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New car time...hidden costs?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 rottenhead

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:00 PM

The estimate to repair my 92 Legacy to pass ME state inspection was 2500+.
With 230K on the car, it appears time for a new one, rather than pour more money into the old.

My issue is this. I don't want to buy another used car. (Unless it's very low miles.) I'm on a very strict budget because I'm in law school. Essentially, I can afford to absorb the insurance cost increase, and manage to put together about 2500 for a down payment, plus about 300/month for a payment.

Anything above and beyond this, I just don't have the money for. SO...what are the hidden costs when buying or leasing a new car? How much can I expect to pay above and beyond the "due at lease signing" figure(therefore adjusting my down payment accordingly)?

Also, opinions about whether or not my expectations of being able to buy or lease a new Subie on this budget are based in reality or not...are welcome.

Thanks for any and all responses in advance.

--rotten--

#2 rweddy

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 01:59 PM

The estimate to repair my 92 Legacy to pass ME state inspection was 2500+.
With 230K on the car, it appears time for a new one, rather than pour more money into the old.

My issue is this. I don't want to buy another used car. (Unless it's very low miles.) I'm on a very strict budget because I'm in law school. Essentially, I can afford to absorb the insurance cost increase, and manage to put together about 2500 for a down payment, plus about 300/month for a payment.

Anything above and beyond this, I just don't have the money for. SO...what are the hidden costs when buying or leasing a new car? How much can I expect to pay above and beyond the "due at lease signing" figure(therefore adjusting my down payment accordingly)?

Also, opinions about whether or not my expectations of being able to buy or lease a new Subie on this budget are based in reality or not...are welcome.

Thanks for any and all responses in advance.

--rotten--


The big one will be insurance and plates depending on where you live.

#3 RallyKeith

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:03 PM

Maybe a different kinf of hidden cost, but make sure you're not buying a 2.5 that is just waiting to blow a head gasket!. You should be able to pick up a 2nd gen legacy with low miles that would fit nicely in your budget.

Keith

#4 rottenhead

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 03:37 PM

Lemme just run a wild idea by you guys and see what you think.

BankOne has these education loans (up to 30K) that can be used for anything you want, as long as you're a full time student and have a co-signer.
What would you think of taking out say 20K and getting a BAJA? I won't have to make payments until I can afford to essentially, and the insurance should be lower. The interest rate is a bit higher than a car loan, but still....thoughts?

#5 mtsmiths

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 03:46 PM

You're going to school to be a lawyer, and you want a guaranteed student loan to buy a brand new car?

As one of the taxpayers that act as guantor for that loan, I suggest you use three to five K of that money to buy a good used 2.2L Legacy, and put the rest to you education as it's meant to be used. I've no problem with your needing a car, public transportation sucks. But let's keep our priorities straight here, hmmmm?

Affter you get your degree and are making the BIG BUCKS sueing the socks off folks like me, you can buy a brand spankin' new H-6 Outback with your OWN money.

signed: Old Fart that has a nine year old Subaru.

#6 rottenhead

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 03:56 PM

Understood. But, it's not a Stafford or other federal loan where taxpayers are paying the interest while I'm in school.

It's a private loan where I'll be responsible for the interest. I've been driving my '92 for 7 years and I love it to death and could afford to put the 2K into it to fix it I guess. But I just worry that the engine and tranny are set to go at any minute.

Anyway, thanks for the reply and hopefully I won't end up a stereotypical personal injury lawyer.

#7 mtsmiths

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 04:36 PM

Seriously this time rottenhead (great monicker for a soon-to-be barrister BTW), I picked up my current 'Roo (no. five of a series starting in 1982) off this board. A nicely equipped '95 Legacy with 125K, and all current maint. that runs great. I gave the asking which was $3,200, took the train to Chicago and drove it back straight thru to Montana. I figger 3.5K total in a reliable good looking great to drive car. I favor the Legacies over the Outbacks, better road handling ... like on rails with good tires.


No insurace issues, and NO payments.

That said, I may get a BAJA myself when they age in the resale market a bit. I NEVER buy new cars, I just can't seem to lay down enough cash to buy another piece of real estate for a car ... too tight I guess. Airplanes, that's another matter.

#8 MorganM

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:23 PM

The big one will be insurance and plates depending on where you live.


Yep good call.

Registration often has to be paid right away. That can be hundreds of dollars depending on where you live. I was also 'required' to have full coverage insurance which is considerably mroe expensive than just liability. Also taxes have to be paid at the time of purchase I belive.

