Buying a used car for LA

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azumagaoka
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Buying a used car for LA

Post by azumagaoka » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:32 pm

Hey all,

I am moving to LA with my fiancee (so just 2 ppl) to Los Angeles for a new job this summer.
We do not own a car now but will get a used car so I can commute (most likely from Pasadena/Alhambra to USC) and drive around on weekends, etc.
Now, some friends who lived there suggest that SUVs would be better + safer because of all the highways -- is this true? :confused

We wanted to get a low-profile, cheap vehicle around 12-3k. If what my friends said is true, then I will probably get a used CR-V/RAV-4/CX-5, but I am very interested in know what people here think!

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bogleblitz
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by bogleblitz » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:35 pm

No need for SUV. any used car is fine. be prepare for alot of traffic.

mega317
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by mega317 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:37 pm

"All the highways" is actually not a great way to describe LA. You will be on highways from Pasadena to USC but for some destinations there are surprisingly few options. No freeway near Hollywood Blvd/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills for example.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:43 pm

Maybe they're thinking of something big for protection against the other drivers. According to this Los Angeles has the most aggressive drivers in the nation.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ca ... 137818002/
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:44 pm

Just get something that is reliable and gets good gas mileage.

Or better yet, live on a Metro line so that you don’t have to commute by car.

mega317
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by mega317 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:30 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:44 pm
Or better yet, live on a Metro line so that you don’t have to commute by car.
You can do it from Pasadena but I think it will take 2 transfers, could easily add an hour each way. There are other places reasonable to live that would be 1 or 0 transfers. But you still truly need a car if you're going to get places outside of your commute.

crystalbank
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by crystalbank » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:04 pm

Just get a Prius and be done with it. No need to waste money on 'SUV's for perceived safety.

ssquared87
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:05 pm

Yes there are a ton of highways but most of the time you will not be traveling at highway speeds. A Civic or something like that would be best as it gets much better fuel mileage. The Prius is hugely popular around here too but personally I think it has a garbage interior and terrible styling. I think a civic is a nice trade off between comfort and economy.

Also, why live in Pasadena? If you live to the west of USC instead of to the East, your commute will take much less time because you’d be driving opposite traffic. for example, Pasadena to downtown LA is 11 miles and takes around 1 hour in the morning. Santa Monica is 18 miles west of downtown and takes roughly 40 minutes to get downtown in the morning. Your best bet is to live basically anywhere to the west of USC so you can take 10 East in the AM and 10 west in the evening.

Pasadena is probably my favorite part of LA, but the added time spent in traffic sitting in a car doing nothing is not worth it for me, I’d much rather minimize my commute.

boglerdude
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by boglerdude » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:23 am

USC has shuttles to both campuses that pick up at Union Station. Opens up living along rail or near Union Station (~Chinatown).
https://transnet.usc.edu/index.php/bus-map-schedules/

If schools for kids arent an issue, and you dont walk around a lot late at night, living within walking/biking distance to either campus is an option

As far as the car, tall vehicles roll more easily. Get a newish car w/airbags. Rolling sounds "not so bad" but losing control is how you fall off embankments or get hit by other cars

randomguy
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by randomguy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:54 am

boglerdude wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:23 am

As far as the car, tall vehicles roll more easily. Get a newish car w/airbags. Rolling sounds "not so bad" but losing control is how you fall off embankments or get hit by other cars
Rollover risk is pretty minimal in modern SUVs. It isn't the 00s. CUVs like the RAV4 are safer than the cara they are based on but it isn't a huge amount. Safety is mainly about avoiding subcompacts and smaller(kio Rio, check sonic,...).

ohai
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by ohai » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:14 am

This survey might be outdated, but it showed that the safest SUVs, minivans, and midsize cars are roughly the same for the drivers of those cars, with minivans being the best by a little bit. There is a high dispersion among vehicles in the same class, and this suggests that your choice of model has a more significant effect on safety than vehicle class. In fact, the safest compact and subcompact cars are far safer than an average vehicle in a larger size class.

However, drivers of large vehicles, like SUVs, trucks, and minivans, are far more likely to kill another driver in accidents.

http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2002 ... afer-cars/

mmmodem
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by mmmodem » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:45 am

Yes, SUV and CUV are safer than compact cars. It's just physics. The SUV is larger and heavier. However, let's define how safe. The average death rate per million registered vehicles is 100 for a compact sedan. Assume the SUV you wish to purchase is twice as safe at only 50 deaths. That's great right? Well if you look at in percentages you're paying more an SUV for 0.005% additional safety over a compact car. You can determine if the added cost is worth this additional safety.

I'd avoid popular vehicles like Camrys, Accords or Civics. They are thief magnets. If you want low profile, a Prius will go unnoticed in LA. The hatchback form factor allows you to carry as much or more than some CUVs. Fuel prices are very high in CA so it will make a huge difference getting 50 mpg. I lived in Alhambra while going to school in LA. I drove a Corolla. The streets and highways were more narrow than what I was used in northern CA. I appreciated my smaller vehicle being able to fit in tight parking spaces.

