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#1 of 23 Old 02-19-2005, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At what point financially would you consider buying a brand new car?

It seems like such a horrible investment, but seeing how many people do it, I must be missing something.

I don't think I could bring myself to do it until we were independently wealthy.
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#2 of 23 Old 02-19-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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We have bought a brand new car a few times- we keep them for a LONG time. We chose to do this b/c when we were looking, the cars that were a year or two old weren't THAT much less than new, but they had several thousand miles on them. We wanted a warranty and less chance of repair bills. We took advantage of new car rebates- the price was the same as a used car that was comparable.

I think as long as you're not trading it in every couple of years, a new car isn't a bad purchase.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#3 of 23 Old 02-19-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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You could get a hybrid or biodiesel car or even one with good mileage, and it may be a better alternative to used. I had heard a click and clack theory, though that it is good to buy used cars under 5 yrs old and drive them 'til about 10 yrs old. Then sell at 10 yrs, if you want to spend the least on cost and repair.
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#4 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 02:21 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this, as it is pretty much a given that we are going to have to finance some part of a vehicle purchase. New cars are offered with 0% financing, cash back, rebate programs (recent grad) etc etc. If we were to go buy a 1995 Ford Taurus (at 6k CDN) it would still cost us almost $200/mo in payments. We could go buy a brand new small car, with enhanced safety, lap/shoulder belts for everyone, and the options DH wants, and our monthly payments would be the same, or slightly less than that Taurus (assuming a car less than 20k) DH wants a Saturn Ion.

That said, if we can find a 1979 Mercedes 300D that we can run on Biodiesel, then all of my lust for a brand spankin' new Grand Marquis is out the window. I'm such a mom.
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#5 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:04 AM
 
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I used to think I was miles away (when I won the lottery and could be silly with money) from buying a new car too. Then it came time that we needed to replace one of our old (~12yr) cars. I will ONLY buy cars that will last and have good ratings... usually that comes down to Toyotas and Hondas (or things made by them... we also have a 1988 Acura) SO, I started looking at used things in that vein. We were going to be TTC so I wanted something easy and safe to put carseats in. We didn't have the cash on hand for anything new enough to be worth it, so we (like the PP) would have been financing at least some of it. When I looked at prices on cars that I wanted (which hold their value REALLY well) and financing deals for used cars, I started comparing to new. Long shopping story short, it ended up being a MUCH better deal for us to buy new. We got a great deal with 60mo finanancing at 1.9% (through the life of the loan we pay a total of like $700 in interest if we don't ever make any early or extra payments... no penalty for early or extra payments though) We bought fairly low-end that met our requirements (Honda Civic LX) and we SHOPPED and shopped and shopped to get the best deal.

It seems to depend a lot on what you're looking for and what the market is like right then. It was a great deal for us. No question about it. Totally worth it. Who'd of thunk it?

-Angela
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#6 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:13 AM
 
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DH was gone so often and he wanted a car that ran and he bought the extended warantee (if it craps out while he's TAD I just take it in..insurance pays for a rental).

In the long run..it's more cost effective as dh doesn't have to take time off of work (although he still gets paid), or stress over my car not working (been there done that). We bought a Subaru which does great in Alaska. We also have an S10 that is paid for (97), so I don't feel too bad.

I guess you have to look at the entire picture. Certified used is a good idea also, it just depends on the area you live in. Or do like my mom and marry a mechanic!
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#7 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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We bought our Toyota truck brand new~one that was 3 years older was only $2000 less &the interest rate wasn't nearly as good. Our Honda van was a year old when we bought it, the new ones were MUCH more b/c they had a sun-roof. But Hindas & Toyotas tend to run forever & come with GREAT warranties (even the used ones), so for us it was worth the investment.

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#8 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 04:01 AM
 
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I think it is worth it only if you can get the 0% financing and rebates and such. We've never bought a new car. The past two cars we've bought have been less than a year old, about 14,000 miles, and still covered under warranty-- and several thousand dollars cheaper than the brand new model.
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#9 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 11:59 AM
 
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My last two vehicles were brand new. The first, a Hyundai, we had for 9 years, and it still had lots of life in it. The other is our van, which was cheaper to buy brand new than buy the previous van after lease.
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#10 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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We have always purchased new and kept for a long time. We save up and don't finance. We investigate everything (not just vehicles) we purchase and sometimes take months before the actual purchase.

This is the reason, when you buy used, you often are buying someone else's problems. Yes, things can go wrong with a new vehicle too, but they are much more likely to be covered at no cost to you.

Oh, and it is true about Toyotas. And they have very few problems and hold their value well too.

