So now I need a filler car. Suggestions?

So now I need a filler car. Suggestions?

I've got a 2010 TDI with 170k and it starting throwing faults telling me the high pressure fuel pump and fuel system is now going out. Quote to fix it is between 4-5k.
I was thinking the buyback would be perfect timing to drive this until my model 3 showed up, but the TDi figured differently.
So now I'm stuck in a position where I can't drive it, and I need to find a filler car until the model 3 comes out.
I drive nearly 100 miles a day commuting 4 to 5 days a week. Now what kind of junker can I find to drive for almost a year where it won't kill the pocketbook.

The timing on the TDi buyback seemed to good to be true, and I guess it turns out it was for me.

Lonestar10_1999 | 06. März 2017

I commute 80 miles round trip daily. I'm happy with my certified pre-owned Prius. At nearly 70k miles so far, it has needed nothing but the factory suggested maintenance. I figure the odometer will be at 100k or so by the time the M3 is ready, since I reserved mine in May 2016 (Pennsylvania). I'll trade the Prius for whatever I can get for it when it's time. In the meantime I get about 50 mpg, which I can live with.

Carl Thompson | 06. März 2017

The Prius is one of the best cars on the road from a reliability and economy standpoint. All around quality car.


mntlvr23 | 06. März 2017

You can pick up a year old used Leaf really cheap - if you can recharge at work

kseehafer | 06. März 2017

Try finding a used Volt. I love mine - a 2012 that I bought used in October for just under $12K. You won't be able to do your entire daily commute on electric, but at least a good chunk of it. I was surprised at how well the car handles, and it has great pickup. My previous car was a 2014 Lexus CT hybrid, and it SUCKED.

luwong.8888 | 06. März 2017

The Leaf came to mind first, but then I read the part where you are close to 100 miles per day. A used Leaf is a solid 70-80 mile range vehicle. Is the 100 miles a round trip? If you drive 50 miles and can plug the vehicle in and work your 8(anything less than 6 hours will not charge enough at 110v) hour shift. You will have plenty of range to make it home. Quality used Leafs in the 2012-2013s are in the $6-8000 range.
I have seen low to average mileage Volts in the '$12-14000 range. Consumers Report gave the 1st gen Volt a score of 94. One of the highest ever for a GM product. On the Volt forums, the 1st gen cars are very reliable. Your first 40 miles will be on the battery then the gas generator will kick in for the last 10 miles. If you can plug in at work, then on the way home, again the first 40 miles will be on the battery and the last 10 miles on gas.

Derik | 06. März 2017

My work just installed some chargers out front, 4 of them, and right now seem to be always used as a parking spot. I've yet to see anyone charging from them. Current rates for these chargers are 75 cents an hour. I think they are either 6-8kwh chargers.
And yes I drive 100 miles round trip. Might be closer to 90 since I think it's around 45 one way.
I don't think I can trust a leaf to do the commute since the range isn't enough. I would hate to get stranded if for some reason the chargers here didn't work.
Any clue how the volt's value is going to hold up for another year and 20-25k is more miles? I'm looking for something that won't eat my model 3 money away to badly. Totally understand that I'm going to eat something.. but I would hate to buy a car (cough versa) and end up selling it a year later for less than half what I bought it for.

joemar10 | 06. März 2017

I have put almost 500,000 miles in two Priuses, with just about zero maintenance costs outside of oil and tires. My '04 had 246,000 miles and did need some suspension work when I traded it on my '10, which now has over 240,000 miles. I am banking on this one to get me through until my M3 comes in. I am an early morning pre-reveal reserver.

mntlvr23 | 06. März 2017

Buy a 5 year old civic or camry - you can likely sell it in a year or two for not much less

Frenchy | 06. März 2017

I'm in a similar predicament. 2012 TDI Passat, 200,000 km. Considering a trade-in if there is any incentive to stay with VW. Otherwise, i'll choose anything that will give me the best resale value.

michaellemus10 | 06. März 2017

I'd have to agree with mntlvr23, buy a used civic and dump it once you get your Model 3.

I'd try to buy one direct and not from the dealer as the dealer will probably buy it dirt cheap and tack on 2-3 grand for what amounts to an interior cleaning, an oil change and maybe some tires.

If you're not keen on buying a car you could take over a short term lease. I've done that before. Take over a lease for 9 months, drop the car off to the nearest Lexus dealer and walk away.

