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dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Q: Should I buy a brand new car?
A: No, you shouldn't.

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dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

skipdogg posted:

Why not? If you can afford it there's nothing wrong with buying a brand new car. The problem is people that can't afford brand new cars go out and buy them.

Everyone here in BFC acts like everyone should have 100 dollar a month food budgets, live off of rice and beans, and drive 1988 beater Honda Civics.

I'm sorry, but if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. I don't think "I can pay $XXX a month" as being able to afford something. Borrowing money for things that go down in value is not smart. I took out a mortgage for my home, but at least that should in theory go up in value over time.

Getting into a nice car isn't that tough if you're responsible with money. Yea, it takes some time and your precious rear end may have sit on cloth instead of leather for a while, but if you lose your job you won't have to poo poo yourself wondering how you're going to make your car payments.

Buy a $1500 beater honda/toyota/mazda, typically these are very reliable cars that get you from A to B. If you "pay yourself" a $300 car payment each month for a year you'd have $3600 saved up, and let's assume maybe $600 for unplanned maintenance so make that an even $3k. After that year you can most likely sell your $1500 shitheap for very close to what you paid for it, but let's assume you'd sell it for $1200.

That would give you $4200 to spend on a car for that year. You can buy a newer, nicer A to B car, rinse and repeat the process and by year two or three (assuming you weren't saving extra to upgrade your car) you could be easily driving a $10-15k paid-for car. Through the wonderful world of depreciation you could be driving a very nice used car for $15k.

This is BFC after all, not "Joneses 101: Everyone else has nice things, I deserve them too! Nicer, even!"

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

hobbesmaster posted:

I just ran a search on autotrader for toyotas/hondas/mazdas under $2000, they all had salvage titles and have one foot in the grave ("minor transmission issues!").

I bet you could get a early/mid 90s W-body that might be ok for a while. Or a Taurus... Toyotas/Hondas don't seem to go much bellow $3k-4k in value.

I wouldn't look on autotrader for cheap cars, craigslist is where you'd go for cheap cars.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

kimbo305 posted:

you better not bet one of those people that told CH to list his Mini on Autotrader then <:(:>
Seriously though, CL over a wider net is probably better for finding a cheap car in a short time. You can use tools like Crazedlist to sweep over several area CLs at once, if you're willing to go far for your beater. Ex:
http://crazedlist.org/index.cgi?are...8&submit=Search
(you have to set some option in FF to get that to work)
If it means getting a good deal on the car, putting in the extra search effort is obviously worth it.

For the mini autotrader is probably a decent idea. Anything $5k and under my mind automatically thinks about CL, for whatever reason.

Crazedlist is pretty cool, I have some searches set up as a feed in google reader that update automatically for me, it's great!

Harry posted:

Car payments aren't the end of the world. If you guys think you can find a decent car for $4-5k then go for it, but from what I saw you're opening yourself up to a broken heap of a car which you won't get anything back from.

You can buy a new car and have it be a lemon and end up trolling around in dealer loaners for six months (It's happen to my friend who only buys new more than one time - both cars were bought back under lemon law). Buying new doesn't automatically mean no worries. Seriously though, with some hunting you can find some great cars for $2-5k.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

hobbesmaster posted:

Acura/Lexus. As argued above, they are literally a Honda/Toyota with nicer stuff, mechanically they're just as reliable. The top trim of an Accord or Camry/Avalon these days can be very luxurious. Personally I would look for either a CPO Acura TSX, which is literally rebadged European Accord (they like their family sedans smaller) or a BMW 3 series. Stay away from VAG (VW, Audi) or MB, nothing they build is anything near reliable and you need to see a dealer for pretty much all maintenance. Same goes for "advanced" BMWs (7 series esp.), a run of the mill 3 series shouldn't be too much of a problem, you have to maintain it a bit more than a Toyota/Honda though.

A co-worker just sold his MINT '05 Acura TL for $12800, it had 67k on it and otherwise 100% perfect (Was never driven in bad weather, washed waxed all the time, dealer maintained). It boggles my mind how little he got for it.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

gotly posted:

I'm thinking of buying a new car. Not because I want to, because I think I have to.

I posted a thread in AI about a problem that has been reoccuring with my 2003 Honda Civic. It's a really lovely electrical problem that has happened 4 times and basically forces me to a mechanic within 30 miles. I don't want to buy a new car but I need something reliable for work.

