Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Cars
Old 09-24-2003, 08:05 PM   #1
 
Posts: n/a
Cars

I remember reading a study some time ago which concluded that owning your car as LONG as possible and doing the necessary repairs was financially a better move by a long shot (like 6 figures over a lifetime!) than
buying a new one every 3 or 4 yrs just to have the full-up warrantee. (Of course this doesn't count after the point of no return)

I thought it was on the REHP but I can't find it

Does this ring a bell with anyone?
__________________
  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!

Re: Cars
Old 09-24-2003, 11:02 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Cars

I don't know about the study you are looking for, Steve, but you can go to a web site like Edmonds:
http://www.edmunds.com/?tid=edmunds....eader.home.0.*

Go down to the bottom of the page and select "true cost of ownership" under the "ownership" category. Then you can select a specific auto and see the estimated costs of owning that vehicle for 1 to 5 years.

You can also look at resale values for any specific auto.

It becomes pretty clear that the cost of ownership per year drops off quickly for every year you keep a car. The first three years are brutal. By keeping a car 6 or 7 years (instead of 1), you cut the cost of owning an auto by about a factor of 3. When you multiply this over the total years you will own an auto, the amount is well into six figures -- and if you have expensive tastes in autos or own 2 or 3, it's easy to get into 7 figures.
__________________

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 09-25-2003, 03:36 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,875
Re: Cars

Cars is an area where I think I did well even before I
ERed. Last new car I bought was in 1993. This was an
S-10 pick up and the total cost was well under $10,000.
Drove it 5 years and sold it. The Cadillacs I drove in
my big spender days were all bought used, and one was kept for 10 years. The others were sold and I think I got good prices. Since then I buy only used cars/trucks under $10,000 and drive them "forever".
The only caveat is no "rustbuckets". I keep them looking nice no matter how many bazillion miles they
have. Also, when they need maintenance I shop like crazy.
__________________
MRGALT2U is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 09-25-2003, 08:32 AM   #4
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cars

Looks like me and john galt at least agree on cars heh heh! I bought my last new car in 1993 also. And I still have it! And yep, right now it's down the street right now at Maaco getting a new coat of paint. I just paid for more maintenence than any "sane" person would probably do on a 10 yr old car but I figured it's either 20Gs for a new one, 15 for a used one or 1500 for a GREAT deal on a hardly used older car! I figure with some new tires I can get 5 more yrs out of it since all the metal is A-OK on it.

When I was in the Air Force I usually got stiffed with cars, having to sell them after a couple yrs when I transfered. If I can hold onto this one 15 yrs and avoid the nickle and diming I think I can break-even
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 09-26-2003, 11:48 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 80
Re: Cars

In my case cars are my passion. Some like to golf, some fish, some tennis. For me it's cars. I enjoy working on them, washing them and most of all driving them. Spend way too much on them though. It's my one true vice.

__________________
moguls is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-06-2004, 09:23 PM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cars

I am not retired yet, but share your belief about cars costing too much. I bought a 2000 Volvo S 80 T6 in 2002 with 40K miles for less than blue book. I now have 73K. The problem is that they took the dealership out of Corpus Christi and I have to go to San Antonio for service--and the whole thing is expensive. Any thoughts on the cost of owning a high performance car that is lovely to drive but a pain when it is sick?
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-06-2004, 10:09 PM   #7
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Cars

Quote:
James Posted on: Today at 12:23am
I am not retired yet, but share your belief about cars costing too much. I bought a 2000 Volvo S 80 T6 in 2002 with 40K miles for less than blue book. I now have 73K. The problem is that they took the dealership out of Corpus Christi and I have to go to San Antonio for service--and the whole thing is expensive. Any thoughts on the cost of owning a high performance car that is lovely to drive but a pain when it is sick?
I hate to tell you this James but that is the "A" Numero UNO reason that, as much as I'd LIKE to get a BMW/Mercedes/Jaguar/Porche/neato foreign car, I probably never ever will. The larger "market dynamics" are 1) something that is beyond my control and 2) Expensive! I'd rather own an Al Bundy- style Dodge

If I ever get a "big time grown-up" automobile it will be a Cadillac, Lincoln, Mustang , or something similarly mundane and lacking in James Bondian cache`.

But at least I can get parts for it and get it fixed almost anywhere

Back in the early to mid 70's my Uncle had a Volvo. Great car. But he needed some brake work done to it. So he takes it back to the dealer and the weeks drag on and on and on. I remember him cursing up a storm over it once and saying "What the "F" did they do?! Send it back to The King of Sweden himself work on?!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 05:42 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Cars

I've been combing the web for the advisibility of buying an extended warranty (from, say, AAA) on a low-mileage used car and to the best of my knowledge the question's a toss-up.

