Buying a train station car

Hi,

I my wife and I currently carpool to a suburban Melbourne train station and leave the car there fore 10-12 hours every day. We are currently driving an older 'attractive' car that keeps getting broken into has some annoying mechanical problems so we are looking to replace it.

We only drive 7km each way on small streets, so we don't need a high quality car. We just want something that is cheap, unattractive for break-ins, uses minimal fuel, and will last for at least 3 years with no maintenance with only light driving. We have a nicer car that we use for longer drives, and this is only for driving at the station and some other short trips.

My plan is to buy a 10+ year old small Kia (or similar) with ~150,000km for $3,000, but my wife is skeptical. We can afford more, but I don't want to invest much into a car that sits out in the elements all day. Does anyone else have advice on this situation?

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Good idea. I do the same with a 2000 ford laser… I've wanted to upgrade my car for ages but no use getting a nice one to sit in the sun the whole day at a station. It's got a few dings in it already so I don't really care if it gets dinged more when people open their doors in those narrow spaces. Mine's also been broken in (quarter panel window smashed) once while parked beside an oval - would be thief saw my phone holder and thought there might have been a GPS hiding in the glove compartment.

    Just get something that's reliable and cheap to service. Fuel economy won't matter because you're doing such short trips. I lose track of how often I fill up - maybe every 2-3 weeks?

    Not sure if you are in the same situation but I do make some trips very occasionally though - like if I need to visit a client that's out of the CBD. So try get something can at least tolerate driving in for half an hour or more on the odd occasion - e.g. working air con, cd player.

    My consolation is that on weekends we use my wife's car which is much nicer.

  • +2 votes

    An Astra 01-02 with low kms will cost you around 4K. I drive one to the station everyday (huntingdale), even though it is not "attractive" and stays there for 10-12hrs, it was still broken-in recently. Junkies don't know the difference between attractive and not.

    •  

      Which part of Huntingdale? The main car park or the tip/shamozzle of a carpark around the corner?

    • +6 votes

      My 2006 suzuki swift got broken in in January at Parkdale station.Its an ok car but its lavender in colour and has 2 baby seats at the back.I left the glove box open.I think there was some tissues and maybe a dummy in it. Couple of toys/dog-eared story books at the back .
      When we came back at the end of the day, the back window was smashed and we found 2 used condoms on the front passenger seat.Yes 2 used condoms!!! How do you have an orgy in a suzuki swift? Nothing was stolen.
      But because of all the broken glass on the baby seats , my 2 3-yr olds and I had to walk the 1.8 kms back home.My kids are real troopers but still …

    • +1 vote

      My mazda 626 was also got stolen by junkies (boy,that was so attractive!)from huntingdale station parking.later police found it left in loading zone outside of Alfred hospital.

  • +9 votes

    Try to make your car unattractive. Empty everything out of the car, leave the glove box open and empty. You don't want thieves taking a chance on anything. They need to look inside your car and see there is nothing there to take. Also means cleaning your windows so you don't have any residue from a phone/gps mount.

  • +4 votes

    Offer to buy Bargainoz 1997 Magna sedan that he can't fit his new 40" TV into ( See forum ) Don't think anyone will go anywhere near that!!

  • +3 votes

    Ever consider a bicycle or a moped or does it have to be a car?

    The way i see it, bicycle is cheaper and doesn't really take have much cost for upkeep. Mopeds are very fuel efficient and maintenance shouldn't be too much since its for short trips…

    Only issue i see is that you carpool so that means either two bicycle or your wife might not like being on a moped (oh and you need a license for that).

  •  

    This may sound retarded, but if u leave ur windows down none will ever get broken, they check the glove box, and nothing will be lost.

    It'll just suck if someone decides to take a nap in ur car.

    • +9 votes

      I don't know if it's the same in VIC, but in QLD that would earn you a hefty fine - car must be locked and secured.

    •  

      It'll just suck if someone decides to take a nap in ur car.

      Or worse!

  •  

    Thanks a lot guys… didn't know old Fords/Holdens were $1-2K cheaper than a comparable Kia.

    My car's an old turbo Skyline. It's definitely overkill for a station car and has maybe $8-10K resale value, but I probably need to spend $2K in order to get a road worthy and sell it. Thieves already took the stereo and turbo gauge and then once they stole it to go joyriding. I keep a club on the wheel, but they still damaged the driver side keyhole trying to break in. I started parking at a different station with lots of cameras and havn't had a problem in 4 months.

    I know that train station break-ins are a problem with any car, but my car also has a bad suspension and is killer on speed bumps which is my other motivation for getting a new one.

    •  

      My car's an old turbo Skyline.

