Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
vveat
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by vveat »

I was sorting our car records since we changed cars recently, and it struck me that our approach to replacing cars may seem very un-Bogleheadish. We absolutely believe one shouldn't change cars just for the sake of driving a new car - and for that matter we've never bought a "new" new car. But somehow we've been through 5 cars in the 15 years since we arrived in the US.

2000. No car, living in a big city while at school
Early 2002: Bought a junk yard Toyota for $100 (sold it on ebay a year or so later for $400 :beer )
Late 2002: Bought a 2-year-old Mitsubishi for wife to use for work
2003: Sold the Toyota, not reliable any more, bought a 5-year-old 2-door Nissan for husband
2007: Kid#1 born, needed a 4-door car, sold the Nissan, bought 6 year old Saab
2010: Kid #2, need a second 4-door for flexibility, sold the Mitsubishi, bought a 2-year old Mazda
2015: Needed a larger car (widowed grandparent will live with us) with high towing capacity. Sold the Saab, bought a 4 year old ML350

So, with a bit more planning we could have done fewer replacements (e.g. gone with a 4-door upfront, but then we didn't even know if we wanted kids at that point), and of course we could have survived without a larger car now (Grandma will just have to fit in there between the car seats), or without the towing capacity (keep renting from UHaul), but each change felt logically justified. We can certainly afford it, even the ML which cost us twice what we had paid for any earlier car).

So I guess I am just curious - how often on average have you changed cars and how strictly you have followed the "drive it into the ground" rule?
new2bogle
Posts: 1640
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by new2bogle »

New 2001 camry, sold in 2010 with 150k miles, bought used 2010 camry hybrid.

Used Lexus RX 2009, traded in 2015 for a new minivan at 101k miles

So not quite driving it into the ground.
sharpjm
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by sharpjm »

All that really matters is the fact that all the cars were purchased used and they were cheap to maintain (except for maybe that last one :P )
Mudpuppy
Posts: 6656
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Mudpuppy »

Don't pay mind to what others do. That's as much falling into the trap of referential bias as is "keeping up with the Jones". The more important questions to ask are "can I afford it?" and "do I really need it?" If you could afford the cars when you bought them and you had sound reasons for changing cars, then you're still being fiscally responsible. It doesn't matter that you didn't "drive the car into the ground" or that other Bogleheads keep cars for an average of xyz years.

You shouldn't have to shoe-horn grandma into a compact car between two kids just to "drive the car into the ground". As long as you could afford to get something more comfortable for all 5 people involved, then it's fine doing so. It's only a problem when you can't afford it, and an even larger problem when you can't afford it and you have no valid reason for switching cars.
dbr
Posts: 34809
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by dbr »

I don't think I have ever heard Mr. Bogle speak or write about what kinds of cars to buy and how often. Has he?
livesoft
Posts: 75095
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by livesoft »

2002 - Bought used Lexus, still owned and it''s a daily driver. It replaced a 1989 Nissan.
2006 - Bought a Ford, still owned and it's a daily driver. It replaced a 1995 Toyota that had over 200K miles.
2014 - Bought a used Lexus, still owned and it's a daily driver. We have 4 drivers in the family.

So that's 5 cars since 1989 and we still own and drive 3 of them daily.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 4292
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Artsdoctor »

On many, many things, I'm a Boglehead through and through.

Regarding cars, though, I am not. I've leased a car for years because it's been advantageous from a tax point of view, but I've also bought them. They're not cheap and I don't scrimp.

To me, the first and foremost priority is safety. There are plenty of cars being "driven into ground" that lack fundamental safety features, and I don't care how much people save driving them, it's not worth being injured or killed. And when I buy a new car, it's loaded with safety features. I've been way too influenced by my previous work in the ER.

Whether or not you place performance, gas mileage, or whatever, next on the list, go for it. As long as you can afford it. :beer
hyla
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:45 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by hyla »

Both cars I've replaced have been non-running when I replaced them.

Started with a 1999 Nissan Sentra, it made it across the country 5 times before it had to go in for a repair and the mechanic told me it was so rusty he'd probably break more stuff if he tried to fix it. Sold it non-running on craigslist.

Replaced it with a 2001 Corolla, only had it for a year before it got t-boned by an uninsured driver in an unregistered pickup truck... yep, the Corolla lost that crash and got totalled.

