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Sat Jun 22, 2019, 09:51 PM

The road to riches is this simple: Drive a crappy car

I was unhappily scrolling through Facebook the other day and saw that one of my smart friends had posted a dumb article about the excellent Toronto Raptors basketball player who, despite making nearly a hundred million dollars, still drives a 20-year-old beater SUV.

He said of the car: ďIt runs Ö and itís paid off.Ē

The second part of that statement is crucial. There is nothing better than a paid-off car. There is no monthly payment, and most of the depreciation has already occurred. You are driving for free.

I have to say that even I am not as disciplined as Kawhi Leonard. I had my last car for seven years and about 135,000 miles when I started getting a hankering for new-car smell.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-road-to-riches-is-this-simple-drive-a-crappy-car-2019-06-21

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Reply The road to riches is this simple: Drive a crappy car (Original post)
Zorro Jun 2019 OP
trev Jun 2019 #1
mr_lebowski Jun 2019 #3
trev Jun 2019 #6
unc70 Jun 2019 #20
mr_lebowski Jun 2019 #21
unc70 Jun 2019 #23
underpants Jun 2019 #2
customerserviceguy Jun 2019 #4
MLAA Jun 2019 #5
trev Jun 2019 #11
MLAA Jun 2019 #16
trev Jun 2019 #26
MLAA Jun 2019 #34
trev Jun 2019 #37
Dulcinea Jun 2019 #42
SHRED Jun 2019 #7
unblock Jun 2019 #8
MLAA Jun 2019 #18
mr_lebowski Jun 2019 #22
fishwax Jun 2019 #9
trev Jun 2019 #12
Moostache Jun 2019 #10
trev Jun 2019 #13
at140 Jun 2019 #14
trev Jun 2019 #15
at140 Jun 2019 #17
trev Jun 2019 #27
onetexan Jun 2019 #31
at140 Jun 2019 #40
onetexan Jun 2019 #41
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2019 #19
SHRED Jun 2019 #24
Doreen Jun 2019 #25
trev Jun 2019 #28
trev Jun 2019 #29
Freddie Jun 2019 #30
raccoon Jun 2019 #32
Blue_playwright Jun 2019 #33
Kashkakat v.2.0 Jun 2019 #35
Skittles Jun 2019 #36
gay texan Jun 2019 #38
SunSeeker Jun 2019 #39
MosheFeingold Jun 2019 #43
lagomorph777 Jun 2019 #44
Blue_Tires Jun 2019 #45

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 09:56 PM

1. I've owned exactly one new car in my 64 years.

It didn't impress me because it was new. It was just nice to have something that wasn't an old beater.

There is something to be said about a paid-off car, though.

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Response to trev (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:03 PM

3. I've owned 0 in my 52, so you're one up on me :)

Never had a car that wasn't at least 3 years old, most of them well over that ... 27K miles was the lowest mileage I've ever had on a car when I bought it ... a 1997 Acura CL 3.0. Bought in 2000. Drove it until 2017, traded it in at 325K miles. It was still running fine but needed new water pump, got $500 trade-in. Traded in for 2008 Acura with 76K miles.

I doubt I'll ever own a proper new car.

Kawhi is a smart, down-to-earth cat.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:15 PM

6. New cars never really impressed me.

When I was a government contractor, one of the employees who worked for a different company bought himself a Maserati. I had two thoughts about this: 1. He was bound by consumerism; 2. He didn't realize the impact this had on the government people who were trying to maintain a decent standard of living. In short, he was shoving his riches in their faces.

Not a good idea, IMO.

I currently own a 3-year-old Nissan that I kind of like, and kind of don't. It does its job. But I have to say that I really miss my Ford
Focus, a two-year-old car that I totaled several months after I paid it off. It was the only car that I really loved. Broke my heart.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:20 PM

20. Doing much the same

Been very successful with three Acura. Bought each when just over two years old, drive 10-15+. 91 Legend replaced in 2004 with 2002 RL which should be good for another 100k miles or more. Have spent a couple of thousand in repairs in 15 years.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:25 PM

21. They're great cars man ... I've had 3 cars since 1994 ... all Acura's. And I drive A LOT

Like you, I've spent a few thousand in repairs in that time. Biggest jobs were timing belts and the ancillary stuff you do at same time like H2O pump.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:38 PM

23. Fairly high end, loaded for their year, comfortable

Each of mine were essentially full loaded for their year, so has things like navigation. I am tall, so important to have all that legroom. Rides well, handles well. Mileage is only fair; get just over 23 on mix of town and highway driving. Maybe 25 mpg highway only.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:01 PM

2. Next January I will pay off the only car I've ever financed.

It will be my last. It's in good shape and hopefully will last a while (Honda) but I'll never have monthly payments again. Don't like it.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:09 PM

4. That is so true

It is the primary reason that I have never leased a car. I might not get a massive life out of a car after I've paid it off, but during the time that it is, and it is not needing a part every month, I feel great.