Here's my financial info:

Bi-weekly income: $1,455
Total cash: $1,200
Total debt: $1,100 credit card (Was a -lot- higher, I've been paying it down aggressively, like $1,000 of every paycheck goes to it, it should be $0 by the end of the month)

A conservative estimate of the trade-in value on my car is about $4,000. I'd be looking at something in the $15,000-$20,000 range and taking loans out for the difference since I don't have a lot of money for a down payment at the moment.

The other option is to keep paying for repairs on the Civic. So far, the one electrical problem has cost me $800. The connection to the Crank Position Sensor keeps going out and they think it's a connection issue now - the wires are now soldiered to the unit and I'm picking it up today. To replace the unit would cost $1,000.

My question to you guys: do you think I should get a new car now or just keep paying for repairs and hope for the best? I had planned on buying a new car in the spring when I had a bit more cashed saved up but the drat Civic's electrical problems are making me think that an earlier buy date is necessary.

I understand how frustrating it is when cars break down so I can see where you're coming from. I assume since you didn't mention anything about it, the car is paid off.

Well, I read your AI thread. Hopefully the soldering fixes the issue.

Anecdotally hondas are typically extremely reliable, so one would hope that once this is wrapped up you'd have a rock solid car to motor around in for years and years. You may drop another $1000 for this repair, but a $1000 repair bill once is way better than a $300-$400 car payment every month (to me, at least).

Otherwise, head over to the budget thread. You're making pretty decent money ($50ish?) but you don't have much cash on hand. Save some of your pennies, young feller.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Josh Wow posted:

Need car

If you can't fix your car most of these would be probably fairly safe bets assuming they ran as expected on a test drive:

http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1480276272.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1479878632.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1478846155.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1478760007.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1474520460.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1473796318.html
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1470848774.html

I think I only went back a few days so it looks like you have plenty of options for lower priced used cars that are historically pretty reliable.

Volvo's seem to be pretty reliable, but parts on the more modern ones seem to be fairly pricey. I used to have a '98 S70, for instance, and the earlier years ('98 was the first year for the S70) were fairly prone to have failing ABS modules or something that were like $800-1000 to replace or something.

I'm a big fan of older cars, like early to mid 90s. I just don't like the idea of all these crazy electric gizmos controlling every freaking thing ever.

e: If this is not a scam, buy it. I wouldn't be put off with the unknown mileage as these things are absolute tanks:
http://athensga.craigslist.org/cto/1470344516.html

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Not exactly a car recommendation, more of a general "how much should spend" question.

My wife and I are looking for another 4-door car since we're going to be having our first child. We're not really in any hurry (although it would be nice to have something with working AC here soon) and going to pay cash.

Ideally I'd love to find a boring rear end camry/accord, but there seems to be two levels of cars with very little in between:

- $4-6k with 130k+ on them, approximately 8-12 years old
- $9-14k with sub-80k miles, approximately 5-9 years old

Part of the problem is I don't live in a huge area so the market for private party cars isn't enormous as it is, and typically when I do find something it's beat on with high miles or someone who can't afford their car and wants payoff for their upside down rear end. So basically we have to travel 1-2 hours to be in a decent market.

I'm just not sure what I really want to spend. We can't comfortably drop $10k+ right now, but we could if wait a few months, but I'm not sure if I even want to spend that much anyway.

The best two cars I've found so far have both been camrys, both 2 hours from here:

$5700 - 2001, 4cyl, 118k miles, owner claims it's pristine in/out, never driven in snow, garage kept, etc.

$9500 - 2005, 6cyl(?), 5spd, ~80k miles, a few options.

The cheapness if coming out in me and saying that the 2001 is the way to go (less initial investment, claims of well maintained), though I would feel better buying something with less than 80k on it. Opinions on getting the most bang for my buck?

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Throatwarbler posted:

If you are looking for a "bang for the buck" used car, there is no reason to even consider either the Camry or Accord.

