Author Topic: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?  (Read 2121 times)

Sailor Sam

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Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« on: October 27, 2018, 10:45:36 AM »
The background:
1. I sold my previous car in Seattle, flew to New Hampshire, and departed 8 days later on a 10 month deployment.
2. My ship returns home on 15-Nov. (Woot!)
3. Iíll be home a total of 6 non-continuous weeks, before departing for another 10-14 months


The requirements for a car:
1. Iím renting a MIL basement apartment, which is ~12 miles from the ship.
2. I work M-F, and spend most my evenings and weekends on-call.
3. When on-call, Iím required to be within 30 minutes of the ship at all times.
4. The ship has a habit of being in distress around 0245 in the morning, and urgently needing Papa
5. Itís New Hampshire, in winter.
6. Iím not biking 12 miles through NH winter at 0245 in the morning because the ship is in distress and I'm on-call.

The Remainder:

1. The rental basement is $300/month. Short term rentals w/in bike distance from the ship are $1500/month. The math on moving doesn't work, once you add in storage for household goods while on deployment.

2. I refuse to regularly ride in any car that is not equipped with ESC and many, many airbags.

3. I refuse to regularly ride in a car that does not have a full and transparent maintenance history.

4. I have very robust reasons for these refusals. It's possible you, helpful reader, would make different choices given the same history, and that's fine. But these are my choices. Lectures on the expensive illusion of safety will not sway me.

5. Renting a car for the 6 weeks home will cost around $1200.

6. The cheapest method or renting a car is BOS, which is around 2 hours by public transit from my home. Introducing a severe pain-in-my-ass quotient to renting. Especially considering my time home wonít be continuous.

5. The cost of a car with a satisfactory safety rating and maintenance history would be around $15,000.

Given my circumstances, and my stipulations, would you suck it up and rent a car for the 6 weeks? Or would you suck it up and buy a car that will end up sitting for almost a year?

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 10:57:18 AM »
You should buy the $15,000 car, drive it for six weeks, and then sell it to me for $8,000 when you deploy. ;-)

Seriously though, just rent.

cchrissyy

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 11:21:57 AM »
I would rent one. 

But 1st I'd try hard to borrow. Do you have any friends or family who has a car they don't use much, and who might be happy to help you for such a short time?  Even if it was just 2 weeks out of the 6, it slices the cost down.

Besides the cost of buying, remember it takes time and adds hassle/stress on both ends of your stay. Also, maybe transaction costs or taxes.

Maybe Lyft or Uber is an option. IDK. It's just something to look into that may or may not be cheaper than the rental.

Edit - given this is military, is there a network where you can reach out to people who are deployed and not using their car?  Is that sort of sharing even a thing?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 11:24:45 AM by cchrissyy »

Ecky

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 07:41:30 PM »
I'm not intending to give you a hard time by asking this, just curious about what causes $15,000 to be the line drawn for a vehicle with sufficient safety and maintenance? I'm not familiar with your mechanical aptitude and don't want to make any assumptions, but to my knowledge you can walk off a dealership lot with a brand new car which has 5 star crash test ratings across the board, for around (or less than) $15,000, and the maintenance history doesn't get much better than that. Would you like us to help look for alternatives that might satisfy your requirements, or should we treat it as a $15,000 depreciating black box vs a reoccurring $1200 fee?

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 08:58:34 PM »
Wait, won't @MonkeyJenga be done with her horrible job soon?  Can you hire her to be your car service?  Or sell a used car on your behalf if you can't get it sold before you deploy again?  Give her a cut of the proceeds....

I have changed my mind. I hate driving so so much, but I would enjoy Meepsy's deep loathing at being chauffeured by me even more. I accept this job offer.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 10:35:21 PM by MonkeyJenga »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 02:39:20 AM »
Honestly in your situation, just rent a car where needed. Sitting for a long period of time isn't all that great for a car and who knows how long you'll need a car when you return again.

When your apartment is so cheap, consider the car rental part of the cost of living in a cheap apartment (ie: if it's a $1200 rental once a year, the apartment is more like $400/mo once the car rental is annualised).

