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Old 11-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #61
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Back in the early 1980s I was working for a large medical practice group in the south and as part of my work package was a car, since I have to go to 5 clinics. We used to lease them, then one day my boss talk to me, saying it is better to buy several cars for the practice. He said, choose the car you want as long as it follows certain price range.
I walk to the dealership wearing T shirts and shorts and nobody paid attention to me. The next week, my boss came asking if I have decided!
Yeah I said, I like that 280Z turbo sitting in a local dealership. He told me to have the car in the clinic. I called the snotty salesperson and told him to bring the car in. My boss look over the window, and said, "Is that the car you really want? Yeah, Without looking at the salesman, He ask the price and wrote a check! The secretary even filled up the paperworks.
Of course, the car is not really mine, I just drove it as if I stole it!
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:43 PM   #62
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Back in the early 1980s I was working for a large medical practice group in the south and as part of my work package was a car, since I have to go to 5 clinics. We used to lease them, then one day my boss talk to me, saying it is better to buy several cars for the practice. He said, choose the car you want as long as it follows certain price range.
I walk to the dealership wearing T shirts and shorts and nobody paid attention to me. The next week, my boss came asking if I have decided!
Yeah I said, I like that 280Z turbo sitting in a local dealership. He told me to have the car in the clinic. I called the snotty salesperson and told him to bring the car in. My boss look over the window, and said, "Is that the car you really want? Yeah, Without looking at the salesman, He ask the price and wrote a check! The secretary even filled up the paperworks.
Of course, the car is not really mine, I just drove it as if I stole it!
Way, cool story, Birchwood. This would be a dream come true for many of us. A good friend got "bumped" from a mid-size to a 300Z turbo rental. Nice!

Almost worth w*rking if you get to drive the car you want - NOT!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:20 PM   #63
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"used to pay cash for his cars" "he pulled a wad of $100s out of his well-worn and somewhat soiled overalls"

OMGosh does that bring back memories. Many, many years ago my father owned his own car dealership and I remember him bringing a wad of $100s home on a few Saturdays (after the bank had closed) 'cause someone would buy a new car with cash. And I vividly remember him saying it was usually a farmer in soiled overalls. Seriously! And then he'd wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer. Reason No. 1....no one would look for it there. Reason No. 2.......in case of a fire it wouldn't burn.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:25 PM   #64
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And then he'd wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer.
Cold, hard cash...
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #65
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OK, why not? I guess I'm not hearing a question here. You enjoy having the three cars, you can afford them and don't have a more enjoyable way to spend the money in mind, so keep them.
Amen. Two cars both paid for 06 Equinox and a 2000 Chrysler 300M. Will add a third if I find the rat rod or old pickup I can't resist.

Two dogs and a cat. Also might switch houses if I find a nice garage with a house attacted.

heh heh heh - . I was muuch cheaper early in ER. Now loosening up a tad.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #66
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And then he'd wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer. Reason No. 1....no one would look for it there. Reason No. 2.......in case of a fire it wouldn't burn.
One of our former Louisiana politicians had the same idea.

William Jefferson verdict: Guilty on 11 of 16 counts | NOLA.com
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The verdict comes four years after the Aug. 3, 2005 raids of Jefferson's homes in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., in which the FBI found $90,000 in cash hidden in the freezer of his D.C. home, money the government said Jefferson was going to deliver as a bribe to Atiku Abubakar, then vice president of Nigeria, to gain his help with a telecommunications deal in Nigeria
Jefferson is still free pending appeal, though he must be getting discouraged since he put his 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom Uptown home on the market for $725K this week...
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:49 AM   #67
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Almost downsized from 4 to 3 last night when I missed a huge buck by inches while doing around 60 mph in my corvette. Probably would have totaled the car - last accident was 20 mph with a fawn that resulted in $3k damage.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:38 AM   #68
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I may have missed mention of this, but IMO biggest cost to any number of vehicles and it goes up with number is the hassle of owning and maintaining them. With one, that cost is usually an OK deal, depending on what other choices you have. But unless you are running a hobby farm, or a contracting business, or towing your RV, the cost/benefit curves can quickly cross.

