Author Topic: Vehicle Purchase Question  (Read 6124 times)

Workstoomcuh

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Vehicle Purchase Question
« on: March 29, 2012, 04:44:48 PM »
I have to buy a vehicle. Part of a new job situation. Not unprepared for either. My question pertains to which is more mustachian.

Situation is that I will have to drive quite a bit going forward, 10-15K miles/year (way more than I do now). Can't take the bus or ride a bike now due to new work. I've been looking at 2005-2008 Prii, but they all range from 12-15K with mileage aroung 90-120K. That seems about fair if I can find the right combination of low price and low miles according to KBB.

I also have the unique opportunity to purchase a 2012 Mazda3 with only 6K miles. This car gets about 31MPG on average, so not too shabby and would only cost me $15.5K. Taxes would be the same for both.

So is it worth the $2-3K more I'd pay for the Mazda for the 80,000 miles or so I'd save? But gas costs would go up? I read that you should expect to pay about .10/mile, so that'd be $8K vs the $2-3K and I'd say yes, but wanted to ask the community.

Thanks!

Bakari

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 06:12:05 PM »
There is a vehicle that gets 70MPG that you can pick up a few years old for about $2,000

And, while it will hurt you mileage, it is capable of going 0-60 in under 6 seconds.

Doesn't get better than that.

The EX250R.  In answer to the inevitable objections, I wrote the following:
http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/02/chapter-iv-in-which-i-recommend-that.html

Mactrader

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 06:49:08 PM »
There is a vehicle that gets 70MPG that you can pick up a few years old for about $2,000

And, while it will hurt you mileage, it is capable of going 0-60 in under 6 seconds.

Doesn't get better than that.

The EX250R.  In answer to the inevitable objections, I wrote the following:
http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/02/chapter-iv-in-which-i-recommend-that.html

Very interesting... never considered a motorcycle! May have to think about that down the road. Just picked up an 02 Accord to replace my mediocre MPG quasi-luxury sedan.

arebelspy

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 08:54:39 PM »
There is a vehicle that gets 70MPG that you can pick up a few years old for about $2,000

On top of that, registration is cheaper and insurance is cheaper.

Maintenance may be significantly less as well, it depends.
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Lars

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 11:20:16 PM »
Neither - Neither of these purchases is particularly mustachian. Don't get me wrong, these are decent deals but there is room for additional savings with little sacrifice. Over the next five years, depreciation will be comparable to your fuel expenses for both of your choices so finding slightly cheaper vehicles with comparable mileage will save you some money. But I'd encourage you to not stop there - consider the options - do you need a car? etc.

So...I know you were probably just looking for agreeing opinions to support your decision but yet you posted on a mustachian forum. Are you willing to go a step further, save some money, and get FI faster?

Matt K

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 06:59:44 AM »
+1 on a Ninja 250 (or a Suzuki TU-250, just in case you want Fuel Injection and like the look of a 60s Brit bike). But I will argue the cost for any motorcycle is about $1000 higher than the initial purchase price (because you'll want training, helmet, and a full set of quality all weather riding gear).

Still, $3000 and 70+ mpg, if your local environment allows for year round riding (with the right gear, year round riding means simply never have ice on the road, I ride quite comfortably at 5C).

If you don't like shifting (something 90% of the Canadian and American population seem allergic to), 125cc, 250cc, and 300cc scooters are really practical vehicles. They require a bit more confidence in your masculinity to drive, but if you are man enough to ride one, they get great fuel economy, provide a big built in storage area, and can take luggage like a motorcycle if you need more space.



Going back to cars, you mention two compact (what was 'midsized' 15 years ago) cars. What are you transporting that requires comfortable seating for four adults? What about something like an old Yaris (Hatch), xA, Versa (Hatch), or Fit? With nothing more than careful driving, all of those are good for 35+ mpg, all can be had 5 years old with a big chunk of the depreciation gone, and all are cheap to maintain. I think they even have more cargo space than the Prius.

menorman

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 10:12:49 AM »
+1 on a Ninja 250 (or a Suzuki TU-250, just in case you want Fuel Injection and like the look of a 60s Brit bike). But I will argue the cost for any motorcycle is about $1000 higher than the initial purchase price (because you'll want training, helmet, and a full set of quality all weather riding gear).

Still, $3000 and 70+ mpg, if your local environment allows for year round riding (with the right gear, year round riding means simply never have ice on the road, I ride quite comfortably at 5C).

