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Car Purchase Timing
Old 10-21-2018, 11:46 PM   #1
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Car Purchase Timing

I have a car conundrum where I am really uncertain about what to do.

Primary choices right now are to either (1) buy a Volvo XC40 right now knowing that we will have to pay around MSRP, (2) buy a Volvo XC60 right now and get a "normal" discount off MSRP, or (3) wait until prices come down on the XC40 eventually and buy then but this option requires first repairing the car we are planning to sell so we can drive it in the meantime. I don't really like any of those choices.

Here is the situation.

DH and I had planned to buy a new car right about now. We have 2 cars right now. We plan to keep as our second car our Ford Explorer that we bought 7 years ago. We will probably keep it another 3 years or so.

We prefer to most likely buy a new car. We keep our cars a long time and I like to have the latest features.

The plan was to buy an SUV, but it did not need to be as large as the Explorer (197 in. long). I was focusing mostly on the 5 seaters that are around the mid 180s in length.

I've been researching it and we've test driven a number of cars in that price range. We found some that we liked (2019 Hyundai Santa Fe) but nothing that really made us feel enthusiastic like we really wanted the car.

We decided to test drive the Volve XC40 which is about 175 in. long. We had not planned to buy a car that size but I wanted to see if I felt it was large enough. We both loved the car. It was night and day how we feel about it as compared to anything else. Right now MSRP for that car with the options we want is between $42k and $43k. If we could get our exact options it would be around $41k but there are none like that to be found.

The probably is that the XC40 is an extremely popular car right now. Inventory is very low. The car is selling around list price (sometimes over). I think I could get it for list price but not significantly below.

I do think that at some point the car will be discounted normally. I don't know when that will be. It might be 6 months or more.

While this car is more that what we had originally budgeted, DH and I both agree that we can up that budget. Buying at MSRP, it is more over budget although we could do it without a lot of angst. The bigger issue is simply knowing that eventually we would be able to buy it well below list price.

While at the dealer we looked at the XC60. Some years ago we almost bought one but at the time there was no inventory to be had (a wait of about 6 months). It is larger than we really need now, but is still smaller than the Explorer. I like it and the XC40 very similarly.

An XC60 with the options that I want is about $52k. I would not feel it was worth it to pay $10k more for an XC60 than the XC40. But, the XC60 is a normally discounted vehicle. I can probably get one for $4k to $5k more than the XC40 right now.

The third option is to simply wait until the XC40 comes down in price. That in some ways is my preference. But -- there is an issue. On the car we plan to sell, it needs a repair to the front end which is causing excess wear to the tires. It is driveable but if we don't repair it, then we might need to soon replace tires. For the last couple of months we haven't been driving it as we planned to sell it when we got the new car. It didn't seem to make sense to spend money on a repair.

DH absolutely hates us only having one car to drive. He doesn't like it when I go somewhere and then he can't go anywhere until I get back. He doesn't like having to arrange his errands to when I am home. So if we are going to wait months to buy a car he wants to get that car repaired. At this point, I have no idea what it will cost to do the repair. The car is worth around $8k so I don't want to spend a lot of money on a repair and then sell the car in 3 to 6 months (thereby using up all or part of the savings that we got from waiting to buy the XC40).

I am having a hard time deciding what to do. We don't know how long it will take for prices to come down on the XC40.

I don't like the idea of paying MSRP on a car just on general principle, knowing the price will come down eventually. The car salesman was very clear that prices will eventually come down.

I slightly prefer the larger size of the XC60 from a safety standpoint, but I really don't need the larger vehicle since we have the Explorer for when we need a large vehicle. So, I am not enthralled with going that much over our budget although we could do it.

I don't feel any of the choices are great. Yes, we could switch cars to something else. But, this are the only cars we have been enthusiastic about so that would also be a compromise.

Right now, I am inclined to find out how much the repair on our existing car will cost. If it is exorbitant then we just go ahead and get a car now (not sure which). One issue with that is that there are a couple of XC40s available now that are acceptable to me. That might not be true by the time we could get that information. At that point, we might have to wait due to lack of supply. On the other hand, if the cost to repair is not great, then repair the existing car and wait however long it takes for the prices to come down. One issue with that is that by the time we wait it may be late enough in the model year that we would then want to wait until the 2020 came out.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:28 AM   #2
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and your question is?
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:44 AM   #3
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My opinion: Go ahead and buy the XC40 if that is the car you want! Or the XC60 if you decide it is a better car for you.