My current car, a 2012 Sonata Hybrid was bought new (deep discount, inflated trade-in, and nice rebates, with zero percent financing, too) and is paid off, it has only about 85K miles on it, and I consider it "just broken in". Until I need a self-driving car in about fifteen years, it could be the last car I ever drive. Since I retired, without the daily commute on the Garden State Parkway it could very well last that fifteen years, even if I take it on an around-the-country trip like I did in the spring of last year.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:12 PM

5. I have a 22year old Lexus

The only advise I remember my dad ever giving me came around my graduation from college when all my friends were buying fancy new cars....he said ĎIf I were you I would work on my budget now and my image laterí. So much for the 82 Mazda RX7......bought a Dodge Colt that I kept for 13 years 😉

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Response to MLAA (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:24 PM

11. My only new car

was a 1999 Ford Escort ZX-2. I drove it for 13 years. It was a simple vehicle, but I liked it.

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Response to trev (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:37 PM

16. I am a creature of habit....so use to the old Lexus nothing else works for me.

Every so often I text drive a new car thinking I might like it.....but things have changed so much since then it just doesnít feel right 😉

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Response to MLAA (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 12:44 AM

26. Understood.

I investigated a 2018 Volvo because I thought it would be good for winters around here. But it turned out to be only another perk car.

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Response to trev (Reply #26)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 11:49 AM

34. But it sure is a good looking car.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:43 PM

37. Yes, they look nice.

I also like the new Subaru Legacy.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 26, 2019, 07:06 AM

42. Yep.

I drive a 2012 Chrysler Town & Country minivan that I bought used in 2013. It has bells & whistles I wouldn't have paid extra for like leather seats & a DVD player, but I was glad to have the DVD player for road trips when the kids were little. It was & still is our family road trip vehicle. I paid it off 4 years ago & plan to drive it till it falls apart. Expensive cars are a waste of money if you ask me.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:18 PM

7. You should see what his house looks like!

 

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Response to SHRED (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:22 PM

8. Down to earth. Sensible.

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Response to SHRED (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:38 PM

18. Wow!

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Response to SHRED (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:36 PM

22. Since it's in San Diego ... I guess I could deal with that pad ... you know, if I HAD to ...

It's a bit shabby vs. what I'm accustomed to, buuuut ... given the location and such ...

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:23 PM

9. I'd say the road to riches has more to do with the "making nearly a hundred million dollars"

in the opening paragraph.

I mean, yeah, obviously people shouldn't buy more car than they can afford. And there are plenty of people who have made poor decisions buying cars that have come back to bite them. That's certainly true.

But not buying a new car won't make you rich, and it's ridiculous to argue that buying a new car is always a bad idea or is akin to setting your money on fire. And beater cars have their own expenses and drawbacks.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:26 PM

12. Yep.

After 13 years, my bought-as-new Ford Escort was more a liability than an advantage.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:23 PM

10. I did not buy my first car MADE in the 21st century until 2012...

My first car was 1 year old when I bought it in 1993...kept it until insurance totaled it in 2002.
Replaced that car with the first car my WIFE had ever bought, another 1993 special...ran it until it died in 2005...
Bought a '98 model year in 2005, kept that one until the 2001 model year (made in 2000) was bought in 2012.

My current car is a model year 2008...but its paid off and all mines!
156,000 miles and I plan to run it until it dies.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:28 PM

13. heh

My first car was a 1961 Buick Skylark. Burned to the ground three months after I bought it.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:28 PM

14. I found a better way than buying crappy cars.......

While being a college student, I could only afford, crappy cars.
But they seldom lasted more than a year, after needing new batteries & tires.
And they broke down often. My 1957 Dodge refused to start after a rain storm.

