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Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:56 pm
by rcjchicity
Despite being an attending physician for 10 years, DH had been driving his well-worn 2004 Chevy Cavalier "doctor car" that he's had since med school*.

This is the car that he could bring up with miserly pride to residents, nurses, patient care techs, etc. when they mention their much more expensive car.
This is the car that 5 years ago, when our car battery died and we were hood up on the side of a street, a homeless guy pushing a shopping cart razzed us about our crappy ride.
This is the car that somehow made it from the suburbs to the city during Chicago's Snowmageddon storm of 2011 (which left an eerie parking lot of stranded cars on Lake Shore Drive, among other places).


That is, until yesterday, when he finally bought a new car. Oh, how shall he ever regain his sense of financial superiority? :P Now we're just like everyone else.

Except...
He did pay cash for the car
He spent 10 years thinking about a new car, so instead of being a single, childless new attending physician buying an Audi A4, he's a married guy with 2 kids getting a Mazda CX5

But, that's not as much fun for the shock factor compared to a mid-career physician driving a [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] car. :wink:


*Side note, we did get a 2nd car when the first kid was born - an Acura RDX - so it's not like he's truly been living in automotive frugality this whole time.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:02 pm
by livesoft
Watch out, he may get in an accident in the next few weeks and never bother to get the damage on the body repaired.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:06 pm
by jlawrence01
^^^

You act like your DH is the only doctor who drives an old beater ... although I do give him credit for keeping a Chevrolet cavalier on the road 13 years. I am not sure that I could have done that.

If he wants to regain his sense of superiority, go down to one of the rental car sales lots and let him buy a used Accent/Corolla/Versa or the like that is a couple of years old and let him drive it another 10 years.

Besides, why would you want to buy a nice car in Chicago and put it through that abuse?

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:19 pm
by bob60014
Great story and hit home as I survived the abnormal heat in spring and summer of 2012 here in Chicago in my beater, no a/c, manual transmission, rusty, ripped seats, am/fm radio, in which only the am worked, 1991 Honda Civic! In fall of 2012 I had enough so I broke down and bought a new 2012 Accord. I worked hard enough and was able to do it so, in paraphrasing Al Franken, "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, ....I deserve it!"

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:44 pm
by rcjchicity
jlawrence01 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:06 pm
If he wants to regain his sense of superiority, go down to one of the rental car sales lots and let him buy a used Accent/Corolla/Versa or the like that is a couple of years old and let him drive it another 10 years.

Besides, why would you want to buy a nice car in Chicago and put it through that abuse?
A car that we aren't terrified to transport the kids in was the main driver of the decision. Darn kids.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:54 pm
by tadamsmar
The new car is much safer. If the guy looks at the stats on electronic stability control he will realize this and might begin feeling superior to his old self.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:30 pm
by rcjchicity
tadamsmar wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:54 pm
The new car is much safer. If the guy looks at the stats on electronic stability control he will realize this and might begin feeling superior to his old self.
He's feeling better already. Thanks!

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:55 pm
by Watty
rcjchicity wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:56 pm
Oh, how shall he ever regain his sense of financial superiority?
You might have to wait until you run into the situation where you have a paid off house and you end up in a group of people that are talking about mortgage rates.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 11:26 pm
by carguyny
If you're patient and ok with loaners/demos you can lease a new A4 for $200/mth or less. Not sure it's really a bad deal as it would include all maintenance with Audi Care. Probably not that much more than what your husband was driving when you factor in depn, running costs, insurance discounts available on newer cars.

Safety should trump saving $1000 to $2000/year when you compare remaining lifetime income potential lost from a bad car accident. Probably is after all about 1% - getting in cars is one of the highest risk things we do.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:11 am
by NotWhoYouThink
Bogleheads are big on deferred gratification. In 10-15 years, his car will be old again. But it's still a Mazda, and he doesn't have to tell anyone it's fun to drive. Mine is 4 years old and has never needed anything other than scheduled maintenance. Nice choice.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:21 am
by lthenderson
The CEO of my company drove a beat up Datson pickup and I still drive a 20 year old Civic. We always enjoyed pulling into a parking lot full of shiny new vehicles. We are both retired now and many of those shiny new vehicle people still are grinding away.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:46 am
by Jack FFR1846
A Mazda SUV? You can't be smug from a Mazda SUV. We all know the correct car from which one can be smug from.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:07 am
by rcjchicity
Watty wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 9:55 pm
You might have to wait until you run into the situation where you have a paid off house and you end up in a group of people that are talking about mortgage rates.
Something to look forward to! I like it. :D

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:08 am
by rcjchicity
carguyny wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 11:26 pm
If you're patient and ok with loaners/demos you can lease a new A4 for $200/mth or less.
Lease?!?

*pearl clutch*

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:17 am
by kmurp
That Chevy was a death trap. Good riddance.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:16 am
by Ben Mathew
bob60014 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:19 pm
I broke down and bought a new 2012 Accord
You read the memo wrong--you're supposed to replace the car when the car breaks down, not when you break down.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:18 pm
by portlandia1
OP,

As a famous politican once said, "I feel your pain." 7 years and 2 kids into our marriage, we finally added a second vehicle to compliment our 2 door, no AC, Hyundai Accent. We bought a no frills (but with AC, power locks and 4 doors!) minivan that seemed to us as joyyfully luxurious and decadent a purchase as we could imagine, though we felt somewhat embarrased to be a 2 car family. No longer was I the fanatically frugal, soon to graduate medical student that drove a car much too small for my large frame and family of four. Now I was like every other American family and I felt the loss of my former, rather rare, identity. It is gratifying to know that I am not alone. Thanks for the post!

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:10 pm
by Teague
rcjchicity wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:56 pm
Oh, how shall he ever regain his sense of financial superiority? :P Now we're just like everyone else.
Lots of ways to go about this.

- The obvious one is drive it until the wheels fall off, then glue them back on and keep going.
- Maintain it himself. He can start with oil changes, wash it twice a year, and move up to doing brakes and go from there. Get the oil and filters at Walmart, or on sale elsewhere.
- Keep the tires properly inflated, rotated, and balanced. Rotate them himself every 5K miles, have them balanced every 10K. This will save on tire costs, and proper inflation can help gas mileage a bit.
- Follow the manufacturer's manual for maintenance. No more and no less.
- As mentioned above, pay no attention to body damage unless it affects driveability.
- Only liability coverage on the insurance, not comp or collision. The expected result is that will be cheaper.
- If the car has auto-shutoff at stoplights, leave that enabled no matter how annoying it gets.
- Cruise control at every opportunity.
- Aggressively shop for the cheapest insurance at every renewal.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:11 pm
by rbaldini
Treat the car like trash. It will be a beater again in no time.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:23 pm
by randomguy
rcjchicity wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:08 am
carguyny wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 11:26 pm
If you're patient and ok with loaners/demos you can lease a new A4 for $200/mth or less.
Lease?!?

*pearl clutch*
It is amazing how few people realize that leasing is a much cheaper way to own a certain segment of cars. Leasehackrs is educational even if I am unlikely to ever own a car that leases well.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:30 pm
by bloom2708
randomguy wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:23 pm
rcjchicity wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:08 am
carguyny wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 11:26 pm
If you're patient and ok with loaners/demos you can lease a new A4 for $200/mth or less.
Lease?!?

*pearl clutch*
It is amazing how few people realize that leasing is a much cheaper way to own a certain segment of cars. Leasehackrs is educational even if I am unlikely to ever own a car that leases well.
You mostly have to be in CA to get most of those deals. I will see a leasehackr deal and then try to get anywhere close in my area and fail miserably.

Maybe I am doing something wrong. There was a $139, 24 month lease on a Buick Encore. My local GMC dealer came back with $379 for 39 months and the guy told me how great a deal it was. :oops: No sir, I want the $139/month for 24 months deal.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:32 pm
by wander
Mazda CX-5 is less than $30k and hardly a non frugal considering he drove his previous car for 14 years.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:34 pm
by mortfree
buy a third vehicle that fits your definition of a beater, duh... :oops:

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:52 pm
by pennylane
carguyny wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 11:26 pm
If you're patient and ok with loaners/demos you can lease a new A4 for $200/mth or less. Not sure it's really a bad deal as it would include all maintenance with Audi Care. Probably not that much more than what your husband was driving when you factor in depn, running costs, insurance discounts available on newer cars.

Safety should trump saving $1000 to $2000/year when you compare remaining lifetime income potential lost from a bad car accident. Probably is after all about 1% - getting in cars is one of the highest risk things we do.
No you can't.

also to OP.. why risk your life driving such an old outdated beater? I'm the first one to appreciate frugality but you're putting your life on the line driving those cars. One good fender bender could put you in a grave.. Why even chance it? Get something safe to give you the best possible chance of surviving. I never understood people who invested in themselves through insurance and going through many great measure yet drive a car that if a squirrel kicked it would be considered a total loss..

I'm not saying go buy a Bentley, but for the love of god, he should of bought a $10,000 used car with great safety ratings.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:58 pm
by Cycle
My father was an orthopedic surgeon and always drove beaters. He did buy a newish car once (couple years old) but we used that to drive to high school while he kept driving his beater to work.

His children have one upped him and between the three of us and our families there are only two cars.

My net worth to car value is currently at 175:1, though our car is far nicer than what I'd prefer. It was obtained thru marriage.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:18 pm
by Watty
Just for reference the Cavalier has a driver death rate of 150 or 171 depending on if it was a 2 door or 4 door making it one of the worst from era.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/42/4/1

In comparison a 2014 CX-5 is has a driver death rate of 29 which is not outstanding by modern standards.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

It might be for you to takeover the car buying in your family.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:46 pm
by megabad
Watty wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:18 pm
Just for reference the Cavalier has a driver death rate of 150 or 171 depending on if it was a 2 door or 4 door making it one of the worst from era.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/42/4/1

In comparison a 2014 CX-5 is has a driver death rate of 29 which is not outstanding by modern standards.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

It might be for you to takeover the car buying in your family.
While I agree with the general premise (newer vehicles being somewhat "safer"), a CX5 (SUV) is a different class of vehicle than a Cavalier (small car). Small SUVs are larger than small cars and are thusly safer for the driver of the SUV. They also have the unfortunate consequence of being more likely to be the cause of death for someone in a smaller vehicle in a crash.

As a side note, I drive an old (15+ year old), very large vehicle and scoff at all the suckers in their fancy smancy new cars as OP indicated. I definitely have abundant feelings of financial superiority (read cheapness) until I hit the gas pump and realize my old vehicle gets approximate a quarter of the mpg of all those new vehicles. Driving a beater is not always financially superior.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:10 am
by andypanda
Buy a beater Cavalier for a backup. Drive it when you need an ego boost. :sharebeer

I worked for a state agency that bought a bunch of new low-end Cavaliers. Maybe they were high-end, how can you tell? They were nearly useless on the highway and uncomfortable when they were new. I can't imagine driving one daily for 10 or 15 years as it slowly (quickly?) rattled itself to pieces. Shudder.

I just drove my own cars the last 20 years even though I didn't get a penny of mileage reimbursement.

I fondly recall the rainy morning I arrived at work before 7 and looked out the back window to see a Cavalier with the doors wide open. No, they hadn't tried to steal it. They broke into it, rewired it, and managed to roll it back out of the space far enough to play VERY LOUD MUSIC with the doors open while they ate their fried chicken and biscuits from the place down the street. There were chicken bones thrown and scattered everywhere around the car and takeout boxes, napkins, and used ketchup packets floating in the puddles.

But they didn't try to steal it. It was a Cavalier.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:39 am
by jabberwockOG
No worries, in Chicago it will be a bent wheeled, dinged up, rusty beater before you know it!

But seriously with 2 kids the primary goal of any family car should be safety. I'd recommend a 4 wheel drive Volvo or Subaru if I had to live in Chiraq.

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:45 am
by LadyGeek
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