If you don't like shifting (something 90% of the Canadian and American population seem allergic to), 125cc, 250cc, and 300cc scooters are really practical vehicles. They require a bit more confidence in your masculinity to drive, but if you are man enough to ride one, they get great fuel economy, provide a big built in storage area, and can take luggage like a motorcycle if you need more space.
Also in the category is the Honda Rebel and potentially others. Some might prefer a bigger bike, e.g. Honda Nighthawk/Shadow, Suzuki S40, smaller Yamaha V-Star or Kawasaki Vulcans, etc. which all still get pretty decent mileage, although not as much as the 250s. Of course, the bigger ends of those models start to dip into Prius territory both in mpg and possibly price.

Quote
Going back to cars, you mention two compact (what was 'midsized' 15 years ago) cars. What are you transporting that requires comfortable seating for four adults? What about something like an old Yaris (Hatch), xA, Versa (Hatch), or Fit? With nothing more than careful driving, all of those are good for 35+ mpg, all can be had 5 years old with a big chunk of the depreciation gone, and all are cheap to maintain. I think they even have more cargo space than the Prius.
Actually, from what I've heard, the Prius (2nd gen on) is surprisingly roomy inside on account of that shape. If one can be had in a similar price to a Fit/Yaris/xA/etc., I'm inclined to rate it as a better buy, especially if a lot of city driving is on the docket. Also wouldn't hurt to look at the TDI family from VW, they get even better mpg highway than Priuses. Used Jetta and Passat TDI wagons can be found for the benefits that come with a wagon or the Golf comes in both two and four door versions as well. All except Passat(?) can be found with a third pedal, although it can be hard to find these days. Only thing is that people know the value of them, especially with these gas prices and demand a premium. Also, the owners tend to have actually driven them, so a car may easily have what amounts to 20k+ miles/year.

Taylor

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 11:05:40 AM »
If you are really looking for a Prius, I would say hold out for one with low miles. Granted I am biased since I just got one, but I found (and bought) a 2007 Prius with 32K miles for under 15K. I know you may be on a time crunch, though.

James

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 11:22:02 AM »
To answer your specific question, I think the answer would be the older and cheaper Prius.  Neither of the options you gave would be considered a strong mustachian purchase, but that doesn't make it wrong for you, just something to consider.  All things being equal the Prius allows you to use less gas, which is in and off itself a benefit according to mustachian principles, it's not just about money.  On top of that, you can opt for a older Prius with more miles which will lower your purchase price, while the Mazda is locked in at a pretty non-mustachian price of $15.5k for simple transportation needs.

Workstoomcuh

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 11:26:21 AM »
Thanks for the replies. The reason for the vehicle is that we'll be moving 50 miles from my in laws, one of whom is terminal (1-3 years). We try to visit them fairly regularly, 2x/month. We'll be transporting 2 adults and a 1 year old as well as the accouterments that a baby requires (not much, spare clothes, toys, books, stroller).

I do like the community here because it did bring some new options to the table. We already have one vehicle that my wife uses (only 2k miles/year) to run errands while I'm at work. We could just use that to drive even though it gets poor MPG and I could get a scooter/bike to work if we move closer to the office.

I also get a response from a repo company who has a 2007 prius with 35,000 miles for only $11K. We'll also be checking that option out as it seems a good deal in general. Though the process seems shady (deposit money into account and then they ship me the car, if inspection goes well I keep it, if not then I get a refund), so not sure if that'll pan out.

I think I'll try to get the biking to work option more effort, which is more finding a close place to the office to live. I currently bike 3 miles to work and its no problem. Not sure how 5-6 miles would affect things.

Bakari

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 09:58:39 PM »
Whoa, 5-6 miles?  You hadn't mentioned that part.  Is that 5-6 miles further, or total, and is it from your current house, or the hypothetical place you could move to?

I just helped convince Mike Key to ride 11miles.  If you already ride 3 daily, 6 is going to be nothing.  It will take twice as long, obviously, but it won't even take a transition period to get used to. 
My commute for the last 5 years was about 11 miles, and I would skate instead of biking most days just to make it interesting and challenging (and I am most certainly not an athlete)

Plus, your SO already has a car, see, that just totally changes the whole equation!

Incidentally, many years ago I used to ride the Ninja 250 on a 50 mile each way commute, but of course it won't work with a 1yr old

smedleyb

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 11:12:59 PM »
I'm with Bakari.  You already have a car, and that changes everything.

Funny how your first post insists "look, I must buy a car!" to where we are now information wise.

Look, not telling you to do one thing or another.  I think the preoccupation with MPGs is just a cover to indulge your desire to buy a car, which can be a pretty thrilling experience.   If the wife's car is safe and reliable, I just don't see a need here.