Derik | 06. März 2017

We're on our second Prius as well right now. First one has over 200k and we had a kid. The timing was right just to get a new one. So we've got a '15 plug in right now. The plug in on that car is kind of useless since it only gives about 11 miles of range. Had a couple issues with the first one. The computer fried itself, but was covered under warranty, and then one of the batteries (not the hybrid system) died while my wife was driving. Just caused lots of warning lights etc. Just had to replace the battery and it was all good.

I highly doubt there will be any good incentive to stay with VW. It'll be hard for me to even want to get another one with the HPFP failing on me. It's a diesel, 200k should just be breaking in the engine, not having something major fail.

Derik | 06. März 2017

I'm thinking a corolla or something would fit the bill pretty well. A 05-06 look like they go for around 3-4k. Figured even if I have to put a grand into it they should still run for another year without much of an issue. 14's are like 13-14k and I've got a feeling selling those back in a year would be for like 10-12k. But wouldn't have to put much into it. But paying taxes etc makes them another grand more expensive as well.
I would love to be able to get one at a whole sellers auction or something, but that is just dreaming. I've heard they go for like 8k there.

JeffreyR | 06. März 2017

Several here have mentioned services where you can take over leases. I don't have any experience w/ them, but seems like a good short-term option.

Otherwise I'd +1 used Prius.

mntlvr23 | 07. März 2017

I have a 2001 Volvo S60, 5-speed, loaded, low 140K miles, well maintained - that will hopefully be available this winter. Runs like a top, fun to drive, and I can let go of it for very cheap. Has a hatchback and a tow package. Comes with a free a tesla hat. Text me.

andy.connor.e | 07. März 2017

Electric scooter.

Derik | 07. März 2017

LOL. Thanks for that. A scooter would never make it, or it would take me like 6 hours to get to work.

lilbean | 07. März 2017

Do you have a friend or relative who has a spare car you could purchase or borrow?

Derik | 07. März 2017

I wish. I've been I could play a game for a little while of using different peoples cars, but I'm sure everyone would get over it pretty quickly.
My mom offered me to use her car a couple of days per week, but it's her only mode of transportation. I would feel bad leaving her stranded while I was at work.

krafter324 | 07. März 2017

I bought a used Honda Accord to get me through. Reliable, relatively fuel efficient, hi resale and and easy sell when it's time.

dd.micsol | 07. März 2017

Get a used honda or prius for about 5k with 90 day warranty-it nothing goes wrong during that time-it'll hold off for the mdl3 delivery.

Rocky_H | 07. März 2017

I would go pretty general, and agree with others. Some Honda or Toyota for less than $10,000. It'll get great gas mileage, be very reliable, and already be depreciated enough that it won't lose much value for a couple of years.

Shesmyne2 | 07. März 2017

@Frenchy-isn't VW buying your car back from you or are you not part of that nightmare?
My neighbor is in a similar predicament. He has a lease that expires probably before his 3 comes out.
Can you get a two year lease on something & turn it in early? I don't know how leasing works, but...

Good Luck.
Still Grinning ;-)

Derik | 08. März 2017

Starting to lean toward a take over lease of a prius or something. using some websites I've found some for around $200 a month with enough miles on it to cover my commute.
Only problem I'm seeing here is this pushes the problem 10-11 months down the road. Playing on the idea that Elon gets the Model 3 into production in July and I'm somewhere around the Dec / Jan time period.
Crossing my fingers.

Tarla's Driver | 08. März 2017

The exhaust system on my 97 Saturn is rusting out, and the car is getting louder every time I drive it. I'm thinking about a used Leaf in hopes that it won't drop in value that much between now and my Model 3 delivery on October 14th (give or take a few months). I've seen them for $7500 for a 2012, with 2013 and 2014 models $1K more each. Then again, even if I resold it at the same price, between registration, title, and sales tax, I would probably be out $800. With my limited use of the car, Uber/Lyft might be the cheaper option.

KP in NPT | 08. März 2017

@Tarla's Driver - I just had to replace the exhaust system on my 07 Lexus. Several holes, tried to patch but it just found a new place to make a new hole. it failed inspection so couldn't wait. That sucked. Luckily a family member restores old cars and has a sick garage with a lift. He and hubby did it themselves. Saved a few grand compared to the quotes we got. (which included genuine Lexus parts, which we did not use since we're getting rid of it.)

andy.connor.e | 08. März 2017


In all honesty, i was not being facetious. I just got an electric scooter that folds up like your average razor scooter, but can go 45mph, and gets 50 miles per charge. If all you're doing is going to work, its a good solution. No traffic. But its no car replacement. Just a commute replacement.