Replaced that with a 2005 Prius. Plan to drive it into the ground. It gets driven on a lot of washboard, which is probably accelerating the process...
aj44
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 11:22 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by aj44 »

deleted
Last edited by aj44 on Tue May 05, 2020 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
supton
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:37 am
Location: NH

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by supton »

Not a Boglehead here.

Bought a new Saturn right out of college, as I needed wheels. Not the best choice, but... six miles to work, no public transportation, and did not know the area so as to "know" where to used car shop. I can come up with more excuses... Bought the cheapest Saturn I could. Wifey graduated a year later and bought a more upscale Civic. Both of us had school loans and now car loans.

Fast forward four years: now married, both paid off (still had school loans though). I wanted a "better" car so I bought my VW (traded Saturn in after 4yr/116kmiles). Big money down, paid off in two years. Actually managed the following five years with no car payments (bought in 2004, paid off in 06, didn't buy next vehicle until 2011). Good/bad: right after I bought the car I bought my house (of dubious value), and used up all the cash I had. Along with starting a family. But I weathered the Great Recession quite well, no auto loans.

In 2011 I decided that it was time for the Civic to go, after 10yr/173kmiles. It needed a whole new AC system (and wife said "not another summer with no ac!"); in my eyes, rust was creeping up, it lacked ABS and side airbags, and it was a bit small for family duties. Bought our Camry with the Civic as a trade-in. Camry was a stripper but basically high end for us (pwr windows, locks etc). Had the proper manual transmission, wrong color for wife, and missing remote entry & Bluetooth (things we wish we had gotten today). Still paying on that car after 4yr&95kmiles, but at 0% APR I could not see paying off early. Not with a mortgage at 3%.

In 2013 we started saving for my truck; I had been wanting one, and could use a spare vehicle (I live in a rural setting where we drive everywhere--and I drive 100mile/day for work). I did some shopping and could not find a decent "cheap" truck; found my 2010 Tundra as a CPO, used what we had saved, and then just funneled what we were saving on a monthly basis into that payment. Two months later I woke up to retirement needs, and have regretted that truck purchase since...

Earlier this week I finally sold my 2004 VW, after 314kmiles. Needed some work, and I just could not bring myself to dump in money. Loved the car but between two car payments and a busy life I decided it was time to simplify. So now I daily drive the 19mpg truck. As I said, not a great purchase.

After doing out the math, although I really wanted to talk myself into a loan for a Corolla which I could then drive for 10 years (and go back to a manual transmission, this automatic drives me nuts!), it did not make sense this year. Puts me over budget (or not saving, as I could easily swing three loans if I didn't bother with retirement savings), and has three auto loans (which just sounds bad). Will wait until next year, once these two are over with, then I'll take out yet another loan. Might buy a new Fit for the wife, and take over the Camry instead.

*

I kinda like the 10yr/200kmile limit. After that point, while depreciation has gone away, and the repairs are not automatically expensive, the headache of shop time / down time gets painful for me (we really need two vehicles at all times, my stay at home wife does 25k/yr, and I'm close to 30k). Plus in New England road salt has done a number, even with suitable precautions to limit rust issues. If I drove less, or lived in a less salty state, I'd probably do a bit different.
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by letsgobobby »

1990: used 1977 Toyota Corolla (thanks Dad)
1991: used 1982 Toyota Corolla (thanks Uncle) - replaced 77 Corolla which collapsed on the street due to rust
(1996: new Toyota Camry, which my future wife's parents bought her)
1997: used 1993 Honda Accord - replaced 82 Corolla, totaled by delivery truck
2006: new Toyota RAV4, replaced 93 Honda which required many repairs at 235,000 miles and was too small for growing family
2012: new Toyota Prius, replaced 96 Camry which required many repairs and had 225,000 miles

That's where we stay.
User avatar
telemark
Posts: 2822
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by telemark »

I think your approach is perfectly reasonable. Keep a car until it no longer meets your needs, either because it has become unreliable or because your needs have changed.

Trying to anticipate your needs years in advance would be akin to market timing :)
downshiftme
Posts: 1136
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:11 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by downshiftme »

Trying to anticipate your needs years in advance would be akin to market timing
I don't see it that way. Trying to anticipate your needs years in advance would be akin to long term planning.

