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Old 11-18-2017, 06:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
$30,000, holy ****. I haven't spent that much purchasing vehicles in my whole life. Cheap used cars FTW.

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Old 11-23-2017, 01:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
When we add "opportunity cost" to all the other costs, cars become even more expensive. The thousands I save per year through keeping my modded '98 Civic (instead of replacing it with a more "valuable" car) go into three things: college savings for my daughter, house mortgage principle reduction, and retirement savings. Those are interest earning accounts. Depreciation therefore becomes appreciation.
Unless you could decrease fuel expenses and maintenance costs with a newer car, which by the way doesn't actually need to be a brand-new one, that seems to be the best choice. Anyway, it does seem pointless that many people look out for a newer car mostly for the bragging rights.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Why do I always have to be the smart one?! :P
Let's say they buy a $30,000 car every four years and then let their child drive it.
30 / 4 = 7.5
$30,000 * 7.5 = $225,000
So, they may be spending more on cars while they are paying off their mortgage, but while they eventually pay off the house, they keep purchasing new cars.
Of course, Robert Kiosaki might actually be right about people never paying off their house and selling it to purchase a bigger one to fit more stuff.
1. 1987 Honda Prelude Si $2,500. Lasted 4 years
2. 1990 Honda Accord $2,800. Lasted a couple of years until I hit an elk driving home from my parents' house.
3. 2003 Ford Focus with 250,000 miles Dad sold me for $3,000 on a payment plan I never followed. He never harassed me for money, asked for interest, or anything. I paid it off soon after joining the Army. I drove that for three months before a pickup totaled it and their insurance bought me:
4. 1997 Nissan Altima. My sister sold it for me when I joined the Army.
5. 2007 Ford Focus Dad sold me for $5,000 cash I earned in the Army. A Harley totalled it three weeks later and insurance paid all but $600 of:
6. 1999 Subaru Forester. Sold after three years for $2,700.
7. 2000 Honda Civic HX for $2,800. Have driven for over four years and 50,000 miles.
8. 1999 Honda Accord for $250. Have driven 20,000 miles in just over a year.

$14,000 (minus what my sister got for my Altima) for eight cars and seventeen years. The Celiac Kid said that when you purchase a used car, you pay for a new car in repairs. Repairing the Prelude was always cheaper than purchasing another car until the transmission went out, but something happened at the end, and I kept having mechanics tell me that there was only one thing wrong, once I paid for that repair, everything would be good. Oh, hey, while we fixed that, we found this other thing...

I think I paid purchase price in repairs the last few months.

Then there was the Subaru, which seemed like it was the least reliable vehicle I have ever owned, but I have not paid $16,000 in repairs in seventeen years, so I have not spend $30,000 on cars yet.

Fun fact: Let's say I financed a 2000 Civic HX when it was new. I would have spent $14,000 for the car, a fraction as much in repairs, and excluding collisions, might still be driving the same vehicle!

If I could have dodged the elk, pickup, and Harley...
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
The Celiac Kid said that when you purchase a used car, you pay for a new car in repairs. Repairing the Prelude was always cheaper than purchasing another car until the transmission went out, but something happened at the end, and I kept having mechanics tell me...
Well, there's your problem right there. It's not the repairs that are expensive, it's paying the mechanics. Learn to do the work yourself, and it's not all that expensive. (And rather enjoyable, if you have a couple of vehicles so you're not under time pressure.)

2000 Honda Insight, bought in '03, maybe $500 in repairs so far. EGR valve, O2 sensor, and a rear wheel bearing. Plus a radiator & headlight assembly from when the deer hit me. (Yes, it hit me: ran across the road in front of an SUV coming the other way, was tossed into the air, and came down on my right front quarter.) '88 Toyota pickup, owned maybe 10 years, maybe $200 for an alternator, front shocks, and idler arm bushing. Add about $35 for the new water pump I'm installing today. (I'm leaving out things like batteries, wipers, & brake pads that are maintenance items, and things like stereo upgrades and MIMA installation for the Insight that are really recreation.)

So not all that expensive, really. Maybe $100/year on average? So this century's auto expenses. $8500 Insight, $2800 Toyota (minus $1100 I got for the '84 that wouldn't pass smog), $2700 Miata, $1700 repairs. $14,600 total, not even half that $30K - and I still have 3 running vehicles.

