By on April 15, 2010

TTAC Commentator MontanaVista writes:

Sajeev and Steve, I have a good one for you guys. I currently own a 2007 VW Rabbit 2dr Automatic. On average I put about 23,000+ miles on my car a year due to my commute to work. This car has given me no problems at all, however my commute often includes a lot of stop and go traffic and shotty road conditions, which I fear has aged some of the components. I drive ~25 miles to JFK and back everyday. I have exceeded the manufacturers warranty (50k) and extending my warranty is out of the question for me. The VW warranty will only extend it another 28,000 miles which will be a little over a years worth of driving for me. And people I know have had bad experiences with third party warranties, and I’m not sure I want to get myself stuck in something like that. I financed the VW for 72 months, I owe around $8000 on it but it is definitely worth around $10000 (craigslist and Autotrader).

I want to get rid of the VW while it is still worth decent money, and before something goes wrong with it out of warranty – plus I’m just bored with it! I have been looking at a lot of different new and used options and I’m open to suggestions, but have narrowed down my choices. I would like to keep my monthly payments below $300/mo and leasing is not an option due to the miles per year I drive. Japanese cars are out of the question – sorry! A good warranty is a must for me, if not for anything else but peace of mind due to my commute. And it must be automatic, I cannot bear driving stick in the traffic I encounter everyday.

As for new, I am thinking of waiting for the Chevrolet Cruze. I drove one in Europe over the summer and enjoyed it. I’d like to find out how it drives with the expected US 1.4L Turbo before I buy though. As for used, I have been looking for a 2007-2008 Saab 9-3. I’ve always wanted a Saab, but thought I would grab one when I was older (I’m 27). The CPO Saabs come with a 100,000-mile warranty, so finding one with 30k or below gives me a greater warranty than what I had with my new Rabbit. Thanks in advance!

Sajeev Answers:

Don’t let that Steve Lang guy sucker you into buying some old clunker for cash and all that. Fact is, you want a new car and you deserve it. No need to convince us that leaving the Rabbit is the right move, it’s almost out of warranty. We Americans all know the drill with used German cars: either you love it or you leave it.

A quick digression on selling privately: write a good description of the vehicle with pros and cons, collect all paperwork (service history is an absolute must), clean the vehicle like it’s going to the Prom (even under the hood) and take really good pictures. If you do that, you might get your $10,000. Good luck with that.

About those new cars: the Cruze is interesting, but I think the Fiesta is a more fitting successor to the Rabbit. The TTAC review (https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-2011-chevrolet-cruze-german-market-spec/) was lukewarm about performance, with the standard mill. Considering there have been several generations of Fiestas (the ST models in particular) with European-ish performance, I’d wager it’s more like your Rabbit and less like the pedestrian Cruze. But only a test drive will prove it, for both you and me.

My only concern? Stop financing new cars for 72 months, unless some bailed-out financier like GMAC is dumb enough to offer 0% financing again. And you buy your next car at invoice price, no excuses. It sucks having that much debt on a depreciating asset, unless a loving family member runs your workplace. And if a 36 month payment means you can’t afford a new car, maybe Steve Lang’s usual advice is spot on. Again.

Steve Answers:

Dear VW Guy. You’ve got to be high on fear and debt to even remotely believe that a $3500 annual de-fleecing is actually worth…a warranty.

My heartfelt advice is to stop drinking the media supplied Kool-Aid, buy a tool kit and a Hayne’s manual, and start to get to know the absolute basics of your car. The big money is rarely made on the smartest customers. It is always the most ignorant and fearful that are the juicy prey of the marketplace. At this point you’re being a squeaky mouse in a den full of recession hungry boas.

Educate yourself. If you can look at a glass and see it’s half-full, you can easily read the coolant, oil, washer fluid, and brake fluid levels in your car. If you can turn a screw, you can also replace an oil filter, a battery, and nearly anything else on your car that isn’t a computer or wire. Buy a couple of jack stands, a $50 tool kit, a Mityvac, and that Hayne’s manual I mentioned earlier. The Rabbit’s are average in reliability and there’s nothing there that isn’t in 90+% of the cars that have been out there for the past decade.

Spend a couple hundred on an education and you’ll save tens of thousands down the road. That is if you have the courage to rely on your own abilities. If not, the finance company and new car dealership are more than happy to oblige.

