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Decided It's Time To Get A "Beater"...Used Car Shopping

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle, May 31, 2013.

  1. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    $80/month is pretty high for registration and insurance but it does depend on location. My registration and full coverage on my car costs $33/month and half that on my truck with liability.

    Also you are only including the cost of gas, not of wear and tear on the truck which will have a much higher price tag when it comes for replacement, especially if you are driving on salt laden roads in the winter time.

    The overall cost of ownership of a truck is much higher than that of a car and the numbers do prove this out, especially which you include purchase cost.

    If the truck is paid for and you'd like to hang onto it for a long time I'd say you'd be money ahead to buy a small commuter car in most cases not to mention for longer trips and general day-to-day driving.

    And honestly how much depreciation can you expect on a sub 5k car? The truck is going to have far more depreciation by driving it as pickups tend to have more resale value, especially diesel pickups.

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  2. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    My budget car is a 2005 Scion XA that we bought in '08 when we moved out of the city. Needed a 2'nd car on the cheap since we'd just bought a house. Got a deal from a friend. It only had 17K when we bought & has 80K on it now.
    I would recommend sticking with the slightly bigger & more common models Corolla, Civic... This thing hasn't been bad on maintenance, but it was never very nice to drive. It's starting to get rattly now & I just don't see it getting even close to 200K with any sort of grace. Can't wait to sell it really, but not in the cards for a while.
    It also seems many of the domestic brand small cars are made WAY more durable over the last 10-15 years than the previous junkers, so worth a look at least.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I was going to post the same, until I saw Highbeam beat me to it. Careful in your math... it's very hard to justify a second vehicle purely on cost, driving any normal level of yearly mileage. Consider repairs, maintenance, inspections, insurance, yearly depreciation, etc., not just purchase price!

    I would love to have something more sporty than the 4x4 pickup I drive daily, and believe me I've tried all options to justify it, but just can't.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Ah but you can't use "cost of ownership" or some other nonsense. You will be owning the truck regardless so a large lump of the "cost of ownership" is not applicable. It will always be cheaper per mile to drive a high mpg car, that is not the issue.

    The savings of driving the high mpg car minus the costs of owning the high mpg car must exceed ONLY the cost of driving the low mileage truck before it is economically feasible to buy an extra mpg car. The savings are just not very significant with a low mile commute.

    Everything has depreciation. This is not about comparing depreciation since you will be owning the truck regardless.
  5. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Odds are, if you buy any Honda, it will get stolen or broken into, even if it's a hooptie. keep that in mind.


    I'd recommend a b13 chassis Nissan sentra with the 1.6 or 1.8L
    parts are cheap and widespread and motors are a dime a dozen because everyone swapped 'em out for the g20/ser sr20de engine.

    30+ mpg, cheap to insure won't get stolen.
  6. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    But only if you never plan on replacing the truck. I would say the cost of ownership for most people is applicable even on a vehicle with a already sunk cost.

    The savings should include all aspects of the cost of ownership including the cost of future replacement.

    Don't forget with a high MPG car it's not just the driving commute either, it's trips to the grocery store ect that end up being more likely taken in the car.
  7. wesessiah

    wesessiah Burning Hunk

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    i agree with your idea, someone should factor everything in. that being said, full coverage on my 95 civic is $35 a month (multi car discount knocked it down probably 10$ a month, and reduced the cost of my other vehicles, so i ended up total about 10$ more a month for another car with full coverage) tires for it (185/70 13" tire) cost me about $250 for four tires, whereas the 235/75 17" ( early 2000's f150 size used) costs about $600, and that's a small wheel/tire compared to a lot. this civic holds 3.5 quarts of oil, and a 5.4 f150 holds 6.5 quarts. to your point, these things should be taken into account to see if there is a benefit, along with the cost of replacement parts. an alternator for example... 2003 f150 5.4 is $200 for remanufactured, and 95 civic is $130. in any scenario, the beater would have to be kept for a while to pay off. i've had mine for 8 years, and i consider keeping the wear and tear off my other vehicles to be priceless. if someone pays to have their vehicles maintained and doesn't replace parts themself, i'm sure the offset of paying for labor for both vehicles doesn't help the cause, or show as much of a benefit in cost of parts. if the vehicle your concerned about is on the road less, there's also less of a chance of something happening to it to be paid out of pocket... damage that doesn't meet your deductible... my civic has taken all kinds of small damage i would have fixed on my other vehicles, but since it's on the civic, i haven't bothered. things like small dents, chips in paint, broken headlight bracket for a raccoon. with a 17 mile round trip, my civic has paid off in tires and oil. like you said, someone with a different drive may not benfit as much, or at all though.
    while i do agree it's a good car, and wouldn't sway anyone from getting one, it's also always a top ten stolen car... along with all of the big three american trucks, and any popular/highly sold vehicle. another nissan, that also gets good mileage, is the s13 and s14 240sx.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Now we're getting somewhere. It doesn't take many miles to overcome that 10$ per month plus tabs.
  9. wesessiah