HTH
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#11 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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Our last two cars were new purchases. I did it because I greatly fear the whole negotiation process. With a new car I can hand all the specifics over to my car insurance company (they have a program for this) and they handle the negotiation for me. All I do is arrive with the money and pick up the car at a specified time.
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#12 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:40 PM
 
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Well we were driving a 96 Blazer. It sucked up gas, had no warranty and was needing repairs that were a few hundred bucks every few months, no a/c, insurance was high, still had 3 years left to pay, bought used with an "ok" rate but not stellar since used cars don't qualify for prime rates.
We wanted a new car. I felt unsafe in the blazer and the gas it took sucked. So we decided to look around to see what was out there.
Went to Saturn dealership. I got a 2003 ION which I bought in 03 for $10 less per month then the blazer. Car is under warranty which we extended. 0% financing. Insurance went down $15/month. Better gas mileage..way better. Safer car. So we traded in the Blazer and are still better off with a brand new car. They took off some insane amount in rebates. I think we qualified for around $8k in rebates so even though we were upside down in the Blazers loan we made out well.
Ideally we wouldn't have ever had the blazer but Eric had an 86 Camry prior to that and I had a 98 Saturn SC2 so he thought we needed an suv for cargo. This was all preSophie and when I had a horse. I always managed Lucy's(horse) stuff just fine in the SC2 though. When Sophie was born I got rid of the SC2 to stay home as my payments on that car were crazy high and I would've been just working to afford the car.
Oh and we plan on keeping this car for Sophie's first car. Its being properly maintained and due to it having plastic sides won't rust out. I wouldn't buy a new car with plans to turn it in 2 years later for the newest model. I also would never lease a car.
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#13 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 03:59 PM
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I bought new cars...I know that I don't trade in any time soon - sooo, I know that I will drive them till they are completely useless. So in the long run - it is a better idea for me to buy new. DH and I are hard on cars - we drive a lot. Lots of road trips. We just moved to Oregon - which means our cars are gonna get less abuse (no road sanding, or chemicals) We have a 97 Pontiac SUnfire and a 2003 Hondae Civic Hybrid. Pontiac has over 70K on it and the Hybrid over 40K. If you aren't going to trade them in, and end up upside down on your loan, then I think buying new is fine. My MIL always bought new. And then handed down to her kids. My BIL was driving the car that was three cars back until a few years ago - my SIL just sold the Civic that was two cars back for $900 before she got a new car. I think you can do it frugally, but I also think that you need to know what you want, and hang on to that car for a long time.

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#14 of 23 Old 02-20-2005, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I'm glad I asked! When we start looking for our next vehicle, I guess I won't dismiss the option of buying new so quickly.
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#15 of 23 Old 02-22-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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Before you buy new, read up on it in "The Millionaire Next Door." One of the habits that most millionaires have is to buy cars a few years old. Turns out that new cars devalue by 30% the minute you drive them off the lot. If you want to buy newish, buy a car that's 3 years old, and let someone else take the 30% hit...

A great book, BTW...
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#16 of 23 Old 02-22-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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Just be 100% sure what you want & what you'll want down the road. We bought our car new in 2001. At that time we weren't "into" things like low gas mileage. That changed 180º shortly after. Also we had no kids then. We tried everything to sell that car to fit our new wants/needs, but due to market being flooded w/zero interest loans, used cars just weren't attractive, even though we were taking a MAJOR hit on what we paid for it new. So we still have it. It runs great & it's now paid off, but I personally would have to do some real soul-searching before buying another new car (not that I can't see the attraction of a brand new vehicle. Sigh.)
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#17 of 23 Old 02-23-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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We (DP & I) have purchased three cars together... all new.

Our 1st in 1997 was a 1997 Ford Escort. We really knew/know nothing about cars and wanted to go with a new one w/a warranty. We got the most we could afford (had a/c and four doors).

Last year we had finally saved enough for a 2nd car. DH picked a 2004 Mini Cooper. They have virtually NO price reduction for used vehicles, as in to get a 2003 would have *maybe* saved 3-5%. So, for just a bit extra he could have EXACTLY what he wanted (color, accessories, etc...). Also, he ordered it and it was ready 6 months later so we had some extra time to come up with the money.

Then, on the way "home" for Christmas our Escort was totalled. Totally unprepared to buy a new car, but *needed* one and didn't really have the time to wait for exactly the right car to come around. Narrowed it down to the 2004 or 2005 Toyota or the 2005 Honda (new model year 2004 for Toyota, 2005 for Honda). Buying used wasn't really an option at that point so we went w/a 2005 Honda (the car I preferred). Looked around for recent model years and most of them were still over $30K. Had planned on 1-2 more years for the Escort and hope to drive the Honda for 10-15 years (and NEVER have a mini-van again).

Honestly, I get a bit sick when I think of the amt of $ we spent on the car, but we do spend a LOT of time in it. Okay, I still feel sick about it but there's not much I can do now.

