ones are usually pretty beat.

Beyond that, we've had two Ford C-maxes in the family hat have been reliable and cheap to run, but all the ex-factory C-max batteries have been in use for a fair bit of time now
All rangers here have the automatic and since they cost $65,000 new, the used ones are still quite pricey. We had no rangers at all between 2012 and 2019. Most pickups here are larded with expensive options and very expensive even used.
We helped my son buy a used subaru last fall. Nothing worth buying used under 10 grand, and for ten grand you get a ten year old one with 100 k minimum. Snowboarders drive the prices up. Get an ugly little hyundai, anything trendy or boy racer or awd is gonna be double.
One problem you will have is you live in Metro Vancouver, and its a very affluent area. So most new cars sold there are expensive. And that means most used cars are expensive too.

For 30 years, I have lived an hour and a half from downtown Van- and thats including the border (I have nexus).
We were up in Richmond for Chinese food last fall, and my wife was driving, I was car watching- over half the cars were fancy SUVs, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Lexus, another quarter were teslas. Plus various ferraris and lambos and special edition toyota supras. I have literally seen chrome ferraris and purple Lamborghini SUV convertibles parked on the street in Vancouver, and nobody blinks. Bentleys, by the dozen. Bugatti Veyrons just parked in the lot at the mall. Who parallel parks a Maybach on Granville?

when I go on facebook marketplace, looking at cars, I get a fair amount from surrey and white rock.
Same as down here, anything used between ten and fifteen grand (canadian) is gonna be 10 to 15 years old, 100k plus miles, and most likely mistreated.
4 and 5 year old toyotas and hondas are 25k.

If it was me, I would buy a cheap, new, Kia or Toyota or Hyundai in the 30k $ range, figuring resale is gonna be strong, and you actually get more for your money buying a more basic model new than a 5 year old one that they got talked into all the options for used.
YMMV, of course, but used car prices have not dropped post covid, and they are crazy- people have been buying on 5 year loans, and are often underwater (owing money) at 4 years in, selling or trading them at a loss. If you can pay cash or get a loan from you own bank or credit union, you get much better deals, if you can avoid the upgrades, a new stripper can be cheaper than a used lardmobile, no matter the make or model. If you need the space, Honda CRVs and Kia Sportages both last forever and are pretty cheap.
Plus, then you know that all the maintenance was done as needed. And that it wasnt crashed and rebuilt, or driven without coolant, or over curbs...
I’m partial to Honda’s. Awesome little cars or SUV’s, if that’s your thing.

No love for Hyundai-Kia. Total shit boxes. Same for Mitsubishi if you’re keeping tally. Whatever you get, get the service records. No idea why people don’t change their ATF…
Older Toyota
Do you have any mechanic you can trust?
Find one and have it gone thru before you start driving.........
Depending on the car a timing belt may be in order to change......
One could do your homework and once one is picked out, see if its belt or chain.
Chain no worries.......
Not knowing your skillset/ability, as mentioned, a new compact may be the way to go.
Quick search 2024 Corolla $ 22K and you get a warranty........
Try before you buy. I rented several different econo boxes when my work truck was in the shop,

Accessibility and legroom varied greatly. Make sure you can get in and out comfortably with your condition.

I would also look for a brand that can be serviced within walking distance.

Let us know what you end up with.

Thank you everyone for all your most thoughtful replies.
I do appreciate it very much.

An alternative I hadn't really considered until now, is perhaps the option of having my company lease a car for me.
I obviously need to consult with my accountant about that option, but the thought is increasingly attractive as I consider it more.
My reasoning is:
1) The monthly lease payments are less than what a new car payment would be.

2) I'm no longer in good enough physical shape to comfortably manage the hassle of vetting and buying a used car and as importantly, selling it on to capture my equity in it when I'm no longer able to even drive safely.

3) Associated with point #2...I have a few years left in me I hope, but this is not a ten year proposition for me...more like maybe 2 or 3 years, so if I structure my lease with that in mind, it might be the best option, especially given what Ries has said in his excellent post #10 about the cost of decent used cars in Metro Vancouver.

4) The thought of being stuck at the side of the highway with a non-functioning used car is daunting to me in a way it never was in my youth.
I barely have what it takes to lift the hood anymore, never mind do anything to the motor underneath it, so the fantasy of having something new and reliable has an appeal all its own.

The lease cost on a 2024 Toyota Prius is $130.00 CAD per week.
My taxicab bills for bad weeks when I have to cab part way home every day because I'm too wasted to make it with transit is about $120.00 for 5 trips from the Seabus terminal to my front door.
So by the time I factor in gas, insurance and maintenance money, I don't lose too much compared to transit with cab at irregular intervals.
A Modo car is 70 bucks a day.

Much to consider as it turns out...I thank you all again for your insights.


Here in the UK apart from Government schemes, there are ''ordinary commercial'' car leases specially tailored for disabled etc people available.
I am not a fan of EVs for a long list of reasons but, given your circumstances, I'd consider a used EV. Resale on EVs sucks (good for you). Low maintenance so there's not much for the previous owner to have neglected.

I'd doubly consider that if you can find a place to plug it in while at work. This uses your company's electricity, which you presumably do not pay taxes on. Your commute is short and you don't seem to have any needs for longer distance driving.