    wesessiah Burning Hunk

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    for a younger person, or someone living in more of an urban, or subarban area than i do, the insurance would be much higher. mine is exceptionally low, and could be twice as much for the civic depending on location. i should have made a disclaimer about that in that post... i happen to have a good set of circumstances to base mine on.
  10. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    No need to apologize.... I was looking for this info, too, as I remembered HB had discussed this
  11. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Try New York... reregistered the truck after it sat for 1 year....... reggie was 285 ..... insurance $125 per month .
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    OK, more info....

    Current work trip is 18 miles per day, 5 day week. That includes coming home for lunch (glad I could do it because after Murphy's bladder stone surgery, he had to "retrain" his bladder). Also 3 trips out the horses, and 1 trip to the museum, another 250 miles a week.

    Current work situation not the greatest by a long shot, hence a desire to expand my horizons. Will stay until some thing comes up.

    Hence the quest for a good MPG, automatic car.

    Better job, less wear & tear, a win/win for me, me thinx ;)
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Until you establish your new job I would stick to the single vehicle. The additional stability not only allows you to commit the funds to purchase the second car but allows you to decide if it makes financial sense.

    What does your current pickup get for mpg?
  14. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    The Beast gets 12-14 going back & forth. Gas is $3.80 per gallon, unless I get lucky.
  15. wesessiah

    wesessiah Burning Hunk

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    i agree with this... getting the beater should be considered a long term benefit, but it shouldn't be bought in a time that could put you in a vice short term.
  16. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I've always been a 2-vehcile man. I do it the other way, though. I have a nice car for daily driving, and a beater truck for hauling and yard work, etc etc.
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Thing is, at least in my case, the truck needs to be very dependable. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than breaking down on the freeway in 100 degree temps in an area with no cell phone service while hooked to an 8000 lb trailer 6" from the fog line on a 70 mph freeway.
  18. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya. But I'm also from the 'camp' that camping with a camper isn't camping at all :)
    Highbeam and firefighterjake like this.
  19. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    That's exactly how I work here. My Truck isn't a true beater per se but it is an older pickup with very bad gas mileage.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Nothing wrong with a new vice every once in a while. >>
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Who said it was a camper? Well it is and I know very well the difference between tent camping and RV camping. Very luxurious in a modern camper, my hotel on wheels. It is true R&R.

    In my youth I worked in the cascade mountains for an outfitter every summer. I packed mules and would lead a string up to the edge of the official wilderness where we would set up tents and an outcamp for "campers" that would arrive on horseback for the weekend. Lots of fun. Learned to cook for large groups in dutch ovens over wood fires. Learned that campers stash booze bottles in their sleeping bags. Learned that women love cowboys, etc.
  22. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Do you have physical damage coverage on the truck? Reason I ask is that I know that reg/ins fees are very high in NY, so a second car is probably going to run you a min of $100/month just for insurance.

    Would you need to take the truck to go see the horses? (Not sure if you need to trailer them?)
  23. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    No collision on the truck right now ( kills me :mad:) would like to add when I can.

    Car will be registered in Florida, my Mom comes up to visit & would need wheels, so hence the FLA reggie.. Florida has no state inspection.

    I'm not trailering, towing, or hauling horses right now, the horses are 15 miles from the house to the east (I work to the west, right now). I currently run the truck out to the barn, but with a car, I would run that instead, as well as to work.... I'm out there 4x's a week, and it's another 10 miles past the horses to the museum (part time job/weekends) on one of those days.
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I am thinking commuting on a horse. >>

    And pics.
    Joful likes this.
  25. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    And when would I sleep?????? :p

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