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necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I'm going to toss in that sometimes leasing a car is actually cheaper than buying it due to worse than average depreciation and cost of maintenance if you're not very savvy at doing your own maintenance. This is common among luxury cars.

I've always thought buying a luxury car meant that you were rich enough to:
1. Take the depreciation without batting an eye
2. Afford the insurance premiums

Buying a used car that's about 1-2 years old is oftentimes the best trade-off in cost and condition you can typically get. However, due to relatively low depreciation of mainstream Japanese cars, it may be possibly worth buying these vehicles new because you'll know how it's been treated until then. I bought my Corolla new in '05 (1.6% APR) because I had bad experiences with used cars, didn't really know wtf I was doing when it comes to maintenance, and had a good bit of money saved up. This was a car I hoped to hang onto for 10+ years was the idea, and it's gone through 4.5 with zero problems (except maybe a serpentine belt that got prematurely worn) at 55k miles. I expect this car to last another 10 years, but before then I think I'll have to junk it because we'll all be on hybrid / electric cars.

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necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I'm not a car guy at all and my '05 Corolla has been terrifically awesome and met all the requirements of the typical middle class person and then some. I'll probably drive it until it dies or we're all on electrics / hybrids (the latter will come first I think). I went for it rather than the Prius every other person I know got at the time. You can get '09s now for $13k, which is a grand cheaper than they used to start at in '05

I really doubt people can be disappointed with a Honda/Toyota answer unless they're a car buff or have some ideological reasons for hating on Honda/Toyota. But on that note, there's an awful lot of Tennessee folk that buy Nissans because they employee a crapload of people there.

Despite knowing about the Prizm shenanigan, I didn't go with a Geo Prizm because I loving hated how they look inside and out, and for a grand or two saved, it wouldn't have been worth it for me. I'm kinda picky about how my cars look and feel and if I'm spending $15k+ on a car, I'd hope I actually like the thing I spent that kind of money on.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Engineer Lenk posted:

This is why I dislike Dave Ramsey. He makes uniform statements about various debt without illustrating when it's a useful tool.
Well his approach is so absolutist with everything in the world being valued only in terms of money that I disagree with. For example, if I can make another $15k / yr by having a car instead of riding a bicycle, then I should probably lease a car because it increases my earning potential more than the cost to do so. It's like he's completely forgotten the purpose of money and the point of money is to just accumulate more, and I can't agree with that. Furthermore, there's parts of the country that are really dangerous for bicyclists and so you're taking personal significant safety risks over a matter of maybe $3000 / yr. For the people that Dave Ramsey's trying to coach, I can see why he needs to espouse what he does though, so I'm not against his methods exactly either and I feel he's personally a lot more reasonable than what he preaches.

An additional cost of buying and selling a vehicle is that it'll take away free time outside your job when you factor in the posting of ads, the repeated interruptions to your day from phone calls, and so forth. This just doesn't fly for me when I'm so busy and my work performance suffers at some point. With a lease, I'll go in and come out with a different car with a pretty regimented process on paper. I'm not much of a negotiator and would probably screw myself, so it's part of the price of living for me, whatever.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I would go after his rear end over even a matter of $500 on moral grounds. I want every rear end in a top hat that goes around without car insurance that has the nerve to get drunk, drive, and hit someone to know that he hosed up so bad that he tells everyone for the rest of his life "don't be stupid like me." Dragging his rear end to court and shaming him on public record is the closest thing I'm allowed to do without going vigilante justice on someone. If it costs him a job in the future because someone does a background check, that's what I'm looking for.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Yeah, cubic volume doesn't necessarily mean "perceived volume" nor "usable volume" either. You could build a tall-rear end Homer Simpson car and the volume might be high, but it'd be cramped as hell.

I'm perfectly happy with my Corolla partly because I've wound up driving at least 70% of its miles blasting along at 75+ MPH (I've driven cross-country lots of times and do a lot of long-range car trips). A Prius gets worse gas mileage on the highway than the Corolla, so it's worked out better for me than the what, 28 mpg I get city? Oh no, I could have gotten 60 mpg for that 30% (about 18k) that I drove, I'm an environmental monster that should be fined... Never mind the fact that I saved gas over the Prius during the other 70%...

sanchez posted:

Most people buy hybrids for the wank factor, justifying purchasing one using logic is tough, regardless of what the EPA says.
Completely true - why else would there be Lexus and Mercedes hybrid cars? Whoever can afford a Lexus or Mercedes likely doesn't give a rip about trying to save $50 / mo in gas but it becomes a political statement that they're willing to pay an extra $5k+ for. This is precisely the problem with "green" marketing and such - it is a much higher initial capital outlay to actually "go green" and it's purely a long-term benefit, oftentimes for others, not necessarily yourself. It makes it even tougher to justify this kind of spending practice and charity toward one's society when we're in the middle of a full-blown depression in the US.


