Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, last Friday night on our way from Oklahoma to Nebraska, I jokingly said to our 94 Ford Ranger, just hang on long enough to get us to Nebraska! My DH was like I hope it gets us further than that, it needs to last the whole trip! Well, as it happens, the transmission went out and we drove the last hour and a half to Nebraska with only 4th gear.

Spent the stupid tax on fluid and a diagnostic, and now we're looking at buying a "new" car to get us home. We've been talking about how much we need to get out from under the old truck, and at this point, the transmission is worth more than the entire car.

Anyway, we're looking seriously at Mazda3. There are two here, one is a 2004, and one a 2008. The 04 is $9995, with all the bells and whistles. Good mileage. The 08 is $11,995, pretty much the most basic model possible. Which isn't bad for us. We're not used to power windows...we'll be okay without them. We feel like both are a good price, and though we're lamenting the thought of almost doubling our current debt, we're on the plan and know we can still get out in 2 years or less.

So here's the hard decision: the 08 is a great value, we think. Its almost new (2 years old at the most), low miles, great price compared to some other models in town. But the 04 is under 10k, and we originally said we didn't want to go over that price.

So, do you buy the one that is the right price, or the best value?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
I would check into the insurance to see what the price is, but if i was gonna have to buy a car i would go with the 08, there is only $2000 difference between the 2 and that isnt bad to get 4 more years newer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kmonokwe

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I drive an '05 Mazda3. The car has been great and I haven't run into any mechanical issues whatsoever...its only required the scheduled maintenance. If it was me, I would buy the older car and save myself the $2000 but that could be because at the financial stage I'm in right now, I would spend the least amount of money possible to properly cover a need such as a car. (The money section of my brain is saying "If you have to choose between 2 cars, both are good deals but one is $2000 more, which would you pick?")

If you're worried about possibly maintenance issues, you could always bank the "extra" $2000 to have on hand in case something did go wrong with the car.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kmonokwe

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
I'd negotiate the price on the 08. I think you could get at least another $1K off the price. Cars are not moving quickly these days. It's almost middle of the month, and your sales associate likely has to meet a quota.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,302 Posts
I too think you should negotiate for a lower price on the 08. If you could talk them down $1000, then you have a newer car for only $1000 more. Good luck! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: kmonokwe

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the ideas! We got in the 08 first thing Monday morning and as we backed out of the parking spot, there was an awful grinding sound in the brakes. It was more expensive than we wanted, so we passed.

We ended up with a Pontiac Vibe, believe it or not. We found a 2005 manual transmission, extremely nice with 54k miles. The dealer we're good friends with said he just got it in, and was planning on putting it up on the website for 10,500, but that he'd offer us 9200 right off the bat. We've got some friends who bought the exact same car a year ago for 14k. It really wasn't what we were looking for, but it does fit our needs with good gas mileage, and has great cargo space. We're putting $1000 down and only financing $8000. It feels so much better than having to finance 11k!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,342 Posts
My FIL has a Vibe and loves it. He had an '08 and traded it over the weekend for a '10 because he wanted a newer one since they aren't gonna make them anymore.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kmonokwe

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
Sorry that happened to you. Sounds like you got a good deal on a nice car. I haven't heard much about the Pontiac Vibe, but sounds like they are pretty good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,986 Posts
hey kmonokwe........hope you like your Vibe.

I have one and love it. Didn't want that big of car when I was shopping but got used to it and have loved it. I was going for gas mileage, along with price and had eliminated most of the others for various reasons....if not lack of good mileage then price.......including the Prius. (they were pulling the full sticker price when I was shopping and mileage wasn't that much better than the Vibe) I get about 30 MPG around town and about 38 out on the highway.....depending on speed......congrats on new car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
I did some quick research for you and using a North Plattte, NE zip code (I don't know if that's near where you live, but I figured at least I'd get the state right) I figured I would let you know I looked up the retail value of this car it is about $11000, pending it is in excellent condition. That is going by Kelley Blue Book.

However I cannot stress enough to people that it is NOT worth it to finance a car unless you have a way to pay the car off rather quickly and have no prepayment penalties.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kmonokwe

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Preston, thanks for your thoughts! We are actually in Oklahoma, but we broke down in Nebraska and bought the new car in Kansas. I am wholeheartedly in agreement with you about NOT financing a new car. Unfortunately, it was either that or follow what we considered a more dangerous and less steward-like path.

We could have fixed the truck's transmission for just barely more than what we had in savings. It would have cleaned us out and we'd have an old truck with a new transmission, new cat converter, new tires, and old everything else. We've been replacing things, and feel we'd end up spending way more on the truck in the interim than it was worth to us.

We spent time looking at cars that were priced at about $12k, and when we found the Pontiac for $9k, we felt like providence had just smiled down on us. We started out thinking we didn't want to pay more than $10k. The sort of car we were looking for (small, good gas mileage, younger than 6 years old) just wasn't available in our area for less than 10k. So the price certainly sold us on it.

We ended up getting a loan, sortof as a personal favor, from a banker in southern Kansas (we had some family/business connections), who gave us a good rate and is excited at our passion in getting the dang thing paid off. Although this has set us back almost 100% in our get-out-of-debt plan, we will still be able to make it - and be totally out of debt - in less than two years. Considering all of this, we went for it.

Every day I wake up and wish I could send all of our money to this new loan, but I refrain, knowing I need to feed and house my family first :) I had this debt with a passion, but I still feel we did the right thing. We feel much, much safer on the road, and that is enough reason.

We've had a slow month recovering, but we've now got our $1k emergency fund re-funded completely, and we should have our first extra payment at the end of this month. Things are a little tight this summer, since about half of my income has disappeared with summer vacation (I teach piano lessons). We should be fine, and even have some extra, but since its been such a rocky road this last month, I'm holding on to my dollars till I know its safe to send them out :) When we can finally hit this thing as hard as we were hitting Sallie Mae this spring, I'll breath a sigh of relief and get us out of this mess as soon as possible.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top