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Old 03-30-2017, 08:15 AM
 
3,608 posts, read 1,524,512 times
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I buy new cars, pay cash for them, and keep them till they are well and truly worn out. I have complete control over the service history. I service them on a shorter schedule than the manufacturer's recommendation.

I don't buy luxury cars. I buy medium priced cars with good reliability expectations.

It's probably possible to get through life with a lower total automotive cost than I incur, but I suspect it wouldn't be that much less, and I also avoid a lot of sources of hassle and stress.
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Delaware
238 posts, read 138,116 times
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I am not mechanical and I have little interest in learning about the workings of cars. Since I could easily be fooled buying a used vehicle, I don't. Breaking down on the road is not my thing either. I buy what I want new, after spending months comparative shopping until I'm confident I am getting a good deal. I do the recommended services and oil changes. My vehicles last and last. I pass them on to my children, knowing they are still sound. So far, none of my cars have gone to junk yards....they are still running with 250+ miles on them, except for my present vehicle (just over 100,000) I feel good knowing the history of my automobile.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:48 AM
 
11,734 posts, read 16,473,515 times
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Safety and usability and some creature comforts - we need the cargo space of pick up trucks for sporting equipment and I will not have SO on the road in a "may or may not make it" vehicle for the sake of saving a few bucks or not being able to sit comfortably.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,351,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
That is what I USED to think. The last time that I was in the market for a used car in Chicagoland, I purchased a new Toyota Corolla for $2000 less than a similarly equipped Ford Focus or a Chevy Malibu.

You can pick up a 2015 Toyota Corolla with 40k miles in the Chicago area for about $11,200 at a Hertz sale lot in Lake in the Hills or Schaumburg, IL.
Yeah- it depends on your local market, price range and the specific vehicles you're looking at.

Personally, $7000 is the most I've ever spent on a vehicle- and prior to that the number was $3500. So I'm looking at a whole different subset of vehicles.

But yeah, if you can get a Toyota or a Honda for a price similar to the equivalent American vehicle- or even 30% more... I'd recommend those Japanese brands without hesitation. Especially for people who don't *enjoy* working on vehicles.

I have an advantage here in that I was a mechanic for 16 years (though I changed careers a few years ago). Within reason, I actually *like* working on vehicles. So for me, American vehicles are a great fit. In my price range, you can buy a much newer/better equipped American vehicle vs. European or Japanese. And maintenance items, parts, etc. are dirt cheap by comparison. Japanese vehicles aren't terrible in that respect, but parts cost more and you do have to pay more attention to which fluids you install- they have some pretty specific requirements in some cases. Whereas with a Chevy... you can generally get all fluids and filters at Walmart.

Last edited by turkey-head; 03-30-2017 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,445 posts, read 24,230,718 times
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We love our cars but they are a money pit. Insurance and registration added to the cost of fuel and maintenance make them quite expensive. But they are convenient. Every time I think about hiking to the bus stop and waiting 20 minutes in 110 degree heat, I am glad the car is in the garage ready to go whenever I am with the AC on!
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:07 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,351,501 times
Reputation: 3177
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I try to keep <$0.10 / mile including the cost of the vehicle. (fuel, maint, and repairs)

econo car for generic gas burner folks ? ... a common Toyota and keeping it forever (as makes sense for repair costs)

My daily driver is ~$0.03 / mile including the cost of car ($35 bought at towing company auction). Free fuel (Waste Veggie oil) 50+ mpg (As it has since 1976)

I have a few TDI Passat Wagons B4V. $1200 - $2000. I enjoy their 1250 mile range between fuel stops. They are quite happy to drink WVO or Bio-D (brew your own fuel)
I've generally looked at vehicle cost in terms of purchase price + repairs... assuming that insurance insurance, mainenance, tax, etc. will be roughly the same for any vehicle. That's not really true of course... I'm just being lazy.

I'll have to set up a cost per mile spreadsheet. Could be an interesting comparison




Edit- I've always wanted a veggie-oil burner. My first career was as a diesel mechanic, so I'd be well suited to running one. But I've never found a practical vehicle that made sense cost-wise... cheap gassers have always worked for me. But if I were to come across a good deal on a diesel Volkswagen, I'd sure consider it.

I knew a guy years ago who drove an old diesel Rabbit. He was a mechanic at the same company I worked for, and he always kept two or three of those old Volkswagen Rabbits. He would drive one daily... and meanwhile he was rebuilding one of the other ones. Had done this for a couple decades. He was a farmer, so he was running off-highway diesel in them- saving even more money. Not legal of course... but only about a .0001% chance of getting caught.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:22 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,351,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49erfan916 View Post
i need to lower my car expenses. At one point, i owned 3 new cars and i felt like i burned a hole in my wallet. I do like flashy things but i want to live that frugal mentality. I may take the poster's idea about buying a used toyota at an auction and go from there.
Yeah, it's not for everybody. Nice cars are important to some people- and I'm not knocking them for it. It's a personal choice

For me though, I've never really cared much about what car I drive. I like cars- don't get me wrong... but fundamentally I'm a pragmatist. A car is a transportation appliance... and needn't be any more exciting than a dishwasher. Hell my 2001 Chevy Lumina is LESS interesting than most dishwashers. But you'd be hard-pressed to find cheaper transportation over the 11 years that I've had it.

To be honest I do have *some* aesthetic concerns with a vehicle... but they're minimal.

First of all, I don't want it to look straight-up awful (though I have had some of those in the past)... because nasty looking vehicles attract cops. Those interactions are unpleasant at best, and often cost money.

Secondly- I avoid outright econo-boxes. For instance I wouldn't buy anything smaller than a Honda Civic... and really I prefer the size of an Accord or larger. For a couple of reasons. One... smaller cars just aren't build as sturdily. This may be of no importance to people who buy new and only keep the vehicle for a few years. But I buy well-used and then keep vehicles for a decade or more. I don't need a tank... but it does need to be reasonably well-built. Also (and of equal importance), it's been my experience that econo-boxes simply attract road-ragers. Something about seeing a tiny, non-threatening vehicle really brings out the worst in people.

And to be fair, I'm not exactly a courteous driver. As a young adult I spent a few years in Houston... with it's world-class awful traffic. 20+ years later I still make an ass of myself on the road
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:29 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,351,501 times
Reputation: 3177
Quote:
Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post
Buy used and know how to fix them yourself to keep them running for a very long time.
That's exactly what I do.

I understand that not everybody is mechanically inclined- and so this model won't work for them. But it's a useful skill to develop. Saves me a ton of money (fact is that my 6-figure 401K has cost me less monthly than most people spend on car payments). And it comes in handy all the time.

I mean, let's say my clothes drier breaks down. And ordinary person is going to have to spend a few hundred dollars there. Me? I take it apart and see what's wrong. Then I can order a part and usually have it up and running again for $30 or so- and with less work than carrying a new one downstairs.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:36 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,351,501 times
Reputation: 3177
Quote:
Originally Posted by himain View Post
I lease a new luxury car every 3 years. I work hard so I like to enjoy my car

That's cool- I'm not knocking people who prefer to spend money on vehicles. I waste too much money on alcohol and new smart-phones myself

But seeings how this is the 'frugal living' forum, I'm pointing out that there's a ton of money to be saved here for people who are interested.

When my friends and relatives talk about how much $$ they spend on vehicles... I can only wonder how they afford it. I just can't imagine spending $20,000 for a new car or $35,000 for a pickup. Sure I could pay cash for both of those right now... but in 10 years they'll have lost easily 80% of their value. Whereas that money invested will more than double on average

I like *earning* interest (or dividends, capital gains, etc.). I hate *paying* interest. That stuff adds up over time. I've understood this since I was a kid (always been good at math), and now that I'm in my 40's the effects over time are becoming very obvious.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:52 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
Yeah- it depends on your local market, price range and the specific vehicles you're looking at.

Personally, $7000 is the most I've ever spent on a vehicle- and prior to that the number was $3500. So I'm looking at a whole different subset of vehicles.

But yeah, if you can get a Toyota or a Honda for a price similar to the equivalent American vehicle- or even 30% more... I'd recommend those Japanese brands without hesitation. Especially for people who don't *enjoy* working on vehicles.

I have an advantage here in that I was a mechanic for 16 years (though I changed careers a few years ago). Within reason, I actually *like* working on vehicles. So for me, American vehicles are a great fit. In my price range, you can buy a much newer/better equipped American vehicle vs. European or Japanese. And maintenance items, parts, etc. are dirt cheap by comparison. Japanese vehicles aren't terrible in that respect, but parts cost more and you do have to pay more attention to which fluids you install- they have some pretty specific requirements in some cases. Whereas with a Chevy... you can generally get all fluids and filters at Walmart.

For 20 years, I would purchase 3 year old American vehicles, usually midsized, with 40-50k miles for $5-7k. Between my brother who is a mechanic and my access to cars in corporate fleets where I could buy a car at wholesale (or auction) prices. At the same time, my equally frugal friend would buy a new vehicle, usually a Toyta Corolla. Since we are both accountants, we kept track of the costs. Both of us kept the cars until the cars would fall apart, When we compared the costs, the cost per mile was nearly identical.

There was one difference. I was making calls to AAA 2-3 times per year. That is despite the fact that I had the car in the shop every 3,000 miles religiously. I have no interest in DIY auto repair. The time that I spend doing that would keep me from working as many hours. I make a lot more than mechanics so it would reduce my income. I might add that the Toyota dealerships tend to charge less than the GM dealers do are are infinitely more TRANSPARENT than the GM and Ford dealerships that I have dealt with.

It is much easier to buy a new car and drive it forever. Since my Oldsmobile died in February 2007, I have NOT called AAA on a roadside assistance call in 10+ years.
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