I'm currently in California right now. I live in a city with decent public transit, so I've never had to buy a car. I've also been unemployed for two years, so...couldn't really afford one, anyway.
I have accepted a job in Alabama. I will NEED a car there, since you know...they have no public transit where I'm going to be. OK, they HAVE it, but it's complete shit.
So, the way I see it, I have two options.
1) Buy a new or slightly used car in California (looking at around 25k miles on it, if possible) and road trip to Alabama.
- ROAD TRIP. I LOVE ROAD TRIPS. AND IT WOULD BE ALMOST FROM ONE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY TO THE OTHER. FUCK YEAH. (If you don't like road trips, pretend you do, for the sake of this argument)
- Don't have to deal with shipping my stuff across the country (and since I'm cheap, it would be Ground shipping, which can take forever).
- When I get to Alabama, it would be easier for to me to find a place (I have a really awesome friend there who would be more than happy to drive me around to different apartments n' stuff, but we'd have to work around his schedule and I'd feel bad...).
- I can buy a car here with manual transmission (and they average about $1000 cheaper than a car with automatic, new or used) and my dad can teach me how to drive it.
- I will have to go into debt to buy a new/slightly used car, and I already owe a fuck ton of money on my student loans.
- I also will have to get one of my parents to cosign on the loan (these are the two biggest reasons why I don't want to buy a car here).
- Road trips can be stressful and expensive.
2) Buy a used car when I get to Alabama.
- I have plenty of friends who have bought a used Honda or Toyota with over a hundred thousand miles on them, and they're still running well. I have one friend with a Toyota that has over 200,000 miles on it and it still purrs like a kitten. Most used Toyotas or Hondas I find with high mileage are around $4000 to $5000, which I can pay without going into debt.
- No road trip.
- No learning manual transmission.
- My previously mentioned friend would also have to drive me around to used car lots (which he also said he's up for, but urrrgh, feel baaaad. He's my friend, not my damn chauffeur and he's already letting me crash at his place until I find my own...)
ALSO the reason I don't want to buy a cheaper car in California is I'm nervous about driving an unfamiliar car with over 100,000 miles on it across the country, because what happens if it breaks down in the middle of nowhere Arkansas during a thunder storm or something?
That's all I can think of right now.
Soooo, TQC, what would you do?