Last edited by jamesqf; 11-23-2017 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I wish I had started repairing my own cars earlier. I think it is ChrisFix that says that if you can purchase tools and parts for less than a mechanic would charge, you might as well DUI.

No!

DYI!

I wonder how many times mechanics convinced me to pay for repairs I did not actually need--or overcharged. If the shop is busy, you need to wait for them to get to your car.

They are not necessarily realistic with how soon they will fix it, either. I have fixed cars when shops were closed and finished before they opened.

It cost me $500 to replace the head gasket on my Forester. If I had a neighbor trying to get rid of a Subaru with a bad head gasket, I could fix that cheaply.

Or, you know, just stare manly at your car when it breaks down, and then call your mechanic.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:38 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
...Fun fact: Let's say I financed a 2000 Civic HX when it was new. I would have spent $14,000 for the car, a fraction as much in repairs, and excluding collisions, might still be driving the same vehicle!....
I live that fun fact: 1998 Civic DX, purchased 2001, $11K... I have done all the repairs/maintenance for nearly seven years now. 253,000 miles and highly reliable and ~60 mpg.

Avoiding depreciation, costlier insurance, and interest payments is even more powerfully good for the bottom line when you do the repairs yourself. I do all repairs/maintenance on my wife's 2010 Suby now, too.

But to do this, you have to let go of the vain "car-as-status-symbol" B.S. most people buy into...
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:10 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Yup, maintenance isn't bad if you can do things yourself.

2000 Echo, minus ONLY fuel and insurance, cost me around $1000 to drive for 5 years. True, I got 30 quarts of Pennzoil Platinum at 80 cents per quart which helped, but really it was just a cat, a few used tires, clean the mass air sensor, replace a fender and headlight assembly, and had to replace the VVTi actuator. Car was free* and if I'm being honest, I probably could have fixed the coolant thing for under $100, but I wanted to move on so I wrote it off. Served me for 5 years and ~70k miles, it left me with ~263k hard miles on it.

I overpaid for my Civic, which I'm ok with. It's clean and looks like it'll get better FE. Only major expense should be timing belt should I elect to have it done for me. Leaky clutch master cylinder is cheap to replace. Other things such as shifter bushings are optional. Probably will follow the "remove + improve" plan, upgrading things as they need to be replaced.

I'd rather save the $$$ now and eat the money on something nice in the future.



* Was wife's car when I got with her. Her family purchased it brand new. So "free" might include wedding costs and marriage baggage in which case it's a rather expensive car for something with mold on the carpets and not a single undamaged body panel.



I can't see paying big money for a modern car (says the guy who bought a used minivan). For myself it's either cheap cars like my Civic, or go with my passion, classic cars, which are both cheap to keep up and basically immune to depreciation.
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Last edited by jcp123; 11-24-2017 at 12:19 AM..
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:11 AM   #28 (permalink)
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When I bought the Superbeetle it was priced $50 below NADA mid-book — $5550. I forget the year, but prior to 2012.

It needs to be sold before 2nd quarter 2018, NADAguides currently says $8350. It's stock except LED headlights, electronic ignition and short sidewall front tires.

I pay a mechanic, because I don't have a lift in my carport. He loves to work on the Dasher because it is easy compared to the new BMWs and stuff.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:20 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I can't see paying big money for a modern car (says the guy who bought a used minivan). For myself it's either cheap cars like my Civic, or go with my passion, classic cars, which are both cheap to keep up and basically immune to depreciation.
Though the easier repairability in older beaters is a clear advantage, and some can be fixed with just one hand while the other holds the beer, I could actually consider buying some entry-level subcompact brand-new, but I would then commit myself to keep it long term or eventually handing it to some cousins in the countryside if for some reason (i.e. buying a motorcycle that could adjust better to the majority of my needs) the car becomes redundant to me.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:55 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I made myself a promise (in the 1960s) that I would drive air-cooled, rear-engined VWs until I could trade up directly to a UFO (AKA flying car). The decision has come back to bite me over the years.

I have compromised my principles to the point where I'll settle for an electric tadpole.

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