Hooniverse Asks- Have You Ever Bought a Car that You Later Regretted Buying?

Yesterday we discussed – amid many tears – cars that we let slip and now of which we wish were still in possession. Today we’re looking at the flip side – one that’s much more egregious- Have you ever suffered buyers’ remorse on a car?
As car enthusiasts, we all have emotional attachments to our cars and trucks, and sometimes that can cause us to make choices we wouldn’t normally. It’s sort of like getting drunk and waking up the next morning with a new tattoo and someone in your bed that calls you “Hun.”
There are wild hairs that we all get up the butt – cars that seem like a good idea at the time, and then once we get home and the endorphin rush starts to fade, we think- now why did I do that?
So, has that ever happened to you- did you make a purchase that you soon grew to regret? If so, what did you do- did you return it?Sell it to some one else? Or are you still driving it to this day?
Image source: [misspinkslip.com]

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53 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- Have You Ever Bought a Car that You Later Regretted Buying?”

  1. Maymar Avatar

    To some extent, I regret buying my Intrepid – I sort of wish I had gone for something more esoteric for my first car (back when reliable transportation was less of a necessity). My F-150 also ended up having more wrong with it than I had thought, so between getting it certified, keeping it insured ($440 a month because of a less than stellar driving record), and just keeping it gassed up, it cost me much more than I would've hoped.

  2. Don Voss Avatar
    Don Voss

    I bought a fiat 124 spyder, 1979. Was going to restore it to all original – sunday / fall VT driver.
    Ran great. Got it home – found terminal rust in front end .. ate it. Bummer.

  3. Black Steelies Avatar
    Black Steelies

    Im regretting buying my 88 Buick hearse because it needs some body work and keeping it gassed is EXPENSIVE (14 mpg on a good day and its only a 307 with OD). there are some rust issues and i feel that the frame isnt as solid as it should be. its still got a lot of life in it tho (50k miles) and its got more character than any other car i can imagine owning. Plus the thing has survived 2.. no 3, ditches. Basically i regret owning it because if i didnt get to know it so well i wouldnt feel so bad when it comes time to sell it, a time that is approaching far too fast. I should just buck up and get me that 9C1.

  4. lilwillie Avatar

    Yes. My wifes current car, the 06' Impala. Not that it is a bad car just that the timing for everything sucked. I wasn't thinking.
    Baby Blazer is destroyed in a accident so the wife flutters her eyes and mentions I could have the TrailBlazer if she got a different car. Well, that would work fine since I was sick of seeing the TrailBlazer just go to Madison and back everyday. So two days after the Blazer is wrecked she has a Impala. The drugs for the pain must have made me do it.
    I should have told her no, we will wait. I should have put one of our retired W/T 1500's back into service and drove that. I should have keep her in the TB and then saved and saved and saved and when the '10 Camaro's came out I would have bought one.
    Hind sight is 20/20 I guess.

  5. WillysWonka Avatar

    I have a serious inner conflict regarding the purchase of my first car, a '54 Willys wagon. On the one hand, I love it, because it taught me how to be my own mechanic and instilled in me a deep love of the automobile. On the other hand, I probably paid twice what it was worth, the guy who worked on it before me was a hack, it's only been running a total of 3 months, it got me into the only accident I've ever been in, I'll never make back nearly what I've put into it, it isn't fun to drive, and I know I will never be finished working on it.
    As an individual vehicle purchase, yes I regret it, I could have gotten the same car in better condition for less money. As a formative part of my automotive experience, I could never regret it. It made me the gearhead I am today.

  6. SeanKHotay Avatar

    Yeah, sorta.
    A new 2002 Dodge Durango R/T.
    $32K & change with all my add-ons, planned to keep it over 100Kmi like I do all my cars so I did a 5yr loan…
    Had it only 43Kmis/3 & half years before I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough.
    When the bumper step pad blew lose on the drive home, I shoulda known something was up.
    Blew the light fuse everytime I towed in the rain, blew the front input shaft @ 16Kmis, sucked thru the interminable & innumerable cracks in the vacuum system.
    During one 16 month stint, I had 11 service visits to the dealer.
    This SUV sucked and blew.
    Oh, and I only got $10.5K for it and stilled owed $15.6K on the loan. >:-(
    I say “sorta regret” as I learned this lesson:

  7. Tanshanomi Avatar

    I can't say I've regretted any of them. Not even the Festiva. I regret overpaying for it so horribly (as I've covered here previously), but the car itself was cheap, reliable and fun. And I can't say I regret my current Town Car, because, you know, it was free.

