Author Topic: help deciding what to do about a new car  (Read 3683 times)

centrekka

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help deciding what to do about a new car
« on: June 22, 2014, 04:27:49 AM »
Hi,

About 4 years ago my wife and I purchased a 2008 Toyota Prado landcruiser. We now realize that the vehicle is expensive to run given that we have a couple of kids (4 years and 6 months). We live rural so need a car.
Given that we own the car, is it worth selling the prado and buying a car cheaper to run or will the changeover costs negate any savings in fuel over a number of years?

Interested in your thoughts.

John


alsoknownasDean

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 04:33:32 AM »
That of course depends on how much the Prado sells for and how much you spend on a replacement. Not to mention how many kilometres you do a year.

That said, unless you need the capabilities of a Prado, it's hard to argue that the car is pretty anti-Mustachian.

centrekka

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 04:44:46 AM »
I should have added - we think the sale price on the prado will be approximately $25k. 

We currently do about 20,000 km per year and diesel is about $1.80 (AU) per litre here. 

We don't want to spend any more than we could sell the Prado for.

Need enough space for a baby seat, a booster seat, a pram and a load of shopping with two adults.

John

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 05:28:40 AM »
If you purchase a replacement vehicle with cash then it's just a straightforward matter of saving money each and every month on the fuel bill.

If, however, you incur any costs (don't get as much for Prado as you assumed), then you have some calculations to do.  After a bit of digging, I did find a calculator that will work for any country.  You will just need to convert miles to km and gallons to litres.

http://www.regions.com/advice/calc_gas_mileage_savings.rf

I might also suggest a subscription to Consumer Reports.  The membership fee is minimal (6.95 for a month or 30.00 for a year) and I have found their research to be invaluable when I've faced the purchase of big ticket items such as household appliances and vehicles.  Paid members have access to professional evaluations, buying advice and recommendations.

Zamboni

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 06:28:19 AM »
$25K (or even $15K or 20K) is a LOT of money and you can buy all kinds of fuel efficient, reliable cars for that amount.  You might also save on insurance costs with a different vehicle.  It is a very simple process to sell a used car, and the "changeover cost" will be close to zero if not work out in your favor if you buy something more reasonable.

I'll second the Consumer Reports idea.  Many libraries have subscriptions you can use if you only want to look at the "reliable used cars" section for this one purchase.  Once you have picked out a make and model you can do internet searches to find out which major issues to watch for on that particular vehicle.  A mechanic can help you check for those things when the time comes.  Good luck!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 06:52:20 AM »
I feel like I read that cars are more expensive in Australia, but $25K is a big budget. A used Mazda 5 or equivalent efficient wagon would be your best bet. Hatchbacks give you a lot of the same versatility with storage that an SUV does, but 4-cylinder non-AWD vehicles are generally double the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.

Bonus: at least around here, you can get a nice, reliable used vehicle around a $10k budget.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 06:58:07 AM »
I should have added - we think the sale price on the prado will be approximately $25k. 

We currently do about 20,000 km per year and diesel is about $1.80 (AU) per litre here. 

We don't want to spend any more than we could sell the Prado for.

Need enough space for a baby seat, a booster seat, a pram and a load of shopping with two adults.

John

I'd imagine you'd get something decent for a LOT less than $25K. Prados are very expensive!

Would a normal Corolla-sized car work for you? How about Falcon/Commodore/Camry sized? Perhaps a Subaru Forester?

It sounds like you're in a fairly remote area with diesel at $1.80 (it's in the $1.50s here in suburban Melbourne). Would a normal car be fine on your local roads, or is a four wheel drive necessary? Would it be easy to get parts for particular cars in your area? Is normal unleaded widely available, or is only diesel available at many servos?

I feel like I read that cars are more expensive in Australia, but $25K is a big budget. A used Mazda 5 or equivalent efficient wagon would be your best bet. Hatchbacks give you a lot of the same versatility with storage that an SUV does, but 4-cylinder non-AWD vehicles are generally double the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.

Bonus: at least around here, you can get a nice, reliable used vehicle around a $10k budget.

