I currently drive a 2005 MINI Cooper S convertible. I’ve been swapping winter/summer tires for the past few years but I was thinking that this year I might get a beater car for the harsher weather months. The combination of FWD and wear and tear on the fabric roof are my main reasons for these considerations.
I live in NJ, so most of my driving is on the highway but as part of my job as a systems admin in a datacenter, I’m occasionally called into work at times when even the highways haven’t been plowed.
Do you think it’s possible to find a cheap (around $1000), preferably AWD car that would work well for winters in the northeast? Craigslist searches so far have turned up a handful of Subarus, Volvos, and Audis Quattro.
A Former Resident Of The Garden State Says…
Yes! You can buy an AWD car in New Jersey for $1000!
Of course the car would have to be stolen or misappropriated from a government agency. Maybe both.
Then there is always the slim chance to do one of those low down payment deals and ‘negotiate’ your way through the winter months.
Something tells me that neither one of these possibilities will come true for you. Then again, I have no idea who you work for so feel free to ponder them if you like.
My real advice is two-fold…
1) Buy some top of the line protectant. TTAC isn’t in the official endorsement business. But start with this.
2) Most anything you buy these days for $1000 will require a lot of immediate maintenance… and may very well be at death’s door.
If you want to lose your savings, keep being stingy.
If you want to keep your car for the long haul, invest in it. Snow tires, protectant, and a couple of good cleanings throughout the year will yield far greater dividends than a broken down jalopy that spews oil and sucks your savings.
You can also rent if you like. Enterprise and a few other rental car companies will pick you up. Make sure you have plenty of coupons and a friendly relationship with the counter person. Good luck!