Maybe if you "anticipate" a mid-life crisis and buy a sports car or if you try to guess when self-driving cars will take over the world and buy something in anticipation of those models no longer being available, that would be like market timing. Just anticipating a new baby or two will mean a bigger vehicle in a year or two seems much more like planning (possibly slightly speculative about the specific long term timing) and not like market timing (fortune telling).
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by bottlecap »

I see nothing wrong with what you've done, nor is it "unbogleheadish." When you buy used cars, you are not paying a premium that largely disappears when you drive it off the lot, like you do with new cars. So other than the hassle associated with buying and selling, along with the transaction costs, you are not paying anything extra.

JT
User avatar
ray.james
Posts: 1429
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:08 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by ray.james »

I firmly believe in 2-3 years old cars that were used as commuter/lightly used as best value. The depreciation would be 30-45%. So the max depreciation will be 10% once bought or even less. Car will run for 10 years if taken well care of.

I do not trust Edmunds TCO. In my experience it overestimates by a lot on both insurance and repairs.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
PhysicsTeacher
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:38 pm
Location: West Virginia, USA

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by PhysicsTeacher »

My cars:
2004: My parents insist I learn to drive before heading to university and buy a 1999 Ford Taurus.
2011: I buy a 2011 Nissan Versa (used vehicle with under 70 miles on the odometer).

My husband's cars:
2002: My mother in law takes her 16 year old son to the Ford dealership, planning to buy him a brand new Mustang convertible. He convinces her to let him have an Escort instead.
2009: Escort is totaled and his generous parents give him their 1998 Ford Ranger.
Last month: We bought a 2002 Taurus and donated the truck, which still ran but had serious transmission problems, to our public radio station.

I'm not sure how Boglehead or non-Boglehead our approach has been. I did want a four door vehicle when I shopped for my Versa to allow for the possibility of wrangling car seats in the next few years, but now it looks like having children is unlikely.
pochax
Posts: 1374
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:40 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by pochax »

i choose to be boglehead-ish with my investing in order that i do not NEED to be overly boglehead-ish with my spending :wink:
campy2010
Posts: 1033
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:01 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by campy2010 »

You're buying newer-model used cars and driving them for about 8 years, on average. The models are slightly newer in the recent years, presumably because of safety and size for the kids/family. Seems like pretty standard Boglehead behavior to me.
wxz76
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by wxz76 »

2000: Used Toyota Tercel (sold it in 2008 for 500 with 150k miles)
2007: Used Acura RSX (still driving with 100k miles)
Confused
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:23 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Confused »

Blanked for privacy
Last edited by Confused on Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
nordlead
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:09 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by nordlead »

Our first two cars were given to us by our parents.

Car#1: Oldsmobile Delta 88 (94 I think) - Received in 2005, Donated in 2006 to Rescue Mission due to too much rust repair needed (gas line went, recently fixed break lines, didn't want to put up with it)
Car#2: Ford Tempo (94?) - Received in 2002?, towed in 2006 and never bothered to reclaim it
Motorcycle #1: 2001 Yamaha YZF600R - Bought in 2005 for $3.2k, wrecked in 2007
Car #3: 1996 Honda Accord - Bought 2006 for $4200, sold in 2013 for $1k, it transported my first 2 children
Motorcycle #2: 2001 Honda F4i - Bought 2007 for $3.2k
Car #4: 2005 Subaru Forester - Bought 2012 for $6.5k, it currently transports 3 children

Car #5: 2015 Honda Oddysey. This will be my first new vehicle ever. My plan is to buy a single minivan and never have to buy one again. It'll have to last ~12-14 years to successfully do that at which point I'll probably have a 3rd car for my oldest son. Also, I have one old car to maintain, I don't feel like maintaining a second old car at the moment.
User avatar
Yesterdaysnews
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:25 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Yesterdaysnews »

I used to buy new and drive for 10 plus years. But my view of cars have changed and I think going forward I will lease and get a new ride every three years.

This essentially turns your transportation into an expense like any other monthly expense. Plus u can generally get something nicer and it's always under warranty.
User avatar
Leif
Posts: 3145
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Leif »

All of my cars, except the first one, have been new. But I do keep them for a long time. Not as efficient as buying used, but I allow myself this one luxury.
EddyB
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by EddyB »

Three cars in my first two years of driving, three cars in the 21 years since then (and in the most recent 15 years, that's been as a one-car couple/family).
randomguy
Posts: 9208
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by randomguy »

I never understood why people pay more money to buy cars with 2 doors instead of 4:) Seriously if you buy old cars, you should expect to replace them on a regular basis. Odds of you getting 5 years out of a 100 dollar car approach zero:) To some extent when you buy 5+ year old cars the same same things is going to to happen. The people getting 200k+ miles out of a car are the exceptions not the rule. The rest of us who drive 15k/yr are going to be looking at replacing a new car every 10-12 years. If you buy half way into that cycle, you will being buying cars 2x as often.
Sporkthef
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:49 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Sporkthef »

I'm going to blow some minds here. . .

