Author Topic: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling  (Read 2866 times)

poorboyrichman

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Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« on: August 04, 2016, 04:56:27 AM »
DW and I need a sensible car. I ride a bike everywhere, but DW NEEDS a car due to health condition which prevents her from cycling safely. I need to make sure we have a sensible car, because if the decision is left up to her she will lease another city car. According to her, "it's the cheapest way to get a reliable car that won't break down", sigh! The lease ends in 6 months so I'm thinking ahead.

We have a large dog, a German Shepherd. Said dog does not fit in our VW Up's boot! We need a sensible mustachian car choice that will enable us take the dog on leisure trips, hiking, to the seaside etc but as this will be only car, also needs to be sensible for DWs commute. It needs to be dog proof, our mutt is hairy and malts like a bitch and he brings as much mud as possible into our cars so I don't want to buy anything that will depreciate too rapidly due to wet dog ruining the upholstery!

I see the Honda Civic is a MMM approved model, and they do a estate version here in the UK now which is perfect for lugging the dog about. Also, we may be having kids in a year or two, so the extra space will be appreciated. The civic tourer is going for about $12-17K, 2 y/o with 10-30,000 on the clock. I don't have the cash to spare to buy outright because we are saving for a house deposit which is out main priority right now. Car finance may be the only option in 6 months time. I'm not happy about it. But it's more important to get a better rate on our mortgage in the mean time.

Is 17~ too much to spend on a car that we intend to keep for a long time? Our combined annual income is ~$89K based on the current GBP-USD exchange rate.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 05:26:12 AM by vexed87 »

poorboyrichman

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 06:05:55 AM »
P.S. the real reason for this post is I think I'm being a spendypants and planning on buying too much car, but the civic is MMM approved and technically I'm buying used... ARGH :D

MayDay

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 06:14:16 AM »
Caveat that I'm not familiar with the UK car market. 

In the US, popular Honda and Toyota models, which are widely believed to be far and away the most reliable and best fuel economy (although I think others are closing in) have interesting used prices.  New will have amazing financing at times (0% or close to it) and you can negotiate off the list price of course.  2 years old will often be priced the same as new, but with no incentives like 0% financing.  You have to get 5+ years old to see much of a price drop. 

We have a Civic that was bought new in '02 (and '03 model) and we are still driving it.  Its 14 years old, ~145k miles, and really has not had problems.  A few minor things like auto windows going out, but nothing major and $$$.  Maybe it was stupid to pay so much for the new car upfront, but looking at the life of the car, which still has probably 5 to 10 years of life left and has NEVER left of stranded or been unreliable in ANY way, I don't think it was a bad decision. 

That said, when we replace our other car at some point soon-ish (its transmission is going) we will likely aim for 5+ years old with around 100K miles, as we just don't want to spend the cash on the upfront cost of a new car.  But OTOH, after an hour or 2 in slimeball used car dealerships, I may say F it, and run screaming back home to negotiate a new car deal all over the internet, lol.  Maybe that is different in the UK but lets just say that every used car buying experience I have had in the US other than buying from family has been.... very negative. 

That was rambly and all over the place.  Maybe some of it was helpful? 

poorboyrichman

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 06:45:00 AM »
Thanks MayDay, I hadn't really considered buying new. And I think you are right about used price, I could probably save $3-4k in the short term assuming I buy in cash but I'm getting a car that's already 2-3 years old with miles on the clock and the warranty is almost out (3 years offered by honda in the UK). If I can get hold of 0% finance deal, I can cash flow the car and pay off ASAP.

My father has given me very similar advice, he has bought both his most recent cars new, or ex-display models with very low mileage and full warranty and both cars have been reliable too.

The MMM mantra has always been buy used so that was my starting point. I guess I should ponder a little more.

MayDay

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 07:15:50 AM »
I think buying used works out cheaper if you go older - but for 2-3 years old, with Hondas and Toyotas, it just doesn't make sense always.


eljay

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 07:46:25 AM »
We've a dog slightly larger than yours and if I was you I'd start with a shortlist of cars your dog will be comfortable in the boot of and work from there.

We have a VW Golf hatchback (9 years old)and the dog is fine in the the boot - can lie down, stand up and turn around. We do 3 hr drives regularly. You don't need an estate for 1 dog.

However some hatchbacks in the Golf/Civic-sized class have shallow boots and sloped back windscreens so aren't as dog-friendly.

My in-laws just bought a Hyundai i30 which seemed nice all round and they got a good deal.

HTH Eljay

onlykelsey

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 07:52:09 AM »
I had a 2007 Honda Fit (Jazz in Europe, maybe?) that worked well for my giant breed dog.  I could fold the bottom of the back seats up and he could sleep in the back seat, or put them down and put him in the trunk.  I usually ended up doing the former.  If he stood up at a stop he could see out the windows but wasn't hitting his head or anything. The fabric vacuumed easily enough, but I usually put an old blanket down for him.

