I need your help!
In case you haven’t heard, my wife is pregnant again. That brings our family member count to 5, which meets the limits our Toyota Corolla can handle. But the fact that both of our current children as well as our future child are all in car seats, which take up more space than the average man, makes our car only suitable to hold four meaning we need an upgrade.
So we are on the search for another vehicle. I bought our Toyota brand new when I was young and stupid, and although I have never regretted the purchase as it’s been a major blessing having a car with no issues, I want to try and be smart with the next purchase and save some money.
I consulted the Car Negotiation Coach and got some awesome advice and tips to try, but most of them applied to buying from a dealer which I’m just not sure we want to do. I see the value in buying a NEW car, but I don’t want to get a loan, or drop that kind of cash. I would love to try and follow the 1/10th rule, and not buy a car much more than 1 tenth of our annual income, but we need a bigger car before February! Whatever car we buy, we do intend to make the best financial decision we can in the situation and we will make sure the vehicle will last at least five years if not longer. (Our Toyota will be six in 2011)
So below, I have written up the choices I have come up with. I need YOUR help in deciding which one is the best choice!
- We can buy a new van from a dealer. The reason I even consider buying a new car is that I value the safety, as well as the convenience of owning a new car. In most cases, you won’t have any issues with a new car for the first 100,000 miles. My Toyota had 3 miles on it when I bought it, and it now has 90,000; I have never had a single mechanical issues. The most expensive thing I ever had to pay for was new tires. However, I do not like the idea of financing a new car. I know much more about finances than I did when I bought my Toyota, and the cost of financing a $30,000 car loan is painful to think about. We have enough cash to put a good down-payment on a car but even if we paid half of a brand new car, we would still be in a loan for at least $15,000 or so, at 4-5% interest. I don’t think I can handle that..
- We can buy a used van from a dealer. I had thought long and hard about getting a used or even a certified pre-owned van as this way we would be able to get a newer van, at a slightly lower cost, and still have a dealer to back us up and provide a warranty if the van is certified. I feel safer about having the van be certified because you never know what a previous owner has done to their car. I also like the fact that if you buy from a dealer, you have a bit of time to get out of the contract if you get the van home and find a dead body in the trunk. I still would be stuck with a payment, and even for a van that is five years old, getting a loan just doesn’t feel right.
- We can buy salvaged. My in-laws buy and sell salvaged vehicles as a side business. They have certain repair guys that do a great job on salvaged titles, and they drive them for a few months before selling them. They have never had any problems with them as they know what to avoid when buying them. This option would be much cheaper, we could still get a safe, newer car and avoid the headache of a loan (banks won’t give loans for salvaged titles anyway!). On the other hand it will take longer to find a suitable salvaged van and I may have to travel even to another state to pick it up as the market for them is much smaller than general car buying. A salvaged title could also potentially be less safe, have more problems and cost us in the long run.
Either way we go, I think we have decided on selling my little Toyota. I love my little car, but in reality, the time has come for me to move into a van and ditch the sporty small car. I have a family now, and that’s just how life goes. I’ve made my peace with it and it would be the best financial decision regardless of which van option we choose.
By selling my car, we have the potential to break even with the van purchase, depending on the option we choose to go with. I may in the end have to buy a second car to get to and from work (which would be a much cheaper, beater car), but I will exhaust all my other options before that point comes.
I appreciate any feedback you can give me. What makes and models of family vehicles have you owned? Did you buy new or used?
PS. Yea, that’s me sittin’ in a Corvette! br>
Tags: average man, awesome advice, best choice, buying a new car, car loan, car seats, choices, convenience, corolla, family member, financial decision, future child, least five years, mechanical issues, member count, money, negotiation coach, tires, toyota, toyota corolla