By on April 4, 2017

Auto Repair

According to the American Automobile Association, one third of drivers in the U.S. cannot pay for an unforeseen vehicle repair without going into debt.

AAA says the average trip to the shop will set you back between $500 and $600. So, what does that mean for the 64 million American drivers who can’t afford an unexpected repair bill?

Make sure to factor in all of the costs associated with the vehicle, not just purchase price or monthly payments.

Consumer Reports covers six points to help make a smart buying decision: depreciation, fuel costs, interest, insurance, maintenance, and tax. While maintenance is next to last on that list in terms of actual dollars spent (only 4 percent of total ownership cost over five years), the real danger is a lack of preparation.

Depreciation isn’t an immediate cost, so it’s easy to disregard. Fuel costs are perpetual and planned. Insurance is agreed upon beforehand and can easily be lumped together with the actual payment. Insurance, though it can be pricey, is at least consistent.

The surprise factor inherent to repair costs is what makes it seem like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

According to another study by AAA, $792 per year is the average amount spent on a vehicles maintenance. Some people either choose not to perform regular maintenance, or forget all together, which only raises the price for repairs when something does go wrong.

Since the reason these relatively small figures bring so much misery on auto owners is being unprepared, AAA suggests that saving at least $50 per month will help to cover the cost of regular maintenance and unplanned repairs.

So the next time you buy a car, make sure you can afford all of the costs, not just the payment.

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186 Comments on “‘What is Cost of Ownership?’ Asks One Third of US Drivers While Borrowing to Pay Repairs...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Just lease a 320i.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      I should do that.

      Time I was able to hold my head high when I park in front of Cost Cutters.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A lot of people, especially older ones, are choosing to lease. Drive a brand new vehicle every 3 yrs. Not bad. Not bad at all.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Or you can buy that fake repair insurance on TV.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        My old man is a television repairman. He’s got this ultimate set of tools…

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        bumpy, I would not advise that to anyone. Nor the fake home repair insurance.

        One guy told me that he took his car into the GM dealership where he bought it to get a new waterpump, only to be told, “We don’t accept that insurance.”

        That’s fine how-do-you-do.

        Or how about the lady who’s dishwasher broke and had it replaced under one of those warranties?

        She was still out almost $150 for plumbing labor, to have it installed by the people who brought her the new one.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          “She was still out almost $150 for plumbing labor, to have it installed by the people who brought her the new one.” That is still much less than she would have paid w/o that home warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            This was that warranty that Home Depot offers. I think they call it replacement warranty, but labor is not covered.

            Now I ask you, what is so complicated about hooking up a dishwasher to an existing line that requires two hours of labor, plus tax?

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            There are parts and labor warranties, and there are parts replacement only warranties. As I tell my kid, reading is like breathing – need to have the skill.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Someone needs to pay for that plumber to drive to and from the house not to mention the fuel, commercial insurance and other aspects of staying in business. So that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Scoutdude, Stumpaster has the answer.

            “There are parts and labor warranties, and there are parts replacement only warranties. ”

            You gotta read what you’re buying. My guess is that most people don’t.

            And my belief is that most warranties are written to be as clear as mud, in hopes of never being used.

            It’s like Medicare or SocSec: you pay in all your life but when it is time to collect, the government hopes you die sooner rather than later.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Just lease a 320i.”

      That’s going to cost you at least $3500/year, if you have the credit to obtain good lease terms. You could buy a different beater every year for that kind of money.
      .
      .

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Or an Accord Sport. It will be more fun to drive than the 320i without the sport package. I’m speaking from experience.

    • 0 avatar

      I lease a Jetta S for $155/mo so I can afford to maintain my 10 year old M3, 20 year old Range Rover and 30 year old Porsche.

      #Priorities

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Well… this is part of the steady drumbeat of personal financial responsibility.

    On one hand, it is easy to preach from high places in a position of financial security. On the other hand, many folks in low places–and places in between–don’t listen and choose to live lavishly with regard to their means.

    I wonder what the stats are on how much the average person spends annually on credit card interest- in relation to an unexpected auto repair bill.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      It’s a mix.

      I don’t know how many times people have told me they couldn’t afford a used car because of repairs, while clinging to a $500/mo car payment.

      When I point out that if they can afford $500 a month, then they could afford to save that money and pay for repairs. If they can’t save the $500 they can’t afford the car payment.

      Sometimes they get it. Sometimes they don’t.

      Point being that poverty is tough. It tends to make you think on a very short term basis because there is always a dozen fires that have to be put out now, so you end up feeling like you can’t worry about the future. On the other hand, that kind of thinking tends to help create the fires.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    It is amazing the psychology of what “out of pocket repairs” cost versus depreciation, loan interest, increased insurance costs and taxes. The “I don’t want to throw good money after bad” way of looking at things can be expensive.

    It seems much easier it is to convince someone to to make a big monthly payment and all the depreciation that comes with it as opposed to pretty menial maintenance costs.

    I’m honestly surprised $792 a year is the average, I would have guessed lower, but that’s also including things like tires, brakes, and oil changes. Expenses you’ll have even with a newer vehicle under warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      nlinesk8s

      You’d be surprised. I track all my car expenses, so I can either blink in disbelief, or decide to get a new(er) car.

      I’ve a BMW E46 that has averaged about $2k a year, mostly in parts.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        That’s because you drive a BMW, trust me, not all cars go through that much in repair bills every year.

        If you’re wed to that brand, I would lease.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          “If you’re wed to that brand, I would lease.”

          $2K/year in repairs is $167/month. Can you lease a new BMW for that little?
          .
          .

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah but that $167 per month isn’t including depreciation.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            Aren’t there BMW leases for around $300 a month? I would gladly pay an extra $100 or so versus out of pocket repairs. My time is worth that.

            Eventually it will get even more expensive if you keep a BMW long enough.

            I’m not saying a lease payment will equal repair bills, but I would gladly pay the difference if that was my vehicle of choice.

            If you’re going to keep a car for the long haul, it better be from a reliable brand.

        • 0 avatar
          Stumpaster

          I have a Volvo 240 that averages $150/mo for 9 years. Dead simple car, right? I am actually surprised that the BMW averages only $166.

          Anyone who says that a BMW lease is $300/mo clearly hasn’t grasped the point of this article – real money, real costs. A $300/mo BMW 320 lease also includes about $3K upfront plus about 10% for all other associated junk. End result $410/mo of true costs.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “I have a Volvo 240 that averages $150/mo for 9 years.”
            ________

            I had a Volvo 240 also, had almost 200k miles.

            You need to learn to turn some wrenches if you’re spending that much to keep it on the road.

            9 years x $150 a month is $16,200

            I don’t think I spent that much on repairs for my family’s last 5 cars combined.

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            I used to replace cam shafts in parking lots and worked as a mechanic in a taxi garage. But now I spend my time elsewhere and pay full price for my mechanic’s services. Which makes my comparison valid, whereas you compare apples to oranges.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            I used to replace cam shafts in parking lots and worked as a mechanic in a taxi garage. But now I spend my time elsewhere and pay full price for my mechanic’s services. Which makes my comparison valid, whereas you compare apples to oranges.

            ______

            Sure you did.

            Now you drive a $2,000 car you spend $1,800 a year keeping on the road. That you got because it’s simple to work on. For someone else to work on.

            Smart.

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            Well I certainly didn’t need your endorsement of my lifestyle, but for your effort for nonetheless providing me with one I award you the title of the local bully-a-hole. You won, Congratulations!

      • 0 avatar
        Meat

        I do the same, granted my daily is an 07 Aveo and the running costs (maintenance, repair, and consumables) works out to $37/month for the past ten years and 130k miles. All for a car that was $10k new and worth about $5600 five years ago. Buying a simple and easy to repair daily and having the modest skill to keep it running is cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Keeping any new car beyond the factory warranty invites financial disaster.

      With so many sensors managing the engine, transmission and everything else, just one malfunctioning sensor that needs to be replaced can take the better part of an individual’s pay check.

      Today’s cars are much too complicated to maintain yourself if you aren’t a mechanic who owns his own garage.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No keeping most vehicles past the warranty period is not inviting financial disaster.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The Grand Caravan we had was a disaster on warranty and that continued off warranty.
          Everything that we’ve owned that was good on warranty has been good off warranty.
          If someone can afford a loan payment or a car payment, they can afford a repair with the caveat:
          If repairs exceed vehicle replacement costs or becomes too frequent/unreliable, then I’ll buy something new. Normal wear and tear i.e. tires, brakes, tie rod ends etc. are expected. I won’t replace a vehicle for those issues. Those items aren’t worth fixing if a big ticket repair is looming i.e. engine burning a lot of oil.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        “Keeping any new car beyond the factory warranty invites financial disaster.”

        That’s some pretty crazy hyperbole.