Sometimes timing is more important than getting the best possible deal on price, and I think this is one of those times. You're reasonably well off, you know what you want, and your other car needs repairs. IMO you should just give yourself permission to go ahead and buy whichever car you prefer.

Oh, and whatever you decide to do, I'm happy for you and hope you love your new car!
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
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and your question is?
Just seeking the wisdom of the forum. I mean, it is my decision (and DH's) ultimately. But, sometimes just getting feedback from forum members is helpful to illuminate the issues and possible solutions. Sometimes people have can come up with options I haven't thought of, etc....
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:08 AM   #5
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Have you read the Consumer Reports review? Yikes. Not very positive. Have you driven one?
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:53 AM   #6
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I do think that at some point the car will be discounted normally. I don't know when that will be. It might be 6 months or more.
I think this is an unrealistic expectation. The XC40 is not likely to see significant discounts for a long time yet. Volvo is struggling mightily to keep up with demand for all these extremely popular cars (XC40/60/90). They even had to move production of the US-spec XC60 from Sweden to China where they have a bigger, newer factory. They're using the slack from that move to make more XC90s. The XC40 is made in Belgium.

I bought an XC60 earlier this year and I absolutely love it. By far the best car I've ever owned, and DW is looking at an XC40 for her next car in a year or so. My local dealer sold several XC40s before they even had one to show people, just on the strength of what people had read about them. And it's easy to see why. When we were in Gothenburg to take delivery of my XC60, there was an XC40 in the showroom and DW just fell in love with it.

If you haven't, sign up at the Swedespeed forums where you'll see forums for both of these cars (and others) and lots of real world opinions.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:55 AM   #7
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Every single person I know that bought a Volvo in the past couple of years has had nothing but problems. The kind of problems that have the car at the dealer for repairs at least once a month. In your shoes, I would pay attention to Consumer Reports and look elsewhere.

DH needs to think about being more flexible until this is sorted out. Rent a car or use your car that needs repair only when absolutely necessary until you find a car you want at a price you are willing to pay. New model year prices usually drop starting in mid-November. I have often gotten good deals in the few days before Thanksgiving or just after. Five or six weeks of living with things as they are won't kill him.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:38 AM   #8
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You should go ahead and fix your old car,.but find yourself a good independent alignment shop to do the repairs rather than a dealer. I avoid car dealerships service departments like the plague. It is not right to sell a used car that may have suspension issues that could be dangerous.

Volvo is.one of those second tier brands with dealers that seldom sell very many cars per month. They don't have high volume pickup trucks to cover their overhead. VW and Subarau are like this too. Therefore you seldom get the real "brother in.law" price at a Volvo store.

If the supply of your desired car is low, either wait for supplies to improve or go find a Volvo dealer in another location. The problem with second tier brands is they have so few dealers in a retail market.

It sounds as if you have made up your mind on a Volvo. But the SUV field is very competitive, and there are many other alternatives in the retail market. They are all great vehicles. When buying vehicles, I try not to limit myself to one brand, and always have alternatives to consider. I make the purchase a business decision and not a decision of the heart.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:51 AM   #9
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Check consumers report and I do not know if you realize many Volvos are made in China. Volvo is owned by the Chinese.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
..... We decided to test drive the Volve XC40 which is about 175 in. long. We had not planned to buy a car that size but I wanted to see if I felt it was large enough. We both loved the car. It was night and day how we feel about it as compared to anything else. Right now MSRP for that car with the options we want is between $42k and $43k. If we could get our exact options it would be around $41k but there are none like that to be found.

..... The third option is to simply wait until the XC40 comes down in price. That in some ways is my preference. But -- there is an issue. On the car we plan to sell, it needs a repair to the front end which is causing excess wear to the tires. It is driveable but if we don't repair it, then we might need to soon replace tires. For the last couple of months we haven't been driving it as we planned to sell it when we got the new car. It didn't seem to make sense to spend money on a repair. ....
Order a XC40 with the options that you want for $41k. Put together exactly what you want and email it to all Volvo dealers within 150-200 miles and tell them that you need their best out-the-door price and that you intend to order the car in 3 days.

We faced a similar dilemma when we bought our Subaru Outback... it was a popular model and flying off the shelves. There was a dealer about 2 hours away that was willing to discount it some.... only 2-3% as I recall. I was able to squeeze our local dealer to within $200 so we decided to go local and save ourselves 4 hours of driving.

