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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:00 AM

$30,500 average: New Cars Increasingly Out of Reach for Many Americans

Source: CNBC

Looking to buy a new car, truck or crossover? You may find it more difficult to stretch the household budget than you expected, according to a new study that finds median-income families in only one major U.S. city actually can afford the typical new vehicle.

The typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to TrueCar.com data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales.

According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com, only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year. At the other extreme, Tampa, Fla., was at the bottom of the 25 large cities included in the study, with a median household income of $43,832.

Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/cars-increasingly-reach-many-americans-145957880.html

124 replies, 7584 views

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Reply $30,500 average: New Cars Increasingly Out of Reach for Many Americans (Original post)
Newsjock Feb 2013 OP
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #1
Gorp Feb 2013 #18
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #53
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #61
Freddie Stubbs Feb 2013 #72
Cary Feb 2013 #78
CBGLuthier Feb 2013 #2
dsc Feb 2013 #3
WCGreen Feb 2013 #6
guardian Feb 2013 #15
Initech Feb 2013 #45
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #120
DeschutesRiver Feb 2013 #124
uponit7771 Feb 2013 #48
MattBaggins Feb 2013 #64
Purveyor Feb 2013 #4
exboyfil Feb 2013 #10
Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2013 #30
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #121
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #55
exboyfil Feb 2013 #76
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #62
niyad Feb 2013 #5
jberryhill Feb 2013 #7
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #17
TDale313 Feb 2013 #28
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #56
DJ13 Feb 2013 #63
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #66
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #79
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #92
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #97
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #74
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #83
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #87
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #84
frazzled Feb 2013 #20
dairydog91 Feb 2013 #36
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #58
aaaaaa5a Feb 2013 #8
cali Feb 2013 #9
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2013 #13
cali Feb 2013 #38
oldhippie Feb 2013 #27
dairydog91 Feb 2013 #37
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #117
HangOnKids Feb 2013 #39
Lex Feb 2013 #44
HangOnKids Feb 2013 #50
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #59
Lex Feb 2013 #65
kwassa Feb 2013 #109
rexcat Feb 2013 #51
OregonBlue Feb 2013 #67
rabid_byter Feb 2013 #107
JI7 Feb 2013 #122
TheKentuckian Feb 2013 #123
aristocles Feb 2013 #11
IDemo Feb 2013 #12
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #14
Tempest Feb 2013 #16
qazplm Feb 2013 #112
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #19
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #23
dmallind Feb 2013 #49
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #93
GreenStormCloud Feb 2013 #24
Tempest Feb 2013 #25
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #95
Bay Boy Feb 2013 #60
supernova Feb 2013 #21
canoeist52 Feb 2013 #22
GreenStormCloud Feb 2013 #26
tabbycat31 Feb 2013 #40
rainbow4321 Feb 2013 #54
kwassa Feb 2013 #110
Lex Feb 2013 #29
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #31
Brickbat Feb 2013 #32
RedSpartan Feb 2013 #33
bike man Feb 2013 #34
aristocles Feb 2013 #35
llmart Feb 2013 #99
Jeff In Milwaukee Feb 2013 #41
MineralMan Feb 2013 #42
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #69
MineralMan Feb 2013 #70
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #71
justanidea Feb 2013 #43
Lex Feb 2013 #46
bluedigger Feb 2013 #75
hfojvt Feb 2013 #47
MineralMan Feb 2013 #77
appleannie1 Feb 2013 #52
LTX Feb 2013 #57
Mr Dixon Feb 2013 #68
MineralMan Feb 2013 #73
Southerner Feb 2013 #80
Arugula Latte Feb 2013 #81
Lex Feb 2013 #82
BainsBane Feb 2013 #86
BainsBane Feb 2013 #85
oneshooter Feb 2013 #88
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #90
oneshooter Feb 2013 #94
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #96
oneshooter Feb 2013 #105
bluedigger Feb 2013 #114
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #115
bluedigger Feb 2013 #116
TwilightGardener Feb 2013 #89
DearHeart Feb 2013 #91
Number23 Feb 2013 #98
titaniumsalute Feb 2013 #100
pipoman Feb 2013 #104
RedCappedBandit Feb 2013 #101
rabid_byter Feb 2013 #102
pipoman Feb 2013 #103
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #106
samplegirl Feb 2013 #108
FarCenter Feb 2013 #111
Rochester Feb 2013 #113
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #118
quaker bill Feb 2013 #119