My local mechanic told me that the best thing to do was keep the thousand bucks for the warranty in an envelope, and reach into that envelope any time the car needed service. His guess was that at worst I'd break even. But that Edmonds True Cost tool might provide additional insight, and I'll run through it for my make and model.

Anyone here care want to toss in their two shekels?

__________________
gratefuled is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 05:55 AM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 666
Re: Cars

Ive bought new and used cars. I have alway's drove them into the ground though. I do have a soft spot for sports cars though. When I retire next spring I plan on keeping the newer car for the wife to get around in and I'm keeping my 1972 911 Porsche for my driver.

The old Porsche is actually increasing in value, very cheap to insure, and I have historic plates so no yearly trips to the DMV. Ive also owned corvettes in the past that were sold for more than the initial price. I'm not saying that I made money after you figure in all the cost of ownership, but they were some of the cheapest cars I have owned and they made me smile while driving them.


__________________
dm is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 06:48 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Cars

Quote:
I've been combing the web for the advisibility of buying an extended warranty (from, say, AAA) on a low-mileage used car and to the best of my knowledge the question's a toss-up.

My local mechanic told me that the best thing to do was keep the thousand bucks for the warranty in an envelope, and reach into that envelope any time the car needed service. *His guess was that at worst I'd break even. *But that Edmonds True Cost tool might provide additional insight, and I'll run through it for my make and model.

Anyone here care want to toss in their two shekels?
Extended warranties are a money-losing proposition for the consumer. Period. If you ask anyone in the warranty business, they have very fat margins indeed. Skip the extended warranty.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 07:17 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Re: Cars

Yeah, I get that advice from about half the people I ask.

After I posted the question I went back to the "True Cost of Ownership" tool that's mentioned above. It seems to suggest that for the model car I've got the warranty would pay for itself over time, and then some. (Jeez...you'd think somebody would have already invented a car with a carrying cost of $0. Oh, sorry, they have...it's called "feet".)

So maybe it's an actuarial spread. Yee-ha...my favorite.
__________________
gratefuled is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 07:44 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Cars

Three thoughts:

- I find Edmunds data to be a reasonable ballpark, but not exact.

- Did you leave out time value of money?

- Perhaps most significantly, most warranties have exclusions, deductibles, etc. that lower the cost of providing the benefits.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 08:29 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,321
Re: Cars

I have had good experiences buying "certified" used cars. I bought a '95 Toyota Camry in 1997 with 27k miles on it. My wife still is driving it with 95k miles. It came with a 3 year or 100k bumper to bumper warrenty (which ever came first).

I bought a '97 certified Lexus ES300 with 46K miles and a similar warrenty in 2002. I am really enjoying a little bit of luxury for my $20K.

Both cars have been very reliable. The Toyota needed steering gear replacement which would have cost me over $1100 but was fully covered by the warrenty.

I realize that the cost of the extended warrenty is built into the price of the car but the peace of mind has been worth it.

The last car that I bought new was a '92 Camry. My daughter is still driving it with 130k.

I will continue to drive these cars until they become unreliable. Then I'll look for another ceritfied used car

Grumpy
__________________
...you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...
grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 09:04 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
bow-tie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 687
Re: Cars

Quote:
In my case cars are my passion. * Some like to golf, some fish, some tennis. *For me it's cars. *I enjoy working on them, washing them and most of all driving them. *Spend way too much on them though. * It's my one true vice.
I can TOTALLY relate to you, moguls. *Cars are my vice, also. *Definitely not a habit, for me at least, that maintains itself. *Oh well, I still love 'em.

Just this week I had to talk myself out a beautiful '97 GMC 1/2T 4WD that ha 68k miles and he wanted 11k. *Those kinds of finds are rare in this area. *I just couldn't justify it. *I knew only 5-7k would go a LONG way on my '77 1/2T Chevy. *

Why do I have to be so damn practical? *Whatta pain sometimes. * :-/

I'm definitely from the school of drive 'em as long as possible. *Our '98 Bonnie has 109k and looks/runs very well. *Our '94 Impy SS has 95k on the clock, and that LT1 runs like a sewing machine.
__________________
Diggin' my way to financial freedom, one buck-at-a-time
bow-tie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 09:22 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Cars

Pick a big name fancy car. I owned it.

Always made me feel bigger driving something that cost more than most peoples homes. Until I figured out that didnt make any sense at all.

Especially when you consider repair records as of late. Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen have fallen to the bottom of the repair quality lists. At least the japanese manufacturers are still at the top. Supposedly the german car makers tried dismantling some quality control processes, thinking their employees had been on the job long enough that the quality was simply "baked in" and this was a good place to cut costs.

Uh oh...guess not.

After the ridiculously bad quality control on the ford truck I bought five years ago, I'll never buy another american car either.

