Please help new driver choose new vehicle.

02-27-2014, 07:03 AM
Okay, well for starters I'm a 20yo, American male living in the suburbs with no job (starting one by the end of the week) and no money left to save. I have no license only a learners permit that I've held for 5 years during that time I've only driven 3 days before my vehicle (Dad's previous vehicle, a custom SUV) was stolen. I cannot drive manual although I although I'm very familiar with it as the family car for many years used to be manual and I always thought it was cool to master the techniques to be a "real driver". (Something that unless I do a tranny swap will be necessary to know when I one day get my 79 Lincoln Continental on Dayts, or a triple turbo rust bucket rat rod with a sawed-off shotgun for a stick shift, whichever comes first! :naughty:)

I have absolutely no idea what vehicle in general, I would need to fit my daily needs, but I'll list my considerations/concerns.

1) Endurance of Abuse: Usually most teen new drivers say that they only expect to put a few hundred or thousand miles, at most, going from school or to their new job commuting... NOT ME BABY!!!...:nono:

You see, our current family vehicle, a then-new 2011 Nissan Versa, had over 50,000 miles, blown brakes, bald tires, and a cracked lower shortblock with lifter tap (Although that one wasn't our fault it was a defect and many of that vehicle had the same issue), before the end of two years.

a) The service manual itself suggests a average of 10,000 miles per year, *coughs laughing* that's the best they can do these days!? As of today it has over 76,000 miles.... :eek:

b) To be fair it is a small compact economy car,(Much to my grandmothers dismay as she feels uncomfortable in those "foreign death traps", and wanted nothing less for her family than a Humvee or a caged Navigator. She was forced to adapt when it came to gas money.)

c) Its had cheapo, "Economy-value" passenger tires, as that was all we could afford until my dad was so fed up with burning through tires that he finally bought us a set of quality performance tires.

2) Gross vehicle cargo payload. Yes, you read that right! My first car would be a U-Haul if I could get one. (I saw rusted out [read:TOTALLY AWESOME LOOKING!!!] 70's GMC one a few days ago.) Before before the versa, we had a '03 Ford Windstar that we used for everything; transport, storage, living in... but as the even the freshly rebuilt transmission kept dying out on the highway at 45 miles an hour, causing a rolling stall, it sits in the driveway. We needed a dependable vehicle so my dad, who lives in a different city bought one for us, in his name because our credit couldn't handle it. Not to complain, I mean it's a good car but he bought sight unseen, the cheapest new car he could find (he gets defensive when I show him far better vehicles; Lincolns, Suburbans, etc. for less in the Autotrader, if he only knew to shop around) and without our imput whatsoever, and charges us for the payments, but claims to others he is helping his mother and his son so much... :disappoin

But alas, I digress. As we have several massive storage units, think 10x20-30ft semi truck size, and my grandmother was an OG Power Seller for eBay back in the day, we often have our vehicle packed with luggage and merchandise. And then there's the issue of helping friends move furniture or haul debris for cash on the side that a Versa is not going to be able to do.

3) Gas mileage. You all knew this was coming, because how else would a little old lady and a kid who couldn't drive be putting so many miles on a brand new car???

Well you see, she is a pastor and minister. We attend a small country church that's a good six hours away, up and down, that we've been going to all my life and most of her life as well, since she was a young country girl. We attend that church once a week but for the rest of the week we also travel to more local area churches a city over, add to that transporting homeless people to shelters and doing other charity work that takes up the blunt of our gas money.
We have since cut down on our expenditures to church once a week but it used to be 5 times a week... off topic but still important to factor in if I am to take over the ministry one day.

Regardless of my qualms and concerns of selflessly devoting my personal vehicle to non compensated, community public service work, my Grandmother repeatedly assures me that this will be my own vehicle of my choosing to do with as I please in a normal fashion to get me from school and work. As much as I hate to admit it I am a regular dude and a regular car for a regular guy is what I need, although because of our lifestyle I always assumed I would be driving a 16 passenger church van or a dump truck or something around and the look on peoples' faces when I pull up to the high school parking lot in it, for my behind the wheel classes... :screwy:

:confused: Any Ideas for a decent, dependable daily-driver besides those surplus mass transit troop transports I keep goggling over, fellas? :confused:

Much thanks in advance!

03-25-2014, 05:27 PM
Hi Paktra,

For starters, what is your budget for the car?

Also, are you planning to get your drivers license? I think you can buy a car without a license but you'll need to have someone else drive it for you..

Lastly, I think there are some considerations to make in terms of car insurance too--which is an expense many drivers tend to overlook. Perhaps you should go to a site like to get a free quote, speak to an agent, and see what rates you can get depending on what car you're considering.

Hope this guides you a little bit! :cool:

Add your comment to this topic!