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:01 AM

1. Buying secondhand is almost always better.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:31 AM

18. Agreed. I've only bought one car new. It was a good car, but it was used when I drove it off the lot

 

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Response to Gorp (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:20 PM

53. My new car was worth more than I paid for it...

...shortly after I drove it off the lot. If you want to know how that happened I can tell you.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:32 PM

61. lack of sales in the new market = less in the secondhand market.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:42 PM

72. There are a lot less of those available due to Cash for Clunkers

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:13 PM

78. I buy new and drive them into the ground.

That works well too.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:01 AM

2. I bought my last new car in 1980

DO not expect to ever buy a new car again. Life's too short for that much debt.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:03 AM

3. I think they are playing games here

the mean price of a car will be higher than the median and I think they used the mean.

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Response to dsc (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:06 AM

6. I think you are right...

There are a lot of good new cars under $20,000.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:21 AM

15. So true

 

just one example: 2013 Honda Civic HF Sedan = $19,765 MSRP. And you can always get a better price than MSRP. The article in the OP is more fear mongering.

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Response to dsc (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:21 PM

45. It's a total doom and gloom financial article.

If look around and know how to work the system you can score deals on new cars that are at least $5 - $6k off invoice. Try Costco and AAA. Or check local volume dealers from whatever brand you go with. I really wanted a Volkswagen Passat but couldn't find anything for less than $500 off invoice. But then I checked Nissan, Kia, and Ford - almost $6k off invoice. Then I financed through a credit union - payments less than $400 a month. New vehicle.

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Response to Initech (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:33 PM

120. Volkswagen lowed the prices at the expense of dealer profit for market share

Like most GM models, they have around $900-$1400 at retail. Dealers have to bang you at the back end in the finance office. You can't run a store on 2% gross profit.

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Response to Initech (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:22 PM

124. I got an email from a dealer last week offering a Kia Soul for $12,900. And I found the same as you

on Nissans and Fords, plus a few Hondas and Subarus were under $20K. And I am not even trying hard yet, just doing an initial search for cars under $20k, and without even going to a wholesaler. And I had a lot of brand new cars from which to pick at that price.

I used a wholesale outfit for the first time to buy a travel trailer. After two futile years of trying to negotiate a lower price with local dealers (and ultimately checking with ALL who sold this model within my state), we ended up paying $8,000 less with the wholesaler . Well, might have been more, because some of the "deals" we'd negotiate would disappear once we showed up to buy the trailer, where it would be offered for a few thousand more than we'd discussed (about 10K more than the wholesaler we ended up using). Trailer shopping is as deceitful at times as car shopping - hated it until I dealt with the wholesale dude, who was straight forward about it - the price online that was emailed to me was the price. Period. No nonsense. The local dealers had told me I'd never get service if I bought it elsewhere, but when we needed a few things fixed, yes, we got them fixed under the warranty though it did take some looking for a dealer who wasn't angry about losing an 8k commission. They do exist, and are happy to get paid for warranty work.

I chose to make it a big vacation for us and the dogs to drive several states away to pick it up, but they would have hauled it here for around $1,000, which still would have resulted in a $7k savings on the low end. This isn't peanuts to save; I wasn't going to buy it otherwise.

This article is quite bogus in its conclusion about the average car price, imho.

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Response to dsc (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:53 PM

48. +1

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Response to dsc (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:40 PM

64. The alarm bells go off at the very start.

Who ever wrote this knew they were massaging the numbers. They even go so far as to repeatedly compare median incomes to average prices.

Badly done statistical analysis.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:05 AM

4. If they would keep just half of the junk off thatthey are putting on the cars now, i.e. gps, wi-fi,

video players, heated seats, etc., perhaps one could afford a new, good mpg vehicle.

A AM-FM radio, air, power windows,locks are all I need.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:18 AM

10. I prefer no power windows or locks

More convenient but a service headache down the road. My 2002 Cavalier has neither, and it is the best car I have ever owned. I am already having problems with one of my 2009 HHR power windows (probably because the kids abused it).

I am waiting for the sub-$15K stripped down all electric car. That would be my next purchase.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:07 PM

30. Sadly, manual roll-up windows are pretty much a thing of the past.

Auto makers assume you want to have something in your car that only works when the car is actually turned on.

