Author Topic: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?  (Read 3936 times)

an1m3n00b

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Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« on: September 07, 2015, 03:24:22 PM »
While I don't consider myself a true mustachian, I suspect I'm much more frugal than most people. I have no debt whatsoever, and never have, therefore no credit. None. nada. zilch. I have a middle-class income (~$30,000/y take home). And I own a smallish motorcycle, which I currently ride everywhere for next to nothing and love every minute of. Sadly, temperatures are starting to drop, and once snow and ice collect on the roads I won't be able to safely commute to work. There's no public transit whatsoever to where I work, and it's much too far to walk (10 miles each way). I can walk everywhere else. Oh, and I'm 21y/o with crazy auto insurance premiums, so that's gonna hurt like a (*&(*(*&#$%$#%!!! Also, I'm not selling my bike. I'm putting probably 10-15,000 miles (travelling is a hobby) on my bike and less than 5,000 on the car annually (winter and occasional trips only). I have $2,000 in the bank saved for a car and the way I see it I have basically five options which I'll weigh in on my opinions as follows:

Borrow money and buy a barebones new or nearly new car for $10-15k and drive it into the ground.
PROs:
I can keep maintenance costs down in the long term by being vigilent about PM.
Initially no maintenance costs (under warranty)
I can travel without worrying about being stranded.
Not have to worry about another car for a *very* long time

CONs:
CAR PAYMENT!!!
HIGH INSURANCE!!!
HIGH INTEREST!!!
Hidden Fees

Other thoughts:
New, barebones, economy cars don't depreciate as much as it's made out to be, but still more than an old car.
I mostly avoid depreciation by holding onto it for the next 20+ years

Borrow money and buy a $4-8k car with ~50k miles
PROs
midrange between new car and beater, so decent maintenance costs, decent depreciation, and 5~10 year replacement cycle

CONs
PAYMENTS, INTEREST, INSURANCE!!!!!! (same as new car)
Questionable maintenance history!

Buy a $2000 beater
PROs
NO PAYMENTS!!!
LIABILITY INSURANCE!!!

CONs
FREQUENT VEHICLE REPLACEMENT!!! (the vehicles i've test driven felt like they were about to fall apart - all of them) (likely annual replacement!)
Literally everything else
Unreliable!
high maintenance cost!
crappy vehicle (smelly, no ac, broken gadgets, etc)

Option 4: Lease the new, barebones car, and buy it when the lease is up. Basically the same as option 1, but different method of financing.

Fifth option: Rent a car for the winter, take a cab, etc
PROs:
No bills

CONs:
!@(*#&&$*( EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!


Seems like there's no good way out of this situation.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 03:38:08 PM by an1m3n00b »

The Beacon

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 04:55:38 PM »
Buy a $2000 beater because you only drive it during the winter.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 06:37:37 PM »
 I would 100% take the $2000 beater route in your situation.  You already stated that you will mostly drive this car in the winter so i wouldn't factor AC into your decision too much, and some 2k cars will have AC, just keep looking if it's really important.  Unless you have really bad luck you shouldn't have to replace a beater annually at the kind of mileage you would be putting on it.  Just follow MMM's guide to pick out something preferably Japanese or Korean that's small and stick shift.  You can pick up an early 2000's Toyota Echo or a late 90's Corolla or Honda Civic for 2k or less all of which should be still very reliable if you take the time to inspect them (or get a knowledgeable friend to).  Keep an eye out for something that just had new snow tires put on it :) 

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 06:42:26 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys! Also, sorry I'm necromancing a relatively old post, but everytime i look at a used car, all I can think of is how much I don't want it. Now my alternative isn't a new car. Oh no, far from it. Has anyone ever heard of studded winter motorcycle tires or something similar that would enable to ride in the snow, and ice? The cold doesn't phase me. Seriously, I'd ride if it was 80 below as long as the road surface is clean enough to be safe. A few inches of frozen water is keeping me from saying F-you to the idiotic american car-clown culture... It's infuriating! It really makes me want to move somewhere more civilized, if only I had that option... Nope instead I'm stuck in a place where this is considered perfectly sane:

Retired To Win

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 06:53:43 PM »
... Now my alternative isn't a new car. Oh no, far from it. Has anyone ever heard of studded winter motorcycle tires or something similar that would enable to ride in the snow, and ice?...

Would it make any sense to consider making your motorcycle more stable by installing an outrigger (i. e. a sidecar) to it?  You wouldn't be on just 2 wheels anymore.

(Just a random thought!)

JLee

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2015, 11:03:37 AM »
You can get a solid car for 2 grand.  Look at late 90's Saturns.

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2015, 12:08:02 PM »
You can get a solid car for 2 grand.  Look at late 90's Saturns.

Insurance is what'll kill me. $2,000 per year!!!! Owning a car, at all, makes no financial sense right now. Also I hate having bills. I only have two contractually-obligated bills. One is rent, the other is electricity. Three is getting into retarded american territory.

... Now my alternative isn't a new car. Oh no, far from it. Has anyone ever heard of studded winter motorcycle tires or something similar that would enable to ride in the snow, and ice?...

Would it make any sense to consider making your motorcycle more stable by installing an outrigger (i. e. a sidecar) to it?  You wouldn't be on just 2 wheels anymore.

(Just a random thought!)

That might work, but I doubt there are sidecars for ninjas. Also sidecars are often worth more than the bike itself.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 12:12:00 PM by an1m3n00b »

JLee

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 12:21:02 PM »
You can get a solid car for 2 grand.  Look at late 90's Saturns.

Insurance is what'll kill me. $2,000 per year!!!! Owning a car, at all, makes no financial sense right now. Also I hate having bills. I only have two contractually-obligated bills. One is rent, the other is electricity. Three is getting into retarded american territory.