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wander
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by wander » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:50 am

Get a hybrid so you can take advantage of the HOV lane. Besides, it helps a lot with gas is around over $4 per gallon (regular)

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5th_Dimension
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by 5th_Dimension » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:52 am

wander wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:50 am
Get a hybrid so you can take advantage of the HOV lane. Besides, it helps a lot with gas is around over $4 per gallon (regular)
Only specific cars qualify for using the HOV lanes with a single passenger. Make sure you check first.
"My idea of rich is ordering the most expensive thing at Denny's"

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:57 pm

azumagaoka wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:32 pm
Hey all,

I am moving to LA with my fiancee (so just 2 ppl) to Los Angeles for a new job this summer.
We do not own a car now but will get a used car so I can commute (most likely from Pasadena/Alhambra to USC) and drive around on weekends, etc.
Now, some friends who lived there suggest that SUVs would be better + safer because of all the highways -- is this true? :confused

We wanted to get a low-profile, cheap vehicle around 12-3k. If what my friends said is true, then I will probably get a used CR-V/RAV-4/CX-5, but I am very interested in know what people here think!
In LA, the only way I will travel is by motorcycle!!

2015
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by 2015 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 pm

Congratulations OP. You are moving to a second tier world class city. You will be meet and be exposed to some the brightest minds out there. It's extremely hard living in Los Angeles, but living there presents opportunity you will find in few other places, particularly in the accumulation stage.

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:59 pm

wander wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:50 am
Get a hybrid so you can take advantage of the HOV lane. Besides, it helps a lot with gas is around over $4 per gallon (regular)
Hybrids haven’t qualified for the HOV lanes for years. I’d still get one, though, because of the gas mileage thing.

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wander
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by wander » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:48 pm

5th_Dimension wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:52 am
wander wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:50 am
Get a hybrid so you can take advantage of the HOV lane. Besides, it helps a lot with gas is around over $4 per gallon (regular)
Only specific cars qualify for using the HOV lanes with a single passenger. Make sure you check first.
Of course, the Op must check the list first. But it is worth it if your car is qualified for carpool sticker.

Teague
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by Teague » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:05 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:43 pm
Maybe they're thinking of something big for protection against the other drivers. According to this Los Angeles has the most aggressive drivers in the nation.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ca ... 137818002/
The article is bunk, but the survey cited in that article may well be correct. Los Angeles drivers are aggressive, or maybe assertive is a better word. I grew up there and learned to drive there.

But the thing is, everywhere else I've lived the drivers were worse. Less aggressive, certainly, but far less skilled on average. More dangerous due to unpredictability and poor situational awareness. L.A. drivers are assertive, but overall, more attuned to their driving and better skilled compared to any other place I've lived. My wife is terrified to drive in L.A. I enjoying going back there as a refresher course to sharpen my skills.

You don't need a particular type of car - that's just silly. And your skills will be in fine shape after a few days. Don't worry, L.A. drivers are generally good at avoiding others when necessary, so you stand little chance of an accident I think. But they may avoid you by whizzing around you at surprising speed. You may be startled, but don't worry, it's perfectly normal.
Semper Augustus

dustinst22
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by dustinst22 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:35 pm

I live in socal. An SUV will give you more protection in an accident, I prefer driving one for that reason. The amount of accidents in the area you're moving to is insane. LA drivers are horribly aggressive and accidents are highly frequent. Rear end accidents are extremely common, thats why insurance rates are so high in socal. We were rear ended just a couple weeks ago on the freeway -- fortunately driving a very safe vehicle (BMW X1). My wife had a smaller car driving in socal, and it always made me nervous. Recently upgraded to a Rav4. As far as the statement that "LA drivers are good drivers". This is a really bad broad statement, LA is full of people from every corner of the globe. There are all kinds of drivers here and some are the worst I've ever seen, the problem is the volume of drivers and aggression. We've now relocated to somewhere where we rarely have to drive thank God. I'd never drive a smaller car here if I had the means to purchase a bigger vehicle. Death statistics by vehicle size published on IIHS is convincing enough.

quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:50 pm

According to this website, the cities in Southern California are generally in the safest 1/3 of cities nationally. Mostly in the safest 20%. In fact, wherever you’re moving from probably has more dangerous roads.

But that ruins the idea that the Southern California freeways are dangerous.

dustinst22
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by dustinst22 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:54 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:50 pm
According to this website, the cities in Southern California are generally in the safest 1/3 of cities nationally. Mostly in the safest 20%. In fact, wherever you’re moving from probably has more dangerous roads.

But that ruins the idea that the Southern California freeways are dangerous.
Funny thing about the interwebs, you can always find an article to fit your opinion.

https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/amer ... one-cities

And there's this #1 city for car accident deaths:

https://247wallst.com/special-report/20 ... rashes/12/

mega317
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by mega317 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:25 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:54 pm
Funny thing about the interwebs, you can always find an article to fit your opinion.

https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/amer ... one-cities
QuoteWizard analyzed self-reported driving infractions data from our site users, which includes accidents.
What if a disproportionate number of crazies in LA uses QuoteWizard, or its users less honest than people in the cities ranked higher?
And there's this #1 city for car accident deaths:

https://247wallst.com/special-report/20 ... rashes/12/
These look to just be raw numbers. Not particularly illustrative of anything except total population.

I will agree with your first sentence for sure.

macarose
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by macarose » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:09 pm


quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:22 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:54 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:50 pm
According to this website, the cities in Southern California are generally in the safest 1/3 of cities nationally. Mostly in the safest 20%. In fact, wherever you’re moving from probably has more dangerous roads.

But that ruins the idea that the Southern California freeways are dangerous.
Funny thing about the interwebs, you can always find an article to fit your opinion.

https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/amer ... one-cities

And there's this #1 city for car accident deaths:

https://247wallst.com/special-report/20 ... rashes/12/
So your second link seems to be using raw numbers. If you divide by he population to get per capita death rates, LA is actually the best one in the article.

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whodidntante
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Re: Buying a used car for LA

Post by whodidntante » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:01 pm

90's Lincoln Town Car, money gray, with cloudy headlights and at least one mismatched body panel.

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