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Old 07-21-2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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what's the truth about trading in your gas guzzler

http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/i...car#calculator
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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I've never bought a new car in my life. (I have, however, bought a couple new motorcycles...but that's another story). I've never quite been able to justify a new car...never wanted one quite bad enough. IMHO, I can't think of any reason why someone would NEED a new car. Well, maybe if you have a business and you can write off depreciation, but otherwise no. The only real justification I can see is if you WANT a new car. Then, I don't know if a car cost calculator is really what you need...unless you need to justify you purchase to your friends or better half...
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:16 PM   #3
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well i can justify a broken in car or a program car for a new car (generally have 20K miles on em, so just broken in and the kinks worked out)

but one that is brand spankin new, nah... last years model or year before that is good enough for me.

or even any low mile car is good enough for me lol
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:43 PM   #4
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I traded backwards for my negative gas guzzler. They can keep the new cars until they make them get better mileage than my current average.

36 MPG in an 06 Corolla vs 58 MPG in a Honda VX.

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Old 07-21-2008, 08:33 PM   #5
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I've bought a few new cars. But our rule now is four years old for main cars (mine and SWWBO) and <$1000 beaters for the kids. (Daughter came in and informed us of her unfortunate run in with a concrete column in a parking lot. My response was, "That's why you drive a $900 car.")

I had to do a trade study as part of a systems engineering class a few months ago. The classic educational trade study is buying a car. So I looked at replacing the Grand Caravan (now named Moby Dick) Used the four year rule and cars I am familiar with (have rented on trips or owned). I came up with keeping the Caravan. I even included $5000 to do a SLEP (airplane talk for Service Life Extension Program) and it won over the four year study period even if the cost of gas goes to $8/gallon. Economic costs were heavily favored, but its mammoth interior tipped the balance. 06 Highlander Hybrids (first year available) and 05 Escape Hybrids were included, but the high procurement price could buy lots of gas. The second place runner up was the last year Dodge Neon, not because the performance was great (although I rather enjoy driving my son's) but because the procurement price was low. If all of the non-economic factors were excluded, the Neon won.

I am a big and tall guy. One of the criteria for the trade study was how easy it was to get in and out of. That's why they had to be cars I was familiar with. There are no object performance specifications given that give door dimensions or the doors relationship with the driver's seat and steering wheel. The Neon in the trade study was specifically a 2 door (like my son's). I can't get into an Escort/Tracer without first being decapitated. Most of the really small efficient cars fall in that category.

I rented a Dodge Caliber last week. They can keep them. They have a very wide quarter panel at the bottom of the door that makes it difficult to get in and out of because you have to keep your foot way outside. But it introduces a new non-economic factor to any future analysis. Visibility. The Caliber has a tiny windshield located way forward. I could only touch the top of the windshield with my arm fully extended. I had to stop several car lengths away from intersections in order to be able to see overhead signal light without having to lay my head on the dashboard. All style (such as it is). No substance
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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Yup, that's why I kept my car and modified it for better FE. Buying a car with higher FE than this one would not pay off for several years, and I'd be sacraficing too much fun for it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowbridescape View Post
I am a big and tall guy. One of the criteria for the trade study was how easy it was to get in and out of. That's why they had to be cars I was familiar with. There are no object performance specifications given that give door dimensions or the doors relationship with the driver's seat and steering wheel. The Neon in the trade study was specifically a 2 door (like my son's). I can't get into an Escort/Tracer without first being decapitated. Most of the really small efficient cars fall in that category.
I'm surprised you have less trouble getting into a Neon than an Escort. I find Neons real tight for my legs. I don't feel quite safe with my shins jammed against the dash, like it hampers emergency braking. My Escort, I guess I have to get in arse first, but apart from the sun visor being a bit close when you lean forward to see out of intersections, I fit in it pretty well. I'm not even at the final notch on the seat rack, last but one. Maybe it's because I've got long legs/short body. I could see the 'scorts being a problem if I had another 3 inches in the torso, but I'd figure you could lean the seat back a bit more.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:13 AM   #8
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For many people in many situations, the math doesn't add up and from a purely "car costs" point of view, they should keep their old car. For others, the math does add up and they should get a different car.

That calculator only figures for purchase/sale prices and fuel costs. There's a lot more to it. For example, insurance, scheduled maintenance, unescheduled repairs, time taken out of work to get the car fixed, towing costs, worrying about the safety of a family member, getting fired because you don't come in to work dependably, etc. Please note that the partial list I just wrote includes things that influence the decision in either direction.

It is said that buying a brand new car is an emotional choice. I have observed that logic fails most people on forums who advise others on car buying decisions, whether brand new or not. Lots of people have an emotional prejudice against replacing your vehicle for fuel economy purposes, or for lifestyle purposes, or for any other given purpose. Lots have emotional prejudices against specific types of vehicles.

The bottom line is that, if you want to make the most logical decision, you have to figure in ALL the variables you can, including side-effects, direct and indirect monetary costs, and other issues.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:49 AM   #9
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Not buying a new car makes a statement to the manufacturers.

Build something that is really better than my 15 year old car, or I can drive it another 8 years dirt cheap, while you suffer the consequences.

regards
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:09 AM   #10
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In the UK people cannot trade in their gas guzzlers ( over here that means 3 litre petrol engine+) at almost any price. SUVs that were worth $30,000 last year are now worth well under $20,000.

New gas guzzlers are now subject to an extra $1800 tax for the first year, and $900 every year after (rises with inflation however).

In terms of my own situation, I bought a car last year capeable of 68mpg for $2500. It only had 55,000 miles, was in perfect condition and was 9 years old.

An equivalent new version of this car costs $25000. After 3 years it will only be worth 45% of its original price, thats about $11,000. My car is still worth $2500 after 1 year.

Older cars are definately the way to go
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