Author Topic: Should I upgrade my car?  (Read 443 times)

tangerinegerm

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Should I upgrade my car?
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:43:23 AM »
Hello!

I currently have a 2006 Ford Fusion SEL that will be paid off within the next month. I haven't had any major problems with it, 140k miles.

Recently, a family member who is looking to upgrade themselves, offered to sell me their 2014 Toyota Camry L for $9k. Low mileage, single owner, no accidents. Worth approx $12k.

Side note: Ideally, I would love to bike to work but 10 miles each way combined with living in the most dangerous county in the USA for bicycling, I'm erring on the side of "wait til I move somewhere else" to begin that process, so for now... car is necessary.

My thought is pay off current vehicle, put amount received from private sale towards new car. Then make payments through credit union for remaining amount due (out of necessity).

I feel like I will move elsewhere soon and having a (more) reliable vehicle than my current one (just playing the odds) would be wise for making said move. And I can always sell the Camry, in the next couple years, most likely at a profit.

Am I being sensible or foolish? Any help/advice from you wonderful people would be much appreciated!

Syonyk

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 11:59:40 AM »
What's your overall financial situation?

Are you retired or nearly so with large amounts of savings?

If no, I wouldn't bother replacing a perfectly good car with another one just because it's newer.  A quick search indicates the 2006 Fusion has been quite reliable.  I'm sure a Toyota is as well, but, personally, I think Honda/Toyota are somewhat overpriced on the used market because of their mythical reputation for reliability.

But I don't see any reason to spend money at this point upgrading.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 01:48:36 PM »
Can you take public transit of some sort to work?  Owning a car JUST for a 10 mile commute is not an efficient use of resources.

That said, based on the limited information, no, I would not increase my capital expenditure on vehicles just because a seemingly good deal appears.


BicycleB

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 01:54:59 PM »
Same song different verse.

Way too little info to be sure - mayyyybe there's a good reason. But based on what you said, do not upgrade the car!!

The idea you're still paying off a loan on your current vehicle is a red flag that you should focus on savings, not new purchases. The remark that you'd need a new loan for the relative's car is an even bigger red flag. Financially, you should stick with the cheap car you own and pour savings into your bank account (or a money market account) so you're ready to pay repairs or replacement costs in cash. Borrowing money to buy a much newer car than your smoothly running current vehicle is highly likely to cost money, not save it, in the long run.

TL;DR - the other car isn't a financial upgrade, it's a financial downgrade.

Ecky

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 07:26:40 PM »
Same song different verse.

Way too little info to be sure - mayyyybe there's a good reason. But based on what you said, do not upgrade the car!!

The idea you're still paying off a loan on your current vehicle is a red flag that you should focus on savings, not new purchases. The remark that you'd need a new loan for the relative's car is an even bigger red flag. Financially, you should stick with the cheap car you own and pour savings into your bank account (or a money market account) so you're ready to pay repairs or replacement costs in cash. Borrowing money to buy a much newer car than your smoothly running current vehicle is highly likely to cost money, not save it, in the long run.

TL;DR - the other car isn't a financial upgrade, it's a financial downgrade.

Agreed. Everyone has a different financial situation, but it sounds like you can't afford it if you need a loan on a 9k car even after selling your current car. The Camry is a great car, but I still vote drive the Fusion until the wheels fall off.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 12:04:06 AM »
You're still paying off a 13 year old car?

Don't light your hair on fire again just as you're about to extinguish this hair-fire.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 01:13:10 AM »
You're still paying off a 13 year old car?

Don't light your hair on fire again just as you're about to extinguish this hair-fire.

+1

tangerinegerm

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 07:14:06 AM »
You're still paying off a 13 year old car?

I purchased it in 2015 and have been paying it off gradually as the lion share of my money has been going towards student loan debt (which is nearly wiped out too I might add).

As for how I found myself in this sort of financial situation in my early 30s, call it past poor decision-making and I've been doing what I can to right the ship in the last 10 months.

I very much appreciate the responses, folks.  You've confirmed that I was right in being apprehensive about tacking on MORE debt, just as I'm getting out of it for the first time in years.

But when you have a parent who tells you that you're being unrealistic, and you need a better car despite the current one running fine, it helps to get some other opinions. Thanks again!

Syonyk

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 08:06:23 AM »
But when you have a parent who tells you that you're being unrealistic, and you need a better car despite the current one running fine, it helps to get some other opinions. Thanks again!

I learned long ago that when my parents suggested I should spend a lot of money on something I didn't think I needed, asking them if they were paying eventually got the point across.

I dealt with about 5 years straight of, "Oh, if you buy that, it's a business expense, so it's a tax deduction!" - as though a tax deduction was a tax credit, instead of saving me a bit of money on taxes.  It didn't magically make the thing I didn't actually need free...

Also, learn to do some of your car work yourself.  It saves a ton of money.

Car Jack

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Re: Should I upgrade my car?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2019, 08:29:35 AM »
Also, learn to do some of your car work yourself.  It saves a ton of money.

That, right there is great advice.

I have an 09 Fusion SE (4 cyl auto) that my mom bought new.  70k miles.  I replaced the transmission cooler line for $100 and put gas in it.  It still looks and drives like it's new.  I run it through the car wash once a year whether it needs it or not.  It's silver, so never looks dirty.