Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Why We Purchased A NEW Automotive

We purchased a brand new automobile. Not a “new to us” automobile, not a “practically new” automobile, an precise factual model new 2022 Subaru Outback. However Liz–you’re now fretting– don’t you realize that:

Our model new Outback

Shopping for a model new automobile must be one of many worst monetary selections an individual could make.

Shopping for a brand new automobile is like taking pictures your self within the foot not as soon as, not twice, however thrice. Right here’s why:

  1. The mark-up on new vehicles is astronomical.
  2. The chance price of shopping for a brand new automobile–even in case you pay money–is profound.
  3. Most automobile loans have rates of interest, which suggests you’re spending much more cash.

In contrast to a house–which generally, hopefully will increase in worth–a automobile is sort of assured to lower in worth. A automobile isn’t an appreciating asset.

Who wrote that?! ME. I wrote all of that again within the halcyon pre-pandemic years of 2014-2019. Again within the instances earlier than our present interval of inflation and bananas automobile costs. So why ON THIS EARTH would I purchase a brand new automobile?

Inflation of the Automotive Varietal

As you’ll have seen, we’ve got some inflationary motion occurring lately. And as I famous on this article, inflation doesn’t affect all costs equally. Fortunate for me, among the most egregiously inflationary gadgets are vehicles. How superior for me!!!!

In accordance with this Fortune Journal article from June 2022:

Used automobile and truck costs have risen 16% over the previous 12 months, and 50% greater than earlier than the pandemic.

Thrilled past perception with their used energy wheels

My analysis on the bottom corroborated this as my husband and I discovered used vehicles that price as a lot or virtually as a lot as new vehicles. In some circumstances, we discovered used vehicles priced HIGHER than new vehicles for the straightforward cause of availability. In the event you want a automobile instantly, you may need to overpay for a used automobile as a result of you possibly can’t get your arms on a brand new automobile quick sufficient (though there are exceptions. See my notes on the Mazda CX5 under).

In regular financial instances–or slightly, in previous financial instances–used vehicles have been remarkably cheaper than new vehicles, which made the depreciation on new vehicles astronomical. In different phrases, new vehicles would lose an incredible quantity of their worth as quickly as they have been not new. Used vehicles, alternatively, had a way more gradual depreciation curve, which meant you can purchase a used automobile for an affordable value after which, if wanted, re-sell that used automobile at an affordable loss. Presently, thanks to produce chain points, a scarcity of laptop chips and inflation, used vehicles are not a deal.

We have been confronted with the truth of buying a several-years-old automobile for less than round $2,000 lower than a brand new automobile. In gentle of that, we noticed no level in shopping for used. Once you’re a ~$30k buy, we felt {that a} financial savings of $2k isn’t sufficient to justify shopping for a automobile with mileage and with no guarantee.

Why Didn’t You Simply Wait To Purchase a Automotive?

We did. We’ve wanted to exchange our 2010 Toyota Prius because the begin of the pandemic. However… we waited. We started trying to find vehicles in earnest in the course of the spring of 2021 and have been flabbergasted by the costs. At that time, used automobile costs have been up 42%!!! So, we determined to attend a 12 months. We have been optimistic that used automobile costs would normalize and we’d be capable to comply with our earlier roadmap of shopping for a several-years-old automobile for an important value. HAH. Little did we all know, inflation was simply getting began.

Why Didn’t You Wait One other 12 months?

We thought-about this. Strongly. However, we lack the power to foretell the longer term and have been involved automobile costs may be even greater subsequent 12 months. Plus, we didn’t need to undergo one other winter with the Prius.

Why Did You Want To Change the Prius?

The Prius. Caught within the snow. On our driveway. And this wasn’t even deep snow!

Our 2010 Toyota Prius was a champ. She did her perfect to outlive Vermont’s winters and he or she made it (kinda) by means of six of them with out (fully) falling aside. The Prius was supreme from a fuel mileage perspective however abysmal from the views of:

  1. Driving on rutted dust roads
  2. Driving throughout spring mud season
  3. Driving on ice
  4. Driving by means of snowstorms
  5. Getting out of our driveway
  6. Driving on not-very-well-maintained rural roads

The Prius is made for metropolis and interstate driving. The Prius isn’t made for rural backroads. I’m truthfully impressed we lasted so long as we did. After we lived within the metropolis, the Prius was a perfect automobile. Right here within the woods? The Prius was changing into a joke of a automobile.