Accords/Camrys have a few things that put them at the top of the list:

1. They sell in such huge quantities you're going to have a good market to choose from.
2. I'm at the point where I think a reputation of building a really solid and dependable car model over a 30 year period is worth a price increase.
3. Generally speaking the honda/toyota cars have a big leg up in build quality. They're not fancy luxury cars, but they are built well (I wouldn't even consider a dodge/chrysler vehicle in the year range we could afford). As a whole Honda and Toyota make some incredibly reliable cars with very few "lemon" models. Where as to pick on Dodge for instance, LOL headgaskets, LOL fwd transmissions across many models in their line over the years.
4. Japanese manufacturers have always done pretty well with engineering/r&d/economy. It's only been the last 5-7 years for domestics to wake up and say "oh poo poo, our lovely cars can't compete" and start to make better cars. The new nice cars are still probably at the top of my price range, and I may (illogically?) considering them to be "too new" to wonder how dependable they are.

I understand the bang 4 buck. We have a '99 Cavalier now with almost 170k miles on it that still runs very well (and we're going to keep it until it dies), but it's unrefined and almost literally falling apart. When we replace that I think I'll be more willing to "risk it" and get something else cheap, but a primary family car should be one I don't have to lose sleep over.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Throatwarbler posted:

Words

I do vaguely recall engine sludge problems in toyotas, is it specific to the V6 models? I only guessed that '05 was a V6 because it was an SE, but I've since learned that you can get SE in both 4cyl and V6 models. The ad probably would have mentioned if it was a V6, anyway.

In general I'm looking for a 4cyl just because I care about mpg more than performance.

gvibes posted:

I think perceived quality difference > actual quality difference, so pay more of a premium than you need to.

How about a mid-decade Mazda 6 or Impreza? Also Japanese.

I've had very little experience with Mazda 6s aside from my friends who bought a new one the first model year (V6 model), and for the 3 months they had it, it was in the shop for 6 weeks. Mazda lemon-lawed it with the next model year car, and they had similar problems with it (CEL all the time, going into limp mode often) and Mazda bought that one back from them. I like the style but I don't know enough about them to know how reliable they are overall.

I definitely like subarus, but our local subaru specialist replaces EVERY headgasket on any car they get to sell. Apparently subaru uses really lovely, thin headgaskets on the cars from the factory, or at least the outback/forrester lines. Once that's done I guess they're good to go. The only things I don't like about subarus is they're comparatively expensive, and while the AWD is nice it's not worth the loss of economy vs. a FWD car with winter tires. I'd love to find a WRX wagon but the chances of finding one unmolested for a reasonable price is slim to none.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

As a followup to my search of a reliable bang-for-your buck car we bought my wife a 2001 civic. Has 115k on it, it's 5spd, and overall in pretty good condition. We paid $5k which is an average deal, not great but a bit less than we'd pay at a dealer. I'm sick of looking for cars (we drove 2.5 hours to get it) so just about whatever we spent was worth it to me.

Got it up on a lift before I bought it and it's in great shape underneath, shouldn't have to worry about rust for a while.

40mpg on our first tank! That's 10 better than the cavalier ever got so that's pretty pleasing to my wallet. The interior and trunk seems to be a little larger than our cavalier as well, so that's nice.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

shredswithpiks posted:

^^

I just sold that exact car, same color and milleage, on craigslist for a close friend. Got $1500 for it (had a crap ton of body damage, doors didn't open right, but ran ok). Really kind of sad I couldn't have bought it for myself just for the gas mileage - if you baby the throttle and neutral down hills you can get into the 50s :P

:eng101:

On most modern EFI systems putting it into neutral while going down hills actually decreases your MPG. When you're in gear coasting there is no fuel being put into the cylinders to keep the engine going because your wheels/transmission/clutch does that for you.

Now if you're out of gear the only way to keep the engine running spinning is to have it idle (which requires gasoline)

I think hypermilers will put it in neutral and turn the engine off so they can coast farther.

e: beaten.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

I agree, hypermilers are shitbags. It's kinda cool about seeing the max MPG cars can get on real roads, but most of their poo poo is seriously just unsafe.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Holy crap I sold my '95 SE-R that was in really good shape for $1200

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Yea just keep the sonota, if you bought it new you still have 60k left on the warranty as far as I can tell. Drive that bitch into the ground!

If you're getting the new/different car fever, just keep socking that $300/mo away into a car fund. By the time it's died you'll probably be able to buy something outright. But you already know this, you'd got cash in the bank. You know how it works.

This would be a good idea if you were really strapped for cash and needed to learn to live below your means, but I don't think that's the case. Enjoy your nice newish paid off car!

