Author Topic: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?  (Read 4200 times)

Slow road to freedom

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How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:27:00 AM »
First post on the forum, please be gentle...

MMM is the place that brought together a real explanation of why I feel uneasy about our consumer society. It's a shame I only stumbled across it last year - I'm *sigh* a little middle-aged. I have consumer habits - many of which I have done well to stop or reduce. I am on target to repay our mortgage within the next 3 years, and it's possible to reach FI within 6 years. I'm 'lucky' in that respect.

But it will be challenging. One of my biggest challenges has been - over 25 years - 'cars'. I realise much of the forum will be North American; exciting cars for me, being a Brit, have been Golf GTIs. Family means an estate car or even SUV is rather more useful, which is what I've been driving for many years.

My problem: I want to drive different cars, and have a habit of changing them every 2 or 3 years. This is clearly expensive. I currently have a perfectly good 3-year-old VW estate, a mere 60,000 miles on the clock (I do > 20,000 pa for work - bear with me). And I've recently had a promotion which means, in theory, I could 'afford' to get a newer, sexy, V6 estate more akin to a GTI... yet I know it's not financially sensible.

Finances: Depreciation cost of my current car c 350 / month. Depreciation cost of a newer car c 500 / month to 650 / month.

I swing between the 'I deserve it' argument and 'MMM would punch me, and quite right too' argument.

I'd like to have enough reasons in my toolkit that means I can enjoy sexy new cars WITHOUT feeling the need to go and get one.

Am I alone in feeling this way? What tactics do you employ?

Dave1442397

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 12:46:50 PM »
One way I do it is to think about how much money I save every year by NOT buying a new (or new used) car. I also love cars and would change cars more frequently if I weren't feeling responsible for the family budget :) 

I still look at used car ads all the time, and keep track of prices on cars I'm interested in. I'm planning to keep my current car for another five years and than see if the car I'm in love with right now is still a contender, or will I have moved on to some other fantasy car...who knows?

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 12:55:53 PM »
I think about how preferable spending time outside of a car compared to inside one.  I don't want to make myself extremely comfortable in a vehicle because then I might start to think stupid things like, "That extra 30 minute commute each way won't be so bad", or "I should just take the car to the grocery store rather than my bike", etc.  You're not just fooling yourself . . . you're paying good money to fool yourself.

boarder42

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 01:09:32 PM »
If you really like cars why not constantly watch the used market and buy deals drive them for a year or two and flip for a profit

sixkids

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 01:13:34 PM »
I work at a new car dealership and have been here for years. I can drive stuff home on occasion. A few months ago I took a 2016 corvette for the weekend. As above poster said, flipping for profit can be lucrative, if you're careful with doing it.

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 01:16:05 PM »
New cars are nice. No two ways about it. And the more expensive new ones tend to be especially nice.

What keeps me from buying is the 5 figure price tags, coupled with the 5 figure deprecation.

If that doesn't convince you, maybe you could bargain yourself down. Buy reasonably priced used cars that are old enough to have lost half of their original price, then sell those reasonably priced cars regularly to satisfy your appetite for change.

That way you're not spending a fortune in the first place, and you shouldn't be taking a big hit on deprecation when you sell. Especially if you stick to private party buying and selling and stay away from dealers.

JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 01:21:26 PM »
I buy used cars and cycle through them every couple of years.  Ignoring maintenance and hobby stuff (i.e. go-fast parts that you don't typically get much/any return on), I've owned/driven and sold the following for more than I paid-

1998 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 (Toyota bought it back due to a frame recall): $5k -> $12,146.50
1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4: $4500 -> $5500
1997 Lexus LX450: $7200 -> $7500
2004 Subaru Forester XT: $7390 -> $8200
2004 Cadillac CTS-V: $12k -> $13k

All of those were in states that don't tax private party sales, so there was no sales tax involved.  My next one is a 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed6 that I paid $6k for last fall and will try to sell this spring for about the same.  I'm in NJ now and they do charge sales tax on every private party vehicle sale (which is absurd, IMO, since it's been taxed already) so the next one (a vehicle I'm bringing back from my house in AZ) will probably be the last one I have out here.