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56 Comments on “New Or Used?: Replacing The Rabbit Edition...”


  • avatar

    I’m with Jack, offering a Third Way: Find yourself a competent, interested mechanic. Don’t be fearful, unless you really want a different car.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I don’t see the value in selling your 3 year old car, just to turn around and buy another used car.

    Forget the extended warranty. After you’re done making payments, you put some of what would have been your payments in the bank and you should have more than enough money to pay for any repairs that might be necessary.

    I would also hesitate to change vehicles while I still owed money on the current one. Just my personal rule of financial responsibility.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    slightly off-topic. Sajeev or Steve-isn’t there a device that forces brake fluid up from bleed valves instead of bleeding them the conventional way? I thought is was made by mityvac but I can’t find it anywhere?

    And that why I love the Porsche Boxter S.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Given your budget, avoid any European or GM junk. Why would anyone assume the Curze would be a decent car, given GM’s history of Cavalier and Cobalt?

    Since you explicitly said you don’t want a Japanese car, you best choice would be a Sonata or an Elantra.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Go the route of Lang. Maybe you want something more reliable that a VW, get the $10,000 for it, use the $2000 as a solid down-payment and buy something rock solid and American. I don’t know about prices in your area but Car Max is selling Chevrolet Cobalt coupes for $10,000 to $12,000 with 20K on the odometer. Lean some basic fix it skills and think how much more attractive you’ll be. I don’t care which team you play for, people find someone who has basic repair skills sexy. (Lear to cook too and you’ll have more dates than you can handle but that’s another story.)

  • avatar
    dolo54

    While I wholeheartedly agree with Sajeev’s sentiments, the guy did say he was bored with the car and wanted something different. I’m a big believer in buying slightly used and letting the other guy take the big depreciation hit. Have any used car be inspected by a good independent mechanic before you buy. Any money you would spend on a “warranty” is much better spent by you creating your own warranty, i.e. putting that money aside for needed repairs as they arise. Unless you are buying a mid 80s Jag or used Ferrari, you are guaranteed to come out ahead. How do you think companies that offer warranties make money? Repair costs almost never go over the yearly fee they charge. Just find a good independent mechanic, or even better, do what Sajeev suggests, look up your car model’s internet forums, and start learning. Not too many things are more satisfying than fixing a car yourself.

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    Locate a good Polish/German/etc mechanic and rack up the miles on that VW. In the right hands, a VW should give you years and years of service.

    If the car comes apart, THEN think of following your whims. Simple as that.

    I’d have a completely different answer if this were a car you owned for fun. But a car for commuting demands heavy logic.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Yep my Benz mechanic is IIRC Czech or Hungarian, I just hope he doesn’t retire any time soon.. If he goes, I’m thinking the Benz may have to go too, unless he has a good wrench he can refer me to.. I def hope he’s around until at LEAST 500k mi on mine, probably another 3-4 years..

    • 0 avatar
      0menu0

      Yup, although more “fussy” than the Japanese brands, VWs will keep going.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I would just keep the VW. You only have about 2 years left of payments. Driving a car that is paid for is a great feeling. How about keeping it AND buying a beater to take some of the miles off the VW. If you can come up with about 2k in cash pick up a beater insure it with liability coverage only to save money, and drive it a few days a week.

  • avatar
    ctowne

    10 cents worth of electrician’s tape over the CEL bulb on the dashboard of that VW and you can drive it another 50k miles without worry.:)

    I’d say keep it until it strands you somewhere, then push it to a car max, trade it in on something on the lot then.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    By selling a three year old car, you are locking in (and “realizing”) the biggest hidden cost of owning a new car: the annual depreciation. From this point forward, your VW will depreciate less per year than it has in the past (and much less per year than any new car you would buy).

    Let’s assume you don’t want to get grease under your fingernails and, instead pay someone else to do everything for your car, including oil changes. What trips people up on the new vs. used analysis is that they see the repair bills for the used car . . . but they don’t see the depreciation on their new one (unless they financed it 100% for a long term and are trying to sell it in the first year or two of its life . . . and find out that they have to write a check to sell their car). So they see a four-figure shop bill and think OMG! This car is going to bankrupt me . . . and the sell it and buy another new car on credit.

