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Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous



  • I think this is part of the CCB sickness. Not only does one buy many cars...but having strong opinions (ones we are willing to fight over) about the cars we choose.

    It is akin to the link between alcohol and aggressive behavior. Not every alcoholic is violent, but many violent people are more violent after drinking.

    I buy cars. I spend hours reading magazines about cars. I spend hours in here posting about cars. I go to dealer lots and deal with scummy (and some really professional) salespeople just to test drive cars that I will likely never buy, but may end up suggesting to others. I upgrade when I rent, just to get a better car. I considered working at the PHX Mini dealership, just so I could drive that car for a while. I once sold VWs and Saabs, so I could drive a different car to lunch every day. (This was back in the days of the Corrado VR6 and the 9-5 Griffin.)

    I have opinions. I like what I like. Some don't agree. Most of the cars I have had have been good to me and I have lost more of my money to repairs, taxes and high interest rates then to depreciation.

    I am scratching the itch to buy right now, because I can't pull the trigger for at least a few months and shouldn't pull it for a few years, unless I dump new for old and get a hoopty ride for a while.

    My dream purchase is to buy a Saab/Volvo/BMW and take European Delivery, spend 4 weeks driving along wine country in Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.

    In the meantime, I intend to keep kicking tires, reading magazines and posting here. :)

    I need help.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    What I DON'T understand is the NEED of certain Kia and Hyundai owners to defend THEIR purchase. It makes no sense to me. You buy the car. You make the payments. You drive it. Unless you run into me and destroy my vehicle, I really don't care what you decide to drive.

    I will say, on occasion, why I don't buy Kias or Hyundais (or many of the other smaller brands) even though I personally tend to consider value to be the reason for purchasing a car. I don't dwell on what I consider to be the shortcomings of the brands. Every brand has its good points and its bad points. To be honest with you, I don't consider Hondas, MBs, Ferraris, or a lot of other brands either.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    What I DON'T understand is the NEED of certain Kia and Hyundai owners to defend THEIR purchase. It makes no sense to me.

    Well said. What's even more confounding is that, the same Kia and Huyndai owner, being so defensive about his/her own vehicle purchase (which no one really cares, as you so well said), then goes about and put down on others' vehicle choices (like SUV's, for example) without the slightest consideration for the sensitivity of others. It makes no sense whatsoever. BTW, I thought this was the Chronical Car Buyers' thread not Chronical Tire Kickers' thread (where would you find the time if you are a CCB and you want high tire-kicking-to-buying ratio ;-) Why would any CCB care about long term warranty for original owner with limited transferrability. What I want are: reliabiliity during my ownership (last time I checked, the dealership does not compensate me $200/hr for my time and missed appointments if my car gets loaded onto a flatbed, regardless how long the warranty is), and good resale value when I'm done with the car and move on to the next reliable conveyance for business ;-)
  • dmclonedmclone Posts: 6
    16 years of driving. Not counting my wife’s cars.

    99 Camry LE
    03 350Z Enthusiast
    99 Honda CRV
    00 Civic Si
    97 Lexus ES300
    95 Acura Interga LS
    89? Fiero GT (for 3 days)
    89 Honda Accord SE-I coupe
    89 Formula Firebird
    83 Firebird S/E
    74 Z-28 w/427
    77 Monte Carlo

    Suzuki Volusia
    Honda CBR600
    Polaris SL650 PWC
    Bombardier DS650 quad
    Honda ATC 110 (I was 12)
    Honda ATC 200 Big Red
    Honda 700 Shadow

    Yeah I have a problem. Now I’m considering buying a Honda Element and pimping it out with some cool A/V equipment.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    The Element was one of our final contenders when we bought our Accord last year. At that time I wanted an automatic and was unhappy with the power of the Element EX AWD automatic so we went with the Accord.

    The Camry doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the cars you have owned.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    There is one wise statement that a poster makes around there parts every week or so ...


    We have our own goals. I like to buy vehicles that are unpopular but are reliable and drive them until the wheels fall off. I like to see how cheaply I can purchase a decent car, and see how long I can keep the car running reliably while keeping my costs as low as possible.

    That means that I generally drive the oldest cars on the lot at work. So what?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,814
    " We have tangled before" ??

    If so, I don't remember and I don't think we "tangled" this time either. I firmly believe people should buy and drive what they like and I have said so many times in these forums.