      Ouch. No wonder lol. My local train station has a huge multilevel car park, and it's known for car break ins. It's also known for number plate thefts. Sucks about yours being stolen for a joyride on one occasion. Good thing you got it back in one piece.

      •  

        to make it harder to steal your number-plates use Phillips head screws add then drill the head out just far enough to stop a screwdriver being used to remove them.Thieves will probably go to next easiest car.
        Remove ashtray and place on dash as lots of people use them for spare change(my car was broken into and all that was taken was ash tray with nearly $60 in gold coins)

    • +2 votes

      If you need skyline parts, I have wrecked quite a few and would be happy to help you out :)

  •  

    My view after recently doing my homework.
    ~ The sum of CTP, Comprehensive, full tank of gas, Tax and Car Registration nowadays cost over $1,600. If your budget is $3,000, more likely to be $4,600 drive away.
    ~ My preference is a wholesale used car dealer. Fixed price, better value, 3 months warranty.
    ~ Check car valuation in carsales.com to double check the price. if price can be on the lower end of trade in price with less kms, not expensive.
    ~ If in doubt and not a mechanic including myself, well worth to pay around $120 for a pre sale inspection to identify any issue (in private sale). Dealer has warranty.
    ~ Car is now generally cheaper than what it used to be. So it may surprise you with choices.

    •  

      No need for comprehensive insurance, 3rd party only.

      I used to leave my old car when I had comprehensive ins in a car park everyday for a few years w' the window open if no rain hoping someone would steal it. Never did.

    • +2 votes

      No CTP to pay if your in Victoria =) it's included in our registration. Soo $700 for registration plus about $200 for third party property insurance =)

    •  

      great advice — most people wouldn't think to look beyond the (carsales.com.au \ tradingpost.com.au \ visit to local caryards); wholesalers and auctions can save you massive money, provided you make the precautionary inspection.

  • +5 votes

    Corolla /end thread.

    Or more thoroughly: I wouldn't buy a ten yo Korean or European car. I don't think their reliability is there. Might consider a Hyundai, they certainly picked up their game in the last few years. Get the smallest Toyota, Honda, Mazda (Japanese) you can find for your budget.

    Sell your skyline without roadworthy. They are popular with petrol heads so provided you are up front you should be able to sell it no worries.

  • +1 vote

    Can you park a little bit away from the station in a spot less prone to break ins?
    This has been a very useful technique for me.
    Thieves aim for train stations because it means people are generally going to be away for a long time. If you park somewhere else it may be less likely a thief tries your car.

  • +1 vote

    Old car and no maintenance for 3 years.. Thats a lot to ask, it might just break down before it reaches 3 years.

    Regardless of distance, car needs to be serviced every 6 months. The less you drive, the faster things break down.

  • -2 votes

    Get an EL Falcon, cheap on maintenance and parts. Basically everything is cheap except petrol.

    • +1 vote

      70km total per week (7km each way) - I really wouldnt put too much thought into the 'most economical' car for this one.

  •  

    Get an old Lancer. I bought a 94 model last year for $400 with 200K under it. Some dings, peeling clearcoat etc.
    A quick DIY service (oil/filter, platinum plugs and air filter) she runs great.

    But my advice: get something fuel injected like the 1.8l. My 1.5 is basically a carby version of the 96+ Mirage engine and the carby makes it hard to get the idle right.

    Better yet, get a 98-00 Mirage in appliance white rolling stock 13" steelies. Practically invisible.

  • +8 votes

    Get a bicycle…$100 or so from KMart…7km…15mins to ride…might even be able to take shortcuts.

  • +13 votes

    when i read "Buying a train station car" i initially thought it was how to buy an actual train carriage to use as a car! talk about bait and switch….i want my 20 seconds back! lol

  • +19 votes

    I thought this was a thread about buying a train. I am dissapoint.

  •  

    What about goget

  •  

    little tin on it keep not a thing in the car any one would want to steal. think car as glass show case everythink you leave in it see or look at by people who want to steal it. has work for me for years.

  • +4 votes

    if you can't ride a bike\moped, then a ute is easily the cheapest and most unappealing vehicle to thieves — as a bonus, they can be very handy for moving house\equipment\hardware shopping…

  •  

    Do keep in mind you will still be paying rego & insurance and service costs each year
    Might be worth checking some ex-demo cars

  • +3 votes

    For 7kms do try a bike. Once you get in the routine it's great, plus you burn 100 extra cals a day, good for that extra muffin or coffee (which you won't need anymore as the ride wakes you up).

    It's an excellent way to get your 30mins of exercise a day.

