Should we buy my wife a new car?

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baseballbogle
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Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:21 am

Hello all,

First off, I would like to express my gratitude to the members of this forum. I have gleaned so much from reading Bogleheads after discovering the site during a personal finance course I took a few semesters ago.

Now the real question: should my wife and I buy her a new car?

Some background:
-Current gross income is ~60 a year, will go up to ~110 a year once I graduate in May and start working full-time.
-When I do begin work full time, I'll receive a bonus of 11k
-Expenses are around 30 per year
-My wife works in the healthcare industry and as such has to drive to various hospitals and clinics come rain, sleet, snow, etc. (I had to push her car out of its parking space in our apartment complex today the snow drifts were so high)
-Our state is in the Midwest/Southeast, so we don't see a ton of snow (~10in per year) but there is usually a pretty severe winter storm every year or two. We do get more rain than the average part of the country.
-We plan to have at least 2 kids, but likely won't have our first for another 4-5 years.
-A new car purchase would not cause us to reduce our retirement savings, but would reduce slightly the amount we would save for a down payment on a home. We expect to purchase in 2-3 years, so I don't believe it will really be an issue


Our current cars are a 2009 Toyota Camry (hers) with about 97,000 miles. Mechanically in good shape, definitely has some cosmetic imperfections. If I keep it long term I will probably have the hood repainted as the clear coat is beginning to flake off (poor repair from before my mother-in-law bought the car). Does not have ESC or traction control, as I found out while driving her to work in a snow storm earlier this year. My concerns about the lack of safety equipment are one of the primary reasons for wanting to get rid of the car. My car is a 2016 Honda Civic (owe ~12k @ 1.8%) which has ESC and traction control but no advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring, etc. When we do have kids I would really like for our primary family car to have these advanced safety features. I'm not planning to pay this off early, but would consider using the bonus and current cashflow to pay it off if we bought a new car.

The new car we are looking at would be a Subaru Forester or Subaru Outback. There are 0% financing offers on both this month and there are several Subaru dealers in my area so I think I'll be able to get a really good price. Attracted to Subaru because of the quality of the AWD system and good ratings from Consumer Reports. I've shopped used for awhile, but most in our area are only marginally cheaper than buying new and I think it would be harder to negotiate a good deal. We plan to keep the car until it dies or our family outgrows it, so at least the next 10 years or so. We're considering Honda and Toyota as well, but my questions are really more about any new car than they are advice for a specific model.

I see a few options:

1) Sell the Camry and buy her a new Subaru. The Camry is worth 4-5k trade in.

2)Sell the Civic and buy her a new Subaru. The Civic is worth ~14k trade in.

3)Buy snow tires for the Camry and wait to buy a new car. This wouldn't really help with ground clearance in the way that the Subarus would, but it would be a workable solution at least until we had kids.

4)Swap cars. I've been trying to get her to trade with me for awhile now-maybe this morning's happenings will finally change her mind. It doesn't really do much for us except a little peace of mind knowing she's driving a new car with ESC and traction control. I'm not particularly attached to the Civic, but she's pretty attached to the Camry. Like option 3, this really just delays the new car purchase by a couple of years. I could see value in allowing a few more years of advanced safety features to roll out before purchasing something to haul our future children in.

I appreciate any advice you may have.

Thanks,
BaseballBogle

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eye.surgeon
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by eye.surgeon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 am

I'd probably swap cars with your wife and save cash for an eventual replacement, but if you do sell the Camry, keep in mind value drops after the psychological barrier of 100,000 miles has been crossed. Having a car payment at that income level is unwise, having 2 is twice as unwise.
Last edited by eye.surgeon on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 am

eye.surgeon wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 am
I'd probably swap cars, but if you do sell the Camry, keep in mind value drops after the psychological barrier of 100,000 miles has been crossed. Having a car payment at that income level is unwise, having 2 is twice as unwise.
Thanks Eye Surgeon,

Like I said in the first post we would likely pay off the Civic with my bonus in May if we did decide to buy her a new car, but I think you're right that the payment on a new one would probably be too much.

I knew I could count on the Bogleheads to bring me back to reality :beer

ETA: Would you recommend using that bonus to pay off the Civic if we do decide not to get a new car? I was thinking it doesn't really make a ton of sense to pay it off @1.8%, but I suppose the real value would be freeing up cashflow.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:33 am

Swap cars + snow tires (or best quality Michelin all season)
Minimize debt.
Take on no new debt.
Maximize savings.
mahalo,
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

onourway
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by onourway » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:34 am

There is nothing wrong with the Camry. It's safe enough. It's more than good enough in the snow for the location you live in. You should not buy snow tires for one storm per year.

I don't think you make enough money yet to be considering buying a new $30k car.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

The snow amounts certainly don't warrant an AWD vehicle.

I would get a set of "ice tires". There are a number of tires that are meant for best grip on ice. They are listed that way. If you're in a place like Raleigh, I know how the ice storms can get and these tires are the way to go.

Your car isn't so old as to be unreliable. I wouldn't repaint the hood as it's sort of a waste of money. But if that'll keep you from buying a new car, it's only a couple car payments to do the job, so ok. Others will talk about all the new wizz bang safety features out there. Well, ok....but when the next set of wizz bang safety features come out in the fall, are you going to trade again? Your car is only about mid way through its usable lifetime.
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bubbadog
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bubbadog » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

I would go with option 3 or 4. A Camry is a very reliable car and at about 100,000 miles it should still be very reliable. I am not sure you really need snow tires for under 10 inches of snow per year. Maybe a compromise would be to make sure she has a good set of all season tires that perform well in the rain and also have decent snow performance.

Also, skip the repaint. You will never recoup the cost.

bloom2708
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:35 am

I would hold off. Get your job, get your new income, save up for a bit, get settled with the higher income and then think about cars.

Tough scenario to purchase for the 5% or 1% use case. 1 storm per year or 10 inches of snow. A 2009 Camry is still a pretty good car and 97k is pretty low mileage for a 2009.

The danger is you are probably talking about borrowing $25k to $30k before the dual income ship sails. Cart before the horse. This place is here to make you think about options. Anyone can go get a loan for a new car and have a nice loan payment. Anyone. Only $400/month for 60 months. Yuck.

That won't get you to your home down payment faster. That won't get you to maxing out retirement savings faster.

If the 09 had 200k miles I would think about an upgrade. Since spring is near and summer is easy driving, at least wait until fall. That way you get several months of your new income level under your belt.
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baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:44 am

Thanks all for the replies! I just have a couple of things:

The hood repaint is just to protect the hood from rusting. There are several places on the hood that are down to the paint with no clear coat. I'm not concerned about how it looks, just don't want to leave an otherwise good car open to potential rust.

Would you recommend using the bonus to pay off the loan on the Civic? I split the car with my parents as an early graduation gift when my last Honda died, so I don't technically take over the payments until July. The only real advantage to this would be freeing up an extra $275/month in cashflow.

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AtlasShrugged?
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:47 am

baseballbogle.....I have bought a brand new car exactly once in my life. I will not do it again.

FWIW, I would buy a Toyota, two years old with low mileage. And be sure that you either pay in cash, or you can pay off the loan within a year. Just my 2 cents.
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onourway
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by onourway » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:48 am

Clearcoat is simply for looks. If there is no bare metal, it won't rust. Many cars don't come with clear coat from the factory.

I would not personally be in a hurry to pay off a 1.8% auto loan unless the additional cashflow would make you more comfortable month to month.

BogleBoogie
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by BogleBoogie » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:57 am

I agree with putting better tires on the Camry. I would try to keep both cars as long as you can. I believe you will be needing to buy a new or newer family vehicle when you start having kids. That is a big reason to wait IMO. Depending on you and your wife's preference, you may want an SUV or minivan. We have several kids, dogs, etc. so we really appreciate having an SUV.

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eye.surgeon
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by eye.surgeon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:57 am

baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:44 am
Thanks all for the replies! I just have a couple of things:

The hood repaint is just to protect the hood from rusting. There are several places on the hood that are down to the paint with no clear coat. I'm not concerned about how it looks, just don't want to leave an otherwise good car open to potential rust.

Would you recommend using the bonus to pay off the loan on the Civic? I split the car with my parents as an early graduation gift when my last Honda died, so I don't technically take over the payments until July. The only real advantage to this would be freeing up an extra $275/month in cashflow.
At 1.8% some would argue to keep the cashflow and keep making payments. Personally I would pay it off but keep making the same payment into a high interest online savings account as your fund to replace the camry in the future.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

soccerrules
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by soccerrules » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 am

eye.surgeon wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 am
I'd probably swap cars with your wife and save cash for an eventual replacement, but if you do sell the Camry, keep in mind value drops after the psychological barrier of 100,000 miles has been crossed. Having a car payment at that income level is unwise, having 2 is twice as unwise.
+1
we currently have 4 cars - 05,05,07,10. 3 of the 4 have over 100K miles, one of which has 200K plus. These 3 cars are each worth $4K or less. "Drive them safely into the ground"
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

foamypirate
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by foamypirate » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:08 am

onourway wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:48 am
Clearcoat is simply for looks. If there is no bare metal, it won't rust. Many cars don't come with clear coat from the factory.

I would not personally be in a hurry to pay off a 1.8% auto loan unless the additional cashflow would make you more comfortable month to month.
To find a modern car without clear coat, you're going to be looking awfully hard. Pretty much every manufacturer uses BC/CC (base coat/clear coat) these days.

That said, the clear coat is what offers UV protection to the entire paint system. Without the clear coat to protect it, the color coat underneath will degrade rather quickly, which can lead to rust. I've seen several 08' era cars with rust due to failed clear coat, and I'm not in a rust belt, by any means (Austin, TX).

baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:11 am

soccerrules wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 am
eye.surgeon wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 am
I'd probably swap cars with your wife and save cash for an eventual replacement, but if you do sell the Camry, keep in mind value drops after the psychological barrier of 100,000 miles has been crossed. Having a car payment at that income level is unwise, having 2 is twice as unwise.
+1
we currently have 4 cars - 05,05,07,10. 3 of the 4 have over 100K miles, one of which has 200K plus. These 3 cars are each worth $4K or less. "Drive them safely into the ground"
Thanks for the advice-quick question about driving them "safely" into the ground. How do you know when they become not so safe? I've done most of the regularly schedule maintenance myself and plan to keep doing so, is there anything specific I should be inspecting? I don't have the Haynes manual for the Camry yet, but I will be ordering it soon. I don't know a ton about cars, but started doing the maintenance on our cars to learn more and save some money.

ETA: Obviously if something goes wrong that prevented the car from being safe to drive I would know it. I'm just wanting to know more about ensuring that safety prior to an obvious failure.

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Watty
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Watty » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:14 am

The snow season is just about over with so there is not any hurry. There is nothing inherently wrong with your current cars but I can understand the desire to upgrade to one with the newer safety feature. I recently bought a 2018 Corolla because of that, it if was not for the new safety features I would have likely waited a few more years.

I would still wait until you graduate and are settled into your new job before taking on another car loan. There may be some year end model clearance sales starting in August.

A few comments;
baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:21 am
....but would reduce slightly the amount we would save for a down payment on a home. We expect to purchase in 2-3 years, so I don't believe it will really be an issue

We plan to have at least 2 kids, but likely won't have our first for another 4-5 years.
I was able to get my new Corolla for a bit over $15K plus about $2K in taxes and registration fees and it has most of the new safety features. They gradually upsize the cars so it is likely not that much smaller than a 2009 Camry and my grand-kids car seat fits just fine in the back seat since it has a big back seat for a compact car. I don't get much snow where I am at but I would think that a Corolla with snow tires would do just fine in most snowy conditions.

You might consider something like a Corolla or Impreza(if it has the safety features) for now so you could have more money available for the home purchase and then get the Subaru Forester or Outback to replace your Civic when you are in the house and have your first kid. By then the current models will likely have even better safety features.

Just FYI, here is my post where I detailed by online car buying experience. At least in my case the 0% financing special was just built into the car price even though there was not a rebate. It made sense for me to just get a low interest rate car loan from a credit union.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=239526&p=3746230&h ... a#p3746230

Michread
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Michread » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:30 am

No, keep your cars. Taking on debt and/or not saving in your early years is a mistake because of loss of compounding on your money. Get a new car after you buy the house and after you have kids, not now. Camry is a good car.

We have a Toyota Camry v6 2005 with 140k miles or so. We put money into it at about 100k (timing belt, brakes, tires) and it’s good. We hope to keep it another 3-5 yrs or major work which doesn’t make it worthwhile.

soccerrules
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by soccerrules » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:51 am

baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:11 am
soccerrules wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 am
eye.surgeon wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 am
I'd probably swap cars with your wife and save cash for an eventual replacement, but if you do sell the Camry, keep in mind value drops after the psychological barrier of 100,000 miles has been crossed. Having a car payment at that income level is unwise, having 2 is twice as unwise.
+1
we currently have 4 cars - 05,05,07,10. 3 of the 4 have over 100K miles, one of which has 200K plus. These 3 cars are each worth $4K or less. "Drive them safely into the ground"
Thanks for the advice-quick question about driving them "safely" into the ground. How do you know when they become not so safe? I've done most of the regularly schedule maintenance myself and plan to keep doing so, is there anything specific I should be inspecting? I don't have the Haynes manual for the Camry yet, but I will be ordering it soon. I don't know a ton about cars, but started doing the maintenance on our cars to learn more and save some money.

ETA: Obviously if something goes wrong that prevented the car from being safe to drive I would know it. I'm just wanting to know more about ensuring that safety prior to an obvious failure.
I would ask people you know who they use/trust to work on the Camry. I would find an independent service guy that comes recommended. This independent guy should be able to help you keep your vehicle save and on the road. Like the clear coat, many things are just cosmetic or not vital to the operation of your car. I don't take my cars to the dealership unless absolutely necessary. I change the oil regularly and rotate tires every 6-7K. It is hard to avoid spending money because over time things need to be replaced (brakes,battery,starter,fan motors) These are typically not big ticket items. -- I would focus on brakes and tires for safety and watch how fast you drive and keep proper distances.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

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Alexa9
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:54 am

Civic/Corolla/Accord/Camry are good enough for the amount of snow you get. I would make sure you have good tires (Michelin Premier A/S or similar). Subaru AWD is overrated unless you're in mountain country or deep snow. If you really have trouble, snow tires and some steel wheels from TireRack may be worth it, but I doubt it's necessary as long as you drive carefully (slower).

Slacker
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Slacker » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:01 pm

Since your wife is unwilling to fully trade cars with you, have you tried to convince her to drive your car on occasion to become accustomed to it such that when the weather is really bad (black ice potential, driving rain, packed snow & ice) she can simply take your car for that one day to have the advantages of the ESC & traction control? Those electronic assistance features work very well in limited traction situations.

I would not buy a new car when you don't have an actual job making the additional income, yet.

We have put ourselves on a 6-7 year rotation for our cars. Every 6-7 years my wife gets a new car and I get her old car. She gets her desire for a new car satisfied and I get to know the entire history of my next "new to me" used car. Works for us.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by drdrgolf » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:03 pm

As I approach my 56th year of marriage to the same person, I have never forgotten that a happy wife is required for a happy life. As I lace up my golf shoes 5-6 mornings a week I smile and pat myself on the back for never having forgotten.
Remember
Happy Wife= Happy Life

Dominic :sharebeer
Dominic

mountain-lion
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by mountain-lion » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:16 pm

As stated up thread, good tires will solve a lot of the traction issues. So I would buy a set of really good all-season tires.

On the paint, modern automotive clear coat is super-hard and tough with the under color layers soft and relatively fragile. You won't get your money back, but it will make both the car itself and possibly your patience with it last longer. So I would probably get that done.

If it keeps you happy with the car another year or two, then the paint is probably worth it.

All in, you can probably spend around $1,500 and have a car that will go another 4-5 years at least. Maybe longer. That is what I would do.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:21 pm

get a set of used rim (steel is better because weight is heavy). Buy a set of snow or winter tyre. Study found a FWD with snow tyre performs better than a AWD vehicle with all season tyre. Save the money. Or if you really like a new car, Subaru has 0% for 63 month right now for an Outback. really nice AWD. you still need snow tyre for the winter driving.

onourway
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by onourway » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:27 pm

foamypirate wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:08 am
onourway wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:48 am
Clearcoat is simply for looks. If there is no bare metal, it won't rust. Many cars don't come with clear coat from the factory.

I would not personally be in a hurry to pay off a 1.8% auto loan unless the additional cashflow would make you more comfortable month to month.
To find a modern car without clear coat, you're going to be looking awfully hard. Pretty much every manufacturer uses BC/CC (base coat/clear coat) these days.

That said, the clear coat is what offers UV protection to the entire paint system. Without the clear coat to protect it, the color coat underneath will degrade rather quickly, which can lead to rust. I've seen several 08' era cars with rust due to failed clear coat, and I'm not in a rust belt, by any means (Austin, TX).
Today perhaps, but it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't exactly uncommon. My main driver has no clear coat from the factory and has survived perfectly in one of the areas of the country with the highest use of road salt/slurry. It hazes and you polish it up and it looks like new again. Much better than a failed clear coat. If the metal is rusting, that's a complete failure of the paint system. Common on some period Chrysler vehicles.

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bottlecap
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:29 pm

ESC doesn’t help you drive out of a snow drift.

For what sounds like a few days a year, I wouldn’t do anything, buts that’s just me.

Drive slowly and carefully in inclement conditions.

JT

baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:34 pm

Thanks again everyone for their advice. We will hold off and look at purchasing winter tires before next winter. Is there a best time to buy winter tires? I was thinking they may go on sale here in a few months when they aren't immediately needed.

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ray.james
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by ray.james » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm

I would do 3+4. Accidents are probability based on distance driven. Snow tires are a must for her car given the distance.

I was in your shoes minus snow 4 years ago and glad I waited until a year after kid to buy. Keeps costs low, savings plus a brand new suv in due time for the second kid soon. Remember the SUV will go along until kids go to middle school.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:37 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:29 pm
ESC doesn’t help you drive out of a snow drift.

For what sounds like a few days a year, I wouldn’t do anything, buts that’s just me.

Drive slowly and carefully in inclement conditions.

JT
Thanks bottle cap.

I know ESC isn't helpful driving out of snow drift. It was just a comment on the safety equipment of my wife's vehicle.

Cheers :beer

alfaspider
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:39 pm

Financially, the answer is to keep the old car and throw on some snow tires if you are worried about snow storms. But I understand not everything is about the bottom line.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:41 pm

Winter tyre and snow tyre wont last long. Get them during Costco and Discount tyre on sale with free install deal.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:44 pm

#4, and re-evaluate when you HAVE kids. Looks like even the '09 Camry has good safety ratings from NHTSA and IIHS.

I could go either way on the Civic loan, pay off with bonus or not. That depends on what your savings situation is (401ks, Roth IRAs, etc.) because that bonus amount happens to be the maximum you could each put into a Roth IRA for 2018. :D Sounds like you could easily pay off the loan in an accelerated fashion once you get up and running at your job.

(You didn't ask, but I wouldn't even buy a home until you've had your first kid. We had a six-month old before we bought our house. They don't take up that much space, besides the boxes for all the stuff you get for them!)

onourway
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by onourway » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:58 pm

I am as big a fan as anyone of winter tires, but given your description of your location, I would not purchase them. You'll actually have reduced performance over a good all-season for 99% of the winter for better performance on the one day it snows when you might just be able to stay home.

If you do go with snow tires, go with something like a Nokian WR which is an all-season/winter rather than a pure winter which will be too soft for most of what your winter temps are likely to be.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bubbadog » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:18 pm

onourway wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:27 pm
foamypirate wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:08 am
onourway wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:48 am
Clearcoat is simply for looks. If there is no bare metal, it won't rust. Many cars don't come with clear coat from the factory.

I would not personally be in a hurry to pay off a 1.8% auto loan unless the additional cashflow would make you more comfortable month to month.
To find a modern car without clear coat, you're going to be looking awfully hard. Pretty much every manufacturer uses BC/CC (base coat/clear coat) these days.

That said, the clear coat is what offers UV protection to the entire paint system. Without the clear coat to protect it, the color coat underneath will degrade rather quickly, which can lead to rust. I've seen several 08' era cars with rust due to failed clear coat, and I'm not in a rust belt, by any means (Austin, TX).
Today perhaps, but it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't exactly uncommon. My main driver has no clear coat from the factory and has survived perfectly in one of the areas of the country with the highest use of road salt/slurry. It hazes and you polish it up and it looks like new again. Much better than a failed clear coat. If the metal is rusting, that's a complete failure of the paint system. Common on some period Chrysler vehicles.
My 1994 Mazda Miata has single stage paint. It has a good coat of wax/sealant, is garaged, and the finish is like new. Your car is not going to rust just because the clear coat has failed. If you are concerned about rusting due to the failure of the clear coat, wax it regularly. I do not think any newer (10-15 years old or newer) vehicles have single stage paint.

bloom2708
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 pm

Can you maybe just tell us the state?

"Our state is in the Midwest/Southeast"

This sentence is kind of confusing. But then, mid-west can cover 50% of the states by some definitions.

Highly unlikely snow tires would make sense for the 1% snowfall. Better to just stay home that day.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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William4u
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by William4u » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:37 pm

baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:37 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:29 pm
ESC doesn’t help you drive out of a snow drift.

For what sounds like a few days a year, I wouldn’t do anything, buts that’s just me.

Drive slowly and carefully in inclement conditions.

JT
Thanks bottle cap.

I know ESC isn't helpful driving out of snow drift. It was just a comment on the safety equipment of my wife's vehicle.

Cheers :beer
Yeah, ESC can do some amazingly good things in some situations to keep the car stable, but it doesn't help get you out of a snow drift. Consumer Reports called ESC the "new seatbelt," but even seatbelts (while very useful) won't get you out of snow drifts. :happy

squirm
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by squirm » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:45 pm

I honestly think car questions and answers are over analyzed. Just ask answer yourself this question in honest terms. Can you easily afford a new car by paying cash? If the answer is yes, without any asteriks, then go for it.

fourkids
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by fourkids » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:53 pm

Don't get ahead of yourself.
Wait until you/wife are pregnant before getting a new car.
Your 2009 Camry can last for several more years. We have a Camry with 130K miles that's still going strong (and we get far more snow than you). My friends just replaced their Camry at 180,000 miles

We got a new car just a few months before each of our first 2 kids were born. You may change your mind on the car you want once a kid is in your near term future. SUV? Pregnant with twins or triplets? Minivan? Who knows?

Keep saving money for the house downpayment, and forget about the car for a few years.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:38 pm

onourway wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:58 pm
I am as big a fan as anyone of winter tires, but given your description of your location, I would not purchase them. You'll actually have reduced performance over a good all-season for 99% of the winter for better performance on the one day it snows when you might just be able to stay home.
I'll echo this. Huge snow tire proponent, probably not warranted in this situation. Get a really good set of all seasons with decent snow ratings, and you'll be fine. Stay home when you have the random freak snowstorm that drops 6-12" in one shot.

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Pajamas
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:39 pm

If you only experience one bad snowstorm every couple of years or so, see if renting a vehicle especially suitable for those events by the day or week is possible. Might be worth a few hundred dollars to do so and would be less expensive than buying a vehicle for those rare occasions before it's necessary.

If it rains a lot and she drives on unpaved roads, that may be more of an issue than snow.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by pennywise » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:48 pm

baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks for the advice-quick question about driving them "safely" into the ground. How do you know when they become not so safe?
When the car breaks down consistently, leaves the driver(s) stranded or worse loses power in traffic-it's not so safe.

However as I think pretty much every other respondent has said in this case: swap cars, keep them both running as long as possible and worry about new cars once you are financially established AND you need new cars. Neither of those situations seems to be the case at the moment. Sounds like you have an almost new vehicle and one not so new but which is known as a workhorse auto that lasts forever with few mechanical issues.

Based on recommendations here I just listened to a podcast from The Mad Fientist; happened to be Michael Kitces who was as always excellent. The last point he made was that FI comes in large part by living below one's means and a huge part of that is not allowing lifestyle creep, which is what it sounds is happening preemptively here since OP doesn't yet have the new job with increased spending power nor an actual situation in which a new car is necessary.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:08 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:27 pm
Can you maybe just tell us the state?

"Our state is in the Midwest/Southeast"

This sentence is kind of confusing. But then, mid-west can cover 50% of the states by some definitions.

Highly unlikely snow tires would make sense for the 1% snowfall. Better to just stay home that day.
Sorry that was confusing. We live in Kentucky.

bikechuck
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bikechuck » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:28 pm

AtlasShrugged? wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:47 am
baseballbogle.....I have bought a brand new car exactly once in my life. I will not do it again.

FWIW, I would buy a Toyota, two years old with low mileage. And be sure that you either pay in cash, or you can pay off the loan within a year. Just my 2 cents.
I have purchased both new and used cars in my 60 plus years on the planet. By far the best value I have had is buying new cars,maintaining them and driving them for over ten years and well over 100,000 miles. This has always worked well while my experience with used cars has been mixed at best.

bloom2708
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:49 pm

A second car loan doesn't seem like a great idea at this point.

A good decision helper video:

https://vimeo.com/41152287
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:51 pm

pennywise wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:48 pm
baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks for the advice-quick question about driving them "safely" into the ground. How do you know when they become not so safe?
When the car breaks down consistently, leaves the driver(s) stranded or worse loses power in traffic-it's not so safe.

However as I think pretty much every other respondent has said in this case: swap cars, keep them both running as long as possible and worry about new cars once you are financially established AND you need new cars. Neither of those situations seems to be the case at the moment. Sounds like you have an almost new vehicle and one not so new but which is known as a workhorse auto that lasts forever with few mechanical issues.

Based on recommendations here I just listened to a podcast from The Mad Fientist; happened to be Michael Kitces who was as always excellent. The last point he made was that FI comes in large part by living below one's means and a huge part of that is not allowing lifestyle creep, which is what it sounds is happening preemptively here since OP doesn't yet have the new job with increased spending power nor an actual situation in which a new car is necessary.
Thanks for the reality check-I’ll have to listen to the podcast. With regards to the not-so-safe bit, I understand that when it’s consistently breaking down, etc. it’s not safe. I was just wondering what I could do to ensure safety (beyond keeping up with regular maintenance) and if there were anything in particular that I should keep an eye out for to prevent something serious from going wrong while on the road.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by mmmodem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:21 pm

You've gotten some good advice here. I'll just add mine

A set of snow tires plus steel rims can be purchased online for $700 balanced and delivered to your door. Put them on and take them off yourself. Yes, the winter season is almost over but what if there is another snowstorm?

My definition of an unsafe vehicle is if it leaves you stranded more than once or is involved in an accident that caused frame damage or airbags to deploy.

Don't buy vehicles for your future children. Buy vehicles for your current child. You've already said it. The longer you delay, the newer the vehicle with safety gadgets. Buy a car when you have one child. Buy a wagon when you have two children. Buy a minivan or SUV when you have three. As a father of three, I can tell you that children aren't born just because you plan it. They are born on their schedule. If I had purchased the SUV when darling one was born, I would've driven darling three home in a 7 year old SUV. Instead, she came home in a 1 year old SUV purchased used. I was able to bank the extra cost I didn't have to pay on owning an expensive gas guzzler with room I didn't use. Thus, darling three came home in an SUV I can purchase with cash.