Toyotas and Hondas are bullet proof. My wifes rav4 is a pleasure to maintain, good on gas, and very comfortable to drive. You get the larger models like the accord, avalon, or camry and you're probably driving 75-85% of an acura or lexus as many share chassis' and the parts roll downhill to save money.

Regarding maintenance, just did the 30k service on both my wifes rav4 and my expedition and am reminded yet again of why I dont want to buy a Ford ever again. Bearing in mind the expedition is about 4x the size of the rav4, one would think maintenance would be easier.

Not.

The ford has the oil drain plug on the back of the drain pan, and one must wiggle under the car until ones feet barely stick out from under the bumper before you can reach it. The oil filter is up and in behind a bunch of stuff thats professionally sharpened to increase knuckle bleeding. Oh yeah, and there are two or three sets of wires practically wrapped around it. There is one...yes one...count em...one zerk fitting that needs greasing, and its on the top of the knuckle with something else on top of it about 4" away. Gee, thanks Ford...I always wanted to own an expensive grease gun with a flexible hose to service ONE freaking fitting, and I really do enjoy buying a new $5 tube of grease every year for that purpose. On draining the radiator, I have to remove five lag screws to take out and clean the overflow tank.

The toyota has the drain plug and oil filter on the front of the motor, right behind the bumper. I can reach both down on one knee in front of the car and reaching up and under. No grease fittings. The overflow tank releases from a slide and comes out with ease.

(In case anyones wondering, oil and filter change on two cars costs me ~$20. Throw in another ~$40 if I change the air filters and the coolant on both cars. The local auto parts store takes the old oil and coolant in milk jugs over the counter.)

Not to mention the dozen or so times the Ford had to go in for warranty repairs where the mechanics almost invariably "no trouble found"ed it until I took time from work to go down there and show them myself.

The toyota went in once for a brake noise and toyota replaced the pads for free to make it go away.

Fancy cars? I might consider one now that I've got a working wife bringing home the bacon. If I was living off a portfolio...I can think of a lot of better things to spend my money on.

But different strokes for different folks...
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Always lasted >100K miles.  (Except the Yugo.)
Old 10-07-2004, 10:27 AM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Always lasted >100K miles.  (Except the Yugo.)

Nice handle, "Steve McGarret". You know there's a bronze bust of Jack Lord at a local shopping mall? http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/06/18/showbuzz/

Next to big houses & bigger mortgages, I think new cars are one of life's most significant obstacles to ER. Our lifetime car purchases are under $40K and we would have been significantly delayed by buying new.

1981: 1981 Mazda GLC hatchback. Drove it into the ground until 1993. Blissfully ignorant, the last new car I'll ever buy. Cost $6200 (full retail!), sold for $600.

1982: 1980 Plymouth Champ hatchback. Drove it into the ground until I learned about timing belt replacement firsthand. Also drove it for three years without a choke (not so hard in Hawaii) despite multiple junkyard scavenging trips. Cost $3000, sold for $600.

1990: 1986(?) Yugo during a temporary assignment. Paid $995, fixed a loose clutch with a pair of pliers, sold it five months later for... $995. Voted World's Worst Car but I just smile nostalgically.

1993: 1990 Honda Civic hatchback. Ran forever but in 2002 every engine & climate-control peripheral died one at a time in a rolling six-month disaster. A/C system controlled by the engine control unit, which was the last straw when the ECU started to die. Bought a used ECU from a Honda hobbyist and got rid of the car. Cost $6700, poured $3000 into repairs, gave up & sold for $2500 in 2002, still see it around the island.

1993 (tough year): 1990 Suzuki Swift 4DSD. Our last car without A/C. Bought it out of a backyard where it had sat for two years, so the exhaust & fuel systems were always a little rusty. Otherwise no problems, ran great, lots of pickup. Bought for $4800, sold for $1295 in 2001 as I downsized for retirement.

1999: 1994 Ford Taurus station wagon. Incredibly crappy interior but an engine that will not die. Also holds a longboard inside instead of on the roof. Test platform for oil-change system on th's car, although we also have the special hidden compartments that absorb spilled oil and drip it on the garage floor for months after the oil change. Cruise control software must be running Windows 3.1. Bought for $8100, my kid is thrilled that I'll give her this two-ton automatic-transmission behemoth for free... in 2009.

2002: 1997 Nissan Altima. Our first "adult" car, most likely to give me a ticket if I don't keep an eye on the speedometer (Hawaii is still mostly 55 mph). At $7000 it's the most luxurious car we've EVER owned. I'd buy another Nissan anytime.

Buying used is not as hard as it's made out to be if you have the time. It's great to shop while you still have transportation so that you're not in a hurry. Our best purchases have been through the classified ads from finicky private owners who raced to the dealer at the first hiccup of trouble. They're the most likely to upgrade during the car's 3-5 year depreciation sweet spot.

