Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeMoney SavingWhy We Purchased A NEW Automotive

Why We Purchased A NEW Automotive

We purchased a brand new automobile. Not a “new to us” automobile, not a “almost new” automobile, an precise factual model new 2022 Subaru Outback. However Liz–you’re now fretting– don’t that:

Our model new Outback

Shopping for a model new automobile must be one of many worst monetary choices an individual could make.

Shopping for a brand new automobile is like taking pictures your self within the foot not as soon as, not twice, however 3 times. Right here’s why:

  1. The mark-up on new vehicles is astronomical.
  2. The chance value of shopping for a brand new automobile–even in the event you pay money–is profound.
  3. Most automobile loans have rates of interest, which implies you’re spending much more cash.

In contrast to a house–which generally, hopefully will increase in worth–a automobile is nearly assured to lower in worth. A automobile just isn’t an appreciating asset.

Who wrote that?! ME. I wrote all of that again within the halcyon pre-pandemic years of 2014-2019. Again within the instances earlier than our present interval of inflation and bananas automobile costs. So why ON THIS EARTH would I purchase a brand new automobile?

Inflation of the Automotive Varietal

As you will have seen, we now have some inflationary motion occurring lately. And as I famous on this article, inflation doesn’t affect all costs equally. Fortunate for me, a few of the most egregiously inflationary objects are vehicles. How superior for me!!!!

Based on this Fortune Journal article from June 2022:

Used automobile and truck costs have risen 16% over the previous yr, and 50% greater than earlier than the pandemic.

Thrilled past perception with their used energy wheels

My analysis on the bottom corroborated this as my husband and I discovered used vehicles that value as a lot or nearly as a lot as new vehicles. In some circumstances, we discovered used vehicles priced HIGHER than new vehicles for the easy cause of availability. For those who want a automobile instantly, you may need to overpay for a used automobile as a result of you possibly can’t get your arms on a brand new automobile quick sufficient (though there are exceptions. See my notes on the Mazda CX5 beneath).

In regular financial instances–or fairly, in previous financial instances–used vehicles had been remarkably cheaper than new vehicles, which made the depreciation on new vehicles astronomical. In different phrases, new vehicles would lose an incredible quantity of their worth as quickly as they had been not new. Used vehicles, then again, had a way more gradual depreciation curve, which meant you could possibly purchase a used automobile for an inexpensive value after which, if wanted, re-sell that used automobile at an inexpensive loss. At present, thanks to produce chain points, a scarcity of pc chips and inflation, used vehicles are not a deal.

We had been confronted with the truth of buying a several-years-old automobile for under round $2,000 lower than a brand new automobile. In gentle of that, we noticed no level in shopping for used. Once you’re taking a look at a ~$30k buy, we felt {that a} financial savings of $2k isn’t sufficient to justify shopping for a automobile with mileage and with no guarantee.

Why Didn’t You Simply Wait To Purchase a Automotive?

We did. We’ve wanted to exchange our 2010 Toyota Prius for the reason that begin of the pandemic. However… we waited. We started trying to find vehicles in earnest throughout the spring of 2021 and had been flabbergasted by the costs. At that time, used automobile costs had been up 42%!!! So, we determined to attend a yr. We had been optimistic that used automobile costs would normalize and we’d be capable of comply with our earlier roadmap of shopping for a several-years-old automobile for a terrific value. HAH. Little did we all know, inflation was simply getting began.

Why Didn’t You Wait One other Yr?

We thought-about this. Strongly. However, we lack the flexibility to foretell the longer term and had been involved automobile costs is perhaps even larger subsequent yr. Plus, we didn’t wish to undergo one other winter with the Prius.

Why Did You Want To Change the Prius?

The Prius. Caught within the snow. On our driveway. And this wasn’t even deep snow!

Our 2010 Toyota Prius was a champ. She did her highest to outlive Vermont’s winters and he or she made it (kinda) by way of six of them with out (utterly) falling aside. The Prius was ideally suited from a fuel mileage perspective however abysmal from the views of:

  1. Driving on rutted dust roads
  2. Driving throughout spring mud season
  3. Driving on ice
  4. Driving by way of snowstorms
  5. Getting out of our driveway
  6. Driving on not-very-well-maintained rural roads

The Prius is made for metropolis and interstate driving. The Prius just isn’t made for rural backroads. I’m actually impressed we lasted so long as we did. Once we lived within the metropolis, the Prius was a super automobile. Right here within the woods? The Prius was turning into a joke of a automobile.

Her main shortcomings had been:

  1. Lack of all-wheel drive
  2. Lack of floor clearance
  3. Lack of contemporary security options

Floor clearance just isn’t one thing I thought-about earlier than residing rurally. However after getting each single stick, rock and piece of bark conceivable caught to the underside of the Prius, floor clearance is one thing I take into consideration typically. Moreover, we often must drive by way of a number of inches of snow as a result of when there’s an enormous snow, the state snow plows can’t consistently take away all of the snow from the street. Therefore, having floor clearance and all-wheel drive are crucial (if, , you wish to go wherever).

Our Driveway: An Ongoing Saga

Extreme snow on a portion of our excessively lengthy driveway

Then there’s our driveway. Longtime readers know alllllll about our bobsled course of a driveway. At a really hilly quarter-mile lengthy, our driveway was the one main draw back we accepted once we purchased our home.

Fortunately, Mr. Frugalwoods maintains it himself with our tractor, which is a year-round job: snow elimination all winter, grading within the spring, culvert reconstruction in the summertime, some extra grading within the fall… Regardless of his ministrations, there are fairly a number of winter days the place the Prius can not get out of the driveway.

I do know this as a result of I’ve many fond recollections of loading each youngsters into the Prius solely to find that it will:

a) not go up the little slope from the parking space onto the driveway

b) go up a portion of the driveway after which roll backwards

Enjoyable instances! If it rolled backwards, I’d then need to reverse down the driveway, park it, unload each youngsters and re-load them into our truck (a 2010 Toyota Tundra). Thrilling as this ritual was, I’m over it.

And sure, the Prius was outfitted with top-of-the-line Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded snow tires. These helped a bit, however couldn’t make up for her lack of AWD and 4 centimeters of floor clearance.

Why Don’t You Simply Drive the Truck all Winter?

That is what we did the previous a number of winters. The Prius would make debuts on much less icy/snowy days, however the truck turned our each day driver. This was sub-optimal and not our supposed use case for the truck, as a result of:

  • The truck will get HORRENDOUS fuel mileage.
    • I’m speaking 12 MPG. Driving the truck each day defeated your complete existence of the Prius.
    • The entire level of getting a Prius was to capitalize on the Prius’s hybrid capabilities of 46 MPG. Along with costing us $1M in fuel, driving the truck on a regular basis is horrible for the surroundings.
  • The truck is meant for uncommon utilization for hauling farm tools/constructing provides.
    • The truck is for hauling the snow plow we purchased a number of years in the past.
    • The truck is for hauling our maple syrup-making tools.
    • The truck is for hauling the lumber we used to construct the hen coop and the woodshed.
  • Our purpose is to maintain the truck for a lot of, a few years as a beater farm truck.
    • Driving it typically added mileage and put on/tear, which negated this goal.

Why Do You Want Two Vehicles?

It is a honest query as a result of I earn a living from home and Mr. FW is early retired, so we very not often each must drive reverse instructions on the identical time. Thus, having two vehicles isn’t to unravel the issue of a twin commute, it’s to satisfy our wants as subpar homesteaders and to make sure security.

Since there’s zero public transportation out right here, it’s a compulsory security consideration to have two autos. We are able to’t have one dad or mum at dwelling with the youngsters with no car–if there’s an emergency, they’d don’t have any approach to go away. I truly had this occur to me a number of years in the past (as a result of Mr. FW being out of city with the Prius and the truck breaking down) and it was an terrible, terrifying feeling. I’ll pay no matter I have to with a purpose to have secure, dependable transportation.

What We Want In A Every day Driver

The chickens approve of their each day driver

After capitulating to the Prius’s ineptitude in our surroundings, we started a two-year-long analysis challenge into our subsequent automobile. Our priorities had been:

  1. All-wheel drive
  2. Cheap floor clearance
  3. Reliability
  4. Affordability (not shopping for a Tesla over right here, individuals)
  5. Fashionable security options
  6. Sufficient room for 2 adults and two youngsters
  7. The absolute best fuel mileage for a non-electric, non-hybrid car
  8. Capability to haul issues like skis, paddle boards, kayaks, and so on on the roof

We might LOVE to get an electrical automobile and it’s our 5/ten-year purpose to promote this automobile and purchase electrical. We didn’t get electrical this time as a result of the costs on electrical autos are tremendous excessive and the expertise is tremendous new. I don’t wish to get the primary technology of any new expertise–I wish to see the way it performs out after which choose a automobile with a confirmed file of reliability. Since electrical autos use a completely totally different expertise than fuel vehicles, I don’t really feel assured falling again on my earlier information of automobile manufacturers. It’s all totally different now! At any charge, our hope is that our subsequent car might be electrical.