Good luck!

menorman

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 06:43:39 PM »
I'm with Bakari.  You already have a car, and that changes everything.

Funny how your first post insists "look, I must buy a car!" to where we are now information wise.

Look, not telling you to do one thing or another.  I think the preoccupation with MPGs is just a cover to indulge your desire to buy a car, which can be a pretty thrilling experience.   If the wife's car is safe and reliable, I just don't see a need here.

Good luck!
I second his motion, although now more information on the currently owned car is necessary. What year/make/model/miles/etc. are we talking? You say it gets poor mileage, but is that based on EPA estimates or actually observed mileage? One thing to understand is that since the car is primarily used for short hops around town, the mileage will probably suck anyway due to the engine probably not reaching the optimal operating temperature at all or for very long no matter what kind of car it is. Of course, a V8 Suburban will definitely hurt more than say a Civic, but both will still get worse than expected in the city. In that situation, a Prius might be a better choice for you since short trips at fairly low speeds will probably barely use the gasoline motor at all, especially if you get a plug-in model.
Of course, we can't force any decision on you. However, depending on the make/model of the current vehicle, a trip to the shop for a good tune-up might be all it needs to boost the mpg a bit into a more acceptable range. That really should cost nowhere near the price of the vehicles you're looking at. You could also sell the current car to offset part of the price of the Prius. Again, depending on what it is, you might come out ahead by the difference between what you get for current vehicle and price of Prius is actually smaller than the cost of a tune-up. Or, you could go with the idea you first presented and pick up something as a second car.

Workstoomcuh

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 01:56:18 PM »
Just wanted to give everyone an update on my situation. I deceided to flex my mustache and relook everything over. Ended up renting a home that's only 3 miles from work instead. Now I have no more excuses. Opting to bike to work full time. I also live on a bus line just in case a) it's raining (it doesn't rain here) and b) almost any other situation. The house is smaller than the other places we were looking, but that keeps the cost in line with what we were looking for. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for punching me in the face!

HumanAfterAll

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 04:49:03 PM »
Excellent choice, congrats!

smedleyb

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2012, 05:19:55 PM »
Holy badass, Wookstoomcuh.  Nicely done. 

zweipersona

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 04:36:21 PM »
People can argue on and off about motorcycle safety but I just look at insurance to gauge it.

Despite on average higher risk behaviors, why is motorcycle insurance so much cheaper (even factoring in the cheaper machine)?

They don't expect you to collect when you DO have an accident.  I had two acquaintances that got into motorcycle accidents.  Neither of them got the chance to collect insurance.

Still, it IS significantly cheaper. 

I'd suggest public transportation first. 

arebelspy

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 05:26:33 PM »
why is motorcycle insurance so much cheaper (even factoring in the cheaper machine)?

Tell me how you factored in the cheaper machine?  Because I've generally found it is mostly cheaper due to the replacement cost of the vehicle being so much less.   Say a 4k bike vs 20k car.. 1/5 as much in value, but the car insurance usually isn't 5X as much.

And, in actuality, in an accident that's the insured person's fault, the insurance company has to pay out to fix the other vehicle.  If they were in a car, they'll do a LOT more damage to the other vehicle than a motorcycle will.  So even in an accident at fault, not only is the vehicle replacement so much cheaper, but the damage done to the other car is so much cheaper.

I think it's cheaper due to those two factors, not due to people not collecting on insurance.
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James

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 06:03:11 PM »
People can argue on and off about motorcycle safety but I just look at insurance to gauge it.

Despite on average higher risk behaviors, why is motorcycle insurance so much cheaper (even factoring in the cheaper machine)?

They don't expect you to collect when you DO have an accident.  I had two acquaintances that got into motorcycle accidents.  Neither of them got the chance to collect insurance.

Still, it IS significantly cheaper. 

I'd suggest public transportation first. 


I don't get what you mean by "Neither of them got the chance to collect insurance."  What stopped them?

I totalled my Burgman 650 when I hit a patch of sand just a few months after I bought it.  Watched it flip end over end right beside me...  :)


Insurance paid me more than I paid for the used bike, so I came out of that very well, and luckily without injury.  I don't remember thinking insurance was was cheap, for the price of the bike I thought is was plenty expensive.


A big congrats to Workstoomcuh!  Glad you got it worked out, sounds like a great choice!

Workstoomcuh

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Re: Vehicle Purchase Question
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 02:36:35 PM »
Just wanted to clarify some of the above. Bicycling to work. Not motorcycling. So no insurance cost involved.