This is part two of a two part story on how I decided to buy a brand new car.
When I left off yesterday, I was more confused after testing driving three different cars. But I kept learning things about the Honda Civic that I liked so finally made my decision.
With that out of the way, the next step was deciding whether I should buy used or new. Since the price of 2-3 year old Civic was not much less than a brand new one, I wondered if I could actually buy new. Of course all the while realizing I cannot buy a brand new car for $240 a month. I signed up on a site online that sent my name and phone number to two dealers in town and one of them encouraged me to lease the car. They promised I could get the vehicle for under $240 a month by leasing. When I mentioned how many miles I drive to work, they started talking real fast about how that wouldn’t matter and on and on and on.
So for about a week I was going to lease a car. Horrors! I’ve never wanted to buy a brand new car, but I was even more adamant about leasing!
I went back and forth and back and forth. New or used? Lease or buy? I was going to have a monthly payment no matter what. And the payment would probably be around the same amount, new or used, since one can generally get a longer loan on a brand new car.
My credit union’s car broker had about a dozen brand new Honda Civic’s on their lot that they had bought from a local dealer. I thought that would be my best price, and it would definitely be the least hassle. I was not looking forward to the whole hassling with salespeople at the car lots. I’d heard all kinds of horror stories, like salespeople taking people’s car keys and tossing them up on top of the building. Not to mention I am not one that likes to haggle.
It was a very difficult and confusing time to be sure.
One day I decided to see what my fellow personal finance bloggers have to say on the topic. I know the general consensus is buy used. Always buy used. One reason I was reluctant to buy used was because we have not had good luck with mechanics and my husband who always used to do the work on our cars is no longer able to due to his disability. Anyway… I was surprised to find that Ramit Sethi prefers buying a new car rather than used. I liked what he had to say, and I was especially intrigued to explore the gold nugget he offered in his post… a company called Fighting Chance.
When I signed up with Fighting Chance I purchased the package which would guide me through the process to get the best price on leasing a car. I put in a call to the owner James Bragg and he crunched some numbers and told me he didn’t think leasing was a good idea and he also could not see how in the world they could keep my lease under $240. I had had some misgivings about leasing anyway… I mean… what if the car gets damaged? I realized I would be a nervous wreck for the entire lease time, so I decided to buy instead of lease. Buying meant I was going to have to adjust my entire budget since I was almost certainly going to end up with a payment higher than $240.
For $39.95, Fighting Chance guided me through their recommended process which enabled me to purchase my new Honda Civic for $2371 below retail on the last day of July. If I could have waited until December, I am certain I could have saved a thousand or two more, but I am pleased as punch at the deal I got, especially in consideration of the smooth transaction. I would even go so far as to say the whole process was enjoyable, if you can imagine that!
Now having had my new car for two months, I am happier every day that I made the decision to buy new. I love my little car.
Here are some specs:
- The sale price for my car was $17609 (Kelly Blue Book values “fair purchase price” right now with my current mileage is $17,426)
- After tax, document fees, and license fees – my “out the door” price was $19,780
- I’m getting 38-39 miles per gallon combined highway and city miles (FuelEconomy.gov estimates 33mpg combined)
- Spending $80-$100/month on gasoline
- I secured a loan at 2.49% through my credit union for 75 months
- My payment is $285/month
- My auto insurance increased by $55
When you consider I was spending $280 to $400 per month on gasoline to drive my employer’s vehicle, it is definitely worth it to be paying for my own vehicle rather than just pouring gasoline into a tank.