My wife and I live in Brooklyn, NY. I'm working and she isn't - we are waiting for a baby. We have a car-spot in our garage for free included in the rent (which is approx. 2k).

What is the cheapest way to get a car and drive it for 3 years? Lease may be an option, but after insurance on a new car it quickly adds up to almost 3.7k upfront + $400 per month. Given that we'll use the car for less than 100 miles per month, this seems expensive.

Would it make sense to buy a used car for less than 5k and sell it afterwards? We're expecting that insurance for an old car would be relatively cheap (unverified).

Taxi is not an option due to reasons not relevant here.

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    Less then 100 miles per month? You are about as close as I can imagine to a case in which it makes sense to not have a car at all, particularly given public transportation in NYC. Also, is there any chance you could sublet the car park space to someone else in the neighborhood and make money with it? – Chelonian Sep 2 '14 at 18:16

You'll have to run the numbers, but I would recommend either:

1) Get a used "beater" car, which has already lost most of its value. You'll be able to resell it for close to the same amount. And yes, insurance will be correspondingly lower.

2) Or investigate a car sharing service such as Zipcar. If you need the car only infrequently, and can plan your usage slightly in advance, they can be significantly less expensive than owning. I'd be doing that if I hadn't found that not having a car was becoming an excuse not to get involved in some social activities, and if I hadn't been gifted with a car by friends who were downsizing after their kids left for college.

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