Most places you may buy something will deliver the stuff cheaply compared to the total costs of owning a truck for those occasions

It just takes up too much lifespace, unless you one of those guys who lives for cars.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:02 PM   #69
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I am younger than you, and I have not had a car payment for 25 years.
The last "payment" I had was my mortage which I paid off over 20 years ago when that avenue turned out to be easier than refinancing at the then lower rates. The only car I purchased on time was the VW Beetle I bought right after college 42 years ago. But it's no big deal one way or the other. My point regarding so-called "paid for" cars in this thread is that for folks like us here on the FIRE Forum, the "paid for" or not status of a vehicle (or other toy) is not relevent to a buy/hold/sell decision. I haven't been discussing pros and cons of financing. That's an entirely different subject that would be relevant to folks who could only afford the new car if they paid for it on time.

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The last car we bought new (an SUV), we gave the dealer a personal check. Because there was no trade in (we kept the old car for my daughter), and there was no way he could be sure that the check wouldn't bounce, he made up some story about how he needed a couple of days to "prep" the vehicle. He did not want to offend us about wanting to see if the check would clear. I knew the real reason for the delay, so did not press it.
Interesting. I've never had a dealer question my personal check. It's always been accepted immediately despite me having no trade-in. It's not a big deal.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #70
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I may have missed mention of this, but IMO biggest cost to any number of vehicles and it goes up with number is the hassle of owning and maintaining them. With one, that cost is usually an OK deal, depending on what other choices you have. But unless you are running a hobby farm, or a contracting business, or towing your RV, the cost/benefit curves can quickly cross.

Most places you may buy something will deliver the stuff cheaply compared to the total costs of owning a truck for those occasions

It just takes up too much lifespace, unless you one of those guys who lives for cars.

Ha
Worse, cars that are seldom driven develop all kinds of goofy problems like sticking brake calipers, rust spots on rotors, oil contamination from running cold, tire flat spotting, dead batteries............
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #71
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"used to pay cash for his cars" "he pulled a wad of $100s out of his well-worn and somewhat soiled overalls".
Yeah, still do that.

Sometimes what you "see" is not what you "get".

I hate buying vehicles, so I try to get some pleasure out of the experience.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:53 PM   #72
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Worse, cars that are seldom driven develop all kinds of goofy problems like sticking brake calipers, rust spots on rotors, oil contamination from running cold, tire flat spotting, dead batteries............
Uh, no. That has not been my experience.

My "baby" (2002 Mustang GT vert) runs as well as the day I picked it up, with less than 19k on the odometer.

All original (tires, battery, me) and still runs as long as it's a sunday (a day when the sun is out, with no rain or salt on the road)...
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:50 PM   #73
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Uh, no. That has not been my experience.

My "baby" (2002 Mustang GT vert) runs as well as the day I picked it up, with less than 19k on the odometer.

All original (tires, battery, me) and still runs as long as it's a sunday (a day when the sun is out, with no rain or salt on the road)...
OK, I guess with a sample size of one, you are the expert. I spend a lot of years dealing with issues like lot rot for new cars awaiting final delivery. The issues that I listed are common.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #74
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Ten year old tires. Yikes.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #75
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An old family friend (long since passed) used to pay cash for his cars. When the deal was final, he pulled a wad of $100s out of his well-worn and somewhat soiled overalls and started laying them out on the desk. In the good-old days, 30 or 40 $100s would buy you a decent pickup or car. Wouldn't that be a treat these days?
Now days you would put in consideration as a drug dealer, and might get a 3 am unpleasant visit from law enforcement. The dealer would have to file a report on you. Plus depending on where you are driving thru the cops might decide to stop you and confiscate the money (see Carthage Tx for an example).
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:37 AM   #76
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Now days you would put in consideration as a drug dealer, and might get a 3 am unpleasant visit from law enforcement. The dealer would have to file a report on you. Plus depending on where you are driving thru the cops might decide to stop you and confiscate the money (see Carthage Tx for an example).
Yeah, a lot of things were different 30 years ago. e.g., the gummint still assumed innocence. Now, you have to prove you own what you have. Guilty unless you can prove you are innocent. I've heard of folks being accused of "shopping" for drugs because they had a couple of hundred on them. Personally, I would never travel without a couple of hundred in cash just to insure I could be towed in Upper Nowheresville where they don't take credit cards. YMMV
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #77
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Perhaps you look more like the "millionaire next door" than I do.
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Interesting. I've never had a dealer question my personal check. It's always been accepted immediately despite me having no trade-in. It's not a big deal.
The real reason for me to pay cash for vehicles is not to show to myself that I can afford it. Rather, I have to ask myself before making a big purchase is that whether the acquired good will make me happier than the current joy of seeing that "cold hard cash" showing up in my Quicken screen everyday.

