This is the time of year for deep discounts on cars. New models coming
out and all.
A few years ago I walked into a Nissan shop just kicking tires and I was
bored so I decided to mess with these obviously tired salesmen.
So the story goes like this. I said I would make a small down payment on
They had some incentive so it seemed Ok
I told them I would have a flatbed truck load the car and drop it off at
my house where I would park it in a dry garage under a cover and up on
stands so no flat spots on the tires. I would start it monthly just to
keep it going and in 9 months I would have the flatbed bring it back
with zero miles but a model year older.
Why would I do such a thing? To findout what it was really worth. I
tried to explain that it was still a new car just not stored on their
They had no answer. We all know that a 99 model year car might be made
in early 98 or mid 99.
I guess the answer is that cars are worth about half of what you pay for
them in cash. There is simply no reason to pay 400bux a mont for a chunk
of metal that sits probly 20 hours out of 24 and only goes down in value
for every mile racked up.
I used to work for a guy that probably spent more on car washes for his
Explorer and lexus than I did for my little honda civic.
Rant mode off.
Of course. Which is why Ive never bought a car newer than 4 yrs old,
and then haggled for low blue even then. Simply driving it off the
lot costs about 20% of the value, the moment the rear bumper passes
the curb. Hell..signing your name on the dotted line costs about 20%
of the value at the least. Its now a "used car"
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire.
Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us)
off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give
them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you
for torturing the cat." Gunner
Cars last so well these days that you don't even need the mechanical
aptitude. Just get something that's a couple of years old and wasn't
driven too hard, and drive it 'till it costs more to fix than a newly
used one costs to buy.
We do own one car that we purchased new (well, it was an orphan from 2
model years back), but that's mostly because we wanted to say that we'd
done it once. It's nearly 10 years old now; it's going strong but the
rear seat has collected quite a few stains from our kids -- we have a
cover on it now. It simply isn't showing significant signs of wear, and
it has around 140k on it now.
In my opinion new car buyers were put on this earth to knock the first
40% off the price of a car while only knocking out only 20% of the value.
On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 00:34:45 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,
Brent Philion quickly quoth:
I disagree. With the extremely good and long new-car warranties
coupled with the reliability of new vehicles, I hope to never buy
another used car again. I've owned only one new vehicle, the '90
F-150 I now drive, and it has been the best experience of my car-
owning life. I've also watched so MANY others pay the same amount
of money to keep up a used car with tons of miles on it that I did
in payments on the new truck with no maintenance costs. So if it
costs the same amount, why NOT go NEW? You get that new car smell!
(What is that, anyway, formaldehyde and plastic?)
If you have no mechanical aptitude, buy only new vehicles and trade
them in at the first sign of trouble.
If you have some mechanical aptitude, buy new vehicles and trade them
in when you get tired of working on them.
If you have lots of mechanical aptitude, buy at least one new vehicle
for your family/self and keep other vehicles you can afford to have
break on you.
When I say "trade them in" I mean sell them for the best profit and
get the new car. Never go to a dealer and trade in your old car. They
give peanuts on the dollar.
And spend the time to order your perfect truck from the factory. The
dealer doesn't get to rip you off on goodies you don't need and a
vehicle color that will make the maid blush. I did this twice. First,
I hammered out a decent price (~$16k) at Red Richie Ford in Encinitas
CA in May. 6 weeks later, they called me to say "Oops, we made two
orders with the same number that day and they made the car, not the
truck. Would you like us to reorder?" Needless to say, my crushed
phone receiver was still smoldering an hour later.
So, I told my sister about it and she told me about Bill Fell Ford
in Fairfield, CA. I called him, gave him the specs I wanted, and he
sold the truck to me for $13.7k. 6 weeks later, after I had sent new
mirrors ($100 cheaper at Whitney than Ford) and some other goodies
up to my sister's via UPS, I flew up and picked up my new pickup.
I grabbed my long-distance girlfriend and spent a few days driving
back via CA Hwy 1. We had a room with a hot tub in San Simeon which
made the trip even more memorable.
I also had a chance to drive down Pismo Beach. 4 miles down, and no
trouble so far, I had to turn around. A very high wave came in just
before I turned and as I slowed to turn, the wheels sunk up to the
axle. Luckily, there was a fisherman at the end there and he was
driving a little Nissan 4x4. He had no tow rope but I had sent
motorcycle tiedowns to my sister's for securing our luggage in the
bed. Those would do. I linked them together with the steel hooks
and the guy pulled, instantly straightening the hooks.
OK, that didn't work. I tied them together and he tried again, this
time breaking the thick 1" nylon banding. Hmm, the fisherman is
getting tired of trying. OK, I dug out in front of the wheels and
lowered the air in the tires. This time it pulled right out. OK,
truck christened in fire and that was the last time I ever got it
stuck. (Knock on wood.)
In the first dozen years, I put 3 sets of tires on it, tuned it up 3
times (Amazing, isn't it? I love EFI.), put a drag link and tie-rod
ends on it, redid the brakes at 70k, and installed poly leafspring
bushings for more stability.
In the first 8 years, I did nothing but a single tuneup and a set of
tires. I love a reliable vehicle!
Just before I moved up here, the auto tranny's 4th gear went out and I
had it rebuilt before driving up. Cha CHING: $1825.
Since moving up here, I've replaced the starter, plug wires, and
alternator. I'm starting to think it's time for a new truck, but
now they're starting at $25k!
If you're in CA, NV, or OR, look to Bill Fell for your Ford pickups.
He'll make you a great deal. I haven't called him for a replacement
yet, but he has been sending birthday cards every year since 1991.
The man knows about customer loyalty. I'll be back. Fairfield is about
an hour from the SF Bay area up on I-80.
We're born hungry, wet, 'n naked, and it gets worse from there.