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Car fund = $0

February 1, 2011

You guys!  I’ve never owned a car newer than probably 6 years old.  And now I have a Brand.  New.  Car.   While not the sole reason, we pretty much bought Consumer Reports top rated car for 2010 – though the Honda Fit is rated as the current best value, the VW Golf is still recommended for good value.

We decided on the VW Golf  were looking at 2-3 years old 4-door Golfs with < 30k miles.  After getting kind of excited about a particular used vehicle, we ran some numbers for the “true cost to own” over 5 years.  While the first year difference is pretty big, by T’s math (removing financing from the cost to own), the new car was actually CHEAPER over five years.

I know this isn’t usually the case, and the cheapest option would have just been a different model.  I get that.  I’m not trying to kid you, or myself.

We got a really good price, so much so that our sales guy got in trouble with his bosses.  I know, I know, they all say things like this, it’s part of the game.  But seriously, we had to write him a glowing thank-you note, also saying it was all our fault for being over researched and bargaining at multiple dealerships.  (Thanks to Ramit for the tip:  We got the vehicle for, I think, $100+ under invoice price.)

We were finally merging our savings, and we had more cash than I originally thought.  I have to do some final adding up to give some  more financial information on how exactly we paid roughly $10k more in cash than I had originally had in the car fund.  It wasn’t exactly what was planned, but we’re both happy with our final choice!

But I’m in love!

26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 10:31 am

    Good for you! I always thought that buying a used car was a better deal but with my last car purchase, I bought new. I saw what the used models were going for and I couldn’t justify buying one for $2500 less. With this car, you will know exactly how its been maintained and driven. That’s huge in the life of the car.

    • February 2, 2011 11:18 pm

      Exactly – a used car that isn’t HEAVILY used is still so expensive that it is so tempting to just jump up to brand new!

  2. February 1, 2011 11:12 am

    I am so Jealous that you got a diesel. That sounds like an awesome car! I’ve been looking at getting a vw diesel for a while. Dont let anyone beat you up over buying a new car. If you take care of it, it will last just fine for you – It’s your money, and so what if it loses 33% of value right away – It’s only paper value, you’re not going to need to sell it 2 days after you bought it.

  3. Stephanie permalink
    February 1, 2011 11:22 am

    Congratulations. That is so exciting. We are looking at buying a new car too!

  4. February 1, 2011 12:24 pm

    Awww have fun driving it!!

  5. c_vandoorn permalink
    February 1, 2011 1:11 pm

    Woohoo! A Golf! I had one as my first car, they’re the best. So much so, that I got a GTI as my second car.

    But…I will warn you in advance. While these cars are very reliable, they start acting up after 75K. I took great care of my first car, and it just died on me around 80K (and 6 years old). I didn’t want to deal with all the issues, so I got a new one. But VWs are kind of known for that.

    • February 2, 2011 11:17 pm

      Thanks for the warning, we’ll take it to heart. The GTIs are nice — i’m glad to hear you liked your (pre 75K miles) experience enough to go VW again!

  6. February 1, 2011 2:37 pm

    I love that you haggled. 😀

    • February 1, 2011 10:00 pm

      Must give credit to T for the haggling. But you HAVE to haggle on cars or they will rob you blind!

  7. El Cheapo permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:25 pm

    I’m an Audi/VW guy through and through and…. you got 1) a VDub with 2) clean diesel tech and 3) the famous DSG transmission (shared tech with GTI and many other VW’s and Audi’s) for a great price? What’s not to love? I’ve ridden in enough Golfs and GTIs to know that is a torque-y and super fun drive, something that should NOT be understated for those of us in LA who are always in our cars.

    Congrats on the purchase!

    • February 2, 2011 11:15 pm

      I’ve never had a car that was fun to drive. NEVER. I’m so excited!

  8. February 1, 2011 8:06 pm

    Love it!! 🙂 Enjoy!

  9. February 1, 2011 10:19 pm

    So cute! Also great that it’s a diesel. Have fun. 🙂

  10. February 2, 2011 7:32 pm

    So cute! What color? And great job using the money you had saved up for a planned purchase!

    • February 2, 2011 11:15 pm

      The pictured color, a light silver! That was my 1st choice color, but i also was willing to get either of the blue colors they make, or the darker gray/silver. Basically, I didn’t want red, black, or white.

  11. Bonnie permalink
    February 3, 2011 10:36 am

    I’ve always wanted a VW Jetta or Golf. Congrats!!!! And I’m totally jealous!

  12. February 4, 2011 6:41 am

    Good for you! If you can pay cash for a new car, why the heck not do it! I bet it’s beautiful and you are really enjoying it. I hear that the insurance is usually more for new cars but maybe not so for this model? I hope the new car leads to lots of fun car trips!

  13. February 4, 2011 10:44 am

    I am a huge fan of VW and I own a 2006 GLI. Nice work on the pricing research. I know that I’ve used Ramit’s advice on occasion to save me (or even make me) some extra cash. He’s been pretty helpful in helping my leverage my once project and now full time 🙂

  14. February 16, 2011 11:48 am

    I own a 2006 VW Jetta and I will say that it’s not the best car I’ve ever had. I’ve had numerous issues with it from the airbag, to the engine, to the trunk latch broken, etc. And I know that as they get older they only get more expensive to fix as they are weened off their extended warranties. I wish you luck with your VW and hope you don’t have as many issues as I do!


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