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Old 25th November 2013, 08:26   #3466
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
I have arrived in the bay area last week for a foreseeable future ... and obviously, ride is something I am looking for.

... at this point of time, I have shortlisted Nissan Altima 3.5 SL for my daily commute.

However, due to lack of credit history in this country, I need to fall back on Nissan for financing the vehicle. From the information which I could gather from the dealership (over phone) -
1) The interest rate could be anything between 7 - 11%; and
2) The maximum loan term that can be offered is 3 years (equal to the length of my visa)

Interest rate is something I can live with initially and once the credit history is built, I can switch loan; however, loan term of 3 years would make me re-plan the finances.

Could the folks in the know in US help me with verifying the authenticity of the above points please?
Thanks everyone with your inputs both on this thread and in PMs. Last Sunday I ended up picking an Accord EX-L 3.5L V6 instead of Altima 3.5 SL.. The change in decision came after speaking to my sister and BIL who have been loyal Honda customers - Civic (2000), a CRV (2000) which was replaced last year by another CRV (2013) and a Fit (2009).

Honda dealer gave me a great deal and I picked 2014 model at invoice price, loan term of 5 years @ 4.74% p.a. (lack of credit history!), against a down payment of $3,200.

Yesterday on a freeway, car's fuel efficiency, while in economy mode, hit a max of 38.2 mpg! Yesterday was the first time I had tried the econ mode though. Prior to this, on a different run on freeway, w/o econ mode on, I was able to extract a top mpg of 34+ Not bad for a V6!! No wonder at the ongoing LA Auto show, it has been voted as the greenest car..

A few pictures after I washed the car this morning..
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Old 25th November 2013, 21:59   #3467
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Congratulations, Did you get the Navigation package?

I have the same model from previous generation, The real time FE hits a max of 60 mpg on a relaxed freeway cruise
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Old 25th November 2013, 23:10   #3468
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I live in Bay Area so climate is not a problem. Just that I don't want to spend 5k on buying an old car and spend another 5k on keeping it running, that would make me really stupid when it resells for not more than 2k.

Trying to find the best balance here. Maybe increase the budget to say 9k on a 3 yr-60k mile Corolla would be more prudent? Basically I want it to be a car that we won't think twice about scratches/dings, and also fetch a decent resale when we decide to sell it and lease a Mini Cooper for her when she's leant driving well enough (by which time my visa renewal would've happened and I'd be eligible for a lease again).
How long are you planning to keep the car? I would suggest if the duration is longer, then increase your budget and get a 8k-10k car. That would have lesser troubles and would be a easier sell. Depending on how soon you are looking to buy I'm sure you may come across a few 5k range cars. It will be easier to get a Corolla/Civic/Accord/Camry than any hatchbacks
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Old 26th November 2013, 00:21   #3469
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
I live in Bay Area so climate is not a problem. Just that I don't want to spend 5k on buying an old car and spend another 5k on keeping it running, that would make me really stupid when it resells for not more than 2k.

Trying to find the best balance here. Maybe increase the budget to say 9k on a 3 yr-60k mile Corolla would be more prudent? Basically I want it to be a car that we won't think twice about scratches/dings, and also fetch a decent resale when we decide to sell it and lease a Mini Cooper for her when she's leant driving well enough (by which time my visa renewal would've happened and I'd be eligible for a lease again).
I would have suggested a Honda Fit but they are not cheap to buy. You can buy a similar vintage Ford Focus hatch for little less money but they are not as easy to find.

A Mazda3 hatch might fit the bill. Some 2007-08 are priced right in your ballpark.
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Old 26th November 2013, 01:50   #3470
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Congratulations, Did you get the Navigation package?

I have the same model from previous generation, The real time FE hits a max of 60 mpg on a relaxed freeway cruise
Thanks mate.. I was actually drooling at the touring model but the lack of utility of incremental benefits - navigation, LED headlights and adaptive cruise control - purely from my individual perspective, made me settle for EX-L.

I use my galaxy tab as calling device too with the aid of bluetooth handsfree. Which means I always have a 7 inch screen with me. Considering the pervasiveness and real time traffic conditions provided by Google maps, I did not opt for the navigation package/model. So far my tab has worked perfect and battery drain is something which I can live with.

