And Our Next Car is…

March 17, 2014 — 9 Comments

We bought a car!  If you read my last post, you knew our requirements were a car with good gas mileage that’s big enough for our dog, and that can handle snow.

My wife researched for weeks, so we had our choices narrowed down to a few different CUV’s and SUV’s.  The highest car on the list was the Subaru Outback because it hits up to 30 mpg on the highway and has all wheel drive, but we were also considering other midsize SUV’s.  After we found a couple of good options in Oklahoma City, we decided to go up on Saturday to check them out.

We started by visiting a Subaru dealership where we previously found a used Outback with 49k miles.  After we parked, a timid young guy approached us – definitely not taking the “salesman” approach as he talked under his breath and didn’t seem to know much about the car.  After telling us there was another couple already looking at the 2010 Outback, we agree to take a new Outback for a drive.

I know what you’re thinking – he talked us into buying a new car and we financed it!  Not quite; when we learned our salesman was on his third day of car sales, my doubts turned from him to the car.  It just didn’t have the driving feeling that I was used to, and I learned later it’s probably due to the Outback’s transmission.

When we pulled back into the dealership, the same couple was still looking at the 2010 Outback!  We didn’t have any longer to wait, so we headed to my niece’s soccer game and told our salesman that we’d call later in the day to see if the car was still available.

After hanging out with family at the soccer game, it was off to the next dealership.  Before we left, we called the Subaru dealer and learned the used the Outback was still available.  We still didn’t think we’d be able to buy it that day because it was a Saturday afternoon and we didn’t get a certified check which we thought we’d need to buy the car.  It was good to know that it was still available though.

Our next step was a Volvo dealership where my wife previously discovered a used Volvo XC60 mid-size SUV with 79k miles on it.  We didn’t want to buy a car with that many miles on it, but if we wanted to buy a XC60 within our budget, that was our only option.  As we pulled up to the dealership, we asked about the used XC60 and learned it was traded in just on Friday, so they hadn’t even detailed it yet!

We took it out for a spin, and right away it reminded me of driving my previous car, a Volvo S60.  It’s full of power with a very luxurious ride, and it pretty quickly jumped ahead of the Outback as my preferred car.  We pulled over halfway through our test drive, and my wife drove back the rest of the way to the dealership as our veteran salesman subtly sealed the deal as he explained why we should love the Volvo (or maybe he just told us facts and we decide to love it).

Volvo XC60

This is the best picture we have because we don’t actually get the car until tomorrow!  We weren’t sure about the red/rust color at first, but we really like it now.

When we got back to the dealership, we were on the same page on the car we wanted, but not on the same page if we wanted to buy it yet.  We needed a car pretty soon because of some upcoming double travel needs, but I don’t think my wife wanted to buy it yet.  However, I knew we were on the same page and with all my wife’s previous research, we knew what price wanted to pay for it.

So there we were on Saturday afternoon, deciding if we wanted to make the decision on a front wheel only drive car that didn’t get as good of gas mileage as the Outback (26-28 highway mpg) and had higher miles than originally intended.  However, we really liked the car and our research said we were close on the offered price.

We decided we were prepared to make the purchase, so why not do it now!  I asked the salesman for another $1,000 off, and he agreed, and we had a deal!  We headed over to the finance department to finish it off.

That’s when my wife wrote the check for our next car.  It was such an incredible feeling to know we were able to write a check, and we don’t have to worry about any payments!  It’s the result of hard work, watching our spending, and saving over the last 5-7 years, but it’s so worth it when you can do something like that.

I’ll keep you updated over the next 5-7 year as we continue to drive our higher mileage purchase and let you know if buying a used car is a terrible idea because you don’t know who drove it before.  Just a side note, I bought my Volvo S60 with 83k miles on it, drove it for five years and another 55k miles with only one major repair (air conditioner) and some minor repairs.  I’d be quite happy if that happened the same with this car as we saved $15k-$25k over a new purchase!  Oh yes, and the most important part, we stayed under 20% of our annual income when purchasing it.