    I only responded stating my opinion on their resale values.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Sounds like the two of us will make a good team ;-) I own the car for the first 70k miles, then pass it onto you for good price. My line of work makes it necessary for me to have an extremely reliable car (plus a backup); being late or missing an appointment due to car breakdown is simply not an option :-( Otherwise, I wouldn't mind an old car either. It all comes down to how much marginal income additional car expense generates for you. I figure, a brand new $30k Toyota/Honda depreciates about $3k a year in the first 6 years when averaged out, with minimal repair cost; year 6-12 probably depreciates $2k per year, but probably another $500 a year repair bills; beyond year 12, it's anyone's guess what the repair bill is. If not having to visit the dealer on unscheduled basis is worth the extra $500-1k a year (with about $2500 a year on gas and insurance, that will be $5500 vs. $4500 a year), a new car makes sense; on the other hand, if a car breakdown means an opportunity to call in ;-), I'd keep the money myself. Also, depending on what state you live in, exrcise tax could be a deal breaker on new cars.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Let's get a few things straight. I have had very few breakdowns with cars up to about 150K miles because I am religious about my maintenance. For example, I replace tires after three winters with 40% of the treadlife left.

    I bought my current car at 38k, hit 98k tonight coming back from Milwaukee. The car broke down on me once because I cancelled my appointment with my mechanic for the new battery and tuneup that I had. By the way, on my Olds, I have averaged under $500 a year total (LOF, tires, repairs, etc.) driving 18k per year. I budget about 0.06 per mile and i am running under that.

    As many old cars as I have owned, I have never missed a day due to car problems. I have always had 2-3 backups "just in case".

    In Cleveland, I had a close relationship with a Enterprise guy who would rent me a car for $18 with 10 minutes notice. I also had a guy (with a newer car) who owed me a few rides in casr. (At the time, I owned three cars with 120k miles.)

    Here in Chicago, I have the Enterprise option, access to a bus or train (both require a mile walk each way). People who want to make it to work generally do.

    In general, having a third car as a backup (with two drivers) is generally a losing proposition when you have the insurance, taxes, title, etc. Also, there is no guarantee that when one has problems, the other will follow.

    I will admit that mytime is less critical. Where I work, we all work half-days and it doesn't matter if it is 6-6 or 9-9.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    have you ever had a day though, when more than one car went down at once? It's been really rare, but on a few occasions I have. One really hot summer day, back in 1999 I'm thinking it was, my Gran Fury decided not to start. It would turn over, but just wouldn't fire up. Had my roommate drive me over to my grandma's house to get her '85 LeSabre to use, and damn if it didn't flood itself out too!

    I'm guessing it was just because it was an extremely hot, humid day. Anyway, I finally DID get the Buick fired up, but I just thought it was funny that they'd both quit on the same day! The Gran Fury positively refused to start, so after messing with it for a few days, I finally tied it to my Dart and pulled it down to Kmart, which did auto service back then, and was actually fairly reputable (ours was, at least). Anyway, damn if it didn't fire right up for them!

    I had another multiple-car catastrophe the following winter. I'd only had my Intrepid for a few months at this point. It had just snowd a night or two before, and there was packed snow and ice everywhere. Well, somehow I picked up a nail in my grandmother's driveway, and my Intrepid's front tire went flat...almost immediately. So out came the trusty Buick...which I promptly got stuck on the ice at the base of her circular driveway! Needless to say I was a little late that nite delivering pizzas!
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I had one day in Cleveland where ALL three vehicles were having problems. It was a January day in 1998. +10F during the day, -10F at night. I had a '89 Ciera with 135k, a '80 Topaz with 120k and had just bought my next door neighbor's '89 Corsica with 105k to keep her out of bankruptcy.

    My wife came home complaining about the alternator light going on the Ciera. She had to be at work at 4:30am. I was fortunate to get the Topaz started (unheated garage). She took that to work and called Sears to get a new battery. I took the Ciera and was able to get it the one mile to my mechanic.

    I walked the one mile home and took the Corsica to work. Two miles from work, the heater core went out. I took it to my mechanic near work and called Enterprise for a rental. This was a real PITA. However, it underscored the need to stay ahead of repairs with older cars.