I did a 'no money down' deal on my KIA. Still paid almost $600 up front for registration and tax. Be preparied to whip out the check book :)

#9 rweddy

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:44 PM

That said, I may get a BAJA myself when they age in the resale market a bit. I NEVER buy new cars, I just can't seem to lay down enough cash to buy another piece of real estate for a car ... too tight I guess. Airplanes, that's another matter.


I agree, I let someone else take the hit.

#10 rottenhead

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 09:59 AM

Well. I went to the dealer and got a price on a 2003 Baja w/4K miles that would work with my budget, but didn't pull the trigger.

I got another estimate on the work for my legacy that's about 1800 instead of 2500. This includes replacing the oil pan, fixing the tranny shudder, 2 CV boots and a front axle, and replacing the steering rack. So, I guess I'll go ahead and have it done. It's hard to justify putting that much $$ into it...but it's also hard to justify having a car payment for the next 5 years and/or buying a used car that I'll have to fix the same things on as I've had to with my current one.

That being said...one of the places I brought my current vehicle to have it inspected claimed the window tint was too dark. This same tint passed in Colorado, New York, and at one other place in Maine. It seems stupid to me to have to take the tint off...it isn't even that dark.

It would really bother me to fix all the actual mechanical stuff, and then have it fail b/c of window tint.

#11 rweddy

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 10:40 AM

Well. I went to the dealer and got a price on a 2003 Baja w/4K miles that would work with my budget, but didn't pull the trigger.

I got another estimate on the work for my legacy that's about 1800 instead of 2500. This includes replacing the oil pan, fixing the tranny shudder, 2 CV boots and a front axle, and replacing the steering rack. So, I guess I'll go ahead and have it done. It's hard to justify putting that much $$ into it...but it's also hard to justify having a car payment for the next 5 years and/or buying a used car that I'll have to fix the same things on as I've had to with my current one.

That being said...one of the places I brought my current vehicle to have it inspected claimed the window tint was too dark. This same tint passed in Colorado, New York, and at one other place in Maine. It seems stupid to me to have to take the tint off...it isn't even that dark.

It would really bother me to fix all the actual mechanical stuff, and then have it fail b/c of window tint.

Good choice, you are going to thank yourself in a few years when you do not have these huge student loan payments. I have a college buddy who did what you were thinking of doing, used student loans to pay for an automobile. When you finance a deprecating asset over a long period, it is a losing proposition. No matter what a car is going to lose money and unless you can pay if off faster than it deprecates you are going to lose out.

#12 mtsmiths

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 03:24 PM

How bad does a car have to get before you buy a new one? ... about $350.00 in repairs every month.

As for the tint. I'll bet your state's inspection laws require a stated light blocking level to fail, probably as measured with a calibrated light meter. Next time they claim it's too dark, ask them to please test it to state standards.

Bet they can't, so they can't fail you on that issue.

Since you know by now to never ask a question during litigation, unless you already know the answer; look it up before you go back for inspection, yes?

Good luck with your 'new' Subaru and your studies.

#13 rottenhead

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 05:46 PM

http://home.pcisys.n.../auto_law/tint/

Under Maine, NO tint allowed on the windshield. I have a strip going across the top, so maybe that's why it failed. I wouldn't mind terribly taking that off.

But it also says 50% across the board...and I really can't remember what mine is.

We'll find out I guess.

#14 mtsmiths

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 06:05 PM

Howthehell do the inforce that one? Most new cars (and not so new, our '00 Legacy included) have a factory applied tinted zone across the windshield.

#15 cookie

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 12:17 AM

do the inspection. That way they are rather obligated to give you a finished product that passes.

#16 ZeroDark:30

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 12:03 PM

While I see several arcs in this thread, I will throw in my dime ( inflation ) regarding the most germaine topic.

I've done/doing/finishing the student loan routine - they're *not* a solution, unless absolutely necessary - for directly related school tithings ( tuition, fees, books).The overlooked and unstated variables in this dialog include the *bite me* BIG one: gainful employment post graduation.

I'm on "the other side," so this situation is res ipsa loquitor - loans, whether government or personal or private - have "hidden costs" - you pay for the others' piece of your actions.

I'm going to extrapolate the assumption that you've done your undergrad work, and are working on your J.D. - which puts you somewhere 2-3 years downrange in the 4-year process.

And that's the challenge for those of us here: we don't know your full fiscals, both actual and potential. Hence, whatever opinion we render can be, in various degrees, flawed.