I average about 18 months in between cars. I've had about 16 cars since I was able to drive, I'm now 34. Few have been purchased brand new, some leases, only two ever paid with cash but they were cheap. I love cars, loving driving new models, different makes, its a passion. It's definitely a non-boglehead approach. Getting ready to make another purchase or lease as we speak. Still save a good % of our income so I'm happy with this balance. 8-)
poker27
Posts: 843
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by poker27 »

16 year old- I saved every penny I could over my lifetime and bought a $14k used mustang

2-3 years later imports were cool, so I spent every penny I saved and bought a Nissan. Traded my mustang in for 4 grand

2 years later I got my first big boy job. Might as well spend $30k+ on a new car and go into debt

It took me a while to learn
User avatar
Crimsontide
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:32 pm
Location: DFW Metromess

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Crimsontide »

I'm embarrassed to say how many cars we had before we "woke up" at the ripe old age of 40. We used to buy into the "you'll always have a car payment" mentality. Thankfully we finally saw the light and stopped wasting money on freaking new cars...
User avatar
Sents
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 12:24 am
Location: Nomad

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Sents »

A non-boglehead approach, but quite normal approach, is to spend a 10-20% of your networth on a car or go in debt to buy a car. If you are saving money and still swapping cars once in a while for comfort or whatever reason, then you are already doing fine!
Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the divine. | L. Beethoven
BW1985
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by BW1985 »

Save cash, buy car, save more cash, sell car, buy nicer car.

Started this way at 16 and never thought about a loan. At 27 I was able to buy a new car.
Chase the good life my whole life long, look back on my life and my life gone...where did I go wrong?
User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3717
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

pochax wrote:i choose to be boglehead-ish with my investing in order that i do not NEED to be overly boglehead-ish with my spending :wink:
You, sir, have just succinctly summarized my lifestyle.

Thank you for putting it into words for me :sharebeer

I have purchased new cars most of my life, largely because I discovered that I often bought someone else's problem when I did not. I bought my current, impractical, fun-to-drive car new in 2014. My three cars before that were all bought new, driven ten years and >200k miles each. The latest of those is now being driven by my college-bound son.
User avatar
Sandi_k
Posts: 1587
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Sandi_k »

Fun! :D

1985: Bought a 1982 Chevy Chevette, 49k miles, for $1500. Drove it until 1990, sold it for $600 with a slipping (original) clutch at 120k miles.

1990: Bought a 1983 Nissan Stanza from its original owner. Paid $3k, 22k miles on it. In 28k miles, it needed a brake job, a replacement clutch, *very* expensive dual ignition tuneups, and then it blew the head gasket. I traded it in, and got $1700 for it in 1993, when I bought:

1993: brand new Saturn SW2, for $13k. Original dual overhead cam design, which was known to be faulty. Got an entire replacement *engine* under warranty at 30k miles. When it started using oil again, I sold it in 1997 with 42k miles on it, and bought a new:

1997 Subaru Legacy wagon, for $16.2k. Drive it for 9 years, and put 120k miles on it. Only regular maintenance, plus a wheel bearing. Sold it in 2006 to buy a new:

2006 Toyota FJ Cruiser, for $30k. Loved that car. Sold it after spinal surgery, when the doc said I'd accelerate my need for another surgery. So I then bought a squishy, doctor-approved:

2010 Lexus RX350, for $46k (put down $30k on it). My plan is 200k miles or 10 years, whichever I can manage. I now have 145k miles on it, at 5.5 years into ownership. Fingers crossed for 300k miles before it's time for the next one.