Derik | 08. März 2017

I go 45 miles and there is only a highway as an option on the way down here. If I lived closer to work and didn't have to take freeways I'd agree with you.
I'm kind of limited to between a car, motorcycle, or a highway capable scooter.

andy.connor.e | 08. März 2017


I see thats unfortunate.

jsanford | 08. März 2017

Used Yaris or similar. Cheap to feed, cheap to maintain, cheap to insure, and easy to park.

andy.connor.e | 09. März 2017

Take it from a yaris owner. I have not put much money into my 2009 over the last 2 years.

jeffinpt | 09. März 2017

When my Passat failed in 2015 I bought a new Prius. It is definitely NOT zippy, but gets me around town and to the airport 100 miles away. I'm confident it will be easy to sell once the Model 3 becomes common. Thrifty, too at about 50 mpg. Stopgap car. Irritating beep when in reverse--requires a trip to the dealer to get that turned off and I just haven't bothered to do so.

Frenchy | 09. März 2017


I'm apart of that nightmare (un)fortunately...? The options are "Buyback", "Trade in", or "Fix", + compensation. With having 200k miles on it already, financially it doesn't makes sense to fix it. Seems like leasing is a popular idea in the forum so I'll crunch some numbers, see if it's wrothwhile.

Derik | 09. März 2017

Seems like there are a few of us that have TDi's of some sort that are just waiting for the model 3.
Doing some more reading on the fix / buyback process today I found that the first gen engines had to have a fix in my Jan 27th to CARB / EPA. They've got 30 days to accept / reject it. That 30 days is coming up here on Monday, so I wonder what is going to happen.
From reading reddit it sounds like the reps are saying there is no fix and the first gen cars are going to the crusher. But who knows if that is actually true.

Sparky | 09. März 2017

Get an old K car with a rusted driver's door, duct tape on the seats, and a bumper held on by chicken wire. Buy it with cash from a used car lot run by a guy named Marty who wears too much cheap cologne and chews nicorettes.

When your T3 comes you're gonna LOVE it!

PhillyGal | 10. März 2017

@Sparky - Ha! I haven't heard the term "K car" in a minute!

@Derik - I have to agree with the folks that say grab a used Corolla or similar; which you can either sell or trade-in for the M3 with little value loss. Or a used prius. Or, I think the lease price of those tiny Prius-Cs is really low and they're surely cheap to feed.

Ross1 | 10. März 2017

Dont all Prius onsell to taxi operators?
There must be a premium second hand value in THE RIGHT CITY.

petero | 11. März 2017

Derik. Dare to be different. Buy an old Mazda Miata with a manual transmission. They are cheap, dependable, fun, and I will bet when your TM3 finally arrives you'll keep it.

Happy trails and good luck.

sosmerc | 11. März 2017

So my old F150 Supercrew just went down the road and now the Miata MX5 is our only vehicle while we shop for a BEV or Hybrid. Talk about a lifestyle change ! Just getting in and out of the Miata is a workout for me ! Going shopping for a stop-gap vehicle while we wait for the Model 3 or equivalent to show up. But, fortunately, I enjoy the hunt and now have time.

sosmerc | 11. März 2017

By the way, once you finally get settled and strapped in, the Miata is a joy to drive....especially with the retractable hardtop down. It's easy on gas and reliable to boot. Too bad Mazda hasn't taken a liking to electric Zoom Zoom !

andy.connor.e | 13. März 2017

Smart car.

Tarla's Driver | 13. März 2017

I've seen some electric Smart Cars for under $6K. The older ones had a battery and drive train made by Tesla, but they switched to another company in the newer generation. From what I've read, they are dog slow with a really short range. Having seen used Leafs for $7500 for a 2012, I'm thinking it will be easier to resell and get my money back with the Leaf. I'm hoping my Saturn will manage to stay alive a bit longer to make the moot for me, or at least long enough that I'll have a better idea of when my Model 3 will be delivered.

Derik | 13. März 2017

I did think of a Miata, because the answer to any car question always ends up at a Miata. I've got a requirement from the wife to have a car seat in the car, so really any 2 seater wouldn't have worked out well. I'm sure there is a way to turn off the airbag and plant the seat upfront, but I would never hear the end of it. So for my sanity I had to let the idea of a Miata go.

I ended up finding a used corolla for the mean time. Not the best thing, and I'm already missing the torque of the TDi, and the seats, and the infotainment, and the auto windows, and the....... This might not end..

I'm sure it'll make the Model 3 so much nicer when I finally get it.

Red Sage ca us | 01. April 2017

Does anyone else have a need to fill?