If it wasn't for work, I'd just say Uber everywhere, but I'm guessing your chances of getting an Uber at 2:45am in winter aren't great.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 05:14:26 AM »
Whenever in doubt, rent.  Pay for what you use.

Rural

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 07:47:23 AM »
Rent. You can't be sure the car will start the first time you're back and get a call in after it's sat a while. Batteries can snd do go down, other systems don't do well with long idle periods. So it could be that the owned car is as big a pain in the ass as going to rent one each time home. And I don't see any other benefit to owning besides avoiding the pain in the ass. Financially it's a detriment. Rent from some agency that will come get you at a higher cost than the cheapest place and you'll still come out ahead of the cost of owning.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 08:47:48 AM »
$1200 for a 6 week rental seems a little high, shop around. Below is what I found on autoslash.com for 6 weeks starting November 15. You may get even better prices with Uncle Sam's corporate code and/or trying different nearby towns. Careful with the 30 day limit on credit-card provided insurance, in fact it may be more advantageous to book two 3 week rentals.

I'd still do it.




Sailor Sam

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 09:29:01 AM »
Seems that most lean towards renting. I like @alsoknownasDean's idea of just adding it to rent, though I do loath the lumpiness in spending. Makes the spreadsheets less pretty.

@Ecky, the $15k was the result of casual online research for sub-compact hatchbacks. I could probably find a better deal once I hone in on the make and model I actually want. I figured exactness wasn't necessary because a new, or new-to-me car is still going to be a couple orders of magnitude higher than rental.

@Paul der Krake, thanks for the checking around. I didn't know about autoslash.com. I was using hotwire.com.

@cchrissyy & @lhamo, I might could possibly maybe borrow a car, but it's tricky. I haven't been 'home' enough to have a local friend network. As for work buddies, I outrank 99% of people assigned to the base, and I'm also the boss of 50% of them. The situation would get weird and inappropriate very quickly.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 09:30:18 AM »
Wait, won't @MonkeyJenga be done with her horrible job soon?  Can you hire her to be your car service?  Or sell a used car on your behalf if you can't get it sold before you deploy again?  Give her a cut of the proceeds....

I have changed my mind. I hate driving so so much, but I would enjoy Meepsy's deep loathing at being chauffeured by me even more. I accept this job offer.

NO. THERE IS NO OFFER. You have the attention span of a gnat, and have no idea of military discipline. You shall not pass.

DavidDoes

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 12:11:54 PM »
What about Zipcar, ReachNow, Car2Go? I don't know if New Hampshire has those, but they're perfect for emergencies such as this. The only downside is if you will be staying somewhere that does not have many of these cars nearby. Zipcar is more reliable, since they have designated parking spots that a Zipcar will always be at.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 01:32:03 PM »
What about Zipcar, ReachNow, Car2Go? I don't know if New Hampshire has those, but they're perfect for emergencies such as this. The only downside is if you will be staying somewhere that does not have many of these cars nearby. Zipcar is more reliable, since they have designated parking spots that a Zipcar will always be at.

I used Car2Go in Seattle, during my last 3 months in the Evergreen state. It was perfectly satisfactory solution while living in the land of socialism and working a predictable schedule. I did check out the possibility of a car subscription working in NH, and it's a hard no-go. My basement dwelling is well outside the circle of car availability. And even if The Basement was across from a designated parking spot, I'd have to sweat a car actually being parked in the stall if I got called to the ship. Too much potential for disaster, masting, involuntary separation, and ultimately living under a bridge in a cardboard box.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 01:59:21 PM »
I outrank 99% of people assigned to the base, and I'm also the boss of 50% of them.
Order the ship relocated to a warmer climate then commute by bike, problem solved.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2018, 02:38:36 PM »
I outrank 99% of people assigned to the base, and I'm also the boss of 50% of them.
Order the ship relocated to a warmer climate then commute by bike, problem solved.
As usual, it's the 1% that becomes the real bitch kitty...