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

rt_hat posted:

I'm not concerned about resale value, once again, I plan on keeping the car until it falls apart. The only things I would like in my future car are :
- manual transmission (I got a 5 minute tutorial in a dealership lot but I definitely want to own one even more now)
- hatchback (80% weight)
- a sunroof would be nice (60% weight).

Nice job saving a good chunk of change! Since you're going to "keep something until it falls apart", it tells me you're looking less for an emotional relationship with a car, and more for a driving appliance that's going to be reliable and last you a long time.

I tend to stay away from VWs for not particular good reason other than in the early 00s they tended to have poo poo reliability. I've heard they've gotten better, but Audis and VWs have always scared the poo poo out of me with their anecdotal lovely track record.

Since you're looking for a hatchback, I'd point you in the direction of a Mazda 3S. They seem to be one of the best all-around compact cars when you factor in driving enjoyment, reliability, economy, and practicality. It's not going to get as good MPG as a civic/corolla driving appliance but they make up for it in the "fun to drive" area. 3 owners seems to be fiercely loyal.

Imprezzas also seem to be very reliable aside from the head gasket issues, though at least around here they have a high premium associated with them. I don't know if it's been resolved in newer models but the subaru specialists in my town replace head gaskets on all cars they are going to sell regardless of the year. From what I read I guess the design of the boxer engine allows the hot engine oil to sit in the cylinders when you turn the car off and eventually they will break down the head gasket material, where as a traditional engine the oil would fall back down to the oil pan thanks to gravity.

If it weren't for your hatch requirement I'd stick with the typical Civic/Accord/Camry recommendation. I bought a bare-bones '01 civic a few months back and I really like it.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

PrettyhateM posted:

Edit:
But lets say I do get a car and lets say I wanted to buy a used one from a dealer. Should I get financing first? Should I find a car first? What would be the steps in that situation?

For a used car your best bet is going to be having a loan ready from your credit union or similar compared to dealer financing. The rates will most likely be quite a bit lower.

1. Find a car you like at a dealer if that's important to you. If you want it, agree on a total price with the dealer, I'd ask for the bottom line all tax, fees, etc. You may have to put a deposit on the car so they keep it for you? I dunno
2. Call your credit union with the details of the car and your loan amount. Have them wire the money to the dealer or get a certified check or something.
3. Enjoy your new car.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

DarkestLite posted:

Might want to make the last pic smaller so people don't bitch about tables, but yeah, I'm most likely going to get it. I'm really bad with directions, so, a GPS is high on my list and the built in ones are usually nicer. I'm probably going to go test driving on the 3rd of January.

To answer your financing question, agree on a total price with the dealer (not a monthly payment) and then look for financing. Then go for the financing with the lowest rate over the time period you can afford. My second piece of advice that you will hopefully listen to is get the Wrangler, people will always want them. At least the previous version of the compass was a turd that likely no one wants to buy used, so just get the Wrangler already.

Now on the to the real advice that you will ignore: Don't buy a new car. Cars are the great money-suck of the country. Cars are necessary, yes, but people borrow large sums of money for brand new cars that lose value. The general rule of thumb for financial types is "Do not borrow money for something that goes down in value". You're getting bent over both ways, you're paying for the privilege of buying something at top-dollar price, and then it loses a bunch of value at the same time.

You're not exactly swimming in cash, you're going to be dropping way too close to half of that $2k/mo on payments, insurance, and gas. Does it sound smart to spend half of your money just on car stuff every month?

This is not meant to be an insult so don't freak out, but your parents are probably not very smart with money if they somehow think this is a better idea than buying a reliable, used car. Surely since your uncles are mechanics they could find a reasonable, reliable used car for MUCH less than the cost of a brand new Jeep whatever.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

PrettyhateM posted:

So this is what I think I may have made a mistake on but I am not sure. I opted for the 60month payment at 220 bucks a month. I actually have 7k in cash that I was planning on going towards this car. So what I was thinking was making a huge payment of 7k for the first payment then from that point forward I can afford $650 payments till it is payed off. I triple checked with the bank, then again while at the dealer that I wont be penalized for early payment.

Does that make sense?