Slow road to freedom

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 02:04:11 PM »
Thanks all, some interesting pointers in there for me. It's self-evident that the financial argument in isolation doesn't quite hit the spot for me - I've not grown a full money Mustache yet. I like the idea of cycling through (no pun intended) used cars every year or two, with a view to minimising depreciation or even making money - and I think I'd enjoy the challenge.

I wish I could cycle to work.... but a 50 mile each-way commute isn't very practical given my cycling speed... oh no! Just opened myself up for a huge punch in the face! In mitigation I enjoy my work and can see my way to FI much more quickly by doing this for a few short years...

JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 02:06:54 PM »
Thanks all, some interesting pointers in there for me. It's self-evident that the financial argument in isolation doesn't quite hit the spot for me - I've not grown a full money Mustache yet. I like the idea of cycling through (no pun intended) used cars every year or two, with a view to minimising depreciation or even making money - and I think I'd enjoy the challenge.

I wish I could cycle to work.... but a 50 mile each-way commute isn't very practical given my cycling speed... oh no! Just opened myself up for a huge punch in the face! In mitigation I enjoy my work and can see my way to FI much more quickly by doing this for a few short years...

I love cars. I've owned a sports car and a 4x4 simultaneously since 2005, with only a brief lapse without a 4x4. Given that I have a ridiculously expensive hobby, I do what I can to make it at least somewhat reasonable. Between buying older/used and doing my own work, it's a tolerable expense.

Dicey

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 04:32:06 PM »
First trick: Chose the car want to buy. Find the price online. Calculate the sales tax. Write on a piece of paper. Calculate the registration and other new car purchase tariffs. Write them down under the sales tax. Contact your insurance agent for a quote. Take that amount, subtract the amount you're currently paying and put the difference under the other two numbers. Now, add all three together. Then ask yourself "What would I rather do than piss this much money away?" Works every time.

If it doesn't, get old car detailed. Makes your car feel spiffy again.

Still, a boy deserves a little fun now and then. Occasionally, rent something awesome for a weekend. Take a nice long drive out in the country and get your ya-yas out. Return car.

"I get bored" is about the most facepunch worthy excuse for spending money on the planet.

Laura33

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2017, 05:27:40 PM »
Ah, I feel you - I am a car girl, and my daily driver is 8.5 years and at that point where it's feeling noticeably old - little things are breaking or rattling, it's dirty/dinged, etc.  Plus my DH is very non-Mustachian -- on our way to the grocery store today, he's telling me it's time to start thinking of what car I want next!

For you, if you are up for the buy-used-fix-up-and-flip, that could be a great option -- MMM once profiled a guy who did that that might give you some inspiration.

For me, the thing that seems to be working (so far) is to convert the cost of the new car into additional months at work.  At least, that's what I did today.  "Gee, ok, I can buy that car, we can afford it.  And then I can tack on another 9 months at work to pay for it."  I mean, I like my job, but we are outta here when our youngest goes off to college.  I do not want the lure of brightshinynew to F that up for me.

Of course, it probably helps that we also have a Mustang for when the weather is good.  :-)

JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2017, 06:11:57 PM »
Ah, I feel you - I am a car girl, and my daily driver is 8.5 years and at that point where it's feeling noticeably old - little things are breaking or rattling, it's dirty/dinged, etc.  Plus my DH is very non-Mustachian -- on our way to the grocery store today, he's telling me it's time to start thinking of what car I want next!

For you, if you are up for the buy-used-fix-up-and-flip, that could be a great option -- MMM once profiled a guy who did that that might give you some inspiration.

For me, the thing that seems to be working (so far) is to convert the cost of the new car into additional months at work.  At least, that's what I did today.  "Gee, ok, I can buy that car, we can afford it.  And then I can tack on another 9 months at work to pay for it."  I mean, I like my job, but we are outta here when our youngest goes off to college.  I do not want the lure of brightshinynew to F that up for me.

Of course, it probably helps that we also have a Mustang for when the weather is good.  :-)

Dirt can be fixed, as can rattles.  Taking a weekend to sort out the little annoying things may be well worth it!

