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Could you afford a new car?

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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby jman111 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:48 pm

If you decide to go used, I'd second the Consumer Reports recommendation. Lots of good info there, at least as a starting point. Their listings of best used cars within certain price ranges can possibly steer you to at least consider cars you wouldn't have otherwise.

At a minimum, the ratings and reviews will allow you to rule out certain models based on horrible reliability history or other factors you deem important.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:31 pm

No, I can't.

ArturoBandini wrote:This is important to note - the new cars of today are not comparable to the new cars of two or three decades ago. They last longer, are safer and more efficient per unit of power, have more features, and are available in a wide variety of styles and formats.


True, but an unfortunate flip side, to me at least, is that new cars seem much easier to "total" due to expensive features. Don't get me wrong, air bags are a wonderful invention, just hope you're fully covered if they ever go off.

I would trade the power windows and locks on my pick-up in a second for some corner vent windows like trucks used to have. The first thing that broke on my new used truck was the drivers window motor. Fuck that, I've never seen a hand crank break in my life.

And I cannot stand my anti-lock brakes. I know how to stop, I don't need that loud vibrating panic-inducing mechanism to kick in every time I hit a 12 inch patch of ice.

So yeah, I'm basically in the market for a 79 F150.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:17 pm

narcoleptish wrote:True, but an unfortunate flip side, to me at least, is that new cars seem much easier to "total" due to expensive features. Don't get me wrong, air bags are a wonderful invention, just hope you're fully covered if they ever go off.
So what about full insurance? Is it worth it, over the long haul? Is careful planning a better way to go?

narcoleptish wrote:I would trade the power windows and locks on my pick-up in a second for some corner vent windows like trucks used to have. The first thing that broke on my new used truck was the drivers window motor. Fuck that, I've never seen a hand crank break in my life.
Amen. Same for seat adjustments. (Though I do like power locks. And it seems that when they fail, they can still be used manually.)
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Ducatista » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:18 pm

In 2010 we bought a nicely appointed 2006 Lexus AWD sedan from a dealer. (I like the bells and whistles—cooled seats are where it's at, man—and my husband needs a good-looking car for work.) The equivalent new car today would cost a flipping FORTUNE, way more than we'd spend. Not that we plan on buying a new car soon. Or a used one, for that matter, since it turns out we bought a model & year that has an engine misfiring issue. We've only experienced an occasional rough idle after a cold start, but apparently it would eventually cause big problems. So today we're driving around in a sweet little CT 200h hybrid loaner, as Lexus is putting a new engine in our 7-year-old car. Best bad luck ever.

Anyway, I'd always choose quality over newness.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:25 pm

Cooled seats? Such a thing exists? You make my head to explode! I want!
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby gargantua » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:32 pm

I always buy new. I still have my 1992 Acura Integra and my 2001 Honda Accord. Neither car has ever given me any trouble. In fact the Accord still has the original muffler.

So if you buy and hold, a new car can work out very well. My last car payment was in 05, and I'll be surprised if I don' t still have the Accord in 2020.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:53 pm

gargantua wrote:I always buy new.
You are a Rabelaisian giant among mere mortals.

Now if there were only more 0% 120-month financing plans ...
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby TeachInPeace » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:31 pm

I'll never understand all the judgment directed towards Hyundai. I bought my 2005 Santa Fe brand new off the lot, and I paid sticker price. Mostly because I never bought a new car before, or new anyone who had ever bought a new car so I didn't know negotiating was a thing.

Fast forward 8 years - that SUV has been through off roading during the years I lived in South Dakota, extreme temperatures and humidity during the years I lived in New Orleans, and never gave me a bit of trouble. The only repairs I have ever made were body work when I got backed into by a half-ton farm truck, and getting the brakes replaced this past fall. Other than routine maintenance this car has been just perfect.

I paid 24,000 (plus interest yada, yada) with 1,000 down. My payments were in the 450 range plus insurance. I was making 27,500 at the time, so yeah that pretty much sucked, and I will never ever buy new off the lot again. But it's paid for, the monthly cost is gas only, and I could not have asked for a better vehicle. My next car will be a Hyundai.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Bwis53 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:34 pm

Narco, one night I was teaching my son to drive in a '95 Astro van. We were in bumper to bumper traffic. Suddenly a guy cut in front of us, from the opposing lane, in order to get into the driveway to our right. Thank God, my son jumped on the brakes, the anti-lock kicked in and our butts got saved. I got stuck teaching both my boys how to drive and I'm proud that they are pretty damn good.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:39 pm

We got a Hyundai Sonata as a rental, since we couldn't trust either of our cars to make it to Milwaukee for a special occasion. It had less than 20K on it and made it to Milwaukee fine, but then it died. The rental company balked at rescuing us, since it didn't die within 100 yards of one of their outlets. Somehow we managed to make the beast limp back to the airport where we were met with sheepish apologies. By their [unofficial] report our experience wasn't unique.