  8. Tripl3fast Avatar

    ugh. My current '02 Jetta with the tiptronic automatic. I even drove a manual Jetta that day at the same dealer. I traded in a manual Golf for this. The next day I got in and just whispered "shit."

  9. jeremy![™] Avatar

    absolutely. actually i wish i would have held out a little longer without a car and i could have avoided this issue all together.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Yeah, but you'd be identityless and we'd be without a bottom-rung vehicle to compare everything else to.

  10. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    Two. The first was a Crown Vic. Should have been one the most reliable vehicles ever. Nope. Starting two weeks after purchase things just started breaking. Electrics, AC, rear calipers seized, ignition harness went, on and on. Seemed to run right every second Tuesday, maybe, if the stars were aligned. The only fun I had with that vehicle was taking it to Germany. Received a lot of double takes on the Autobahn.
    The second one was a Toyota Venza. Negotiated a price, signed the papers, went home happy but with a nagging feeling that something wasn't right. Checked the paperwork the next day and found out the dealer had played a shell game with the freight charge. Miserable SOB had double billed me by slipping it into the dealer spreadsheet after the negotiated price. Invoked the "cooling off" law and cancelled the cheque. Will never buy from that dealer and may never buy another Toyota. Grumble. The Venza is ugly anyway (the wife wanted it).

  11. faster,Tobias! Avatar

    I owned a Chevy Vega. I shall speak no more of this.

    1. Target29 Avatar

      Understood, as I owned its lesser cousin the Pontiac Astre which I Received in trade for (forgive me Hoons for I have sinned) my '70 Cutlass.

  12. BGW Avatar

    I've bitched about the Saturn LS2 From Hell before, so I'll spare all the details. Suffice it to say, had the '88 Regal Custom (Exploding) held together another month or two, I'd have had more time to do some proper car shopping. Instead, I got pressed into the "need car to get to work, need car NOW! HULK SMASH!" mindset and picked up on the first cheap floozy who batted her eyelashes my way.
    Car Goggles may be even worse than Beer Goggles.

  13. dculberson Avatar

    I bought a Range Rover that was only a few years old with only 30k miles on it. It nearly bankrupted me with insurance, gas, payment, and a few minor repairs that were unbelievably expensive. So what did I do a few years later? I bought a Range Rover with 150k miles for cash and it nearly bankrupted my by needing major repairs in almost every system over the course of a year. And just parts alone are enough to run that cost up – if I had someone else doing the labor it was a very reasonably priced and competent independent shop, not the dealer.
    So, fool me once and all that. I got fooled twice and learned a powerful and expensive lesson about British cars. One year on the road cost me over $6k between depreciation and repairs. (not counting gas or insurance!) That's just dumb.
    My only other regret, and this is out of 40+ cars, was the 1987 Celebrity. Comfortable enough but not nearly interesting enough for having stranded me at least once. How the seller talked me into that heap is beyond me. I went in to look at a Prelude Si with a manual – which was sold – and walked out with a Celebrity? I confuse myself some times.

  14. dculberson Avatar

    I meant to add that I did learn a powerful lesson about car payments, too. I haven't borrowed money to buy a car since I was 19 (when I bought the first Range Rover), and that lesson has served me very well.

  15. engineerd Avatar

    I regret buying my wife that Dodge La Femme because she no longer stays home to clean the house and cook me dinner.
    /This comment is coming to you from 1954.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      You taught he to do that in the first place?