        My last 4 cars have had well over 100k miles, and the repair bills for several years were well under the sales tax on a new car.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          When I did all my own repairs and maintenance on my vehicles, I drove them until the wheels fell off because I could handle breakdowns and fix it myself.

          I’m too old now to crawl around the driveway and do R&Rs.

          If people are financially able to pay for repairs, great!

          But many individuals are not that financially strong.

          For them, leasing may be the way to go.

          And buying used is just buying someone else’s problems and discards.

      • 0 avatar
        spookiness

        “Keeping any new car beyond the factory warranty invites financial disaster.” I’m calling nonsense on that. I’m 2 cars and 10 years past the recession, layoff, 40-something graduate student, etc. etc. Bought used out of common sense & necessity, but now I don’t think I’d go back to buying new and having car payments again. Cars are darn reliable, and even though I don’t wrench my own car typically (or need to), Google, YouTube, a $10 Bluetooth OBDC and rockauto means I can figure out a lot of issues, and even if I don’t fix them myself, I can present a reasonable diagnostic theory to someone else who does the dirty work.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Well, good for you! Not everyone is as lucky as you are.

          And I sure have changed my perspective since I can longer do my own repairs and maintenance.

          I used to drive my cars until the wheels fell off. But no more.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        A lot of those sensors (when heeded) are what protect all that nice newer stuff from blowing up so you can fix things when they are inconvenient instead of a disaster.

        If you could afford a new car, you likely could afford to put whatever you were paying in car payments into savings once the car payments are done. If you never need it for your car, congratulations- you still have savings.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          MrIcky, if your comment was meant for me, I can afford it.

          The gist of the article pertains to people who have to borrow money to get their car fixed.

          I have been fortunate to be able to pay for my new vehicles in full without having to finance.

          And…….., I’ve been very, very lucky in that all the cars that I have bought since 2008 have been totally problem-free and continue to be used by my grand daughters as their DDs.

          Even my 2011 Tundra 5.7 is my son’s DD, without even one problem, so far.

          Ever since we became an all-Toyota-all-the-time family I haven’t had to take any long, hot showers or swap spit with the dealership or mechanics to get the vehicles fixed.

          And that’s a good thing!

      • 0 avatar
        toplessFC3Sman

        Let me counter your anecdotal evidence with some of my own. I have a 2006 Saab 9-3 with a 2.0 liter 4-cyl turbo – a pre-cursor to the “downsized-boosted” engines that seem to be the bane of many commentors’ existences. These cars have a special, 3-year only fiber-optic network that all the various computers talk over, and the only way to get more access to it than a regular OBD-II dongle can give you is to be a dealer or buy one of the $2000+ GM Tech-II’s with specialty Saab-specific software & licenses on it. It has 200,000 miles on it, and is a dead brand with minimal aftermarket support for Saab-specific parts (the GM-shared parts are still fairly plentiful). This sounds like I’m really asking for trouble as far as maintenance and long-term longevity is concerned, but that’s really not the case.

        From 20,000 miles through 200,000 miles, maintenance has cost me $90/month (Total costs, with fuel, insurance, registration etc, not including depreciation is about $400/month since I drive this car about 2000 mi/month). I have NOT needed the specialty tools for anything, nor do I own my own shop, although I do all my own work (up until recently in the apartment complex parking lot). I guess my point is that modern cars tend to scare people when things go wrong, because the skills to diagnose the problem and solve it cheaply are fairly hard to come by. If you have some idea of what you’re doing, can use an OBD-II dongle, and aren’t afraid to look around (especially on various make-specific forums), there is no general reason that newer cars will be more expensive to keep going than older ones.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    The recent craze of big tires on everything will bite most folks who need to replace tires and say holy shit there not cheap. The roads across most of the northeast do not help also in that regard. My guess is folks who can not afford $800 a year in repairs should not lease a car, buy less car than you need and buy American or Japanese for either cheaper repairs or better quality. We have owned my wife Pilot for 12 yeas and have put in way less that $800 a year , but we bought it brand new and have fixed what ever was needed when it was do, also it only gets driven about 10k a year, biggest amount out of pocket was the 105,000 mile service and a wheel bearing at the same time ago. Not everyone can afford to buy a new Honda pilot so we are luckky in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      Here in Colorado the craze is for a dealer to upgrade and sell a used 3/4 ton 4-door diesel powered truck with a Chinese sourcesd lift kit, Chinese 24″ chrome wheels and tires to a young male with a new job in the oil fields. EZ subprime financing completes the deal!

      After a downturn in the oil market and the truck has engine / driveline troubles form the coal-rolling tuning upgrades it’s usually repossessed and it’s wash, rinse and repeat. Also, I’m amused that all these lifted trucks running around on bald tires. Guess those 24″ Hongi Freedoms only lasted 8,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A few years ago, the 20″ tires I bought for my wife’s Grand Cherokee cost me $500 a piece, including mounting, balancing, road hazard, tax and recycling fee.

      Our grand daughter still uses that JGC as her daily driver today. Maybe buying tires with good wear characteristics pays off in the long run.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Ouch, I’ve never spent much more than $200 per tire and those were Max performance summer tires. The tires on my pickup are about $250 each new but those are Michelin 18″ load range E. Note I only paid $800 for the set with the chrome clad wheels and center caps as I got them from someone who paid for that upgrade on the sticker of their brand new truck and then went out and bought some cheapo aftermarket wheels and tires.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I wrote about it on ttac years ago when I had the work done. And this was done at Discount Tire, no less.

          It was the 20″ size, the width and the profile that made it pricey.

          My BFF just had to replace the four 17″ tires on his 2012 JGC. He chose Yokos which were closest to the original Goodyear tread-profile.

          Those tires cost him $250 each, mounting, balancing, road-hazard, tax and recycling fee included.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Discount tire is anything but the cheapest place to buy tires unless you stick with their loss leader cheapo Chinese tires. Costco or Sam’s club would have probably saved you at least $50 per tire and another $30-$50 on mounting and balancing not to mention the road hazard warranty would have been included rather than an additional charge per tire.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Discount Tire is cheaper in my area than Martin Tire or Big O.

            And that’s all we got. And they R&R while you wait.

            No Sam’s, Costco unless you drive 200+ miles, roundtrip to El Paso, TX.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No WalMart? They are definitely cheaper than Discount as well.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’ve bought tires from walmart twice now in the past year. Never in store, I use their online tire site, and get them shipped to store, and then mounted elsewhere. Some of the best deals, better even than Discount Tire Direct (different than Discount Tire brick-and-mortar store prices). My local Toyota dealer is actually incredibly reasonable as far as mounting/balancing goes, and does a much better job (uses correct specialized lug/hub adapter for yota trucks) than the generic places.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, we got a Wal-Mart Supercenter but I don’t believe they carry tires that I would want.

            I suppose they could Special Order but Discount Tire and Martin Tire always seem to have in stock what I am looking for: Michelin or Yokohama with high mileage tread rating, like 80K or 85K miles.

            Tires IMO are probably the most important safeguard any driver can have because it really is where the rubber meets the road.

            No pun intended. I believe in buying the best tires my money can buy, most of the time H-rated but sometimes even Z-rated. Load range E for my pickup trucks, where applicable. Better construction.

            It goes back to the engineering and construction of the tire that provides the safeguard.

            I don’t skimp on tires.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I don’t believe they carry tires that I would want.”

            Wally World carries all sorts of good stuff online, up to and including Michelins. I’ve had good luck with Generals (Continental sub-brand), they’re made in USA and France/Germany generally. I’ve now tried some of their all seasons (2 sets of RT43s, awesome dry and wet grip, a bit noisy after about 5k for my liking), Grabber HTS (same story, only somewhat noisy after 30k), Altimax Arctic (no negatives that I can think of), and now a set of General Grabber AT2s (beasts offroad so far, as expected a slight mpg drop).

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @HDC I agree with you that tires are very important and not something you should skimp on. On the other hand just because I want high quality tires doesn’t mean I don’t want to get the best deal on them.

            For Michelin Costco and Sam’s Club can’t be beat for out the door, mounted, balanced and road hazard protected pricing, especially in the months they have the $80 or $100 off of a set of four. If you ask the person at the counter they will often gladly tell you that you want to wait a few weeks until they have that promotion again.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Scoutdude, I’m with you on getting the best deal possible. But given where I live, sometimes the best deal possible is “what you see is what you get.”

            Over the decades, there have been times I mail-ordered; 4-mounted Blizzaks from TireRack, as one example.

            Other times I had to Special Order 15″ Pirelli’s for my daughter’s Saturn, as another example.

            The list is long and spans decades.

            I have lived the Wal-Mart lifestyle for a long time, and Wal-Mart has been great for me. Wal-Mart allowed me to live a more comfortable lifestyle at a lower price than I otherwise would have.

            But I’m not convinced that the tires that Wal-Mart offers are always grade A, Top of the line stuff.