The Vehicles We Thought-about Shopping for

  1. Toyota Rav4
  2. Honda CRV
  3. Mazda CX5
  4. Subaru Forester
  5. Subaru Outback

These are all labeled as “small” SUVs. We didn’t need something bigger–such because the Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sequoia, Honda Pilot, Honda Passport, and so on–as a result of these value extra and worsen fuel mileage. The entire autos on our listing value roughly the identical and provide roughly the identical fuel mileage.

I made this comparability chart on Kelly Blue Ebook and, as you possibly can see, these vehicles are almost equivalent in each metric:

We take a look at drove all of them and right here’s what we discovered:

Toyota Rav4

That is the automobile we assumed we’d get as a result of we love Toyota’s reliability file. Many of the vehicles we’ve owned have been Toyotas and we deliberate to proceed that development. Till, that’s, we sat in a 2022 Rav4. Lo and behold when Toyota redesigned the inside, they didn’t take tall individuals into consideration. My husband is 6’2″ and I’m 5’7″. His head TOUCHED the highest of the automobile and mine got here very shut. This was an instantaneous deal breaker. Can’t have a automobile we’re too tall for!

Honda CRV

Valiant snow-clearing effort by the youngsters

This was a high quality automobile to drive, however we weren’t as impressed with the trunk area. We regularly want to suit two youngsters’ bikes + different sundries and this trunk appeared tight. Extra importantly, the CRV’s complete bundle isn’t nearly as good: the AWD isn’t the perfect, neither is the bottom clearance, and recent-year CRVs have had an oil dilution drawback. As a result of these elements, we discounted the CRV fairly shortly.

 Mazda CX5

We beloved this one. This was hands-down our favourite automobile to drive. It’s beautiful, well-designed, clean as butter to drive and has a really luxurious really feel. I’m nonetheless a tad unhappy we didn’t get a CX5. However, our causes had been sound: its AWD capabilities aren’t top-of-the-line, the trunk area is smaller and, crucially, it isn’t as excessive off the bottom because the automobile we selected. I might like to personal a Mazda sometime–they’re simply so enjoyable to drive! However, not the appropriate automobile for us proper now.

Subaru Forester

Once we turned our analysis to Subarus, we supposed to get a Forester. However once we went to the dealership, the salesperson advised us that Foresters had been manner, manner, manner backordered and that it is perhaps 6 months earlier than we may get one. He then defined that the Outback has the identical floor clearance and the very same AWD system because the Forester, a BIGGER trunk and could be obtainable sooner.

Subaru Outback

Once I searched my pictures for “automobile,” numerous “carrot” pictures popped up. You’re welcome.

Longtime readers will recall that we owned a 2010 Subaru Outback once we moved to Vermont in 2016. It was, in truth, the automobile we purchased for our new Vermont way of life! Nonetheless, we had been attempting to make use of it as our truck. We purchased the Prius and the Outback within the hopes that we may get away with utilizing the Outback as our hauling car and the Prius as our each day driver. We shortly realized that an Outback just isn’t, in truth, a truck and you can not, in truth, haul issues like snow plows and full-size lumber. However we tried, let me let you know. Right here’s the total story on our authentic Outback: Why We Broke Down and Purchased a Used Truck.

As quickly as we take a look at drove the 2022 Outback, we remembered why we purchased one within the first place. It ticked each single considered one of our bins:

  1. Finest AWD of the autos we thought-about (equivalent to the Forester)
  2. Highest floor clearance of the autos we thought-about (equivalent to the Forester)
  3. Finest trunk area as a result of it’s a station wagon versus an SUV:
    • I LOVE THIS TRUNK and we fill it to the brim on the common.
  4. Good fuel mileage:
    • It harm to say goodbye to the Prius’s phenomenal fuel mileage, however we weren’t in a position to reap the advantages of that fuel mileage throughout the winter anyway, so we must always come out forward on our annual common MPG.
    • We’re averaging 30 MPG with the Outback, which is much better than the truck’s embarrassing 12 MPG!
  5. Certainly one of my all-time fave pictures of Kidwoods

    Good reliability:

    • We aren’t 100% jazzed with Subaru’s longterm upkeep file, BUT, shopping for a brand new automobile means it’s below guarantee for 3 years/36,000 miles for fundamental and 5 years/60,000 miles for the powertrain, at which level we would promote it and get an electrical car anyway.
  6. Glorious trendy security options.
  7. Good affordability and inside a pair thousand {dollars} of all the opposite vehicles we thought-about.
  8. A roof rack got here commonplace:
    • That is good for holding our ski roof field (particulars beneath) and my paddle board.
    • This automobile was made for individuals who like outdoorsy, rural stuff, which makes life simple on us. Continually attempting to retrofit the Prius into one thing it’s not designed to do was a ache.

Plus, the ready time for an Outback was shorter than all the opposite autos, apart from the Mazda CX5. We may’ve pushed a CX5 off the lot the day we checked out it, so in the event you want a automobile ASAP, try Mazda!

This quick ready interval was essential for us as a result of we would have liked to have the automobile earlier than late October/early November (AKA the beginning of winter). And, we would have liked to have it with sufficient time to re-sell the Prius. Promoting stuff throughout the winter (homes, vehicles, chickens) isn’t terribly widespread right here. Most people appear to choose to transact when the climate’s first rate. We put our title on a ready listing for an Outback in mid-April and had the automobile in hand by Might thirty first. Good for our timeline!

Extra on Security Options

One more reason we wished to improve to one thing newer than our 2010 was for the brand new security options of the Outback, together with: computerized braking, blind spot detection, extra airbags, rear cross site visitors alert plus trendy crash take a look at situations. Newer vehicles have been re-engineered to satisfy larger crash take a look at security requirements, which implies they lead to fewer deaths. The variety of miles we drive means we’re more likely to die in a automobile crash than from another supply, so having new security options had been a precedence. Once we added the Outback to our automobile insurance coverage, our legal responsibility insurance coverage truly went down–it’s cheaper to insure the Outback than the older Prius as a result of we’re a lot much less prone to get into an accident with a more recent automobile.

The Destiny of the Prius

Kidwoods washing the Prius in preparation on the market

Whereas used vehicles are bananas costly to purchase proper now, that additionally means it’s a fairly candy time to promote a used automobile. We listed the Prius on the market on Craigslist, our native city electronic mail listserve and Fb Market. We initially listed it on the value we paid for it again in 2015: $8,900.

We didn’t get any affords at $8,900 and so after two weeks, we lowered the worth to $8,400. That was evidently the candy spot as a result of we instantly began to get affords. Curiously, a lot of the queries got here by way of Fb Market, which we’d by no means used earlier than. Previously, we’ve purchased and bought every little thing by way of Craigslist, however I assume Fb Market is extra well-liked now. Many because of our buddies A & C for recommending we use it–I actually wouldn’t have even thought-about it.

A mechanic messaged me (by way of Fb) that he wished to purchase it for his sister-in-law and came to visit the subsequent day to take it for a take a look at drive. He supplied us $8,000, we countered at $8,200 and he agreed. An ideal negotiation the place each events felt like they acquired a very good deal!

My Ideas for Promoting a Used Automotive:

  1. Do your analysis on pricing. Don’t simply use the Kelly Blue Ebook value, take a look at what related used vehicles are promoting for in your space.
  2. Listing on the very prime of the market with the information that almost all consumers wish to negotiate and you may at all times decrease the worth. You possibly can’t precisely enhance the worth, so listing excessive after which cut price down.
  3. Be terribly clear in regards to the situation of the automobile. You don’t wish to hoodwink anybody and it engenders belief if you’re clear. It’s a used automobile, everybody is aware of it’s going to have some points. We included the beneath rundown in our description of the Prius, together with pictures of the physique injury:

Ensure that to reveal carrot irregularities too

Whereas a wonderfully dependable each day driver, this automobile does have 163k miles and comes with the next identified defects that we by no means felt had been value fixing:

  • Faint fuel odor outdoors the automobile when the tank is full to the highest. It goes away after the primary ~50 or so miles following a fill-up. We had our mechanic look into it and he couldn’t discover any leaks and pronounced it secure. He beneficial in opposition to dropping the tank except it acquired worse. That was a yr in the past and it hasn’t gotten worse.
  • Occasional rattles from all the warmth shields and plastic fairings below the automobile. We now have our mechanic chase these down at any time when it’s within the store, however it nonetheless has a warmth protect rattle at sure low rpms. You possibly can’t hear it past idle.
  • Very, very gradual leak within the AC system. I’ve to cost it as soon as each spring (simple to do with a $15 package from Walmart) and it blows chilly all summer time. We had our mechanic do a fluorescent dye take a look at, and he didn’t discover something (not shocking because it should be such a gradual leak). We may throw elements at it, however we simply cost it each spring. Been like that for not less than 4 years.
  • Minor physique points: small crack on decrease left bumper, slight separation of bumper on higher proper, minor floor rust and a few paint chipping alongside the roof. See pictures for particulars.