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9 responses to And Our Next Car is…

  1. Congrats on your new cash purchase! I am far from there in my budget, but slowly getting there. I don’t think that the high mileage car was a bad purchase. There are several factors that will play into your decision. Where I live in Florida is pretty flat (no major wear and tear on transmissions, etc), so that mileage for the price would be ok. If you lived in an area that is hard on cars or if the previous owner didn’t take care of the vehicle that would play into the longevity. I guess the question is, if you can purchase a car within the 20% rule and get at least 5 years out of it, is that good? I am a single mom and warranties are my concern. I drive a Kia that has done well for the past 9 years. Plan to drive it till the wheels fall off or my daughter (junior) needs a car for college commute. I can’t wait to be free!

  2. In 2007 I purchased (in cash) a 2002 Lexus that had 83K miles on it. Over the next 5 years I drove it until it had 260K on it. I obviously did have some pretty expensive repairs the last couple years (heater, door locks, window motors), but the engine was still purring like a kitten. Last year I purchased another used Lexus and I expect to drive this one just as far. This time I had narrowed it down to the Lexus or a Volvo, but I’ve decided I’m a Lexus girl. I’m convinced if you buy a higher-end used car, you’ll be just fine. They are meant to be driven til the wheels fall off! I haven’t had the same experience with Ford, Volkswagen or Buick.I bet you’ll be very happy with the Volvo! Congratulations!

  3. We purchased a year old suburban in 1999 with 40,000 miles on it. We drove it until we sold it to buy a Chevy truck this past November. It had 190,000 miles on it. It was a good vehicle meant to go the distance so 40k miles didn’t seem like a lot. We did regular maintenance on the vehicle and it was still in fairly new condition after 12 years. Congrats on your purchase. The truck we purchased in November was technically new – it was purchased in April, traded in on a Camaro and only had 6,000 miles on it. We, too, had saved the money (paying ourselves a car note for the last ten years) and was prepared to pay cash (Hubby was able to negotiate a great deal) but when we were offered 1.1% financing, we decided to leave our money where it was (making a higher interest) and took out a three year note on the truck. Met our criteria – used for Hubby (the depreciation was gone) new for me (low low mileage and a 2013) and the jack I wanted in order to plug in my phone to play my music (neither of us is high maintenance.) My answer on a used vehicle – depends on the vehicle. Some are made to go the distance and Volvo is one of those cars. Some are not meant to be long running cars. I think you made a great deal.

  4. Our last two cars haven’t even make it to 50,000 thousand miles before we traded them in. Life brings changes, and so does the car required to live it. We’re now looking at a Jeep Grand Cherokee because it has the towing capacity we need for an RV. It will be brand new, but like said earlier, our low house payment makes it possible. New cars come with fewer headaches. For me, it’s worth it.

  5. It definitely is hard to find a vehicle big enough for a dog but with good gas mileage. No monthly payments is a huge plus. Here’s hoping you will have as good of luck with this car as you did with you Volvo S60!

  6. Congrats on the new purchase! And you both agreed – BONUS! I love that you could just write the check and have no payments. At this moment my husband and I have 2 payments we make – house payment and car payment. We don’t owe anything else. We don’t carry a balance on credit cards. We save every month. So I guess we have some things going for us even though we still have 2 monthly payments.

  7. Growing up my family never had a new car, always used. My father bought our first car when I was a toddler. It was three years old and 17 years later (yes) I took my driver’s license test on that car. We used to call it “Betsy.” It wasn’t sleek and grand but it got us from point A to point B and that’s what a car is for.

  8. I’ve just discovered your site and it is definitely very helpful as you provide explanations with your past experiences and current experiences. I can’t agree more with you on every point you make in each article. I have been living my life always trying to look rich, ofcourse spending on cars wayyyy beyond my affordability and budget. That is definitely why I am still struggling financially, but recently I’ve made some wise decisions. After I had returned my leased 2012 Hyundai Sonata I’ve decided to buy 2001 Civic for $3,000 from my dad’s friend. It is such a RELIEF how I do not have to make monthly payments for cars anymore and it gives me a lot more financial freedom and relaxation. Now the only debt I have is school loan of $10,000 which I intend to pay off within a year. Anyways, thank you so much for your great posts 🙂

    • Wow, this is awesome to hear Nathan!! It’s funny because no matter how much good information you read, it doesn’t matter until you make the decision to change. If you ever feel like writing a post, I’d love to publish it to help encourage others.

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