            My doctor told me to start taking 100mg of CoQ10 daily to help convert food into energy (because of my advanced age).

            I went to Wal-Mart and their CoQ10 is a product of China! Yeah, that’s all I need, Melamine capsules, if you remember all those cats and dogs that died because their Chinese-made food was laced with Melamine.

            I try to be selective what I buy at Wal-Mart, and I don’t trust them to sell tires that aren’t seconds.

            Personal preferences, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “But I’m not convinced that the tires that Wal-Mart offers are always grade A, Top of the line stuff.”

            The General Grabber AT2s I just bought for my 4Runner were made in USA. And like I said, Wal Mart sells Michelins if that’s what you prefer. Anecdotally, I just bought a Coleman cooler at Wal Mart, also made in USA. Another random point of pride is that the generic ironing board that I bought at Wal Mart was made in USA, right in Indiana actually. Seymour Indiana has perhaps the last remaining ironing board factory in the US. It took a bit of protectionism to keep it that way, but at $30 or so for a quality stamped steel ironing board that keeps 200 Hoosiers employed, I’d say it works out well for everyone

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Some stuff that I bought at Wal-Mart was cheap enough to discard and replace if it fell apart or crapped out prematurely:

            like DVD recorders, BlueRay players, Hoover vacuum cleaners, pillows, sheets, bed linens, towels, shoes, paper shredders, printers, scanners, widescreen TVs, digital cameras, garden hosereels, car batteries, cordless telephones, toaster ovens, microwaves and probably several other things I have forgotten about.

            Toss’m, and buy a “new, improved, better-than-ever” model to replace it.

            I don’t take chances on tires.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I don’t take chances on tires.”

            Are you just willfully ignoring what others are saying here? You can buy brand name, quality tires at Wal Mart! Earth to HDC!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The 20″ tires on my MKS are well below $200 apiece for good ones, which I consider to be reasonable, especially since I shouldn’t need four new ones at once. But you’d better believe I checked to see how much they cost before buying the car.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        If you don’t need 4 new tires at once you are doing it wrong or you had bad luck and one was damaged beyond repair.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “since I shouldn’t need four new ones at once.”

        You buy tires in pairs Kyree? I expected more of you in terms of timely tire rotations!

        • 0 avatar
          TR4

          I’ve always figured tire rotation was a waste of time unless you really want to buy four new tires at once. I’ve heard that BMW recommends against it at least on some models. On a front drive, if you want to keep the best tread at the back (all tire manufacturers suggest this) you will never rotate the used tires but will buy two new tires when the front ones are worn, install the new ones on the back and repeat.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I prefer having matched traction at all 4 corners so no thanks to having a fresh soft pair on one end and a hard crusty pair that has been around too long on the other. It is also a great time to inspect the brakes and suspension pieces.

          • 0 avatar
            ixim

            Rotate, rotate, rotate. Especially on a FWD. Those rears just tagging along for the ride will eventually dry out/rot and leave you flat as the air falls out of the cracks. Still with perfect tread, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      I absolutely hate the trend of “big rimz”.

      The cost of replacement tires and the nasty ride quality all for that silly look.

      It hurts performance across the board, from acceleration to fuel economy, but it’s what some kids say is “cool”.

      • 0 avatar
        DearS

        I pay $100 for 17″ tires, with free rotation and flat repair. Got 30k on them and they are doing great. Another 30k till they are replaced.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I bought good quality General Altimax RT43s for my Civic with 15 inch steel wheels for about $65 a pop as I recall. Firestone snow tires for the Lexus’ 15 inch wheels were $55 a tire or so.

          $200 per tire makes the cost of tire replacement go from $300ish installed for my 15″ donuts to closer to $1000 especially if you factor in an extra charge for TPMS seals or sometimes a surcharge on low profile wheel mounting and balancing using the glue-on wheel weights that go behind the spokes.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            RT43s are truly great tires. Very good traction for all seasons.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            vvk I agree, but I didn’t care for the increase in NVH in my Civic (quite noticeable due to poor wheel well insulation on that car) but even on my wife’s Camry there was an uptick in noise and the ride felt a bit busier. But I agree, for the money the traction is fantastic, and they even do a passable job on light snow (for an all season that is).

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Just got a set of those RT43’s for 17″ wheels. About $100 each plus the usual upcharges. Very pleased. Know a friend who swears by ’em, too.

  • avatar
    brawnychicken333

    I am making an assumption that people reading about total cost of ownership as an issue in and of itself are generally paying attention and prepared. Whether they read the write up here or on CR.

    But out in the world with people making marginal hourly wages it’s a pipe dream to have the cash they need saved up to pay for unexpected expenses of any kind.

    Sure, we could get all puritanical and act shocked that they chose a little pleasure, or social status, over doing the responsible thing. But WTH, when you’re broke either way you may as well live a little. You’re gonna have a small claims judgement and wage garnishment either way, may as well get the damn shoes.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      If they keep acting like Haitians they’ll eventually be left to live like Haitians.

      • 0 avatar
        DearS


        If they keep acting like Haitians they’ll eventually be left to live like Haitian”

        Really? Really? That is harsh.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Spend all your own money you care to endlessly enabling their kind; I won’t utter a word against you.

          I might roll eyes at your choice of pets but I’ll keep quiet about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Stumpaster

            OldMan, do you work at the White House? Geez, haven’t heard a racial epithet ever since a black kid called me an immigrant last week.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            It gets worse… all the while I’m posting my “racial epithet”s the images polluting my mind are of fat white slobs with missing teeth showing off their latest tats or boasting of their 6 year-old Mini from the BHPH lot.

            Working HR in Da Great White Nort’ has made simple racist glee impossible. Man, I miss the old days.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “Sure, we could get all puritanical and act shocked that they chose a little pleasure, or social status, over doing the responsible thing. But WTH, when you’re broke either way you may as well live a little. You’re gonna have a small claims judgement and wage garnishment either way, may as well get the damn shoes.”

          Yup, why be responsible when your “social status” is at stake………

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      People who can’t afford them, oughtn’t buy a car.

      • 0 avatar

        Except in most of the country you need a car to get to work. Even here in the North East there is bus service (and many people use it) but it’s a real time sink. I was talking to a women at one of my kids preschool a few years ago. She lived about 12 minutes away by car. She rode with her daughter for 50 minutes each way on the bus to get her daughter to a decent preschool she could afford. Think about how much time out of your day that could be used for work or bettering your self. It’s no wonder even if your poor you keep a car working unless you live in the heart of an urban area.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I live in such a region where there is no public transportation, and daily commutes can be ~200-miles roundtrip to El Paso, TX.

          But if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it and need to find a job closer to home.

          Hence, if a person wants that decent paying job with the long daily commute, they have to skew their expenses in such a way to cover auto repairs.

          You make do, or do without.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “chose a little pleasure, or social status, over doing the responsible thing”

      There’s a big difference between indulging in a six pack of beer on a friday after the shift and buying all your kids and yourself the newest smartphones (paid on a monthly plan), clothes and cool sneakers, rent a massive TV from rent-a-center, have money for tattoos, rims and tint and sound for the car, etc. You think that’s hyperbole, it’s really not. I was giving this older Caribbean lady a Lyft ride to the retirement home where she worked in housekeeping (car broke down ironically enough), and we started to talk about phones. She was complaining about her kids whining to upgrade their iPhones to a newer model(!). And here I was, running the Lyft app on my 3 year old MotoX (made in Ft Worth Texas, working great to this day). I will never cease to be amazed. Mind you they lived in a very seedy apartment/townhouse building.

      • 0 avatar

        Like you said Rent a Center bad idea, but usually this is more ignorance then cognitive decision making. On the phones it gets a bit more interesting. In my experience the current trends in the lower income ranges is to forgo home phones and internet, instead using the phone for everything. In which case having a decent phone means a bit more then it does to the rest of us.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          You make a good point, but ” having a decent phone” does not require the latest iPhone upgrade IMO, unless they are that crappy that they stop working after a year or two. My MotoX was actually a free upgrade/replacement after I dropped the Moto G that I bought direct from Motorola for $200 unlocked. Motorola has a little known no-fault single time replacement warranty on phones bought directly from them. They had discontinued the MotoG I had by then, and simply offered a white MotoX as an upgrade. I’ve gotten 4 years and counting of use out of it. I do a $30/mo pay as you go plan that gives me 5gigs of data (pretty short on talk, but unlimited text). I do have a separate internet (included a land line) plan at home, but got rid of cable a while back and don’t miss it. When I hear what some people pay per month for a multi-year plan+monthly payments on the latest iPhone, I am aghast.

          An unnamed person said I live with a “poverty mentality,” in terms of living way below means. I’d more so point to the insanity I described in posts above as the real “poverty mentality.”