  16. Manic_King Avatar

    1984 Toyota Celica 1,6 Coupe – weak and ugly, I could've bought E30 but didn't, fortunately found buyer…..
    1986 Lancia Prisma 1,6 – needed money and swapped my Ford XR4i (Euro, V6, 2,8 L) for it + some cash, very stupid trade
    1989 Mazda 626 GT, optimistically thought that crashed, bent car can be repaired and sold with some profit. Nope, idiots at body shop botched up all they could….

  17. Alff Avatar

    I wish I'd never bought that Dodge Nitro, or at least gone for one without the sunroof.

    1. lowmiles Avatar

      Bravo, Sir!

  18. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    LOLZ! Yeah, those Nitro sunroofs can be a serious bust.

  19. Feds Avatar

    1991 Dodge Ram 50.
    "1 owner" "140,000kms!" "well maintained!"
    I was tired of my cutlass ciera, and needed a little truck for home-ownership duties. This fit the bill perfectly.
    Of course, the seller wouldn't provide me with a used vehicle package, as per Ontario law, but was kind enough to knock $100 off the asking price to offset the cost and trouble of picking one up myself…
    Two days after I buy the truck, I get the used vehicle package: more than 7 owners, 3 of them businesses, and the last registered kms were 340,000. Truck lasted less than a year before everything possible fell off of it.

  20. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I regret leasing the 03 Grand Am when new. It was a fine car but depreciated so quickly (rental lots were full of them) and I quickly lost interest in the vehicle. Bought myself out of the lease early ($2k MISTAKE) to get my current F150. It's been 5 years and I still love the truck.

  21. tenthousandfeet Avatar

    I have one vehicular regret, but I do sincerely wonder what ever became of it in its new owner's hands.
    Back in 2006 I moved to the mountains, and with all the exploring to do in beautiful British Columbia, I decided that a vehicle with some off-road prowess was in order. I'd been looking into alternative fuels (biodiesel and vegetable oil, specifically) and wanted to try my hands at an oil-burner. I'm sure you're all aware of the absolute lack of small diesels on this continent, but Japan is all too happy to send their old diesels to British Columbia to be imported under the 15-years-or-older import laws.
    With that in mind, I bought myself a 1992, right-hand-drive, JDM, diesel Toyota Landcruiser Prado. I spent a bit more than I intended, but it was the only 5-speed Prado that I'd seen imported and refused to buy another automatic. I got to work on a vegetable oil secondary fuel system as my first major vehicular project, and I'm glad to have had the experience of really tearing into the thing. I got it running on oil, though in hindsight I did a pretty poor job of all the plumbing (what a rat's nest I created)!
    I had fun with that truck (cut my teeth offroading, a trend that has continued to this day), but the longer I owned it the more I heard about the poor Toyota 2LTE turbodiesels biting the dust in their new home of North America. I knew they had a reputation for fragile heads when I bought it, but the stories of heads blowing up poured in daily and I panicked. I put a for sale sign on it and got rid of it. I thought the vegetable oil conversion might tempt buyers (given the price of fuel at the time) but in fact it seemed to scare them off (right hand drive and alternative fuel? not exactly a mass-market item). I ended up taking a huge loss on selling it, but was glad to be rid of the ticking time bomb that was that head.

  22. dustin_driver Avatar

    Bugatti Veyron. You would not believe the yearly cost of operation on that thing.

  23. iheartstiggie Avatar

    I regret the Willy's Jeep purchase only because of the one we didn't purchase. It wouldn't have been a big deal, except that for 3x the amount we could have gotten a completely restored Military spec one with period correct EVERYTHING. Instead, John decided he didn't want to pull the cash for it…we walked away. The next day he sees this other one online. We drive 5 hours. We sit in dude's driveway for seemingly ever waiting for him to come to the barn. We look at this thing. It's so rusted you could have Flinstone stopped it. It has a boat seat for a driver seat, not bolted down mind you. It has no top. So of course he buys it. Pays way too much for it and puts it on the trailer. It'll be fun, he says, we'll cruise around the farm, he says. We're driving down the road and he looks in the rear view of the truck and says, "Why did I just buy this?" I don't respond because anything I say is pointless. We get it home, he gets it off the trailer, looks in the barn and asks me for his cell. He then proceeds to call the woman with the period correct, fully restored Jeep and asks if he can come buy it. Shock of shocks, it'd been sold that morning. We keep the cute little rust bucket in the barn for over a year. He sells it to some dude for 1/2 what he paid just to get rid of it. Yeah. Bad buy.

