Budget tips: Miles per gallon or “smiles” per gallon?


You’re looking for a new car to buy, but what do you get? Sure, anyone can tell you what car is in your budget, but which car really is worth it?

If you’re the type of person who prefers to have a brand new car, then the answer is simple, get the new car from the “stealership,” and have the same car as three hundred thousand other people. What if you’re not looking for something everyone has? What if you want something different? Something that describes you way more than a Volkswagen Jetta; something that you can work on and customize.

If you want that sort of customization without going absolutely bankruptt, you’re going to have to go to the used car market. It may seem like a drag and a little sketchy, but the absolute bargain of the century can be just a couple of clicks away.

If you have a budget of $25,000 you can get yourself a Scion FRS with 200 horsepower and around 200 lb/ft of torque, but why spend $25,000 on a brand new 200hp car that will cost way more to modify when you can easily find an older car with more power, like an e39 M5 which has leather seats, four doors, and 400hp.

Let’s say you want to go all out and really build your own car to the tee of what you consider perfection, you can still stay within your budget and make an absolute monster. If you get an older 1993-1997 Nissan 240sx rolling body, you can still have up to $23,000 to make the rolling shell get back into safe conditions, get the interior caged up to be as safe as possible, and have $16,000 to spend on engine ($9,000 for up to 500hp), suspension ($2,000), and tires and wheels ($5,000).

For someone looking for a car that will make them smile, a used car can be exactly the ticket.

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