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Used car for 3 months (under $3000)

sp_1994sp_1994 Posts: 7
edited December 2015 in General
I'm in need of a car for about three months in Atlanta, GA area. Are long-term rentals a better option or is buying a used car and drive for 3 months better?

I'm wondering what are some good models of used car in the price range. How hard is it to get rid of the car at the end of the three months?

Does it matter if I'm not a resident of GA state? And since I don't own a car or insurance right now, how much would insurance roughly cost for 3 months?

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Personally, I would go for rentals as you need them and things like Uber or public transportation when you don't.

    Most $3000 used cars are questionable at best. You *might* score a large, older American sedan from an elderly couple, and that could work out for you, but any Japanese or German car for $3000 is more likely to be a costly headache. If you figure $3,000 to buy, + $300 for tax and registration + at least $400 for 3 months insurance (if not more), you're at $3700 with no repairs. Let's throw in another $500 for needed repairs (if you're lucky), and we are at $4200. Let's say you sell it for a "need to leave town" price of $2200.

    So it has cost you $2000 for 3 months, which is probably close to the 3 months rental, and a lot more stressful and in a dumpy old car.

    On the other hand, a rental company will sell you liability insurance but that's about $12 a day. So that may end up costing more than $2000.

    You need to call up the car rental places (and even a "rent a wreck") and figure this out more precisely.

    There's no clear answer here but if you can get a car rental and insurance for about $2000--$2200, I think that's the best bet.

    Remember, if this $3000 car dies on you, you've lost everything anyway.

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,953
    Normally I would say rent. Since you will be in Atlanta, you may want to get in touch with Steve Lang who writes for The Truth About Cars. He is near there and runs a buy here pay here lot and may be willing to offer you some sort of unconventional financing deal to allow you to use a car for a few months. 
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,088
    I would be real leery of buying for 3 months. Not being able to register it in state makes even more difficult.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    Enterprise are known to give deals on a monthly rental basis.
  • corvette said:

    Normally I would say rent. Since you will be in Atlanta, you may want to get in touch with Steve Lang who writes for The Truth About Cars. He is near there and runs a buy here pay here lot and may be willing to offer you some sort of unconventional financing deal to allow you to use a car for a few months. 

    Thanks!! Do you know I could reach Steve Lang? I only found one post on the website from 3 years ago and just commented on that.
  • The cheapest rental I found is from Hertz, $3008 (with a university discount program) for a little over three months. Enterprise totals up to $4255 since I'm under 25.

    Should I go with the Hertz and pay $3008 plus three months insurance? Or is buying a used car a better option compared to this price? Thanks!
  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    edited December 2015
    sp_1994 said:

    The cheapest rental I found is from Hertz, $3008 (with a university discount program) for a little over three months. Enterprise totals up to $4255 since I'm under 25.

    Should I go with the Hertz and pay $3008 plus three months insurance? Or is buying a used car a better option compared to this price? Thanks!

    Depends what are you going to do with the used car after you finish your term in Georgia. If you are going to keep it then buy a used car from Carmax .
    Try Fox car rentals. They are cheaper sometimes.
  • I'll leave the area after three months, so I'll need to sell/get rid of the used car.
    (Unfortunately Fox car rentals does not serve GA area)
  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    edited December 2015
    sp_1994 said:

    I'll leave the area after three months, so I'll need to sell/get rid of the used car.
    (Unfortunately Fox car rentals does not serve GA area)

    You won't find a buyer in that short period so you will have to just donate to salvation army or a salvage yard
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hertz is generally pretty expensive. How 'bout Enterprise or Budget or some "rent a wreck" organization?

    Is there a Zipcar in Atlanta? Maybe you don't need a car 24/7 anyway.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 134,351
    sp_1994 said:

    The cheapest rental I found is from Hertz, $3008 (with a university discount program) for a little over three months. Enterprise totals up to $4255 since I'm under 25.

    Should I go with the Hertz and pay $3008 plus three months insurance? Or is buying a used car a better option compared to this price? Thanks!

    Under 25? You are going to have trouble renting.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,088
    OK, so you are in some kind of college term, and live elsewhere. I think buying will be a bigger issue since you have to register it. So my first inclination is to get something where you live and have a license. Ideally a family arrangement of some sort, but possible buy it there and keep it after? Or sell it?

    Seems like a convoluted situation. Uber and ZipCar if you don't need it daily could be the cheapest option of all.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2015
    Enterprise rented to someone here when I was checking out and they were under 25. They had to pay cash though and I think there was a $300 security deposit.

    @sp_1994, some dealers rent cars and some may be okay with a long-term rental, perhaps something they have on the used lot that's not moving. Maybe not in Atlanta though. Be worth making a few calls if you run out of leads.
  • I have a college discount with Hertz that gives me a lower price, about $2800 for three months.
    Does anyone know how insurance works? Their insurance is $8 a day and adds up to a lot for three months. I don't have car insurance, and heard insurance companies won't insure rental cars?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2015
    "Anytime you're driving, the law requires that you be covered by auto insurance. It doesn't matter whose car you are driving. Your own, a friend's or even a rental.

    And a rental company typically doesn't include insurance with their rate. Usually, it's an option you can add because they assume you already have your own insurance policy. Some companies do include insurance with the price of renting one of their cars, so be sure to ask or read the fine print." (Allstate)

    Insurance isn't cheap period. I'm in an inexpensive area for car insurance and I'm still paying about $2.20 a day for insuring my one older vehicle.

    3 Ways to Avoid Costly Rental Car Insurance (credit.com)
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,088
    Zip car must include insurance since that is geared toward people that don't own cars.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    edited December 2015
    Better buy a 2 -wheeler like a sccooter or a motor cycle or live close to the college to minimize the commute
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,953
    edited December 2015
    Steve Lang's contact info can be found in this article:
    http://bestride.com/blog/steven-lang-wants-to-help-you-get-started-as-a-car-dealer/11299/

    And his kinja account:
    https://kinja.com/StevenLang

    I've read many of his articles and he seems to be a straight shooter.
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