Laura33

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 06:25:07 PM »
Ah, I feel you - I am a car girl, and my daily driver is 8.5 years and at that point where it's feeling noticeably old - little things are breaking or rattling, it's dirty/dinged, etc.  Plus my DH is very non-Mustachian -- on our way to the grocery store today, he's telling me it's time to start thinking of what car I want next!

For you, if you are up for the buy-used-fix-up-and-flip, that could be a great option -- MMM once profiled a guy who did that that might give you some inspiration.

For me, the thing that seems to be working (so far) is to convert the cost of the new car into additional months at work.  At least, that's what I did today.  "Gee, ok, I can buy that car, we can afford it.  And then I can tack on another 9 months at work to pay for it."  I mean, I like my job, but we are outta here when our youngest goes off to college.  I do not want the lure of brightshinynew to F that up for me.

Of course, it probably helps that we also have a Mustang for when the weather is good.  :-)

Dirt can be fixed, as can rattles.  Taking a weekend to sort out the little annoying things may be well worth it!

You're so right!  This is where my brain gets stupid.  I am having several annoying things go wrong all at the same time - like the sunroof will get stuck open, or the windows will get stuck halfway down, or (my personal favorite) the trunk lid will fall down on the back of my head when I'm loading groceries.  And I also have a broken tail light cover/scraped paint that needs fixed (backed into concrete post in work garage, tail light still works so never got around to fixing).  Since these are all optional/appearance things, I don't want to spend the money to fix them.  And yet then I think, gee, my car is a piece of crap and is really falling apart, I want a new one!  Stupid stupid stupid.  I really need to just get those things fixed -- car doesn't even have 80,000 miles on it, it's good for many more years.

My only saving grace is that I'm cheap, and the cost of the cars that I like makes me want to throw up a little when I think about writing the check.  :-)

JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2017, 06:37:57 PM »
Ah, I feel you - I am a car girl, and my daily driver is 8.5 years and at that point where it's feeling noticeably old - little things are breaking or rattling, it's dirty/dinged, etc.  Plus my DH is very non-Mustachian -- on our way to the grocery store today, he's telling me it's time to start thinking of what car I want next!

For you, if you are up for the buy-used-fix-up-and-flip, that could be a great option -- MMM once profiled a guy who did that that might give you some inspiration.

For me, the thing that seems to be working (so far) is to convert the cost of the new car into additional months at work.  At least, that's what I did today.  "Gee, ok, I can buy that car, we can afford it.  And then I can tack on another 9 months at work to pay for it."  I mean, I like my job, but we are outta here when our youngest goes off to college.  I do not want the lure of brightshinynew to F that up for me.

Of course, it probably helps that we also have a Mustang for when the weather is good.  :-)

Dirt can be fixed, as can rattles.  Taking a weekend to sort out the little annoying things may be well worth it!

You're so right!  This is where my brain gets stupid.  I am having several annoying things go wrong all at the same time - like the sunroof will get stuck open, or the windows will get stuck halfway down, or (my personal favorite) the trunk lid will fall down on the back of my head when I'm loading groceries.  And I also have a broken tail light cover/scraped paint that needs fixed (backed into concrete post in work garage, tail light still works so never got around to fixing).  Since these are all optional/appearance things, I don't want to spend the money to fix them.  And yet then I think, gee, my car is a piece of crap and is really falling apart, I want a new one!  Stupid stupid stupid.  I really need to just get those things fixed -- car doesn't even have 80,000 miles on it, it's good for many more years.

My only saving grace is that I'm cheap, and the cost of the cars that I like makes me want to throw up a little when I think about writing the check.  :-)

Windows getting stuck might be a switch or maybe a window regulator - neither of which are particularly expensive or difficult fixes.

The trunk lid falling is SO EASY to fix! The hydraulic struts that hold the trunk open are really cheap ($10-20/each) and replacing them only takes a couple of minutes.  Check out eBay or RockAuto for taillight parts - I had a broken taillight lens on my car and ended up finding a good used one on Facebook (found a parts for sale group for my model) for about $60.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2017, 06:40:53 PM »
I'm happy with my 15 year old small hatchback. Would buying an expensive new car really increase my happiness by all that much?

