Sunday, January 6, 2013

vroom vroom

Any advice would be welcome, please :)

Currently driving the purple hurtle i.e. Hyundai excel auto w 1.3L motor which has served me well, until just over a month ago when two things happened:
a) I finally found a job but it means driving from Frankston to Thomastown and back each day, and
b) coming home one night it kindly waited til I drove into our court before crapping out completely [killed me trying to push it into the kerb with no power steering working, let me tell you]

It was always gutless but for just going to shops this didn’t matter. Now, even with a new alternator etc it’s got less oomph than ever which is to say even just merging into 80 kph traffic is a tad dangerous.

With a budget of $10,000 tops, what would you be looking for? Any recommendations as to miles on the clock, makes or models to avoid?
I’m thinking an auto about 3 L size would be a lot safer on freeways than the paper bag I currently risk my life in.
Plus driving without cruise control is exhausting especially on eastlink with all those vicious and unforgiving speed cameras.
I’m no hoon but it’s hard keeping a speedo under 103 for a whole hour without giving up and just sitting on 90 thus precipitating a million cases of road rage and probably being indirectly responsible for a good deal of domestic violence or at least excessive alcohol intake.

What’s the story with car dealers and trade-ins? The purple hurtle is insured for $2,000 but of course since moving to melb it’s been rammed, side-swiped and dented, [not by me – I cause accidents but don’t have them] - will soon need new tyres, and I’m not sure I could be bothered “detailing” it. Personally I reckon it’s worth the rego refund. Is using it as a trade-in really going to have much impact on the final price a dealer asks for a newer car?

If anyone out there has had to buy a car with such a small budget recently, perhaps you could suggest whether it’s best to look for a private seller or just go to a dealer? Does Granny Davis still sell cars?


  1. It sounds like you are not happy with Hyundai but that is exactly what I would recommend. We got a good trade in deal for our Elantra. I had a Getz for about 6 years and didn't have any trouble with it. The i30's have had good reports in the RACQ magazine. You could check on your states car club web site for the best cars in your price range.
    I saw an add at Keema Motors for Hyudai that said "$3000.00 the lowest trade in offer."

    1. Hi Diane, thanks for taking the trouble to comment. Not totally unhappy with hyundai, in fact now I think about it the excel has been pretty reliable for many years - maybe size is the major problem. It also never occurred to me to check out the RACV website, so I shall definitely do that. Thanks.

    2. PS The RACQ website has a lot of helpful info on it which the RACV site does not so, again, thanks for the tip. Especially it never occurred to me that flood damaged cars might be making their way south. Might even go to all of the different state auto club sites.

  2. Advice? And then get the blame later? Don't reckon so. Thoughts, of course. You might get a couple of hundred from a scrap dealer to take the Excel away, but you may do better by trading it in. Driving from Frankston to Thomastown daily is not sustainable. But if you must, you need comfort and reliability, oh and cruise, so therefore go for the most boring but popular car that is around, a Toyota Camry. Get the latest model you can afford. Too big? Any of Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai are pretty good. A car with higher mileage that has normally done longer trips might be a better buy than a lower mileage one that has done short trips. Dealer or private, dealer is easier and you do get some sort of warranty, but you can pick up a good bargain privately. If trading yours in, it does give you a feeling of having some bargaining power, which is probably not the case. Really, if you can't drive it to a dealer, I don't think I would bother. Good luck.

    1. Andrew, thanks for your thoughts :)The country miles angle is brilliant so I'm surprised I never thought of it myself [blushing]. The hurtle was 5 when I moved to Melb and the battery died a week later. The battery man was in shock because I was still using the showroom battery.
      And as Diane has suggested the RACV website, it makes sense that I check out the warranty rules while I'm there - more good thoughting. Thanks.

    2. PS
      Home to FKN station, wait for train, 1 hour 35 to city [admittedly often able to sleep and drool on some stranger's shoulder].
      Franger to Tho'stown via eastlink and chandler hwy etc 1 hour 35 including the clogged fwy at middleborough rd. No cancellations, platform changes, bus substitutions via car. The hardest part will be deciding whether i need a cuppla power naps one after the other before getting on fwy. The nissan xtrail is big enough for me to stretch out and sleep in the back seat so a bigger car would have another thing going for it.

      Resisted the Tho'stown offer for a while but finding a job is very much a matter of who we know, I've found. I'll stick it out while I can, give it my best shot etc :)