Graduated Learning: Life after College

Personal Finance, Parenting, and a dash of Science

We bought a new car! October 12, 2019

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 8:48 pm


My last post was about hoarding cash. I guess now we have a little less cash in that stash!

My husband’s car was getting pretty bad. He’d bought it used over a decade ago and had put at least 150k miles on it. The last time he brought it in for repairs and maintenance, the quote to fix everything was pretty much about what the car was worth. So we decided it was time to get something new.

My husband took the lead on shopping around for the best deal (mostly because I don’t like trying to negotiate with people). We knew what kind of car we wanted, so he sent emails to all the local car dealers who were selling that car. He collected the offers in a spreadsheet and continued to negotiate with the different dealers, sharing what the best offers were to see if they could beat it.

We finally made our way to the dealership that had the best offer. We took a test drive just to make sure we liked it. And while we were on the test drive my husband got an email from another dealer with a competitive offer. When we got back to the dealership from our test drive, my husband told them about the competing offer. He showed them the email, and they were able to match it!

We had to transfer money from our savings accounts to our checking account so we could pay for the car, but after that went through a few days later, we picked up the new car!

I know a lot of folks focused on personal finance suggest that you should only ever buy a used car, and even then, don’t spend a ton of money on it. Yes, we know a new car loses value immediately after buying. But we plan on having this car for a long time, and it fits our current and future needs, and we plan on getting our money’s worth from it. Like Tanja of Our Next Life wrote, “decide for yourself what spending you value, then spend without guilt“. We are frugal in a lot of ways, and have been saving for a long time. We wanted a car that was safe and reliable, and could accommodate our family’s needs now and for years to come. And we believe that’s what we got.

When’s the last time you bought a car? (It was over 11 years ago for me!)  What purchase have you made recently that goes against standard personal finance advice?


7 Responses to “We bought a new car!”

  1. Savvy History Says:

    I bought a new car 10 YEARS AGO. I wonder occasionally if it was a huge mistake (especially after reading all of these finance blogs). But you know what? I plan to run it until it breaks. This has already come out to $2,000 a year to have a dependable car that never stranded me anywhere. (I played live music gigs when I bought it, so that was my reasoning.) If I can get it down to $1,000 a year by keeping it 10 more years, I’ll really be pleased:)


  2. FreedomFIter Says:

    I’ve never thought of doing the negotiation online before – the last time we got a car, we drove to several different dealers and managed that way. I will definitely be trying out the negotiation by e-mail next time!


  3. I bought a new car a decade ago! I love my baby 😉 I hope to drive it until I’m too old to drive, but I know we will be buying a new car in the next year or two for my husband. Whether it’s new new or new-to-us remains to be seen.



  4. Not a new car, but we are likely buying a new – not used – travel trailer at some point.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    big mistake. if your car is worth 3k and cost of repairs is 4k. 4k is still cheaper than 30k for a new car. thumbs down on your decision.


    • Stephanie Says:

      I see your thinking. However, if I’m going to be spending a ton of money in repairs every year trying to keep the old car running safely, those repairs are going to add up. So $3k spent yearly for the next 10 years on an increasingly unreliable vehicle? Or $30k spent now for a car we know isn’t going to break down in the middle of nowhere that we plan on keeping for at least 10 years? I care more about my family’s safety and being able to get to work on time than saving money on a car that’s rusting away in these New England winters.


  6. I bought a brand new VW 5 years ago because I wanted a car that would be reliable for a long time. Love my car and plan to own it until the wheels fall off.


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