          • 0 avatar

            Oh I agree I just bought a $200 Moto g5 to replace my $80 Nokia windows phone. But it’s kind of the same as some one buying a used fusion over leasing a new corolla. The fusion will likely be slightly better in financial terms but really the new car leases isn’t really crazy either. I used to try to live well below my means and had a good chunk of savings in my early 20’s, but since then multiple kids and a house have bled me dry.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Not to say you need a current-year iPhone, but if you are using the phone as your only source of internet access you can get a lot more utility for a little more money. My last-year iPhone 6S+, because of its large size and fast CPU/GPU, is way, way more useful for general computing tasks than the iPhone 5S it replaced. Phones with those attributes do cost some money, even when they’re a year or two old.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “but since then multiple kids and a house”

            That’s basically what I’m girding myself for. I want to be in as good of shape as possible fiscally when the moment comes. My wife has medical school friends that have gone totally off the rails in terms of spending/lifestyle habits. Now I know they’re going to be doctors and all that, but man racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt (not just tuition, but fancy apartments, shopping, bars/restaurants) just doesn’t seem to phase them.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah at the time My wife and I had our first kid we were both working blue collar jobs but the two combined incomes worked out OK. (I had bought my house a few years earlier), but we kept going out a lot and racking up debt, and eating more into savings. It happened gradually and I didn’t notice until it caused issues. By then my wife was working part time and we had 2 kids. We then cut way back used a good chuck of savings to pay off debt, and now we live a much tighter budget without using credit. Unfortunately that means less then ideal savings for house repairs and renovations as well as retirement. But hopefully as the kids (3 now) grow up and my wife can go back to a regular income (she works for a few friends here and there now bookeeping) we can ramp it back up.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “using the phone as your only source of internet access”

            Not without those magnifying specs my dentist uses; he looks like Stimpy working on the Happy Helmet.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “is way, way more useful for general computing tasks”

            Fair enough, but what sort of crucial tasks are these folks that can’t afford home internet doing on their phones? You can load a page to pay a bill, do email, etc just fine on anything including my surely-outdated gen 1 MotoX.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations — the usual things people use general purpose computers to do. Not to mention games, which if you are judicious with in-game purchases are just about the very cheapest entertainment there is.

            Late edit: If I lost my job and had to radically pare down my budget, damn near everything in it — including the house, all three cars, and cable — would go before my phone would.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations ”

            Sorry dal but the people I have in mind are not doing Excel work on their phone, c’mon now.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @DAL the poor people aren’t doing spread sheets, word processing nor presentations.

        • 0 avatar

          Good observation. My client run the gamut from top to bottom-when someone wants to run everything by text, that is usually a sign of limited access. I have folks that will send you photos all day, but can’t get a pdf scan for love or money.

          • 0 avatar

            I use the microsquash app “office lens” on android to make PDF’s on the go from a pic. Might want to mention it to clients, not sure if there is a apple version.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You’re pigeonholing. I know a guy who doesn’t have a lot of money but does a lot of data-driven activism, all of it from his iPhone.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Sorry I don’t live in a wealthy northwestern enclave with data-driving activists, do you realize how ridiculous that statement even sounds to most people in the US? I’m hardly the one that’s pigeonholing, you’re the one that’s finding outlandish examples.

            I’m talking about the people I see at Wal Mart.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My point is that a reasonable number of the people you see at Wal-Mart without any money do more interesting things than you might assume. And I don’t think that’s just true in techy coastal cities.

            The idea that smartphones are a frivolous luxury tends to rile me up because I think they’re the most democratic computing machines yet invented. Even high-end ones are cheaper than having both a phone and a modern PC that can do the same things, along with a home internet connection. And low-end ones, as your posts imply, can do 75% of the work for even less.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Office Lens is a great app, and there is an iOS version.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “the people you see at Wal-Mart without any money do more interesting things than you might assume.”

            I used to work at a Wal-Mart in Florida and I definitely disagree with this statement. There were no spreadsheets, activism, or “interesting” things occurring. It was basically a Jerry Springer episode.

            That said, neither the workers nor patrons were spending a bunch of money on phones from what I saw. This was during the iPhone4(?) era, but the majority of what we were moving were prepaid Cricket-type things and most of the workers were still using older flip phones (if they had a cellphone at all). I think low income people buying a high-end phone is more the exception rather than the rule.

            Honestly, most Wal-Mart people weren’t too bad with managing what little money they had. What f*cked people over the most was drugs(x3), arrests, or keeping bad company.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “the most democratic computing machines yet invented”

            They’re certainly Heroes in the War on Intellection. Modern commerce depends upon them.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “You’re pigeonholing. I know a guy who doesn’t have a lot of money but does a lot of data-driven activism, all of it from his iPhone.”

            That is best comment ever, “data driven activism” No money but a $600 phone, LOL reminds of the Occupy Wall Street crowd fighting the man and Capitalism with their iPads and iPhones……

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            ajla in my visits to the local wally-world, there’s people blaring mumble-rap in the car-service waiting room, employees wandering around having blue-tooth assisted private phone calls while stocking shelves, etc. It’s a total smartphone-saturated zoo so to speak. Now I can’t speak to how many of those were new iPhones, who had what carrier, etc but almost universally the younger employees have smartphones (nothing wrong with that as I explain).

            Dal, to this point:
            “The idea that smartphones are a frivolous luxury”

            I’m not saying they are. I’m saying some poor folks clamoring for the latest iPhone upgrade that they’ll pay $700+ for in payments when a generic Android device functionally does the same thing at a quarter of the price or even less is ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        If you have ever dealt with a friend or family member who is perpetually poor then you realize there is no amount of $$ that will help them out.

        “chose a little pleasure, or social status, over doing the responsible thing” because this is ALWAYS the priority. I knew several people with well paying jobs who were always broke,could not scrape together $500 if they needed it and it wasn’t because they didn’t make enough. It was because they sucked with money. Because living above one’s means showed “success”

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      “But WTH, when you’re broke either way you may as well live a little. You’re gonna have a small claims judgement and wage garnishment either way, may as well get the damn shoes.”

      Sounds like a great way to stay broke forever.

    • 0 avatar

      I love all the people that talk down to everyone with money issues like their idiots. Well there is plenty of people who cause their own problems, living on a low hourly wage is hard. There is much less margin for error. Making a few mistakes that would not impact many on here would have a grave impact on someone else. Sit down some day and do the match for your area for a given income. It can be pretty depressing.

      Again not everyone’s a victim but unless you really look at the details of a situation it’s hard to judge.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Certainly not everyone with money problems is due to their own fault but in many cases it is. If you are struggling to pay the rent and you spend $5 a day on Starbucks, $10 a day on cigarettes and then $50 at the bar Friday night, it is your own fault that you are having trouble making the rent. Having been a slum lord for many years I can tell you that many of those people struggling to pay the rent do those things.

        • 0 avatar

          On the bad decision front. I had to replace the radiator in the Durango yesterday. Which had me annoyed so I applied for a preapproval for an auto loan from a local bank last night online. I have a decent income but live in a high cost area which means most of my income goes to a mortgage and property taxes as well as sky high utilities. Which is one of the reasons I always buy cars for less then 10k in case, I don’t like adding to the monthly bill. So what does the preapproal come back at ( I was guessing 25 – 30k (borrowed amount) at the most) 38k. Crazyness, at least I’m smart enough to know not to take it but damn.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The last time I applied for a car loan it came in at over 3x the amount of the loan that I actually wanted. It was funny because the person initially was giving us the “I don’t know” because the credit report showed so many home loans as well as several thousand in other debt. I explained that those loans were all for different houses that produce income and she hit submit in the computer and then was surprised that it spit back that approval letter for in excess of $50k. That was without showing that those houses were leased.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            This is why I always run my finances backwards:

            1. How much payment can I afford?
            2. Run a calculator backward from that payment.
            3. Now I know my OTD price

            I have never gone through with a major purchase based off of a pre-approval number, and I have felt sorry for any friends and relatives I know who’ve done it, because they always put themselves in tight fiscal situations as a result.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah I learned that lesson. When I bought my house the approval came in like 25% higher then I had planned on spending. I knew that was dumb but I still went about 8% over what I had planned mostly due to the mental picture of being so far below the preapproval still.

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          I just discovered “The Super” on Netflix and it’s disturbing how some of the low income tenants on that show live. Not sure how much of it is fake, but it seems fairly realistic.

      • 0 avatar
        brawnychicken333

        For the record, I am not at all talking down towards those with money problems. I’m saying that when you’re working poor it almost doesn’t matter what you do-because you have no margin for error and something will go wrong and leave you in the hole. So it’s pretty understandable why people spend the money on needless luxuries.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        @mopar4wd a lot of people ‘talking down’ to the poor probably used to be poor themselves and are just hamhandedly giving advice. I’m just making a guess here, but most people I know who are doing pretty OK now used to be baggers, fast food, call center, etc. employees.