However, I'm keeping my 2% car loan as long as possible despite being able to pay it off immediately, FWIW.

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Sandi_k » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:07 pm

baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:51 pm

Thanks for the reality check-I’ll have to listen to the podcast. With regards to the not-so-safe bit, I understand that when it’s consistently breaking down, etc. it’s not safe. I was just wondering what I could do to ensure safety (beyond keeping up with regular maintenance) and if there were anything in particular that I should keep an eye out for to prevent something serious from going wrong while on the road.
I have a 2010 Lexus RX350 with 216K miles. I make sure to change the oil and filter every 7500 miles; change the tires for decent all-weather tires as needed; make sure to keep an eye on brakes, and fluids; change the PCV valve every 150k miles; flush the brake and cooling system regularly; and don't drive it hard.

My plan is always 10 years or 200k miles, whichever comes first. I'm now at 8+ years and over 200k, but i intend to keep driving it until it becomes less reliable. I would think you could easily get another 100k miles from your Camry if it's a V6 version. I like the idea of swapping cars with your wife, but it sounds like she wants something roomier than your Civic.

IIWY, I'd use your bonus to pay off the Civic, and start saving for an upgraded car for your DW. You might not need one for 2-3 years, and if you set aside $300 per month for a New Car fund, you should be able to make a substantial upgrade in safety and amenities if you bought a 2 year old car at that time.

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mhadden1
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by mhadden1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:13 am

Overall the '09 Camry sounds like a good car to drive. 97K miles is just well broken in. Keep good tires and brakes - should provide years and years of good safe service. If the BH forum was not non-commercial you would already be flooded with offers to buy it.

My old-guy advice is, while you are starting out and getting your financial legs under you, try to avoid moving up in cars and such for a few years. LBYM, save up for a while and then you can easily avoid loans when you do decide to make a move and get a car you really like.

Also, stay out of my yard!!! :happy
Oh I can't, can I? That's what they said to Thomas Edison, mighty inventor, Thomas Lindberg, mighty flyer,and Thomas Shefsky, mighty like a rose.

baseballbogle
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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by baseballbogle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:49 am

Sandi_k wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:07 pm
baseballbogle wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:51 pm

Thanks for the reality check-I’ll have to listen to the podcast. With regards to the not-so-safe bit, I understand that when it’s consistently breaking down, etc. it’s not safe. I was just wondering what I could do to ensure safety (beyond keeping up with regular maintenance) and if there were anything in particular that I should keep an eye out for to prevent something serious from going wrong while on the road.
I have a 2010 Lexus RX350 with 216K miles. I make sure to change the oil and filter every 7500 miles; change the tires for decent all-weather tires as needed; make sure to keep an eye on brakes, and fluids; change the PCV valve every 150k miles; flush the brake and cooling system regularly; and don't drive it hard.

My plan is always 10 years or 200k miles, whichever comes first. I'm now at 8+ years and over 200k, but i intend to keep driving it until it becomes less reliable. I would think you could easily get another 100k miles from your Camry if it's a V6 version. I like the idea of swapping cars with your wife, but it sounds like she wants something roomier than your Civic.

IIWY, I'd use your bonus to pay off the Civic, and start saving for an upgraded car for your DW. You might not need one for 2-3 years, and if you set aside $300 per month for a New Car fund, you should be able to make a substantial upgrade in safety and amenities if you bought a 2 year old car at that time.
Thanks a ton! Her Camry is an I4, but I’m still planning on another 5-6 years and 100k or so miles of reliable life. Since kids are probably 4-5 years out, would you recommend putting that car savings in a conservative allocation in a taxable account? Or should I play it safe and just use a savings account at an online bank?

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Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Post by Sandi_k » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:16 pm

I would probably stash the cash in a high-yield CD - buy a new one each year, and ladder them. Ally Bank has a no-penalty CD - the break-even time is only 3 months or so, and it's a good way to balance yield vs. risk vs. liquidity.

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