We Need a Guidance Before Buying a Car

Updated on April 19, 2012
E.V. asks from Tempe, AZ
9 answers

Hi. So, my husband and I decided to buy a car. We arrived in Az on august and we had friends took us to groceries, now they told us to get a car. Oh my, if only az isn't that hot. But it is hottt!!! It will be 100 by next week already.
The problem is, we don't know where to start. We can drive, but never own our a car ( we usually drive our parent's). We are so dummy and don't understand cars at all. Idk here, but in my country getting a driving license you only need to drive. Car repairs are cheap, so it is not necessary to learn a car.
Where should we start? Craiglist or car seller by the streets?
How to check it? And know the price is normal?
Where to get the license? How is the test and how much is the test and the license?
If we want to learn how to drive, is the car provided by the driving school or me? How much is it?
What should we do after we get the car? What insurance?
What is the good brand car here that saves money on gas?
How much do we pay for driving license extension fee each year and car license extension?

We asked some friends, but most of them buy new cars, and think that we are dummy. Yes, we are dummy. The system here is sooooo different with mine, I don't have any insurance on me or car before. And, my parents never buy 2nd hand car and we never do the repair by ourselves. But, I want to learn now. And,please add more if you think I need to know. Thanks...

Btw,our budget is like 2000. Not more than that. No mre savings. And if you know a good driving school and instructor here in Tempe or around, please tell me, too. Thanks. And we only live here in US for another 4 year, that's why we buy cheap cash car.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?


More Answers



answers from New York on

I think the first step is to get a driver's license. Here is the website

I don't think that $2,000 will be enough to get all of the things you mentioned... license, car, insurance, taxes, driving school.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I would suggest leasing a car. Through get a new or newish car, they handle all the repairs (& the air conditioning will work), it's a low monthly fee... All you have to do is keep it clean and gassed and bring it in for oil changes/any repairs you might need.

For your budget, and learning, I think it may really be the best option.

Also, dealerships both have fairly standard lease agreements (no worrying about price), AND offer discounts to student and military more often than not.

You may need a cosigner, which if Indonesia is anything like Japan, your FIL will be offended if his son doesn't ask, anyway. Not great on the cut-the-cord campaign, but it may be a possibility.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

About obtaining a driver's license in Arizona:

More information you need to know about obtaining a drivers license:

You will need to go to driver's ed, the car you learn on and test with will belong to the school. Arizona driver's ed schools in your area here. Just look at the different ones to see how much they cost and such to pick the right one for you:

To compare prices on cars, go here:

You can test drive cars you are looking at, and can even take them in to a car repair shop for an inspection. You just need to work it out with the owner of a car. Car repairs are not cheap, they can be very expensive, so you want to make sure you are not getting a 'lemon', which means a car that will break down very soon after you buy it. My advice, is to have a friend go with you who knows a lot about cars to check them out with you.

You will also need to register the car after you buy it, get an inspection and emissions test, and get the title transferred to your name. You do that through here:

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

autotrader.com thats where i found my car.. i saw it at the dealership (it was used) and then later that night found it on autotrader.com listed for $2000 less i printed it and brought it in and they gave me the car for the price listed online.. autotrader has anything u could want brand new to incredibly old, expensive to dirt cheap.. and dont think all americans know how to fix a car cuz i sure as hell dont.. i can change a tire and jump start the car if the battery dies.. other than that i dont have a clue.. thats what i have my fiance for lol

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

E., do you already have a drivers license from your home country? If yes, you don't need to get an Arizona drivers license. But if you don't have one... you need:

1. A learners permit. You will need to take a written test at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This permit allows you to practice driving with a licensed driver in the car.

2. A drivers license. Once you've learned how to drive, you will take a driving test at the DMV. You need to provide the car in which to take the test. It can be a friend's car. Also, you do not have to take a class. You can if that will help, but if a friend is willing to teach you to drive, you can do that.

3. A car. $2000 will not get you much of a car. If you buy from a used car dealer you might be able to get a loan and buy a better car. Get a small car - it will get better gas mileage. And make sure it has working air conditioning since you're in Arizona.

4. Car insurance. You need a drivers license before you can get this, and you need the insurance before you are allowed to buy the car.

You probably won't do car repairs yourself. Most people here don't. If you buy a car that is in good shape, you won't have many repairs in four years.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Ask friends, co workers, neighbors etc for the name of a reputable used car dealer. Go there and stick to your budget (which may be higher if you save while getting the permit, license, etc.
Do NOT let them talk to into believing that the average car payment is $400/month for 60 months or such. When they're paying, they can pick the car.
Find the ugliest, but in best shape car that you can--it will be safe and cheap.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

E., you're killin' me!

If you need a driver's license, first you need a learner's permit, or whatever they call it in your state. Try looking here:


It's true, you cannot get much of a car for $2000. Maybe you can save some more while learning to drive. Do you have a local friend with a driver's license who can help you?

Really, start with the Motor Vehicle Department in your town.

Good Luck! Wish I could come help you out a little more!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

www.cartalk.com click on car info and there is a whole section about buying a car. good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Hello! You may also want to check if your school/your husband's school has information about all of this and more at a student service office. I am sure many of your questions are not new to them since they likely have had students from overseas before. Or if the school does not have that, then there might be a peer network at the school. Good luck with all of this! It takes time to get used to all the new ways of just getting through a day : )

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions