A simpler car.

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Jack FFR1846
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

tibbitts wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:41 am There are cases where you simply can't see behind you and the cross-traffic sensors and backup cameras do things no driver can, just as one example.
I've used an old safety device for decades to avoid exactly this. I back into places that would be difficult to get out of. I used to live on a busy street and would stop just past my driveway, wait for an opening in traffic and back in. When it was time to leave, well look at this. I'm looking out at traffic and simply drive out.

From a simplicity standpoint, I think the OP is looking for cabin simplicity and I completely understand this, having helped my 84 year old mom buy a new car. Even then, buying the one with more knobs and buttons and less screen options, she's never used a single screen button. Fortunately, the radio has real knobs still. Sure, a Tesla has a simpler propulsion system, but for someone who will simply not use a screen, can you even drive one? I don't know...only drove an S once on a test drive, then walked away unimpressed.
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wander
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by wander »

softwaregeek wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:00 am I have been very impressed by the safety tech in my wife’s higher end Toyota SUV. I drive an older car but when it is time to replace, the rear cross traffic check and backup monitor will be a requirement. Especially in my area, where we have an unusually high ratio of terrible drivers.
You don't need a new car for backup monitor. If it is what you want, then have it installed today. You can have a better stereo than most cars for less than $500 with Car Play... If you cannot do it yourself, Best Buy can install it for you. The installation is simple.
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wander
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by wander »

The Op wants everything. An old car with trouble free and nice paint. It sounds reasonable but unrealistic. There are some out there (it is rare, but possible), but many people will be in line to get those cars before the Op.
6bquick
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by 6bquick »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:10 pm
6bquick wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:53 pm
6bquick wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:51 am Agree to disagree. :sharebeer

I genuinely hope that you don’t get broadsided by a texting teen in a suburban one day.
Holy Toledo, I hope that too! And not to split hairs here, but there isn't a safety feature in the world that will save me in that case. I'll even go one step further and suggest that maybe if the suburban didn't have so many well-intentioned but poorly executed excuses for 'partially autonomous driving', said teen would have been less comfortable texting while driving, and thus put down her GD phone when she's behind the wheel.
Helo80 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:13 pm People make mistakes. Bogleheads never make mistakes.
Your teen example isn't a mistake. it's negligence, which has been aided and abetted by 'driver replacement' features as of late.

I feel OP's pain on two fronts when it comes to a car without all the aforementioned garbage. the driver complacency that they encourage as well as the astronomical pricing of new cars. A well maintained older car may be your best bet. My truck is 15 years old. I don't know what I'll do when it finally goes kaput.
BalancedJCB19
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by BalancedJCB19 »

SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. This is pretty much the opposite of what many Bogleheads think. I don't feel like I'm not living a great life because I drive an old car that doesn't look so great. It is reliable and gets me where I want to go. I do feel like I'm living a great life without worrying about money and my financial future. A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night. I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am. I really enjoy not having car payments and I think leasing a car is a terrible idea. The people that would be impressed by a fancy car I probably would have nothing in common with anyway. Don't buy things to impress people you probably won't like anyway. lol
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SmallCityDave
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by SmallCityDave »

wander wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:32 am The Op wants everything. An old car with trouble free and nice paint. It sounds reasonable but unrealistic. There are some out there (it is rare, but possible), but many people will be in line to get those cars before the Op.
I don't think it's unrealistic because a lot of people are like you guys, the last car I had (for any length of time) I bought was 8 years old I had it for 5 years and 60k miles I didn't have to do a single repair all I did was maintenance.

The truck I have now I've had for the last 2 years I have less than $5k in it, it's 12 years old and has just over 100k miles on it the only thing I've done is routine maintenance. Quad cab, great paint, perfect interior and it even has a backup camera (now).... the deals are out there you just have to be looking and ready to act.

Obviously now with covid everything is more expensive.
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wander
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by wander »

SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:32 am
wander wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:32 am The Op wants everything. An old car with trouble free and nice paint. It sounds reasonable but unrealistic. There are some out there (it is rare, but possible), but many people will be in line to get those cars before the Op.
I don't think it's unrealistic because a lot of people are like you guys, the last car I had (for any length of time) I bought was 8 years old I had it for 5 years and 60k miles I didn't have to do a single repair all I did was maintenance.

The truck I have now I've had for the last 2 years I have less than $5k in it, it's 12 years old and has just over 100k miles on it the only thing I've done is routine maintenance. Quad cab, great paint, perfect interior and it even has a backup camera (now).... the deals are out there you just have to be looking and ready to act.

Obviously now with covid everything is more expensive.
I am driving an old car (400k miles on odometer). What do you mean by saying "a lot of people are like you guys"? :D My point is if you drive an old car, you have to be ready to deal with problems. If you are lucky, you will get a trouble free car, but problem is expected.
JackoC
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by JackoC »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:58 pm
JackoC wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:42 pm my car having 60-0 stopping distance below 100' with the tires on it now, quick, high lateral g capability, helps avoid accidents in traffic
Wait, are you suggesting that a huge, high, heavy SUV with poor handling and braking isn't a necessity to be safe when driving?
Something from another thread? Sometimes in various threads people state that SUV's or big SUV's in general are less safe than sedans in general. That's not supported factually, either fundamentally given electronic stability control, or statistically in terms of death rate. However, that doesn't mean all vehicles are equal in accident avoidance capability. A BMW M2 is far above average in going, stopping and turning. That doesn't mean a given SUV is necessarily below average in those attributes. Our 2005 Lexus GX470 doesn't handle poorly and its 60-0 distance per Edmunds is 131', Consumer Reports gave 132' as average of vehicles tested in 2019. The M2 is far superior in those respects, but the GX is not bad. Also 'safe when driving' expands the scope from avoiding accidents to surviving them. In which case mass and size (more room to crush parts of the cars before I get crushed) count favorably for the GX v the M2 (4900 v 3400# and disproportionately larger, the M2 is heavy for its dimensions). The later, similar GX460 had a death rate of 3 per 100 vehicle miles, 0-10 95% confidence interval, in latest IIHS data v 36 average (the M2 isn't listed). That's subject to variation in what kind of people buy what kinds of vehicle. But I think it illustrates how generalizing about high SUV's with poor handling and braking in terms of 'safe while driving' is not a solid premise. Nor have I ever said big SUV's are necessary to be safe. Lighter than average vehicles generally expose their occupants to more risk of death, that's obvious unless one totally rejects the IIHS stats. The difference between fairly heavy (like mid 3000's) and bigger vehicles isn't as obvious but not clearly against really big ones either.

The exchange started with argument about latest accident avoidance gadgets. It's just Luddism to claim that those don't help avoid accidents. Although obviously I'm not saying it's irresponsible to drive a 15 yr old vehicle without them. Nor do you need to give those up to get better agility and braking which can also help. But some accidents are unavoidable and stats don't support an argument that big vehicles lose out in terms of death rate, net. If a particular vehicle has poor handling and braking then it's not desirable, but that would have to be shown for a particular model.
Last edited by JackoC on Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SmallCityDave
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by SmallCityDave »

BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. This is pretty much the opposite of what many Bogleheads think. I don't feel like I'm not living a great life because I drive an old car that doesn't look so great. It is reliable and gets me where I want to go. I do feel like I'm living a great life without worrying about money and my financial future. A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night. I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am. I really enjoy not having car payments and I think leasing a car is a terrible idea. The people that would be impressed by a fancy car I probably would have nothing in common with anyway. Don't buy things to impress people you probably won't like anyway. lol
Finally one of the few people on this forum that speaks my language. When it comes to cars this financial forum turns into the "safety at all cost" forum ;)

I like what you said about impressing people, most if not all of my tenants drive cars more expensive than mine. A few years ago I had a prospective tenant looking at a rental he said the rent was more than he could afford (despite it being the least expensive in the neighborhood) I smiled and looked at his shiny new red Lexus with all the safety features and thanked him for his time as it turns out the sticker price on that car was more than the rental.
stoptothink
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by stoptothink »

JackoC wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:53 am
stoptothink wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:58 pm
JackoC wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:42 pm my car having 60-0 stopping distance below 100' with the tires on it now, quick, high lateral g capability, helps avoid accidents in traffic
Wait, are you suggesting that a huge, high, heavy SUV with poor handling and braking isn't a necessity to be safe when driving?
Something from another thread? Sometimes in various threads people state that SUV's or big SUV's in general are less safe than sedans in general. That's not supported factually, either fundamentally given electronic stability control, or statistically in terms of death rate. However, that doesn't mean all vehicles are equal in accident avoidance capability. A BMW M2 is far above average in going, stopping and turning. That doesn't mean a given SUV is necessarily below average in those attributes. Our 2005 Lexus GX470 doesn't handle poorly and its 60-0 distance per Edmunds is 131', Consumer Reports gave 132' as average of vehicles tested in 2019. The M2 is far superior in those respects, but the GX is not bad. Also 'safe when driving' expands the scope from avoiding accidents to surviving them. In which case mass and size (more room to crush parts of the cars before I get crushed) count favorably for the GX v the M2 (4900 v 3400# and disproportionately larger, the M2 is heavy for its dimensions). The later, similar GX460 had a death rate of 3 per 100 vehicle miles, 0-10 95% confidence interval, in latest IIHS data v 36 average (the M2 isn't listed). That's subject to variation in what kind of people buy what kinds of vehicle. But I think it illustrates how generalizing about high SUV's with poor handling and braking in terms of 'safe while driving' is not a solid premise. Nor have I ever said big SUV's are necessary to be safe. Lighter than average vehicles generally expose their occupants to more risk of death, that's obvious unless one totally rejects the IIHS stats. The difference between fairly heavy (like mid 3000's) and bigger vehicles isn't as obvious but not clearly against really big ones either.

The exchange started with argument about latest accident avoidance gadgets. It's just Luddism to claim that those don't help avoid accidents. Although obviously I'm not saying it's irresponsible to drive a 15 yr old vehicle without them. Nor do you need to give those up to get better agility and braking which can also help. But some accidents are unavoidable and stats don't support an argument that big vehicles lose out in terms of death rate, net. If a particular vehicle has poor handling and braking then it's not desirable, but that would have to be shown for a particular model.
It was sarcasm. I completely agree with you. I have two kids and, gasp, the wife and I have not been compelled to buy an SUV (or even a full-size sedan, current vehicle is a compact).
tibbitts
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by tibbitts »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:21 am
tibbitts wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:41 am There are cases where you simply can't see behind you and the cross-traffic sensors and backup cameras do things no driver can, just as one example.
I've used an old safety device for decades to avoid exactly this. I back into places that would be difficult to get out of. I used to live on a busy street and would stop just past my driveway, wait for an opening in traffic and back in. When it was time to leave, well look at this. I'm looking out at traffic and simply drive out.
In general that's very true, you have better egress visibility. In the particular situation I find myself in sometimes, it's sort of 50/50 which is better. If I had the same ability to park in a narrow spot quickly while backing vs. driving forward, I would go that route. That can be argued is a skill issue, but I think almost everyone can confidently park in a spot faster and more accurately driving forward than backward. Realistically I know I would miss and end up blocking oncoming traffic sometimes (hopefully - better than being hit by it!)
Tingting1013
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. This is pretty much the opposite of what many Bogleheads think. I don't feel like I'm not living a great life because I drive an old car that doesn't look so great. It is reliable and gets me where I want to go. I do feel like I'm living a great life without worrying about money and my financial future. A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night. I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am. I really enjoy not having car payments and I think leasing a car is a terrible idea. The people that would be impressed by a fancy car I probably would have nothing in common with anyway. Don't buy things to impress people you probably won't like anyway. lol
If you could lease a brand new car for $1,000 more per year than what it costs you to drive your used car, would you?

Would paying an extra $1,000 per year in car expenses meaningfully change anyone’s retirement trajectory?

There is a lot of moral superiority and judgement in your post, not a lot of wisdom.
tibbitts
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by tibbitts »

BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night.
The tax-deferred accounts did that for me too until I calculated the taxes I'll eventually owe, RMDs, effects on medicare premiums, etc.

But I believe you're wrong if you think most Bogleheads care about impressing people with newer/nicer cars. It really is more about safety, functionality, and capability.
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SmallCityDave
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by SmallCityDave »

wander wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:45 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:32 am
wander wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:32 am The Op wants everything. An old car with trouble free and nice paint. It sounds reasonable but unrealistic. There are some out there (it is rare, but possible), but many people will be in line to get those cars before the Op.
I don't think it's unrealistic because a lot of people are like you guys, the last car I had (for any length of time) I bought was 8 years old I had it for 5 years and 60k miles I didn't have to do a single repair all I did was maintenance.

The truck I have now I've had for the last 2 years I have less than $5k in it, it's 12 years old and has just over 100k miles on it the only thing I've done is routine maintenance. Quad cab, great paint, perfect interior and it even has a backup camera (now).... the deals are out there you just have to be looking and ready to act.

Obviously now with covid everything is more expensive.
I am driving an old car (400k miles on odometer). What do you mean by saying "a lot of people are like you guys"? :D My point is if you drive an old car, you have to be ready to deal with problems. If you are lucky, you will get a trouble free car, but problem is expected.
You know who you are :wink:

Maybe I'm off base but if you choose the right car and you maintain it you should be able to get 200k miles out of it without too many issues.
tibbitts
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by tibbitts »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:08 am It was sarcasm. I completely agree with you. I have two kids and, gasp, the wife and I have not been compelled to buy an SUV (or even a full-size sedan, current vehicle is a compact).
I currently have only a sedan myself, but don't understand how you manage to fit four people, probably a dog, clothes for varying temperatures, cooler for food, and hobby gear into a sedan for a trip. Even with full-sized wagons from the '60s and '70s, which were really full-sized, people would have them crammed full, and maybe overflow to the roof.
azanon
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by azanon »

Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
If it's car problems one wants to avoid, you don't want to be on either end of the spectrum actually - meaning either a very old car, or a brand new car up till about the first 2-3 years. In general, cars have higher frequency of issues near the beginning and near the end. The middle 3-10 years is the sweet spot.
prairieman
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by prairieman »

SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:04 am
BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. This is pretty much the opposite of what many Bogleheads think. I don't feel like I'm not living a great life because I drive an old car that doesn't look so great. It is reliable and gets me where I want to go. I do feel like I'm living a great life without worrying about money and my financial future. A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night. I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am. I really enjoy not having car payments and I think leasing a car is a terrible idea. The people that would be impressed by a fancy car I probably would have nothing in common with anyway. Don't buy things to impress people you probably won't like anyway. lol
Finally one of the few people on this forum that speaks my language. When it comes to cars this financial forum turns into the "safety at all cost" forum ;)

I like what you said about impressing people, most if not all of my tenants drive cars more expensive than mine. A few years ago I had a prospective tenant looking at a rental he said the rent was more than he could afford (despite it being the least expensive in the neighborhood) I smiled and looked at his shiny new red Lexus with all the safety features and thanked him for his time as it turns out the sticker price on that car was more than the rental.
I certainly understand this. Somewhere in the last few years I started realizing that I can probably just afford what I really want - and went from an old stick shift Ford economy car with no bells or whistles to a plugin hybrid with everything added. It isn’t to impress anybody, but I like good mileage and cheap EV-quiet driving and, yes, safety features. AND I like a screen with navigation - with the next turn I need to take posted right up on the windshield with heads up display.
I spent most of my life saving every nickel. It’s taken a few years to learn that it is OK to spend some of them.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
tibbitts
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by tibbitts »

SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:18 am Maybe I'm off base but if you choose the right car and you maintain it you should be able to get 200k miles out of it without too many issues.
But I think you do have to choose carefully, and even then possibly sacrifice features or price on the front end. There are many vehicles with one or more components that really aren't designed with a 200k life in mind. They might be minor components, but may be extremely difficult to service. So if you mean 200k miles with maybe one or two $2k+ repairs thrown in, maybe. Yes, if you have the interest and ability to repair engine or transmission internals, or maybe "have a guy" who does very inexpensive repairs, then you would be less likely to face the $2k+ issues, but in the ordinary retail world I think 200k is still a stretch for many vehicles without significant additional expenses.
Trism
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

azanon wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:24 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
If it's car problems one wants to avoid, you don't want to be on either end of the spectrum actually - meaning either a very old car, or a brand new car up till about the first 2-3 years. In general, cars have higher frequency of issues near the beginning and near the end. The middle 3-10 years is the sweet spot.
I'm not certain I agree with the premise, considering the issues one has at the beginning vs. the end generally aren't equivalent in magnitude or impact.

The trunk on my 15-month old car just had its first "issue." The trunk stopped opening fully at the push of a button (it unlatches but won't swing all the way up by itself). This will be fixed under warranty the next time it goes in for routine maintenance, which is performed at no additional cost for the term of my lease.

This isn't equivalent to the $2,000 we just dumped into our '08 RX350 (shocks/struts, mostly) at 100,000 miles, although both are "issues." The RX repair also required us to leave the car for a couple of days at our independent mechanic, where we don't get a loaner like we do when our new one goes in -- even for an oil change.
Hoosier CPA
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Hoosier CPA »

rgs92 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:49 pm You mentioned that you would not buy a car with a CVT. Many Nissans have them and those cars are very problem free, both from published reports and my own experience. CVTs seem very reliable. (CVT = continuously variable transmission.) So I would look at Nissans if reliability (and value) is the goal.
CVTs aren't reliable. I'm on my 2nd in my Altima.
azanon
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by azanon »

Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:08 am
azanon wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:24 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
If it's car problems one wants to avoid, you don't want to be on either end of the spectrum actually - meaning either a very old car, or a brand new car up till about the first 2-3 years. In general, cars have higher frequency of issues near the beginning and near the end. The middle 3-10 years is the sweet spot.
I'm not certain I agree with the premise, considering the issues one has at the beginning vs. the end generally aren't equivalent in magnitude or impact.

The trunk on my 15-month old car just had its first "issue." The trunk stopped opening fully at the push of a button (it unlatches but won't swing all the way up by itself). This will be fixed under warranty the next time it goes in for routine maintenance, which is performed at no additional cost for the term of my lease.

This isn't equivalent to the $2,000 we just dumped into our '08 RX350 (shocks/struts, mostly) at 100,000 miles, although both are "issues." The RX repair also required us to leave the car for a couple of days at our independent mechanic, where we don't get a loaner like we do when our new one goes in -- even for an oil change.
I wasn't talking about the cost. Sure, anything under warranty is no cost. I was talking about the likelihood that you're going to have a problem with your car, and have your normal daily life interrupted by you having to take you car to a dealer or mechanic to fix an issue; Those problems, on average, occur the most during the first 3 years of a car's life, and when it is near the end of it's life.

You got lucky and got a relatively trouble-free 15-month old car. I'm talking about, on average. On average, people have issues all the time with brand new cars. It's not hard to understand why this is true - new cars sometimes have flawed parts or workmanship, and a flawed part is going to expose itself sooner rather than later. This is particularly true for the first year of a redesigned model.
stoptothink
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by stoptothink »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:23 am
stoptothink wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:08 am It was sarcasm. I completely agree with you. I have two kids and, gasp, the wife and I have not been compelled to buy an SUV (or even a full-size sedan, current vehicle is a compact).
I currently have only a sedan myself, but don't understand how you manage to fit four people, probably a dog, clothes for varying temperatures, cooler for food, and hobby gear into a sedan for a trip. Even with full-sized wagons from the '60s and '70s, which were really full-sized, people would have them crammed full, and maybe overflow to the roof.
Even more incredible, we are big-time campers. Several times a year we put all 4 of us plus tent, sleeping bags, food and clothes for a week, etc. comfortably in a VW jetta (with no roof or hitch rack). Furthermore, we also have an <1500sq. ft home, which is more space than we need even with both of us WFH (we have an entirely empty bedroom). Believe me, the wife and I are similarly confused how people can not manage to fit what they need in what today are deemed "compact" vehicles or homes.
bugleheadd
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by bugleheadd »

I went with a Hyundai sonata a few years ago. Its a base model. Less expensive than honda or toyota. Should be reliable for many years to come and maintenance shouldn't be expensive.

I really do want the new ford bronco though. Maybe in 5 years.
iamlucky13
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by iamlucky13 »

Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:14 am
If you could lease a brand new car for $1,000 more per year than what it costs you to drive your used car, would you?

Would paying an extra $1,000 per year in car expenses meaningfully change anyone’s retirement trajectory?

There is a lot of moral superiority and judgement in your post, not a lot of wisdom.
Yes, it definitely would change your retirement trajectory. Not radically, but I would call it nontrivial. I just did some calculations on this, partially to recheck the logic of my own saving plan:

Consider a household earning roughly the US household median, saving 10% per year vs. $1000 less than that amount. If their goal is to have 80% of their pre-retirement income by the 4% rule, including $2,000 per month from Social Security, with 6% real return (roughly median performance of a 60/40 portfolio, so in half of years, this won't be enough), it will delay their retirement by 2-3 years.

Coincidentally, that's also roughly the cumulative time they will spend in the car (2.8 years at 12,000 miles driving per year), so every hour they enjoy those nicer amenities is an extra hour they have to work.

Obviously, this becomes easier to afford the higher one's income, but harder if the market fairs worse than its median historical returns, and much harder for more realistic household earning median income, who typically don't save anywhere near 10%.

Personally, I'm still early enough in my accumulation phase that I see too much risk in the potential variation of returns to justify that expense. I have the impression the OP it at a stage where they can have a little more confidence in reaching their long term goals, so I don't dispute it as a legitimate discretionary option.
suemarkp
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by suemarkp »

Whatever you decide to buy, look up its maintenance schedule. Our Subaru has a (to me) excessive oil change interval. My hemi Charger had a large oil pan (6 quarts + 1 in the filter) and required spark plug replacements every 30K miles (it has 16 spark plugs). It wasn't hard to change but still cost $5/plug and was a 45 minute job. The plugs even seemed fine but since I took them out I put in the new ones. A 50K interval would be more reasonable, as least for how I drove it. Water pump and timing belt changes at 100K miles are a common item.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
User avatar
wander
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by wander »

SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:18 am Maybe I'm off base but if you choose the right car and you maintain it you should be able to get 200k miles out of it without too many issues.
If charging is not an issue to you, I would suggest an electric car. Since you are not handy with car, an electric car is a good choice. I never drove any car that didn't reach 200k miles so your goal is simple to me. Any Japanese car can get you to 200k easily. Can I suggest a Lexus LS430 with low miles? You can enjoy the smooth drive and reliability.
Trism
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

azanon wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:20 am
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:08 am
azanon wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:24 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
If it's car problems one wants to avoid, you don't want to be on either end of the spectrum actually - meaning either a very old car, or a brand new car up till about the first 2-3 years. In general, cars have higher frequency of issues near the beginning and near the end. The middle 3-10 years is the sweet spot.
I'm not certain I agree with the premise, considering the issues one has at the beginning vs. the end generally aren't equivalent in magnitude or impact.

The trunk on my 15-month old car just had its first "issue." The trunk stopped opening fully at the push of a button (it unlatches but won't swing all the way up by itself). This will be fixed under warranty the next time it goes in for routine maintenance, which is performed at no additional cost for the term of my lease.

This isn't equivalent to the $2,000 we just dumped into our '08 RX350 (shocks/struts, mostly) at 100,000 miles, although both are "issues." The RX repair also required us to leave the car for a couple of days at our independent mechanic, where we don't get a loaner like we do when our new one goes in -- even for an oil change.
I wasn't talking about the cost. Sure, anything under warranty is no cost. I was talking about the likelihood that you're going to have a problem with your car, and have your normal daily life interrupted by you having to take you car to a dealer or mechanic to fix an issue; Those problems, on average, occur the most during the first 3 years of a car's life, and when it is near the end of it's life.

You got lucky and got a relatively trouble-free 15-month old car. I'm talking about, on average. On average, people have issues all the time with brand new cars. It's not hard to understand why this is true - new cars sometimes have flawed parts or workmanship, and a flawed part is going to expose itself sooner rather than later. This is particularly true for the first year of a redesigned model.
You missed the part about not getting a loaner when the old car needs help.

"Interrupting my daily life" is requiring two adults to make two roundtrips to pick up and drop off the old car every time it needs something, and then being one vehicle short for the duration.

The new car wins in both cost and convenience.

And unless you have data that shows otherwise, I do not believe that the average new-car issue is equivalent in magnitude to the average issue with a car in the last three years of its useful life. That doesn't even pass the smell test.
squirm
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by squirm »

don't over think it, just get a used honda or toyota that you can afford and move on with life.
don't get an electric car unless you enjoy playing hide and seek with chargers on road trips, and pray they work, (excluding tesla's).
Jack FFR1846
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Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If getting a loaner car is imperative, either find an independent who has them, have Enterprise pick you up at the mechanic or bring your 100k car to the dealer and pay the (guess) $3000 for the shocks/struts.

I get that it's convenient to go to the dealer and get the nice, new, free loaner car, but taking a 100k mile car to an independent and paying Enterprise $50 a day might be the better financial way to go.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
iamlucky13
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Location: Western Washington

Re: A simpler car.

Post by iamlucky13 »

Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:11 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:32 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:36 am Calculate the all-in cost on your history of used cars: price you ended up selling it for - purchase price - maintenance along the way.

I would bet that it comes out to at least $1,500 per year.

You can lease a brand new car for $2,000 per year these days.
The cheapest lease offer I see on a new Civic is $3150 per year after spreading out the signing cost.

The leasehackr site posted above does have a Kia Forte for pretty close to what I would forecast the annual cost of buying one would be, but it's 1000 miles away. The listings on that site for my region are almost non-existent, and nothing remotely comparable is on Kia's website. I assume those are mostly the 1-VIN only, "sorry, we just signed that one away last night" deals.
What is the basis for your assumption that the deal I referenced was a one-off?

It isn't practical for an internet stranger to find you a customized deal in your own back yard (I don't even know where you live), that was an example of what's reasonably attainable if you know what you're doing. For the car I got last summer I replicated a deal close to home after seeing the types of deals on that model that were routinely attained 2,000 miles away.

I mean no disrespect, but you aren't an informed car shopper if you are judging lease deals based on manufacturer or dealer web sites; those are generally awful (exclude fees, include paltry dealer discounts and/or require large down payments), or worse, disingenuous teasers to drive traffic into showrooms. You just need to study the numbers before you shop.
To be honest, I probably am ignorant about lease shopping. I can believe there are better deals than the manufacturer listing, but 1/3 better seems too good. I don't know if there is a Blue Book for lease pricing equivalent to the resources we have for purchase pricing, for example, but from my position it seems like you're talking about hard to find lease pricing info or very limited deals.
Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:16 am I never claimed leasing would be cheaper than buying and holding.

But the delta in lifetime cost can be much lower than most Bogleheads assume.
To be clear, I do understand those points of yours. I posted my example numbers not in expectation of contradicting the first statement quoted, but to show how wide the difference appeared to me. Admittedly my example was tilted in ownerships favor due to the demonstrated longevity of a single example. I don't advocate actually planning on such longevity when planning a purchase.

Your suggestion of roughly $1000 per year delta is in-line with my expectation. I guess $1000 per year sounds like more money to me than it does to you. Of course, that's part of the normal variation in financial expectations that occurs at this forum.
Trism
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:34 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:11 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:32 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:36 am Calculate the all-in cost on your history of used cars: price you ended up selling it for - purchase price - maintenance along the way.

I would bet that it comes out to at least $1,500 per year.

You can lease a brand new car for $2,000 per year these days.
The cheapest lease offer I see on a new Civic is $3150 per year after spreading out the signing cost.

The leasehackr site posted above does have a Kia Forte for pretty close to what I would forecast the annual cost of buying one would be, but it's 1000 miles away. The listings on that site for my region are almost non-existent, and nothing remotely comparable is on Kia's website. I assume those are mostly the 1-VIN only, "sorry, we just signed that one away last night" deals.
What is the basis for your assumption that the deal I referenced was a one-off?

It isn't practical for an internet stranger to find you a customized deal in your own back yard (I don't even know where you live), that was an example of what's reasonably attainable if you know what you're doing. For the car I got last summer I replicated a deal close to home after seeing the types of deals on that model that were routinely attained 2,000 miles away.

I mean no disrespect, but you aren't an informed car shopper if you are judging lease deals based on manufacturer or dealer web sites; those are generally awful (exclude fees, include paltry dealer discounts and/or require large down payments), or worse, disingenuous teasers to drive traffic into showrooms. You just need to study the numbers before you shop.
To be honest, I probably am ignorant about lease shopping. I can believe there are better deals than the manufacturer listing, but 1/3 better seems too good. I don't know if there is a Blue Book for lease pricing equivalent to the resources we have for purchase pricing, for example, but from my position it seems like you're talking about hard to find lease pricing info or very limited deals.
I was exactly where you are about 18 months ago. I honestly think shopping for a mortgage for the first time was less confusing than figuring out what to pay on a car lease.

I just looked at the current national offer for the vehicle I have, and after normalizing for down payment differences, my monthly payment is 32.3% less than the ad on the manufacturer's web site. And it's a very different vehicle than any of the examples I posted earlier.

I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for Leasehackr, but I read that forum like it was a part-time job before I did my deal, and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. The info is there, it just takes time to absorb and process.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
TN_Boy
Posts: 2053
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by TN_Boy »

SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:04 am
BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:55 am
We have enough to buy whatever we want but I don't feel compelled spend $20-30k on a car... am I crazy?
Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.

If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. This is pretty much the opposite of what many Bogleheads think. I don't feel like I'm not living a great life because I drive an old car that doesn't look so great. It is reliable and gets me where I want to go. I do feel like I'm living a great life without worrying about money and my financial future. A paid off home and a million dollars in my 401K is what makes me sleep well at night. I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am. I really enjoy not having car payments and I think leasing a car is a terrible idea. The people that would be impressed by a fancy car I probably would have nothing in common with anyway. Don't buy things to impress people you probably won't like anyway. lol
Finally one of the few people on this forum that speaks my language. When it comes to cars this financial forum turns into the "safety at all cost" forum ;)

I like what you said about impressing people, most if not all of my tenants drive cars more expensive than mine. A few years ago I had a prospective tenant looking at a rental he said the rent was more than he could afford (despite it being the least expensive in the neighborhood) I smiled and looked at his shiny new red Lexus with all the safety features and thanked him for his time as it turns out the sticker price on that car was more than the rental.
The car threads do sometimes turn into "safety at all cost" debates, though in fairness, sometimes we have posters who really believe that their aging Detroit iron (like, 80s ...) is safer than current cars because hey, it is big and heavy! I think cars after 2010 are quite safe, though some of the recent
innovations may help in some situations.

But boglehead car threads also turn into the "people only buy nice cars to impress other people" which is also quite annoying..... It's okay to spend money you have on a nice car :-).

It is also okay to view a car as strictly a way to get from point A to B -- an appliance -- and minimize car costs. I never pay much attention to what kind of car somebody drives, because I don't care so much, unless it is a really interesting car.
Tingting1013
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:58 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:11 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:32 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:36 am Calculate the all-in cost on your history of used cars: price you ended up selling it for - purchase price - maintenance along the way.

I would bet that it comes out to at least $1,500 per year.

You can lease a brand new car for $2,000 per year these days.
The cheapest lease offer I see on a new Civic is $3150 per year after spreading out the signing cost.

The leasehackr site posted above does have a Kia Forte for pretty close to what I would forecast the annual cost of buying one would be, but it's 1000 miles away. The listings on that site for my region are almost non-existent, and nothing remotely comparable is on Kia's website. I assume those are mostly the 1-VIN only, "sorry, we just signed that one away last night" deals.
What is the basis for your assumption that the deal I referenced was a one-off?

It isn't practical for an internet stranger to find you a customized deal in your own back yard (I don't even know where you live), that was an example of what's reasonably attainable if you know what you're doing. For the car I got last summer I replicated a deal close to home after seeing the types of deals on that model that were routinely attained 2,000 miles away.

I mean no disrespect, but you aren't an informed car shopper if you are judging lease deals based on manufacturer or dealer web sites; those are generally awful (exclude fees, include paltry dealer discounts and/or require large down payments), or worse, disingenuous teasers to drive traffic into showrooms. You just need to study the numbers before you shop.
To be honest, I probably am ignorant about lease shopping. I can believe there are better deals than the manufacturer listing, but 1/3 better seems too good. I don't know if there is a Blue Book for lease pricing equivalent to the resources we have for purchase pricing, for example, but from my position it seems like you're talking about hard to find lease pricing info or very limited deals.
I was exactly where you are about 18 months ago. I honestly think shopping for a mortgage for the first time was less confusing than figuring out what to pay on a car lease.

I just looked at the current national offer for the vehicle I have, and after normalizing for down payment differences, my monthly payment is 32.3% less than the ad on the manufacturer's web site. And it's a very different vehicle than any of the examples I posted earlier.

I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for Leasehackr, but I read that forum like it was a part-time job before I did my deal, and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. The info is there, it just takes time to absorb and process.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
What car did you get? Did you use a broker?
Trism
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:34 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:47 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:58 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:11 am
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:32 am

The cheapest lease offer I see on a new Civic is $3150 per year after spreading out the signing cost.

The leasehackr site posted above does have a Kia Forte for pretty close to what I would forecast the annual cost of buying one would be, but it's 1000 miles away. The listings on that site for my region are almost non-existent, and nothing remotely comparable is on Kia's website. I assume those are mostly the 1-VIN only, "sorry, we just signed that one away last night" deals.
What is the basis for your assumption that the deal I referenced was a one-off?

It isn't practical for an internet stranger to find you a customized deal in your own back yard (I don't even know where you live), that was an example of what's reasonably attainable if you know what you're doing. For the car I got last summer I replicated a deal close to home after seeing the types of deals on that model that were routinely attained 2,000 miles away.

I mean no disrespect, but you aren't an informed car shopper if you are judging lease deals based on manufacturer or dealer web sites; those are generally awful (exclude fees, include paltry dealer discounts and/or require large down payments), or worse, disingenuous teasers to drive traffic into showrooms. You just need to study the numbers before you shop.
To be honest, I probably am ignorant about lease shopping. I can believe there are better deals than the manufacturer listing, but 1/3 better seems too good. I don't know if there is a Blue Book for lease pricing equivalent to the resources we have for purchase pricing, for example, but from my position it seems like you're talking about hard to find lease pricing info or very limited deals.
I was exactly where you are about 18 months ago. I honestly think shopping for a mortgage for the first time was less confusing than figuring out what to pay on a car lease.

I just looked at the current national offer for the vehicle I have, and after normalizing for down payment differences, my monthly payment is 32.3% less than the ad on the manufacturer's web site. And it's a very different vehicle than any of the examples I posted earlier.

I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for Leasehackr, but I read that forum like it was a part-time job before I did my deal, and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. The info is there, it just takes time to absorb and process.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
What car did you get? Did you use a broker?
BMW 750i. I did the deal myself.
Tingting1013
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:29 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:47 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:58 pm
iamlucky13 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Trism wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:11 am

What is the basis for your assumption that the deal I referenced was a one-off?

It isn't practical for an internet stranger to find you a customized deal in your own back yard (I don't even know where you live), that was an example of what's reasonably attainable if you know what you're doing. For the car I got last summer I replicated a deal close to home after seeing the types of deals on that model that were routinely attained 2,000 miles away.

I mean no disrespect, but you aren't an informed car shopper if you are judging lease deals based on manufacturer or dealer web sites; those are generally awful (exclude fees, include paltry dealer discounts and/or require large down payments), or worse, disingenuous teasers to drive traffic into showrooms. You just need to study the numbers before you shop.
To be honest, I probably am ignorant about lease shopping. I can believe there are better deals than the manufacturer listing, but 1/3 better seems too good. I don't know if there is a Blue Book for lease pricing equivalent to the resources we have for purchase pricing, for example, but from my position it seems like you're talking about hard to find lease pricing info or very limited deals.
I was exactly where you are about 18 months ago. I honestly think shopping for a mortgage for the first time was less confusing than figuring out what to pay on a car lease.

I just looked at the current national offer for the vehicle I have, and after normalizing for down payment differences, my monthly payment is 32.3% less than the ad on the manufacturer's web site. And it's a very different vehicle than any of the examples I posted earlier.

I'm probably starting to sound like a shill for Leasehackr, but I read that forum like it was a part-time job before I did my deal, and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. The info is there, it just takes time to absorb and process.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
What car did you get? Did you use a broker?
BMW 750i. I did the deal myself.
Congrats! I have my eye on a 740e loaner. 20% off MSRP before incentives and rebates!
JackoC
Posts: 2071
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: A simpler car.

Post by JackoC »

TN_Boy wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:45 pm
SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:04 am
BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
Trism wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am Yes. Just lease something decent and you'll always have a warranty.
If you have the means, life is too short to drive old needy cars.
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. ... I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am.
Finally one of the few people on this forum that speaks my language. When it comes to cars this financial forum turns into the "safety at all cost" forum ;)

I like what you said about impressing people, ...
1. The car threads do sometimes turn into "safety at all cost" debates, though in fairness, sometimes we have posters who really believe that their aging Detroit iron (like, 80s ...) is safer than current cars because hey, it is big and heavy! I think cars after 2010 are quite safe, though some of the recent innovations may help in some situations.

2. But boglehead car threads also turn into the "people only buy nice cars to impress other people" which is also quite annoying..... It's okay to spend money you have on a nice car :-).

3. It is also okay to view a car as strictly a way to get from point A to B -- an appliance -- and minimize car costs. I never pay much attention to what kind of car somebody drives, because I don't care so much, unless it is a really interesting car.
1. Seems to me, here, it's more common for people to react *as if* anyone is saying 'safety at all costs' than a lot of people actually saying that. The latest tech makes you safer, if you use it and don't just 'correct' for it by driving commensurately more recklessly. 'People in general' may do that (compensate for safer cars by driving less safely) to *some degree* but doubtful it erases the whole safety advantage in general, and again not for the individual who simply uses the tech to increase their safety. IOW you're going to tend to be safer in a 2020 car than even a 2010 one, all else equal. Now again that doesn't mean it's irresponsible to drive an older car. One of ours is a 2018, the other is a 2005. The 2005 is safe enough I believe, it's pretty big and that counts in its favor also. But I won't deny a 2020 equivalent would be safer, nor say anyone who buys one is doing 'safety at all costs'.

2. Makes me more curious the psychology than annoyed but yes what seems to me a strange overemphasis here sometimes on the idea cars are to impress other people (though it has some truth in some cases). And the reality is that if you're successful enough accumulating money, with any purpose in mind other then giving it to somebody else, you're at some point going to discomfit some other people who think (and resent) that you are 'trying to impress them' with stuff you can easily afford and would simply rather have. My question would be why I should I care how my car purchases make anybody else feel, since their feeling bad about my car is not actually reasonable. Unless it's a matter of vandalism or making yourself a target of more serious crime, but I think it's pretty exceptional where that's really much of an issue.

3. I pay attention to interesting cars, and pretty common to see them where I live (Lambo, Ferrari, McLaren etc). I don't spend much time making assumptions about how 'pretentious' etc the owners are, whether they went up to the eyeballs in debt to get it or it's just a fraction of last year's bonus, people I don't know: why would I care? My main reaction is just 'cool car'. :happy
playtothebeat
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:39 pm
Location: southern california

Re: A simpler car.