... Now my alternative isn't a new car. Oh no, far from it. Has anyone ever heard of studded winter motorcycle tires or something similar that would enable to ride in the snow, and ice?...

Would it make any sense to consider making your motorcycle more stable by installing an outrigger (i. e. a sidecar) to it?  You wouldn't be on just 2 wheels anymore.

(Just a random thought!)

That might work, but I doubt there are sidecars for ninjas. Also sidecars are often worth more than the bike itself.
$2k/yr for liability only on a 1997 Saturn? If your car insurance is that high, I hate to imagine your motorcycle insurance :(

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 12:28:17 PM »
]$2k/yr for liability only on a 1997 Saturn? If your car insurance is that high, I hate to imagine your motorcycle insurance :(
$99/yr for motorcycle. MC liability insurance is WAY cheaper than car insurance. If you hit someone in a bike YOU will get hurt and damaged, not the car. Hence the low premiums for liability. Comprehensive is a different story, but I've never owned a vehicle valuable enough to carry it.

ketchup

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 12:45:55 PM »
Definitely go with a $2000 beater, maybe even less.  My household's cars were $1000 and $700 each, and have put almost 30,000 miles on each in the past ~1.5 years with no problems that were the cars' fault except for maintenance.  If you're only doing 5k miles a year, a cheapie beater could last you quite a while.  But it might take you a bit to find a cheap car that isn't trash.  And strike fast when  you find a decent one; they don't last.

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 06:29:56 PM »
Well I found a contender for a used car. Unfortunately that means sucking the man's $#@! and swallowing his load of out$@#!ingrageous insurance premiums and mind-numbingly awful confinement a la american dream. Have I mentioned I really $#@!ing hate cars? And bills. Especially bills that in return offer no value whatsoever, like car insurance. And cars.

Sorry, just another wannabe rebel who's fed up with everyone being so freaking boring and docile! (Not you guys for the most part, though, not as if you should care what some anonymous dude on the net thinks. Anyways, it's not illegal to only carry insurance half the year, right? and let the car stay parked the other half?

JLee

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 08:23:53 AM »
Well I found a contender for a used car. Unfortunately that means sucking the man's $#@! and swallowing his load of out$@#!ingrageous insurance premiums and mind-numbingly awful confinement a la american dream. Have I mentioned I really $#@!ing hate cars? And bills. Especially bills that in return offer no value whatsoever, like car insurance. And cars.

Sorry, just another wannabe rebel who's fed up with everyone being so freaking boring and docile! (Not you guys for the most part, though, not as if you should care what some anonymous dude on the net thinks. Anyways, it's not illegal to only carry insurance half the year, right? and let the car stay parked the other half?

If your state requires insurance and the insurance company reports that information to the DMV, you may have to file a form with the DMV saying that the vehicle is not in use (during the time period you do not have insurance).  Have you shopped around with other carriers? I remember looking in my early 20's and Progressive was about half the rate of Geico.

brandino29

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 09:46:08 AM »
What have you done in winters past?  Is moving closer to your job an option?  I'm also not convinced that your car insurance would be so high, we pay $102/month for 2 drivers and 2 cars (granted we're 31 and not 21 but still seems like too much).  Finally, $2k doesn't have to be a beater -- though there will be plenty of beaters out there in that price range --- I got a 2005 Pontiac Vibe in great shape for $1,800 cash last summer. 

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 09:18:24 PM »
Well, if there's anyone I haven't thoroughly offended I've come to a solution to my problem.

I recently acquired a 2001 Hyundai Elantra in reasonably good condition for $1500 cash. The absolute barebones model. Manual Transmission (yay!) No features whatsoever, but hey, that means no features to break! And my insurance Rates are just under $900/yr for it. The car has a few fairly minor issues:

intermittent single cylinder misfire - will be changing the plugs and wires tomorrow, to hopefully clear it up. Found out the distributor was loose in the engine bay, may want to ziptie it to something...
Need brakes - badly. Grinding to a halt. Literally. Easy fix.
Needs a side mirror - again, easy fix.
And the usual cheap, old car stuff. Trim pieces, body panels, hvac, stereo. all inop, dinged, etc. Already changed speakers out.

Overall, I actually *like* the car.

After looking at nearly 30 cars this was easily the best one I'd seen. One thing I've noticed over the last two days is this car is *really* easy to work on. Everything is easily accessible. Unfortunately auto parts stores don't tend to stock Hyundai parts as much as other brands. I expect that after all the initial maintenance it'll probably cost right around $2000. So, what do you think?

JLee

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2015, 10:02:08 PM »
Have a pic of what's loose in the engine bay? I believe that year/model has a distributor-less ignition.

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2015, 10:34:24 PM »
Have a pic of what's loose in the engine bay? I believe that year/model has a distributor-less ignition.

The box that the spark plug wires attach to. By distributor, I just mean the part that sends out timed pulses of high voltages. It's probably a TDI or CDI unit. It's physically not secured to anything, just sitting there, so maybe the engine vibrations are knocking the wires loose? It's on the right side of the engine if that helps.

an1m3n00b

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Re: Buying my first car the right (mustachian) way - help?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2015, 03:39:32 PM »
Just changed the plugs, wires, brake pads, and rotors. The plugs/wires solved the misfire, and now I can stop without a deafening screech! The right wheel now has a cyclic chirping sound though. It just started after changing the brakes, so I'm wondering what I may have done wrong. A couple hours, some basic tools and I probably saved nearly $300 in shop labor. Again, I love how easy this car is to fix, it's actually pretty rewarding knowing you fixed it with your own two hands and noggin.