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Old 01-22-2014, 07:20 PM   #21
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I guess if you must have a Mini, then the lease you detailed may be the way to go.

But...What I really want to know, is what makes a Mini oil change cost $85 to $130 bucks??
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:30 PM   #22
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I guess if you must have a Mini, then the lease you detailed may be the way to go.

But...What I really want to know, is what makes a Mini oil change cost $85 to $130 bucks??
Synthetic oil plus $125 hourly rate for mechanic work these days.

Me, I still like change the oil on all six of my vehicles.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:31 PM   #23
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Get the Mini for her then get over it for yourself.

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Old 01-22-2014, 07:47 PM   #24
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Yeah, lease the Mini, problem solved. Breakdowns covered by leasing co.
If a little hornet's nest poking would add to the experience, require that she take it to the shop and taxi back if it breaks [no scratch that].

Alt: Start pointing out Audi TT's whenever you see one.
I have a 2004 Audi TT. Bought it almost 4 years ago for $15k with 34,000 miles on it. Its been mechanically very sound and is just a hoot to drive. Don't get one any older that 2004 and the newer body style would probably be better. I bought mine on line. It was in Austin.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:14 PM   #25
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Throwing good money after bad... Would you have an option to buy at the end of the lease if this one holds up mechanically? Or is it way overpriced at that point, still? Or don't they turn to crap until later on?

Just a (probably bad financially) another viewpoint.

-CC
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:44 AM   #26
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I'd probably do something stupid, like show her consumer reports.

I am not married. I suspect there is a reason for that.

I have no advice, but you can vent here, we won't tell...

If anybody wants to bet, I think is he leasing
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:56 AM   #27
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:48 AM   #28
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I also wonder why a lease.

A lease is great is someone else's is paying (employer), otherwise buying is almost always a better deal in the long run.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:08 AM   #29
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Of course, one can score a lot of points by getting DW a brand new red Mini Cooper
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:32 AM   #30
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Mini's usually aren't lemons but who knows how well that original owner took car of the car.
According to this recent article on Yahoo the Mini Cooper is very often a lemon. Yahoo!
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:44 AM   #31
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Of course, one can score a lot of points by getting DW a brand new red Mini Cooper
Heh, heh, not gonna touch that line....
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:12 AM   #32
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According to this recent article on Yahoo the Mini Cooper is very often a lemon. Yahoo!
I stand corrected. Thanks for the link.

My frame of reference for the Mini Cooper not much of a lemon was probably because at that time I had an old Plymonth Neon where other cars are all reliable in comparison . Yet, I still miss my Neon.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:44 PM   #33
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.....
However, safety-wise the car is solid. It's actually a lot safer than it looks like and has numerous air-bags throughout the entire cabin.....
Within it's mini size class it is decent with "acceptable"-to-"good" IIHS single vehicle crash testing results. But, I agree with MichaelB that small cars are generally the least safe in a crash. To quote IHSS:
"Frontal crash test results can't be used to compare vehicle performance across weight classes." (emphasis added)
"Given equivalent frontal ratings, the heavier of two vehicles usually offers better protection in real-world crashes. In 2009, IIHS demonstrated this principle with a series of tests in which small cars were crashed into larger cars, all of which had good frontal ratings in the moderate overlap test."

Frontal crash tests

FWIW- I choose not to drive anything smaller than a late-model mid-size sedan, especially since most current 4cyl gas models offer very decent performance & 35+mpg (hwy).
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:47 PM   #34
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Hmmm.... which is cheaper, leasing a Mini Cooper or divorce?
The latter....at only $34.95

CHEAP DIVORCE FORMS | FILING UNCONTESTED EASY DIVORCE PAPERS | FAST DIVORCE
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:57 AM   #35
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Thank you all for the feedback. We have not yet made a decision, but, yes, more than likely I won't win this one. However, some compromises have been made in order to achieve a nice balance between DW's "wants" and what we really "need".

We just sold the Mini to Carmax yesterday, and now that we have been driving it on a daily basis, my Acura is actually acting up as well (it is, after all, 15 years old), so we do need a car. Both Carmax and Mini offered the same amount for the Acura, a pathetic $500. But at this point, what options do I have for 1999 car that needs new brakes, new tires, new engine timing belt, new paint and tinting (one can not see through the rear window now, since the tint has peeled off), plus makes terrible noises from the engine bay (the local Pep Boys wouldn't even touch it to perform an oil change!) etc, etc? At best, I could get $1200 if I sell it privately, after I spend $2K+ on repairs. Pointless. Might as well let the dealership deal with the paperwork and license/registration transfer, go in with one car, and leave with another one.

The Mini Cooper lease would cost $299/month. Zero down. Final, bottom line, everything-included price of $10,764 for 36 months. That includes oil changes, maintenance, brakes, fluids, etc, etc. EVERYTHING, except new tires. I checked the fine print. But if we drive as usual, we would be at 20K miles or less after 3 years, so I doubt the tires will be an issue. Dealer disposition fee is another $350. So, overall, it'd be maybe $306 per month when one considers the disposition fee. This after heavy negotiation, which brought the price down about $2K from what they were originally asking. And (this is important to us) no worries for 3 years. Zero out-of-pocket cost other than gas and insurance. That'd be quite refreshing and a welcome change.

Here's what I proposed to my wife, and how I am looking at it:

We need to keep the budget (which like most of you, I stick to and obsess over every month) the same, so if we consider the insurance discount we are getting by switching to a single-car (about $680 a year), the gas savings (I estimate about $1K now that my wife takes the train to work), plus other misc. expenses that total $154/month that my wife agreed to eliminate in order to get the Mini Cooper, we would be looking basically at the same monthly expenses. And this doesn't take into consideration any tax advantages I might get from the lease, since I am self employed (regarding this last part, I am not sure if we should put the lease under my name, her name, or both, but I am calling our CPA next).

I should also mention that we are entirely debt-free. House is paid-for. And we mostly live on one salary and save the other one (after taxes). Net worth of about $200K, NOT counting the house. With the house I estimate it would be $500K. We are both in our mid 30's.

I am well-aware of the bottom line consequences of a lease, and the fact that once the 3 years are up we are left without a car again, and we never really owned anything. However, I am looking at the big picture here:

- about $11K for 3 years of worry-free transportation
- We got $9K for the previous Mini Cooper, which worst-case scenario covers most of the new Mini Cooper lease price, but which I am already putting aside for the NEXT car, the one we will NOT lease after the 3 years are up. We can save another $10K in the next three years as well, without affecting our early retirement savings, 403 savings, etc, and buy a $20K, slightly used, still under warranty Japanese car then (it'd be my turn to pick and choose!) that we would keep for a much longer time.
- Monthly expenses remain about the same once we factor in the discounts and changes mentioned above.
- A happy wife (priceless).

I'll keep you posted, but your comments are more than welcome!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:34 AM   #36
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Karloff,

Oh, I only got about $200 from Carmax for my old 1996 Neon. But the car was leaking oil and the transmisson shot. I did at least had the pleasure of cranking up the A/C all summer which I had just repaired
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:41 AM   #37
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Options:

1) Lease a Mini Cooper. I been negotiating the terms all week, and I got them down to where I think they would make sense for us. Bottom line: $300 down (that's three HUNDRED), $299/month for 36 months. Total out-of-pocket with the kitchen sink included: $10,674 worry-free dollars. Maintenance included.

2) Keep the $9K from the Mini we are selling and use $2K towards fixing up the Acura. Should run fine for another 2 years. HUGE CON: unhappy wife. I think you know what that means. I also do not think saving $11K is worth an unhappy wife.

3) Get the $9K, keep the Acura, wait a few months, maybe one year, save some more money (I am not touching our savings nor investments for a car, nor will I sacrifice money from the amount that goes towards savings monthly), and then buy a USED car, probably Japanese, for about $15K, and drive that for another 10 years. Sell the Acura. SEMI-HUGE CON: Wife still unhappy. No Mini Cooper.

What would you do?
It seems to me that this is a relationship issue more than a financial issue.

I personally would go 100% for option (3), but then I am single.

In your case, I would imagine that your decision to lease is probably one of those compromises that marriage entails, and is probably the best path forward.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #38
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Well, things just got more interesting.

I didn't know this, and we never even contemplated actually purchasing a Mini Cooper, but it turns out that all the local dealers are offering 0% 48-month financing for qualified buyers. I qualify. That puts a different spin on the situation.

Furthermore, the 3/year full service, full maintenance package, $0 out-of-pocket expenses also applies to the purchase offer, and not only to leases, and on top of that the car has a 4-year warranty.

The bottom-line purchase price for the same car we were contemplating leasing is $24,300. I'm sure I can bring that down to at least $22,500. So, let's assume:

- They gave us $9K for our previous Mini. $500 for my Acura.
- We put $5K down, keep the $4K difference and save/invest that.
- We add $500 from my Acura. Total down: $5500.
- We finance $17K at 0% for 4 years, monthly payment comes to $354, a few bucks extra compared to if we were leasing.
- We may or may not pay the car in full way before 4 years, but at 0%, why rush?
- We enjoy a worry-free car for 4 years.
- In 4 years, once the car is no longer under warranty, we sell it. I estimate we could get around $14K for it, specially since I know we won't put too many miles on it.
- So, $22,500 - $15,000 = $8500, divided by 48 months, the total monthly expense to drive a brand new, worry-free car, with ALL services and maintenance included, comes to about $177 per month, or about HALF of what it would cost to lease.

I'm tempted.

It's hard to resist the 0%, my wife would be thrilled, I wouldn't worry about repairs and maintenance, and we actually would own the damn thing.

What do you think?
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:46 PM   #39
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I think the purchase at 0% sounds like a better deal than the lease.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:13 PM   #40
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I'm late on this one....but I was going to sarcastically suggest getting her hypnotized..... into believing a Honda Fit is really a Mini.....
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