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January 4th, 2006

The Most You’ll Pay for a Car

So recently Ryan and I have been having discussions on our car, the Pingmobile – the old Renault just isn’t cutting it anymore – and as we’re planning the Ping’s operating budget, we’ve come to small squabbles over pricing.

It leads me to ask: what’s the most you’d pay for a car? New or used, really.

The most I’ve ever paid was just under $22k (wow!) for our last car, and for me, $25k is the “any more and I’ve obviously won the Lottery” ceiling. I just can’t picture laying out more than that.

Posted in Cars

DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 9:07:24 am
I'm shopping now for something that can tow about 7000 lbs. It looks like I'll be paying about 30K new, or 25K used for something with less than 50,000 miles. Given those numbers, paying the extra $5000 for that new car smell (and new car warranty) seems like the best decision.

I went into this with an expectation of finding a glut of gently used gas guzzling SUVs. I've been quite surprised that the used market is really pretty tight, and the car companies are begging people to buy new.

FROM: Steve A.
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 9:33:29 am
In 84, just before I transfered to Spain, I bought a fresh-off-the-lot Plymouth Turismo 2.2 (piece of crap, but that's another story). The price of the vehicle was about 8k +/-, but by the time the financing was done, it was about 16k. I can't remember what the actual interest rate was, but it was high and there was nothing I could do about it.

In 2002? I bought my 2001 PT Cruiser. I think they wanted about 16k and with financing, according to something I just looked at, the total would be 18900.

Other than those two cars, I've always paid cash before.


FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 10:26:44 am

Because you just *know* the anti-car fanatic had to chime in, right? ;-)

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 11:39:47 am
Because you just *know* the anti-car fanatic had to chime in, right?

I'm glad you did!

FROM: Fred
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 1:24:31 pm
$5 for a used '96 Chevy Blazer: 4.3L Vortec v6, 5-speed manual trans w/ 4WD, AC, 4-wheel abs, power locks, power windows, am/fm/cd, 100k mi.

I've had it for 2 years now and have only had to replace the universal joint. I get about 25 mpg city/35 highway which may still classify it as a gas guzzler, but I live on the edge of a swamp and take care of the family tree farm about 100 mi from here, so I need the 4WD.

I can't see ever buying a new car - let someone else eat the depreciation, you know? (Unless, of course, I win the lottery, in which case, I'm not sure what I'll do, but I'm pretty sure there'll be a Porsche involved.)
DISCLAIMER: These statements apply to all States except Kansas, which has recently gained an exemption from the application of the laws of physics, according to their new science curricula. Wearing of tinfoil hats may be recommended there; ask your physician for guidance. Neither the sender of this email, nor the educated populace of the US, assume any responsibility for any inadvertent transfer of information or actual knowledge via zero-energy/infinite wavelength radiation to non-tinfoil-hat-wearers in Kansas.

FROM: Fred
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 1:25:44 pm
that was supposed to be $5,000



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 1:30:00 pm
The most I've paid for any car was $3,000. My average is, let's see (speaking of that old Renault):

1985 Renault Alliance (purchased in 1990) $10
1980 Renault LeCar (purchased in 1992) $75
1983 Renault Fuego (purchased in 1994) $100
1986 VW Jetta (purchased in 1996) $350
1996 Plym. Breeze (purchased in 2000) $3,000 (ouch!)

That last one boosts my average up to a whopping $707--but it runs like new.

Of course, my SO has the new MINI, which as, ahem, "our" car, I'm expected to pay half of a whopping $26K (the price by the time the financing was done). I think I'm actually paying way more than half, though.

I think now that I can afford much more for a car, but the most I'd pay? I don't know. I'd like to find a clean Alfa-Romeo 164S and pay about $5000 or less.

I wonder how much a new MINI convertible will cost used in about 10 years.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 2:15:30 pm
I'd pay up to 1200 $ on a bike. I'm with Cat.

FROM: Aanen
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 3:10:17 pm
my folks sold me their 98 Chevy Malibu for 1$

FROM: Monica
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 5:05:05 pm
Bike or bicycle?

Ironically, though I'm loathe to pay more than a few thousand for a car, I'm willing to spend about the same on a new motorcycle and I'm looking at a few right now.

A bicycle shouldn't cost more than $200, loaded, with everything. There are a lot of awesome European road bikes out there available for a song--even old Peugeot PX-10s that are light as a feather and have the best accessories.