Maybe an anomaly, but it was enough for us to avoid Hyundai thereafter. (Also, it felt as if it were constructed of discarded to-go coffee lids.)
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:47 pm

fennel wrote:So what about full insurance? Is it worth it, over the long haul? Is careful planning a better way to go?


I can't tell if you're giving me shit so I'll just say that I've never carried collision or whatever they call it, only liability. I've also been lucky and have never been in an accident that damaged my vehicle. If you have a loan you obviously need full coverage, and if you have a nice ride, with airbags, it's probably a good idea.


I'm amazed at how many people I see driving those 30K pick-ups. They're everywhere. I can't believe there's that many pick-up type people making that kind of money. Maybe they're living in them.

Bwis, I'm glad the anti-locks saved your butts. When mine kick in they don't even seem to work, it just vibrates and it still feels like I'm sliding. I've never had a slam-on-your-brakes close call in this truck, it's always rolling up to stop signs or red lights.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby Igor » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:55 am

We could afford to buy new, but never have. Essentially, our family "budget" was just to go cheap on big items (rent/house, car, vacations) so that we did not have to scrimp on small stuff. I think the most expensive car we have purchased in 30 years was probably $11,000 or so. We typically carry collision on a car until it drops under $4,000 in value. We are really getting punished right now with two college drivers - one of whom has a car with collision coverage.

Once the kids are moved out, I would like to get a beater pickup for $2000 or so just to haul stuff, allowing me to drive something with good mileage 98% of the time. Wife is not keen on the idea of an extra vehicle in the way all the time though.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby rabble » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:38 am

Igor wrote:Once the kids are moved out, I would like to get a beater pickup for $2000 or so just to haul stuff, allowing me to drive something with good mileage 98% of the time. Wife is not keen on the idea of an extra vehicle in the way all the time though.

My wife was also leery of that but when I found a little pickup in that range I bought it anyway. It only took one summer to change her mind.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby fennel » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Igor wrote: We typically carry collision on a car until it drops under $4,000 in value.
That seems like a reasonable approach, though I might hedge the cutoff point a little upwards. I've never carried anything but basic liability, but we just took out a loan to get a late model car. My inclination is to drop collision coverage as soon as we can, but I'd want to have some kind of cash cushion first.
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Re: Could you afford a new car?

Postby bleurose » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:48 am

Several years after combining households (AKA getting married again), the other half and I decided that my two really old beater cars should be replaced with one new one. I ended up giving one of those cars to my step brother because it still had several years of life left in it and he didn't have a vehicle at all.

Anyway, bought a new Mini Cooper to go with his F150 (97 model) and we have loved it. When the car was about five years old - & naturally had been paid off for some time - some sweet young thing rushing to work & being late, using her cell phone (don't know if she was texting or talking) ran the red light doing about 35MPH. My light had been green long enough that I was almost through the intersection, that is how little she was paying attention. The impact shoved my car into the adjacent lane, her air bags went off all over the place and my little car was essentially undrivable as she had crunched the right front corner and, if memory serves, really messed up the front axle. I felt the barest of jolts, my air bags did not go off and after a moment of shock, I was just totally pissed that someone had hit my little red car! I could see however, that she was in some minor shock because she had been blasted by her air bags and her cell phone was in her now-limp left hand so I jumped out of my car to see if she was OK. Her car (some sort of Honda, might have been an Accord) was dead, steam coming out of the front grill and fluid on the street.

I knew she was in shock because she admitted to the cops that she ran the red light. Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner. Her insurance covered everything: complete repair to our car which came back like a new vehicle, the month-long rental (some POS butt ugly Dodge sedan) and even our deductible.

We now sing the praises of the Minis and I call them little brick s__t houses in designer colors. Acquaintance rolled hers down a bank and walked off without a scratch - they are SOLID. And the price is not too bad. On our second one now and got a three year loan at ~ 0.1% interest. Now then, the payments are ~ $900/month because the other half got the John Cooper works model, but still - these are very reliable, very safe cars. And you can get basic models for much less than ours.
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