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Author Topic: Cars  (Read 2799 times)
Preacherman0
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« on: Jun 06, 2008 at 17:04 »

Okay, so, here's the current car situation at our house:

96 Cherokee - Gas guzzler, 145k

00 Expedition - Gas guzzler, 120k

84 GMC Sierra - Gas HAWG, environmental hazard, unknown mileage, not the kind of thing you want to drive every day (especially w/a 30 min. commute).

88 Honda Motorcycle - 50 mpg - yes, that's 50! - not much good in winter.

The kicker is, NO car payments.  

Now, I run across a 2006 Nissan Sentra with 11k miles for $9200.  Perfect run-around car, 30-35 mpg.  

But, do I want to add a car payment?  Up the insurance?  I'm not sure that I'll save enough in gas to make it affordable.  

Any thoughts?
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vinman3
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 06, 2008 at 18:24 »

I am trying to live by the teachings of Dave Ramsey and being debt free. Though the past few months have made it difficult, with the house and other things. He would say, sell your gas guzzlers, and buy the Sentra with cash. Though buying a car with cash can be difficult if you haven't been preparing for it. That sounds like a great buy too Preach, hope it works out for you.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 06, 2008 at 19:32 »

It all depends on what you need.  Maybe there's a reason you need three gas hogs.  My thinking is that at least one car should be gas efficient, never more clearly than in $4 a gallon days, sure to be higher soon.  You have three trucks and a cycle, which I'm not sure why you need three trucks.

We've recently come to the end of a car cycle.  Our theory is, we don't care much about cars beyond their ability to get us here to there in some decent way.  Don't care about gearhead shit like major HP, or supercool styling, etc.  Just be reliable and as cost-effective as possible.  So, Mrs. had a 90 Dodge Shadow hatchback, which was good on mileage, and lasted from 1994-2007, many payment-free years.  I had a 93 Chevy Lumina from 1996-2008, less efficient mileage, a little bigger.

Last year, we got the missus a Hyundai Elantra, new rather than used, $14,400 plus taxes, tags, etc.  Not a luxury car, but a pretty zippy number with good ratings and not much more than many used cars.  High 30s highway mileage, low car payments.  I'm happy enough with the Hyundai that my purchase, likely coming very soon, will be a Hyundai Tucson, their compact SUV.  For me, the utility of being able to haul minor stuff from Lowe's/HD that would not fit in the Elantra (or Shadow or Lumina) is worth getting mid-20s in mpg.  I'm mid-dance with a dealer, and it looks like we're going to deal somewhere between $18,000 and $18,500.  The plan is to drive these vehicles for at least 10 years, since we take good care, add low miles, and want maximum zero payment years.

My advice to you is, figure out whether you need all those vehicles.  The cycle stays; it's cheap to operate.  Do you need three trucks?  Can you get by on 2?  What is market value on those vehicles?  I don't know that the Sentra offers a better long-term investment ROI than a new Hyundai, or other lower-MSRP vehicle.  Lots of makers have high-30 mpg cars, and I'd add one of those to the mix.  The value of new is not in resale, as it depreciates the second you drive it off, but in knowing what you're getting.  You control its maintenance, its history.  And those new years are the best years.  Just saying, the difference between $9200 for used and $15K for new might not be so great.

In any event, never ever buy a dealer car with a trade-in.  Lose every time.  Sell privately, and buy without dealer financing, by your own bank's car loan, or if possible using cash.  Dealers will jack your rates.  We're doing a debt consolidation loan of a bunch of shit, and the net effect is no extra monthly amount for the new Finny car; we will pay a bit longer (10 years), but as a home equity, our car loans and credit card payoff assumed by the loan will be tax deductible (interest only), as will our vacation, HDTV, and new computer.  It'll be under $600 a month for two new cars and all that, by the magic of financing.  So look into home equity loans, consider buying new, cash rather than financing or trade, and definitely get one gas miser into the mix.  Make the gas miser your MAIN runaround car (groceries, school, whatever).

Debt free is a great goal, but if you assume debt, your best bet is to get maximum return, buying new with best bang for buck.  We always try to pay down debts early, as well.  If you have any inerest in Hyundai cars, you can get some great deals on the Sonatas, $3000 off MSRP.  Know how to play the game with dealers, too.  Know invoice price, the whole game of finance managers, their dog and pony show, the back and forth many people just cannot stomach.  I mentioned dealer holdbacks to my salesman and he about flipped.  I countered at $4000 below what they first offered, and they overplayed their hand on the Tucson: they came down below the price they had just told me they would be taking a loss on, within $380 of my counter.  I walked the fuck out on them, and today they're calling me and begging.  Tomorrow, I'm actually LOWERING my offer because they went low too fast, and I think I over-offered.  Anyway, it's my same strategy as last year with the Elantra: got an internet quote from a dealer in Baltimore, got a certified check in hand, walk in and say "I wanna deal now, here's what you're working against."  

It's comical/sad how these salespeople operate, but unless you fell off the hay cart yesterday, just remember to walk out on any deal at least once.  I'm violating the "buy at the end of the month" rule, but need trumps folk wisdom.  Anyway, buying new takes some work, but you don't know what you're getting with the Sentra and its apparent low mileage.  Did it get flooded in New Orleans?  Did the person just plain beat the shit out of it for 2 years?  Etc.  That's something to consider.  One thing if you're buying a beater to beat the shit out of yourself, but as the reliable car, the gas miser, you want as close to a sure thing as possible.

Just my 2 cents.  It's funny that my old 6 cylinder Lumina had less pickup despite higher HP than the 4 cylinder Elantra.  Guess it's part body weight, part better engineering.  I really liked testing the Tucson.  No, it's not something to haul trees up the side a mountain, but it has nice responsiveness.  Pretty basic inside, like the Elantra.  I guess that's what you get with these cheaper cars.  But definitely do-able.  

