Category Archives: Cars

Buy a USED CAR without getting RIPPED OFF

You’re probably owned a used car, maybe even bought one yourself: when the time comes, everyone wonders… what’s the trick to buying a used car without getting ripped off?

The best trick is having a mechanic come look at the car.  Out of sheer complacency, almost nobody is doing this. There are people who know a ton about cars, and they are everywhere, and a simple post to Craigslist or Angie’s List will fulfill this need quickly.

There is nothing worse than to buy a used car based on the positive words of the people selling the car.  People minimize the issues, downplay, ‘forget to mention’, and even straight-up lie. No one sells you a car and first lists the entire roster of things that don’t always work just right.  They don’t talk about better options in other cars you could buy.  They don’t tell you about the problems with this model of car that are looming.  They smile, warm you up, and stick their hand out for cash.

4hbwivtm(image: Captivatedev)

Buying a used car is a great idea, but it’s a situation; and situations require business-like mentalities; problem solver stuff.  Consider that even replacing the door seals on a window could cost you $400 in parts alone!

I know an excellent mechanic who can overhaul engines and repair just about anything on any automobile. In conversations we have come to one conclusion: the dumbest thing you could do is buy a car without an expert opinion, here’s why:



Over the last 5 articles we have seen that immediate car costs pale in comparison to the truly insane cash-flow numbers that snowball over a lifetime!!!  Let’s cover the total of all costs from all 5 previous articles to get a quick, simple idea of how a difference choice of cars can easily lead to becoming a millionaire. This final article is the master key for all car costs,

You will never look at cars the same again…

CARS: The Real Cost – PART 5 : Insurance/Taxes

The lifetime cost to insure and pay taxes on cars will surprise you – because they are STAGGERING These payments can’t be avoided, but it’s a cost to stare down when buying a car, and will serve as an argument to simmer down the flow of money.

As our last few articles have pointed out, the opportunity cost in buying different kinds of cars can SKYROCKET over a lifetime.  A few thousand spent now, translates to tens of thousands of dollars down the road…This six-article series will make it crystal clear that making different car-buying decisions can revolutionize your early retirement possibilities. 

Okay, let’s deal with the nasty truth about car taxes, insurance, and simple registration over a lifetime…

CARS: The Real Cost – PART 4 : Repair/Maintenance

Why aren’t cars designed to last longer,
and why aren’t cars designed for cheaper repairs
with easily swappable parts?

          When asked something similar, the main Toyota spokesperson replied: “We don’t serve the used car market.” That’s coming from one of the best car manufacturers out there. The warranties on new cars are designed to expire at the mileage when certain repairs become more common.

“Designing a car is easy – building the machines that manufacture cars is the hard part!” Elon Musk

         Thinking in the “negative space” isn’t easy, and solving the problems of manufacturing is hard enough: to re-double those efforts to make cars easily repairable (plug-and-play parts) is a level of development beyond what car manufacturers are willing to deliver today.  The goal to make cheaper cars that last 400,000 miles is currently not on the horizon.  In fact, it appears the car market has lunged in the opposite direction…

CARS: The Real Cost – PART 3 : Electric Future?

While we are discussing car costs, it’s important to give a nod to the growing electric car industry…

Can an electric car realistically save you $175,872 compared to a 4-cylinder gasoline powered car?

        In the last article, we boiled down the true cost to fuel a car over a lifetime (see it here: CARS: The Real Cost – PART 2 : FUEL) We used the economic V-4 as the base for comparison. Is it really possible that a simple change of engine type could someday make us look back at a tiny VW beetle, and think of that cheap, small-engine car as a financial glutton?

CARS: The Real Cost – PART 2 : FUEL

The cost of fuel adds up fast, and the deep effect on personal finance is a no-brainer: how far that effect reaches is just a step away if you follow along!

As a teenager in the 90’s I drove a 1970’s muscle car; I bought it when gas was under $1 a gallon.  By the time I sold the car, gas was $3 a gallon.  It was costing me $15+ to drive downtown and back (about and hour and a half of driving!) Thankfully, I later got a small 4-cylinder Toyota; I could drive 7 hours down the highway without refilling the $20 tank of gas!

While Gas prices do vary
the cost of fuel is what it is… 
it’s something quite variable…

Sure, just like you, I’ve got the need for speed.  But if the sacrifice is too large, it might change our minds forever. Let’s look at the real cost of bigger, hungrier engines over a lifetime…

CARS: The Real Cost – PART 1 : PRICE

If you walked into a car lot and saw these prices, what would you do?

Quality used car: $4,000
New economy car
: $219,220
New mid-level car
: $354,127
         (This isn’t even the start of it!!)

Really, sticker price says little about the actual cost of cars.

The real cost of a car includes gas, maintenance, taxes, re-sale value – and especially duration of ownership, which keeps you from having to buy another car.  The lost opportunity costs with that extra money spent from each car type eclipses the much smaller differences in initial sticker price. Those numbers above are actually FAR, FAR worse…