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  • Can’t decide on car

    my current car is an 11 yr old 3 series bmw with about 110k miles that has had relatively few issues.  I bought this car before I was aware of sites like this one and bogleheads for cash.

    I am not sure whether I should drive my current car longer and deal with probable upcoming repairs and maintenance issues (car is worth about 2.5-3.5k) or get a new one?

    As far as a new one, also unsure.  One voice is frugal and practical pushing me to buy a non luxury car, like a Chevy suv while my other voice is pushing me to get a 43k new 3 series bmw.  Both would be bought for cash.

    One voice tells me life is short and I am on track financially without debt, so get something luxury. I use my car most days. Cheap frugal side tells me to buy something cheaper and easier to maintain and keep the difference invested.

    What would you guys do or have done in a similar situation?

  • #2
    1.) You say you're on track financially.

    2.) You say you're going to buy it with cash.

    3.) Get whatever you want...guilt free.

     

    It won't take much of a repair for it to cost more than your current car is worth. An out of warranty BMW is not the most desirable vehicle on the road.

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    • #3
      i am in the minority on this forum but i don't fetishize driving something old or not-what-you-want if you can afford it.

      i would def agree with being worried about a BMW w/ 11y/110k miles.

      i would also give yourself more options than a brand new 3-series vs. chevy suv. like another option would be a 2 year old 3-series where some other schmuck already took the lion's share of the value hit.

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      • #4
        Don't know. None of the choices you presented is what I would do.
        You will get a range of answers. Yes, no, maybe.

        Is it a manual? Get another manual.

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        • #5
          Yes, get rid of it. Chevy suv?! Bleah, drive one and you’ll agree with me. Cheaply made, subpar ride. Toyota/Lexus products is what I’d lean towards, or F150 pick up, or Mustang/Boxster/Cayman/911.

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          • #6
            Listen to your frugal voice.

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            • #7
              It's not worth trading in. Just don't out any more money into it. When it dies, buy another car.

              You can get a way nicer/more fun to drive car than a new 3 series for 43k. If the 'life is too short' voice wins out, go shop around and find something.

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              • #8
                my current plan isn't to drive my car into the ground, but it also isn't to get a new one every 4 years.  An 11 year old car seems pretty close to driving into the ground where you might start having some problems with it.  I would likely start looking for a different car.

                The options of Chevy SUV vs BMW 3 series are so different it is hard to even compare.  If you like your current car, get another small sedan.  If you liked the feel of nicer option of a BMW, get another one or MB, or go crazy and get an Alfa Romeo Giulia

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                • #9
                  Unless you're trying to impress, I think it's best to be practical. I've known others to buy fancy cars and have it backfire. Unfortunately, having a flashy car invites trouble sometimes. I choose to blend in and not stand out. Honda or Toyota is my brand of choice due to this reason and repair costs which will come eventually. Also, the resale value on these cars are higher than most. Good luck with your decision!

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                  • #10
                    1. No idea how much you have saved and plan to have at retirement.

                    2. When the current car has any significant trouble, say adios to it.

                    3. I would not get a Chevy SUV. Might as well buy an Acura or Lexus SUV for the same amount money and have reliable vehicle.

                    4. Buying another BMW - that is your call. I am well past the point of trying to impress others or even myself. All I want is a nice comfortable, reliable vehicle that just drives.

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                    • #11
                      Not sure an Acura or lexus suv are same price as a Chevy and I'm not sure Chevy cars are unreliable. People who call who brands unreliable are just running on anecdotes IMO. Haven't seen anything that truly shows one brand is more reliable than the other.

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                      • #12




                        Haven’t seen anything that truly shows one brand is more reliable than the other.
                        Click to expand...


                        Consumer Reports has all kinds of information about reliability and costs. I think you may have to pay for it, though. There's clearly certain makes and models that are less reliable than others. Nobody can say an entire brand (e.g. Chevy, Ford, Honda, etc.) is unreliable because every brand seems to have some reliable models (and you'll find individual cars that are reliable in a subset of generally unreliable models) but some brands have more reliable models than others. For reliability, which one would you want: a hummer or a Honda/Acura?

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                        • #13
                          I can't believe I'm actually posting on a car thread but I am about to that point, too. I've been looking at another Genesis but my son, The Car Guy, told me that, at my price point, he'd scrap everything we had talked about and go straight for a BMW. According to him "You just cannot beat a German engineered car like BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. The features/technology/performance/looks etc are better than anything else you can get. Only reason I'd say BMW is there is a dealer in Paducah (20 miles away)."

                          Any thoughts? We change out cars every 8 - 10 years and my current one is starting to show the wear.

                          As for the cost, if you're on track, I think you should get exactly what you want. Whether you die with $15M instead of $14.9M won't make you any happier, but enjoying something you use every day will if you can afford to do so and you're on track for your goals. Frugal is nice as a means to an end, but if it's not your goal to die with millions, then you need to begin thinking about the purpose for your frugality beyond standing in solidarity with all the other frugal doc's.
                          Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                          • #14




                            I can’t believe I’m actually posting on a car thread but I am about to that point, too. I’ve been looking at another Genesis but my son, The Car Guy, told me that, at my price point, he’d scrap everything we had talked about and go straight for a BMW. According to him “You just cannot beat a German engineered car like BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. The features/technology/performance/looks etc are better than anything else you can get. Only reason I’d say BMW is there is a dealer in Paducah (20 miles away).”

                            Any thoughts? We change out cars every 8 – 10 years and my current one is starting to show the wear.

                            As for the cost, if you’re on track, I think you should get exactly what you want. Whether you die with $15M instead of $14.9M won’t make you any happier, but enjoying something you use every day will if you can afford to do so and you’re on track for your goals. Frugal is nice as a means to an end, but if it’s not your goal to die with millions, then you need to begin thinking about the purpose for your frugality beyond standing in solidarity with all the other frugal doc’s.
                            Click to expand...


                            just be aware that with german engineered cars, comes with german engineered maintenance costs. one of my partners drives only sporty bmws and for some reason his front and back tires are different sizes so he can't/shouldn't even rotate his tires. he recently somehow damaged a sidewall of one lately and just had to replace all 4 tires.

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                            • #15
                              Don't agree about German engineering. That is a general feeling based on social status rather than data. There are awesome engineered cars by numerous brands. There are crappy german cars too. Honestly Hyundai has made some stuff that impresses me more than recent bmws.

                              If anything on those German cars I think you pay a premium for what you get, because it's German. Like a MacBook specs are comparably less than a similar priced pc ( not trying to start a Mac vs pc battle)

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