Metric Mouse

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2017, 02:21:47 AM »
If you really like cars why not constantly watch the used market and buy deals drive them for a year or two and flip for a profit

One wouldn't even have to flip for a profit - even breaking even or a slight loss after a few years is better than $500 a month loss, and if it makes one happy, perfectly worth it.

boarder42

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2017, 08:47:48 AM »
If you really like cars why not constantly watch the used market and buy deals drive them for a year or two and flip for a profit

One wouldn't even have to flip for a profit - even breaking even or a slight loss after a few years is better than $500 a month loss, and if it makes one happy, perfectly worth it.

yep the sales taxes are the main issue with doing this all the time. 

daverobev

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2017, 10:23:01 AM »
Cars in the UK are cheap, buying new is (no offence) stupid (unless work is paying for it).

I mean jesus, just go and buy something good but 5, 10, 20 years old. You could afford a main, boring car and a fun car no problem. Like a 20 year old Scirocco or whatever the replacement was - begins with a C I think.

This comes from someone that just bought new; but I'm in Canada now, and older cars tend to be rusted to crap. You don't have that issue.

SuperMex

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 11:03:04 AM »
I never ask myself can I afford a car etc. I say if a car costs 30,000 and I buy this car how much less will I have at full retirement age. So lets do the math:

 I'm 44 let's say I want to start pulling my money out of savings at 65 using 9% and the rule of 72 and quick math in my head I come up with a little over 180k dollars.

So I ask myself am I willing to trade having that car today for the loss of 180K at retirement time.

For me personally it is far worse because I intend to never use any of the money in my IRA, TSP, or sell any real-estate. My father passed at 95 and most of my family live into their 90's I could easily live 50 more years and that car would cost my son 960k in inheritance.


khangaroo

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2017, 01:07:52 PM »
I think you need to dig deeper into the question of why do you like to drive a new car every 2-3 years? Is it the smell? Is it the technology? Is it the looks you get from people (assuming the car is a head turner)? Is it the feeling of being under warranty? Maybe you are a masochist and enjoying going to the dealership?

This is my solution for whenever I get car fever.

I recently upgraded to an good commuter car, a 2004 330xi from a 99 Camry so I'm comfortable in my daily driver. But, I have a Honda S2000 and that is my remedy for car fever. When I have find myself spending more time on craigslist, autotrader, carmax, or the manufacturer's websites looking at cars, I just go and take it for a spin. Nothing cools you down better than a jolt of adrenaline from shifting at 8k RPM in VTEC.

Your S2K might be a Corvette, a Golf R (looks like you enjoy VW), DeLorean, or whatever can give you that thrill! From what you stated, I don't think the financial logic is getting through to you so I would start trying to address the emotional triggers. What's your dream car? And see if you can get a version of that for a reasonable price.

Kaplin261

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 01:31:01 PM »
If you really like cars why not constantly watch the used market and buy deals drive them for a year or two and flip for a profit

I agree with this poster. I scored a 2015 honda accord LX last year with low miles and in mint condition for $3,000 under KBB. Because the person selling was desperate to get it sold because they could no longer make the payments.

$3,000 equals about a little bit over a year's worth of depreciation on this type of car. So I look at it like I get to drive this car for almost free for a full year.

Slow road to freedom

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 02:40:56 PM »
Wow, some great responses thank you. Digging a little deeper into the 'why' I think I like the thrill of the deal - achieving 20%+ discount of the new price is satisfying, so I feel I'm getting some free driving. The reality is, of course, rather different, as residuals take a pounding.

I have considered getting a Golf R32 - pick them quite cheaply - but funnily enough the UK road tax means I would pay 500 pa just to keep the car on the road, plus a high fuel bill. And my instinct is to pass on that!

I suspect the best form of deterrent for me is the number of extra months / years I would have to wait until I'm FI. That's not so many, and will give me the impetus to save a little extra to buy something exotic - if I want to.

In the meantime, I think I'll just drool at the rather nice vehicles rolling around, and pay half in a few short years...

shawndoggy

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 06:06:24 PM »
Man I got the car jonze real bad right now.  I'm no help because appeals to logic don't really help.  Making the liquid funds "harder" for me to get to seems to be the only thing in the short term that's stopping me.