Go ahead and buy whatever you like - it's a free country as far as your dollars are concerned - but if you're not about to use logic to quantify something very much about dollars like gas mileage and TCO, your mind is already made up and there's nothing that'll convince you otherwise.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I have an '05 - I was considering the '05 Prius at the time, which would make it the 2nd generation or so. That got about 34 mpg highway and my Corolla gets 37-38 mpg (measured by myself doing around 3k RPM at 75 mph on cruise control from full to empty). My gas bill monthly is less than $75 / mo in the Bay Area where I drive 80% city (in stop and go traffic) and gas is among the most expensive in the country. With a newer Prius, I'd be paying about $30 / mo I'd guess. Too bad I'd now have a car loan when my car's been paid off for over a year now.

If gas hits, say, $6 / gallon in the US during the lifetime of a Prius, we're looking at far worse problems for your household than whether you'll spend $40 / mo on gas v. $80. But let's assume it does and we're all good - my gas bill now becomes $180 / mo while for the 2010 Prius $90. Ok, in that scenario the 2010 Prius will be better if the cost over the 2010 Corolla is less than the cost of gas (~$80 / mo). Given the Corolla starts at $11k now for a 2010 (in TN I saw a dealer advertising 2010 Corollas for $10k while Priuses were still $20k BEFORE the brakes / gas issues happened), you'll have to spend about $11k more in gas (tax!) with the Corolla over the Prius + its gas use to break even and the gains are amortized over the lifetime of the car as gas goes up in price. So over 120k miles we're looking at:

120000 miles / 60 mpg Prius (optimistic, unrealistically) -> 2000 gallons -> $6 / gallon -> $12000 gas + $20k Prius cost
120000 miles / 30 mpg Corolla (pessimistic-ish - I get 28mpg sitting in rush hour traffic from full to empty) -> 4000 gallons -> $6 / gallon -> $24000 gas + $10k Corolla cost
=> $32k for Prius, $34k for Corolla skewed heavily against the Corolla and pro for the Prius

So there we go - you break even if you average a little less than $6 / gallon gas for the lifetime of the car if you keep both the Corolla and Prius for about 120k miles. This is independent of whether you drive the 120k miles over 5 years or 10 years - your burn rate increases the more you drive. The Prius' advantages are mostly with respect to the environment because its emissions as a hybrid vehicle will rape the Corolla (wasn't it an order of magnitude according to the EPA?), plain and simple.

If gas does hit $6 / gallon, that Corolla's value might plummet (doubt it! m Corolla's value went up one year when gas hit $4 / gallon) while the Prius will be kept artificially high by the reactionary masses. Perhaps then you could sell your Prius for a profit and trade in for a Corolla for a measly $4k or something and laugh as you bank the difference. That strategy makes some sense to me.

Also factor in that if you're in the market for a Prius, you probably won't keep that car for 10 years like I plan to with the Corolla either through vanity or forcibly through market forces. This is where there's good room for debate and where I think hybrid v. electric v. gas debate should be. By 2020, the Corolla will likely have to be sent to the scrap heap because we'll be on hybrid cars minimum or on electric. If we go electric by then, we don't know how much of a cost premium electric will have over even hybrid - perhaps hybrids will have only lasted ~18 years as an auto fad because electric winds up cheaper than hybrids because gas is too expensive then to justify even a hybrid? What about electric rates at that point?

The cost of gas is honestly not going to matter that much between even a 2x difference when you drive less than 15k miles / yr like me while it'll obviously matter more if you burn your cars out, but that just accelerates the "age" of the car and you just wind up at the 120k mile mark faster than me.

This all kinda goes out the window once you factor in that lovely tax credit admittedly, and is the reason why I've said above that "going green" isn't cheaper and so requires subsidies to get off the ground for now. But the cost of subsidies, as we have observed from history, is not simple either.


Again, your call, I just don't see much reason to definitely spend more money up-front to possibly save a bit more given my driving habits and debatable savings. I've gotten more out of having a reliable car than anything else, and focusing upon my career has gotten me a lot further than focusing upon what I drive among Internet strangers. So I dunno why I typed all that up anymore.


Lastly, if you've looked at unemployment figures and U6, it's comparable to the Great Depression. It's very difficult to compare apples to apples because stats were different back then in categories of employment. There's a lot of belief that we'll have another dip in the stock market, probably causing another round of lay-offs and more housing losses. The difference is that we all have a higher standard of living now and there wasn't really much of a social safety net back then. But the lack of visible soup lines doesn't mean that we're living all that much different from a macroscopic view.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I'm not trying to skew it one way or the other - completely honest - just trying to attach some numbers to a debate that should be purely about numbers (are we in AI or BFC?). I'm partly a hippie that hates gas guzzlers and all that so I'd be more biased to support Priuses anyway.

It cost $12k more to buy an entry-level Prius in Nashville (a pretty moderate cost of living market) vs. an entry-level Corolla and thought it was a nationwide promotion or something that might be applicable elsewhere because a 50% discount is a huge WTF that'd get a dealer in trouble I figured, so my bad. Around the Bay Area, I see Corollas around $16k while Priuses are typically around $24k for 2010s now I look through a couple ads. The figures I've casually seen for reviews are about $27k for a Prius and about $18k for a similarly equipped Corolla, but that doesn't make sense when others say the Prius is like $22k and the same Corolla $16k. So at best, it looks like $5k difference at minimum while $12k at worst is more accurate - that's a pretty huge margin if you ask me.