Post by playtothebeat »

Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”

We have a 2010 5series that’s been paid off for years. Still, we put about 2-3k per year into preventative maintenance (new strut arms, etc; not upkeep like oil changes or tires - that’s separate). We are the only owners and know that car well. It’s money well spent to us and prolongs the life of the car dramatically. Maybe we should get a used Corolla instead and hope that it’s previous owner took care of things......
TN_Boy
Posts: 2053
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by TN_Boy »

JackoC wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:30 am
TN_Boy wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:45 pm
SmallCityDave wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:04 am
BalancedJCB19 wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:19 am
SmallCityDave wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:20 am
That's just silly. :oops:
I agree. ... I don't care if people think I'm poor because my car looks like I am.
Finally one of the few people on this forum that speaks my language. When it comes to cars this financial forum turns into the "safety at all cost" forum ;)

I like what you said about impressing people, ...
1. The car threads do sometimes turn into "safety at all cost" debates, though in fairness, sometimes we have posters who really believe that their aging Detroit iron (like, 80s ...) is safer than current cars because hey, it is big and heavy! I think cars after 2010 are quite safe, though some of the recent innovations may help in some situations.

2. But boglehead car threads also turn into the "people only buy nice cars to impress other people" which is also quite annoying..... It's okay to spend money you have on a nice car :-).

3. It is also okay to view a car as strictly a way to get from point A to B -- an appliance -- and minimize car costs. I never pay much attention to what kind of car somebody drives, because I don't care so much, unless it is a really interesting car.
1. Seems to me, here, it's more common for people to react *as if* anyone is saying 'safety at all costs' than a lot of people actually saying that. The latest tech makes you safer, if you use it and don't just 'correct' for it by driving commensurately more recklessly. 'People in general' may do that (compensate for safer cars by driving less safely) to *some degree* but doubtful it erases the whole safety advantage in general, and again not for the individual who simply uses the tech to increase their safety. IOW you're going to tend to be safer in a 2020 car than even a 2010 one, all else equal. Now again that doesn't mean it's irresponsible to drive an older car. One of ours is a 2018, the other is a 2005. The 2005 is safe enough I believe, it's pretty big and that counts in its favor also. But I won't deny a 2020 equivalent would be safer, nor say anyone who buys one is doing 'safety at all costs'.

2. Makes me more curious the psychology than annoyed but yes what seems to me a strange overemphasis here sometimes on the idea cars are to impress other people (though it has some truth in some cases). And the reality is that if you're successful enough accumulating money, with any purpose in mind other then giving it to somebody else, you're at some point going to discomfit some other people who think (and resent) that you are 'trying to impress them' with stuff you can easily afford and would simply rather have. My question would be why I should I care how my car purchases make anybody else feel, since their feeling bad about my car is not actually reasonable. Unless it's a matter of vandalism or making yourself a target of more serious crime, but I think it's pretty exceptional where that's really much of an issue.

3. I pay attention to interesting cars, and pretty common to see them where I live (Lambo, Ferrari, McLaren etc). I don't spend much time making assumptions about how 'pretentious' etc the owners are, whether they went up to the eyeballs in debt to get it or it's just a fraction of last year's bonus, people I don't know: why would I care? My main reaction is just 'cool car'. :happy
For 1), you might be right. And I tend to agree that a 2005, for example, is probably "safe enough."

On 3), I do notice the unusual ones. Last year we stopped to eat out and saw parked a McLaren. Don't see many of those. It was one of the more expensive models (not that any of them are cheap). See the occasional Ferrari, Maserati, etc. But yeah, I don't worry about why they bought the car or whether they could afford it. Not my problem :-).
Tingting1013
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 am Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”

We have a 2010 5series that’s been paid off for years. Still, we put about 2-3k per year into preventative maintenance (new strut arms, etc; not upkeep like oil changes or tires - that’s separate). We are the only owners and know that car well. It’s money well spent to us and prolongs the life of the car dramatically. Maybe we should get a used Corolla instead and hope that it’s previous owner took care of things......
$2-3k in repairs + upkeep + depreciation ($1-2k per year)
= $4-5k per year

You’d probably be better off leasing.
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Taylor Larimore
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A 10,000 mile automobile trip in 1940

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Bogleheads:

In 1940, when I was 16 years old, and old enough to have a driver's license, my mother, younger brother and I drove a Ford automobile from Miami to Seattle and back. We had no air-conditioning, superhighways or motels (only hotels and individual tourist cottages). We had one bad incident - when I turned too sharp coming down Pikes Peak in Colorado and I broke a tie-rod. Fixed for about $12.

We had a wonderful time!

Lesson learned: New is often not necessary.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "Fund marketers favor the fads that are in the momentary limelight, with the expectation that investors will take the bait."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
hightower
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by hightower »

If you want a simpler car, buy an electric car. Sounds counter intuitive, but they are without a doubt mechanically much simpler than any ICE car. Fewer moving parts, fewer things to maintain, not to mention cheaper to fuel and drive. For a daily driver, nothing beats an electric car. I've been driving one for 3 years/50k miles now and would never go back.

Old cars may be simpler without all the computer controls and this and that, but they are definitely more maintenance to keep them running smoothly and safely. If you like working on cars, then by all means drive an old car. If not, then you better enjoy dropping your car off at the repair shop regularly. I own a 1953 Chevy, all original, about as simple as you can get, but there is always something going wrong with it. I sort of enjoy working on it, but rarely have time. So, it doesn't get driven much.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by abuss368 »

One important aspect to consider is vehicle safety. I keep our cars 10 - 12 years. I can see the difference.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
playtothebeat
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by playtothebeat »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:46 am
playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 am Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”

We have a 2010 5series that’s been paid off for years. Still, we put about 2-3k per year into preventative maintenance (new strut arms, etc; not upkeep like oil changes or tires - that’s separate). We are the only owners and know that car well. It’s money well spent to us and prolongs the life of the car dramatically. Maybe we should get a used Corolla instead and hope that it’s previous owner took care of things......
$2-3k in repairs + upkeep + depreciation ($1-2k per year)
= $4-5k per year

You’d probably be better off leasing.
Depreciation is not a cost. My car is paid. I don’t care about it’s resale value. I don’t write a check for depreciation. And I have no restriction on mileage. And of course no “3k down” or whatever a BMW lease typically has as the upfront payment (openly I’m not too familiar with lease structures so I’m guessing that’s just a function of what you want the monthly payment to be).
Financially maintaining an older car is most often cheaper than buying/leasing a new one. There are of course non-financial considerations that go into it too. But from a pure numbers standpoint, better off maintaining an old vehicle of course.
Tingting1013
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:02 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:46 am
playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 am Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”

We have a 2010 5series that’s been paid off for years. Still, we put about 2-3k per year into preventative maintenance (new strut arms, etc; not upkeep like oil changes or tires - that’s separate). We are the only owners and know that car well. It’s money well spent to us and prolongs the life of the car dramatically. Maybe we should get a used Corolla instead and hope that it’s previous owner took care of things......
$2-3k in repairs + upkeep + depreciation ($1-2k per year)
= $4-5k per year

You’d probably be better off leasing.
Depreciation is not a cost. My car is paid. I don’t care about it’s resale value. I don’t write a check for depreciation. And I have no restriction on mileage. And of course no “3k down” or whatever a BMW lease typically has as the upfront payment (openly I’m not too familiar with lease structures so I’m guessing that’s just a function of what you want the monthly payment to be).
Financially maintaining an older car is most often cheaper than buying/leasing a new one. There are of course non-financial considerations that go into it too. But from a pure numbers standpoint, better off maintaining an old vehicle of course.
Depreciation absolutely is a cost. You don’t pay a bill for it every month but that’s only because you paid it all upfront.