Yep, so long as you're not going to starve without that $7k. And if something comes up you can always pay the minimum for a month or two. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Good choice on the car, it should be very reliable for you for many years. Good price, too for a 2006.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

erobadapazzi posted:

Last September I paid cash for a new 2012 Kia Forte 5 Door. It's got about 6k miles on it. Now it looks like, come August, I'm going to be moving abroad for at least one year, probably two. What do I do in this situation? The car is currently registered and insured in California. My parents in Tennessee would be willing to keep it and drive it occasionally. Would that be a better option that trying to sell it? I'm worried that, due to the make, it has depreciated so quickly that selling might not be a good idea. Any thoughts?

I think you'd be better off letting your parents keep it and drive it. I think you'd take a big hit selling it, anyone shopping for a kia would probably want to buy new for the warranty.

This is just a guess, however.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Residency Evil posted:

I'm looking at buying a VW GTI. A new one can be purchased for 24-25k, the used ones I'm looking at are 2009s for 16k. I'd like the car to get me through at least the next 5 years with regular maintenance. Any thoughts on whether that's a good value?

VWs seem to be a gamble. There are some people that have no issues what so ever with their cars and sweat by them, for everyone of those people there seem to be 5 that have had horrible money pits.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Doublepost, and more e/n than a question for the thread:

We have four cars at home:
Honda civic - everyday family car
Chevy cavalier - backup / second family car
Ford ranger - truck
Mazda miata - fun car

It's come to my attention that this is a bit overkill. Now since we have a small child my wife and I are pretty much never going to get to enjoy the miata (we work at the same place and carpool after dropping our son off at daycare), and the truck is useless in that we can't all fit in it.

So the solution seems to be get rid of the truck and the cavalier (minimally), and get a truck large enough to fit all of us comfortably. I'm on the hunt for a "crew cab" 4x4 silverado since Chevys seem to be pretty ubiquitous and cheap/easy to get parts for.

The problem is that any decent truck that isn't rusting apart already looks to be well above the $10k barrier, and also "crew cabs" are somewhat new in the mainstream so they aren't old enough to get cheap yet. I'm getting very frustrated because I really really really don't want to take another loan in my life (as a matter of principal), but it's unlikely that we're going to be able to save much more in the short-term and I'd like to get this squared away sooner rather than later.

Another problem is that we can't really get rid of our truck or cavalier until we get another vehicle, so we can only sell the miata right now, which I need to replace the top on and frankly I'd like the idea of keeping it, even if it's impractical.

In the end if I have to get a ~$5000 loan I will and pay it off quickly, but even just the idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd feel like a hypocrite or something. I just hope that if gas gets ridiculous expensive over the summer people will be looking to offload their V8 trucks cheap.

tl;dr - Damnit trucks, why you so expensive.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Another reason for getting rid of some of the cars is that I have too many hobbies and not enough time, like the miata for instance.

One of the hobbies that I really enjoy and would gladly give the miata up for is riding my ATV, which is another reason why a truck makes sense for us. ATVs aside, anyone who owns a home can appreciate how handy it is to have a truck around. Sure you could get plywood and drywall with a minivan but I doubt you'd want to pick up mulch.

The fuel economy is a moot point as I'd be driving it less than 5k a year and it will do no worse mpg than my V6 ranger gets now.

Counterpoint: It does seem silly to be spending all that money on something we're not going to drive very often, but having a vehicle that our family cannot all travel in at once is not something I want, either.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Leperflesh posted:

What actual use case scenario are you imagining where you'd need to fit the whole family into a vehicle and go somewhere, but it needed to be a pickup truck and not your sedan or a wagon or minivan?

It comes up fairly often, usually involving traveling some distance to visit friends or relatives.

- Visiting my parents and wanting to take the kayaks or bring back junk that they're always offloading on us (canoe, pool table)
- Visiting friends, wanting to take my ATV to ride. Also needed to take a dishwasher to these friends and a bicycle (I don't have a bike rack) in the last few months.
- Going to cabins, a few times a year we'll go to a friend or family member's cabin. This either means I want to take my ATV and we have to go over some terrain that isn't intended for low-ground clearance vehicles. One of the cabins we have to cross a stream and we couldn't make it because the water was too high. So far since my son has been born we haven't been able to go to any of them :(


Re: Mulch
We don't pay for mulch, there is a community mulch pile that you load yourself. That means no bags and lot's of mess!

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Nah it's cool, this is the first time I've been on this side of a BFC debate before, it's kind of funny.