Yes, but four wheel drives (especially Toyota four wheel drives) can command a pretty decent premium. Normal cars are a lot cheaper. For example, $25,000 would buy you a brand new Toyota Corolla, probably with change.

The main issue in the OP's case is his location. It seems like he's a long way from the cities, so he may live in an area, for example, where the roads aren't sealed, or getting parts for less-common vehicles might mean waiting for them to be shipped from a capital city.

Redbook says a 2008 Prado diesel uses around 9.2-9.3L/100km depending on transmission. For a big brute of a vehicle that isn't terrible. Replacing it with a Commodore wagon or similar probably wouldn't save an awful lot on fuel, but of course you'd free up a hell of a lot of capital tied up in the car itself.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 08:04:07 AM by alsoknownasDean »

dsiee

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 09:23:03 PM »
Redbook says a 2008 Prado diesel uses around 9.2-9.3L/100km depending on transmission. For a big brute of a vehicle that isn't terrible. Replacing it with a Commodore wagon or similar probably wouldn't save an awful lot on fuel, but of course you'd free up a hell of a lot of capital tied up in the car itself.

Wow, that is pretty good considering. Sadly my camery ('07 2.4l) has a posted fuel efficiency of 9.8L/100km (although that's using petrol).

OP, can i suggest a camery (not as old as mine!). My mother drives a nice 2011 model camery and gets 7L/100km and that's using E10 at $1.50/L. Whilst not great, the car makes up for it. I live in the Riverina where it ranges from Floods (which i have driven though in my camery without realizing the water was as high as it was. The traction control warning was going off because off low traction underwater!). The corolla is just that little bit smaller that you may have issues with car seats and parms (take them to the dealer and try and see if they fit. I know our dealer was fine with that).

We got the '11 camery for around $15k 2.5 years ago at an auction as an exgovernment vehicle. With the two camerys we have had 0 problems on our shitty roads and adverse conditions. You could probably even manage a used hybrid on your budget, although i'm not sure of the gains (my farther drives the TAFE camery hybrid frequently and only gets around 6L/100km, although he is a rough and inefficient driver. Don't get an '07 or older model as the fuel deficiency sucks.

Primm

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 10:29:48 PM »
Need enough space for a baby seat, a booster seat, a pram and a load of shopping with two adults.

John

That's pretty subjective. When my kids were little we did a baby seat, a booster seat, a pram and a load of shopping with two adults in one of these... We even went camping (but without the pram). You can live with a LOT less than you think you can.


Spartana

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2014, 10:07:35 AM »
I just bought a new (2014) Dodge Journey SUV with a 4 cylinder engine. It still gets crappy gas mileage - 20 - 27mpg - but is a fairly "large" smaller SUV with third row and middle row seating that can fold down and plenty of space . It was $15K (plus tax, etc...) with some dealer discounts and I paid cash. I "needed" a bigger vehicle because I do long road trips with my dog and need something that can haul my bike, trailer, camping gear and that I can sleep in if needed. So it was sort of a lessor of two evils (a van being the other evil). So if the OP also "needs" a larger vehicle then there are vehicles out there that are still big but less expensive to buy and a bit better on fuel then a Landcruiser. A Mazda 5 is smaller then my Journey and gets about the same mpg but a Jeep Patriot is bigger (or same size) and get better gas mileage and all are about the same price. These photos are of the back with the third row seat put down but not the middle row seat, and second is of both folded down. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 10:30:11 AM by Spartana »

Neustache

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Re: help deciding what to do about a new car
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 10:36:55 AM »
We just took a two week road trip with our Nissan Versa and two kids.  Use a small umbrella stroller, pay for good, but streamlined car seats (there are some new ones that cost a bit more but you can fit 3 in the backseat, or so they say!) and you can do all of that in a small sedan, all the while getting great gas mileage (35-40MPG).  Brand new they are 15K US dollars, if you can get them in your country used it'd be less, of course.

Seriously, if we have a 3rd kid, I'm going to see if I can fit the car seats in the Versa.  It's worth a shot and even if I have to buy all brand new seats it will still beat shelling out cash for another car.  We have also looked into adding a roof rack on top, if we need to haul more - still not certain that will work as the roof is pretty round on top.