We've never taken a used car in for a mechanic's check. Although a friendly mechanic (professional or shade-tree) is a great source of advice, if you're wondering about a mechanic's inspection then there's probably a better buy somewhere else. Really mechanically sound cars have owners with great maintenance records.

Consumer Reports' Used Car Guide and Edmunds/Kelly are the best research tools. Although technology has made all of this a little easier, CarFax was indispensable for avoiding bad sellers and for maximizing the resale price of our cars.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Always lasted >100K miles.  (Except the Yugo.)
Old 10-07-2004, 11:20 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Always lasted >100K miles.  (Except the Yugo.)

Quote:
Test platform for oil-change system on th's car, although we also have the special hidden compartments that absorb spilled oil and drip it on the garage floor for months after the oil change.
Ha ha ha...mine has that oil retention system as well. All the oil from taking the filter out ends up pooled in one of the frame members. Of course, this is unavoidable because unlike the toyota which places the filter facing up, the ford has it facing down and to the side. All the obstacles around the filter also require that after unspinning it, you must turn it face down and then wiggle it side to side to get it out, thereby maximizing the dumping of the oil into the specially hollowed out frame member. I have a separate sack of oily paper towels to take to the hazardous waste dropoff from sopping up as much of this as I can.

Which reminds me of my Infiniti Q45. Had a special plastic channel placed under the oil filter which had a drip hole at the base. Any oil that dripped when you removed the filter was captured here and channeled down to the drip hole, which was right next to the oil drain.

Now...I was never in the auto business. But I'm thinking that in general the average american car buyer of american cars is potentially a lot more likely to DIY maintenance than the average buyer of a japanese car...especially a high end one like the infiniti.

How much cost or thinking had to go into making those cars ridiculously friendly to DIY'ers? Not much I'll bet. The american cars I've worked on almost universally were impossible to work on without drawing blood.

Although I have to say the german cars are hands down the worst. I remember replacing the fuel pump in my BMW...the instructions: "Remove the exhaust system. Remove the drive shaft. Drain and lower the fuel tank." Yeah, right. I cut a hole in the sheet metal under the back seat, pulled out the old fuel pump and put in the new one, then screwed a new piece of sheet metal in place.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 12:21 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Re: Cars

Quote:
Our '94 Impy SS has 95k on the clock, and that LT1 runs like a sewing machine.
And a very cool ride to boot

Mikey
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 144
Re: Cars

My Taurus Wagon holds an entire canoe inside, although the back window has to be open a bit. Kind of nasty on gravel roads when the dust is sucked into the car. Gravel road dust tastes funny in Michigan, sorta like PCB's and stuff.

The damn thing will not die, even though I wish it would. I have about 3" of sawdust and leaves mixed with motor oil under where the car has been parked for the last 6 years.

I also used it to tow my 8,0000 lb sailboat. I figured that if a tractor could tow the boat, the Taurus could too. It is a good idea to top off the transmission fluid after hauling a big rig.

Don't try to put 10 sheets of 1/2" plywood on top of a Taurus Wagon. The luggage rack breaks off and the plywood starts sliding around like it will fall off. The good thing is that I could cover the holes in the roof with plastic packing tape and you can hardly tell the difference. I wish both sides had broken off, it looks a little funny with only one luggage rack rail on it.

It did leave me stranded and calling friends for rescue when it broke down in old Detroit. However I got a _real_ good deal on some spare parts and the repairs were pretty cheap too. They told me I was lucky the wheel didn't fall off. The axle was so hot the rubber boot had melted off of it. Darn stop and go traffic. It turned out to be a good place to break down if you don't get shot at.

My Taurus Wagon is for sale as part of the greater fool theory of car ownership. But I am thinking of driving it till it has to be towed to the junkyard.
__________________
Skylark<br />Time flies like an arrow.<br />http://cruisenews.net/independence<br /><br />Poverty is not the absence of goods, but rather the overabundance of desire. <br />- Plato<br />
Skylark is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Cars
Old 10-08-2004, 05:38 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 113
Re: Cars

Quote:
I have about 3" of sawdust and leaves mixed with motor oil under where the car has been parked for the last 6 years.
Some completely used up dryer sheets might help there too.
__________________

__________________
Robert<br />http://www.austinexplorer.com/<br />http://www.texashiking.com/
Austin_Explorer 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recommend a good book on "how cars work" justin Other topics 9 04-24-2007 02:07 PM
Why are cars booted? S Other topics 7 04-18-2007 11:59 AM
Canceling collision/comprehensive on our cars WanderALot Other topics 13 03-09-2007 09:01 PM
Cars as assets boont FIRE and Money 19 05-18-2006 10:40 PM
CARS! yakers Other topics 23 01-07-2005 09:20 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:06 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.