A forester is a decent option. There are tons of subarus around here, but usually well worn and rusted. I forgot another important heavy-duty thing we need to do (and now more often) is hauling wood pellets to heat our house. I think a ton of pellets + a trailer would probably be too much for a forester to tow, or at least at the very upper end.

I've talked things over with my wife and right now we're not in any hurry despite me constantly looking at cars for sale. This morning I tried to talk her into maybe a older, cheaper SUV. Looking at tahoes/yukons at the moment, would have good amounts of space and should be ok to haul multiple ATVs and literal tons of wood pellets with a trailer. We had looked at a '01 yukon a few weeks ago but our mechanic gave it a thumbs down. If we go the previous generation (the boxy tahoes/yukons) that seems to be the sweet spot in terms of price and bang for your buck. The 5.7 is less powerful and less economical than the 5.3l LSx engine, but there are plenty in the $3-6k range. If I can get one around $5k with minimal rust, even if we have to replace the engine/tranny it should last us many years and still be quite inexpensive.

A non-truck + a trailer is probably the most frugal way to go about it, and I do have place to store a trailer, it's just one more thing that I then have to look for, park in the yard, pay registration on, etc. etc.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Residency Evil posted:

Cross postin' this from AI since it might be a better fit here?

What's a good starting point for negotiating used car prices with a dealer? The car I'm looking at (08-10 VW GTI) show a trade in price of 14.5k, PP of 16k, and dealer retail of 17.5k. I see them listed for 18-19k. Where should I go in on this price wise? Is it stupid to expect to get it for 16k?

If you're in no hurry and find a car that you would be happy with let them know you're a serious buyer at $XX,XXX and walk if they can't meet the price. Don't pay more than you want to. Leave the sales person/manager your information and tell them to call you if they can meet your price.

I assume you don't need a car immediately so if there is no urgency hold out until you find something you like at the price you want to pay.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

An update on my situation (replacing multiple cars with a full size truck or suv + trailer or something) that BFC should feel good about.

My wife and I just went to look at an '03 Suburban. Overall it was pretty clean, drove well, and was in good condition. This vehicle would have solved our problems in that it's inexpensive compared to what I wanted (~$9k cash vs. ~$15k or so partially financed) and we could still tow a trailer and have tons of room, etc.

I've been kinda stressing out about it because we just really don't know what exactly we want. We showed up, drove it, and I knew it wasn't for me. The suburban was fine, but I was not fine with coming close to wiping out our savings while we had some upcoming expenses.

Anyway, I just didn't love the suburban, and to be honest it's probably because we don't know what we want, and that's because we don't NEED anything different than our setup now, it's just occasionally inconvenient.

So we've decided to go forth as follows:
1. Hug my savings account and tell it I'm sorry for thinking about hurting it.
2. Get our cavalier and truck inspected. Truck shouldn't need much as I had work done last year and I drove it so little. Cavalier could go either way. At the very least we'd be good for another year if we were to get the up for sale.
3. Maintenance neglect. I need to get some body work done on the truck and get the 4wd working. If we need to sell it, it will make it worth a bunch more.
4. Once the cavi/truck are squared away and legal, finish up the miata to get it ready to sell. I need a new battery ($100) and to put the top on (already purchased) and it should be pretty solid as-is. Shooting for $3-4k. This would go into savings.
5. Continue to save and either find a great deal thanks to ridiculous gas prices, or continue on saving until our cars explode and need replaced.


feelsgoodman.jpg

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Well looks like fate has cruely smacked me down. The '99 Cavalier failed inspection yesterday due to a rusted out rear subframe. Such is the life of a PA car :(

Again, the wife and I are not sure what we want to do. For the moment we're looking for a ~$5k camry or similar to replace the cavalier to act as our second car and be used for longer trips as it would be bigger than the civic.

Our truck is also up for inspection this month and if it shares a similar fate that it looks like I definitely will be looking to replace it with something that can pull car/truck double duty. But only if it comes down to it, I guess.

Fun times!

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Are the GXs basically the luxuried up version of the land cruiser? Honestly I don't think you could go wrong with either one of those. It's going to be reliable and comfortable and it's not your typical tahoe/yukon/escalade clone.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Our Gay Apparel posted:

The GX is the luxury version of the Land Cruiser Prado, the LX is the luxury version of the full size Land Cruiser. Both are proven and reliable. I think it will most likely be what I end up getting her. Only downside is the gas mileage.