Sure, you can spend $2k on a sprocket, but why?

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 11:18:23 pm
Joseph, what possessed you to buy more than one Renault? A death wish? I mean that in the nicest way. I too had an 83 Fuego that I paid $2000 for in 1986. I am sure I have told this story on another ping, but while I was away at college, my dad got so fed up with all the repairs that HE sold it!

I am about to lease either a new Acura or Audi. The price is's the residual value I am concerned about as it will dictate my monthly payment.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2006 -- 11:39:01 pm
The Alliance was awesome. I drove it for ten years, hundreds of thousands of miles, countless trips between Cleveland and New Orleans when I was in college and I left it behind because I had to move and couldn't take it with me. I still love that car and still miss it. I just had a dream the other night that I was driving it and woke up very happy. I know, I'm sick.

The LeCar was my friend's car. I knew my Alliance, the LeCar's was similar but smaller, and still is a very cool car--so I bought it. It had a tonneau roof which was really neat. For such a small car, it had a great ride--even for a big car it had a great ride. In fact, all my Renaults had great rides; the French can build a hell of a tight yet nimble and comfortable suspension--must be the cobblestone roads they have to deal with. It also had the same size engine as my Alliance but was much lighter--so it was very fast. I drove it very little, loved it a lot, and finally, one day two hillbillies in a big 1972 Chevy Apache dispatched it to the junkyard with a direct 30 mph hit in a parking lot.

The Fuego was also very cool. It had the turbo and started the sport coupe craze that lasted a few years. It needed work, I was an excellent Renault mechanic by then, so I wasn't daunted. But it was one of those "project" cars that I never got around to. I drove it a couple of times and it was nice when the turbo kicked in. Basically it sat for three years while I kept repairing the rim leaks in the tires as they went flat. I finally sold it to a mechanic when I left New Orleans five years ago. If he fixed it up, it probably got swept away in Hurricane Katrina.

Owning these three Renaults turned me not into a French car aphobe, but a French car nut. I was extremely excited when Renault won the Formula One Constructor's Cup this year and also when Renault's Fernando Alonzo won the championship--a double victory.

My dream car, when I have some dough: a Porsche killing (you heard me, Fred) 1960's era Renault Alpine A110.

FROM: Onur
DATE: Thursday January 5, 2006 -- 1:51:51 am
well, i buy new car because its so expensive to take it in a shop here in the united states and i have no way of fixing a car, so buying a new car is good option. I usually pay 0 interest or cash back on financing the vehicle. IF you know how to fix cars then u shouldn't buy new cars anyway.

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday January 5, 2006 -- 8:57:09 am
Joseph--wow. The car was a joy to drive; it's the car I learned to drive stick on and it had great seats. And a member of the 1986 PSU National Championship Football team kissed the car. I am serious. When am I not?

FROM: Monica (in WI, from MWC)
DATE: Thursday January 5, 2006 -- 1:19:02 pm
okay, just to clarify--the first Monica who posted to this ping is not the same as the second one. The first one (me) was referring to a road bicycle (and won't say UMW, either!)

FROM: Kahk A Moon
DATE: Saturday January 7, 2006 -- 11:10:08 am
I am in the cab bidness so I burn a car up in about 2 1/2 years. Last time I bought a new car was in the early eighties. It was a Plymouth 6 four sedan for $5500. My father bought a 56 Chevy wagon for $1900 cash new and then sold it with massive rust holes and shot everything in 64 for $75. It was classic and he should have stored it. My granny sold her Model A with a solid body for about the same in the 60's. I buy used. I have had a bunch of used Ford and Chrysler police cars which were crap because they were designed as crap. The carbs would go rich and pump raw gas into the perverters and burn up. Last couple of years Ford has been putting out good cars. I got a Merc GM with 180,000 and the factory spark plugs. I drive to Tennessee and South Carolina and the thing only uses gas, fluid, filters, brakes, and tires. My GM cost $12,000 used. Best way to go is used. First thing is pull the dealer name off of the back especially if is a used car only place. People think you are a good driver and keep good care of your car if your ride is a clean used car. Look for a oil change place that lets you sit in it while they work on it. The mechanics do better work that way and nobody will steal anything from inside. Also, hide those pinetrees.

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