Unfortunately, recent circumstances have dictated that we may end up giving up our once-again-broken Forester, for something else.

* Not a lot of money saved up since I just started working again this past month.
* Husband can't work more than 2 days a week which kills our earning potential, so we need a car sooner rather than later.
* Can't buy a $2,000 car, because it won't be in good enough shape for him to drive.
* Both of us have shit credit.
* He at least has fewer debts and a perfect payment record on the Forester, but my income is double his even if he worked 40 hours. Perfect.

So working in a hypothetical scenario, fellow Jalops and Opponauts alike, is this:

If Buy Here Pay Here lots suddenly became the ONLY kind of car dealer in Metro Detroit, and you had no choice but to choose one, which one would you recommend based on your experience, or the experience of someone you know?

Extra Credit: The plan would be to buy the car with about $2,000 down, give or take, make payments for a few months, then pay it off in a lump sum. Will these people freak out or penalize me for early payoff?

A thank you to Tavarish, Tom McParland, and my fellow Opponauts for your input. I know there was a bit more to the story (one of my replies in the comments), and I appreciate all of your various input that much more.

At this point I feel that the most prudent and the least financially burdensome route, would be to pull the good engine out of the Legacy, and drop it in the Forester. Then sell the rolling Legacy chassis w/ manual transmission. The shop is helping us with the labor, and without having to add all sorts of extra parts, and getting a refund on the gasket and head bolt set, that'll help offset the cost. If it isn't too much to ask, I'll probably see if they'll drop the bad engine in the Legacy. At least then, someone can drive it home instead of a tow.

At which point I'll still need a car. I can roll around for a few more weeks with just the one, and then just look out for some $1,500 truck. Trucks are easier to find, easier and less expensive to maintain, and go for dirt cheap around here since they're more plentiful than a swarm of Locusts. A friend of mine has a Dodge D100 with a 318 from Alabama. It might be the ticket.


At least then, it may buy me a few months to save money and if it should konk out of me, I'll be able to buy something cash to replace it.

This seems to be the path I'm going down.We're only keeping the Forester when we move cross-country, whatever I buy gets sold in the end anyway.