You're going to get poo poo mileage in any large SUV unless it's a crossover, and even then you'll probably only be saving a few MPG.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

General car buying questions:
On a whim, my wife and I drove a leftover 2013 Sonata GLS preferred package (heated seats, fog lights). In my research, I liked them the best on paper. Good mpg, good features for the price, great warranty. If we were to buy new we'd definitely run it into the ground so the warranty is a huge part of this for us. As much as the 2014 Mazda 6 appeals to me, it's a first model year and it's more expensive and the warranty is shorter.

Anyway, we liked the car well enough I guess, the car salesman is probably the worst ever in the entire history of car sales, but that's neither here nor there. I told him I'm interested in what their out the door price was since we could put a sizeable down payment down I don't care what the monthly payments would be, especially since Hyundai is offering 0% right now and my credit union is offering 1.49% for up to 3 years.

If I put $10k down they said I'd finance $10,038.63 "OTD", and broke it down to $285.30 x 36 months @ 1.49% from my CU. But the $10,000 + $10,038.63 does not equal the $20,693 "Purchase price" or whatever the gently caress the upper left square is, even after interest charges taken into consideration. So I don't know what's going on. Attached is the ever-present 4 squares paper thing. Can someone explain this poo poo to me? I've never bought a new car and I'm stupid.



The salesman also said something about only having to pay sales tax on the financed amount, which did not sound even remotely correct to me.

In any case, this doesn't seem like a "Holy poo poo what a good deal" price to me, so my first inclination is to wait to see how much money I have to spend on home renovations coming up first, then revisit later.

dreesemonkey fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Jan 9, 2014

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

ibntumart posted:

tl;dr version: Four-square sales technique is a sham, don't buy from a dealership who forces it on you.

Thanks, yea I get the general gist of what they're trying to do. If I had more time and I was more serious about buying the car I would have just asked to talk to the sales manager directly instead of their little games. The guy didn't have much to stand on since I said I'm only concerned with the OTD price, which is the most important one after all (if you can secure a good interest rate)


IOwnCalculus posted:

I'll add this - if you can get 0% APR, why would you want to put $10k down? Stick it anywhere else and earn interest on it.

But yes, the four square thing is horseshit. Don't ask a dealer for monthly payments, ask them for the total out the door price including tax, tags, whatever awful doc fee your state allows them to charge, etc.

Allegedly, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but some of the discounts/rebates/customer cash hyundai offers cannot be used if you're doing 0%. Not sure how true that is, but whatever. So in theory they'd sell me it with less discount at 0%, vs. maybe $1500 in discounts with ~10k financed at 1.49% over 36 months (which is something like $300). So liquidity aside, the higher APR makes more sense if they can couple it with other discounts. Also I hate debt and the goal would be to pay the rest of the car off within the year.

Thanks for both your input. I'm a lot more tempted than I thought I would be with their first offer, a new sonota with an $800 equipment pack for ~$20500 OTD including interest over the life of the loan? Doesn't sound that bad, really.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Os Furoris posted:

Seems like I need to take a look at the MDX then, possibly something else. All the wife requires is a car that sits up high for driving position and getting the baby in and out of the car seat (we are tall).

I would like to get her something reasonably luxurious and reliable. Gas milage is a concern but not huge since she just won't be putting that many miles on the car. Any suggestions?

I'm not sure if there are still issues but as much as people love hondas, they don't like their automatics when paired with a V6. They pretty much require honda's ATF fluid and at least back in the early/mid 00s the accord V6s would eat trannies in a very un-honda way. Not sure if they used the same variant of the transmission in other vehicles (oddesy, pilot, acuras) but that's one thing that's always made me worried about V6s hondas.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

IOwnCalculus posted:

It can go both ways. In my case Honda was offering a 0.9% rate, but they were also offering an additional $750 (unadvertised) for financing with American Honda instead of bringing my own.

Yea since they weren't very forthcoming with exactly what those discounts were, I can't really say off the top of my head.

I think we've pretty much decided it wasn't an amazing deal (it being a '13 leftover), so if we revisit in a while we can probably find a similar or better deal if we look seriously. My sister said we should try dealers down their way since it's a larger area so the dealers are probably a bit better to buy from.

