All my purchases have been 100% cash-in-hand. For reasons, I’m strongly considering a sub $10k car to finance but I don’t know the process. Halp. I’ve also got the ten most likely candidates for you to check out and agree/disagree over

(bonus. I found the pinnacle of Tesla Guy today. There can only be one per state, and he has claimed the title for Washington. He had a Model S model on his dash too)

So I’ve only applied for a loan once in my life. It was four years ago before building any credit, at my credit union BECU. I got turned down. I’ve spent the last 8 months working on building a credit history and it finally crested into “good” but I still have no idea if I’d even be approved for anything. Obviously I don’t want to take a hit for applying if I’m not even going to get the loan.

Can I look outside of my credit union for a loan? Would that be smart? How bad an idea is it to attempt to go through a car dealership’s finance office?

The reason I want to finance is to keep monthly expenditure low for the next 3-4 months while I’m in the middle of a big transitional phase, and then pay the car off once I’m settled into the new home and job. My trucks will no longer belong to me in about 15 days, and my Subaru is going away too. That leaves me without a car to get to work.


What’s the loan process? Just walk in, say I want x money and if I’m approved I walk out and head to a dealership? Do I need to have one particular car in mind already, or will the loan work for anything?

Okay, I think that’s all. Here’s the fun part! The ten contenders. I literally searched every single manufacturer on cargurus and this is what I came up with in the roughly $10k range, at dealerships.

NB Miata - probably the smartest choice based on cost, reliability and familiarity with the platform. Also it’s an SE so it has all the goodies.


Pontiac GTO - the only American car to make it on the list! Basically, I want a V8 with a manual and I can’t ever see myself buying one of the three big muscle cars. The SS and CTS-V are out of my price range, but this gorgeous YELLOW thing could scratch that itch...

Audi TT - I have a soft spot for these. Whether that’s in my heart or head is yet to be determined. Honestly this is about as boring a color/trim combo as you can get while still being manual/awd but it’s priced okay.


Golf Gti - one of the few fwd cars I can see myself holding onto for awhile (since stock civic hatches are a myth). Good interior, great visibility, fun enough to drive. Would be a good daily

Land Cruiser - I’m posting these together. They all seem pretty cheap, is it wise to buy a cheap Land Cruiser? If it stayed functional for, oh... 4 months I’d be fine with it. By then I’d have the Miata sorted out and could take turns doing major projects on the two.... I really want a LC in my life Oppo


MR2 - this (along with the S2k) is one of the few roadsters I think I could enjoy with the Miata. Solstice triplets, z3, “classic” roadsters... No thanks. I’d rather stick with red. But the MR2... Hmm. Seems different enough to work. I know almost nothing about these.


Porsche Cayenne - left field, but I love these things. One of the only crossover/suvs I’d consider. Add in the awesome color and... Maybe?


Subaru SVX - okay I wouldn’t trust this to get me to work without first doing a MAJOR overhaul but come on! $2500 SVX in red.

Subaru Baja - pros. Manual, turbo pickup bed outback. Cons, absolutely hideous color/body cladding style. My dream build is still an Sti drivetrain in one of these, but I’ll wait for a good color... :(


Volvo s60r - one of my dream cars. Well-maintained, with lots of work just done. Good color combo. Could easily resell later to upgrade to a manual version at some point. It’s not the smart choice but oh god it tempts me...