Her main shortcomings have been:

  1. Lack of all-wheel drive
  2. Lack of floor clearance
  3. Lack of contemporary security options

Floor clearance isn’t one thing I thought-about earlier than residing rurally. However after getting each single stick, rock and piece of bark possible caught to the underside of the Prius, floor clearance is one thing I take into consideration typically. Moreover, we often must drive by means of a number of inches of snow as a result of when there’s a giant snow, the state snow plows can’t consistently take away all of the snow from the highway. Therefore, having floor clearance and all-wheel drive are crucial (if, you realize, you need to go anyplace).

Our Driveway: An Ongoing Saga

Extreme snow on a portion of our excessively lengthy driveway

Then there’s our driveway. Longtime readers know alllllll about our bobsled course of a driveway. At a really hilly quarter-mile lengthy, our driveway was the one main draw back we accepted after we purchased our home.

Fortunately, Mr. Frugalwoods maintains it himself with our tractor, which is a year-round job: snow elimination all winter, grading within the spring, culvert reconstruction in the summertime, some extra grading within the fall… Regardless of his ministrations, there are fairly just a few winter days the place the Prius can’t get out of the driveway.

I do know this as a result of I’ve many fond recollections of loading each kids into the Prius solely to find that it will:

a) not go up the little slope from the parking space onto the driveway

b) go up a portion of the driveway after which roll backwards

Enjoyable instances! If it rolled backwards, I’d then should reverse down the driveway, park it, unload each kids and re-load them into our truck (a 2010 Toyota Tundra). Thrilling as this ritual was, I’m over it.

And sure, the Prius was outfitted with top-of-the-line Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded snow tires. These helped a bit, however couldn’t make up for her lack of AWD and 4 centimeters of floor clearance.

Why Don’t You Simply Drive the Truck all Winter?

That is what we did the previous a number of winters. The Prius would make debuts on much less icy/snowy days, however the truck grew to become our every day driver. This was sub-optimal and not our supposed use case for the truck, as a result of:

  • The truck will get HORRENDOUS fuel mileage.
    • I’m speaking 12 MPG. Driving the truck every day defeated the complete existence of the Prius.
    • The entire level of getting a Prius was to capitalize on the Prius’s hybrid capabilities of 46 MPG. Along with costing us $1M in fuel, driving the truck on a regular basis is horrible for the atmosphere.
  • The truck is meant for uncommon utilization for hauling farm tools/constructing provides.
    • The truck is for hauling the snow plow we purchased just a few years in the past.
    • The truck is for hauling our maple syrup-making tools.
    • The truck is for hauling the lumber we used to construct the hen coop and the woodshed.
  • Our aim is to maintain the truck for a lot of, a few years as a beater farm truck.
    • Driving it typically added mileage and put on/tear, which negated this goal.

Why Do You Want Two Automobiles?

This can be a truthful query as a result of I work at home and Mr. FW is early retired, so we very not often each must drive reverse instructions on the identical time. Thus, having two vehicles isn’t to unravel the issue of a twin commute, it’s to satisfy our wants as subpar homesteaders and to make sure security.

Since there’s zero public transportation out right here, it’s a compulsory security consideration to have two automobiles. We will’t have one mother or father at house with the youngsters with no car–if there’s an emergency, they’d haven’t any method to go away. I truly had this occur to me just a few years in the past (resulting from Mr. FW being out of city with the Prius and the truck breaking down) and it was an terrible, terrifying feeling. I’ll pay no matter I have to with a view to have protected, dependable transportation.

What We Want In A Every day Driver

The chickens approve of their every day driver

After capitulating to the Prius’s ineptitude in our surroundings, we started a two-year-long analysis mission into our subsequent automobile. Our priorities have been:

  1. All-wheel drive
  2. Cheap floor clearance
  3. Reliability
  4. Affordability (not shopping for a Tesla over right here, individuals)
  5. Fashionable security options
  6. Sufficient room for 2 adults and two kids
  7. The very best fuel mileage for a non-electric, non-hybrid car
  8. Potential to haul issues like skis, paddle boards, kayaks, and so forth on the roof

We might LOVE to get an electrical automobile and it’s our 5/ten-year aim to promote this automobile and purchase electrical. We didn’t get electrical this time as a result of the costs on electrical automobiles are tremendous excessive and the expertise is tremendous new. I don’t need to get the primary era of any new expertise–I need to see the way it performs out after which choose a automobile with a confirmed document of reliability. Since electrical automobiles use a completely completely different expertise than fuel vehicles, I don’t really feel assured falling again on my earlier data of automobile manufacturers. It’s all completely different now! At any fee, our hope is that our subsequent car shall be electrical.

The Automobiles We Thought-about Shopping for

  1. Toyota Rav4
  2. Honda CRV
  3. Mazda CX5
  4. Subaru Forester
  5. Subaru Outback

These are all labeled as “small” SUVs. We didn’t need something bigger–such because the Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sequoia, Honda Pilot, Honda Passport, and so forth–as a result of these price extra and worsen fuel mileage. All the automobiles on our checklist price roughly the identical and provide roughly the identical fuel mileage.

I made this comparability chart on Kelly Blue Guide and, as you possibly can see, these vehicles are practically similar in each metric:

We take a look at drove all of them and right here’s what we discovered:

Toyota Rav4

That is the automobile we assumed we’d get as a result of we love Toyota’s reliability document. A lot of the vehicles we’ve owned have been Toyotas and we deliberate to proceed that pattern. Till, that’s, we sat in a 2022 Rav4. Lo and behold when Toyota redesigned the inside, they didn’t take tall individuals into consideration. My husband is 6’2″ and I’m 5’7″. His head TOUCHED the highest of the automobile and mine got here very shut. This was a direct deal breaker. Can’t have a automobile we’re too tall for!

Honda CRV

Valiant snow-clearing effort by the youngsters

This was a tremendous automobile to drive, however we weren’t as impressed with the trunk area. We regularly want to suit two children’ bikes + different sundries and this trunk appeared tight. Extra importantly, the CRV’s complete bundle isn’t pretty much as good: the AWD isn’t one of the best, neither is the bottom clearance, and recent-year CRVs have had an oil dilution downside. On account of these components, we discounted the CRV fairly rapidly.

 Mazda CX5

We cherished this one. This was hands-down our favourite automobile to drive. It’s beautiful, well-designed, clean as butter to drive and has a really luxurious really feel. I’m nonetheless a tad unhappy we didn’t get a CX5. However, our causes have been sound: its AWD capabilities aren’t top-of-the-line, the trunk area is smaller and, crucially, it isn’t as excessive off the bottom because the automobile we selected. I’d like to personal a Mazda sometime–they’re simply so enjoyable to drive! However, not the proper automobile for us proper now.

Subaru Forester

After we turned our analysis to Subarus, we supposed to get a Forester. However after we went to the dealership, the salesperson instructed us that Foresters have been manner, manner, manner backordered and that it may be 6 months earlier than we may get one. He then defined that the Outback has the identical floor clearance and the very same AWD system because the Forester, a BIGGER trunk and can be accessible sooner.

Subaru Outback

After I searched my images for “automobile,” plenty of “carrot” images popped up. You’re welcome.

Longtime readers will recall that we owned a 2010 Subaru Outback after we moved to Vermont in 2016. It was, actually, the automobile we purchased for our new Vermont way of life! Nonetheless, we have been making an attempt to make use of it as our truck. We purchased the Prius and the Outback within the hopes that we may get away with utilizing the Outback as our hauling car and the Prius as our every day driver. We rapidly realized that an Outback isn’t, actually, a truck and you can not, actually, haul issues like snow plows and full-size lumber. However we tried, let me inform you. Right here’s the complete story on our authentic Outback: Why We Broke Down and Purchased a Used Truck.

As quickly as we take a look at drove the 2022 Outback, we remembered why we purchased one within the first place. It ticked each single certainly one of our bins:

  1. Greatest AWD of the automobiles we thought-about (similar to the Forester)
  2. Highest floor clearance of the automobiles we thought-about (similar to the Forester)
  3. Greatest trunk area as a result of it’s a station wagon versus an SUV:
    • I LOVE THIS TRUNK and we fill it to the brim on the common.
  4. Good fuel mileage:
    • It harm to say goodbye to the Prius’s phenomenal fuel mileage, however we weren’t in a position to reap the advantages of that fuel mileage in the course of the winter anyway, so we should always come out forward on our annual common MPG.
    • We’re averaging 30 MPG with the Outback, which is much better than the truck’s embarrassing 12 MPG!
  5. Certainly one of my all-time fave images of Kidwoods

    Good reliability:

    • We aren’t 100% jazzed with Subaru’s longterm upkeep document, BUT, shopping for a brand new automobile means it’s below guarantee for 3 years/36,000 miles for primary and 5 years/60,000 miles for the powertrain, at which level we’d promote it and get an electrical car anyway.
  6. Wonderful fashionable security options.
  7. Good affordability and inside a pair thousand {dollars} of all the opposite vehicles we thought-about.
  8. A roof rack got here normal:
    • That is good for holding our ski roof field (particulars under) and my paddle board.
    • This automobile was made for individuals who like outdoorsy, rural stuff, which makes life simple on us. Consistently making an attempt to retrofit the Prius into one thing it’s not designed to do was a ache.