And if I gave an optimistic estimate for a Prius' gas mileage (isn't 60 mpg optimistic? I've heard rumors of 70 mpg actually but thought they were discredited?) and pessimistic for a Corolla (or Civic or Mazda 3, except the Mazda 3 gets worse mpg last I remember), I'm a really lovely slanter. I'd love to buy a hybrid if it actually saves me money and with minimal complications, but that's what's up for debate here I thought.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Yeah, it's part of why I don't really care about mpg increases unless I go from 25 mpg to, say, 150 mpg. I would be interested in hybrid cars more if they got me 100+ mpg hands down, but at present, they won't. So I fully intend to skip hybrids completely and go electric.

Leperflesh posted:

Surely that has to be taken into account when comparing prices?
My general points also mentioned that "green" tech is almost always only viable in "the market" by use of government subsidies. If it actually produced legit savings with serious up-front gains like what the creation of the car did for everyone in the first place, it wouldn't need a subsidy. All "green" tech does for a business is focus upon long-term sustainable business processes and that's not how the Fortune 500 execs think honestly because they're measured upon short-term quarterly profits and gains, not upon how they've done over 10+ years compared to competitors.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Leases are also great if you don't want to keep a car for longer than a year or so (because you move very frequently for jobs reasons, for example, and you pay more per year in car transport fees than gas) but can't justify renting a vehicle every time you need it.

asdf32 posted:

Disagree strongly here. I think Hyundai and Kia are the best buys because their reputation doesn't match their quality. They have both been putting out great cars for 5+ years in my opinion and only now are people realizing it. This makes them the best used car buys. Quality and reliability numbers are proving this out and consider those warranties has huge votes of confidence by these companies for their products. Five year old Hyundai's will be priced the same as 8 year old Hondas and have less miles.
This is more or less the same sort of findings that Consumer Reports brought to the table about two years ago - Korean cars now are what the Japanese cars of the 80s were. They are currently the best price / value ratio possible because their reliability is pretty strong while their prices are below that of the market more or less. In 5-6 years, we'll likely see Japanese cars lose a bit of their luster in the American consumer's eyes as they see the price mark-ups for what they are and go with cars that better fit their shrinking pocketbooks. Combined with strong, even transferable warranties, it's tough to say no to a Hyundai or Kia if you don't mind driving a vehicle that'll get you laughed at by snobs.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Grumpwagon posted:

Buy a Korean car, seriously. They're like what Honda/Toyota were back in the 90s. Their quality has improved WAY faster than their reputation, so they're cheap.
This is my sentiment as well. I'm considering selling my '05 Corolla for a cheap as gently caress Kia or Hyundai so I can just bank a few grand and get the same sort of reliability as what I have now. My sister's 2001 Civic has been having so many problems it's worrisome to me that I also have a Toyota / Honda and that I might want to just buy a Korean car for the same reasons I'd buy a (recent) Jaguar over a Mercedes now.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

Bob Log posted:

When applying online, chase required a Minimum of 7500 to loan you and looking at most sites online that claim to do auto loans they all say they will not loan less than $10,000. 10,000 is fine for the loan really.
It's possible to get Chase to loan you less than $7500, it's just that even with basically perfect credit they'll still charge you 10% and some fees. The overhead of the loan will exceed what they get out of you on it probably, so they're not particularly willing to lend anyway. I'm expecting to pay off the $5k they loaned us with less than $300 in interest, and I'm pretty sure they incurred a good bit more than that to provide the capital.

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

The question to me is in how many years will having that Suzuki be about as serviceable as a Gremlin or Yugo (barring the obvious older cars aren't as complicated as newer cars exceptions).

Any recommendations for an AWD vehicle with similar power (hell, market category) as a Subaru Forester under the $10k used range < 90k miles (I've sworn off CRVs at this point given my experience a couple years ago)? I'm struggling to come up with a viable list beyond the Suzukis mentioned and Toyota RAV-4 or a 10+ yr old Lexus RX-350. I'm trying to keep a list of viable cars in the event the '04 Forester I have gives up the ghost and it's not really worth trying to repair it any more.

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necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

I dunno, I fit a lot of the guy's descriptions and I'm totally fine with my '05 Corolla. It's transported me, my double bass, and a bunch of really heavy dudes in there without a complaint. It's travelled across the country a few times now moving my life with me each time. Maintenance has been stupid easy and I've only ever had a slightly recurring issue with the serpentine belt glazing for reasons I can't quite fathom, and that's something I might have to change every 50k miles it seems - my #1 priority was just plain reliability and minimal maintenance, which it's delivered quite well. However, the possibilities now compared to what I had available when I bought it in '06 make things complicated. Yeah, I'd try branching out a bit more than the trifecta of Japanese manufacturers for starters. Hell, might want to take a look at Kias and Hyundais if you're going to stick with an image of a generic compact car in mind. I swear there's more Hyundais on the road than Toyotas in the DC area now.

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