Why We Purchased A NEW Automobile

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 understand that:

Our model new Outback

Shopping for a model new automobile needs to be one of many worst monetary choices 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 3 times. Right here’s why:

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

In contrast to a house–which typically, hopefully will increase in worth–a automobile is nearly assured to lower in worth. A automobile just 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 Automobile Varietal

As you might have seen, now we have some inflationary motion occurring today. And as I famous on this article, inflation doesn’t affect all costs equally. Fortunate for me, a number of the most egregiously inflationary objects are automobiles. How superior for me!!!!

In keeping 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 automobiles that price as a lot or nearly as a lot as new automobiles. In some instances, we discovered used automobiles priced HIGHER than new automobiles for the easy cause of availability. For those who want a automobile instantly, you may need to overpay for a used automobile as a result of you’ll be able to’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 automobiles have been remarkably cheaper than new automobiles, which made the depreciation on new automobiles astronomical. In different phrases, new automobiles would lose an incredible quantity of their worth as quickly as they have been not new. Used automobiles, alternatively, had a way more gradual depreciation curve, which meant you could possibly purchase a used automobile for an inexpensive worth after which, if wanted, re-sell that used automobile at an inexpensive loss. At the moment, thanks to provide chain points, a scarcity of pc chips and inflation, used automobiles are not a deal.

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

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

We did. We’ve wanted to interchange our 2010 Toyota Prius because the begin of the pandemic. However… we waited. We started trying to find automobiles in earnest through 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 have the ability to observe our earlier roadmap of shopping for a several-years-old automobile for an ideal worth. HAH. Little did we all know, inflation was simply getting began.

Why Didn’t You Wait One other 12 months?

We thought of this. Strongly. However, we lack the flexibility to foretell the longer term and have been involved automobile costs is likely to be even larger 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 she or he made it (kinda) via six of them with out (fully) falling aside. The Prius was supreme from a gasoline mileage perspective however abysmal from the views of:

  1. Driving on rutted grime roads
  2. Driving throughout spring mud season
  3. Driving on ice
  4. Driving via 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 just isn’t made for rural backroads. I’m actually impressed we lasted so long as we did. Once we lived within the metropolis, the Prius was a super 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 recent security options

Floor clearance just isn’t one thing I thought of 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 regularly must drive via a number of inches of snow as a result of when there’s a giant snow, the state snow plows can’t continuously take away all of the snow from the highway. Therefore, having floor clearance and all-wheel drive are crucial (if, you understand, you need to go wherever).

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 once 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 a couple of winter days the place the Prius can not get out of the driveway.

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

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 youngsters 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 meant use case for the truck, as a result of:

  • The truck will get HORRENDOUS gasoline mileage.
    • I’m speaking 12 MPG. Driving the truck every day defeated the whole 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 gasoline, driving the truck on a regular basis is horrible for the surroundings.
  • The truck is meant for uncommon utilization for hauling farm tools/constructing provides.
    • The truck is for hauling the snow plow we purchased a couple of 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 function.

Why Do You Want Two Automobiles?

This can be a honest query as a result of I make money working from home and Mr. FW is early retired, so we very hardly ever each must drive reverse instructions on the identical time. Thus, having two automobiles isn’t to unravel the issue of a twin commute, it’s to fulfill 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 autos. We are able to’t have one mother or father at residence with the children and not using a automobile–if there’s an emergency, they’d don’t have any method to go away. I truly had this occur to me a couple of years in the past (as a consequence of 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 need to with a view to have protected, dependable transportation.

What We Want In A Day by day Driver

The chickens approve of their every day driver

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

  1. All-wheel drive
  2. Affordable floor clearance
  3. Reliability
  4. Affordability (not shopping for a Tesla over right here, folks)
  5. Trendy security options
  6. Sufficient room for 2 adults and two youngsters
  7. The very best gasoline mileage for a non-electric, non-hybrid automobile
  8. Capability to haul issues like skis, paddle boards, kayaks, and so on 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 autos 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 report of reliability. Since electrical autos use a completely completely different expertise than gasoline automobiles, I don’t really feel assured falling again on my earlier information of automobile manufacturers. It’s all completely different now! At any fee, our hope is that our subsequent automobile might be electrical.