        • 0 avatar
          brawnychicken333

          I’ve done all three of those jobs-and I’m doing quite fine now. Funny how that works.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m sure some are. In my personal experience there are lot’s of people who do it from a position of comfort as well. I really don’t feel I can judge to much as I came from a higher middle class family, even thou I choose to take a blue collar job out of trade school instead of getting a degree, and ended up being paid very little in an expensive region of the country I had it was to good to complain.
          That said thru that experience I met a lot of people in real trouble with money, some had a way out but many didn’t.
          It’s great to give advice to people but being condescending and demeaning seems to be the most common way to go about it and that’s just not right.
          Sure some people you go over their finances and you see yeah of course cut that you’ll be fine. Others well not so much (making 10 an hour in a city where a slum costs 700/month). In either case telling them they are just stupid with money is ineffective.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        mopar4wd – “Again not everyone’s a victim but unless you really look at the details of a situation it’s hard to judge.”

        Well said.

        We filter what we see through our middle class lens. We automatically apply our own values and beliefs to everything and wonder what the F^ck is wrong with “those” people.
        We have no clue what is going on inside their “homes” let alone their heads.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      I don’t disagree with this, but too many people in this situation buy the wrong car too. I understand if you’re broke and you have a basic car and you’re just surviving, but everytime I go to KFC and see all the employees with 2012 mustangs with bald tires I just wanna weep for the future. So ya, a little puritanical I guess.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The modern vehicle lulls one into the mind set of “it runs great , why should I take into the shop”..30 – 40 years ago your were buying plugs, wires, condensers, points, voltage regulators , coils etc.etc. Tires wore out at 20,000.

    When one of those numerous components failed ,the vehicle just quit running You either fixed it yourself, or took into the shop. A good honest mechanic would catch any potential issues.

    A lot of folks these days refuse to do preventive maintenance. Sooner or later, it quits, and your stuck with an expensive fix.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Things today are good until they’re not though, and it’s hard to know when something will fail.

      Plugs have a set interval in the manual. Nothing has a distributor nowadays, and coilpacks either last forever or fail randomly. I can’t think of anything made in the last 15 years that has half of the electrical stuff you listed.

      It’s not that people don’t do maintenance, it’s that modern cars don’t require it until they do, and since it’s so few and far between people forget to budget for it.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Easy. Buy a lot less than the dealer (or anyone else not paying for it) is pushing, less than what you ‘want’, and a little less than what you think you ‘need’. Learn to tell the difference. As mikey said above, maintain it.

    Buy simple. Ace of Base. 2wd. Passenger car over any sort of UV.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Ah, but with ten-year financing you can afford to buy more content.

      It is highly unlikely that ANY car will last ten years before needing repair.

      In the past, car maintenance was simpler. Today’s cars are too complex. Places like Autozone help the DIY person with free services like OBDII readings, but they can’t predict what will go wrong next.

      And it is usually one thing after another that fails, like dominoes.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        With careful driving and a reasonable maintenance regimen (read: oil changes, a brake job) I can totally see any number of mainstream sedans make it 10 years and 100k miles. The bigger problem in the lower income situation is to avoid stuff like hit and runs on street-parked cars, and excessive wear on stuff like wheel bearings, balljoints, tires/rims in areas with really bad roads. And yes, some folks neglect even basic things like oil changes. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I see the typical credit-fodder cars adorned with space saver tires (that have been on there for a long time by the look of things), pretty serious body damage that goes unrepaired, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The “lower income situation” is the bigger problem IMO.

          Most people, including my own kids, do not have enough money coming in payday to payday to cover an auto-repair expense.

          And my kids and grand kids get paid good money!

          That’s a huge reason why many old people have set up slush funds for their kids/grand kids. (It’s the inheritance of their heirs to cover unexpected losses and expenses.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Most people, including my own kids, do not have enough money coming in payday to payday to cover an auto-repair expense.”

            is it such a great idea to keep subsidizing them with lightly used Jeep Grand Cherokees then? Perhaps a downsizing to Nissan Versas is in order :p

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gtemnykh, sure, I think it is a great idea to help one’s offspring gain a leg up on their competition.

            Wish my parents had been able to do it for me.

            Millions of people in America (who can) do the very same thing for their kids and grand kids. It could be providing free living space, or a hand-me-down car, or health insurance coverage until age 26, whatever, but it is done a lot.

            Cost of living these days ain’t cheap. Mortgage payments in excess of $2000 a month, health insurance payments, the cost of food, the whole litany of every day expenses…

            That’s why so many people, one-third?, have to borrow money to have their car repaired.

            Life wasn’t easy for me, but things are a lot tougher these days for my offspring.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            HDC, what I’m saying is you gift your offspring fancy loaded SUVs, but it sounds like they struggle to maintain them (replacing tires and such?). And supposedly they get “paid good money?” Something’s not adding up here. Frankly it sounds like they have incredibly poor budgeting skills if they get paid good money but can’t plan for vehicle maintenance. How did they even get the jobs they have? These are grown adults, not high schoolers correct?

            “Cost of living these days is high” is kind of a lame excuse. Is the assumption then that if they don’t have this safety net provided by you they are simple unsustainable and become destitute? The whole situation sounds rather bizarre. I certainly somehow manage to pay my mortgage, eat three square meals, manage to save quite a bit, without my dad needing to step in and bail me out with a new set of tires or whatever.

            I don’t mean to get on your case, but when you volunteer these very strange stories, inquiring minds would like to know.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gtemnykh, you’re not getting on my case.

            And while my stories may seem strange to others who have not lived MY life, my actions and philosophy make sense to me.

            Yes, my kids make excellent money, but I have also urged them to maximize their savings to ensure their future financial security.

            And the philosophy of both my parents, and also my wife’s parents, is that we want our descendants to have a better life than we did. This from a LEGAL immigrant’s perspective.

            My dad gave me his 1960 Mercury Montclaire when I joined the US Air Force in 1965 until I got up to speed. After I got settled, I gave the car back to my dad and he handed it down to the next son to leave home. And so on.

            Handing down our used cars is like a family tradition with us. Both JGCs had >80K on the clock. IOW, not new.

            I did buy or help buy a few new cars for my grandkids, like a 2010 Wrangler for my grandson when he joined the US Marine Corps, and a 2013 Elantra for my grand daughter for when she went off to college.

            There was a reason and purpose for that, and I am not the lone ranger in that venture.

            Millions of others have preceded me in doing the same for their kids and grandkids. And more!

            Many old people have the philosophy of “if you have it, put it to good use. Charity begins at home.”

            Still, life these days is a lot more expensive than when I was their age. But I’m proud to be able to help them along while I’m still alive. Because I can.

            They’ll inherit everything after I kick the bucket anyway, so it’s a matter of timing to when it does the most good, if I help them along their life’s journey.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Handing down our used cars is like a family tradition with us.”

            Oh I totally get that, heck I got the family’s ’98 MPV with 145k back in 2011 and drove it for a few years before likewise giving it back, and my brother got our previous MPV, an ’89 back when he was a senior in highschool (he still has it as a parts hauler with 245k miles). Same story with my wife and her sister, both cycled through a hand-me-down (’04 Volvo S60), and when my wife started medical school her dad bought her a brand new 2012 Camry SE upholding a promise to buy her a new car if she maintained an All-A transcript throughout college. Both our parents subsidized our schooling, so believe me I get helping out your own. But even back in highschool I felt obligated to be the caretaker of the car I was driving in terms of maintenance. For a year after graduating and getting a job, I lived at home and it was me buying my mom a full set of snow tires and rims for her RX350 as a gift, not the other way around. Once I had a pay check, I was on my own financially. Once my wife married me, she was likewise cut off from any remaining support, and I had already been doing all the servicing on her Camry at that point as we were living together. We’re paying off her student loans, paying a short-term mortgage, and still managing to save quite a bit for the future.

            So I get the root mentality and have benefited from it myself massively, but your particular implementation of it is rather different in terms of how long it continues on for. For what it’s worth, in Russian culture the general expectation is that when the children are growing their parents give up absolutely everything to benefit the kids. Once said kids are grown, the charity is reciprocated. But part of that mentality is the general lack of wealth and the assumption that retired people need financial support.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gtemnykh, it isn’t just the Russian culture that believes that.

            My dad was Portuguese, my Mom German. I was born in America out of that union, in Huntington Beach, CA. Can’t get any more American than that!

            My wife is German/American and her family also believes in those principles.

            Interestingly enough, my wife’s three sisters married American men, and they all believe in providing for their kids and grandkids the way that my wife and I do.

            Charity begins at home.

            And as far as reciprocity is concerned, I hope to never need it. I help out “me and mine” because I want to, and because I can.

            BTW, I also work a mean grill and griddle at charity events.

