Author Topic: Car purchase screw up  (Read 6639 times)

Timshel

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Car purchase screw up
« on: July 31, 2013, 07:21:17 AM »
Hello,
My husband and I bought a brand new 2012 civic about a year ago (pre mustache for us). This was a terrible choice for a lot of reasons and now I am trying to figure out if there is any way I can rectify the situation.
Here is some more info about our situation:
The car is a 2012 Civic LX with 8,900 miles
We owe $20,000 on the car, which is more than it's worth (ugh, that makes me nauseous to type)
My husband drives the car to work every day (40 miles round trip)
We need a car that is reliable and has air conditioner (we live in the south, it's ridiculously hot here) but we don't need anything too fancy.
One more consideration: Currently, the only child we have is our dog but we are planning to add to our family in 3-5 years, at which point we will need a slightly larger car.
We aren't having any trouble making our monthly payments or anything like that, I just recognize that it was a stupid purchase and I am trying to figure out if there is anything I can do to fix it. What do you guys think?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this,
Timshel

mlipps

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 07:31:20 AM »
It's not a great purchase, but it sounds like it's not a terrible one either. Civics get good gas mileage, which is important for that crazy commute, and it will certainly last you a long time without any problems. Do you anticipate buying a second car when you have another kid or replacing the Civic? If you're going to buy a second car, I'd just keep it & run it till it dies. If you plan to replace it when you have another kid, I might think about trading it out for something less expensive since it wouldn't be hard to get just about any car to last 3-5 years.

This all assumes, of course, that the A. the interest rate on the car is astronomically low (less than 1.5% I'd say) and B. you're not otherwise in the midst of a debt emergency. If so, sell the car yesterday & buy something cheap.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 07:41:06 AM »
Thanks for your reply. We have an accord which we plan to run in to the ground as our second car. So, we are going to need to replace the civic with something hatchbacky or vannish when we have a kid(s). Our interest rate is 2.5%, so not great but not horrible. The car payments (yes two of the unfortunately)  and a low mortgage are our only debt. You might be right about trading it in for something cheaper... I think we are just afraid to buy a really cheap car that because we bought a volvo a few years ago with a lot of miles for $8000. Something happened to the radiator and the engine melted after about a year, which is why we bought this one brand new. Maybe we should just suck it up and try again with an older and cheaper car.
Thank you for your reply

mlipps

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 07:46:40 AM »
You should do more research on cars before you buy one new. Volvos are known to be one of the safest but least reliable cars on the road. On the other hand, you could buy an older Civic for only a couple thousand dollars and have very low odds of encountering any issues with it, especially over such a short time span.

Spudd

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 07:54:54 AM »
You can fit a car seat in the back of a Civic, no problem. I would not replace the car simply because of having a kid. The dog can sit on the other side.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 08:07:55 AM »
Turns out you are correct about volvos. I was always under the impression that they ran forever and you could easily expect to get 250,000 miles out of them. As far as replacing the civic when we have kid(s), we have a really big dog. He definitely won't fit in the back of a sedan with a car seat. Also, we probably want more than 1 kid.

Rural

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 08:47:22 AM »
Turns out you are correct about volvos. I was always under the impression that they ran forever and you could easily expect to get 250,000 miles out of them. As far as replacing the civic when we have kid(s), we have a really big dog. He definitely won't fit in the back of a sedan with a car seat. Also, we probably want more than 1 kid.

This doesn't mean you have to have a van or SUV, though. When the time comes (or now, if you decide to go ahead and replace) look at the hatchback versions of ecomomy cars. Two weeks ago, my husband and I together took one cat and two full-grown Great Danes to the vet in my hatchback Kia Rio. If we'd had a kid in a carseat as well, we'd have had to take one dog at a time and only fold down half the back seat. I'd recommend something like that for your everyday local stuff. Even if it means you rent a van for an annual road trip, you'll come out ahead on gas alone.

Editing to add I just noticed you said "hatchbacky" above, so I'll just encourage that idea over a van.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 09:05:03 AM »
Yeah, hatchbacks seem like a really good option. It seems like more manufacturers are making them available in the US these days which is great. How have you found your kia so far? In the past I heard that they weren't very reliable but I also thought that volvos lasted forever and look how that turned out.

fiveoclockshadow

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 09:39:21 AM »
It is not an awful choice in a car at all - besides the new vs. used thing of course.

I wouldn't rush to change it really.  Sell it and buy something else used when you are actually having the kid.  FWIW I have a car seat in the back of my 2007 Civic LX and it is just fine but I completely understand wanting some more space.  We have a forester as our more dedicated "family car" and honestly even though many consider it a reasonable size I think a smaller hatchback model like a Fit or something would be just as functional and less expensive (both in price and gas).