The one who purchased it mentioned he was particularly eager about shopping for from us as a result of we had been so forthright in outlining the automobile’s identified defects. He appreciated that we disclosed all of this upfront and each he (and we) felt snug sharing this data of the automobile’s shortcomings.

Do Not Do a Commerce In With a Dealership

Once we purchased the Outback, I requested the dealership to tell us what they’d give us for the Prius if we traded it in. I already knew I wasn’t going to commerce it in, however I wished the information of their provide for this submit. After assessing the Prius, the dealership supplied us $3,000 and advised us that was, “a terrific value for a automobile so outdated.” HAH. By going by way of the nominal trouble of washing it, vacuuming it, photographing it and itemizing it, we made $5,200 extra by promoting it ourselves. Folks, it’s well worth the “trouble” to promote a automobile your self.

The Prius Numbers

Right here’s the breakdown on our 2010 Toyota Prius:

Our Buy Worth Date Mileage at time of Buy
$8,995 April 2016 95,802


Offered For Date Mileage at time of Sale
$8,200 August 2022 163,456

Meaning the Prius solely depreciated $133 per yr (or 16.73%):  Good! Like I mentioned, dangerous time to purchase a used automobile, nice time to promote a used automobile.

The Outback Numbers

What you’ve been ready for! Right here’s what we spent on our 2022 Subaru Outback Premium in Autumn Inexperienced:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Subaru Outback $33,106.86 Through test
Remaining steadiness on Subaru Outback $2,500.00 Through bank card
Ski roof field $590.52 Roof field for skis
Rims & snow tires


Flooring mats




Used from Craigslist. New rims are circa $600-$700 and don’t embody tires

Flooring mats

Kick mats $26.49 Kick mats (affiliate hyperlink)
Craigslist Promoting $5.00 To promote the Prius
TOTAL $36,827.77

As you possibly can see, we put $2,500 of the Outback buy value on our cash-back bank card, which implies we netted 2% money again–often known as $50. The dealership mentioned we may put a max of $2,500 on a bank card and so we did. We paid the remaining steadiness through private test. We’ve by no means financed a automobile as a result of we don’t wish to lose cash to curiosity. Since we knew we’d want to purchase a brand new automobile, we started saving up money for this buy about two years in the past.

The ground mats, kick mats and seat cowl all doing their jobs

You’ll additionally be aware that the ski roof rack was $100 cheaper than the listing value. That’s as a result of we purchased it throughout an REI 20% off member sale and thus acquired a 20% low cost. We weren’t the one REI members who thought to do that. The shop was full of gigantic supply bins of kayaks, roof racks, bicycles, and so on. Clearly low cost week is the appropriate time to purchase costly out of doors tools!

We additionally purchased very good, very costly ground mats, which cowl your complete ground (and sides) of the inside. We did so as a result of we plan to in the future promote this automobile and we wish to hold it as clear as potential. And, since we reside within the woods, we get about as a lot dust within the automobile as outdoors the automobile. And gravel. Mud. Sticks. Leaves. After which after all there’s the snow, ice and salt… to not point out our two youngsters. We had been in a position to re-use this backseat cowl we had within the Prius, however sadly, the kick mats didn’t match (affiliate hyperlink). So, we purchased these and they’re ideally suited since each of our youngsters really feel the necessity to prop their muddy boots on the seat again in entrance of them (affiliate hyperlink). And with that, the Outback is absolutely dirt-proofed!

Due to Craigslist we had been capable of finding some used rims and snow tires, that are obligatory out right here within the wintry sticks. The explanation we get rims (along with tires) is in order that Mr. FW can swap the tires himself each season, versus paying our mechanic to take action.

Okay I can’t consider anything to let you know. Hit me together with your questions!

Have you ever had to purchase/promote a automobile not too long ago? What was your expertise?

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