      1. iheartstiggie Avatar

        Yeah. My thoughts exactly. He now comes to me on all purchases, car or otherwise. I think he got the hint when I didn't vocalize my disdain just how upset I was. Heh.

        1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

          Yeah, wife's are really good at that. I have been smart enough to clear things like that… so far.

  24. superbadd75 Avatar

    I've had a few, but the number one regret is probably the 2002 XTerra. It wasn't a horrible truck, but I had a perfectly good 2000 Ranger with under 40k on the clock at the time, and only bought the Nissan because the wife liked it. It was 2WD with a slushbox in "Look At ME!!" Yellow, and was very much not something I would have picked on my own. A 4WD version would have probably been fun to have for the weekend, but driving that slow, bumpy pig to work every day got old, and I was rid of it rather quickly. I learned that day something I should have already known; pick my own damn car, and let her pick hers.

  25. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

    I've only ever owned 3 cars in my life. All of them Ford Focus. Never had a chance to regret about buying any of them.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I commend you for your ability to maintain focus

  26. P161911 Avatar

    Trucks and SUVs are OK for autos. The other problem that I have with an automatic is that they just seem much less durable than a stick shift. I've had 4 or 5 automatic transmissions rebuilt, but never even had to put in a clutch in a manual. Every automatic daily driver that I have had has needed a transmission rebuild at some point. I just calculated of 8 vehicles that I have owned that I would call daily drivers it is an even split auto and stick. But I didn't learn how to drive a manual transmission until I was 24 and on DD #4 (Bought a 92 T-Bird S/C 5-speed and finally learned). My family always had all automatics. The Camaro was the only DD after switching to manuals.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      I like a manual in a truck, preferably a granny-low four speed. I like an automatic in a big old V8 American boat, that's just right. With a bench seat. A set of bucket seats and an automatic shifter in a console between them is kind of stupid. Especially if it's a Powerglide shifter, like my '65 Malibu SS. Looked nifty, but was stupid.

  27. Paul Y. Avatar
    Paul Y.

    I regret having leased a 2005 nonturbo Impreza sedan. It was a fabulous car; however, I wanted a wagon (I had a choice between a manual sedan and an automatic wagon, I chose the manual sedan), and the lease just made me fret about every scratch and rock chip. I just did not enjoy having that car as much as I would have if I had just bought it outright. I had just gotten my first grown-up job, and the GMC Sonoma I had been driving for 3 years at the time was getting to be a complete nightmare to own (it cost more in repairs the last year I had it than a year of payments on the Subaru; when I got rid of it, I had recently hit a deer and it was leaking gasoline, and I just threw up my hands in frustration – no more American cars for me, ever).
    I replaced the 2005 Impreza with a 2004 xB, and I couldn't be happier about it. No, I am not kidding.

  28. citroen67 Avatar

    The only car that I regret buying was my first car which was a 1989 Olds Cutlass Calais S (and I am convinced that the "S" stood for shitmobile). The only upside to that bomb was the fact that I got it at the family discount of $300.

  29. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    I had 2 Calais!!! can you believe it?
    The first was an 85, with 5-speed manual transmission, it was actually a great car, even survived an accident when someone ran a red light…. tow truck driver pulled the fender off of my tire, and I drove it for a few more years!
    The second, was a 91, with Quad 4…. yep, blown head gasket, and other little things.

  30. skaycøg Avatar

    Regrets? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I'm finally doing it my way.

  31. citroen67 Avatar

    Mine was a Quad 4 as well. I can't fault the car completely for being a pile, it was rode pretty hard by the previous owner. It was only four years old, and it had 165,000 rounds on it. By the time I got it, I had to replace the starter oxygen sensor, tires, muffler, headlight assy on both sides and numerous engine bits in order to keep it breathing. I wish it could've been a little better of a car, because I actually liked the looks of it. It was a two door with the aluminum sport rims, and it was a killer shade of metallic dark red.