            Not bragging here, but I have contributed mightily to provide the best pancake breakfasts (with Bacon, hasbrowns and scrambled eggs) to various civic functions.

            I also do very well with Enchilada dinners for the same functions.

            Ditto with hamburger and hot dog money-raising carnie events.

            If there is to be any redistribution of my wealth, I would prefer it to go to my family members rather than freeloaders and feather merchants on welfare and food stamps.

            To them I say, “get a fvck!ng job! There are plenty of unfilled jobs in America. Get one of them.”

            The more people find work, the more the need for cars and trucks. And that’s good for America’s auto industry.

        • 0 avatar

          Agree it can be done. While I make a little more now I still buy cars at 10 years old and 100k miles. I get anywhere from 3-9 more years out of them. Typical repair and maintenance costs run around 500 to 600 a year (including tires and oil). It’s possible but unless you swap them while they are still in good shape eventually something will fail on them, you just have to deal as best you can.

      • 0 avatar
        brawnychicken333

        Really? Cause I think it is highly likely that a whole bunch of simple Japanese sedans and SUV’s that are highly likely to go 100K without repairs (but not without maintenance).

        My wife’s CRV went 150 and never had anything beyond routing maintenance. Her current Impreza is 60K and nothing but maintenance. I’d assume the same from any number of vehicles. I would not assume the same of any German car or American SUV.

        Maintenance on today’s cars is more complex-you also have to do it far less frequently. Today’s cars are far better than the old ones.

        • 0 avatar

          American trucks and SUV’s can do it to and some cars.

        • 0 avatar
          06M3S54B32

          “Really? Cause I think it is highly likely that a whole bunch of simple Japanese sedans and SUV’s that are highly likely to go 100K without repairs (but not without maintenance).
          Absolutely, I have a 2006 BMW M3 coupe that I bought as a CPO in 2008 with 12K on the clock. I’ve paid nothing like that; Inspection 1 was covered under CPO, and II was done by me. The car has 89k now and has needed no repairs (just tires and one fuel filter). Secret is, buy CPO (if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford a BMW), change oil and filter at 7,500 miles, don’t “mod” the car in any way, and don’t drive like a jackass.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    That’s why the typical ride of the working poor around here is the 10+ year old Accord, Camry or Civic. And if you own one of those cars, it’s a target for car thieves who have a rich secondary market for parts.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Interesting, where do you live?

      I work in the Silicon Valley, the people owning 800k-1 million dollar houses often drive to work in 15 year old Camry because they are only slightly less likely to die than cockroaches.

      The young whipper snappers living in 3-4k a month apartments are the ones driving BMWs to work.

      I drive to work in an 18 year old Camry while my shiny new 2500 sits at home. The damn parking garage is too small for trucks with 160+ inch wheelbase.

  • avatar
    kwong

    I ran a cost analysis on the money spent on my 01 VW Golf TDI. I paid $9,500 for it back in 2004 with 80K miles on it. Two timing belt changes, fuel injection pump gaskets, 5 sets of tires/2 sets of wheels, coilovers, control arms, ball joints, tie rod ends, suspension bushings refresh, Torsen, clutch & flywheel, complete brake upgrade, fuel delivery upgrade, ECU upgrade, 12% taller 5th gear swap, general DIY maintenance, insurance, fuel, parking expenses, and registration added up to a total of $32,000 over 13 years and 220K miles…that’s about $.14 per mile, or ~$2,400 a year, or ~$6.56 per day. Car is still rolling on it’s original motor, transmission, and turbo.

    Would have been cheaper if I kept everything stock, but where’s the fun in that?

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      Wish my car was fun enough to keep for that long. I put aside about $720 a year for repairs. $1200 for depreciation.

      • 0 avatar
        kwong

        Yeah. Modern cars have become too expensive and less frugal-owner friendly. Some manufacturers are trying to push legislators to consider components under the hood as intellectual property and forcing an exclusive right of service. That’s not going to fly with me. While it might result in a more reliable vehicle, I think it’s just a money grab by greedy corporations. I’m keeping this car for as long as I can.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          ” Modern cars have become too expensive and less frugal-owner friendly. ”

          Not really IMO. Adjusted for inflation, a modern Versa for $11k has a lot more features/comfort/safety for less money than a Yugo back in the day. You can service that Versa yourself just fine, and it won’t need anything aside from fluids/filters/tires/brakes in the first 100k.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            > You can service that Versa yourself just fine, and it
            > won’t need anything aside from fluids/filters/tires/brakes in the first 100k.

            I have experience maintaining and repairing a 2009 Versa and I can tell you that your assumption is overly optimistic. While I do think it is a tremendously good car for its price, especially the base model, it is made cheaply with components that are not durable. Reading Russian Tiida forums helps a lot in getting better parts for the Versa, since a lot of better made and cheaper Renault parts are interchangeable.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Fair enough. I’m curious, what are the common trouble-spots?

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            > Fair enough. I’m curious, what are the common trouble-spots?

            The front suspension was done at 60-65k miles. Both ball joints loose, both shocks needed replacement. There was a recall on the front springs, too. Dealer quoted ridiculous prices for control arm replacement — I think $700 per side. One of the motor mounts broke around the same time. The interior door handles are coming apart. The instrument cluster cover gets cloudy and needs to be polished to be made transparent again. Looking on forums, these issues are common.

            What I do like is that, at least on the non-CVT version, the engine and transmission are simple and time tested. I like these world models that use proven drive train components all around the world. The four speed auto works really well and the gear ratios are well matched to the engine. The car feels bigger than it is, has a solid, substantial feel to it. Interior space and comfort are outstanding for such a cheap car.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Yeah.. cars are expensive nowadays. Gone are the easy 75 dollar tranny swaps, afternoon top-end pull to quiet a noisy lifter, carb rebuild etc. Brake jobs are no longer the 100-200 dollar affairs they used to be. For cripe sake a damn cabin filter is like 40 dollars for the part alone!

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      You’ve gotta shop around, my friend, or drive something else. More than $200 to change brake pads on a single axle?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        ” More than $200 to change brake pads on a single axle?”

        That’s the norm in MY area, to include turning the discs/drums and replacing the pads/shoes with name brand stuff (not any of that cheap no-name stuff).

        Complete brake job on my 1989 Camry V6, to include flushing/replacing the brake fluid was $750, including tax and fees.

        And they did a hell offa good job!

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Ahhh, you and I are using the term “brake job” to mean something different. To me, a brake job is just the pads, but I see what you mean.

          I don’t get the discs and drums turned unless the brakes are pulsating.

          Flushing and replacing the fluid- I actually do that too, now and then. Personally, I do it myself (I actually do!) but DIY vs shop is beside the point. Hardly anybody bothers to get it done at all, so you have my respect for being one of the few who does.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JimC2, I used to do it all myself, but I’m too old now.

            It’s just too punitive now to slither around on the concrete driveway. I hurt for days afterwards.

            Small stuff I still do myself, like oil and filter changes, alternator or waterpump replacement, top-side stuff.

            But tire rotations, brake jobs, exhaust system work, etc, gets farmed out these days.

            Except for my 1989 Camry, I have new cars, so I hum along, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”

            Discs and drums get turned or replaced as part of any brake job in my state. My understanding it is mandated by State law for repair shops.

            Maybe that’s because people tend to drive very fast in the wide-open spaces of the desert Southwest, and need good brakes to keep from hitting antelope, Oryx, deer, whatever, crossing the highway.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep your left to DIY and deep discount website and wrecking yards. Actually most parts today are pretty cheap, major assemblies are not. Wrecking yard engines and Trannys seem to be worth alot these days. I was told by one wrecking yard a couple years ago that he exports engines on a monthly basis. Mostly Toyota 4cyl, to Africa. That kind of surprised me.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This is another reason why manufacturers love SUV/CUV’s. Maintenance tends to be more expensive on them. Brakes need to be replaced more frequently and at a higher cost, bigger tires cost more to replace, more technology/motors/stuck window shades… there’s just a lot more ‘stuff’ on them that either breaks or is a pricey consumable.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    If you are on a tight budget, stay away from anything European, including VW. Also stay away from SUVs/CUVs/Trucks. I say also stay away from American.

    For most people on a tight budget a small Japanese compact like a Corolla is the best choice. A used one owner, car fax certified Corolla with less than 30,000 miles can be had around 14000 (tax included). That’s about 200 a month. For 2,400 a year you get a car that will be dead reliable for 5-7 years. even a used Kia Soul that is Kia certified for 100,000 miles can be had for 14k.

    As a young man I bought a Chevy Beretta. A piece of junk. Then I bought a corolla new for less than 15k. That car was my way to economic improvement in life. I never forget.

    Most people buy cars, or SUVs to make them feel good. Economics is number 1, and most people can afford a used low mileage Corolla that won’t need repairs in majority of cases.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “That car was my way to economic improvement in life. I never forget.”