  •  

    The 95-2000 Ford Festiva's are a cheap and reliable car. Should easily get one on the road for under 3k

  •  

    Use any car.
    When you leave it at the train station do this:
    1. Leave car unlocked,
    2. Leave a big notice on the steering wheel saying "PLEASE STEAL/BREAK-INTO THIS CAR",
    3. Leave something looking like a large battery with a few flashing LED's sitting on the car seat with some wires going anywhere under the dash (you can get creative with this),
    4. Draw a smiley face on the steering wheel notice.

    Guarantee your car will never be f##ked with !

    Enjoy and God Bless.

  •  

    Bought a Holden Barina SB 2001 with 210,000km for $700. Some optical paint damage, but in mint condition. Engine hardly burns any oil. Will do some precaution work soon for the piece of mind (timing belt change, water pump and thermostat). Parts are cheaply available from Germany (Opel Corsa B).

    I've been very happy with the car and it cost me what some people pay for a service…

  •  

    I had a short wheel base Pajero as a station car for a long time, i worked on the theory that it was harder to look into therefore less likely to be broken into.. Of course you could start it with a screwdriver…

  • +3 votes

    We park our car near Huntingdale every day too. There are worse stations to park your car at, for example, the Oakleigh carpark. My workplace only moved into the city about a year ago and during the first couple of months, we were testing out parking at different stations after dropping off our 2-year-old. We trialled Oakleigh for about two weeks and we saw about 4 break-ins. The most gut wrenching one was when we had the cars on both sides of our car smashed into but luckily, our one was OK.

    What we found is if you leave your car on the surrounding streets, not the actual car park, there will be a smaller chance your car might get broken into. Usually they target clean looking, but older model cars which don't have alarms I think. If you get a newer car and the alarm will go off when they smash the windows, then there'll be less motivations for them to break in, but then again if they do, your battery will probably be dead by the time you get to it.

    I actually wrote a letter to the city council complaining about the number of break-ins at station carparks, but they told me that these carparks are owned (governed) by Metro and the council is not responsible. I thought about leaving a note on each of cars there to start a petition but I don't really know where that will lead to either. All I want is for them to maybe install some cameras and put up some signs about fines and hopefully deter these people a bit.

    Sorry I went off topic, hope you find yourself the right car soon. :)

    •  

      It's illegal for a car alarm to go off for more than a few minutes. Factory alarms will cut off eventually. Just glad I live somewhere rural and don't have to worry about this shit.

  • +1 vote

    Get yourself a young kid who aspires to be a superhero and give him a wetsuit.

    •  

      In this hot weather put the wetsuit on him and he'll probably die. Just get him a pirate costume from Kmart.

  •  

    if you headed to this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/134614523233347 there is someone put on sale his subaru for $1,200, it is old but still good looking, good for train station car. I am pretty sure you can get it for under $1000

    not sure you can see the photo but here it is look like:
    PHOTO1 PHOTO2

  • +3 votes

    There are 2 types of thieves. Professionals and opportunists.

    1. Nothing you can do about the professionals. They will take what they want when they want. Even if you have the world's best security system. So these guys will be after your expensive car. And they'll easily get around the immobilizer, etc.

    2. Opportunists. They will break into your crappy "train station" Kia just to look for spare change for some drugs or cigarettes. Or take the car to go ramraid a bottle shop.

    So it doesn't matter what car you get, somebody will be after it. The problem isn't your car, the problem is getting these scumbags off our streets.

  •  

    From all the above posts:
    Less than $1000 - prefer around $400-600
    An old ute (or bongo van perhaps, both good for Bunnings/Gumtree excursions)
    Leave unlocked
    Keep empty with glove box and centre hutch open
    No phone holder (7km = 10mins each way)
    Battery thingy with LED's.

    Also, a couple of cameras (real or fake) might help as well. And a steering wheel to accelerator pedal clamp.

    Had an old Hi-ace in Darwin for 4 yrs. Always left quarter vent unlocked. Never broken into.

  •  

    Or you could get a motorbike

  • +1 vote

    a friend of mine had to work really long hours in the city for a month or so. so he drove his wifes rusty 1979 corolla to the station really early in the morning everyday and would come back really late. because he arrived so early at teh station carpark he always got the best car park closest to the station.

    after a about 3 weeks my friends wife got a call from the police stating that her car had been dumped at the station. confused by the call she realised that teh station staff working arrived ater her husband and left before he came back so they assumed it was still there.

    •  

      I don't believe this story.

      •  

        yeah, it may have been a 1980 corolla. but seriously, come to brisbane and I'll introduce you to them.

    •  

      does this fall into the same category of urban legends like the one about the old guy who was always the first in to work at the office and last to leave who died but the cleaner didn't notice him dead at his desk for almost a week?!

  •  

    Tried taking public transport or car pooling?

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