    After that fiasco, I sold off the Corsica to one of my wife's employee. After that, I worked with Enterprise wheneve I needed a short-term rental. He agreed to provide me with a vehicle on short notice if I agreed to take whatever he would give me. I ended up with an Aspire one time and a Ford F-150 pick-up the next.

    The biggest problem with the third car approach is that when you have a problem, you don't move on it quickly as you have immediate backup.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,308
    One of my best excuses to get a new car and feed the CCB habit.

    How concenred I get depends on which car. My car is generally local/commute (1 mile), so it isn't crucial that it be stone reliable (that is, I could get away with an english car if I wanted to). But, my wifes car (van now) if the family truckster, and takes all the long trips. And take my word for it, you don't want to break down on the Belt parkway or the Cross Bronx expressway in NYC at night.

    When I'm doing a 300+ mile trip, highway, nights/weekends (which they usually are), it's not going to be in a car that I worry about making it.

    In JLs case, sounds like a different story usually (more like my situation around town).

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,308
    since I bought a car, and I'm getting the urge again (at least thinking about it). Is this a problem?

    Good thing I have plans to shop with the wife for a new family car in the next few months. That should keep me from doing anything for at lest a year or 2, unless I come up with some lame excuse first.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    now that I rarely drive very far anymore. Back when I used to deliver pizzas, and lived about 13-14 miles from my regular job, reliability was much more critical, although to be honest I did most of my delivering in a '68 Dart, '79 Newport, and an '89 Gran Fury, and occasional stints in Grandma's '85 LeSabre. I'd only had the Intrepid about a year, when I finally got fed up and quit that job. I tried to go back twice...once for about 2 months, and once for one month. But it just wasn't the same, management was going downhill, business was dropping, etc.

    But now, I'm about 3 1/2 miles from my job. The grocery store is less than 2 miles away, and there are two gas stations along the way. Reliability, while nice, really isn't that crucial anymore. I'm almost tempted to going back to buying clunkers once the Intrepid drops, or just start using up some of the ones I already have!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,308
    Andre - get the HEMI. You know you want it.

    Good article in the latest Automobile magazine about a road trip to Florida in a Magnum RT. Sounds like a really nice car, if you like big cars.

    I have actually gotten tired of having 3 cars, largely because I only have a 2 car garage, and hate parking outside. That, and it's real expensive to insure a sports car in NJ. Kinda not fiscally prudent when I will barely put 1K a year on it (I only do 6K/year total on my cars).

    If I ever move to someplace like New Hampshire, I'll buy a house in the country with an extra detached garage to stach toys in.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    If you know you're not going to put hardly any miles on a car, why not get an older car and get classic/collector car insurance. Really a good deal for a car that's not going to be a daily driver and will sit for most of the year. Saved a boat load of cash using one of these policies for my old car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    I definitely want the Hemi. I just don't want the car payment that would go along with it!! I just read in a recent C&D or MT though, that Chrysler is planning on offering a 2-door and convertible version of the 300, as well as a 2-door and 4-door version of the Magnum, and something else that will revive the Charger nameplate.

    I hope this happens...I'd like to see a return to the days when car lines had a full model lineup to choose from, with coupes, sedans, convertible, and wagons.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    In Cleveland, it was a PITA to break down as I commuted 25 miles out to the suburbs for my job. There was no public transportation. The situation here in the Chicago suburbs is a lot better in terms of the options.

    As for long trips, when I get into a situation when my car is older, it is better IMHO, to rent a car. For example, I can get a $20 per day car for an overnighter from Chicago to St. Louis. Why put the wear and tear on my vehicle. And if I can rent at a suburban location, I pay a 5% sales tax versus the Boss Daley 24% tax that you get renting at O'Hare and Midway.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    just renting a car whenever I need to go somewhere far away. However, the last time I looked into renting a car, I think for that trip it would've cost about $600! I would've been driving from DC to Houston and back, putting at least 3,000 miles on the car for the whole trip, and it would've been about an 8 day trip, total. The car I was trying to get was a Pontiac Bonneville, as I didn't think I could put up with a little car for that long of a trip...about 22-24 hours, if you drive straight through.

    I did have a '91 Civic rental once, while on vacation in California, and I think I put around 1500 miles on it while I had it, but it wasn't all put on in one long trip!
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    they don't charge mileage, so you're dealing with a weekly rate and that's it. I've done that recently when I went to the SEMA Show in Indianapolis in March. Rented a Cadillac Deville, cost me $129.00 for 4 better mileage than my PT Cruiser by 5-6 mpg!