Then finally I had a real job and bought a brand new Chevy Impala.
She lasted 100,000 miles and 10 years, without any major repairs.
From then on, I bought only new cars, drove them 10-12 years.
My total repair costs in 45 years of buying new cars is less than $1500.
And since I paid cash for all of them, I never had to buy collision insurance.
I start saving for the next car the next day after buying a new one without loan.
Instead of paying car payments, I stuck that money in savings accounts.
Over 45 years, I paid no interest, minimum insurance. Way ahead of the game.

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Response to at140 (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:29 PM

15. Nice to have the funds to do that.

I was not so lucky.

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Response to trev (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:37 PM

17. Anyone can have the funds if ....

they do not START buying newer cars. When you do that you pay mucho money in interest.
Sacrifice in your youth with only crap/cheap cars and instead of car payments save the money in bank.
Sooner or later you will have enough to buy a new car.

As soon as you pay cash for that first new car, START IMMEDIATELY saving for the next new car with the money saved on interest. You will never pay car loan interest for your entire life.

Trouble is young people want to drive snazzy cars ASAP.

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Response to at140 (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 12:52 AM

27. Not my experience.

I bought only older cars throughout my life until my purchase of a ZX-2 in 1997. At that time I was making enough money to buy a new car. All my other cars were at least 10 years old, because I couldn't afford anything else.

Your idea reminds me of flipping houses....

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Response to at140 (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:29 AM

31. U never had to pay for collision coverage?

How does that work? My understanding is u should only drop col. Coverage once the car value drops below $5000.

I totally agree with not financing a car. Just the satisfaction of not having to pay a penny of interest is worth it. Last month our 13-yr-old G35's digital control board (for AC & Radio) went out. The car value was only a couple grand by then but it was still driving well & the body was still beautiful. The paintjob still had that nice shiny sheen. Of course being in Tx we cant drive w/out AC & manufacturer stoped making the part. Even a used one + tevhnician labor wld have neen at least a couple grand so we traded it for a new Dodge Ram 1500 lonestar edition truck w a hemi engine for the hubby. With dealer discounts price was sweet. Paid for it in cash, & no expensive car notes.
The key is to maintain the vehicle well so it lasts a long time, long after u've paid it off even if u had a car note. We had financed the G35 but paid it off under 3 yrs, so for 11 yrs we drove the car expense free except maintenance & insurance.

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Response to onetexan (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 24, 2019, 10:56 AM

40. When you pay cash, collision insurance is TOTALLY optional!

Over 50 years of buying new cars I have never bought collision insurance.
I think I have saved enough $$$ to buy another brand new car or two by doing that.
I also buy minimum liability required by state law.
Of course I am a defensive driver, and never had a serious accident.
The only 2 times I had so called accidents was when rear bumper was slightly damaged
when car behind me failed to stop in time. I believe in taking prudent risks and save
insurance $$$.

I do buy the comprehensive insurance which is cheap and covers fire and car theft.
And that option also gets me free replacement of cracked windshield.

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Response to at140 (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 24, 2019, 02:41 PM

41. Gotcha. We still have a college kid on our policy, and even when she's on her own i'm not sure

if i'd wana risk not being without collision coverage. For our old G35 we did drop the collision after the value dropped below 5K.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 10:48 PM

19. I have an entire

"Rules for Buying a Car". Here's the main point:
Pay cash if at all possible. If not, buy the least expensive/most reliable vehicle you can. Do not have a loan that's more than three years, tops. When you finish paying it off, bank the former payments. Eventually you'll have enough to buy your next one for cash.


I have bought new two or three times. My last several cars were late model used cars. Last September I turned in a 2004 Honda Civic I'd been driving since 2006 for a 2017 Honda Fit. I am thrilled with the new technology. Personally, I think driving a 20 year old car is not necessarily the best thing to do, but that's just me. I know from many prior car discussions here that all of you driving a pre turn of the century vehicle will strongly defend your choice.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:43 PM

24. The fact that I've never bought a new car

 

And avoided expensive household goods wasn't the sole reasons I retired at 57.

But it really helped.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 12:34 AM

25. I bought my first and only new car in 2006.

I take care of it and it has been very reliable. It will be my last car as I will never be able to afford another car even if it is used.

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Response to Doreen (Reply #25)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 12:56 AM

28. I thought that of my last car, too.

Then I had an accident that totaled it. Now I'm stuck with something I don't particularly like.

