Airstud
Topic Author
Posts: 3071
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:47 am

I have never owned a car. I left a broken home at 19 and, well, yaddayaddayadda sob story. Should I mention that my family always ensured that my sister had a car; and that from the time she was a college student until in her 30's she owned a succession of four automobiles for which she never ever ever paid dime one? No I do not think I will mention that.

As I might have mentioned I began a new job as a mainframe dude here in Minneapolis about a year and a half ago, and I have just about finished off the debt that my moving expenses incurred. (I would be so much richer now if I hadn't been promoted...  )

Well, one of the things that's gumming up my foray into car ownership is the huge psychological/ceremonial significance I assign to it. This will be my first car!! And as such, I can see wanting to hold on to it for a long time. I do not want some $800 beater that I will send to the scrap heap inside of five years; I shall want my first car to be with me for a long time; and I want it to be kind of "unique" - i.e., worth holding on to for other reasons. I believe I want a Celica convertible...I don't see terribly many of those around, they are to be had for under $5K on auto-trader, and being Toyotae, they can probably make it to 500,000 miles. (I do not own any stock in Toyota, I just have heard an awful lot of reliable testimamony about their reliability and endurance.)

I actually can't drop $5K right now - it's probably 4 months until I'd be able to. And I don't want to finance it either, because I've got a bit of a debt problem in my past - nothing outrageous, no bankruptcies, but just a tad too much credit card debt - in fact I plan on applying for a $5k personal loan from a small local bank to consolidate what remains of my credit card debt - yes, $5K is the REMAINS, and that's awful - but it used to be more than $10K, which means I've got things going in the right direction. I don't know if a bank wants it should extend a $5K used car loan to someone who's already got $5K of other outstanding debt. (I don't at this moment know if they want they should extend the $5K debt consolidation loan in the first place!  )

However, I cannot wait 4 months for a car. Psychologically, after taking Metro Transit buses for a year and a half and dealing with the drunk and deranged wackos who people the blamed things, I'm not sure I can wait four weeks for a car. I looked at those Hertz multi-month rental deals, and I could have a car for $600/month for the next two or three months...I nearly jumped the gun on that, before I caught my breath and looked around....what about leasage, I thought. You can lease a car - a reliable car, for hella less than $600/month, and part of the beauty is that since it's a LEASE, it's not "my first car." Return the blamed thing after the lease is up, buy my Celica (or whichever similar car I end up buying), and thus still allow the Celica, or or otherwise Celicular car, the coveted mantle of Airstud's First!!!

Things that I'm worried about are

a)penalties for exiting the lease early. One offer I see here is for a Nissan Sentra for $213 a month with nothing down (I smell a rat already...), and it's a 39 month lease. I'm looking for four, maybe five months' worth of car before plopping down my $5K on the Airstudmobile. No, I don't expect a dealership to write a five-month lease, but are there, say, leases out there that offer an escape at, say, 12 months?

b)getting just generally screwed over by my own naïveté. I ain't never bought nor leased no car before, so I fear being the archetypal rube who walks out of there on the hook for around $10K more than a shmartperson would have gotten himself into

Thoughts, tips, criticisms, anti-Celica tirades...let's hear 'em.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:13 am

Just remember the old saying "if its got pistons or breasts its going to cost you"

I appreciate that you are fed up with sitting on the bus with the great unwashed, however in the great scheme of things whats another few weeks ? Why not wait it out, clear your card debt and then get a car.

With regard to iit being your first car, and how you will keep it and cherish it, that might (just might) be the case, however most people don't keep their first car very long, as they either get fed up with it, or wrap it round a lamp post. In addition I don't know what its like in the US but here in the UK insurance is very expensive for new drivers, so most get a small car until the premiums go down a bit.

With regard to leasing, you are entering into an agreement to pay the full sum, even if you hand the car back early, so your commitment is for 39 x monthly payment or whatever. If you look for a shorter lease period, the monthly cost will rise quickly, as the owners need to get back the 1st years depreciation which is probably 20% of the new value. Also look carefully at the small print on leases, they normally stipulate a mileage figure, go over this and you have to pay an excess figure when you hand the vehicle back.