  32. Gnauty Avatar

    Hmm… Regrets? Two of them. 1995 Chevy S-10 2WD with the 2.2 I-4 hated me, I swear. That thing gave me more sh!t than Simon Cowell did William Hung. First, the water pump shot craps(no big, fix it, and be done with it), and then the transmission slipped more than a two-legged dog on ice, so I dumped a bottle of Lucas Transmission Fix.(Love that stuff) I can honestly say that I gloated after that truck blew the head-gasket. That's only the tip of the Iceberg.
    Next: 1977 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham w/ Pontiac 400 & Rochester Quadra-Jet. Don't get me wrong, I loved this car dearly. That's the problem, I got so attached to it, that I sobbed like a baby when the scrapyard hauled it off due to a massive amount of parts failing at once(electrical system, primarily. I hate mice.)

  33. P161911 Avatar

    I came close to regretting my current Z3 since the engine went 400 miles after I bought it. But probably the one that I regret more is the one that I didn't regret getting rid of. My 1996 Camaro Z-28 convertible. The two biggest problems were the fact that it was an automatic and the general construction was crap. The car immediately before this one was a 1994 Corvette coupe 6-speed. The Vette ended up getting traded in on a new car for the new wife. I quickly sold her 99 Honda Civic coupe (another automatic) and for $600 more than I sold the Civic for got the Camaro. The car just seemed to be plagued with an assortment of problems from excessive shakes and rattles, mysterious growling sounds from the rear end,faild transmission, failed Opti-spark, and even rats eating the wiring harness. I was looking for a Mustang Cobra convertible and ended up with the Z-28. I realized that the Z-28 actually had a little more power and had lower production numbers than the Mustang. I should have got the Stang. The Z-28 was pretty quick in a straight line, but just really needed a 6-speed. I doubt I buy another automatic as a daily driver.

    1. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

      The only times I don't mind driving an auto is: 1) a dead to senses sedan, like an everyday Camry. Hell, if I am buying a boring car, might as well go all the way and get an auto. Plus you've given up on life. At least to me. 2) A big stonking SUV, especially if powered by a big oil burner. The first time I ever got hooked onto big ass trucks was while being an intern at Ford, when I was given a pre-launch Power Stroke diesel (last gen) for a weekend for some "mileage accumulation." Good thing I was moving that weekend as well ;P It had proto calibration on it, with the boost turned way up. I was doing 80 mph on I-94 and didn't even realize it. Sure was a torque monster.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        My Cavalier was a stick (that was my main criteria when I was looking for a car at that time), which I'm thankful for. I would've bought a gun and shot the damn thing long ago if it was a slushbox.

  34. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    I've bought some vehicles that I was happier with then others, but none that I ever regretted….. I love them all to much!
    I currently have an old F-150 that needs a bunch of work, which I'm refusing to do, but I don't regret buying it, I'll just have to sell it for less then what I paid.
    In a backwards way, I have a 96 Olds Cutlass that keeps on running so well that I can't seem to part ways with it. It's really pretty boring, but just runs too well to get rid of. Had I bought something different, it might have died by now, and I'd be able to justify another vehicle purchase!

  35. P161911 Avatar

    My current truck is a manual '88 F-150 4.9L 5-speed. I'll agree on the big boats with an auto. My 67 Imperial convertible had an auto an I couldn't imagine that car with a stick.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      I couldn't imagine that car with a stick, either. I can imagine my right arm around a lovely female person while driving a car like that, some things are more important for that right arm to be involved in than mere shifting of gears.

  36. seoultrain Avatar

    Not yet, but a year after buying an E36 M3, I've paid about $3000 for 2k miles. And it still needs some work. Check back in a year.