Sailor Sam

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2018, 12:03:54 PM »
Hey everyone, I thought I'd close out the thread with an update. I did, in fact, end up renting a car through Logan airport. The Hotwire Manager's Special ended up being $496 for 20 days. The cost of the car was $233.40, and taxes and fees were $262.60. Not a typo. Taxes and fees actually cost more than the rental. Fuck you very much, Massachusetttttsssss. Plus, the Hotwire special turned out to be a minivan, which I'm not best pleased with. Partially because of the cool factor, but also because it snows here and I don't necessarily trust the traction. I bought some hefty kitty litter, to weigh down the back.

I'm chalking this go-round up as a learning experience. I'm leaving from Logan on 2-Dec, then returning to Logan on 7-Dec, triggering another 27 day rental. However, I'm going to look into renting the car from somewhere in NH. I'd initially rejected the idea, since the daily rate at Logan was 50% cheaper. Those taxes, tho. Might end up being cheaper to rent in the Live Free or Die state.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2018, 04:21:21 PM »
Wait, won't @MonkeyJenga be done with her horrible job soon?  Can you hire her to be your car service?  Or sell a used car on your behalf if you can't get it sold before you deploy again?  Give her a cut of the proceeds....

I have changed my mind. I hate driving so so much, but I would enjoy Meepsy's deep loathing at being chauffeured by me even more. I accept this job offer.

NO. THERE IS NO OFFER. You have the attention span of a gnat, and have no idea of military discipline. You shall not pass.

This is pretty funny, although I don't know either of you IRL.

TrMama

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2018, 04:52:32 PM »
Plus, the Hotwire special turned out to be a minivan, which I'm not best pleased with. Partially because of the cool factor, but also because it snows here and I don't necessarily trust the traction. I bought some hefty kitty litter, to weigh down the back.

If it's got proper winter tires, it should be fine. If it doesn't, use your drill sergeant skills to get some put on.

ElleFiji

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2018, 04:55:58 PM »
Wait, won't @MonkeyJenga be done with her horrible job soon?  Can you hire her to be your car service?  Or sell a used car on your behalf if you can't get it sold before you deploy again?  Give her a cut of the proceeds....

I have changed my mind. I hate driving so so much, but I would enjoy Meepsy's deep loathing at being chauffeured by me even more. I accept this job offer.

NO. THERE IS NO OFFER. You have the attention span of a gnat, and have no idea of military discipline. You shall not pass.

This is pretty funny, although I don't know either of you IRL.
The internet is not their real lives? I have met half of the equation and that half was approximately as promised. The other half forgets to visit us.

I was going to be the bad angel on your shoulder pointing you towards a new precious. But clearly logic has already won.  You can pretend the next 30 days are some kind of soccer mom role play and text Petrie as appropriate. This is how I deal with situations like this. But I text half strangers and not Petrie because only you are allowed to text Petrie

BicycleB

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2018, 05:15:50 PM »
Here in SEA there are hefty surtaxes attached to the airport rentals that bump the cost way up -- prevailing attitude seems to be "screw the tourists and business travelers we need to build more roads!"  I think this is a pretty common taxing strategy.  Definitely price shop.

Bingo!

For future stays - I guess you've already ruled out the Uber type services? Their air bags aren't reliable enough or something? From what I can tell, their strength is quick response for rare occasions, which seems to be your use case.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Rent the Car, or Buy the Car?
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2018, 08:43:15 PM »
Wait, won't @MonkeyJenga be done with her horrible job soon?  Can you hire her to be your car service?  Or sell a used car on your behalf if you can't get it sold before you deploy again?  Give her a cut of the proceeds....

I have changed my mind. I hate driving so so much, but I would enjoy Meepsy's deep loathing at being chauffeured by me even more. I accept this job offer.

NO. THERE IS NO OFFER. You have the attention span of a gnat, and have no idea of military discipline. You shall not pass.

This is pretty funny, although I don't know either of you IRL.
The internet is not their real lives? I have met half of the equation and that half was approximately as promised. The other half forgets to visit us.

It is...

At least for me.