    But even if you spend $1,000 a year on repairs keeping the VW running, that will be less than your first 2 – 3 years of annual depreciation for any new car that you buy.

    Finally, you need to sort out your car-owning priorities. If staying out of the repair shop is absolutely important to you, then rejecting all Asian-branded cars out of hand doesn’t make any sense; nor does embracing European-branded cars. Most mature owners of Audis, BMWs, Benzes and the like understand that these cars’ eventual need for expensive repairs and/or maintenance is just part of the package that they’re buying. As Cornelius Vanderbilt is reported to have said about yachts: “If you have to ask the [purchase] price, you can’t afford one.” The point being that, for those cars, a significant part of the cost of ownership is something other than the purchase price.

    If you’re bored with the VW, want to buy European and feel like you have the money to spend, then at least get a 2 or 3 year old CPO car. The first owner already has absorbed the big depreciation hit.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Amen to that brother.

      Capital cost, a/k/a depreciation is the real monster in car ownership. Even using dealer service, it almost never makes economic sense to give up on a 3 yro car.

      If you are bored I suggest a hobby, like commenting at TTAC.

  • avatar
    Accazdatch

    MAN WOW!

    Ive never been a fan of even remotely interested in VW, until CAR mag came out with the review on the GOLF / GTI as of current.

    Damn nice car.

    Looking above, I don’t know if THAT (the car on the left) is the actual vehicle that is being debated. Looks like a damn nice ride. I know VW has a MASSIVE online following for its cars.. and even though I’ve heard about electrical issues if ya buy the car at the Mexico plant, and their dealerships aren’t the best.. etc etc.

    I’d hate to think of a guy with a NICE VW has to dump it cause of of the miles he puts on and has to settle for some domestic GARBAGE like the CRUZE.

    VW has a certain panache, specially the one listed above.

    Cant imagine SETTLING.

    Now…
    Japanese isnt bad.
    Ya can pull a coupla diamonds in the rough. Im guessing that the VW above isn’t yours and Im also guessing you LIKE to drive. SO, why be interested in some CRUZE? As others have said.. a Saab 9-3 isnt in the same league as your VW, nor is the CRUZE. Could you supply more info on the type of vehicle you’d like, 3,4 or 5 drs? Sporting character / involved in sporting driving? With a Saab.. thats just depreciation CITY. Especially when ya have to get parts at a GM shop when it breaks.

    And as for warranty..
    The warranty isn’t everything.
    If anything I’d find a way to purchase the longer term warranty from the dealership.. not third party. Ive also heard the stories.

    Now,
    Hyundai / Kia have a big ol bait n switch 10yr warranty in the US, 7 in UK. You don’t honestly want to dump a NICE VW for some… Hyundai. It just doesn’t add up and as well as Hyun / Kia are doing, do they add up to your sporting intentions = VW?

    I’d go heads over heels for Steven Lang’s comments. Man knows his shit.

    Spend a coupla bux at the auto parts store.. get a nice lil pile of tools together.. and bond with the VW, she deserves it!

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Some biases in car buying truly baffle me. Sounds like the guy wants a reliable car based on the warranty comments, but refuses to consider Japanese?! Seems a Civic SI would be the perfect fit and IMO more “fun to drive” as any VW Rabbit. But I digress.

    The budget is the killer here. $300/mo isn’t much for financing a vehicle unless you crank it out to 72 months, i.e. stupid. Shop the thrifties and buy an older Accord or Camry (I mean Taurus) that has another 100k miles in it and save up and pay cash for your next car.

    If you’re worried about the reliability of the VW that 9-3 won’t be doing you any favors warranty or not. Not sure what size/type of vehicle you want since the Cruze and 9-3 aren’t exactly comparable. What about a slightly used Fusion or Focus? Both can be had for decent price (maybe not $300/mo), and screw the warranty BS, repairs are cheap if needed. You can also save a ton of $$$ by not having a worthless CPO sticker on the windshield.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      He’s driving over “shotty” roads in NYC.

      A Civic Si will be one of the most uncomfortable cars he can get and will cost a crapload of money to insure. No way should he be buying one.

      My advice is to decide whether you will ever want to keep a car for more than 3 years. If not, accept that leasing is the better choice for you. Yes, it costs a lot, but constantly getting rid of a 3-year old, no-warranty, 6-year note car is even more expensive.