As to the psychological significance of car ownership, its a tin box which gets you from A to B, as l;ong as its reliable and comfortable what more is there to the deal ? You can't exactly form a relationship with it can you ? If you want something to love and cherish get a hamster  
 
dtw9
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:09 am

RE: Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 pm

First off, with credit problems you would not qualify for leasing a new car. Secondly, buying a $5000 car is not a very wise idea either. Older used cars tend to have higher repair costs due to Transmissions ,front ends,timing gear,brakes,air conditioning, etc. wearing out. Any of these repairs will cost you between $1000 and $2000 . Your best bet is to wait the 4 months and go new. You can find many inexpensive new cars that you could finance over 5 years and keep your payment low. You would also have peace of mind knowing the car has a factory warranty that would cover any major repair cost for the first 3 years. Just an example, A new Chevy Aveo LS costs $12,000.00 with a $1500.00 rebate. Use the $1500 as your down stroke, finance the rest at 6% for 60 months your payment is around $200 a month. Not only do you get new, you get 35MPG. Sure it wouldn't be my first choice for a car, but everybody has to start somewhere.
 
Airstud
Topic Author
Posts: 3071
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

RE: Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:40 am

Quoting dtw9 (Reply 2):
First off, with credit problems you would not qualify for leasing a new car.
Quoting dtw9 (Reply 2):
Your best bet is to wait the 4 months and go new.

I wouldn't qualify for leasing, but I would for buying?  

Also, I'm not certain that I even have credit problems. Sure, I had them in the past, but my debt burden is less than half of what it was three years ago, plus this past year I paid off my Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's accounts down to zero. I don't get offers in the mail from "Aspire!" Visa or OrchardBank MasterCard (these are cards for people with putrid credit). I've gotten offers lately from American Express and Citi Diamond Preferred (yes, you may all bow and revere me!). I know better than to accept those offers, of course, but they do indicate that I'm not down in the Orchard-Bank league anymore.

At any rate, thanks all for the input.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
As to the psychological significance of car ownership, its a tin box which gets you from A to B, as l;ong as its reliable and comfortable what more is there to the deal ? You can't exactly form a relationship with it can you ?

You said it yourself...you really don't know what it's like in the U.S.!! 
Pancakes are delicious.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11093
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:00 am

Quoting Airstud (Thread starter):
Return the blamed thing after the lease is up, buy my Celica (or whichever similar car I end up buying), and thus still allow the Celica, or or otherwise Celicular car, the coveted mantle of Airstud's First!!!

Leasing is generally tossing money away, but there are instances where it might be useful like:
-you like new cars frequently (every 2-3 years)
-want to drive something nicer than you could afford to buy
-you don't drive a lot (leases have maximum monthly mileages, and penalty rates for exceeding it)
-you need tax write-offs.

If you don't fall into those categories (the question is covered in article after article on the internet) you're better off buying a car. Save up some cash and then finance a used compact which should still be reasonably reliable and better optioned out than a bare bones subcompact.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
As to the psychological significance of car ownership, its a tin box which gets you from A to B, as l;ong as its reliable and comfortable what more is there to the deal ? You can't exactly form a relationship with it can you ?

One's first car is a significant rite of passage for Americans. You only get one and it stays with you for the rest of your life, and will undoubtedly be the subject of countless water cooler conversations. It's one of the mainstays of guy talk. Best stories are first cars that are interesting, and that could be really good cars, really bad cars, or just really quirky ones. Bonus points if one had to perform awkward, strange, or dangerous procedures to get one's first car to run. (Think a Top Gear Cheap Car Challenge) And bonus for any hilarious situations or stupid stunts involving the first car, whether they lead to arrest or not.

My first car is a 2000 Toyota Avalon, so it is not really good, really bad, or really quirky. The only quirk about it is that it has absolutely no quirks. And it runs as it should and Avalons are not cars that are conducive to hilarious or stupid activities, although I have set a few high scores on those "Your Speed" trailers and cruising along at triple digit speeds is supposedly an undramatic event. So I rarely "win" these conversations, since my first car is more like a first appliance, but it would kick ass on Top Gear.

Also, try and get a car that you might want when you're 45. Searching for, restoring, buying, etc. an identical model to one's first car is a great midlife crisis activity.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
dtw9
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:09 am

RE: Entering Car Ownership/lesseeship

Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:16 pm

Quoting Airstud (Reply 3):

I wouldn't qualify for leasing, but I would for buying?

As I am a former car salesman, I can asure you,because you've never financed a car before, you haven't established a payment history. So, No,you wouldn't qualify. Also, leasing a car requires higher credit scores.

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