      You stay on the island. We need your kind.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “tight budget”

      “can be had around 14000 (tax included)”

      We have very different definitions of “tight budget”.
      —————————
      And FWIW with your “no American” line, if you give me $14K I could keep a 3.8L H-body or Aero Panther on the road for next 35 years.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        To be fair I think the assumption is that the $14k would be financed with a $1-2000 downpayment plus whatever monthly payment plan. In the case of someone super not-mechanically inclined that would take the car to the shop for all repairs, it’s not the worst plan in the world, depending on how awful or not awful the terms are (ie sub-prime or not). Even if the $14k would cover both the purchase price of the world’s cleanest LeSabre and pay for all the labor on whatever might go wrong in 10 years, the potential down time of time in the shop could make a difference to the owner who hypothetically works at the kind of place were being late can mean getting fired.

        Certainly you or I would go the cheap older car+DIY route, and would probably have a second vehicle anyways.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Even still, if someone told me they could do $14K in traditional financing I don’t think I’d call them a “tight budget” buyer. I generally reserve that term to people with $5K or below and/or no financing opportunities.

          ***And before people show up and yell at me: buying an older car and fixing it yourself is terrible idea and only gtem and I should attempt it***

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “I generally reserve that term to people with $5K or below and/or no financing opportunities.”

            Agreed.

            ***And before people show up and yell at me: buying an older car and fixing it yourself is terrible idea and only gtem and I should attempt it***

            I’m going to have to borrow this and tag all of my posts with it haha

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            ***…and only gtem and I should attempt it***

            It’ll end badly. Hand most buyers $5K and they’ll show up in an ’01 Discovery leaking a rainbow of fluids every time.

      • 0 avatar
        brawnychicken333

        No. That’s just crazy. The Corolla is going to cost a whole ton less for 5-10 years than any Panther. The fuel costs alone will eat up the up front savings.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It all depends on how much you drive. Unless you drive a lot the Panther will have lower total cost over a new or newer Corolla. I spend about $650 a year on fuel for mine while a Corolla would run $400 the additional depreciation on that newer Corolla will eat up that $250 per year in fuel savings, not to mention the higher insurance cost.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      It’s getting tough to remember the exact details because it was so long ago, but I think my son paid maybe $2k for a used Echo when he was in high school in 2006. Drove it through high school, college, and his first year at work. Totally stripped down with a 5 speed. Put over 70k miles on it with just a starter, an ignition coil, an evap hose, exhaust, cat, and tires – from what I remember. It was so reliable it’s hard to remember what failed. Almost impossible to push it below 40 mpg. Too much rust and a hefty bank account finally convinced him to part with it. He ended up with its successor, a Toyota/Scion iA. He was able to pay 14k for a brand new loaded car with 6-speed manual after some heavy discounts.

    • 0 avatar
      06M3S54B32

      “If you are on a tight budget, stay away from anything European, including VW.”
      LOL. . VW isn’t European. They are mostly Mexican I believe. Maybe the “R” models is make in Czechoslovakia?. But yea, buy a Honda or Toyota if you want utter bulletproof durability.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Around here, you can get a 3 year lease on a Corolla for around $7500.

    My used $10,000 Sonic will depreciate almost that much over the same 3 years.

    It’s possible I made the worse choice.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “It’s possible I made the worse choice.”

      Only this time. What doesn’t kill you makes you smarter.

    • 0 avatar
      brawnychicken333

      Possibly, but you didn’t borrow $30-40K to discover that. Lesson learned for a reasonable cost.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      True, but 3 years later you will still have access to a reliable paid-off car if you take care of it. Drive it for another 3 years and bank the savings.

      The guy who leased the Corolla has to give it back and pay to get something else.

  • avatar

    At one point I figured my long paid off 3 Series was $200 per month averaged out.

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      similar situation for me. have a twenty-years-old boxster w/103k miles on it. paid 43k and change for it back in ’97. few major expenses since then. figure it cost me between 2500 – 3000 annually to own and operate [minus fuel and other incidentals].

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    So people in struggling economic situations can not afford surprise repair bills? Color me shocked. People make all kinds of stupid economic decisions, myself included. Some of us are just better insulated from the consequences than others lower down the socioeconomic ladder.

  • avatar
    Ben T Spanner

    Speaking of Sonics; which should be economical to own and run, I just saw on youtube that they have a heating element for the thermostat. When,not if, it goes bad, it is sold by Chevrolet as a complete unit with the thermostat for around $400. Add 1 hour diagnostic, plus 1 hour repair labor we are right at CR’s “typical” repair cost. This is just to repair the thermostat on an ordinary economy car.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I have said it before and I will say it again: people should roll up their sleeves and repair their own cars. It is not sustainable to pay someone else to do it.

    I just had a stud on my alternator bracket break off because the damn mechanic did not torque the nut correctly. The quote to replace the bracket: $2200-2500. Requires lifting the engine, etc. Well, I rolled up my sleeves and repaired it myself. My cost: $7, including a new belt. I have many examples of this.

    Professional mechanics don’t do it properly because they are under pressure to make repairs in the least amount of time. The reason for this is because we do not pay them enough to do it. Who does a brake job properly these days? It takes me two hours to bed in the new pads. What mechanic will take the time? What customer will pay for this? What about all the little details of the proper brake job? Replacing one time use lock nuts? Anti-rattle clips? Lubricating the sliding surfaces with caliper grease? You must be dreaming. Nobody pays for that stuff. If you want repairs done the right way, you have to do it yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “I have said it before and I will say it again: people should roll up their sleeves and repair their own cars. It is not sustainable to pay someone else to do it.”

      You are assuming a lot; that folks have a space to work out of, have the correct tools (a huge investment) have the time to work on the car and knowledge to not make things worse. It is also a giant leap in assuming that most people can correctly diagnose the issue.

      I would say most folks do not fall into your category. I would also venture a guess that most people have little to no interest in working on their own cars.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        markf, once in a while I will agree with one of your comments! :)

        It is a major investment of time to learn to repair a car well. You have to learn not only physical wrenching skills but also how to read service manuals, including symptom trees and HVAC, electrical, and mechanical diagrams. And then, even once you have the skills, it requires a further major investment of time to keep an older car on the road.

        After kid activities and errands I have no time to run during the week, I’m lucky if I have four hours a weekend of free time. If I did everything myself on all three cars, I’d never have time to do anything else but wrench — no yard work, no home DIY, and no [email protected] just vegging on the couch.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Your cost was not $7. It was $7 plus whatever you think your time is worth. You paint professional mechanics with too broad a brush.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        Yeah, yeah, everybody thinks their time is so valuable and yet finds plenty of time to sit on the couch. Please.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        Yes, yes, and Yes.

        I would gladly pay someone hundreds of dollars instead of me having to repair something…

        But I also would never go into debt to pay something.

        So I think there is truth to VVK, not in “everybody”, but in some people. There are people out there who probably SHOULD learn to work on their own car, OR should buy cars they can afford to repair. For a whole LOt of people though, its not worth 2 hours of their time to save $100.

        I agree about the professional mechanics. My mechanics would certainly take the time to do everything they need to do, and I pay them for it. These are two separate issues. If someone wants to get a repair done WRONG to save a few bucks, thats not the mechanics fault, thats the person choosing to do it. I talk to my Mechanics about what they are doing to my vehicles and I have confidence they do it right. I use the same mechanics to tune and work on my race cars as I do my daily drivers, but I also tell them when to cut corners and when no to. I think its important to have a good relationship with your mechanics.

        • 0 avatar

          Well you need to make six figures a year before your 2 hours is worth more then a $100. Average wage in the USA is like $23.00 an hour (Median is even worse close to $15/hr) That’s alot of your time when local shops are charging 105-120/hr.

        • 0 avatar
          vvk

          2 hours of time to save $100 — that is a simplistic view. First of all, the people who we are talking about don’t make this kind of money. But let’s even assume that $50/hour is peanuts to you. The two hours you are spending to make the repair the right way is worth way more than the $100 the professional repair industry would charge you to make the same repair. Making the repair correctly prevents other things going wrong, prolongs the life of your car, reduces chances of downtime and inconvenient/dangerous breakdowns. It gives you the chance to gain knowledge and experience and self confidence for making future repairs. It allows you to keep tabs on the internal condition of related systems in your vehicle that you tear into while making the repair. It is more convenient because you can make repairs at any time, at any place convenient to you. You don’t need to conform to someone else’s schedule, you don’t have to spend time driving to the repair facility and waiting there or driving home and then coming back again. I have many examples of this, I could tell you many interesting tales.