That honesty to myself has kept me from making impulse purchases, or to have buyer's remorse. And by the way, I do pay for smaller purchases with credit cards, which I always pay off at the end of the month. Like many people here, I never have problems like the spendthrifts do, who have to limit themselves the access to credit cards.



PS. My memory has failed me again! I just asked my wife, who said that she drove the SUV home that same day! It was her car, not mine, so her memory is more reliable than mine. I stand corrected.

The delay that I remember hearing from the dealer was not the delivery of the vehicle, but rather the filing of the title. Of course the dealer wanted to be sure the vehicle was actually paid for, before he transferred the legal ownership.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:44 PM   #78
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Perhaps you look more like the "millionaire next door" than I do.
It's been a long time since I read the book, but if I recall correctly the millionaire next door was someone with a million bux but who presented themselves as someone you'd think had much less. I'm not sure exactly what that looks like, but it would describe me from a housing, automobile and clothing perspective. I think car dealers take personal checks because there is very little risk to them to do so.
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The real reason for me to pay cash for vehicles is not to show to myself that I can afford it. Rather, I have to ask myself before making a big purchase is that whether the acquired good will make me happier than the current joy of seeing that "cold hard cash" showing up in my Quicken screen everyday.
I don't buy cars very often, but when the occasion does finally come up I've been paying in full at the time of purchase because it's just easier. No shopping around to be sure you're getting good terms on the loan, no deciding how you'll pay (monthly statement, direct deduction, etc.) and no future chore of a final payment and making sure you then get clear title and all that. But, if someone who can truly afford the vehicle they're purchasing decides to buy it with a loan, I have no problem with that. Especially if the loan is providing some financial benefit such as liquidity or it's done with a low interest tax deductible heloc or whatever. And, as I've been saying, I don't think that the method of payment should have much, if anything, to do with the buying decision given that the buyer can afford the purchase.

I do think that there are many people who buy cars on credit and pay over time because they can't afford the car. That's not good. And that scenario tends to get generalized into the conclusion that a "paid for" car is affordable and a car being purchased on credit is not. Actually, we don't know that. A 50 yr old with a total net worth of $100k who goes out and buys a nice new luxury car for $65k probably is making a purchase he can't afford despite the fact he pays cash. A multi-millionaire who buys a $65k luxury car on credit and pays for it over 3 yrs obviously can afford it. We don't know why he bothered with the loan, but it doesn't matter.

So, when I see someone treating themselves generously with vehicles, I might wonder how the value of those vehicles relates to his net worth and/or income. But it really doesn't matter if the vehicles are "paid for" or not.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:00 AM   #79
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We have 3 vehicles, (4 if a small boat is a "vehicle").

1. 2003 GMC 1/2-ton 4WD pickup truck
2. 2003 Buick Century
3. 2008 Suzuki C90T touring motorcycle
4. 2002 10-foot Porta-Bote folding boat with 5 hp Briggs & Stratton outboard.

All paid for, as is the house. Why is "paid for" so important? Because we feel that outstanding loans are a drag on future options and opportunities. If stuff is paid for it's a done deal, move on to the next decision.

We never have to say "Well, we could do "X", except that we have to make the payments on "Y".

Granted, in 50 years it won't matter very much either way.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:59 AM   #80
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I usually pay cash (by check, not currency) for vehicles as well.

The first time I did so the dealership was flummoxed as the staff had so few purchases in cash that they didn't know how to process the paperwork.

In another transaction the dealer and I were about $500 apart and i walked away. The next day, I stopped by on my way to work and gave the salesperson a check for my last price + $100 and told him that they could either call me and let me know when i could pick up the car or tear up the check and send it back to me in the mail. I hadn't been at my desk more than 5 minutes before I received a call asking me when I would like to pick up the car.

Emboldened by that success, a few years later I used the same strategy with another dealer. A couple days later i received a letter with the torn up check.

But the last new car that i bought the automaker's finance arm offered a $1,000 rebate if you financed with them, so i took it made a couple payments and then paid off the balance. An easy $1k.
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