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Could you afford a new car?

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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:56 am

If you can afford a $300 car payment, then you can afford to set aside $300 a month for a down payment. After a year you'll have $3600 plus interest in addition to whatever trade in you have, which means you're financing $3600 less.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby jman111 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:05 am

As for me, I'll stick to used cars. My last two purchases were cars greater than 5 years old, each around 10 grand.

Bought a '97 Accord in 2002 for $9,500 and drove it for 10 years. Last year finally dumped that for a 2003 Toyota with almost 100,000 miles on it. Paid about $9,000 after trade-in on the scrap value of the Accord. Sounds crazy, right? Nine thousand dollars for a car with 100,000 miles? No, not when you buy models that are consistently reliable and find cars that have been well-maintained. I got a luxury car that went for well over 30 grand when new. I got full service records to show that all maintenance had been done, as scheduled. And it's pre-scratched and dinged, so I don't have to lose sleep wondering when my new car will inevitably get its first blemish.

Even if you've got to drop several thousand on repairs in the time that you own it, a used car is saving you many thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:13 am

How to buy a car. This is an Ignite presentation from 2007.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby swoon_queen » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:18 am

Timely topic; I'm in the market and considering whether to go new or used. If you asked me 4 years ago whether I'd ever buy a brand new car, I'd scoff and say "It depreciates 3k the second you drive it off the lot!"

However, since then I purchased a used car outright for $8600- well below Kelly Blue Book- and even though I took it to a mechanic for a thorough looksee before buying, four months in the engine block cracked. New engine? $5600- and that's going to a mechanic who's a friend of a friend, willing to cut me a deal.

I *just* paid off the loan for that car, which I was barely able to drive. Bought a junky Lumina for $1600 that broke down in December.

I am leaning towards a "certified used" model but I'm not sure which dealer to go with.

Anyway, back to the original point- I have about $3k to put down and I wanted my car payments to be around $275 a month. I was shocked to find that I'd be looking at the stripped down economy car if I went new. Seemed to me that the last time I looked into purchasing a vehicle that was entirely within range. I just don't think it's worth it to pay much more than $250-$275 a month- I don't care about bells and whistles- but I do want to make sure that I don't end up with an expensive paperweight again.

I envy my brother, whose company has a corporate discount with Ford, bringing their sticker prices down to a comfortable level.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:12 pm

swoon_queen wrote:I just don't think it's worth it to pay much more than $250-$275 a month- I don't care about bells and whistles- but I do want to make sure that I don't end up with an expensive paperweight again.


I think you can go used if you get it from a dealer. I was curious about prices so I went to a dealer site and was able to find a number of cars with decent mileage for around $200 a month.

My car crapped out on me back in the fall. I have been reluctant to fix it because even though it only has about 140,000 miles, it's old. Rust is a nasty thing thanks to Wisconsin winters. I've been doing some casual research and need to go on the cheap with any car I buy. I've been looking at KIA's but I don't know anyone who owns one. Are they shit cars? Does anyone have any experience with them?
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Endo Rockstar » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:42 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
swoon_queen wrote:I just don't think it's worth it to pay much more than $250-$275 a month- I don't care about bells and whistles- but I do want to make sure that I don't end up with an expensive paperweight again.


I think you can go used if you get it from a dealer. I was curious about prices so I went to a dealer site and was able to find a number of cars with decent mileage for around $200 a month.

My car crapped out on me back in the fall. I have been reluctant to fix it because even though it only has about 140,000 miles, it's old. Rust is a nasty thing thanks to Wisconsin winters. I've been doing some casual research and need to go on the cheap with any car I buy. I've been looking at KIA's but I don't know anyone who owns one. Are they shit cars? Does anyone have any experience with them?


My rule of thumb is I never consider buying a different vehicle until the cost of repairs exceeds the cost of a car payments for a year. An engine block cracking would have probablly met that criteria for me -- but I'm not sure what I'd do in a situation where I just bought the thing for $8600. If the the purchase price was far enough below blue book, I might have bit the bullet and took out a loan to fix it as well.

I've heard through the grapevine that Kia's aren't as bad as they used to be. Your research may vary. I have two friends who rave about the quality of their Hyundais as well. One buddy refers to his as "a Honda without the pricetag."

Swoon, I've been seeing a lot of advertising for "certified used" vehicles as well. It appears to be a pretty good middle ground. You should keep us updated on your progress.

-Dan Motor
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:44 pm

swoon_queen wrote:Timely topic; I'm in the market and considering whether to go new or used. If you asked me 4 years ago whether I'd ever buy a brand new car, I'd scoff and say "It depreciates 3k the second you drive it off the lot!"

