Author Topic: I would like a new car - should i buy it?  (Read 3393 times)

amyhdj

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I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:13:47 AM »
Right now we have a 2002 Ford Focus (Which if you look at the lemonaid book says not to buy used. MMM also mentioned not a good used buy) Right now for everyday driving this car is fine for our needs. In October we are expecting our second child. This is where my problem comes in. When we had our first child we had to put the baby car seat behind the passenger side seat as we could not put it behind the drivers seat and be able to drive the car. To put the baby car seat behind the passenger seat the passenger seat had to be put all the way forward. My knees would then be hitting the front console (I am only 5' 3"). If my husband was in the passenger seat his knees would be around his chest. At the time of our first child we put up with this arrangement because we didn't want to buy a new car and had no money to buy another one even if we had wanted to.
But now that we are expecting a 2nd child and I really don't want to spend another year cramped into our car. We currently have saved  up $22k especially for a new car(We live in Ontario, Canada - this is what a new Hyundai Elantra would cost with tax etc.). I was thinking a Hyundai Elantra. I haven't acutally sat in this car yet and tried it out, but it seems to get good reviews and seems like a slightly bigger car then what we have and a new car has a 5 year warranty.
Our current car is getting very rusty around the bottom, the heat needs to be fixed and the struts need to be replaced. Otherwise this car has not needed too many repairs and is reliable. Other than power locks our car has no features. No air conditioning, no ABS, crank windows.

Question:
Should we keep our car and get it fixed?
Should we go ahead and buy a new car? Brand new with 5 years warranty or get 2/3 year old car with less warranty?

Mactrader

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Re: I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 11:21:38 AM »
There's a LOT of room in between your two options. An extra child and comfort doesn't mean a 2012 vehicle, or even a 2009 vehicle. There are plenty of very good and roomy cars in the 2004-2008 that won't break the bank, especially since you have cash. Get a low-mileage Vibe/Matrix, or one of the other non-compact vehicles that MMM mentioned.

TLV

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Re: I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 11:49:24 AM »
According to the specs (http://www.cars.com/ford/focus/2002/specifications/) the focus has over 37" of rear legroom. We were able to fit a car seat in the middle of the bench of our forester, with only 33" of legroom, and still put the driver's seat all the way back. Although legroom isn't everything when it comes to car seats fitting, it seems likely that more compact carseats would let you keep your current car without being too cramped.

Also, check out this thread http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/best-mmm-car-with-3-kids/ for more ideas.

James

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Re: I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 11:54:08 AM »
I agree with Stravros, cash makes you king!  You can go out and find a good 3+ year old vehicle that works well for all of your needs, spend a lot less than new, and then have a nice pot of money sitting there allowing you to not worry about the lack of warranty.  You are self warrantied...  :)

Mactrader

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Re: I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 12:20:14 PM »
I agree with Stravros, cash makes you king!  You can go out and find a good 3+ year old vehicle that works well for all of your needs, spend a lot less than new, and then have a nice pot of money sitting there allowing you to not worry about the lack of warranty.  You are self warrantied...  :)

Take $500 of the 'savings' and put it in the bank. If you are left stranded on the side of the road, call a Tow truck ($50-75), a taxi ($20) and a rental car company (call it $250/wk) while you're getting the repairs done. You've now insured your inconvenience of having an older car... don't forget to call your boss and say you'll be 30 minutes late.

(of course you have a separate car maintenance fund that funding the actual repairs)

smedleyb

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Re: I would like a new car - should i buy it?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 06:40:32 PM »
There's a LOT of room in between your two options. An extra child and comfort doesn't mean a 2012 vehicle, or even a 2009 vehicle. There are plenty of very good and roomy cars in the 2004-2008 that won't break the bank, especially since you have cash. Get a low-mileage Vibe/Matrix, or one of the other non-compact vehicles that MMM mentioned.

Great post.  Spot on.

Amy, your 22K Hyundai will be worth 6K in 5 years.  Spend 6-8K on the Vibe, get all the space you'll ever need, and bank the 16K.

Although I get the feeling your Focus -- though it has shortcomings -- is adequate for your needs.   The longer you keep it, the better your financial position going forward. 

Good luck!