60 mpg!! Can you please check under the hood if they sold you the hybrid? JK, of course its gasoline and the hybrid came this year only, IIRC.
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Old 26th November 2013, 12:39   #3471
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I would have suggested a Honda Fit but they are not cheap to buy. You can buy a similar vintage Ford Focus hatch for little less money but they are not as easy to find. A Mazda3 hatch might fit the bill. Some 2007-08 are priced right in your ballpark.
Thanks. Those Focuses look like they're right in my ballpark (5k-ish). The Mazda 3s look like they're like 8-9k for 100k mile cars!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
How long are you planning to keep the car? I would suggest if the duration is longer, then increase your budget and get a 8k-10k car. That would have lesser troubles and would be a easier sell. Depending on how soon you are looking to buy I'm sure you may come across a few 5k range cars. It will be easier to get a Corolla/Civic/Accord/Camry than any hatchbacks
Not very long actually. I'm looking for the equivalent of that RS.50k-60k maruti 800 we would buy in india just for the purpose of learning driving, and sell it after a year for RS.40k-50k .
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Old 26th November 2013, 17:43   #3472
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Not very long actually. I'm looking for the equivalent of that RS.50k-60k maruti 800 we would buy in india just for the purpose of learning driving, and sell it after a year for RS.40k-50k .
Rajushank - Do you really need to go for a beater car just for the driving part. I had been in a similar situation, my wife was a first time driver as well.. I had a avis long time rental for a month (Cost me about 260$) for a Mid Size.

If you enroll your wife in a driving school + a month behind the rental and a couple of long drives during the weekend, that should quite do it (My wife was as newbie as it gets and she was quite ok to drive/parallel park et all with in month)

You can take your call after a month whether you need to spend on a beater car or not.
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Old 26th November 2013, 18:21   #3473
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Dear American Desi Bros,

Advice needed:

My Bro is moving to NYC this January from Singapore( hence car-deprived). He'll stay for at least 2 years in NYC

We are planning to buy a New Car
Here is the wishlist ( a little kiddish but I don't think it can be fulfilled in India by us even when we get richer):

1. Convertible 2 door- compulsory
2. Fast and Flashy -compulsory
3. Brand New- compulsory
4. Iconic Model - highly desirable

What Comes from my limited knowledge:
1. Chevrolet Corvette ( USD65k): ticks all above, plus We won't really buy an american muscle (LHD,FE, no handling) ever again

2. Porsche Boxster( 60-70k): All above plus Porsche has always been a dream, only thing against it is that maybe someday we can afford a Porsche in India too

3. Mazda Miata/MX-5: Most Logical buy and a great car, but above are a little too delicious

4. Anything else: Don't know too much about cars out there.

5. Time is at premium, so cannot afford to spend it in maintenance.( stress free ownership)



1. We can afford up to 20 lakh INR Down payment ( lower would be better)
2. How are interest rates there?( He works for a Major Bank and is getting transferred, never had any loans in life.- if that helps). What would be an ideal DP and EMI Combo/ leasing options

3. Is parking really very expensive in Manhattan? Does it make sense to rather live in New Jersey if one one wants to keep a car?

Please pour in your suggestions in as much detail as you can ( I am not very sure of our budget also, please also tell what's affordable with annual income of ~140k USD). I have very limited knowledge of US and also need to manage the money quickly.

Thanks a Lot

Last edited by vikramvicky1984 : 26th November 2013 at 18:25.
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Old 26th November 2013, 20:13   #3474
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vikramvicky1984 View Post
1. Convertible 2 door- compulsory
2. Fast and Flashy -compulsory
3. Brand New- compulsory
4. Iconic Model - highly desirable

What Comes from my limited knowledge:
1. Chevrolet Corvette ( USD65k): ticks all above, plus We won't really buy an american muscle (LHD,FE, no handling) ever again

2. Porsche Boxster( 60-70k): All above plus Porsche has always been a dream, only thing against it is that maybe someday we can afford a Porsche in India too

3. Mazda Miata/MX-5: Most Logical buy and a great car, but above are a little too delicious

4. Anything else: Don't know too much about cars out there.

5. Time is at premium, so cannot afford to spend it in maintenance.( stress free ownership)
You might as well consider a pickup truck because you wont get those in India either Trust me i want one too!

But anyway, how about adding the iconic Shelby GT500 to the list as well? Keep in mind though that most of the convertibles in this part of the country spend their winters parked in a shed (some even climate controlled)

Your brother's credit history outside of US will have no bearing on his credit rating here. But being employed with a major bank, his employer should be able to cut him a sweet deal on a loan.

Happy hunting!
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Old 26th November 2013, 20:14   #3475
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vikramvicky1984 View Post

1. Convertible 2 door- compulsory
2. Fast and Flashy -compulsory
3. Brand New- compulsory
4. Iconic Model - highly desirable



1. We can afford up to 20 lakh INR Down payment ( lower would be better)
2. How are interest rates there?( He works for a Major Bank and is getting transferred, never had any loans in life.- if that helps). What would be an ideal DP and EMI Combo/ leasing options

3. Is parking really very expensive in Manhattan? Does it make sense to rather live in New Jersey if one one wants to keep a car?
You could also consider the Audi/BMW - A5 and 4 series entry level convertibles - all start at around 50k USD. Jaguar F Type convertible is also a really good option.