          Furthermore, the $100 savings in many cases will turn into $1000 savings or even $5000 savings. I just told you how I saved $2200+ by spending a few hours under my car. That’s like $700/hour. Nothing to sneeze at! NOT TO MENTION that this part broke due to another repair that was done improperly three years ago under warranty (a lock nut was reused.) I have been doing this for over 25 years, I have many examples of this. How one time my mom needed a new alternator and the dealer said “we cannot get to it until next week” and quoted $750. I stopped by a junk yard on my way to work (in my dress shirt :) and pulled a perfectly good alternator and replaced it later that night under the light of a street lamp after putting my babies to bed. I think the part cost me $12 with tax. Another time I helped a friend to replace a broken timing belt on his Escort. He was stranded near Annapolis and I just happened to be driving from Washington literally 20 minutes away from him at that particular moment. When you make your own repairs, you get more confidence as you go along. I remember how much I was fretting to replace the timing belt in my Subaru 25RS. It turned out to be the easiest t-belt replacement I have ever done. I have no idea how mechanics have the audacity to charge $600-700 for such a simple and easy repair.

          Also, it is so much fun! I am so looking forward to hacking into my new Tesla!

    • 0 avatar

      It really depends on the repair. Honestly people should use their smart phone and search youtube to see what may be wrong and how bad the fix is before taking it somewhere. The local Toyota dealer tried to charge my MIL $50.00 to change the cabin filter (that their parts dept sold her for $11.00). It took me less then 30 sec and no tools. Really a little knowledge goes a long way. Another example coil packs on my car are $60.00 at Napa and I can swap one with a $6.00 harbor freight torx tool in less then 10 minutes. The local indie charges $230.00 for that swap. Now I do use mechanics but not for simple stuff. Cam seals went on the Volvo last year and I’m not taking half my weekend (or more ) to fix that issue so I took it somewhere (local indie).

      While I have a fair collection of tools, I don’t have a a garage and I usually don’t feel like trekking thru the house to my basement to get my old pro tools from when I worked for a living. So I use the tools I keep in a little tool box in my car, all the tools in that are second hand or bought cheap at harbor freight and clearance racks. I have less then $60.00 invested in them, that along with a USB CAN tool ($10 bucks of ebay you can get a blutooth one for your smartphone) let me do 90% of the repairs I need to do. Well and a jack and jack stands I guess but I take those for granted.

  • avatar
    arach

    It doesn’t cost me $762/yr to maintain my FERRARI.

    Who spends almost $800 to maintain a car?

    I have a Ford F350 6.4L with 190k on it. Never cost me $762/yr to maintain…

    High Mileage Porsches, Cadillacs, BMWs, as much as I complain how expensive they are to own, never have I paid $762 a year. (I mean I’ve had single repairs more than 762, but not over time… IE I had a fuel pump repair in the porsche which costs about $750 plus an oil change that was about $70, but then the next year all I had was 2 oil changes for $140), so the per year cost was well under that)

    And I don’t do the repairs myself… I take them to a shop…

    So how the heck is the avg cost to maintain a vehicle $762/yr? Who did they survey?

    • 0 avatar

      Alot depends on how many miles you drive. Average american puts 15,000 miles a year on a car. The average age of a car is 11-12 years old in the US. A set of 4 tires every 45,000 miles on average would be $700.00 So that would happen every 3 years. add 2-3 oil changes a year (say $35.00) A set of wipers a year ($30.00), That alone gets you to $368.00 a year. Then you will need a battery every 3 years on average (I know many go longer) Tire rotations, Alignments, Brake jobs, Air filters Cabin filters Light bulbs. The average repair visit is over $400.00 so there ya go, it’s pretty easy. I’m a cheapskate but I see that number as close to my average. Doing a quick review it look like I average close to that number even doing most repairs DIY, but I drive closer to 20k miles a year.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    It seems like this posting is meant as a direct follow-up to the ongoing discussion we had last week regarding owning/buying versus leasing and the cost of operating an old(er) versus a newer car.

    Please excuse me for the length of this posting. Let’s assume that you are an average working class Joe/Josephine. You have a chance at a new job that is 20 miles from where you live. You do not/cannot wrench yourself and do not know a lot about cars. You have kept out of trouble and have not bad debts but do not have longterm credit history. Using figures from the Toronto area, you can buy a Metropass (if you do not need to get off the TTC or go into other ‘zones’) for $134 or about $4.40 per day. If you are on a GO route it would cost about $150 or $4.93 per day.

    1) You could buy a ‘good’ used car. You heard that Toyotas are good. In our area you can get an 11 year old Corolla with around 100,000 miles for $5k. Of course at that age it has been exposed to lots of salt. And probably is on its 2nd or 3rd owner and does not have complete service records. And it will not have bluetooth, traction/stability control. And how safe are 10+ year old airbags? But it would be ‘certified’ and e-tested. However banks will not provide loans for cars of that age. So you need to get financing from another party. Figure with financing, tax, etc 36 payments of $219. Total cost $7,884. As the average person you will take it to a ‘Quicky Lube/etc’ twice per year for oil changes and fluid checks. Maybe replace some the air filter occasionally and wipers and maybe some bulbs. $600 for 4 years. However a car that age will need its tires replaced during those 4 years. Probably a new battery. Maybe a coolant or tranny oil change. Probably at least a front brake ‘job’. But what if something big goes? A tranny, a catalytic converter? You would either have to borrow again to pay for this or sell the car for possibly less than you still owe on it. And maybe ‘wreck’ your credit. If you have to miss work while you car is not operating or arrive late often enough due to is problems, then you might lose your job. If ‘nothing’ goes wrong at the end of 4 years you might have saved the $219 payment for 12 months and you have a 15 year old Corolla with 160,000kms and limited maintenance making it worth a negligible amount.

    2) Say you are lucky and have saved or been gifted $6,000. You could pay cash for the above vehicle and have about $500 left. It will be lacking the same safety features as the above example. But you save the monthly payments and at the end of the year have $2,628 saved (if you are frugal) for possible repairs. Of course if something goes wrong before you have saved that or if you have spent it elsewhere, then you may have to borrow to repair the car, or sell it for way less than you paid for it and have to start again, without as savings as you previously had. And again your job may depend on your car operating whenever you need it. Or at the end of 4 years you have a 15 year old Corolla with 160,000kms and limited maintenance making it worth a negligible amount.

    3) You lease a new vehicle. A lease at $215 per month is readily available with a 60,000 mile limit, which is slightly more than you need. It will have bluetooth, ESC/TC, and other passive safety devices and will probably be more fuel efficient than an older vehicle. Over the course of the lease you should not need to do anymore than the twice yearly oil/fluid changes/checks. You will build your credit history. And if you were in the position of #2 and had $6k saved you could then use that money to get a better place to live, invest, or even buy the leased vehicle at the end of the lease.

    Cost per mile:
    #1a with zero repairs/maintenance = 13 cents
    #1b with $2,300 in repairs & maintenance = 17 cents
    #2a with zero repairs/maintenance = 8 cents
    #2b with $2,300 repairs/maintenance = 12 cents
    #3 with $600 maintenance = 18 cents

    Since 1a and 2a are impossible scenarios, in return for a guaranteed monthly cost, no downtime and a more efficient and safer vehicle you are paying between 1 and 6 cents more per mile. The cost for #3 is $7.20 per day or about $3 more than you pay for public transport, not including insurance, gas and parking.

    Please feel free to double check my figures as I did rush through this.

    • 0 avatar

      Arthur, appreciate the detail.
      Few things
      One, if your down at the bottom of the credit line (like the majority of working poor to working class) you aren’t getting that lease rate. In fact you may not get a lease at all (usually need at least a 670 for most OEM backed leases).

      Two, Sales tax license fees and property tax can throw things out of wack. Here in CT I would have to add 6.35% to each lease payment plus would owe %0.035 of the MSRP of the car in property tax each year.

      Three, In the used market features cost less then new, driving a car with leather and a moonroof may be nicer then a stripper with bluetooth.

      Four, I have lived this scenario you describe, except I do simple repairs myself, I average 8-10 cents per mile ownership costs (less gas and insurance) Now I pay cash but my average is around $3k. Most I have spent is $6,500. Been doing it for 20 years almost. Every time I run the math on buying or leasing a new car the budget doesn’t work so I don’t do it.

      Also in the US banks will indeed finance 10 year old 100k mile cars, crazy but they will.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Mopar, Thanks. I mentioned the Toronto area specifically because 1) Canadian used car prices are higher than American, 2) due to salt/winter cars here do not last as long as those in the USA. I did however convert to Imperial for the ‘mileage’.

        When buying an 11 year old Corolla, not sure if having leather and a moonroof would be benefit or a detriment. The ‘certification’ requirements for cars in Ontario were ‘strengthened’ last year, so the $5k price for an 11 year old, 100,000 mile, certified Corolla is reasonable based on checking the ads. For $3k you are looking generally at 15 year old, 125,000 mile models sold ‘uncertified’.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I guess you guys didnt like my post from yesterday here…It seems alot of these are not only worse but just what I was pointing out. ok..i can live with it.


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