Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Wheels In My Brain Go Round And Round or We Want To Buy A Car

We are *thinking* about looking for a new(er) car. How’s that for commitment? We know we will need a new car soon so we’ve been researching, but there are some things I’ve noticed. If you’ll indulge me thinking aloud for a bit you are invited to give share with me your experience and points for consideration…LOL! Okay, wandering thoughts to commence…

One, I’ve always heard that you should buy used because of depreciation – blah, blah, blah. However, if you get a car that is one or two years old with low miles you can practically buy a brand new car for the same amount and get incentives.

Two, I’ve always heard the rule of thumb for miles on a car is 10-12K a year. I’m finding cars that are a few years older have many more miles on them than the “average”. Has the average changed? Am I being unreasonable in my miles consideration for a used vehicle? The disparity between miles on new and used is HUGE. A lot of the cars even a few years older have like 80K on them, especially the Honda Odyssey.

Gas, gas, and more gas. I’ve been able to justify my gas-guzzling SUV because I don’t have a payment. Since we are going to have to acquire *cough, cough* payment with a new car the gas is going to have to come down a bit to compensate for the increase to our auto budget line. Of course anything would be better than what we’re doing fuel-wise, but I want the most bang for my buck in terms of vehicle room vs. gas mileage.

One of the things I may have to sacrifice is the third seat. When we bought our Suburban we had planned on having four kids, but we’re done. We stopped at two. The ‘burban seems too much, but a 5-seater makes me think it might not be enough room. I would be limited to carrying my kids and my kids only, read no carpooling. This has it’s pluses and minuses.

Rate of interest. It’s been so long since we’ve had a payment that I don’t know what is considered a good rate of interest. It is 5% good? Is 11% good? I used to see those 0%, but I haven’t seen them much lately. Are they still around?

Vehicles we’re considering: a Mazda 6 wagon (not the sedan and not the Mazda 5, I just don’t like the look of them), a Honda Odyssey (ca-ching, but we would keep it for 8-10 years as the experts advise…hell, we’d HAVE to), a Ford Explorer, a Ford Freestyle (but they don’t have much of a track record yet), Dodge Caliber Wagon or something Chevrolet since we’ve had one model or another for 13 years and had great luck with them. Do you have any of these and what do think?

Next to our home (and well our obscene student loan) this is one of the biggest purchases we’ll make. I’m so afraid of getting it wrong. I know some people buy new cars all the time, but we don’t. In fact I’d still like to eek out another year on our ‘burban and pretend to make car payments to our savings to we can have as big a down payment as possible.

Okay, thanks for letting me “talk” this out. I don’t have any real answers in my own head. I guess I’ll subscribe to the Oprah school of thought that doubt means don’t for now.

-E <-- who just may be terminally cheap

1 comment:

Beth said...

Gas for vehical're thinking a MINI-VAN...come over to the darkside ;-)

Just a plug ('cause we have one)Kia Sedona's are cheaper the Odessy's, have a better tow rating, for that future pop-up, better safty rating, and the new ones have the ever so cool seats that fold into the floor. Plus the S.A-town dealer is awsome, for service and the like, unlike the one here.