Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A new to us car?

My husband and I both drive fairly new cars, the newer of which will be paid off within the next month. The plan when we bought them was to keep them until they died, but since then life has changed a little. After a baby and a move to a state that actually has winters, my 2 door and his subcompact sedan just don't meet our needs anymore. We really feel like he needs a car with 4 wheel drive so that he can get to work when it snows and ices(after being stuck at the bottom of a hill for literally half an hour once this winter), we need at least one car that can haul a fair amount of stuff for when we travel, and I would be much happier with a 4 door car (although I can deal without, it's just a little hard on my back.

The plan right now is to sell the 2 door, get an AWD hatchback or crossover for my husband, and keep the sedan for me. This is doable even if we buy a new car, but then we'd go right back to having a car loan again which ANNOYS me to no end. Whenever I feel like we are making progress, it seems like we are just treading water.

Hubby has started feeling the same way, though, so he asked me to run numbers on how much car we could buy in cash. I ran the numbers and came up with a potentially good sized chunk of money, although not nearly enough for any new AWD cars. Neither of us has ever bought a used car before, except for the clunkers we drove as teenagers. Does anyone have good tips on how to find a good late model used car?

4 comments:

purposelyfrugal said...

All we've ever owned are used cars. My hubby is mechanical so he usually tries to check them out carefully before buying and he's willing to do minor repairs himself. It's saved us a ton of money! We've never had to make payments on a car.

Jamie @ Jamie's Bookshelf and Learning to be Frugal said...

If you buy a used car from a car lot ask for a carfax report. I learned this lesson the hard way. Now I've got my lemon finally paid off and now I'm looking to purchase a brand spanking new car after I get some money sacked away.

If your looking for suggestions car wise, my parent's swear by the chevy equinox...they actually own two. Get's really good gas mileage for a suv and it's easy to maintain. The only real big chunk of change my parent's have had to put out for them are in tires. Plus, its AWD (we live in WI and this winter especially, has been much easier on us transportation wise with the equinox) and has a TON of cargo space.

P.S. Found your blog on Frugal Friday and I'm off to become a follower :)

Anonymous said...

Go to a carmax look for a car that is about two years old and still has some warranty on it. So look for about 12K miles on the odomoter. The carfax is extremely important do not buy until you comb over that report.

I personally would consider selling both cars and buying one great vehicle. Then make do until you could get a second.

Leisa Dreps said...

Thanks for that question. To find a good used car, you should first look at the ads on newspapers or in the internet. You should be cautious in trusting a dealer to avoid fraud, be it on the internet or not. Try to look for 3-4 dealers in your area, and compare the quality and the prices of the cars they sell.