I'll post updates on my search as well.  What a busy few weeks this has been.
« Last Edit: Jun 06, 2008 at 19:38 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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Preacherman0
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 06, 2008 at 20:36 »

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I am trying to live by the teachings of Dave Ramsey and being debt free.

Dave Ramsey is good stuff, Vinman.  Hence the nature of my moral dilemna.

Quote
I'll post updates on my search as well. What a busy few weeks this has been.

The car search is a royal pain, very time-consuming.  I just know that whatever I buy, it's going to have to be with us for a while.

As for the three trucks, it's pretty simple.  The Expedition is paid for, runs well, and there is absolutely no market for it.  We bought it just before the oil binge started.  Better to keep it than sell it--the wife drives it, and she has a very short ride to her school, so it's not killing us.  If we have to make a long trip, it's good for the family.

The Jeep was given to us by the inlaws, free and clear.  The boy drives it to school, but he's also doing a lot of other stuff and running up tons of mileage.  Again, resale is zip.

The GMC--paid it off years ago and use it basically as a utility vehicle (hauling garbage, recycling, mulch, etc.).  Problem is that, if we stay as we are, eventually the boy will have to drive it to school and I'll have to drive the Jeep.

I'll drive the bike as long as I can.  Gas-saver, cheap, and again, very little resale value.    

Long and short of it is that all three are paid for, insurance is dirt cheap, no resale value in any of them.  Of the three, the GMC is least efficient but may be the most utilitarian.  

The positive to the Sentra is that it's being sold basically at trade-in value, clean title history, remaining factory warranty--about as close to new as you can get without being new.  It's nothing fancy, just basic reliable fuel-efficient eco-friendly transportation.  Just big enough that the four of us can ride in it whenever possible.

But I literally feel guilty about the idea of taking on another loan, especially since we just made our last payment on the Expedition.  My wife just wants me to make a decision, but I am smack in the middle of a moral quandry.  I love the idea of saving gas and low emissions, etc, etc...but I have a real problem with adding a payment.  Financially, it ends up pretty much as a wash--what we save in gas appears to equal what we'll spend in insurance and payments.  But MAN, it is nice to be debt free.  I'm just not sure it helps when you're dishing out huge bank just to buy gas.
 
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otismalibu
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 06, 2008 at 21:09 »

What the hell kind of preacher are you? None of our preachers even had cars. No houses either, they just slept in the basement of the rectory. Their free time was spent drinking and hiding their deviant sexual behavior.

Anyway, back to the question at hand.

Personally, I'd turn to prayer and wait for a sign from The Almighty.

 :D  
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 07, 2008 at 09:44 »

Television, Cars, I keep thinking there's some kind of music discussion going on here, but then I find out it's like, a bunch of grown-ups or something.  
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jonzr
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 07, 2008 at 14:35 »

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Television, Cars, I keep thinking there's some kind of music discussion going on here, but then I find out it's like, a bunch of grown-ups or something.
Did I mention how fun it is taking the Zeppelin to work every day?  What a ride!  Gas mileage?  Pshaw!  But these 40 mph wind gusts are a killer.

Sounds like it might be 6 of one and a half dozen of another.  The wife and I work it out so that we have only one payment at a time.  My truck will pay off next summer and her minivan will be about 10 years old then.

Good luck.  And good advice from Finny on purchasing cars.
 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 07, 2008 at 15:10 »

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Television, Cars, I keep thinking there's some kind of music discussion going on here, but then I find out it's like, a bunch of grown-ups or something.
Otis will weigh in on the Butthole Surfers soon.

Negotiations for the new vehicle have stalled.  Went back, lowballed them, they balked and countered with an offer meant to drive me out the door: $600 higher than their previous offer.  Clearly, the strategy is to go back to their original offer, and have me jump thankfully at the chance to accept.  This has just pissed me off.  Another local dealer was even higher still, and I left after they said "we'll be losing $300 on this deal!"  Like a care salesman ever loses ANY money on ANY deal.

WTF kind of idiot do they think I am?

Time to break out the mesmerizing jacket and pictures of Newt.  

Well, next week will kinda suck on the carpooling with the wife, given my new job schedule.  
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otismalibu
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 07, 2008 at 16:05 »

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I left after they said "we'll be losing $300 on this deal!"

Should have told them that with their terrible exchange rate, you'd be paying almost double buying from them. I mean let's all hold hands and shout all things retarded.


Quote
Time to break out the mesmerizing jacket and pictures of Newt.

Do it! Frighten them with the Newt connection.

Use the old, "unless you want your dealership crawling with lesbos by hump day..."
« Last Edit: Jun 07, 2008 at 16:05 by otismalibu » Logged
aj_law
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 08, 2008 at 01:16 »

There's a Hyundai dealer somewhere in the NY/NJ area that's always advertisin' on the local AM stations.

His pitch:

Any Hyundai for 30% off the sticker price.  No haggling.

As to Preach's sitchyashin, what the Sentra's owner like?  Over 50 Y.O.?  Original owner?  Is the car clean?...and I mean clean.  It's pretty easy to tell if a ride has been taken care of or not.

No one knows your car situation better than you.  If you were to get an econo-box, would the Expedition or Cherokee get any use?  What about the bike?  You ride often enough to justify keeping it?

I had several MCs for 10+ years, but it got to the point that I was paying to maintain it for maybe a week or two worth of use a year so I...*sniff*...sold it.  The wife had one too.  Same end result.

The truck, I'd keep.  IMO, if you own a home, a truck is a very useful vehicle.  If you don't own one, you at least need a relative/friend that has one.

Don't you have that new MC that you just won in the raffle too?

 
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