We have ordered our last two new vehicles... principally because the stock on dealer lots usually are loaded up with trim levels or options that we could care less about and add significantly to the cost of the vehicle.... by ordering we can get exactly what we want and the features that we want and need.

If the old car needs tires before you are ready to sell, check craigslist for used tires.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:12 AM   #11
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If you are confident you will be seeing meaningful discounts on the car you want in the future, then drive your old car (if it's safe to drive). Worst case scenario you need 2 new front tires and then trade it in or sell. Cost of tires - $250?
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:15 AM   #12
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My opinion: Go ahead and buy the XC40 if that is the car you want! Or the XC60 if you decide it is a better car for you.



Sometimes timing is more important than getting the best possible deal on price, and I think this is one of those times. car!


I agree. A few years ago my daughter needed a new car, fast! She was in the clutches of a dealer who tried to sell her a car with a poor repair record and a 12% loan! Thankfully she called daddy.
I sold here my well maintained 10 year old Camry and bought a new one at a price that I could have beat by waiting a few more months. She is still driving the car I sold here and I still enjoy my new Camry hybrid, especially with gas near $3.50 in my area.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:52 AM   #13
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Buy the XC60. IMO it is much better car than the XC40. The XC40 is the entry level SUV. We test drove the XC40 & XC60 back to back. I loved the XC60. The XC40 was meh to me. I was in the dealer a couple weeks ago. Sales Manager said they aren't taking orders on the XC40 as the wait is 8-9 months. The XC60 is at the end of the model year so you might find some bargains

*full disclosure. I am Volvo. I have driven 2 >300k miles. Put Lil Scrapr in 2. Currently in a V60, but if Volvo offered the XC60 in Overseas Delivery we would have a trip lined up
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:35 AM   #14
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Do nothing for 2 weeks. Let the "car fever" subside.

What is the car you are replacing? What is the repair that needs to be done? It probably needs to be done to sell.

Car fever is very catchy.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:37 AM   #15
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Do nothing for 2 weeks. Let the "car fever" subside. ...
This.

Also, ignore Consumer Reports at your peril. DW fell in love with Minis and she bought one even though CR's data predicted maintenance problems.

Under warranty, the plastic water pump was replaced with a metal one and a plastic oil pressure regulator was replaced with metal.

Recently we had to replace a clutch (long story, not really Mini's fault). The parts prices were astronomical -- flywheel was over $1000!

Just this morning I got a call from our (independent) maintenance shop. To replace the timing chain: $3000+ This is a car with 66,000 miles; no way should it need a timing chain. The problem turns out to be that the engine is full of plastic parts that deteriorate, specifically timing chain guides. So if the problem is not fixed, the chain eventually breaks, resulting in bent valves, etc. disaster.

Volvo parts have always been astronomically expensive; we have probably had five or six Volvos. I stopped buying them when they went from being strong and well-built cars to just being consumer junk with a carefully nurtured and phony cachet. Caveat emptor.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:43 AM   #16
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Had a Volvo once....
Never again.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:47 AM   #17
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Order a XC40 with the options that you want for $41k. Put together exactly what you want and email it to all Volvo dealers within 150-200 miles and tell them that you need their best out-the-door price and that you intend to order the car in 3 days.
Good advice. +1



Back in the late 90's I wanted a Honda Prelude. They were sold out where I lived, so I bought something else. A couple of weeks later I learned that where my brother lived they had excess inventory and were discounting them.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:48 AM   #18
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ignore Consumer Reports at your peril.
Like everything else, opinions vary on CR.

The absolutely worst car I ever owned was bought because of an absolutely glowing positive review I read in CR.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:55 AM   #19
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Based on other replies here it looks like Volvo has reliability issues. But if you're dead set about buying it, may as well buy it now. You need a running car, and by waiting to save some money, you pay in other ways - monetarily to repair existing car, and nonmonetarily just having a car you're not happy with.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:55 AM   #20
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Like everything else, opinions vary on CR.

The absolutely worst car I ever owned was bought because of an absolutely glowing positive review I read in CR.
It depends on the car; they have to be able to survey a significant number of owners in order for the data to be valid.

At that point, it is simply a statistical bet. Individual cars can be superb or abysmally bad without that meaning that the statistical predictions are defective. But, assuming the surveys are correct, owners' results will in aggregate reflect the survey. CR's data cannot predict results with an individual car any more than solid statistics can predict the result of a coin flip.
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