      If you don’t want to do work yourself, buy a classic road warrior car – a 3 to 4 year old Taurus/Impala.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless he really likes rowing an MT in heavy traffic, he’ll dislike a Civic Si for more than its firm ride. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Si, but as a preference for an AT was already mentioned, the Si isn’t a good choice.

      I’d say the smart move would be to dump the VW for a relative clunker, or keep it for a long time. Anything else seems expensive.

  • avatar
    richeffect

    If you don’t mind the debt, then by all means, go for a new car. Your 2007 Golf can go to someone else who is more willing to put up with any repairs needed. I’d stay away from the used Saab, as it’s just as old as your car, and you’ll most likely still be paying for repairs on everything aside from the engine/transmission which (I’m assuming) is the only things that the 100k warranty covers. It’s the little things that will nickel and dime you to death. Don’t forget the increased insurance rate.
    Be careful of clauses in any extended warranty contract–like having to provide proof that the car was serviced at a dealer in order to make a claim.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If you’re bored with it, but a prior model 328i with a manual, and plan on repair work as others have said. There is no reliable, trouble free used car. If you don’t mind fixing it on your own, you’re golden. Otherwise, budget $1500 per year for maintenance, scheduled and unscheduled. Even mechanically perfect cars need brakes, tires and batteries. And alignments and bulbs and new hoses.

  • avatar

    Yeah and . . . . no commentary about the Saab?

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Interesting follow up to the previous article. 72 month car loans? What price boredom? First and foremost, cars are tools to get you around to the important parts of your life. If funds are plentiful, by all means indulge yourself. Otherwise, spending money on consumer credit is just frivolous. Keep the Rabbit, refinance the loan if you’re paying more than 1% over current rates (and join a credit union to get the best rates), and see if you can’t drive less. Can you car-pool, or use public transit a couple of times a week? Modern marketing exists to make you dissatisfied with what you’ve already got so that you’ll buy new stuff to replace the stuff that still serves you. Don’t be a sucker.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Formulate an algorithm containing all the parameters you can concoct and arrange said parameters to attain the desired results and dance away giddy with glee and revel in the results.

    Or whatever.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Sell the VW and pick up a three-year-old Hyundai Sonata.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    findude

    72-month loan? Yikes!

    Simple rule: Never finance a new car for a period longer than the manufacturer warranty.

    This is your chance to get off the car-loan train. Keep the VW for a year or two longer than your loan. Save your money. Since you drive a lot, look for 3-5 year-old, one-owner cars with meticulous maintenance records.

  • avatar
    mountainman

    Sell the Wabbit outright, and get the Golf TDI – that car will last you for a while.

    And yes – you need to learn how to repair it.

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    Repaint the car.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    IF you want a $300 a month payment, a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty, and as much fun to drive as you can get within those parameters…then I’d suggest getting a Hyundai Accent SE. It has cruise, sunroof, sporting suspension, B&M shifter and more. It’s light enough with the available horsepower to chirp the tires in second gear (which I’ve done a few times pulling into traffic), a shifter that’s more precise than the one in the Rabbit I drove to college long ago, and steering with good feedback. With a body that’s even smaller than your Rabbit, you’ll have less trouble finding parking, too.

  • avatar
    crc

    It sounds like you got a good one if there have been no problems to date. Forget the Haynes and get a Bentley manual. They are worth every penney.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      +1 on the Bentley manual versus the Haynes. Vastly better one to get if you decide to keep the VW.

      -1 on those who don’t know anything about CPO Saabs. Check out the warranty details–it’s likely to be quite similar to other CPOs from European car dealers. And based on conversations I’ve had with service managers the cars from the last couple of years are proving more reliable than is the reputation spouted from the armchair analysts here.

    • 0 avatar
      drivebywire

      Bentley manual’s definitely the way to go, especially for a VW or BMW, as they also have CDs with documentation available.

    • 0 avatar

      The Bentley CD manual for our 2001 New Beetle had to be one of the most frustrating pieces of software I’ve ever had to endure. Lots of great information delivered in a nearly unusable format. The copy protection sceme was a total PITA, and the search function was horrible. A search for “spark plug” netted no results, and many other common queries met with similar results. In short, unless Bentley’s CD manuals have been overhauled, I’d avoid them like a HUMMER.