Plus, the ready time for an Outback was shorter than all the opposite automobiles, aside from the Mazda CX5. We may’ve pushed a CX5 off the lot the day we checked out it, so in case you want a automobile ASAP, take a look at Mazda!

This quick ready interval was essential for us as a result of we wanted to have the automobile earlier than late October/early November (AKA the beginning of winter). And, we wanted to have it with sufficient time to re-sell the Prius. Promoting stuff in the course of the winter (homes, vehicles, chickens) isn’t terribly frequent right here. Most folk appear to choose to transact when the climate’s first rate. We put our title on a ready checklist for an Outback in mid-April and had the automobile in hand by Might thirty first. Good for our timeline!

Extra on Security Options

One more reason we needed to improve to one thing newer than our 2010 was for the brand new security options of the Outback, together with: computerized braking, blind spot detection, extra airbags, rear cross visitors alert plus fashionable crash take a look at situations. Newer vehicles have been re-engineered to satisfy greater crash take a look at security requirements, which suggests they end in fewer deaths. The variety of miles we drive means we’re more likely to die in a automobile crash than from every other supply, so having new security options have been a precedence. After we added the Outback to our automobile insurance coverage, our legal responsibility insurance coverage truly went down–it’s cheaper to insure the Outback than the older Prius as a result of we’re a lot much less prone to get into an accident with a more recent automobile.

The Destiny of the Prius

Kidwoods washing the Prius in preparation on the market

Whereas used vehicles are bananas costly to purchase proper now, that additionally means it’s a reasonably candy time to promote a used automobile. We listed the Prius on the market on Craigslist, our native city electronic mail listserve and Fb Market. We initially listed it on the value we paid for it again in 2015: $8,900.

We didn’t get any provides at $8,900 and so after two weeks, we lowered the worth to $8,400. That was evidently the candy spot as a result of we instantly began to get provides. Apparently, a lot of the queries got here by means of Fb Market, which we’d by no means used earlier than. Up to now, we’ve purchased and bought all the things by means of Craigslist, however I assume Fb Market is extra widespread now. Many due to our associates A & C for recommending we use it–I truthfully wouldn’t have even thought-about it.

A mechanic messaged me (by means of Fb) that he needed to purchase it for his sister-in-law and came to visit the subsequent day to take it for a take a look at drive. He provided us $8,000, we countered at $8,200 and he agreed. An ideal negotiation the place each events felt like they obtained an excellent deal!

My Suggestions for Promoting a Used Automotive:

  1. Do your analysis on pricing. Don’t simply use the Kelly Blue Guide value, have a look at what comparable used vehicles are promoting for in your space.
  2. Checklist on the very prime of the market with the data that almost all patrons need to negotiate and you’ll at all times decrease the worth. You’ll be able to’t precisely improve the worth, so checklist excessive after which cut price down.
  3. Be terribly clear in regards to the situation of the automobile. You don’t need to hoodwink anybody and it engenders belief if you’re clear. It’s a used automobile, everybody is aware of it’s going to have some points. We included the under rundown in our description of the Prius, together with images of the physique injury:

Be certain to reveal carrot irregularities too

Whereas a wonderfully dependable every day driver, this automobile does have 163k miles and comes with the next identified defects that we by no means felt have been price fixing:

  • Faint fuel scent exterior the automobile when the tank is full to the highest. It goes away after the primary ~50 or so miles following a fill-up. We had our mechanic look into it and he couldn’t discover any leaks and pronounced it protected. He really helpful in opposition to dropping the tank except it obtained worse. That was a 12 months in the past and it hasn’t gotten worse.
  • Occasional rattles from all the warmth shields and plastic fairings below the automobile. We’ve our mechanic chase these down every time it’s within the store, but it surely nonetheless has a warmth defend rattle at sure low rpms. You’ll be able to’t hear it past idle.
  • Very, very gradual leak within the AC system. I’ve to cost it as soon as each spring (simple to do with a $15 package from Walmart) and it blows chilly all summer time. We had our mechanic do a fluorescent dye take a look at, and he didn’t discover something (not stunning because it have to be such a gradual leak). We may throw components at it, however we simply cost it each spring. Been like that for no less than 4 years.
  • Minor physique points: small crack on decrease left bumper, slight separation of bumper on higher proper, minor floor rust and a few paint chipping alongside the roof. See images for particulars.

