Author Topic: Car purchase decision  (Read 5590 times)

Dirigo

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Car purchase decision
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:40:43 AM »
In an effort to hone my mustachianist practices, which are still in their infancy, I have realized that I do not, in fact, need two vehicles and should have gotten rid of them long ago. I have decided to purchase one mustache-approved car and get rid of the others as soon as possible, but I need some advice as to how to order this operation.

Location: DC area

Currently have:

  • 99 Ford Ranger 4x4. Value= approx $4k
  • 04 Mazda RX8. Value = approx $8k, owe $5k

Found on CL and want to purchase:

  • 06 Toyota Matrix AWD, 56k mi, one owner, etc. etc. Price=$9.4k

Current 'stache: $11k


Options:

  • Purchase the Matrix (in my research it seems to be a good deal for a reliable vehicle) and have 3 vehicles until I can sell the Ranger and save up to pay off the RX8 and then sell that as well.
  • Wait until I sell the Ranger (currently on CL), apply that money to pay off the RX8, THEN buy another vehicle (Matrix may be gone by then) so as to not have more than two at any time.

What does the wise mustache community think?

sfb

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 08:04:40 AM »
I have an 05 Matrix and I'm happy with it.  A couple of points that may sway your decision.  The AWD version gets lower gas mileage than the FWD version.  Second, the Pontiac Vibe is the same car and you may be able to find it cheaper than the Matrix.

Dirigo

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 08:12:52 AM »
I have an 05 Matrix and I'm happy with it.  A couple of points that may sway your decision.  The AWD version gets lower gas mileage than the FWD version.  Second, the Pontiac Vibe is the same car and you may be able to find it cheaper than the Matrix.

Thanks for the reply. I do realize that the AWD version gets lower gas mileage, but as a former New Englander it's a feature I really want (despite it being antimustachian). I have looked into the Vibe but haven't seen any reasonable ads for them yet!

N.

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 08:25:51 AM »
Have you been in a Pontiac Vibe?

As someone who currently drives an RX8, I suspect you enjoy driving.

While practically speaking, the Vibe and the Matrix are certainly the 'same' car, I suspect you'll enjoy the latter a weeeee bit more (*cough*understatement*cough*). If kilometres, basic feature-to-feature comparisons, and price stack these two up closely enough, I suggest going for the Toyota.


Togoshiman

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 08:31:03 AM »
Ditto the Matrix over the Vibe.

Despite the loss on the RX-8, I would personall buy the Matrix and sell everything else - stop the bleeding, get to your ideal situation faster.  If you have a small net loss of a few grand, you're in the black financially overall so it won't matter.  This is sort of MMM's 'sell your gas guzzler now' line of thinking.  Plus, I think psychologically making a switch to a more frugal lifestyle sometimes involves a few inefficient changes as you switch over.  I'd also have trouble driving my Matrix every day with a sports car under a tarp that I was still paying for but not driving.

Dirigo

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 08:40:18 AM »
Ditto the Matrix over the Vibe.

Despite the loss on the RX-8, I would personall buy the Matrix and sell everything else - stop the bleeding, get to your ideal situation faster.  If you have a small net loss of a few grand, you're in the black financially overall so it won't matter.  This is sort of MMM's 'sell your gas guzzler now' line of thinking.  Plus, I think psychologically making a switch to a more frugal lifestyle sometimes involves a few inefficient changes as you switch over.  I'd also have trouble driving my Matrix every day with a sports car under a tarp that I was still paying for but not driving.

This is my thinking essentially--that I should get the Matrix while it's still available and just get whatever I can for the other two and deal with them later. The payment and insurance reduction alone should make up for any losses rather quickly.

frugal_engineer

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 04:37:13 PM »
My advice is to drive the RX-8.  Why do you need two cars? Theres nothing that says you can't drive the RX-8 year round.  You might say well the winter weather and miles will decrease its value.  My take is that statement is shenanigans.  The car has no value if you dont drive it, its just an expensive lawn ornament.  You probably bought it because its a driver's car, so get out there an drive it.  Don't worry about snow, DC doesn't really get any and if youre really worried get a new set of wheels with some winter tires and you'll be off to the races.

I've got a 2001 Camaro SS that I drove this winter in CT where we had a pretty solid snow season including a day with 25"+.  While I wouldn't have gotten anywhere that day, other times when there was 3-6" on the roads, it drove fine.  Just takes a little finesse. 

Either get the matrix and ditch both other cars if you want to drive an appliance, or if you want to have that real car, get rid of the ranger and drive the fun car.

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 06:03:06 PM »
You're asking for *advice* so I'm going to tell you: Sell the RX8. Even Mazda is stepping away from Wankel engines, and those never have had the reputation for longevity that inline gasoline and deisel engines do. If you're not at a point in your life where you can afford an expensive toy, then don't.

smedleyb

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 08:00:23 PM »
I vote keep the 4 X4, sell the RX8, invest the difference after loan is paid off.


Dirigo

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 02:20:16 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone!

 Unfortunately the Matrix was sold, so I missed the boat on that. Plan for now is to sell the Ranger, pay off the Mazda, and then eventually sell that.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 11:38:53 AM »
I think I would go for selling the car that's costing you money. Even if you sell it for a small loss at least it's out of the way... AND you won't have a payment, you won't have the more expensive insurance (since it's newer), you won't have the more expensive registration (see previous reason why).

Don't worry about finding another smokin' deal. They're out there everyday. Maybe you can find a decent "beater" for less than $5k... Less money you spend, more money you get to keep...

Dirigo

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 10:32:13 AM »
I think I would go for selling the car that's costing you money. Even if you sell it for a small loss at least it's out of the way... AND you won't have a payment, you won't have the more expensive insurance (since it's newer), you won't have the more expensive registration (see previous reason why).

Don't worry about finding another smokin' deal. They're out there everyday. Maybe you can find a decent "beater" for less than $5k... Less money you spend, more money you get to keep...

Great advice. Due to repairs and such, the Ranger is actually costing me MUCH more than the RX8 so I'm going to get rid of that first and then wait for the right deal on something a little more practical and reliable.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 06:20:33 AM »
What repairs does the Ranger need?  Those are very simple trucks and relatively cheap to maintain. Maybe the repairs are something you can tackle?  It's not rocket science.

Dirigo

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Re: Car purchase decision
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 08:46:52 AM »
What repairs does the Ranger need?  Those are very simple trucks and relatively cheap to maintain. Maybe the repairs are something you can tackle?  It's not rocket science.

None at the moment, actually--I just dumped about $3500 into repairs earlier this year and am trying to keep from putting any more into it since it's not worth much more than that anyway. It going to nickel-and-dime me to death!