On your other questions, 20 lakhs INR (around 30k USD) is a good fat downpayment. However if he is totally new here, he is going to pay very high interest rates on loans. Is the major bank going to give him a low interest loan? Parking, fuel, tolls - everything is going to be relatively on the higher side in Manhattan. He may even give up driving daily sooner or later if he lives there. Regarding what 140k can let you afford in Manhattan, I would let some of the New York people comment.
Also, all weather usability maybe important, if you buy a soft top convertible, you can pretty much shut it off and lock it inside a garage for 3-4 months a year during peak winter. So I would think he needs to think about a convertible being his only car.

PS: the 2014 corvette is quite a brilliant car, don't brush it off as just an American muscle car. It is a muscle car with a lot of finesse.



Amitoj - Didn't realize you posted that answer one minute before I did

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 26th November 2013 at 20:35.
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Old 26th November 2013, 20:18   #3476
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vikramvicky1984 View Post
Dear American Desi Bros,

Advice needed:

My Bro is moving to NYC this January from Singapore( hence car-deprived). He'll stay for at least 2 years in NYC

We are planning to buy a New Car
Here is the wishlist ( a little kiddish but I don't think it can be fulfilled in India by us even when we get richer):

1. Convertible 2 door- compulsory
2. Fast and Flashy -compulsory
3. Brand New- compulsory
4. Iconic Model - highly desirable
I would recommend you a slightly used car because of the huge depreciation in US. I understand there is nothing like a new car but you will save $$$$$ on buying even a 5k mile car maybe 70% of the original price or even less. If you really want a flashy, fast, 2 door convertible and an iconic model go look at the Dodge Viper. Thats pure muscle and convertible too. If you want a 4 seater muscle look at the Shelby GT500. I am not really a fan of corvette because firstly it is not purely a convertible compared to other and second I dont really like how it looks. Its slower than the Viper ( Have personally scorched a lot of corvettes ) and Viper is a Legend. It has a V10 8.4 L engine and as its said no replacement for displacement. Turn it on and you come to life. Thats how it feels,

Last edited by Technocrat : 26th November 2013 at 21:21. Reason: Please quote selectively as a large quoted post causes inconvenience to our mobile readers. Thanks
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Old 26th November 2013, 20:49   #3477
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Before he buys a car in NYC, first look at parking, it costs a bomb, my uncle pays about $800 per month. Insurance might cost also, also, it might be more easier to use taxi's and subways. It might make more sense to hire an exotic when required.
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Old 26th November 2013, 21:27   #3478
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
60 mpg!! Can you please check under the hood if they sold you the hybrid? JK, of course its gasoline and the hybrid came this year only, IIRC.
Actually the built in Nav is pretty handy, no hanging wires & no chance of forgetting it at home too, but yes, Google has better map UI.
Though i faced some issues with Google maps especially when it came to Jughandle turn which are quite a few in NJ/ Google didnt show me the Jug Handle turns which the Honda Nav did.

The Real Time FE varies from 0-60 mpg

Also Honda did experiment with Hybrid in 7th Gen, that too with a V6 but it was not too successful.
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Old 26th November 2013, 22:25   #3479
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I am not really a fan of corvette because firstly it is not purely a convertible compared to other and second I dont really like how it looks. Its slower than the Viper ( Have personally scorched a lot of corvettes )
Ok, I'm confused here, Corvette Convertible is NOT a convertible? The hard top is not a true convertible but!!

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-2013corvetteconvertible.jpg

Would love to know what you 'scorched' the 'vettes with? It takes a real heavy hitter to take on a 'vette and usually costs double the money and three times the maintenance.

VikramVicky,

You want a true sports car, please give some serious consideration to the C7. It truly is a fantastic car with very few rivals and that include cars that costs many times more, German and Italian. I'm not sure the C7 convertibles are ready yet for the market, though. By the way, don't worry about anyone scorching anyone. Most drivers can barely scratch the capability of these cars without destroying either the car or themselves.
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Old 26th November 2013, 23:48   #3480
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Ok, I'm confused here, Corvette Convertible is NOT a convertible? The hard top is not a true convertible but!!

Attachment 1171610

Would love to know what you 'scorched' the 'vettes with? It takes a real heavy hitter to take on a 'vette and usually costs double the money and three times the maintenance.

VikramVicky,

You want a true sports car, please give some serious consideration to the C7. It truly is a fantastic car with very few rivals and that include cars that costs many times more, German and Italian. I'm not sure the C7 convertibles are ready yet for the market, though. By the way, don't worry about anyone scorching anyone. Most drivers can barely scratch the capability of these cars without destroying either the car or themselves.
Oh i didnt know they had this version too, the corvette I was used to was the one with only a part of the roof convertible.SRT Viper is actually faster than the corvette stingray and there is a huge difference in power and torque figures of both the cars. There is a difference of around 200bhp between the both. Unless the corvette is modded it is slower in 0-60 that the Viper. C7 is a great car too but Viper is a Bomb. I scorched the vette's with a Dodge Viper. And on the acceleration front scorching these 2 cars requires the scorcher be in a Lambo or a Ferrari or a similar car.
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