If I could have gotten my most recent car with manual roll-up windows, I would have. But they didn't even offer such a package.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #30)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:35 PM

121. You are the micro-minority

you can buy a Chevy Sonic with roll up windows,but finding one on a dealer lot is not worth the effort or waste of gas.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:22 PM

55. They already are out there...

...they are called golf carts.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #55)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:56 PM

76. LOL

I was hoping for a little more steel around me. Someone has been driving an enclosed 3 wheeler to work and parking it in the motorcycle space. Maybe something like that with an electric motor.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:33 PM

62. +1

 

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:06 AM

5. now THAT is what I call an absolutely brilliant marketing strategy--price your product or service

so that almost nobody can afford it. I wonder why nobody ever thought of that before?

I know there are many people who would love to buy the prius, the leaf, the smart car, the volt, whatever, but simply cannot afford them. automakers, how about pricing these things so more people can afford them (you know, like henry ford did)?

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:08 AM

7. You can't wave a magic wand at the materials that go into that technology...

....and make the price come down.

There's only so much lithium to go around, and that goes for a lot of other materials which go into making these things.

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

17. Henry Ford also paid his work force

Enough, so they could afford it.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:52 AM

28. ^^^ this^^^

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:26 PM

56. I'm not sure of that theory...

...sure I've heard it before, but is it really true? If I built luxury yachts would it make sense for me to pay my workers enough to purchase the boats we build?

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #56)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:34 PM

63. Ford's pay idea only works on mass market products

Not luxury goods.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #63)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:49 PM

66. It's a very narrow list...

...if I make widgets that sell for $10 I wouldn't have to pay them very much for them to be able to afford them.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #66)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:17 PM

79. No, but if Wally word raised base pay from 8.08 to 15

It would cost them 2B, but they would get back 7-9 B from their own work force.

This not paying enough is simply a bad decision long term. You don't believe me? Walmart is starting to realize their core customer base can't afford Wallmart. In fact, this month to be exact.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #79)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:35 PM

92. How does this work?

It would cost them 2B, but they would get back 7-9 B from their own work force.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #92)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:14 PM

97. People would spend money in things they can't afford right now

Such as new shoes, desperately needed appliances and clothes. It's expected the check would go right back to Walmart.

Right now they can't afford the shoes...or the pants. So they get clothes from second hand or charities.

Oh and by the way, it would save the rest of us some major quid in food stamps which these employees are encouraged to take by their employer, since they know it's not enough for food.

I am all for not having to pay for food stamps and continuing to subsidize Wallmart, but that is just me. And these are heads of families struggling to keep heads above water.

Here

http://www.demos.org/publication/retails-hidden-potential-how-raising-wages-would-benefit-workers-industry-and-overall-ec

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #56)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:48 PM

74. Henry ford was not building luxury yachts...so that is a nice straw man.

Nor did he do it because he liked his workers. It was purely a business decision in an emerging market. He needed customers and the number of the wealthy who'd buy a model T was far less than people who potentially would buy cars, and yes...trucks.

In fact, good ol' Henry fought the Unions and hated them. Of course, in the 1930s he cut that pay, which led to major labor unrest ending in the Flint Sit Ins and things like the Five day week, and 8 hour day becoming a matter of Federal Law.

Alas, the decision got Ford motor company going, with a ready set (and hungry) market. It was followed by others in the industry.



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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #74)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:29 PM

83. Chillax

I'm not trying to win an argument, I'm just asking questions in an attempt to learn something.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #83)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:06 PM

87. I gave you a very much cliff's notes of that decision

There are books written on it, and the NLBR.



If you care I can even point you in the right direction, but this is basic history of labor, and yes economics...as well as classic capitalism 101, gung tp Adam Smith and the Wealth of Natins.

I'll grant you this...it should be taught in school, but the great men theory of history, not nuance, let alone labor history, is what is taught any longer.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:49 PM

84. I think that was just a side benefit

brought about by the price point his cars happened to be at at the time.

What he really wanted was less turn over in employees so as to keep production going smooth.