  37. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    2004 Honda Accord for the wife. Got fleeced by the dealer, had too high payments for too long. If we'd had any brains we would have been looking for a wagon for our growing family, but she liked it and the hormones were talking. Lasted two years, then sold in three days on craigslist. Made 18 bucks over what I owed when I sold it. Don't get me wrong it was a nice car, very smooth, and quick had the VTEC (yo), loaded with everything but nav. Just the wrong car at the wrong time.
    I really miss the Civic Coupe stick with base engine we traded in on it. That car was a hoot.
    Damn you pregnacy.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      No children for me. Not ever. I may always own at least one practical car, but I won't be forced to.

  38. CptSevere Avatar

    I never should have bought the '71 Caddy Limo I used to have. When I first saw the damn thing, I knew I had to have it. I had a harebrained scheme of starting a limo company using classic limos, but nobody wants them, all they want are stretched Hummers and the like. So, I drove the thing. And it broke. Constantly. Every winter the starter would go, and I got to where I could swap it out in fifteen minutes in any kind of weather. The transmission took a dump, had to replace it, miles of vacuum lines started leaking, the heat and AC started failing (incredibly complex, even had a separate unit in the trunk for the back seat, with thirty feet of heater hose), it became a nightmare. I got rid of it, just dumped it on someone when I left Utah. Gorgeous car and a real hoot when all the planets were in alignment, the big 472 ran great, but there were times when I really hated that car.

  39. name_too_long Avatar

    I regret my current car, a 2000 Nissan Altima.
    The insurance company liked it since it had Four more airbags than my previous car (a '91 Prelude) so the insurance was actually a bit less despite it being nine years newer and several times the value. My parents liked it because it was a practical four door sedan (it should be noted that my mother drives a beige 4cyl Camry). I hoped it would be bearable since, despite >90k miles, the interior was perfect, it has >50hp more than the POSH'lude (Piece of Sh*t Honda) and a manual transmission in place of the slushbox I had in the Honda… and unlike the Honda at that point in time, the Nissan started reliably. Also, since my parent's neighbor is one of the lead salesmen on the lot where we got it, we got it at his price (~$2,500 off sticker, quite a bit on a <$9k car).
    Unfortunately, despite the ~150hp and the 5sp, it's still an appliance. It understeers like a pig, the brakes are crap, it's sluggish off the line, the clutch and transmission seem to have been lifted from farm machinery and due to some quirk in the engine, or the tuning thereof, it behaves as though it has a turbo the size of my head attached to it (ie 20mph, foot down in third, nothin' until ~3000 RPM, then it pulls), which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that if you drive like anything other than an octogenarian it chugs fuel.

  40. cREXer Avatar

    My biggest regret was buying a 2008 Lancer. I owned a 1985 Corolla SR5 and a 1984 Buick Regal prior to it, and it was my first wrong wheel drive car. I thought it'd be great and reliable (being a new car) and it would fit the new baby on the way. Biggest mistake of my life. In the 2.5 years and 35,000KM I drove it, it gave me more problems than the Corolla and Regal combined (owned those for a combined 5 years and 140,000KM)! It was check engine light after check engine light, the dealer trying to tell me that it wasn't a check engine light but a TPMS light (like I'm too stupid to know the difference between an engine and a tire icon)… all in all I had gotten the check engine light a good 7 or 8 times, only 1 time did they actually fix anything. Then there was the suspension, creaking and crunching all over the place – but according to Mitsubishi that was "normal". And then in winter, the real fun began, turning the wheel and hitting the gas produced one of the most terrible metal on metal grinding noises… 9 times I took it to the dealer for this, and everytime they tried to tell me it was just ice in the tire well that was grinding, even when I would check before bringing it in that there was no ice. I even had a tech come for a drive with me to show him the sound, first time he heard it he cringed and said that's not normal… Thought that would be the end of it, but no; came to pick it up and got the same old "ice buildup" story. I finally decided I better sell it before it completely craps out on me and I can't sell it to anyone. After a good 12 hours of haggling at the Hyundai dealership, managed to sell it to them for 2k less than I paid for it, and got them to take 4k off the price of a 2006 Azera for me. Been pleasantly surprise with how good the Azera has been to me.. Will be a long long time before I ever look at another Mitsubishi again, by far the worst car experience I've ever had, and still regret ever buying it to this day.

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