The one who purchased it mentioned he was particularly thinking about shopping for from us as a result of we have been so forthright in outlining the automobile’s identified defects. He appreciated that we disclosed all of this upfront and each he (and we) felt snug sharing this data of the automobile’s shortcomings.

Do Not Do a Commerce In With a Dealership

After we purchased the Outback, I requested the dealership to tell us what they’d give us for the Prius if we traded it in. I already knew I wasn’t going to commerce it in, however I needed the info of their provide for this publish. After assessing the Prius, the dealership provided us $3,000 and instructed us that was, “an important value for a automobile so previous.” HAH. By going by means of the nominal problem of washing it, vacuuming it, photographing it and itemizing it, we made $5,200 extra by promoting it ourselves. Individuals, it’s definitely worth the “problem” to promote a automobile your self.

The Prius Numbers

Right here’s the breakdown on our 2010 Toyota Prius:

Our Buy Worth Date Mileage at time of Buy
$8,995 April 2016 95,802


Offered For Date Mileage at time of Sale
$8,200 August 2022 163,456

Which means the Prius solely depreciated $133 per 12 months (or 16.73%):  Good! Like I mentioned, dangerous time to purchase a used automobile, nice time to promote a used automobile.

The Outback Numbers

What you’ve been ready for! Right here’s what we spent on our 2022 Subaru Outback Premium in Autumn Inexperienced:

Merchandise Quantity Notes
Subaru Outback $33,106.86 By way of verify
Remaining steadiness on Subaru Outback $2,500.00 By way of bank card
Ski roof field $590.52 Roof field for skis
Rims & snow tires


Flooring mats




Used from Craigslist. New rims are circa $600-$700 and don’t embrace tires

Flooring mats

Kick mats $26.49 Kick mats (affiliate hyperlink)
Craigslist Promoting $5.00 To promote the Prius
TOTAL $36,827.77

As you possibly can see, we put $2,500 of the Outback buy value on our cash-back bank card, which suggests we netted 2% money again–also referred to as $50. The dealership mentioned we may put a max of $2,500 on a bank card and so we did. We paid the remaining steadiness by way of private verify. We’ve by no means financed a automobile as a result of we don’t need to lose cash to curiosity. Since we knew we’d want to purchase a brand new automobile, we started saving up money for this buy about two years in the past.

The ground mats, kick mats and seat cowl all doing their jobs

You’ll additionally notice that the ski roof rack was $100 cheaper than the checklist value. That’s as a result of we purchased it throughout an REI 20% off member sale and thus obtained a 20% low cost. We weren’t the one REI members who thought to do that. The shop was filled with gigantic supply bins of kayaks, roof racks, bicycles, and so forth. Clearly low cost week is the proper time to purchase costly out of doors tools!

We additionally purchased very good, very costly ground mats, which cowl the complete ground (and sides) of the inside. We did so as a result of we plan to someday promote this automobile and we need to maintain it as clear as potential. And, since we stay within the woods, we get about as a lot dust within the automobile as exterior the automobile. And gravel. Mud. Sticks. Leaves. After which after all there’s the snow, ice and salt… to not point out our two kids. We have been in a position to re-use this backseat cowl we had within the Prius, however sadly, the kick mats didn’t match (affiliate hyperlink). So, we purchased these and they’re supreme since each of our children really feel the necessity to prop their muddy boots on the seat again in entrance of them (affiliate hyperlink). And with that, the Outback is absolutely dirt-proofed!

Due to Craigslist we have been capable of finding some used rims and snow tires, that are necessary out right here within the wintry sticks. The explanation we get rims (along with tires) is in order that Mr. FW can swap the tires himself each season, versus paying our mechanic to take action.

Okay I can’t consider anything to inform you. Hit me along with your questions!

Have you ever had to purchase/promote a automobile lately? What was your expertise?

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