Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

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Colorado13
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Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Sat May 13, 2017 5:03 pm

I need encouragement to buy or postpone the purchase of a replacement vehicle, as I'm having some trouble getting my head around spending what (to me) is a large chunk of $$.

Pros to new vehicle:
1. Current vehicle is 12-year old Hyundai Santa Fe, 133,000 miles. The only minor problem is that the sun visor doesn't stay up without velcro. I worry that more little things will start to go wrong and it will become a money pit. Otherwise this vehicle could last for many more years.
2. The ride is not great compared to newer vehicles - no pep, is loud, not a smooth ride. It lacks safety features found in newer vehicles. Driving on mountain roads (while not something I do often) is painful because the car has no power.
3. I will need to buy new tires before next winter (approx $600.)
4. 2016 models are discounted right now. Used models are not much cheaper than new ones.
5. Gas mileage will improve slightly.

Cons:
1. Price ~$25K. I've identified what I want, so the make/model isn't really the purpose of my debate.
2. Insurance costs will increase $600/year.
3. Registration costs will increase $600+/year.
4. I like my vehicle. Feel free to laugh, but it's the nicest vehicle I've ever owned. The seats are SO comfortable for my body size.
5. I don't have to worry about getting my car dinged when I go hiking/drive on dirt roads or haul stuff from Home Depot/Lowes.

Dilemma:
I can pay cash for the new vehicle; I've been saving for this car for years. Replacement funds are currently earning 1% in an Ally account. I have ~2 years of additional expenses in savings, so this purchase will not leave me car poor. Waiting another year or two doesn't save me much (other than insurance and registration costs.) My only other debt is the mortgage under $30K. I max retirement accounts and would also like to retire before 60.

What would you do? Buy now or wait another year or two?

blueman457
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by blueman457 » Sat May 13, 2017 5:13 pm

The amount of information is a bit limited, but if you are saving well and the car will be a net benefit then go for it. Just don't strain yourself on buying a car because you want to keep up with your next door neighbor.

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livesoft
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by livesoft » Sat May 13, 2017 5:26 pm

My spouse has a terrible car that is a 2006, put new tires on it so will drive for another year since mileage is still under a light-second.

You should drive your car also past a light-second.
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Watty
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Watty » Sat May 13, 2017 5:50 pm

Colorado13 wrote: Waiting another year or two doesn't save me much (other than insurance and registration costs.)
This is the key. I don't get the impression that you are likely to keep the car until it has 200K+ miles on it. If not the question isn't really if you should buy a replacement car, it is if you should buy it now or a couple of years from now.

And advantage of replacing it now is that your current car should sell for a decent price and you can get a good deal on the replacement car.

If you wait until the car has major a problem it may be hard to sell and you might have to buy a replacement car when you can't find a great deal.

Everyone is different but my basic car owning plan is to buy new cars and keep them for about ten years then sell them to get a replacement. This is not the least expensive way to own a car but it is within my means and I always have a car that is very reliable.

To me replacing the care is a reasonable choice. If you can get 12 years out of your next car you will do fine with that too.

mortfree
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by mortfree » Sat May 13, 2017 6:21 pm

Why will
Insurance and registration increase that much?

Maybe it's where you live???

Colorado13
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Sat May 13, 2017 6:35 pm

mortfree wrote:Why will
Insurance and registration increase that much?

Maybe it's where you live???
Hi Mortfree. Good questions. I currently do not have full insurance coverage on my car and would need to add the extra insurance coverage to a new vehicle. Registration is expensive for new cars in CO, based on the weight and age of the car. I'm planning to buy a small SUV, so it won't be cheap to register it.

Thanks to everyone else for feedback!

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zhiwiller
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by zhiwiller » Sat May 13, 2017 6:46 pm

I just bought a car last weekend, so I am very familiar with this internal struggle.
Colorado13 wrote:I like my vehicle. Feel free to laugh, but it's the nicest vehicle I've ever owned. The seats are SO comfortable for my body size.
This is the most important part. You clearly have your finances under control, so you aren't at risk of being car-poor if you go forward. Are you thinking about buying a new car because you are afraid of the old car becoming a possible money pit in the future or because you really want the new car? If you still love driving the old car and are "meh" on the new car, then keep the old one until it truly becomes a hassle.

Here's what I did. I had a 2008 Honda Civic EX at 100,000-ish miles. I liked the car; it did me well. But I have been looking around because I knew I probably had a couple years max before the car would start the endless repairs. The Civic was starting to rust and rattle but didn't have anything major going on. What you don't want to do is have to buy a car in a hurry because your only wheels just died. Then the dealership can soak you. So curiosity drove me to check out some new cars here and there. I liked some of them, but not enough to pull the trigger. Then I test drove a Chevy Bolt and fell in love with it.

It cost more than driving my old Civic into the ground, but it was such a nice upgrade. I can afford the difference and it is making me happy. If in your case you can afford the difference, but if it isn't going to make you happy, then don't switch until you can't bear it anymore.

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jharkin
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by jharkin » Sun May 14, 2017 6:38 am

Folks on this board obsess way to much over easy decisions.

2years emergency fund, only 30k total debt and paying cash? Of course you can afford it. In fact you can afford a lot more.

Stop worrying and go enjoy a new car! :sharebeer

Colorado13
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Sun May 14, 2017 11:08 am

jharkin wrote:Folks on this board obsess way to much over easy decisions.
Thanks for the feedback. I do tend to obsess, which is why these forums are so helpful. :-)

IMO
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by IMO » Sun May 14, 2017 12:58 pm

Know that car well, especially in 4 cylinder/manual...

I get the dilemma, it's a hard decision on what to do when cars are this age/mileage. You could go another 75,000 miles with no problems, or you could go 100 miles more and have a major expense. Car repair costs have become so high that it complicates the decision. It seems almost any repair will go above $500 nowadays.

You should get some trade in value or some funds if you sell this car while it still hasn't developed some much more expensive problem. It may feel better if you take the sale value of the car, saved funds on new tires and "credit" that against your newer higher expenses of insurance/registration. Further, given the cars age, you could make up some reasonable guess on how much more annually you'll have in car repairs and credit that against the new car (say perhaps $500 yr is reasonable guess).

There can be other factors to weigh in favor of a new car. Is the safety rating better? Reliability concerns can come into play, both for local drives/work drives, but can be a big concern if you take longer drive trips. I myself don't have great comfort taking a 300 mile one way trip in areas that are without any real services in the areas. So in you're example, if you live in Denver and drive out to places like Telluride, would you want to risk breaking down on that drive, especially in the winter.

Post what you decide...

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bottlecap
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 14, 2017 1:46 pm

Sounds like you've already decided. Why obsess over it?

If you want a reality check, here it is:

You're buying a new car because of a droopy sun visor and new tires.

JT

Colorado13
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 pm

I appreciate everyone's advice. I still have not decided what to do. IMO hit the nail on the head: the car could last for several years or I could have major repairs in 3 months...that's my dilemma.

jlcnuke
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by jlcnuke » Sun May 14, 2017 4:51 pm

While not true "all the time", it has been my experience that major repairs rarely surface suddenly (and I say this despite having a friends Kia need the engine recall/replacement in the past month). I traded in my last car about 2 months after the transmission started to periodically act up. Once you've had a car for years, most people can feel/hear when things stop working right and thus have a little bit of notice before a major repair bill is necessary.

That said, your post indicates you'd like to trade up to a newer vehicle and have the financial stability to afford it, so if you want a new(er) car feel free to get one.

Ninnie
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Ninnie » Sun May 14, 2017 6:43 pm

I am in a very similar position with a 13 year old car. I just ran the numbers after being hit with a $900 repair. The key for me is that I love my car, and I also love not worrying about dents, etc. on an older car.

I test drove and identified the next car so I'll be ready to pull the trigger quickly. In the meantime, the cash is sitting in the bank collecting interest, rather than depreciating on a new vehicle. I calculated that a new car would cost me $600 more for the first few years (excise tax, insurance, lost interest), but what really convinced me to keep driving the old car for now was that it's almost fully depreciated, whereas depreciation on the new car will run about $2000 per year on average for the first five years. That pays for a lot of repairs.

That said, I already have the new tires as of last year, and 110,000 miles. I may think differently after another 20,000 miles. YMMV

MechEngInvestor
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by MechEngInvestor » Sun May 14, 2017 6:55 pm

jharkin wrote:Folks on this board obsess way to much over easy decisions.

2years emergency fund, only 30k total debt and paying cash? Of course you can afford it. In fact you can afford a lot more.

Stop worrying and go enjoy a new car! :sharebeer
+1

CppCoder
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by CppCoder » Sun May 14, 2017 8:06 pm

I'm not a drive the car into the ground kind of person, so I vote to get the new car and be done with it. You've already picked out what you want as a replacement, so you should just be down to negotiating a good deal for yourself.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by JMacDonald » Sun May 14, 2017 8:30 pm

Colorado13 wrote: 4. I like my vehicle. Feel free to laugh, but it's the nicest vehicle I've ever owned. The seats are SO comfortable for my body size.
5. I don't have to worry about getting my car dinged when I go hiking/drive on dirt roads or haul stuff from Home Depot/Lowes.
Buy the new car and keep the old one for the reasons above.
Best Wishes, | Joe

freebeer
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by freebeer » Sun May 14, 2017 8:34 pm

Colorado13 wrote:I need encouragement to buy or postpone the purchase of a replacement vehicle, as I'm having some trouble getting my head around spending what (to me) is a large chunk of $$.

Pros to new vehicle:
1. Current vehicle is 12-year old Hyundai Santa Fe, 133,000 miles. The only minor problem is that the sun visor doesn't stay up without velcro...
3. I will need to buy new tires before next winter (approx $600.)
4. 2016 models are discounted right now. Used models are not much cheaper than new ones.
...
Sell it now, while it still has some value!

But could be better buy something 4 years old which will be much cheaper than a new one and adequately address your issues and also not be quite as worrisome re: dings.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by sunny_socal » Mon May 15, 2017 1:19 pm

I've kept a couple cars a little too long:
- Wife's Honda Civic, needed a complete new engine since she never changed the oil as a single gal :|
- My BMW 325i, broken drive shaft, $2.5k (that's a part that I would imagine should last a lifetime...)

Both cars were already full depreciated when we did the repairs. Sold the Civic to a friend for $500, sold the BMW to a young kid who wanted the badge, got my money back for the repair at least. I should have sold both of them before letting them fully fall apart. (The BMW in particular was a problem child, imagine that...)

You'd probably get many more miles miles out of your current car but I don't think anyone would fault you for getting the newer version.

"The two best days for a car are when you buy it and the day you get rid of it." :wink:

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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by bloom2708 » Mon May 15, 2017 1:26 pm

If you do not like the ride of your small SUV, why consider buying another? Yes, the ride will be better on a new car (because it is new), but a small SUV will continue to have a harsher ride compared to a sedan.

I think you should start investigating new cars, but take some different style for test drives.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by gator1 » Mon May 15, 2017 2:21 pm

Buy a $15,000ish vehicle with cash(You will be surprised at what kind of vehicle $15,000 cash can get you . . . . pretty darn nice. Save yourself $10,000 plus off the # you originally were at. After buying new vehicle, sell the old vehicle privately to get the most you possibly can out of it.


*I only buy vehicles in cash, and can't see dropping more than $15k cash on a vehicle, no matter the circumstances. I have a very low 6 figure net worth, and if/when I hit a high 6 figure net worth, this will still apply.

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jharkin
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by jharkin » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 am

OP If you are still on the fence, I just dropped 37k yesterday on a new Honda Pilot, to replace a 9 year old Honda Pilot that needed a new engine top end.

So now you can buy your car and gloat that you spent a lot less than that other idiot (me) on Bogleheads :sharebeer

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deanbrew
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by deanbrew » Tue May 16, 2017 8:29 am

bloom2708 wrote:If you do not like the ride of your small SUV, why consider buying another? Yes, the ride will be better on a new car (because it is new), but a small SUV will continue to have a harsher ride compared to a sedan.

I think you should start investigating new cars, but take some different style for test drives.
The OP didn't say he doesn't like the ride and handling of his current SUV/crossover/raised station wagon; he said it is under-powered. Not sure how much more HP a new version has compared to his current one, but most vehicles get more HP every year.
gator1 wrote:Buy a $15,000ish vehicle with cash(You will be surprised at what kind of vehicle $15,000 cash can get you . . . . pretty darn nice. Save yourself $10,000 plus off the # you originally were at. After buying new vehicle, sell the old vehicle privately to get the most you possibly can out of it. *I only buy vehicles in cash, and can't see dropping more than $15k cash on a vehicle, no matter the circumstances. I have a very low 6 figure net worth, and if/when I hit a high 6 figure net worth, this will still apply.
This is a personal opinion, of course, and will vary considerably due to personal tastes, type of driving and number of miles/hours per year behind the wheel. Personally, I know there isn't a $15k new car I want to drive. Or a $20k one, for that matter. Used is probably a different story in that price range.

I understand the OP's quandry, but I vote get a new vehicle that you can enjoy. Nationally, new car sales volume has dropped this year for the first time in about five years, so it wouldn't surprise me to see manufacturers and dealers offer better bargains. Of course, that depends on brand and model.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

bloom2708
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by bloom2708 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:40 am

deanbrew wrote: The OP didn't say he doesn't like the ride and handling of his current SUV/crossover/raised station wagon; he said it is under-powered. Not sure how much more HP a new version has compared to his current one, but most vehicles get more HP every year.
"2. The ride is not great compared to newer vehicles - no pep, is loud, not a smooth ride."
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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deanbrew
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by deanbrew » Tue May 16, 2017 8:49 am

bloom2708 wrote:
deanbrew wrote: The OP didn't say he doesn't like the ride and handling of his current SUV/crossover/raised station wagon; he said it is under-powered. Not sure how much more HP a new version has compared to his current one, but most vehicles get more HP every year.
"2. The ride is not great compared to newer vehicles - no pep, is loud, not a smooth ride."
OK. Didn't remember that part. In that case, yeah, he should also look at sedans (I much prefer a sedan, and have never owned a crossover/SUV). The Kia Optima gets good reviews. Subaru Legacy, too, if he needs/wants AWD. But the OP said he isn't really looking for alternative vehicle options.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

new2bogle
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by new2bogle » Tue May 16, 2017 10:07 am

YOLO!

Colorado13
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 pm

jharkin wrote:OP If you are still on the fence, I just dropped 37k yesterday on a new Honda Pilot, to replace a 9 year old Honda Pilot that needed a new engine top end.

So now you can buy your car and gloat that you spent a lot less than that other idiot (me) on Bogleheads :sharebeer
Well, I appreciate you trying to make me feel better! Hopefully the new Pilot will be a keeper!

Colorado13
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by Colorado13 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:19 pm

deanbrew wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:
deanbrew wrote: The OP didn't say he doesn't like the ride and handling of his current SUV/crossover/raised station wagon; he said it is under-powered. Not sure how much more HP a new version has compared to his current one, but most vehicles get more HP every year.
"2. The ride is not great compared to newer vehicles - no pep, is loud, not a smooth ride."
OK. Didn't remember that part. In that case, yeah, he should also look at sedans (I much prefer a sedan, and have never owned a crossover/SUV). The Kia Optima gets good reviews. Subaru Legacy, too, if he needs/wants AWD. But the OP said he isn't really looking for alternative vehicle options.
Just to clarify, the target new vehicle is peppy, quiet, with a smooth ride and is a small crossover/SUV. I'm guessing most vehicles that are not 12 years old are going to have more HP or have other features that make the engines more effective? The under-powered issue is a concern, to be sure. You mentioned the Optima, one of my friends has a Kia Rio and I've driven it. It's definitely peppier than mine is from a dead stop. My rationale for not wanting a sedan is that I love the visibility of being higher off the ground so that I can easily see the traffic around me.

michaeljc70
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:02 pm

I didn't read any of the posts. Any post that says "convince me" makes me think it is a ruse to try and convince /justify someone to do something that isn't in their best interest. If it clearly makes sense, no one needs to convince you.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue May 16, 2017 10:07 pm

To spend the least on cars over time drive the current car until it is no longer reliable/safe or is rusting out. For high quality Asian brand cars that is usually in the 12-16 year time-frame depending on mileage, if there is rust, and if car was garaged or not. Then instead of buying new, buy a well maintained super clean 3-4 year old low mileage replacement for cash and repeat.

I have no experience with Hyundai brand - if 133k is high for it and it's beat and getting rattle-ly and loose, it may be better to sell it privately now while you can still get some value back out of it.

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wander
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Re: Help convince me it's okay (or not): new vehicle

Post by wander » Tue May 16, 2017 10:22 pm

Colorado13 wrote:Driving on mountain roads (while not something I do often) is painful because the car has no power.
I would replace it for this reason.

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