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:32 AM

20. I'm glad we bought our Prius in 2006, when we got a $3,400 rebate

It brought the price down to $20K, exactly the amount we'd paid for a new Toyota Camry 13 years earlier. We've been driving it for 7 years, and expect to drive it for another 6 or 7, hopefully. So all in all, not a bad investment (in addition to cutting our gasoline bills in half).

I just looked it up, and the base price for a new Prius is still around $24K. So actually, it hasn't really gone up in the last 7 years.

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:44 PM

36. Except that it's wildly unlikely that manufacturers would make a good which nobody could afford.

And $30,500 average does not mean that you can't get decent cars for less. MSRP on a new Honda Accord starts at $21,500, and I've never had a problem with my old one so that's what I'd be looking at. Civics start at ~$18000, and a new Corolla is more like $16000 (For that matter, so is a Ford Focus).

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:28 PM

58. So are you saying sell them

for less than they cost to build? Is that the "we lose money on each individual sale but make up for it on volume" plan?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:12 AM

8. The old saying is true.

The new car smell is the most expensive perfume in the world.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:17 AM

9. I don't even get why people buy new cars

A friend of mine just bought a beautiful 2005 all wheel drive Jag with gorgeous walnut trim, leather seats and all the bells and whistles, in perfect condition for $6,500. 87,000 miles

I bought my VW Jetta td 2003 last year for $5000.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:21 AM

13. Jags are nice until...

Jags are nice until they need work. I wouldn't buy one new or used but there's a reason they go from 80 grand to cheaper than a Honda Accord in 5 years. Same with Land Rovers. No way I would own one out of warranty.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:53 PM

38. according to my friend (and granted he can work on almost any car)

they're much better than they used to be.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:45 AM

27. But, somebody has to buy new cars ...

... or all those robots at the new car factories will be out of work. OK, maybe a few human workers, too.

Besides, where do you think used cars come from?

I will admit that I always buy new cars. But I also keep them at least 10 years. My last truck was 14 years old when I traded it in, and my wife's car is an '03 Honda Accord which is still going strong.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:46 PM

37. Used cars can be good deals. Used Jags are, well...

Jags are fun if you like to do constant maintenance.

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Response to dairydog91 (Reply #37)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:25 PM

117. well, they are made by Ford.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:03 PM

39. I Don't Get The New Car Thing Either

Last August my daughter and I were at the Safeway when my new VW Bettle had just died in the parking lot. I had nothing but problems with this car. I was upset to say the least, and I was talking to the clerk saying" I need a car" when the woman behind me in line said "my aunt has a car she wants to sell, she lives down the block" I was skeptical but my daughter said "Mom let's go look."

We went, took a test drive and I bought it right then and there. It is a 2001 BMW 325xi, it had 53,000 miles on it and was in immaculate condition. It was their third car and they put 4500 miles a year on it. They loved my daughter, they have no grandkids and gave us a great price.

The BMW shop I took it to after wards, just to have things checked out, wanted to buy it from me. No thanks, this is a sweet ride.

New cars are a rip off.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #39)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:20 PM

44. My new car is definitely not a ripoff.

Sounds like you bought a lemon.

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Response to Lex (Reply #44)


Response to HangOnKids (Reply #50)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:30 PM

59. I think that poster was talking about your VW

As being a lemon.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #59)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:43 PM

65. Of course I was. And I don't know what the hissy fit was about?

Why would I say the used car that's working perfectly well is a lemon?



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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #39)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:22 PM

109. BMWs are also wonderful until you have to pay for repairs.

prepare to say goodbye to your wallet.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:18 PM

51. Of course...

someone bought the VW Jetta new otherwise you would not have been able to buy it used.

Personally I prefer a new car and expect to keep them for 8-10 years. I purchased a 2012 Subaru Impreza for under $20,000 last May and expect to keep it a very long time. Given the reputation of Subaru products I don't expect many problems to arise as long as I keep up the maintenance. Everyone has their own personal preferences. Just because you "don't get it" does not make it wrong. Just saying.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:58 PM

67. Agreed. I just bought a 2005 Nissan Altima with all the bells and whistles and

less than 50,000 miles for $6,000. I replaced a 1999 Nissan Altima that I bought with less than 29,000 with a warranty for under $9,000. Great cars. Comfortable, reliable. I would never buy new.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:14 PM

107. i am an Amputee, too old to work on old cars, cant afford to have em fixed, i bought a Honda Fit

 

affordable, 6 air bags, most reliable mid sized car, i'm 6'6", got leg room/head room. i'm 65, last car i'll ever get, my wife had a Honda 24 years over 200,000 miles, was in the shop twice, clutch maintenance and her key lock wore out, still runs good gets 36 mpg..

