I’ve been trying to purchase a “new” car for a few weeks now. My wife and I have been sharing a single car for a few months now, but our conflicting schedules are beginning to cause problems – prompting the need for a second car. However, I’ve been having a very tough time shopping for a car.
My biggest problem is letting go of so much money. I I’ve been trying to pay off my student loan fairly aggressively lately and can’t really afford the monthly car payment – even on a decent used car – but I do need a car. So after a few weeks of debating with myself on what type of car to buy, I’ve decided on a route that many people may not think of, but may be a perfect choice for others in my situation. So what have I decided to do? Well, the picture below should give you an idea…
That’s right… I’ve decided to get the best car that I can for under $1,500. Some of you might be laughing, some of you may think I’m a complete idiot, but here’s some of the reasoning behind my decision.
- It’s Just Plain Cheap – The first reason is obvious. Instead of making car payments of $200 each month for 3-6 years – of which a significant portion is interest – I will be paying cash that I have saved for the past two months. Yes, I realize that the car won’t last me more than two years or so, but the car only needs to get me to and from work… that’s it. And, just to make some of you feel better, I’m making sure that the car I’m buying is recently registered and has passed a smog test within the last 90 days. I’m also having my mechanic friend take a look at the car before I hand over the cash.
- Insurance Savings – If you thought that the car I’m looking to buy is cheap, you should see the insurance payments on a car that’s 15 years old. I mean, who’s going to worry about a 1990 Civic being stolen?
- Do-it-Yourself Maintenance – Although I’m no brilliant mechanic, I can do most small jobs with the help of a car guide. By buying a 15 year old car I won’t need to worry about computer systems and most replacement parts are significantly cheaper than newer cars.
- Great Resale Value – There are two options when I’m finally in a position to buy a newer car. I can either resell the car for about the same price (there’s not a huge resale difference between 100k and 150k miles) or give away the car to charity and take the tax deduction.
So there you have it… my brilliant idea for saving myself approximately $3,300 over the next two years. Any other suggestions for buying a dirt-cheap used car? Or maybe stories of your own involving used cars off Criagslist? Let us know…