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Author Topic: So* I just Bought my First Car/Your First Car
Alcon
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Technically not the first I drove, but the first one I've bought and called mine. It's a 1992 Honda Civic with almost 300,000 miles on it (the engine only has 100,000 miles on it). I got it for $400. It's banged up alright, but it drives wonderfully. And that's all I care about. It's standard transmission (honestly, I don't think I'll ever buy a car that's not) and does better than the car I used to drive at home. I already love it and I've had it for all of about 4 hours.

But, errmm..., turns out there's a hell of a lot more to buying a car than just finding one you can afford and paying for it. I already knew about insurance, and had that mostly taken care of. Or I thought I did. But things are a bit complicated. I'm a student, living in New York. I'm originally from Indiana, which is where my license is from and where, I was planning, to have it insured (my mom would insure it, and I'd pay her back for it), and the car's title is from Kansas.

See now, in Indiana things aren't as complicated as they are in New York. There's none of this deal about inspections. In Kansas I'm guessing it's even less complicated, because as far as he knew all we had to do was exchange title for money.

Apparently in New York, I'm not even supposed to drive it at all until I register it. I'm supposed to register it before I buy it, and get temp plates. That was impossible, because I wasn't sure if I was gonna buy it until I'd had a chance to test drive it. And I could only get a ride down to Albany today to test drive it. I paid right up afterward, and drove it home... with out plates -- I couldn't just leave it there till Monday when the DMV opens, cause I'm not gonna get another chance to get down there. I lucked out that I didn't get pulled over and ticketed it turns out. But how else was I supposed to do it? I'm not supposed to use his plates. Sunday's the only day I could get down to Albany, and the DMV isn't open on Sunday's so I couldn't even register it as soon as I got back.

Anyway, now it's back here, sitting in the lot on campus. The college folks want me to register with them to be able to park it on campus. But they need plates and registration for that. Well, I need to drive it to get down to the DMV and get plates, and the earliest that can happen is tomorrow around noon. But before that can happen I need proof of insurance. Well... umm... ok, working on that. I may not be able to do it the way I'd planned (have my mom put it on hers -- with me as a driver, since it'll be cheaper, and then pay her back), in which case I have to go find my own insurance. Again with the, how am I supposed to do that with out using said car?

This is one of the biggest fracking catch-22's I've ever seen. I'm supposed to do all this stuff before I've even bought the car, but I didn't know whether or not I'd actually have it till the last minute -- and getting to the places where I could do this is damn near impossible in this town with out a car. I didn't know if the car would check out on the test drive or if he'd gotten a better offer, either.

The worst part is that technically I can't even just let it sit on campus until I work all this stuff out. They don't allow unregistered vehicles! I managed to convince the night shift to leave it be till I can talk to the day shift tomorrow. So I'm gonna have to go in tomorrow and convince them to let me leave it somewhere on campus until I work this stuff all out. Which, if I can't convince them, then I dunno what I'm gonna do.

{edit]: And so this thread isn't just me ranting about crappy bureaucracy, which while necessary sometimes is rather dull to read I imagine, what was everyone else's experience with buying their first car? What type of car was it? Any advice for first time car owners?

[ December 11, 2006, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: Alcon ]

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breyerchic04
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quote:
See now, in Indiana things aren't as complicated as they are in New York. There's none of this deal about inspections.
Is too if the car hasn't been insured for a certain ammount of time, or is bought with a title from another state.
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Alcon
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quote:
Is too if the car hasn't been insured for a certain ammount of time, or is bought with a title from another state.
Different kind of inspection. This is emissions inspections, as well as just plain old "road worthy" inspections.
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Uprooted
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Good luck with the red tape, Alcon, and congratulations on the new (old) car!

You can probably get insurance online, but I don't know if you can print off proof of insurance from online. Sorry, I'm not much help, I know. I've done some hair-pulling over similar bureaucratic Catch 22s myself.

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HollowEarth
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Having moved to New York about a 16 months ago, and did all of the fun stuff associated with becoming a resident of this state about 6 months ago. I can say that New York is positively hostile toward people moving here. They do nothing to make it easy, and then won't tell you everything that you need to know. No wonder the state is hemorrhaging people.
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Alcon
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*bump* So I want to hear about everyone else's first car buying experiences. Spill those stories.
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erosomniac
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My first car was a 1990 Infiniti M30 that ran beautifully right up until the alternator died 4 months later. The rest of the car was in horrendous condition and I was in no mood to fix it, so I sold it to a collector, not running, for twice what I paid for it, running. That was fun.

Congrats on your first car, by the way - IIRC, you're two years younger than I am, which makes you one year younger than I was when I bought my first one. [Smile]

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blacwolve
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Based on this post, I'm going to try to avoid having one.
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Stan the man
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My first car was a 1990 Dodge Dynasty, or as we called them "The Nasty." Just because they were worse/best cars the family had driven. You could beat the ever living crap out of them (and we did) and they still went on. Now, my old Chevy Truck (1964) is registered and plated (expired) in Virginia. Insurance is Nationwide (I personally know my agent from HS and church). Right now it is sitting in my grandfather's back yard in Michigan. I'm going to have a lot more to do as far as insurance and registering it in MI, and all by the time I am done with it. I'm basically going to need to retitle it since it will be a custom.