TOTAL AMATEUR ALERT (on what follows, not the above quote -- sorry)

The better the warranty on a new car, the more likely you are to need it. Kia and Hyundai are, if memory serves, coming around -- but I still wouldn't buy one.

Stop me if I've told this story before, but I bought a new Toyota Echo in 2000 (its first model year) for about $16k financed (it was a $10k MSRP car), and it lasted me 240,000 miles and 12 years. It still wasn't dead when I traded it in. With that experience in mind, I'd consider a Toyota Yaris; not quite as cheap, but nothing worth buying is these days -- it's close. Or grab a Scion iQ if you're not dissuaded by eensy-weensiness. They've got a fine track record in Asia, like the Fiat does in Europe.

The Consumer Reports annual feature on trustworthy used cars is legit; if you're thinking about going used, use it. If I were looking used, I'd probably go Subaru -> Mazda -> Honda -> Nissan. But of course, especially in Madison, you're going to be looking for a while if you want to find a used Subaru that is certified and cheap. One of the most enjoyable test drives I've taken was in a Mazda 3. Those are available used all over the place, and not too pricey.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:37 pm

I still wouldn't buy a Kia or Hyundai but they are better than they were 5 years ago. Buying one new, with a warranty and the intent of getting rid of it before repairs become an issue then maybe....
Look at the lease options. Certified Used isn't cheap. used isn't as cheap as it used to be period. The used car market is really high making the lease option even more attractive. Better used value = better lease deal.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby swoon_queen » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:00 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Look at the lease options. Certified Used isn't cheap. used isn't as cheap as it used to be period. The used car market is really high making the lease option even more attractive. Better used value = better lease deal.


I've thought about this, but I like the option of going on road trips. Plus, I put a lot of miles on vehicles- my parents live three hours away, my brother five hours, and I visit everyone frequently...

BookPolice, funny you should mention the Mazda 3, I believe that's on the same platform as the Ford Focus (which is what I'm currently contemplating, being a hatchback girl- not a lot of hatchbacks out there, these days!) I am driving my friend's Scion TC at the moment, and like it, but I probably want something a little more compact.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:03 pm

I've thought about this, but I like the option of going on road trips. Plus, I put a lot of miles on vehicles- my parents live three hours away, my brother five hours, and I visit everyone frequently...


The mileage is negotiable as well. I took mine from 10k/year to 15k/year and it cost me about $7/month. But yeah if you're going to do much more than that probably buy. I've got the 2012 Impreza hatchback. It's AWD and gets 36MPG on the highway. I don't think even the FWD competition gets that.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:14 pm

swoon_queen wrote:BookPolice, funny you should mention the Mazda 3, I believe that's on the same platform as the Ford Focus (which is what I'm currently contemplating, being a hatchback girl- not a lot of hatchbacks out there, these days!)

I've got an irrational beef with the Focus, which has developed into a really fine car, because it was introduced the same year as my beloved Echo -- and the Echo was phased out in 2005, while the Focus rolls on. Be true to your school, etc. etc.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:48 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Certified Used isn't cheap. used isn't as cheap as it used to be period.


When my car started crapping out is when I first started looking at used cars. It's been about 9 years since I purchased my car used. That same type of car and mileage today is over double in price. I almost shit when I saw used car prices. That seems like excessive inflation to me.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:54 pm

It's more recent than that even. In 2008 I was looking for a slightly used and it was a considerable savings for the most part. A 3-year old 40k BMW could be had for low 20's. Now it's probably closer to 30. My wife was looking at a 2 year old Forester, it ended up being $1500 less than a brand new one on the lot.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:04 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:Certified Used isn't cheap. used isn't as cheap as it used to be period.


When my car started crapping out is when I first started looking at used cars. It's been about 9 years since I purchased my car used. That same type of car and mileage today is over double in price. I almost shit when I saw used car prices. That seems like excessive inflation to me.


Supply and demand. During the recession, fewer people bought new cars, so there are fewer used cars coming into the market now. Plus "Cash for Clunkers" took a whole lot of perfectly good older cars off the streets. Add to that more people still reeling from the recession and wanting to go used in order to save money.

Supply down, demand up = higher pricces.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby rabble » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:34 pm

According to an NPR show I heard a few months ago, the used car market shifted during the recession because everybody held on to their cars instead of trading them in, which gutted the market. Prices of used cars began to approach new, and the used cars are much harder used.

After listening to those people talk I'm surprised to see so many people on this thread talking about finding decent used vehicles for even close to reasonable prices. I thought we were gonna have to go with new, but now it seems like we might be able to find a decent used one out there.

Edit: For some reason Michael's post wasn't there when I wrote mine. I wouldn't have bothered if I'd known he'd already splained that whole supply n demand thing.
Last edited by rabble on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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