My dog is an oorang airedale for what it's worth, about my height (i'm 163 cm/5'4 ish) on his hind legs.  Much, much larger than a show breed airedale.

poorboyrichman

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 08:30:32 AM »
I'm thinking slightly longer term ownership which means must be suitable for baby seats + dog, so folding seats down to make a dog in trunk won't work (i.e. with the Fit). As much as I personally like the practicality of the Fit (yes Jazz, here in UK!) DW hates the way they look. The Civic is an easier sell in that regard!

I'm finding Civic Tourer SR plus's going for $14.4k with 30,000 miles, that's mightily tempting. 40% off the on the road price, seems too good to be true!

I want to avoid Golf's because the reliability record is not quite there, and they tend to be pricier too here in the UK. Also, IMO they are ugly (the estate version, not hatchback), although I'm not trying to turn this into a beauty contest!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 08:33:16 AM by vexed87 »

ketchup

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 08:37:05 AM »
I've driven with three Australian Shepherds (only a few inches shorter) in the back of a Geo Metro so sheer size is definitely not the issue for dogs.  The overall shape of that area of the car is more important so be sure you pay attention to that.

The Honda Fit/Jazz mentioned above is known for massive interior space for its size and adequate height, which is probably the most important dimension in this equation.

EDIT:

As much as I personally like the practicality of the Fit (yes Jazz, here in UK!) DW hates the way they look. The Civic is an easier sell in that regard!
Oh dear. :(  Just make sure that he realizes "it's ugly" could save thousands.

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 08:41:43 AM »
Don't forget it won't just be the dog and the baby seat. You're likely to be hauling the baby's stroller, too. And think about your luggage, if you are taking baby, baby seat, baby stroller, and dog somewhere for a getaway.

poorboyrichman

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 08:56:17 AM »
Don't forget it won't just be the dog and the baby seat. You're likely to be hauling the baby's stroller, too. And think about your luggage, if you are taking baby, baby seat, baby stroller, and dog somewhere for a getaway.

This is what concerns me about the Fit/hatchbacks in general.

ketchup

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 09:04:01 AM »
Don't forget it won't just be the dog and the baby seat. You're likely to be hauling the baby's stroller, too. And think about your luggage, if you are taking baby, baby seat, baby stroller, and dog somewhere for a getaway.

This is what concerns me about the Fit/hatchbacks in general.
I'm not sure what sort of traveling you're planning, but I've fit two adults, three Australian Shepherds, and enough people and dog supplies for a 1000 mile each way week-long road trip in a hatchback smaller than a Fit.

If it'd be a bit of a squeeze on infrequent trips and overkill in daily commuting (which you said it will be used for), that's probably pretty close to ideal for a one-car family.

Cassie

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 12:04:47 PM »
WE bought a 4 yo Honda Accord pre-certified from a dealership and got it for under blue book price.  It really depends on how long they have had a car and if they want to get rid of it. We plan to drive it until it dies.  3 years later it has been a great car.  WE have an 80lb shedding machine so cover the back seat with a blanket tucked in.  The back is big enough to hold a car seat and dog although our kids are long grown.

bogart

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 01:51:22 PM »
Don't forget it won't just be the dog and the baby seat. You're likely to be hauling the baby's stroller, too. And think about your luggage, if you are taking baby, baby seat, baby stroller, and dog somewhere for a getaway.

This is what concerns me about the Fit/hatchbacks in general.

Eh, don't panic.  The dog goes in the hatchback.  The kid goes in the carseat in the back seat, obviously.  The stroller (if needed, and I'm a fan of strollers, but their utility is only for a few years) folds flat and lies between the back of the front seats and the front of the back seats on its side on the floor  It doesn't take up tons of space that way.  One (or more) suitcases can go on the back seat itself, strapped down appropriately if needed, obviously, to protect baby. 

Besides if you are in the UK you are likely only driving a 3-hour trip, even though you are devoting the planning to it that an American would to a week-long multi-stop drive ;) . 

All that said, I prefer the Toyota Matrix to the Honda Fit.  It offers the same economy and durability but a slightly larger hatch (though it hasn't been made for a few years, which may be a drawback).

poorboyrichman

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Re: Mustachian Car Choice - Dog Shuttling
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 02:04:11 PM »
Yes, I think I was over thinking it a bit. Whatever I end up getting, it needs a bigger boot than I have, and the new 2013+ model fit/jazz looks much nicer than the last generation, maybe I can sweet talk DW into picking one up used when the lease expires, by which time I'll likely be able to find a better deal. Maybe I'll treat myself to a Civic when I am FI (or have more dogs than sense.) :D


Thanks all for input.