I hope your paperwork goes through ok. It's a grind, but sometimes you just have to do the dirty work.

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cmc
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My first car that was my own was Pinocchio... It had been my Parents' car (a 92 white sentra, standard, blue cloth interior, radio with its own mind - it'd change stations, volume, whatever when you least expected it... *tear*). I had moved into my Aunt + Uncle's house to help her look after her two (then three) kids during the day and continue with school at night. One morning I woke up to a jingling above my head... through bleary eyes I saw my Mom and Dad standing above me (they live about 1.5 hrs away from my A+U) grinning madly. Once I'd cleared the sleep from my eyes and looked at them like they were insane, they said 'Your car's out front'. No more sleepy Caitlin. Quickly jumped up, ran to the front windows, looked down, ran back to my room + practically tackled my Parents!!!

They had named it Pinocchio because 'it wasn't a real car'. It had been brought to me by the Blue Fairy but would not become a real car until he proved that he could drive at reasonable speeds, not carry too many passengers, carry seat belted passengers, etc... He and I spent MUCH time together for the next three and a half years on many very cool adventures...

Alas, one day there was 'no compression to the valves' and the cost to repair was more than the car was worth (according SOME people)... His final hoo-rah was all the neighborhood kids helping me push him up the hill into my Parentsí driveway. It was a sad, sad day... I still love that car. : )

edit: the car i drive now is the first car i bought... it's a 99 black honda accord automatic, leather interior (our garage guys picked him out at an auction for me) and oddly enough - still got a finicky radio (but yeah - i miss standard). his name is falcor (from the neverending story) and i love him! he's there when i need him, keeps me comfy on long trips, rides well on the short ones and is the only one who made my 800+ mile move with me back in may... just thought i'd throw that in since people were talking about cars they'd actually bought. ps - he's got a sunroof... quite possibly one of the coolest inventions in a car. i even open it in winter sometimes, i love it.

[ December 11, 2006, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: cmc ]

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Tide
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The first car I purchased(which I still drive) was a 1997 Toyota Camry in 2001. For the five years I've had it I managed to stay accident free, until about three months ago when I backed into a nice lady with two of her kids in tow. I ended up ripping off her front bumper with minimal damage to my rear fender. The experience was unpleasant but I thank God no one was hurt.
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Ecthalion
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My first car i bought for 300 dollars when i was 14. It was a blue '74 mustangII (glorified pinto) I drove it nowhere, spent 200 dollars fixing up little bits then got rid of it for 350... I sold it to a friend who tried to race somone with it and ended up throwing the second piston through the valve cover.... i dunno how he managed that.

My second car was an 83 firebird.... i got about 2 months out of it for 900 dollars. i realy liked it even though it was beat up, smelled funny, no ac or radio, and extreemly underpowered v-6 and all the other things that go with it.... I blew the main bearing and about a month later the engine siezed. I got 600 for it because somone wanted a F-body to drop a 350 into.

my 3rd car was a 91 Mazda protege 323. It was driven by my mom, then my Brother... who drove it for a whole month with only 1 quart of oil in it. It had 210k miles, bad ac, bad radiator and horrible seats. I got T-boned by a camaro and eventually it just got too bad to drive.

First vehicles are fun. Even if they suck, its quite a nice feeling when you can buy one yourself.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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Have your mom call her insurance agent. She will need the VIN number off the car. He can write a binder, and send you proof of insurance. A faxed copy might help right now, but, it will just take a day or so to send one. The policy can follow after you get the Kansas title changed to Indiana. The title will probably have to be in your mom's name to keep it on her insurance. (At least as a Co-owner)

My first car was a '53 Merc Sport Coupe. "It had been owned by a little old lady who owned a Urainium mine, and drove her jeep to work every day. The Merc was only driven on Sundays." It had a flathead V8 that just ran and ran. I drove it to High School for 2 years, and then to College for a year. Then My dad drove it for a couple of years, when I moved to Mexico. He used it like a pickup. He took of the trunk lid and hauled bags of cement and cinderblocks. After a couple of years I reclaimed it and got several more good years. After I retired it to a salvage yard, a civic club reclaimed it and fixed it up for a welfare mom. Several years later I saw it on the street, still running well. It probably had 200,000 miles on it at that point. And, it still looked good too. They just don't make them like they used to.

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GaalDornick
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My first car story.

I changed my maplight and the floorlights in my car to red LEDs so now when I get into my car at nighttime everything lights up neon red. [Big Grin] I know it's really corny, but I just wanted something to make my Grand Am different from all of the others. And it cost me $14 for all 3 LEDs since I changed the bulbs myself.

This thread makes me feel better about my car though. I have alot of very rich friends who drive an assortment of incredible cars, like a 330i, a G35, a Hummer, and a bunch of Lexus and Acuras. But I also had bought my own car and didn't have my parents pay for it so I like my car alot more than any of them. [Razz]

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pH
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My first car was an '89 Jag Vandenplas. And it was red. And I loved it so, so much. But everything went wrong on it, and it was too expensive to maintain. [Frown] It was an awesome car though. Especially on I-75...

Aside from the fact that every time you started it, the digital display (it had a digital spedometer too!) would read "!!!! BRAKE MALFUNCTION !!!!" Apparently there was no brake malfunction, but I don't know how I would've known if there was...

I miss that car.

-pH

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