When the little tyke is on the way consider switching to a hatchback, your civic will be 3-5 years old and you can buy a 3-5 year old hatchback of some form then.  I don't see any reason to rush the change right now.  You've already taken the depreciation hit on the new car and selling it won't change that.

Rural

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 12:06:31 PM »
Yeah, hatchbacks seem like a really good option. It seems like more manufacturers are making them available in the US these days which is great. How have you found your kia so far? In the past I heard that they weren't very reliable but I also thought that volvos lasted forever and look how that turned out.

Well this Kia is a 2003, and it has had no major problems. I bought it used, but I bought it from my parents, so I know its history. I also know that it was very well-maintained, because my father is particular about that, although he's getting to the point where he does not like changing oil or replacing timing belts nearly as much as he did when he was younger.

 But, my previous car was a 2001 Kia, and it also had no major problems or at least not until a Ford F250 rear-ended me on the highway. That, understandably enough, caused some issues. I did not know that one's history originally, but this is a small place, and one of my friends told me shortly after I got it, "hey, that used to be my daughter's car!" I drove it for little over three years, and I've driven this one almost a year now. My mother drove this one for just over 10 years. It was her first brand-new car purchase.

mlipps

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 12:48:40 PM »
No offense to Rural, but don't use people's anecdotes to decide if a particular car is reliable. Go to your local library & borrow a copy of Consumer Reports annual guide. Every great brands or models have lemon years. You have to do the research and base the decision on real facts.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 03:17:08 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how big of a dog are you talking? I get all sorts of comments about how huge my Malamute is (~75lbs) but he's nothing compared to my mom's St. Bernard mix (~145lbs).

My Mal fits nicely in the very back of DH's Mazda3 hatchback but even my Dane mix (~95lbs at his heaviest) would not much less mom's dog. I just bought a Jetta Sportwagon TDI that can comfortably fit both my dogs and 4 adults and gets awesome mileage (rated at 32 city, 41 hwy but we're still seeing what we get out of it). It can take some searching to find a good deal on one but it sounds like you have time
Rupert is a lab/ grand pyranees. Currently, he is only about 75 lbs but he isn't a year yet so he is still growing. I think a hatch back would be plenty big enough but I think it would be pretty tight to have him in a sedan with a car seat.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 03:21:02 PM »
When the little tyke is on the way consider switching to a hatchback, your civic will be 3-5 years old and you can buy a 3-5 year old hatchback of some form then.  I don't see any reason to rush the change right now.  You've already taken the depreciation hit on the new car and selling it won't change that.

You're probably right. I just thought we should check out the options. Thanks for your input

Rural

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 06:51:39 PM »
No offense to Rural, but don't use people's anecdotes to decide if a particular car is reliable. Go to your local library & borrow a copy of Consumer Reports annual guide. Every great brands or models have lemon years. You have to do the research and base the decision on real facts.

No offense taken here. The OP asked how I found mine so farm so I answered.

In addition to Consumer Reports, I'd add learn enough about cars to be a good judge of used ones yourself. The average for a model is good to know, but nothing beats looking under the hood if you know what you're looking at.

mlipps

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 08:56:21 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how big of a dog are you talking? I get all sorts of comments about how huge my Malamute is (~75lbs) but he's nothing compared to my mom's St. Bernard mix (~145lbs).

My Mal fits nicely in the very back of DH's Mazda3 hatchback but even my Dane mix (~95lbs at his heaviest) would not much less mom's dog. I just bought a Jetta Sportwagon TDI that can comfortably fit both my dogs and 4 adults and gets awesome mileage (rated at 32 city, 41 hwy but we're still seeing what we get out of it). It can take some searching to find a good deal on one but it sounds like you have time
Rupert is a lab/ grand pyranees. Currently, he is only about 75 lbs but he isn't a year yet so he is still growing. I think a hatch back would be plenty big enough but I think it would be pretty tight to have him in a sedan with a car seat.
Most 4 door hatchbacks will be plenty big though if you are planning on another kid you'll want to make sure you get a bigger hatch since you still have another year or two of growth outta that puppy :)

Something to thing about when you are looking for one is how the back seats fold down. I didn't realize this until fairly recently but a lot of hatchback's back seats don't really fold down well. There's a ridge between the trunk area and the back of the seats that does not work with large dogs. I've looked at Aveo's, Rios, Mini Coopers, Nissan Cubes, and probably some others that just would not work with just the dogs, much less a dog and kids. The Honda Fit's back seats fold down completely flat (at least they did a few years ago) and of course a true station wagon has enough room in the back that you don't really have to worry about it (though mine does lay down nice as well)

The seats in our Matrix lay flat as well, though not quite as fancily as the Fit's do. But those triangular windows in the front of a Fit made me dizzy.

turboseize

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 01:22:37 AM »
No offense to Rural, but don't use people's anecdotes to decide if a particular car is reliable. Go to your local library & borrow a copy of Consumer Reports annual guide. Every great brands or models have lemon years. You have to do the research and base the decision on real facts.

