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Reasonability and Cars and Wanting What I Want

April 23rd, 2007 at 08:22 pm

I've been looking at cars again. I've been looking at what we can afford and also what I'd prefer to do. I'd prefer to get a nice used car for $9000 and a 3 year loan. Even if we can now afford a $23,000 very slightly used car (7K miles, 2006) with a 5 year loan. I am very reluctant to lock myself down into a 5 year car loan.

In the past we had a 5 year loan that we paid off in 3 years, and a 3 year loan that we paid off in 2 years. But this would be a five year loan that we took the entire five years to pay down.

I have been going back and forth over this possible obligation. The thing is that we keep our cars. The Crown Vic is a '92 and still running strong 15 years later. Though we bought it in '97, still we've had it for ten years. I know that if we get the more expensive car that we will keep it at least ten years, possibly much longer.

The $23,000 car has all of the features we want and leather seats. Cloth seats are no good with children and their messes, just too hard to clean. It has the room for my 6 foot 3 inch tall husband to be comfortable and still gets 28 miles to the gallon on highway driving, which is where we do 80% of our driving. The two models they have (which are identical except one is plum and one is aubergenie, one is 8000K miles instead of 7000, both darky reddy purplish, but not girly) and one has tan seats and one has beige seats.

The $9000 car is two sizes smaller, gets 34 mpg highway, has gray cloth seats and is "please officer, pull me over and give me a speeding ticket" red. It is a 2004 with 36K miles. It is plenty roomy enough for me even with being smaller and I would do the most driving in it. It is nice enough. It would do just fine. It might be a bit uncomfortable for DH, but he'd make do. But I don't really want it. I want the other one.

Am I being unreasonable not wanting to take on a $23,000 loan that lasts five years if I intend to keep what is virtually a new car 10 to 15 years? Will I be a grump about driving a perfectly serviceable car with a much smaller loan?

Last time we bought a car, the Blazer, I gave in to what DH wanted and I have regretted it pretty much since. It is not what either of us intended to buy, it was not what we researched and planned for. It was pretty. It was an impulsive veering off course of what we had previously decided on. It is hard to manuever and tense to drive. But he wanted it and it was an excellent price so I said okay.

I want what I want this time. Not something I am going to regret. But will I regret the five year loan? Circular logic only makes me dizzy!

Questions? Comments? Answers? Anyone?

7 Responses to “Reasonability and Cars and Wanting What I Want”

  1. wyozozo Says:

    I say buy the one you want...don't settle. If you settle you will always be unhappy about the purchase.

  2. baselle Says:

    Get what you want, especially if you know that you'll want it now, and you'll still want it 10 years from now. Bonus points if the car's dorky enough so that your children won't want to borrow it all the time (they'll be driving after 10 years).

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Red cars actually get in less accidents though (easier to see). I mean unless it is a sports car, you'll be fine.

    Going off my last purchase, frankly I'd go for the $9k myself. I bought the spiffy car and I am not sure it was worth it. Plus frankly, you should be able to find a brand new spiffy car for less than $23k. Around here the dealerships are clearing out the older models (some still brand new) at deep discounts. Maybe it's a big city thing. I can't imagine paying $23k for any used car myself.

  4. homebody Says:

    Well if the $23,000 car is a Volvo or Lexus SUV I say go for it! (That is what I am hoping for next, saving, saving, saving). My 1994 Plymouth Voyager has 180,000 miles on it and I am hoping it lasts until I can pay cash.

  5. elgin526 Says:

    I did a 5 year loan on my current car ('98 saturn) and I didn't mind it the first 4 years, but that last year it was like nails on a chalk board to write that check out every month. Longest year of my life, I swear! I did a happy dance when I wrote that last check, let me tell you! $249.37, I never forget that number until the day I die.

    Is there any way you could swing a 4 year loan instead? Bigger down payment? Higher monthly payments? Take it from me, 5 years will seem like a lifetime!

  6. zetta Says:

    Have you tried shopping around to see what you could get in-between those two extremes? Maybe the same model as the $23,000 car, but with more miles on it? I bet if you looked for one like it (maybe an earlier year of the same make) with 20k miles you would be back in the range of a 3 year loan...

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    2006 was the first year for the $23,000 car. The new ones are close to $30,000. There is a car in the middle that is around $15,000 used but they don't have any with leather seats, pretty much a must with my kidlets.

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