    When I didn't have a brand new car, I rented cars for weekend trips all the time.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    I can't remember who I called for the Bonneville, but I do remember that they offered unlimited miles on their cheaper little cars, just not on the nicer cars.

    And my Intrepid ain't no spring chicken anymore. I'm pushing 94,000 miles, so my '79 NYer, with only about 88,000 on it might be the more trustworthy of the two now! ;-)
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    rents Bonnevilles, Devilles, Chrysler 300s (hint, hint)....

    No mileage charges on anything they rent.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,308
    giving my wife a beater and having to hassle with rentals when we travel (often on short notice) truly qualifies as a "non-starter", but I can see the attraction for city dwellers and single folks.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    was looking into renting a Chrysler 300 (don't know which series, so it could've been a base, C, touring, or limited), and they quoted him at something like $125 per day! I dunno which rental company it was, though. I'm going up to the Carlisle PA Mopar Nationals tomorrow morning, so maybe I should rent a 300 and put it on the show field! ;-)
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    or National - they seem to be the cheapest around.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....last time I rented, which admittedly was four years ago, I did an internet check of some sort and National was had a deal on their full-sizers. I rented a Regal LS, including mileage and insurance, for a round-trip from Chicago to Phoenix (via St. Louis, Oklahoma City, the TX panhandle, with a stop at Grand Canyon), which also included out-of-the-way jaunts to Muncie, IN and Nogales, right over the Mexican border from Arizona. I was glad I bought the insurance, as I got a flat in Amarillo and had to trade the car in the next morning instead of driving on the mini spare; got a Bonneville for the remainder of the trip.

    Anywho, we put a total of nearly 6000 miles on the two cars in ten days. Rental and insurance totalled ~$350, IIRC, which I thought was a damn good deal (and a lot better than taking the trip in either my '86 SAAB or my ex's '84 Accord). Both rental cars had the 3.8 V6 and got nearly 30 mpg highway, even with liberal a/c use and a very full car on the return trip.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    1) Enterprise DOES charge for miles on some of its rates. They offer a $9 a day rate (based on a 3 day rental) on weekends that includes only 100 miles per day. When I rent from them, I always verify whether or not mileage is included.

    2) Rental rates depend on the market. In the past year, I have rented a full size for as little as $18 (LAS, LAX) to as much as $45 a day. That does not include either taxes or insurance (which is covered by my current policy).

    3)I rented a Olds Ciera for FOUR MONTHS in Orange Co. for $3200 in 1993 and drove it for 15k miles in SOCAL. They were not real happy about it but I liked THAT car. I let them do service every 3500 miles on the weekends when I went home.

    4) National and Alamo in Las Vegas have the right idea. When you rent, after they get all the info at the counter, they send you to the canopy of teh size of car that you rented. You get to pick whatever car they have in stock. For example, rent a full size and YOU can choose from the 10-12 different models that they have at that time. THAT is a cool idea.

    5)On my last road trip, the rental Impala averaged close to 34 mpg over the 3000 miles I travelled (mostly interstate).

    6) For true car addicts, there are several agencies in Las Vegas that rent exotics. Have your wallet open as it tain't cheap.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    I had to take a business trip to California, and the rental company sounded like JLawrence's #4. My company approved a car in what I think they call "midsized" class, and I had my choice of several Centurys, Grand Ams, and Aleros. I ended up picking a green Alero coupe.

    I thought that was cool, being able to pick a car that I liked, in a body style I liked, and a color I liked!
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    The "pick your own car" is a great idea. It costs the car company nothing incrementally and you eliminate the "why does he get that and I get this" argument at the counter.

    Alamo in Las Vegas had a minimum of five different models for all classes. National had a lot of choice AT THE HIGH END. For compacts, they had whatever color Cavalier you wanted. They had an Saturn Ion that I wanted to try BUT they had a "do not rent" sign on it. I was tempted to wipe off the chalk and take it but knowing my luck, it probably had mechanical issues.

    Under that system, had I been taking a road trip as opposed to just driving around Clark County, I would have upgraded 2-3 levels and chosen between the premium vehicles because their rates were in the low $30s for that week.
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