Also, I'm super cheap, and while I liked the car, I was driving it thinking "Is this $20k nice to me? Not really". I must have stockholm syndrome from my lovely paid for cars ('01 civic, '99 avalon)

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Boris Galerkin posted:

Proposed Budget: < $5000
New or Used: Used
Body Style: No trucks/SUVs
How will you be using the car?: Commuting to work 5x/week, roughly 10-15 miles each way
What aspects are most important to you? In order: reliability, MPG, cost of ownership

I'm looking to buying a car in the next month or two. I would love to spend $2000-$3000 on this, but in reality I have an upper budget of $5000 because I'm not sure if that's possible. It'd only be for getting to work and back on highway traffic, roughly 10-15 miles each way (bit of a range cause I'm moving soon). I've never bought a car before so this'll be the first time for me. I know I need to check carfax but other than that I'm at a complete lost. I'm only looking to keep the car for 1-2 (lets say higher end of that) years as well before getting a better car. I've asked two friends for advice and they recommend getting "any Japanese car because those'll last." But I was hoping you guys could be more specific, e.g., what years and models, and perhaps some things that are dead giveaways for "run the hell away" to a first time buyer.

A lot of people in here seem to recommend the ford focus, which you can probably find in your price range. I'd recommend a well maintained high-mile japanese sedan, I bought a '99 toyota avalon with over 150k on it for $3800 and it's silky smooth, comfortable, and nicely appointed (leather, sunroof, decent stereo). MPG isn't very good since it's a V6, but we don't drive it a whole lot so it's not a big deal. If that doesn't suit your fancy, a 4cyl camry with higher miles would be fine too assuming it was well maintained. They sold twenty billion of them, chances are you can find one that has a bunch of life left in it.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

I'm not really in the market for an additional car right now (especially with the silly used car market), but I like to keep an eye open for what's available so I could make some plans.

I'm looking for a small, economical family car that is relatively fun to drive. I don't need a bunch of power, my wife and I had a 2001 civic 1.9l 5spd and we both miss it. It was not "fun" per-se, but it was more engaging to drive than our current CVT accord. I have a nice fullsize truck that I love and will keep, I'd just like to not drive it as much for errands.

My only real requirements are:
  • Reliable / low cost of ownership
  • 4 doors (a lot of the time shuttling kids around to sports, running errands)
  • Manual transmission (I miss having a manual vehicle)
  • 30+ mpg would be nice

I'm mostly looking for "what cars am I not considering but should be".

The best case scenario would probably be some form of Civic Si. But it's going to automatically be quite expensive, beat on, or both. Other cars I've considered:

  • Civic Si
  • Civic (non si)
  • Fit
  • Acura TSX
  • Corolla
  • Mazda 3
  • Mazda 2?
  • Sentra?
  • Ford Fiesta?

I'm moderately biased against Kia/Hyundai as we had a new Sonota that ate its own engine at 30k and then caught on fire. I'm also moderately biased against domestic / german brands just purely for anecdotal reasons.

I don't have a particular budget in mind, but sub $10k would be great.

If I were buying new I'd look at a new Civic Si or Corolla Hatch XSE, but that would be silly to buy a new car (though gently-used prices are absolutely insane these days).

My wife wants a minivan at some point and her Accord would be almost perfect, it's just incredibly boring to drive. I don't have any desire to attempt a transmission swap.

I've been looking on marketplace and craigslist and there just isn't much of anything around that doesn't have a bazillion miles on it, is manual, and isn't >50% the cost of a brand new model.

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

Don't really see the point to buying one on the used market instead of a Mazda3 which will be bigger and better for basically zero incremental cost.

edit: plus one of the requirements is "cart kids around" so i'd definitely NOT want to do that in a Mazda2

To be fair, my kids are about the age that they take up the minimum amount of space (almost 10, almost 7) so we pretty much don't need to think about car seats anymore, just boosters or nothing. Is the Mazda 2 much smaller than a Fit?

But you are right in that it's almost stupid to look now, I mostly wanted to know what cars I may not have been thinking about. GTI isn't completely out of the question, though I'm sure I could find a decent Civic Si in the same price range.

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dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Pillbug

Prius seems like a good choice.

My personal choice for myself with those requirements would be a Toyota Corolla XSE Hatch.

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