Car question

Old 10-28-07, 02:29 PM
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Car question

College student asking for advice here...

There's this car I'm seriously thinking of buying. Pics:

It is a 94' Nissan Sentra ES-R two door, manual trans.
There is no airbag because the owner hit a deer. Not a lot of rust, just that one spot. Tires are all good

I can get the car for $575. Assuming the engine and transmission work fine, is it worth it and how much would a new airbag cost?

Also, if I get it I want to insure it at my home town. Is there a temporary permit or something I can get so I can drive it home?
Old 10-28-07, 03:29 PM
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Hit a deer where, in some parts of the country they can be almost as big as a moose. Which means major damage, not just the air bag. And an air bag can cost considerable. They usually break the windshield, which I assume has been fixed, can bend the uper roof line, etc. Damage from and airbag deployment can run over $1000. Be very, very careful, have the car checked by someone that understands such things. You could get a cheap useless car.
Old 10-28-07, 04:38 PM
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Stay away. If he's selling it without the air bags fixed, something's wrong. The steering column is damaged, Crash sensors or module need replaced, & some cars have retractors in the seatbelts. I'm betting all these need fixed before you can get a "Safety Check" to register this for the road. Be VERRY careful!!!!! Roger
Old 10-28-07, 04:48 PM
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It is Ok for a beater The rust is what would bother me Nissans do not have a frame but a unibody. Seeing it is from NY you can assume the rest of the car will soon be a rust pile. Once you rust out things like the strut towers and parts that the suspension hook up to you will have a undrivable heap of rust.
Airbags can be very costly 400 and up. Not sure about the insurance issue.
I myself will not buy a used car from up North but thats me.
But if you just want a car to go to school and are tight on money like many of us are and dont plan on keeping it for more then a couple of years go for it.
Just be warned that rust never sleeps and is like a cancer and only grows.
Old 10-28-07, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by msidan View Post
... manual trans.
Besides what the others have said here so far, I hope you are good at shifting and eating and text messaging on a cell phone at the same time. I wouldn't want a manual unless it were in a hot rod.
Old 10-29-07, 08:09 AM
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Wow... Thanks for all the response.

Is an airbag necessary to pass inspection in New York state? This car is on the road right now and has an inspection sticker for October 2007 (does that mean it was inspected last year?)
Old 10-29-07, 02:39 PM
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No one has addressed the insurance question yet. I'm not familiar with NY law, but no, there cannot be a "temporary permit" as you describe.

What you need to do beforehand (like now) is buy a what's called a non-owner insurance policy. Any nationwide carrier should offer this. It offers liability only protection on any vehicle you drive which you do NOT own nor have regular access to. And I _believe_ this should also cover any vehicle you do buy for a certain number of days after purchase. Check with them. And to be safe all you need to do is call them up right after you buy it (before you drive it) and have them add the car, converting the policy to an owner policy.

You mentioned wanting to insure it "in your home town". Well you can set the garaging zip code to whatever you want; your actual home address seems reasonable. But I'll take your comment to instead mean that you want to deal with a company located your home town.

For starters, keep in mind this non-owner policy can just be temporary. Nothing says you have to stay with them for longer than 30 days so don't be picky at this stage.

But I'm not sure a mom-and-pop insurance shop in your town is what you want in your situation. (College student, varied addresses, unreliable car which you may not have around in 2 months, possibly tight budget.) If you were middle aged and had cars you were going to hang on to for 3-5 years it might be different. But I will never deal with such brick-and-mortar small places again. I use an online nationwide carrier (Progressive) for the following reasons:

- You can make as many policy changes as you want (even daily!) without having to take the time to get someone on the phone and deal with their questions as to "why are you doing this"?

For example I have three cars, two of which I almost never drive because I basically just collect them. Having insurance on these three cars would be more than I'm willing to pay for this purpose. So what I can do is right before I drive one I just switch the policy over to the car I'm going to drive. You could do the same with garaging addresses if the college's zip is cheaper than home. Also, if I'm going to let my girlfriend (who is horrible on a manual transmission) drive my 944 I'll add full coverage just for that day. Same thing when I rent a car, and in that case I lower the deductible to $100 just for the few days I have the rental.

I know when I was in college things were pretty variable. Try any of these things with a person on the phone at a small agency who knows you and you'll be politely asked to stop in short order.

- You can print your proof of insurance immediately. This might be the most important reason in your case, so you can have it right before you go pick up the car. If I had to walk into a place or wait for mail each time I needed additional ID cards I'd go nuts.

- No one's going to hassle you if for some reason you can't pay the bill one month and have a short policy lapse. All you have to do is reinstate the policy online. Again, try that with a small agency a few times and they'll likely tell you to take your business elsewhere.

- 24/7 customer support, if you need it. What if you go pick up this car at 8pm on a Sunday night? Are you going to be able to get someone on the phone right then to add the car while you're standing in his driveway waiting to drive it home? Doubt it, if you're dealing with someone based in your home town.

Just some things to think about. Many may or may not apply to your situation.
Old 10-30-07, 07:56 AM
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I still need to know if the car needs an airbag in NY to pass inspection. And if the Oct. 2007 inspection sticker is last years. If so, then that means this guy is selling the car because it needs to be inspected and he knows it won't pass.

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