      That said, my friend’s paper Bentley manuals for his Corrados are excellent.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Love of leave it is right. I’ve had my MK3 since 1997. I obviously love it. It has been a good relationship for the most part too. If you are not willing to roll with the punches, get outa the ring. I know people who have a new car all the time. I prefer to spend my money of european vacations.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    You know, life it too short to drive something that is boring/no longer interesting. HOWEVER….

    $300 a month? Unless this is less than 5% of your monthly disposable + insurance (income ~ $75K) this is just silly. Do you have any idea what you can buy for that kind of monthly scratch?

    For what it is worth, I could not agree more with Steve. There are so many interesting/fun/different used vehicles that will meet your needs it is hard to know where to start.

    I get being tired of the Rabbit – I would be too. You can do better; open your mind and get something that years from now you will be proud not to have been part of the cookie cutter convention crew.

    Oh yeah, and spin your own wrench once in a while. Good for the soul, you know….

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I’d usually be with Steve on this one, but I’ve spent a decade replacing parts on my cars, doing my own oil changes and pretty much all the other basics – but there is only so much getting caked in crappy old oil and generic car filth and skinning my knuckles and banging my head and crushing my fingers and freezing to death on a cold garage floor I could take before I bought my first new car. Having a warranty was bliss and stumping up $30 for someone else to do the oil change? I did’t even blink.

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    It makes zero sense to borrow money to buy a car, except for your very first one. Drive that car for 5 years after it’s paid off while continue to make “payments” into a saving account and pay cash for the next car.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    Look for something 3-5 years old with very low miles. I like the Impala idea myself. Take it to a mechanic before you buy it. Learn to do at least the basic maintenance yourself. Pay it off! Then keep it for a while..hopefully another 2-3 years. Put the payments into the savings account once it is paid for. And never, ever, ever finance a car for 72 months. And never buy a damn Audi unless you pay cash and park it in your 3rd garage.

    If you do these things you will have nicer cars long term. If you buy the best thing you can get approved for every time, and flip it as soon as you have equity in it, you will chase a payment for the rest of your life. Then again, if you butter my salesman’s bread for me, I can hold out for a good price when he needs one more unit over the curb and doesn’t care about holding gross.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    I see no reason to sell the VW. Sure you’re bored, but why go in debt for a new car?

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Buy something that is made in Japan. The only way to go. Germans are good engineers , but their electrics can’t be trusted.

  • avatar

    OK. This is a golf question. I’m sure you are aware that there is a huge aftermarket for this car. I also drive the “roads” near JFK, and sympathize as to the conditions.

    Don’t go back to the dealers. You can upgrade your suspension easily, and for that car, with every possible way from “rough roads” to “lower and slam” (NOT for you). Want more power ? Too simple and not something to discuss here…we don’t have the time.

    Consider your car a starting point. There is no need to suffer depreciation or worse, to run the “interest engine” for a new car and note.

    The amount of money your friendly dealer will separate you from for any car, will buy you a fresh set of shocks and sway bars. Add the taxes for the new car and you can go for a new stereo, wheels and tires (don’t go too low profile on those roads).

    I’ve had four Golf based cars, two diesels, one Scirocco and one A2 GTi. You can make these cars what you want-outside the dealer body and to your spec. Find a good VW guy, who will address the probably wonky shocks, and can discuss with you a comfort springs and shocks kit. The OE saves money here, but if you spend some, you will find a new love for your car. The basic VW is very tough-the problems are silly plastic bits, shocks, etc, all of which are replacement parts anyway.

    Don’t go back to the rug market…you will be scalped. You can get new shocks, springs and sway bars at an indy shop and you will be AMAZED at how your car picked up 10k in feel. The stress bar between the front shock towers will make your VW feel like a BMW, especially on the moonscape of lower Queens. If you’ve had three years of NYC driving, your OE shocks and all the rubber bits are worn out.

    I do agree with the poster prior that an e46 BMW with a Manual (only) is a great used buy…probably the best one out there if you know BMW and immediately change all the fluids (BMW’s lifetime fluids are a farce), but you already have a car. Front and rear shocks, possibly springs and sway bars, staying toward the “comfort” side. OE brakes are OK, and you are stuck in traffic, so don’t spring for big brakes in your area. You might want to check your tires, too, if they are 3 years old, they might need replacement. It is very common for a few potholes to bend the steel belts and give you a permanent imbalance.

