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Figuring out a good car budget

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Eyemd356 View Post
    I would probably recommend you step up to the c class versus the cla ( the cla seems cheap and the c class feels significantly better built)
    the difference in cost is negligible. A 2019-2020 certified c class with a 1-2 year warranty is probably around 30k btw

    also a Honda or Toyota will most likely be more reliable than a German luxury in the long run (and short run)The maintenance costs will be cheaper and less things break on the Japanese cars. And quite honesty the level of luxury in a nice Camry or accord is nearly as good as the Mercedes or bmw or Audi.

    you really need to spend a Saturday and sit in and test drive some different cars before you narrow your search
    Thanks! I'll take a look at those. I've been driving Corolla and really don't like the driving experience, so I ruled out Toyota in my search. But will give them another look. I test drove the CLA twice and really liked it but will have to compare to more recent Toyotas. Is the driving experience pretty comparable among all of these? The CLA had a little more kick to it when I drove it which I liked, but it might have just been the road I had it on. My father has had a Mercedes GLA for 5 years and had good experience with it, so I started my search with Mercedes but definitely open to other makes and models. Ideally something good for daily driving but still fun and sporty and can be driven for 5-10 years without too many issues.

    I actually think it's amazing you have a vintage Porsche. That is my absolute dream car. I considered a used Cayman but like you mentioned, it's not the most practical as a daily driver and I need something my wife and I can both use daily. But I would like something a little more fun and sporty. That's really what I miss having in a car.

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    • #47
      You know what the answer is. Miata.

      I say get a new/used toyota and spend the rest of the $50k on the miata, either now or in a few years.

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      • #48
        No one under the age of 55 should be driving a Mercedes or Miata.

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        • #49
          when we got a 3 yo CPO German Big3 car with 16K miles on it for around 25K, we probably had about 5 years left on our PSLF journey. Could we have gotten a cheaper car then? For sure. But we felt like we had a good money plan (savings rate, etc) and went for it. 5 years later, PSLF came through, no debt apart from mortgage, we still have the car and my wife still likes driving it.

          If you save enough and have a good plan, I'd buy the car you want. If I was buying in this market, I'd probably buy new too..

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          • #50
            Originally posted by zeppelinpage4 View Post
            I'm considering a Mercedes CLA right now. The upper trim ones can get to 45k, especially new and with tax and fees comes out to almost 50k. MORE likely, I am looking at buying a used 2019 CLA for 31-33k and add on a few thousand for taxes. But, I'm not decided on one particular car yet as I want to have a fair budget in mind. Also considering Audi and BMW. My father had great experience with his Mercedes which he has had for 5 years now.
            Problem with Mercedes and BMW is that service is expensive but that is the lesser financial hit. Once it goes off warranty, any little trouble and you are looking at thousands in parts and labor. Especially labor.

            That is why many docs who have Mercs lease them and turn them in at the end of the lease or sell it off before the warranty runs out. I don't think you can afford leasing or the unknown high expenses of a 5 year old Merc that gives trouble. Unless you have a friend who is a mechanic and can do it cheaply for you.

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            • #51
              Personally I would go for it... and I did and definitely don't regret it. I had never had a car until the end of med school and relied on my bike and public transit to get from A to B. In my mind, I didn't have enough income to buy a car or afford insurance and I didn't really 'need' a car. I bought a brand new, off the lot Honda Prelude Special Edition in March of final year. My girlfriend at the time taught me to drive a stick the weekend before I picked it up from the dealer and then it sat in my parent's garage until the end of June when internship started. I loved that car and it gave me endless joy. I eventually sold it to my sister who ultimately sold it to the Honda mechanic who had worked on it since it was new. He was convinced that it was the best car that Honda had ever made. Sure it was a stretch but the outlay didn't stop me from retiring early despite having four children.

              I never would have bought a Mercedes, BMW or Audi at that point and frankly still wouldn't but that is your call. Bottom line is that a single 50K car is not going to be the end of you unless it turns into a habit.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by uptoolate View Post
                Personally I would go for it... and I did and definitely don't regret it. I had never had a car until the end of med school and relied on my bike and public transit to get from A to B. In my mind, I didn't have enough income to buy a car or afford insurance and I didn't really 'need' a car. I bought a brand new, off the lot Honda Prelude Special Edition in March of final year. My girlfriend at the time taught me to drive a stick the weekend before I picked it up from the dealer and then it sat in my parent's garage until the end of June when internship started. I loved that car and it gave me endless joy. I eventually sold it to my sister who ultimately sold it to the Honda mechanic who had worked on it since it was new. He was convinced that it was the best car that Honda had ever made. Sure it was a stretch but the outlay didn't stop me from retiring early despite having four children.

                I never would have bought a Mercedes, BMW or Audi at that point and frankly still wouldn't but that is your call. Bottom line is that a single 50K car is not going to be the end of you unless it turns into a habit.
                Sweet. That was my dream car when I was younger.

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                • #53
                  Bmw maintenance is included for first 3 years fyi

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Sampter View Post
                    No one under the age of 55 should be driving a Mercedes or Miata.
                    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Sampter View Post
                      No one under the age of 55 should be driving a Mercedes or Miata.
                      can old folks even get into a miata?

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                      • #56
                        Buy what you want. You are already saving a big chunk, have an EF and the rest of your ducks are in a row. No guilt in being happy.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by MPMD View Post

                          very few people keep cars for 10-12 years, esp people who drop $50k on one.

                          i would say it's a better idea to drive as little car as you can tolerate until you have at least a million in the bank.
                          except me. I have 7 cars with an average age of 14 years old.

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