AJ41

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2017, 08:19:43 PM »
This is a very interesting topic. Has anyone here successfully buy nice used cars (corvettes, Benz, BMW) and sold them for no loss or profit in a year or two?


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JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 09:01:40 PM »
This is a very interesting topic. Has anyone here successfully buy nice used cars (corvettes, Benz, BMW) and sold them for no loss or profit in a year or two?


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I bought a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V for $12k in December 2011 and sold it for $13k in..May 2013, I think.

It was fun.

freeatlast

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 11:24:36 PM »
I was really wanting a new car that was awd. My old car was a 2004 rwd that I owned for 10 years and was useless for my new commute when the weather was bad. I can't help it, but I really like bmw's - love the way they drive.  I bought a 2007 AWD 3 series for $12k plus tax. Only 38,000 miles.  Looked and felt like it was new. It totally scratched my itch but did not derail my FIRE plans too badly. It should last longer than I do :)

Dicey

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2017, 01:52:47 AM »
The trunk lid falling is SO EASY to fix! The hydraulic struts that hold the trunk open are really cheap ($10-20/each) and replacing them only takes a couple of minutes.  Check out eBay or RockAuto for taillight parts - I had a broken taillight lens on my car and ended up finding a good used one on Facebook (found a parts for sale group for my model) for about $60.
Oh, this! I was going to say this. Those cute little strut thingies are so easy to fix and then you will feel so smart you will teach yourself how to fix all the other things. You Tube is your friend!

I'll tattle this story on myself. My headlight burned out on a road trip to see my parents. I You Tubed it. Bought the new bulb at the Auto Parts Store, mooched a few tools from dear-old-dad, and followed the video step-by-step to replace the bulb. Then I finished up, put the tools away, all proud of myself and realized that MY burned out headlight was on the other side of the car...

AJ41

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2017, 06:59:12 AM »
This is a very interesting topic. Has anyone here successfully buy nice used cars (corvettes, Benz, BMW) and sold them for no loss or profit in a year or two?


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I bought a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V for $12k in December 2011 and sold it for $13k in..May 2013, I think.

It was fun.


Good stuff. What did you get afterwards? You plan on doing that again?

acroy

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2017, 07:40:40 AM »
Cars are a bad habit of mine as well.
Luckily i don't crave 'new' ones, just 'nice' ones. So Iv'e had several very nice older sports cars, keep and enjoy for a few years, then sell (usually for a profit).
UK is a bit different with high road tax and high fuel cost. You mentioned the Golf R32 high tax. Do the math on what it'll actually cost you per year total (tax, fuel insurance) and maximize your fun.
FYI I most recently had a highly modified 2000 Corvette, bought for 17k, sold for $19k 2yrs later. Currently own a 2009 RX8, a joy to drive.

JLee

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Re: How do you convince yourself NOT to buy that shiny new car?
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2017, 08:18:24 AM »
This is a very interesting topic. Has anyone here successfully buy nice used cars (corvettes, Benz, BMW) and sold them for no loss or profit in a year or two?


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I bought a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V for $12k in December 2011 and sold it for $13k in..May 2013, I think.

It was fun.


Good stuff. What did you get afterwards? You plan on doing that again?

I bought a 1997 Lexus LX450 for $7200 and sold it after about a year for $7500 (2013-2014).

I wanted something newer with fewer miles and I bought a 2007 GX470 in early 2015. I had it for a little over a year and ended up moving from the desert to the NYC area..so I sold it to a family member who would continue to use it as it should be used (sold in May 2016). Paid $18,400, sold for $18k...though I did include a fair amount of long-distance offroad gear with it.  I didn't want to bring it out to NJ and drive it in road salt because it was too nice, lol, so I bought a 2006 Mazda Mazdaspeed6 from a friend for $6k in late 2015.  I missed my truck and the ability to go exploring, sooo I bought another one of the same thing a few months ago, but 2005 with more miles and some body damage. $8150. I'll drive this one in anything. :D

The Mazda will be up for sale soon for ~$6500. We'll see what happens!