From what I *do* know then, my own experience post "ivory towers" through the shoal waters of divorce, unemployment, corporate downsizing, encountering the barriers of "Too Old, Too Educated/Qualified, White Middle Aged Male, etc., " is that there is wisdom in keeping what you have and know unless it becomes truly brain-dead, as in slurping a third of your monthly cost-of-living income. For some, this amount can be 100$ per month. For others, it can be closer to $1000.

Keep what you have ( a known quantity ), resuscitate/respect it as needed, get through this early barrister challenge of finding a way to deal with the tinting issue, get through your ever-more-challenging studies and navigate around any possible MRS diversions, and go from there. In summary terms, this can be wrapped up in the acronym of warriors everywhere, FIDO.

Grasp this challenge and render it mitigated.

BTW: Bajas look kewl - waiting for market also. Of course, I'm quietly waiting for this really kewl prey, an early 2000-2004 Outback Wagon Limited . . . . . < drool >

OK, check out Dr. William Dyer's work on "The Power of Intention," develop your target mantra of the Baja, pay your dues in the meantime, and celebrate when you can *afford* the Baja.

Cheers,

Carrick



Howthehell do the inforce that one? Most new cars (and not so new, our '00 Legacy included) have a factory applied tinted zone across the windshield.



#17 rottenhead

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 03:42 PM

All excellent and appreciated advice. I managed to graduate from undergrad without any debt thanks to a generous scholarship from the school. Fortunately, Maine Law is one of the cheaper law schools, so I should graduate with below average debt...as far as law students go anyway.

Never having had a new car...driving around in the BAJA just gave me some sort of fever. I couldn't stop trying to figure out a way to pull it off. The whole time we were at the dealer though, talking about finances, and then driving home...I felt sick to my stomach...so, something about it wasn't right. So, 2K will go into the current subie and we'll go from there.
:)

#18 ZeroDark:30

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 09:32 AM

LOL - I really enjoyed your post - I *SO KNOW* about what I call the "Fever Fandango!"

One of the most excellent things about time and "progress" is that what is new is soon to become departed to an afterthought.

The 2002 Outback Limited Wagon I lusted after years ago is now this year the prior version, ergo, it's value is falling into my target hairs.

As a small business owner providing technology consulting services to small businesses, I've learned that a lot of yesteryear's technology still serves very well and affordably, especially if it was made well to begin with.

A good case in point for me is "Maple," my '87 GL-10.

She's an amalgam of three motors and donor parts from who-knows-where. And yet, for 2500$ she's a fully working business driver that has already paid for herself in mileage.

As a school debt survivor, I truly appreciate this whole concept of "paid for."

As a dreamer, I keep my peripheral vision open to the approaching Outback.

I know it takes courage to just walk away - did the same with the Outback.

But, funny thing . . . .

While newer is more refined, certainly, "Maple" is an old battle-tested friend. And, there's somethink about this spirit of discovery in working with the older Roos that I see resonating throughout the USMB. Maple will still be here in the morning . . . .

Cheers!

- Carrick


All excellent and appreciated advice. I managed to graduate from undergrad without any debt thanks to a generous scholarship from the school. Fortunately, Maine Law is one of the cheaper law schools, so I should graduate with below average debt...as far as law students go anyway.

Never having had a new car...driving around in the BAJA just gave me some sort of fever. I couldn't stop trying to figure out a way to pull it off. The whole time we were at the dealer though, talking about finances, and then driving home...I felt sick to my stomach...so, something about it wasn't right. So, 2K will go into the current subie and we'll go from there.
:)



#19 mtsmiths

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 09:49 AM

... loading my 'new ' '95 Leagacy with rock from a local quarry vendor.

I sure missed that extra 2" of ground clearance. And I just couldn't force myself to pile on as much weight as I know I would have laded onto the 'Jap Tractor'.

I gotta figger out how to raise our Legacies!

#20 cookie

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 09:50 AM

to pay off my college dept. One thing I paid interest on all that time was a used VW. I imagine I could have bought a few VWs with what I paid on interest for that car.

#21 ZeroDark:30

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 10:58 AM

LOL - Thanks for the humor! In my trollings of USMB and elsewhere, I've seen a number of lift solutions. I noticed a clearance difference between the Outback and Legacy - and have also learned that other factors, such as handling, may have to be taken into consideration when lifting a Roo. Cheers!

... loading my 'new ' '95 Leagacy with rock from a local quarry vendor.

I sure missed that extra 2" of ground clearance. And I just couldn't force myself to pile on as much weight as I know I would have laded onto the 'Jap Tractor'.

I gotta figger out how to raise our Legacies!






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