Lets say you bought it 5 years ago for $20k. Let’s say you never sell it and by the time it dies 5 years from now* it’s worth zero and you pay to have it towed to the junkyard.

Then your cost of depreciation is $20k over ten years, or $2k per year. It is exactly the same as if you leased the car for $2k per year.

Of course you cannot lease a BMW 5 series for $2k per year. But then you say the maintenance is costing you $2-3k per year. So now we’re up to $4-5k per year.

Now we’re getting into new lease cost territory.

*You might argue that your car will last longer than that, but I don’t see too many 15 year old BMWs on the roads, and at some point you will face a major repair that costs more than the car is worth. You can substitute numbers into the equation as you see fit.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 am Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”
The only people who enjoy cars less than Bogleheads are the Amish.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Trism »

abuss368 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:51 pm One important aspect to consider is vehicle safety. I keep our cars 10 - 12 years. I can see the difference.
Is there really a meaningful (vs. statistical) difference, though?

Look at these stats for current models.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-dea ... -and-model

The "safest" mid-sized four-door using this specific metric is the Subaru Legacy, with 14 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

You could say that the Buick Verano is 4.85 times more dangerous with 68 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

If the same driver bought both vehicles this year and split the driving between them 50/50, the difference in death risk between the two is effectively zero.

I think most of the money that people willingly spend on "safety features" only serves to make them feel good.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by playtothebeat »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:31 pm Depreciation absolutely is a cost. You don’t pay a bill for it every month but that’s only because you paid it all upfront.

Lets say you bought it 5 years ago for $20k. Let’s say you never sell it and by the time it dies 5 years from now* it’s worth zero and you pay to have it towed to the junkyard.

Then your cost of depreciation is $20k over ten years, or $2k per year. It is exactly the same as if you leased the car for $2k per year.

Of course you cannot lease a BMW 5 series for $2k per year. But then you say the maintenance is costing you $2-3k per year. So now we’re up to $4-5k per year.

Now we’re getting into new lease cost territory.

*You might argue that your car will last longer than that, but I don’t see too many 15 year old BMWs on the roads, and at some point you will face a major repair that costs more than the car is worth. You can substitute numbers into the equation as you see fit.
Sorry I should have clarified - in my eyes, depreciation isn’t a cost (or perhaps better put, not a cash outflow) once the car is paid off and you decide you’re keeping it long term. Agree that it’s paid for upfront and from that sense yes it’s a cost. The analysis is handy when comparing new vs used.
I’m just saying that once you own a paid off car (irrelevant as to how you bought it), it’s cheaper to maintain that car than replace it with an equivalent new car (in my example, let’s assume an equivalent 5-series is 50k. At 3/year thats 16 years. Obviously excluding time value of money etc. now if I could guarantee that a new 50k 5-series will last those 16 years without a single upkeep issue - aside from regular oil changes etc - id consider replacing. But it’s difficult to guarantee that - of course it’s just as difficult to know that 3k won’t all of a sudden need to be 7k in a couple years!).

And again, there are non-financial aspects that go into car decisions (and any other decision, really). For instance with this specific car, we love the body style. I think the new generation looks worse and some of the design isn’t appealing to me.
My last car decision wasn’t really financial - we realized it didn’t serve our needs (2018 outback). Financially, I would have been better off keeping it rather than trading it in for a truck.
My vacations aren’t financially “sound”. But they’re worth every dollar :)
Last edited by playtothebeat on Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Normchad »

Trism wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:06 pm
abuss368 wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:51 pm One important aspect to consider is vehicle safety. I keep our cars 10 - 12 years. I can see the difference.
Is there really a meaningful (vs. statistical) difference, though?

Look at these stats for current models.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-dea ... -and-model

The "safest" mid-sized four-door using this specific metric is the Subaru Legacy, with 14 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

You could say that the Buick Verano is 4.85 times more dangerous with 68 deaths per million registered vehicle years.

If the same driver bought both vehicles this year and split the driving between them 50/50, the difference in death risk between the two is effectively zero.

I think most of the money that people willingly spend on "safety features" only serves to make them feel good.
Hey, that IIHS link is super cool.

I’m 100% in the camp,of “get a newer car, they are safer”.

So I checked out my beloved long line of Honda Accords. I am absolutely gob-smacked to see that, according to IIHS data, the 2008 Accord is *much safer* than the newer 2017 Accord, in terms of fatalities.

Not gonna let facts change my mind though, get something newish for better safety....
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Helo80 »

playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:56 am Car threads are fascinating here.

There is always the the crowd that’s firmly “you should only buy a Toyota, nothing else. And it better be a Corolla. I guess a Camry is ok if your net worth is 10million”

Car threads are always fun in any PF forum.
Thank God for Wall Street Bets.
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Re: A simpler car.

Post by Tingting1013 »

playtothebeat wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:14 pm Sorry I should have clarified - in my eyes, depreciation isn’t a cost once the car is paid off and you decide you’re keeping it long term. Agree that it’s paid for upfront and from that sense yes it’s a cost. The analysis is handy when comparing new vs used.
I’m just saying that once you own a paid off car (irrelevant as to how you bought it), it’s cheaper to maintain that car than replace it with an equivalent new car (in my example, let’s assume an equivalent 5-series is 50k. At 3/year thats 16 years.
Again you are missing the depreciation cost.

Your used car has value even if you never intend to sell it.

Every year that value goes down.

That is a cost to you because you can get that money in your pocket if you decide to sell it right now. And if you decide to drive it another year, that value just went down by $2k. You can choose to drive it until it goes to zero but that doesn’t mean you are driving a free car. It just means your expected maintenance costs go up to compensate.

When you buy or lease a new car your maintenance costs completely go away for three years.

Your 10 year old BMW is worth $8-10k. You can choose to ignore it but that is its value, and it will come into play when you sell it or it is junked, whichever comes first.
Last edited by Tingting1013 on Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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