Before my husband and I got serious about our debt, we did one thing that was sort of stupid yet sort of smart at the same time. We bought a new vehicle. Like brand spankin’ new. Though I have regrets about buying a brand new car, having a reliable car has been a saving grace for us.
Why Did We Buy New?
We were driving an eight year old European vehicle that was reliable but when something went wrong was very expensive to fix. In our city, there are few mechanics who would work on the vehicle and when they did it was always expensive. Parts from junkyards were few and far between.
In September the A/C went in the vehicle. A deal breaker? No, but my husband does spend a lot of time driving on road trips for work so it could be uncomfortable come the next summer. We got a quote for have it fixed and decided to save for the next nine months to have it repaired. Then came December.
By December of the same year, we had no A/C which was fine but the coil in the passenger’s heated seat caught fire. This of course was no longer covered under warranty so we’d have to ”just deal” with the hole in the seat, never mind the electrical hazard even with the heated seat turned off. We hit a snowbank damaging the bumper and the entire heating system went in the car. When you live in a winter climate you can live without A/C but not heat.
My husband’s grandmother was very sick this same time and we were travelling to her home and hospital a few times per week to be with her. We needed to be able to see her.We were finally at the point of accepting our fate and needed a new car.
We had never gone through the car buying process at a dealership. We were young, naive and desperate. A car salesman’s dream. Since our finances were a mess at the time, financing was the only option given our current situation. Long story short, we ended up buying the first vehicle we test drove locked in at 3.49%. We didn’t negotiate anything and signed on the dotted line.
We learned a lot from the process looking back. For one, we’ll never buy a brand new vehicle, what a waste of money! We’ll buy at least a few months old. We’ve also improved on our negotiation skills and would never, especially with a car salesman at Christmas time, just accept his offer.
Related: Is Your Car an Asset or a Liability?
We have however enjoyed this vehicle. It has been very nice to know we have a reliable vehicle covered under warranty especially while we’re trying to pay our debt off. Other than maintenance like oil changes and new tires (get them at Costco, btw), we haven’t needed to put any other money into the vehicle. It fits our growing family and provides my husband enough room for his enormous work equipment when he’s inspecting job sites. We’ve learned what we like and don’t like about the vehicle with our lifestyle and can confidently say our next vehicle purchase will be much more methodical and thought out.
Have you ever bought a brand new car? Regrets?