So, 30 years and 6 cars. Not as bad as I feared. :D
fidelio
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 5:28 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by fidelio »

well, having had 42 cars in 63 yrs., by my count, i make no claims to having a sensible car history. my first was a '54 v-dub, 2d a '58 ford bought at a junkyard for $35. i had ten when i was 19, all for under $100, including matched rambler wagons (a $5 and a 10), one supposed to be for parts .... i had a $5 1959 chevrolet apache pickup, a pontiac bonneville, impala, falcon, fairlane, several dodges and volvos, etc. that was my rural new england car story. meanwhile during the past urban l.a. 20 yrs. i had a series of under $2000 benz diesels, great cars but now rare + pricey, a 142 volvo and a couple of volvo S60's. i have a 1971 benz 250C (an "investment," ha ha), and a ford truck i bought new for $9500 in 2001. my long driveway is to blame. friday i paid cash for a 2012 volvo C30, in perfect condition, with low mileage. hopefully it's a keeper. no doubt the '71 benz makes me a boglehead ....
User avatar
wander
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by wander »

1991: Bought 1987 Honda Prelude.
1994: Sold 1987 Honda to buy 1989 Mazda 323.
1997: Sold 1989 Mazda to buy 1997 Nissan truck.
2007: Bought 2007 Acura Tsx.
Still keep the 1997 Nissan (350,000 miles) and 2007 Acura (120,000 miles).
JimmyD
Posts: 897
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by JimmyD »

1998 (Age 16): Given a 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage that had obvious flood damage. Spent two years praying I'd make it to school and back.
2000 (Age 18): Sold Mirage to some dummy for $5,000 cash and used that as a down payment on a brand new Ford Focus
2002 (Age 20): Traded in the Ford Focus for a lease on a bare bones 2002 Nissan Xterra since I was "bored" with the Focus (now who's the dummy?)
2005 (Age 23): Traded Xterra in for a 2005 Mazda 3 (purchase) after lease was up
2011 (Age 29): Traded in paid off Mazda 3 for 2010 Mercedes C300 CPO
2015 (Age 33): Planning to keep the Merc until the wheels fall off. It's been paid off for a year and only has 65k miles. Loving a fun car with no car payments!
PowDay
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by PowDay »

This is a great thread. As much as it's great to drive the same care for 10-15 years, frequently life gets in the way of that.

Marriage, kids, commutes, lifestyles, moving ect.

I've learned that I like buying/financing cars with favorable depreciation curves. It makes adapting to life changes much easier.
User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 3003
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by kenyan »

1998 - bought first car, 9-yo Infiniti for 7k.
2005 - bought car for wife, 4-yo Nissan for 13k. She had been without a car for a year.
2006 - bought second car, brand new Infiniti coupe for 31k. Sold old car for $500; it was breaking down.
2007 - bought second car for wife, brand new Hyundai for 12k. Nissan had been totaled in an accident (insurance paid $11.5k).
2013 - bought third car, brand new Subaru Outback for 27k. Sold 7-yo Infiniti for $14k. Kids didn't fit in the back of the coupe, and the Hyundai was/is a tight fit.

Could be better, could be worse. Hoping to get another 4-5 years out of the Hyundai, and to keep the Subaru for at least 10.
Retirement investing is a marathon.
Khanmots
Posts: 1236
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Khanmots »

2005 - bought first car new for $23k - Acura RSX-S.

The years I spent at uni in Austin I survived with public transport and a bicycle. Used parents old clunker when I was at home for summers and working. Got a car right after I got my real job.

I'm not a fan of buying used because I don't know how the previous person drove it. Did they take speed bumps at 40 and the suspension going to blow soon? Did they slip, or worse, drop the clutch all the time and the clutch is going to go (and maybe take the engine block with it if they were dropping...)? Maintenance records won't tell you that. If I was buying a boat Buick, I wouldn't worry as the owners of one of those aren't going to have fun with the car... but that's not the kind of car I'm interested in.
crit
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:54 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by crit »

1993 - bought 1988 Accord with 100k miles on it, cash. It still ran great with 220k when:
1998 - bought 1995 Integra from a friend with some inheritance money, cash, but was unable to sell Accord (donated to charity).
2003 - bought 2003 RSX-s, Loan for $5k?, sold Integra privately.
2012 - bought 2012 A3 TDI. Injuries meant that I needed a comfortable car - the RSX was an uncomfortable rocket, the A3 seats felt the best by far, and a PI lawsuit helped to fund it. Loan for $10k, paid off early. Hoping to keep it for a while. We love the 40+mpg, and the hatchback. Still working on justifying it to myself, but it is comfortable exactly in the ways I need.
User avatar
ryuns
Posts: 3494
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:07 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by ryuns »

downshiftme wrote:
Trying to anticipate your needs years in advance would be akin to market timing
I don't see it that way. Trying to anticipate your needs years in advance would be akin to long term planning.