 

 

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#18 of 23 Old 02-23-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliMommie
We bought our Toyota truck brand new~one that was 3 years older was only $2000 less &the interest rate wasn't nearly as good. Our Honda van was a year old when we bought it, the new ones were MUCH more b/c they had a sun-roof. But Hindas & Toyotas tend to run forever & come with GREAT warranties (even the used ones), so for us it was worth the investment.

AmiBeth
We also bought both of our Toyotas brand new. DH's Tundra in 2000, my Avalon in 02 right before DD came into the picture. Next week is my last payment on the Avalon and we paid off DH's car long before that. I have always owned Nissans or Toyotas. DH tow chevy monte Carlos he had were terrible and spent some time in the shops. My 87 Nissan Maxima (150K miles btw) that my parents let me have for college never had a day in the shop until after 100K. Then something would break down and it would cost as much as a monthly car payment. Thats when I got the 96 Altima. Also a great car NEVER in the shop other than oil change, tires wear n tear.

My toyota also had 0% but they just factor that price into the car. Don't fool yourselves, you are still paying something. Its a great car for safety and all that good stuff. Also- I have noticed that there are never any used Avalons on the used lot at our dealerships. People buy them and drive them for years just like DH's truck. Which is why we bought new both times and we got every valuable thing on the car. Leather, sunroof, etc since we plan on keeping it for a long while.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#19 of 23 Old 02-26-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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Never. Even a car that has a measly 40k miles on it is going to be far cheaper than a new car.
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#20 of 23 Old 02-26-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Dh and I both bought new cars, but we paid cash for them. We will both drive them for at least 10 years and when they are 16 our twins will probably be given my minivan so they can schlep their little brothers around town. :LOL

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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#21 of 23 Old 02-27-2005, 12:09 AM
 
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We bought two new cars (after having use cars previously). Dh got a Toyota Prius- there was no price break on a used one. I got a new Saturn in 2000 and plan to drive it until it falls apart.

In the Tightwad Gazette, Amy D. bought new cars, and she's the ultimate frugalista.

Dh's Prius is still worth about what he paid for it.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#22 of 23 Old 02-27-2005, 10:05 AM
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Never never never. When I was single I did buy a new Ford Escort and drove it into the ground. Sold it when it was 10 years old for $500. Before that car, I bought a gorgeous used Mazda 626 in excellent shape. I LOVED that car! Now we only buy used.

I agree with the PPs who say it is not worth it to buy new unless you have a lot of disposable income to throw around. A car is the absolute worst investment you can make. As the others said, the second you drive it off the lot, it's worth 30% less than when you bought it. You can buy a used car with just a few thousand miles on it for less money, and pay less taxes. If you shop around,you can find great deals.

Our current car is a 2000 Ford Taurus wagon that we purchased in '02 for $5000 when it had 60k on it. It had been very well-maintained. We saved up and paid cash for it. It's given us no problems.

DH drives an ancient Toyota Camery that again is a workhorse and has given us no trouble. Even if we had to spend $1000 on it for repairs, we'd still be way ahead than if we had bought it new.

I will add that my FIL is a mechanic and goes over the cars for us before we buy. So we feel confident that we are getting something safe.

I also like the idea of buying used because it is the greener thing to do, provided, of course, the car is fuel-efficient and passes emissions!
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#23 of 23 Old 02-27-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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I;m new here- I did an intro, so I hope it's ok to participate without seeming like I am barging in.

Amy D is a huge used car proponent, but her dh once did buy a new car, but it was some sort of crazy deal. I think she wrote once about buying new only if you could pay cash. I think...well, let me get the book, lol, so I know what I am saying...ok here it is:

"Purchasing a new car can only be considered economical if you plan to own it for more than 10 years, you maintain it meticulously, and you buy it with cash. The exception would be if your cash is invested in a safe plan that has a higher interest rate than the interest rate you could get for a car loan. At least try to pay off the loan quickly". (She also mentions not buying a compact car if you are planning a family etc).

This was before 0% car loans, obviously. If a person can pay 30k cash or so for a car without it denting the budget or sacrificing more important things, then who are any of us to say what a person should spend their money on, yk?

I've has such great luck with used cars. We;ve not owned very many cars and I like not having monthly car payments, even if they were to be 0% interest. I'm currently driving an 8 yr old Volvo wagon that I love. It's got everything and I paid 3k for it. Can't beat that with a stick. It was a 35k car new, yk? Even if I have to fix something in the next few years (did a ton of research before I bought it and had it checked out etc), it's still nowhere near a monthly car payment on a 30K loan. And given that so many new cars have issues and recalls, it's hard to say that even a new car won't present with some problems. They'd be covered, but you would still have the aggravation.

While buying new is an option, so is buying used. The right used car at the right price is going to be an easier pill to swallow than $400-500 montly payments for years. Unless money isn't an issue and you have the 30-40k available. If ya do, that's *cool* and you should buy what makes sense for your family. Well you should do that anyway. But if I had 40k readily avilable, I'd take the kids on a trip around the world.
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