Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Elio Anyone; Other Options
Old 07-16-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Elio Anyone; Other Options

I am going to follow the lead of several other folks in tapping the collective wisdom here about my next vehicle purchase.

Currently, the only vehicle I own is a fairly small, 20 year old, class-C RV. I have not been home much (think high airline and hotel status) over the last couple of years and do not drive much in any case. The RV has been sufficient in that time to get me from point A to B when public transport or my bicycle were not reasonable options because of distance, weather, time, etc.

Now, I am not traveling so much; and, I would like to have something more practical for non-camping travel. Unfortunately, the vehicle that I really want, an Elio, will not be available for at least another year.

The thought of getting a vehicle for only a year or two, while waiting for the Elio to ship, is painful for me since I tend to keep vehicles at least 10 years. I have spent a bit of time looking for a lease to take over but have not found anything resembling economical.

I have wanted an EcoMobile (now MonoTracer: German site; USA site) since seeing the first article about it; but, I have never been willing to part with that kind of cash for a vehicle.

Of course, the Elio may never ship. I have watched several similar concepts which never made it to production. And, even if it does ship, I am not going to be at the head of the line to get one since I still do not have any kind of deposit down.

I will probably put a small ($100) deposit down on an Elio soon and just keep getting by with my RV, bicycle and occasional rental car for another year or two.

What would you do (or suggest for me)? And, how crazy is it to buy a brand new vehicle from a brand new manufacture with no track record assuming it ships at all? (Assuming they are actually able to keep the sticker price under $7k, this would not have a significant impact to my financial picture.)
__________________

__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-16-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
It is crazy to buy a brand new vehicle from a brand new manufacturer. Even with established car makers it can be a good idea to wait a year for a new model car to get ironed out. But for something like these you may not have much of a choice if you want something soon.

I'd be pretty uncomfortable driving these things around. They are essentially motorcycles and do not meet standard auto safety standards. Being small, they will get the short end of the stick in a crash and be a little less visible. Something conventional and used would probably be cheaper. But these would certainly be interesting.
__________________

__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,242
Not enough info on what your driving needs are, but my suggestion would be to look for a relatively "old" car in good shape (relatively low mileage). Sounds like you don't drive much, so fuel economy is less important in the overall mix of driving costs. "Older" should be cheaper to insure, cheaper to license, and would have little to no depreciation. Personally, I would stay away from anything "new" in concept (as you are considering). They may be great, but you won't know that until you own one for a while. I share Animorph's opinion that you need a fair amount of metal around you for safety.

Most newer vehicles (last 15 years) get decent mileage (25+ on the road). In town, it's not that critical since you drive so few miles. I suggest you put together a spread sheet showing your needs vs what various vehicles offer. You may be surprised to find that it really doesn't much matter what you purchase - as long as it is relatively inexpensive to purchase.

Personal story: Living in paradise 9 months or so per year and "commuting" to the midwest, a rental for the midwest was impractical ($1k/month minimum plus consumables). So purchased an "old" car for $5K, put $1k or so in repairs and have a big old detroit "gas guzzler" (30+ mpg on the road). Based on my driving needs, this was a good compromise. It's not for everyone, but only suggesting you don't let your love of the Elio and its "greenness" blind you to the practical needs you have. The single biggest "green" thing you can do is something you are already doing - limiting the total number of miles you drive. Buying a very "green" car probably only saves the Earth if you drive it a LOT of miles. Keep in mind, the carbon foot print of building a new car is huge compared to an already built vehicle. If you run the remaining miles out on an old car, a few thousand miles per year, you may actually be greener than buying a green car that primarily sits in the garage. Just sayin'...

Hope you figure this one out. Happy motoring - and see the USA, etc., etc. YMMV, heh, heh.
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,804
To solve your immediate problem - consider buying something used and small to tide you over a few years.

I bought a hybrid highlander the weekend it was introduced (June 2005) - and wish I'd waited a year. They ironed out several things in the first year. I don't regret the purchase - but it was new technology, new marketing, etc... and I was the guinea pig. So I agree with Animorph that you should wait till the kinks get worked out...

I don't have the same issues with small cars - I've driven smart2's in Europe, and other micro sized cars. I think the trend is moving that way here with the mini cooper, the smart car, the new fiat....
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Just a bit more information that may be helpful (but probably won't be).

I am not sure exactly why I find vehicles like the Elio and EcoMobile so intriguing/appealing. With some folks, it is big trucks; others like fast sports cars; I like these little oddities for some reason.

In the near term (next 12-18 months or so), I do not expect my driving patterns to change too drastically. However, after that, I am hoping to have a lot more time on my hands assuming a cure is found for my OMY syndrome. At some point after that (post a suitable decompression period of doing nothing), I do expect to put a lot more miles on something: The USA has a lot of area which I have not seen, want to see, and cannot easily access via public transport. I expect much of this traveling will be done solo; and, I am still happy to sleep in a tent several nights per week. I have considered a motorcycle; but, I am too concerned about my personal safety and comfort to go that route.
__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Why don't you just lease a cheap car until the Elio is ready and you are sure you want it?
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,565
Neat, but I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Unfortunately most drivers don't see motorcycles, I would expect the same issues. Much of that depends on where you're driving at, but for me while a unique vehicle I would never own one.

That said, I was an early VW Rabbit owner. You never knew when you started it, if it would go 20 feet or 1000 miles before it decided to shut off. Much aggravation and got no where with services.

Didn't know if lemon laws existed then, but we didn't pursue that like I would today. My experience, I'll never buy the newest thing. Stay safe whatever you decide.

MRG
__________________
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Why don't you just lease a cheap car until the Elio is ready and you are sure you want it?
I have not spent a lot of time running the numbers; but, it seems like I would likely be better off to buy a cheap car new and then sell it in two or three years than to lease for the same period.

My original plan was actually to take over a lease that someone was trying to unload before the term was up, ideally with a year or so left on the lease. However, the only things I could find were luxury(ish) cars with lease payments which were usually higher than what I could get with a lease on a new car.

Gently used cars do not seem to be the bargain they once were either as has been discussed on other threads.
__________________

__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.