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Response to trev (Reply #28)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 01:36 AM

29. Me too.

I loved my Ford Focus.

But an accident destroyed it and I've been stuck with a 2012 Nisssn ever since..

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 04:12 AM

30. Only had the new-car smell once

1981 Chevette. Like all of them, a total piece of excrement. Was right out of college with my first real job. Not only was the car a dog (needed new starter and alternator its 1st year!) I was in an accident with it and it never drove right again. 3 years later I traded it and the rest of its payment book (remember those?) on a 1978 Datsun. Never again.
DH is in the car business and has 2 philosophies: 1) buy a young used car with low miles, finance if needed 4 years or less. Almost the new-car thrill at way less $$. Drive it til it drops. Our son just bought a 2015 Hyundai Sonata with 20000 miles. Took a 4 year loan but heís making extra principal payments. Smart kid. Or 2) Find a 10+ year old car with low miles and pay cash. Whatever you may pay in repairs will still be less than a car payment. Drive it til it needs a repair worth more than the car. This is actually the most economical way to own a car. My niece bought a 2007 Ford Fusion for $6000 cash. She just dropped $1000 to fix the transmission but itís still nice transportation with no car payment and low insurance.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:49 AM

32. Here I must weigh in about old beater cars.

And let me add Iíve only bought one new car in my lifetime. The last two were used cars. So Iím not seduced by this new car smell.

I had a Corolla Once for many many years. In hindsight, I kept it too long. It was a good car. But after Mucho miles and Mucho age it became unreliable. Particularly in Long trips it broke down several times.

In hindsight, not only was it unreliable, but I was sinking too much money into an old car. Also sometimes it could be hazardous if something weird happens to you in the middle of heavy traffic.

Unless you are very mechanically savvy, or somebody close to you is, at a certain point it is uneconomical to keep the old one because labor is very expensive.

Now if I had been a two car family, it mightíve made sense to keep the old car for short trips. But Iím not so it didnít make sense to keep it.

Yeah Iíd say keep your car as long as itís reliable and safe. But at the point that it isnít or itís uneconomical to repair, get rid of it.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 11:23 AM

33. We are relatively poor, lower middle class...

Social worker and a writer, go figure... and we chose to send our kids to the best and most expensive school in town because we believe in their education. So we eat a lot of Raman noodles, never go to movies and we all drive old cars. The ďnewestĒ is from 2012 and all three were given to us by my parents. My dad is a car freak and has slowed down from his new-car-every-two-years thing to a new car every five years in his old age. Lol. Itís a bit demoralizing, but we havenít had a car payment since 2006. Thereís no other way to pay for private school and now, college, with car payments.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 04:38 PM

35. OP, they make a spray that smells like "new car smell" - thats a lot cheaper. BTW those

would be toxic fumes you are craving - outgassing of plastics and other chemicals.

The new car spray is probably worse - air fresheners should really be called "air toxifiers".

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:05 PM

36. or buy a new car, and keep it until it runs no more

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 09:22 PM

38. i do this:

i buy a decently used pick-up for around 5 to 8k, typically a Chevrolet or GMC. I avoid dodge or Ford because they have a lot of stupid systems that are overly complicated. I do all of the maintenance myself and the parts are very cheap. I need a pickup because i use it for what it's intended for.

This way, even if i get a loan, i can pay it off quickly. I try to make the biggest down payment i can so the term of the loan is short.

I'll keep it for 10 - 15 years.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 11:19 PM

39. The key is to buy a good, reliable car, and keep it a long time.

A truly crappy, unreliable car is not worth buying or keeping.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Jun 26, 2019, 10:38 AM

43. An old car is also, ironically, the most environmentally friendly

Assuming you keep it in good working order.

Most of the pollution from a car comes from the manufacture. You could drive a 20 year old pickup that gets mediocre gas mileage and be far more environmentally prudent than a new Tesla.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Jun 26, 2019, 11:10 AM

44. My car is 22 years old and 250,000 miles.

I could definitely afford to upgrade it, but...why would I? I get to buy things that are actually important, such as an eventual retirement.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Jun 26, 2019, 01:23 PM

45. It's funny because Leonard can get a 100% FREE car with a phone call...

So it's strange to see the author cite him as an example

(FWIW no, Leonard is nowhere near the first star athlete to keep his "before I got famous" car as a daily driver...)

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