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Old 07-04-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,009,429 times
Reputation: 7193

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderbear View Post
The car is $13k before negotiations, $6K less than it would be new for a practically new car. Total cost, it's a great value. The car needs to last at least six years minimum. 0% for the life of the loan. I doubt I'll be driving as much as I was in the past few years since I moved cross-state three times and took a cross-country trip, but it will still get quite a beating. Insurance would be about double because we'd want to add collision. Public transportation is available, but inconvenient and relatively expensive (I'd spend more on public transportation than I do in gas for the car). Also my route goes through some sketchy areas which makes it not an option at night. Having at least one car between my husband and I is a must, since I live ten miles from school.

It's hard to not be biased when making the decision..especially when it's what I want. Arg, I'm trying to be responsible..

MyPOV- it's not a Chevy Astro, it's the Saturn Astra. 32mpg average, a smaller hatchback car.
Read closely the post to you by "jlawrence01" to get sound advice. Since you and DH are both students all you need now is wheels that run NOT the ball and chain a car loan will place on you. Also you are making a very expensive basic mistake here.......NEVER EVER FALL IN LOVE WITH A CAR! A car is nothing more or less than a machine just like your fridge or stove or TV so never get emotionally attached to one.

The best basic advice here for students is drive a clunker until you get established in your own right and have saved a bit of money for emergencies then pay as much cash as you can for a good used car to drive until it dies.

Oh yes, that "deal" you're being offered is a bad deal no matter how you slice it. Look at it this way.......drive clunkers that are paid for and avoid the very painful buyers remorse that comes with a car loan of any kind.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,335,478 times
Reputation: 27726
So the loan on the new car would be about five years. If there is hyperinflation and you get a job, you could make out like a bandit, paying off in cheap dollars. You also could end up underwater on a five year loan.

Overall, the deal ALMOST seems to make sense. I think you are realizing that. Check your current insurance policy. It may cover windshield replacement as a statutory requirement. Bodywork, as long as the underlying geometry of the car is not affected, can be done pretty cheaply if you are willing to hunt around and compromise. I'm not sure where you put $1500 into the car recently, but if the engine is fine, and the transmission is fine, then you shouldn't have major expenses.

Here is the core issue. At your age, and with the market bottoming out, if you were to instead invest that $200/mo wisely in either land or stocks, at the end of five years, you could be in a MUCH better position. Using what you have amassed over that five years as a starting place for more major investments, you can get a lot more lifetime security than one car can provide. While it sounds like a nice car, I wouldn't bite.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:52 AM
 
13,711 posts, read 22,838,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1790 View Post
Buy a 4 - 6 yo car with under 60k miles for $4000-$5000 cash and you're done. I paid $5600 for a 2003 Toyota Matrix with 60k miles, paid too much, maybe, but this car has a good reliability rating, with a timing chain vs a timing belt (less maint). I hope to drive it for 100k w/o too much trouble.


fwiw: I just saw a 2007 Pontiac vibe with 10k miles for $9300. That is the same as a Toyota Matrix, nearly new for 50% off new price, still too much money, but $5000 - $7500 cash can get you a recent made model of some sort and no car payments for another 5 years.
Tony, you are great. When I was last in the market, in March 2007, the best deals I could find on a Matrix/Vibe was a 2002 with 85k miles. The dealer wanted $9200 but I am sure that I could have gotten it for $7k. I also saw a 2005 MT with 25k for $11k firm. I had one of my dealer friends scouring the market for a Vibe/Matrix at a great price - without success.

Either of the deals you subscribed would be takers for me. The Vibe/Matrix is good for 150k miles easily. Personally, I am happy if my acquisition cost is less than 10 cents per mile. If I spend $5000 for a car, I need to get 50,000 miles to be happy.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,246,638 times
Reputation: 21264
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderbear View Post
(I'm posting in Frugal Living v. Automotive because I'm more worried about the economy side of it...hopefully it's in the right place)

My poor car is on its last legs. It's a 2000 Saturn LS, 165k miles, and I've put $1500 into it in the last six months. No payments, I paid cash for it, and in the three years I've had it I've put 80k miles on it, driven cross country, through snow and ice, a flood, and a lot of mountain driving. It's been our only mode of transport. It needs over $3k of bodywork, replacing the windshield, a paint job, and the passenger mirror assembly needs to be replaced. It has a solid engine that probably has at least another 40k miles on it, buuut the electrical system shorts out quite a bit, and it eats bulbs like tic tacs. I'm afraid with all of the abuse it's been through, putting money into fixing it up would just be a waste. The cost of repairs would equal or exceed the value of the car.

Here's the question. I have the opportunity to get a used (barely- 6k miles) 2008 Astra, with 0% financing, and my monthly payment will be less than $200 a month. Here's where I'm really struggling- it includes OnStar service for a year, and a 5 year, 100k mile warranty plus maintainence (meaning no more repair bills!!). I love the car, and it fits DH and my needs perfectly. Better gas mileage, roomier, GPS navigation included, tons of luxury features standard, and some amazing safety features. I'll also get owner loyalty credit toward purchase, and they're willing to put my payments six months out (giving me time to figure out books and tuition for fall semester) free of charge.

The next car I get needs to last through the rest of undergrad and into med school (hopefully into residency as well) so I'm looking for low mileage and newer. DH and I are both in school, and although the payments will be tight, it's doable. Should I wait until my car just gives up, and try to get the most out of it as possible? Or should I go ahead and get the new car? It's such a great opportunity, and on one hand I like to use things until they die, but if my car does die I'll be stranded. Unfortunately my car doesn't qualify for the CARS program, so that's not even part of the consideration.

I don't know what to do!
You sound like you are pretty hard on your vehicles. A car with 165k miles on it really should not be in that condition unless it has been treated pretty rough. I am not making a judgment here. Everybody is different. All I am saying is that since you seem to be hard on cars, it would be foolish to buy a new one. Better to buy an older car in good condition for about $4,000 and run it into the ground than pay four times as much and get the same amount of use out of it.

Besides, anyone who buys a new car is foolish. You can buy a car that is two or three years old for a fraction of what a new car costs.

Just a suggestion, I would really lean about preventative care and maintenance on a vehicle. It could end up saving you thousands over time.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:09 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,103,855 times
Reputation: 9065
I agree with those who advise to a) keep the car you have and keep it maintained mechanically and not worry about cosmetics; or b) buy a good used car for cash. Stay away, far away, from debt for a depreciating "asset."

I would also avoid buying a "throw-away" econocar, notwitstanding their supposedly good mileage. Let me give you an example. A few years ago, a friend bought a used late-model Kia--a supposed "econobox"--he manages to get about 35 mpg on the highway with it. Despite maintaining it well, at 120,000 miles, it is pretty much shot. About the same time, I bought a used full-size American sedan with about 60,000 miles on it. It was comfortable, had plenty of space, was excellent in winter (had traction control)--and I paid about a third less for it than my friend did for his used Kia. It was my "commuter" vehicle. Fuel economy? 30-31 mpg highway. I put about 80,000 miles on it and it was running perfectly when I sold it (I quit having to commute, so I no longer needed it). I sold it for only about $3,000 less than I paid for it. I did virtually nothing beyond routine maintenance on it. Cheapest vehicle per mile that I ever owned. In today's moribund economy, there are legions of these used vehicles out there if one knows where to look. No, they won't make you look "sexy," but who cares? Laugh all the way to the bank.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
43 posts, read 126,630 times
Reputation: 23
I'll go against the flow and tell you to buy the car. You are too young to be all that worried about penny pinching. You want to save some money, stop eating out, never eat out. Don't go to movies, don't drink soft drinks, don't get a pet, I could go on.

Transportation is something you have to have, at your age, it needs to be dependable. Keep the old saturn and work on it yourself some, a little at a time and keep it as a back up if you can afford the plates and insurance. Learning how to fix a piece of crap is a more frugal way of thinking than buying old junkers every year or two.

Byy the way, I've developed a theory over the years. The things you touch and use the most on a day to day basis are the things you need to put the most money in. I have no idea how many times I bought a cheap mattress and then regreted it for 5 or more years. Every bad spring, every lump and poor nights sleep doesn't make up for the few hundred extra dollars I saved.

Also, just think of that big smile you'll have riding around in a nice fresh new motor for at least the next few months.

No, I don't sell cars. I'm unemployed and I drive a 1999 Lexus RX300 and a 1990 Geo Tracker. Both vehicles, I trust cross country.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:46 AM
 
1,116 posts, read 2,542,209 times
Reputation: 1468
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
You sound like you are pretty hard on your vehicles. A car with 165k miles on it really should not be in that condition unless it has been treated pretty rough. I am not making a judgment here. Everybody is different. All I am saying is that since you seem to be hard on cars, it would be foolish to buy a new one. Better to buy an older car in good condition for about $4,000 and run it into the ground than pay four times as much and get the same amount of use out of it.

Besides, anyone who buys a new car is foolish. You can buy a car that is two or three years old for a fraction of what a new car costs.

Just a suggestion, I would really lean about preventative care and maintenance on a vehicle. It could end up saving you thousands over time.

20yrsinBranson
It was in pristine condition until I moved to my current location....and I've been hit three times while stopped. The past few years have been hard on the car, but it is out of the ordinary for me. The $1500 was replacing the timing chain and the damage it did when it snapped and replacing the wheel assembly/rim and re-alignment.

I definitely agree with not buying a brand new car, but I've seen just how much money gets sunk into beater cars that are supposedly reliable. The amount that my husband has paid in "reliable" used cars in the past five years could have bought a brand new car in cash. I really don't buy it, because even though he's taken care of his cars, they still always end up with repairs that exceed the value of the car. I'll pay a litle bit extra to know that the car is still covered under warranty.

Plus, we have disposable income now. We won't have that when we're both in grad school...I'd much rather put a good downpayment now, and have a low monthly payment that I'm not paying interest on rather than having to buy another car halfway through because my beater died. Insurance is a concern, but the insurance would be no more on the new car (not counting collision).

I haven't fallen in love with the car so much as the dealer/brand. I can really appreciate customer service, and I'll pay more for that because I know I'm not getting ripped off. Call me a sucker..but I'd rather keep honest folks in business. Anyone who tells me to think it over for months if I need to (while offering to extend their financing special for whenever I do decide to buy) and actually directs me to the barely-used car when they could easily sell me the new, I can respect. I've always owned Saturns, and always been happy with the cars and the service centers.

Overall, I think I see the pros and cons of both, and it's a pretty tough decision.. My husband turns 25 this December, so we've decided to wait until his premiums drop again before getting a new car. I figure also if we wait until next year, the cars that we're looking at will be effectively two years old, and the price will drop even more (with little sacrifice in mileage).
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: In the sticks, SC
1,642 posts, read 4,403,786 times
Reputation: 1079
I think you should keep the car you have now, and take the money you would have used to make monthlys and save it. That way by the time you graduate you will have enough to buy your dream car cash. I don't see the point in buying a new car now just to beat it up.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:32 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,365,770 times
Reputation: 868
Well, if you buy used, it's possible to get something for $2-3k that will go 50-60k miles or more (insurance and registration will be less too). The main issue is to get something with good maintenance, in other words all major service done after 60k or 90k. As you approach 50-60k or 80-90 there are various things that might need changing, so picking up a car before it has this service could cost more.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:34 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,365,770 times
Reputation: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggiekate View Post
I have a honda crv year is 2002, and did buy in new. This car now has 20500 miles, and paid off!
20,500? or 205,000?
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