No offense taken here. The OP asked how I found mine so farm so I answered.

In addition to Consumer Reports, I'd add learn enough about cars to be a good judge of used ones yourself. The average for a model is good to know, but nothing beats looking under the hood if you know what you're looking at.

Agreed!

All too often, reliability correlates more with maintenance and driver habits than with make or model. Some cars take abuse better than others, some don't. Reliability even correlates much more with maintenance and driver habits than with mileage.
(I define reliability as "the car won't let you down in the middle of nowwhere". I do not understand it as "you will never have to do replace anything" - that is not realistic.)

Some cars DO have their flaws, however, and you need to know them. For example, you would NOT want a Saab 9-5 with the 3.0 litre diesel. Nor would you want an early 2.0 liter Volkswagen TDI (injector and cylinder head issues), but the predecessor 1.9 is literally bullet-proof and highly recommend. You would want to know that overhauling the front axles of VW Passat and Audi A6 is a rather unpleasant work and extremely expensive. If you keep the car long enough, you might very well have to do this - but then, properly maintenanced, they could last for 400.000+ km, so these 1500 can be very well spent...

If you are going to buy a car, do your research. For each model (and version!) you think of. Sometimes a car starts as a lemon, but with the first facelift it's issues were adressed and it's fine now. Sometimes facelifts or successors of great cars be worse, because the manufacturer did save a little bit to much on parts costs or corrosion protection.
Some Volvos and Saab are extremely reliable, second only to old Mercedes. Some are the complete opposite. Mercedes has a reputation to "last forever", but the w210 (E-classe 1996 onwards) is prone to rust in no time. Ford and (most) GM cars are considered to be inferior, low price, low quality crap over here in Germany, but that's because they really fucked up in the late 80s and early 90s -while actually, for example, some 2000-onwards Opel (GM) are extraordinarily reliable.
The information is all there, the internet is full of it. I even spent a considerable amount researching espresso machines, before I bought mine (used, of course) - so I really don't get it when people buy extremely expensive things like cars on the basis of nothing more than "I thought this brand was reliable".

Do the Research. Before you buy. And then closely inspect the actual car, because bad maintenance can kill even the best and most reliable car.


@timshel:
I would concur to keep the Civic. Buying it new was a bad move, but you already did it. That game is lost. Loosing it now would mean taking the depreciation hit and loosing again, buying a bigger car now means driving a bigger car for some years while you do not need it and loosing for the third time. When you really have kids in 3-5 years, you can have a look at your real needs, decide to keep it, or sell it and buy a hatchback, or perhaps it might even be better to sell the Accord? Who knows now?
Of course it would be cheaper to sell it now, even ehen your underwater on the loan, and buy something used (a lot of cars from the early 90s are extremely fuel efficient, you just have to find them). But then, you need some knowledge of cars and have an idea on how to keep operating costs under control without sacrificing on maintenance. Accidentally buying a lemon will ruin this strategy and to me it seems like you are ready yet for that kind of risk.
So keeping the civic might be your best move.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 01:34:15 AM by turboseize »

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 06:11:03 AM »
@turboseize
Thanks so much for the detailed post. Everyone on here is right. We should have done more research before we got the volvo. It's funny because my husband and I are both big on researching before we make even small purchases. I think we have made poor car decisions because we really have an embarrassingly low understanding of how cars actually work so we get overwhelmed and flustered and make bad choices. I think we'll stick with the civic and take it as a lesson that we need to learn a lot more about cars before we buy again.

randymarsh

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 06:30:06 AM »
Wouldn't it make more sense to get rid of the Accord in a few years when you have a kid? You could replace that with a hatchback or whatever you feel is right for your family. Then you still have the Civic that should be reliable and fuel efficient for another decade.

Timshel

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Re: Car purchase screw up
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 06:43:31 AM »
Wouldn't it make more sense to get rid of the Accord in a few years when you have a kid? You could replace that with a hatchback or whatever you feel is right for your family. Then you still have the Civic that should be reliable and fuel efficient for another decade.

Yeah you might be right. I guess we'll just have to see what works out best financially when the time comes.