Maybe if you "anticipate" a mid-life crisis and buy a sports car or if you try to guess when self-driving cars will take over the world and buy something in anticipation of those models no longer being available, that would be like market timing. Just anticipating a new baby or two will mean a bigger vehicle in a year or two seems much more like planning (possibly slightly speculative about the specific long term timing) and not like market timing (fortune telling).
I agree. We're right there too. We're such over-planners that buying a new car is actually getting us to talk about a timeline for kids (since one of the car options is marginally more kid-friendly, though still practical and efficient). And thinking about when/if we buy a new house that would have a place to charge an EV (my wife's commute is ideal for an EV, while I bike to work, and our house is pretty small). And thinking about when/if we'd ever need towing capacity (none of our current options are rated for towing). There's only so much planning you can do, and there's no need to regret changes to plans along the way, but it's still a good exercise to think that through.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
harrychan
Posts: 1785
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by harrychan »

You bought used and sold it when it still had value as it fit your family's needs so I don't see an issue. Only red flag I saw was $100 junk yard toyota. I would never drive myself or let a family member drive a car in such condition.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Traveler
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Traveler »

First car bought in 1990 - a 1988 Dodge Shadow
1995 - Traded in the Shadow (~88K miles) for a new Dodge Avenger
2002 - Traded in the Avenger (~80K miles, needed new transmission) for a new Honda Accord
2014 - Traded in the Accord (205K miles) for a new NIssan Maxima
Will keep the Maxima for at least 10 years barring any unforeseen accidents or mechanical problems
Topic Author
vveat
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by vveat »

harrychan wrote:You bought used and sold it when it still had value as it fit your family's needs so I don't see an issue. Only red flag I saw was $100 junk yard toyota. I would never drive myself or let a family member drive a car in such condition.
I hear you but we didn't have many options at the time, I was just out of b-school with 6-figure debt, mostly maxed credit cards, and no family/support system in this country. While I was starting a very well paid job in the fall, we needed wheels earlier since we were moving to NJ and husband still needed to commute to his b-school. A friend's father who was a mechanic looked over the car, helped fix an issue and it was in decent mechanical condition. Of course it looked horrible and a/c didn't work but cosmetics and minor inconveniences didn't bother us. At one point a friend borrowed it to drive to Kentucky and back and it got him back safely.

Frankly the car I was driving back home in Eastern Europe (a Lada) was worse - no power steering wheel for example, only 70 hp or so - and it was considered a decent car for the country standards at the time. After it the old Toyota felt almost luxurious :sharebeer
sschullo
Posts: 2600
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by sschullo »

Back to OP question:
IMO, non bogleheads (aka non frugal people) would purchase a new car every 3 years. Frugal people would buy a new car every ten years, and bogleheads would buy a used good car and keep it ten or more years. Frugal and bogleheads have a lot less ego and can resist the consumption culture surrounding car ownership than the non frugal car buyers.
"We have seen much more money made and kept by “ordinary people” who were temperamentally well suited for the investment process than by those who lacked this quality." Ben Graham
Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 1925
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

My wife and I both bought cars relatively recently. She replaced her 2004 Dodge Intrepid which was bought used for $5000 in 2007. I replaced my 2000 Honda Accord that I had purchased new. Her car had 160k miles and mine had 150k miles. We replaced the old cars with matching Toyota Corolla LE Eco's (different colors, though). The cost of the new cars was $36K combined and we paid cash. We sold both our old cars on Craigslist and got $1700 for hers and $3300 for mine so that lowered the price tag a bit. We'll likely drive our current cars until somewhere between 150k-200k miles.

Our approach is to try to optimize rather than maximize. The old cars were still functional. However, we have commutes and a baby and my wife's old car was beginning to have issues and my old car only had 2 doors so getting the baby in and out of the car was beginning to get more challenging as she grew bigger. It got to the point where we thought we'd gotten pretty good usage out of the old cars and that new, reasonably priced cars would be worth it. We love our new cars; they are comfortable, have some nice new features compared to our previous cars, and the monthly cost for gas has decreased nicely too because of much greater fuel efficiency.
Post Reply