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:40 PM

122. i think because of concern over being "ripped off" by getting a bad car

that would need too many repairs and in the end just not being worth it.

i personally would like to learn about cars so if/when i buy one i will be familiar with things and better able to negotiate whether it's new or old.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:33 AM

123. If no one did there would be few or no used cars.

I agree in principle, I've never bought a new car but somebody logically has to take it for the team.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:18 AM

11. I NEVER buy new...

 

...the moment one buys a new car and drives it off the dealer's lot it depreciates by 5-10%, sometimes a lot more. A foolish waste of money.


I always buy pre-owned or certified pre-owned vehicles from a reputable dealer. Before a purchase I always check the CARFAX history on the vehicle. I check Consumer Reports recommendations of best used vehicles. Then I have my own mechanic inspect it, before the purchase.

"Stuff that works": http://bit.ly/oY4Utl

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:18 AM

12. I could afford a new vehicle in the sub-40k price zone

But there is zero chance I will put that kind of money out. My 20 year old pickup is just broken in with 66k miles and should last me the rest of my days.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:21 AM

14. You think? We had to replace the truck

Totaled in October...

We bought used...no way in hell I could have bought new.

Wages have been flat for twenty years, everything else is not flat.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

16. Using average cost is meaningless

I could have paid up to $40,000 for my Equinox if I wanted all the bells and whistles.

I paid $25,000 for the Equinox without them.

You can find many makes and models of new cars for under $20,000.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:42 PM

112. agreed I got the 12 Focus

with most of the bells, it's a very nice car, and it was like 22K.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:32 AM

19. The mandatory features are getting way out of hand

...tire pressure monitors required, rearview cameras with dash monitor, electronic stability controls, abs brakes, all required. Some of those things are nice, but they also pose a nightmare for the aftermarket - the expense involved in maintenance increases exponentially over the years.

I'd rather have a basic car with easily maintained systems, which could be kept driveable without an advanced degree in electronics and 100k worth of diagnostic gear.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:37 AM

23. Most of the things you posted, like the rear view camera

Is not required, unless you drive an 18 wheeler. Now if you do...

In fact, most vehicles, new, outside of luxury, don't have it.

ABS have become standard, but not mandated...compete with the other guy, you put it on.

GPS and NAV is not required either but it is increasingly standard equipment.

Now, one reason for all the electronics, is the increased gas efficiency in vehicles, which we need until we find another way, efficient and all that, to push a ton along the road.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:56 PM

49. RVC mandatory starting in 2014. nt

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Response to dmallind (Reply #49)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:56 PM

93. Yup.

And all of the 2013's I've seen so far have them.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:38 AM

24. My first new car was a 1967 Rambler.

I learned to do all of my own basic maintaince. There was lots of room under the hood, everything was simple to understand and easy to reach. I was able to make the payments while I was an E-4 in the Army. For those not familiar with Army ranks, that is a lower ranking enlisted man.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:38 AM

25. Not everything you listed are mandatory

"tire pressure monitors required, rearview cameras with dash monitor"

Both optional packages on all the model SUVs I looked at.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:59 PM

95. Cameras are mandatory 2014, tire pressure monitors are mandatory since 2007

...and that's on all passenger cars and light trucks.

ESC, or electronic stability control, became mandatory in 2012. That's the one that senses steering wheel position, pitch and yaw and so forth, and takes over the brakes and steering if it senses a loss of control.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:31 PM

60. Speaking of 'easily maintained'

I read an article of a Malibu costing $175 to replace a headlight.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:35 AM

21. I don't ever expect a new car

from here on out.

My present car is a 2002 Honda CRV that I bought from the first owner in 2006.

When the CRV finally dies, maybe in another 10 years, I will buy another used car, checked against Consumer Reports and Carfax, plus my mechanic's recommendation.

I don't want the car bill or the headache of watching it depreciate faster than I can pay for it.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:36 AM

22. The problem with buying used

is that car owners like us are hanging on to our vehicles "'til death do us part" causing a shortage of stock.

And the used-car dealers know and take advantage of this in their pricing.
Sometimes the cost of a new yr. model is very close to the cost of a 2-y/old model. The banks also penalize you in the financing of a second-hand vehicle, which equalizes the pricing of new vs. older model.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:41 AM

26. SMART car (That is a brand name.) Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, basic car, $12,490. N/T

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:07 PM

40. I'd be scared to drive a smart car

Are they cute? Sure

But I was in an accident in 2000 with a Ford Expedition. 12.5 years later, I am still feeling the effects of it on my neck (I was rear-ended). She (literally) took the trunk off of my Escort. If I were driving a Smartcar I'm not sure if I'd be alive.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:20 PM

54. I just bought a used Smart car!!!!

It may be "used" but it's NEW to me! 2009 Smart, convertable. 22K miles.

My car had been a 2001 Chevy Tracker that had accumulated 170k miles on it and was on it's last leg (or wheel?). So many problems that pouring money into with it's mileage made NO frigging sense at ALL.

So I chanced it with Carmax since we had gotten my daughter's car thru their financing company a few years back. She had NO credit (20 y/o) and I've had not the bestest of credit history stemming from a divorce in the 90's yet they let me co sign for her and she got a used car with low mileage.

They came thru for us again and I got the Smart car! Keeping in mind what I was coming from with my 2001, I feel like I have bells and whistles on this car...yeah, nowadays the features are not considered bells/whistles but to ME they are!
I know people here have dissed Carmax for various reasons but they have come thru for us that are middle income with not the best credit history!

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:25 PM

110. old technology, at this point.

there are much better alternatives at this point.

in other words, it is not a smart choice.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:01 PM

29. I am so happy with my new 2013 Ford Focus.

I didn't load it down with extras, but it has a few extras. Anyway, I only had finance $13,000 for it, so the payments are barely $200. Buy union made and American!




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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:07 PM

31. Nice ride

And thank you for supporting our union workers

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:12 PM

32. The Focus is an excellent car.

We've had two and loved them both. And union-made in the USA!

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:15 PM

33. I'm leasing a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Absolutely love it.

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:17 PM

34. We got a 2012 Focus last year, traded in a 2005 Sable. I've found the Focus easier to get in and

 

out of than the Sable (at 70, I'm not as flexible as I once was, so this is a big plus), and overall, we are also happy with ours.

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:43 PM

35. My daughter bought a Focus last August

 

She loves it. Payments are about $225.

I must say, the fit and finish, ride and handling, and performance rivals that of many more expensive sedans.

She loves the fact that she can use her iPhone hands free with the Ford SYNC My Touch system; she doesn't even have to remove the iPhone from her purse.

I drive an Audi A4 now, but I will seriously consider a Ford Focus or Fusion next time.

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:09 PM

99. Great car.

My daughter has one and loves it.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:11 PM

41. The problem with averages...

Michael Jordan averaged 30.12 points per game during his years in the NBA. That means that when you combine Michael's stats with mine, we averaged 15.06 points per game. You do the math.

The "average" in this case includes models that no middle class person is going to purchase. There are a host of models that come in a less than half the average cost.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:16 PM

42. Plenty of cars under $20,000, and some

right around $15,000. You buy what you can afford. Often, the cheaper the car the better the mileage, too, except for hybrids.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:35 PM

69. yep. I've never paid more than 16K - used ones

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #69)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:39 PM

70. I'm talking about new cars, actually.

Lots under $20,000. They're generally small, have small engines, and get good mileage. Ford Focus, Kia Rio and Soul, Chevy Cruze, Fiat 500, and that sort of thing. Base models are the best bet, since these days they have a good set of appointments as standard. They're very popular, at least with buyers, and not so popular with dealers, who make more profit from the higher-priced cars. Still, though, you can get some great little cars in the $15,000-$20,000 range. Some even have 5 year/50,000 mile warranties and some have even longer drivetrain warranties.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #70)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:40 PM

71. I know what you meant. I prefer the next size up, so I pay that amount for a used one.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:20 PM

43. How are they calculating the average?

 

Adding up the prices of each car model and dividing by the number of models?

Because I'd imagine the various Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Bugattis skew the numbers a bit. Especially when you consider the fact that various high end auto manufacturers (Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Land Rover) have been expanding their brands the past 10 years by adding new models.

There are plenty of new cars available for under $30k.

Even quite a few under $20k. Every compact car that I know of starts under $20k. Smaller compacts can even start under $15k.

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Response to justanidea (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:23 PM

46. Yes, this. ^^^

It's easy to do research on this (tons of info. on the 'net) and get a very reliable car for a fairly affordable price. People just get suckered in to the expensive cars loaded with unnecessary extras.


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Response to justanidea (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:50 PM

75. There is quite a spread at the top end as well.

I was watching Top Gear last night and they had a Bugatti Veyron (?) on the show. Amongst the numbers they rattle off were that you could buy 10 Ferraris or 202 Nissan Versas for the same money.

The annual registration fee was over $200k.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:49 PM

47. they ought to have stats on that

what is the percentage of adults over 40 who have never owned a new car? What about over 50? Over 60? Over 70?

And what were those numbers back in the 1970s?

My guess is that a new car has always been a stretch for those at or below the median income.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:02 PM

77. I bought my first new car at age 67.

My wife and I decided that a warranty was something we needed badly, since our two older cars broke down about the same time, and at a time when we could not afford to fix them. I sold both of them broken, and got enough from them for a down payment on a cheap new car with a real warranty.

Payments are $200 per month. We averaged about $1000 in repair bills for those older cars every year. It's a wash.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:18 PM

52. It has been years since we were able to afford a new car.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 02:26 PM

57. This Article is Pure Hogwash

Here's 210 new car listings for cars between $12,400 and $15,000 within 100 miles of Houston.

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/searchresults.xhtml?zip=77002&endYear=2014&showcaseOwnerId=57003093&startYear=2011&listingType=new&listingTypes=new&sellerTypes=b&searchRadius=100&maxPrice=15000&minPrice=12000&sortBy=derivedpriceASC

For entertainment, search for 2010-2013 used cars between $5,000 and $10,000. Relatively speaking, you can get a much better car today for fewer inflation-adjusted dollars than you could get in 1970.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:19 PM

68. Staying put

I drive a 2001 mercury Mountaineer 90k miles still running strong going to keep it until it drops, the wife has a 2006 300/hemi she loves it, no new cars in our future.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:47 PM

73. Here's an interesting list of new cars under $20,000

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:29 PM

80. I saw all kinds of articles a month ago that said average personal income last year went up about 7%

...despite the drop in GDP fourth quarter. If that's really true, we can all afford the more expensive cars.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:30 PM

81. I'm always amazed at how many later-model cars I see.

I always think: "How can so many people afford new cars?!"

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #81)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:14 PM

82. Lots are renting them on 2 or 3 year leases

and that makes the monthly amount owed lower than purchasing. Long terms leases are, for the most part, a rip-off for the consumer.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #81)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

86. I saw a 2013 Scion at a Lexus dealership

I figured the owner got a promotion or better job and traded up.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:53 PM

85. I bought a 2010 model

a Mazda 5 with 58,000 miles for $12,500, including tax and registration. A new car is not necessary.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:06 PM

88. Bought my 02 Ranger xtended cab new(25miles on it) and am now looking

for another truck. The Ranger has 273,000 miles on it, new motor and tranny, but does not get the mileage, 15.5 and 18, that I need with the higher fuel costs. Am looking for a 011 F-150 crew cab(4door) with a Ecoboost engine. 18 and 23 sounds a lot better! A larger truck with a smaller engine and better mileage!
Most of them are running between 24-27k but I plan to hardball the price and pay cash.

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #88)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:09 PM

90. ^^^this^^^ it took us six months

And a lot of used online vehicle services to find the jeep.

Good luck, and make sure the truck is checked by an indie mechanic.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #90)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:59 PM

94. The truck will be inspected by Ford and be "Certified pre owned"

Which means that the drivetrain warranty starts at the mileage that is on the truck.

20'000 miles on truck= full warranty STARTS at 20,000 miles.

I am willing to pay a little more for the CPO rating, as I tend to put a lot of miles on my trucks.

As for my current Ranger? I plan on giving it away. A couple that we have been friend with for 20+ years needs a dependable vehicle. They live 30 miles from town and currently depend on their son for transport to and from town. This will help them AND their son.

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #94)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:08 PM

96. We had ours certified

We still had our mechanic check it and did the preventive maintainance. Want wild? And what are the odds? I met the owner at the market on Sunday. He recognized the plates, not the Jeep. We since put a hard top, AT tires (silly, came out with street tires) and nerd bars.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #96)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:42 PM

105. I do most of the preventive maintenance on our vehicles.

Although it is rapidly getting to the point where the vehicles will be smarter than I am!!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #96)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:01 PM

114. Nerf bars.

Unless you installed an Applebee's or something.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #114)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:17 PM

115. Yes, nerf

Damn spell check. It was wild.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #115)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:24 PM

116. It's an uncommon word.

You should see how upset I get when I see Jeep ads with bumbers and wenches.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:08 PM

89. $20,000 is my maximum. You can get a good car for that much.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:22 PM

91. This is news? Where have these people been?

Must have their heads up their asses!

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:35 PM

98. I would probably double that for Australia.

typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:12 PM

100. My wife and I make six figures plus

I drive a 2003 Honda Odyssey Mini Van that has been paid off for years and my wife has a 2011 Hyundai Elentra. Although she bought it new, I think it was about $18,500. We live in an upscale area where it seems most people drive Beemers and Mercedes. I don't really give a shot about my car. It is comfortable, functional, looks OK, and is paid off.

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Response to titaniumsalute (Reply #100)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:33 PM

104. Back in the 80's

Bruce williams used to be on Talk Net with Sally Jessie, and Larry King. He was the financial guy..answered callers on financial issues. He used to say, 'I sit on the board of 6 banks, and am partners in hundreds of enterprises and have a significant portfolio..I can't afford to buy a new car'.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:15 PM

101. I'll never buy new

Even if I had the kind of money required to buy a new car at that price, I'd much rather buy a gently used, nicer car, for the same price.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:23 PM

102. richest 20% hold 95.4% of the Financial wealth in the USA, poorest 80% have 4.6%

 


actually... the richest 20% hold 95.4% of
the Financial wealth in the USA, poorest
80% hold 4.6% of financial wealth and the
poorest 50% hold 2.5%

SO THERE IS NO MIDDLE CLASS.!! QUIT USING THAT TERM.!!

it is a mind control trick to make you
think you aren't being SCREWED every
second of your life.!! by the rich who
are so taped out they cant afford to PAY
TAXES. the reason there is a recession..
and only in the underclasses is there a
recession..is because they tie up all the
cash in their mentally ill OCD
cleptocratic plutocratic quest to acquire
more needless wealth and power at the
expense of the underclass. humm
isn't that the definition of Fascism.??

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:27 PM

103. If you want a new car, great!

Just don't make the mistake of buying cheap new..always better off buying high quality used over cheap new..

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:51 PM

106. As someone who delivers new cars to dealerships.....

and in fact dropped 8 to the largest Kia dealer in the country the day before yesterday, I beg to differ.

The Kia dealer I am speaking of is putting more than 1000 cars a month over the curb and there are plenty more like him in this country.

There are dozens of models, both foreign and domestic that sell for much less than this article suggests and there are PLENTY of people who prefer new cars to used.
The last three weeks have been slow, but the two ports and 3 plants my company hauls out of have just opened the spigots.

I'm going to be working through the weekend and probably the next as well.

As long as Americans buy new cars, I get to keep receiving a paycheck.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:19 PM

108. Here comes ten

or twelve year car loans.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:41 PM

111. Cars are more reliable and the average age of cars on the road is up by 2 years in the last decade

A car bought for $30K is probably not too bad an investment when driven 15 to 20 years and 200 to 250K miles.

Certain makes are also holding their resale value much better than was previously the case.

Of course, probably $10K is due to safety equipment, like airbags, environmental regulation mandates, like catalytic convertors, and a variety of electronic and automated crap that I don't actually need. You could get a very nice car for $20K with all the unnecessary stuff stripped out.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:51 PM

113. I'll drive my '90s-era car until it won't drive no more

and then replace it with another '80s or '90s era car. No fancy electronics or gadgets for me. I want a radio and an air conditioner, manual everything else. Anything more and I'd wonder, "Why am I paying for all this shit?" Until something broke and then there'd be more profanity.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:30 PM

118. You can buy VERY GOOD cars from ALL the manufacturers for under $15,000

I am not going to list them all because Google is your friend.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:30 PM

119. I never buy new

I go used and pay cash.

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