Help me find a new(er) car.

Okay, here’s the deal. I have had my 1986 Honda Crx (148k miles) for more than 17 years. It is in fair condition and I love it, but I know it’s end is near – I probably won’t keep it beyond 20 years.

I am looking at getting a newer car but I have a list of must haves:

  1. Mechanically reliable (routine maintenance will give me 20 years/200k miles)
  2. Economical (I would like something in the 35+ mpg range)
  3. Pleasant to drive
  4. Safe (I’d have put this futher, but the SUV that hits me will kill me due to #2 anyway)

Thanks for your suggestions

If you know anything about cars, good for you. You’re ahead of the game. If you don’t, bring someone with who does (that would be my husband, in my case). Here’s what we did:

List the “must haves”
List the “extras”
Write down the absolute most you want to pay
Your name and phone number

Tell the salesman that this is what you’re interested in. Nothing else. Tell him not to show you anything that doesn’t fit these criteria. If he doesn’t have what you want, tell him to call you if it comes in. And not before.

Give this list to each dealer you approach. We had a call in two days from the last guy we bought from. “Little Red” is the best used vehicle I’ve ever owned, and we got exactly what we wanted for exactly what we were willing to pay. Try it. It works!