    No car, no matter who makes it, survives NYC streets. You can’t avoid potholes, and they are huge. The traffic never opens up, so it is stop and go. The engine never gets to “highway running” condition, so you don’t burn off water or carbon.

    Yes, a top quality “comfort shock and spring” set, with a stress bar across the front shock towers and a fresh set of tires, you will be singing happily. Spend a few days reading the VW forums.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Why are people so willing to accept poor long term reliability with German cars? If you have big bucks, you still have to deal with excessive trips to the dealer. If it is your commuter, you have to deal with loss of car. As an enthusiast, ok I get it. I love the feel of my friend’s 3 series. If most other makes were so problematic, especially if it was domestic, they would be roasted here.

    The original poster should keep the VW until it is shot, or for that horrible commute, buy a well depreciated car. Sell the VW, buy a used Taurus for $5000, and drive it for 100K miles. Then, with the money you saved, buy a 2 year old fun car for the weekends and another cheap reliable commuter. Don’t eat up your new car on that crappy commute.

    • 0 avatar

      Some of us aren’t. I happily dumped our New Beetle for a Civic Si, and now we have a Honda Fit and Subaru Baja in the garage. I’m more surprised by MontanaVista completely ignoring Japanese cars than I am by others giving German cars a pass on reliability concerns.

      speedlaw gave some good advice. From the “bored” comment, I don’t our Rabbit owner would be happy driving a beater, so lightly modifying the VW (while paying it off early, right?) seems the way to go. The Rabbit has been a reliable car thus far, with mostly highway miles, and the owner knows its history. It’s already gone through the lion’s share of depreciation, so I’d take a known good used car with two years left on the note over starting from scratch on a new car, or buying a nearly new car with a relatively unknown history.

      But that’s me. MontanaVista, now that several of us have picked away at your Rabbit, what do you think?

  • avatar
    SV

    I think a Rabbit driver would be completely dissatisfied with the Impala or Accent that some have suggested. For me at least, moving from the VW to a Chevy Impala of all things would be suicidally depressing. Keep the VW. It’s a good car, reasonably economical, enjoyable to drive, and, according to Consumer Reports at least, amazingly reliable for a German car (it’s getting Toyonda-level ratings in that department, actually). Maybe outfit it with some GTI parts to alleviate the boredom?

  • avatar
    vento97

    As a current owner of a daily driver 1997 Jetta with 320,000 miles on it (and still enjoys driving it), I would say keep the Rabbit and subscribe to the vwvortex website. These cars have tremendous tuning potential in the aftermarket circles (Google ” VW Thunder Bunny”).

  • avatar
    ronin

    Sorry, but you haven’t earned the right to be bored with the car. All you’ve done is dump money without really attaining any ownership benefit. The other stuff- worrying about costs that have not occurred- sound like excuses you’re making to yourself to get deep into debt all over again.

    You couldn’t afford this car, what makes you think you can afford another? When you bought this car you thought it was great- how do you know you wont’ be bored all over again with whatever you replace it with (hint: you will be).

    You won’t listen to this. Because you’ll convince yourself getting a new car is really a savvy financial decision, and heck, you’re worth it and all.

    Neither, of course, is true. You actually realize this. Next time you want to throw money away, just do it, don’t write a letter to a blog.

    Tough? You bet. Let’s not feed the addiction to credit. Like driving 23 miles to work on a bad road is some kind of unique experience. Because how will he ever know the joy of being debt-free and driving a well-maintained 7 year old car you have no worries about? But just maybe with the help of a little tough love our friend will get there.

  • avatar
    ffdr4

    Having owned both VW and Saab, I can say that Saab replacement parts are:

    (a.)cheaper then VW replacement parts.
    (b.)compared to a VW, you replace significantly fewer parts on a Saab.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I’m with Ronin. He’ll love his new car the first few months, and then be bored again, but this time he’ll be 5 years and 9 months from paying it off (or worse, if he leases).

    Keep the Golf. It’s a good car, and you can easily fix its deficiencies. As others have said, whatever you spend on repairs, it will be far less than the depreciation, taxes and interest costs of something new.

    Pay it off, and then spend a couple of months without a car payment. You’ll be amazed how freeing it feels.

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  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber