Free Advice for New Car Shoppers Today
For the last four months, I've been managing to get around without a car. The Kia Spectra that my grandparents bought for me as a college graduation gift nine years ago has finally started to give me trouble -- the expensive kind -- after practically no major mechanical issues all these years. The biggest problem is the transmission, which needs to be replaced. It doesn't make sense to spend $3,000 on an old car, and I'm not eager to pay a new car note every month, so I've decided to rely solely on public transportation in the short term.
I'll admit, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, although getting around on the weekends can be tough since the trains and buses don't run as frequently. In instances where I really do need my own set of (temporary) wheels, I'm registered for the ZipCar car-sharing program and can easily get them. While I'm not sure how long this no-car thing will last, I do know that I don't miss having to pay $45 to fill up at the pump every week-and-a-half, nor do I miss driving around for 30 minutes looking for street parking or having to use an expensive parking garage.
But when I am ready for a new car, I know these two things will happen: I'll check out what Kia has to offer first, as well as any other makes and models that can replicate the nine-year run I had with my Spectra without any big repair issues. I will also consult our handy Best New Car Values special report to see which models are the safest and will give me the most bang for my buck.
If you're already in the market for a new car, join Kiplinger's automotive columnist Jessica Anderson today at 2 p.m. ET as she answers your questions and discusses this year's Best New Car Values rankings -- from the best in class to the most fuel-efficient to the safest vehicles to drive. Submit your questions now, join us live or check out the transcript after the chat.