The Automobiles We Thought of 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 on–as a result of these price extra and worsen gasoline mileage. All the autos on our listing price roughly the identical and provide roughly the identical gasoline mileage.

I made this comparability chart on Kelly Blue E-book and, as you’ll be able to see, these automobiles are practically an identical in each metric:

We check 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 report. A lot of the automobiles 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 folks 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 an instantaneous deal breaker. Can’t have a automobile we’re too tall for!

Honda CRV

Valiant snow-clearing effort by the children

This was a fantastic automobile to drive, however we weren’t as impressed with the trunk house. We regularly want to suit two youngsters’ bikes + different sundries and this trunk appeared tight. Extra importantly, the CRV’s whole package deal isn’t nearly as good: the AWD isn’t the most effective, neither is the bottom clearance, and recent-year CRVs have had an oil dilution downside. As a result of these components, we discounted the CRV fairly rapidly.

 Mazda CX5

We liked this one. This was hands-down our favourite automobile to drive. It’s attractive, 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 house is smaller and, crucially, it isn’t as excessive off the bottom because the automobile we selected. I might like to personal a Mazda sometime–they’re simply so enjoyable to drive! However, not the fitting automobile for us proper now.

Subaru Forester

Once we turned our analysis to Subarus, we meant to get a Forester. However once we went to the dealership, the salesperson instructed us that Foresters have been manner, manner, manner backordered and that it is likely to 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

Once I searched my images for “automobile,” a lot of “carrot” images popped up. You’re welcome.

Longtime readers will recall that we owned a 2010 Subaru Outback once we moved to Vermont in 2016. It was, the truth is, the automobile we purchased for our new Vermont life-style! 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 automobile and the Prius as our every day driver. We rapidly realized that an Outback just isn’t, the truth is, a truck and you can not, the truth is, haul issues like snow plows and full-size lumber. However we tried, let me let you know. Right here’s the complete story on our authentic Outback: Why We Broke Down and Purchased a Used Truck.

As quickly as we check drove the 2022 Outback, we remembered why we purchased one within the first place. It ticked each single one in every of our containers:

  1. Finest AWD of the autos we thought of (an identical to the Forester)
  2. Highest floor clearance of the autos we thought of (an identical to the Forester)
  3. Finest trunk house 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 gasoline mileage:
    • It harm to say goodbye to the Prius’s phenomenal gasoline mileage, however we weren’t capable of reap the advantages of that gasoline mileage through 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. One in every of my all-time fave images of Kidwoods

    Good reliability:

    • We aren’t 100% jazzed with Subaru’s longterm upkeep report, 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 automobile anyway.
  6. Glorious trendy security options.
  7. Good affordability and inside a pair thousand {dollars} of all the opposite automobiles we thought of.
  8. A roof rack got here customary:
    • That is excellent 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 straightforward on us. Continuously 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 autos, apart from the Mazda CX5. We may’ve pushed a CX5 off the lot the day we checked out it, so if you happen to want a automobile ASAP, try 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 through the winter (homes, automobiles, chickens) isn’t terribly widespread right here. Most people appear to choose to transact when the climate’s respectable. We put our identify on a ready listing for an Outback in mid-April and had the automobile in hand by Could thirty first. Good for our timeline!

Extra on Security Options

One more reason we wished to improve to one thing newer than our 2010 was for the brand new security options of the Outback, together with: automated braking, blind spot detection, extra airbags, rear cross visitors alert plus trendy crash check circumstances. Newer automobiles have been re-engineered to fulfill larger crash check security requirements, which implies 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. Once 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 more likely 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 automobiles are bananas costly to purchase proper now, that additionally means it’s a fairly 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 worth we paid for it again in 2015: $8,900.

We didn’t get any gives at $8,900 and so after two weeks, we lowered the value to $8,400. That was evidently the candy spot as a result of we instantly began to get gives. Apparently, many of the queries got here via Fb Market, which we’d by no means used earlier than. Previously, we’ve purchased and offered every part via Craigslist, however I assume Fb Market is extra in style now. Many due to our pals A & C for recommending we use it–I actually wouldn’t have even thought of it.

A mechanic messaged me (via Fb) that he wished to purchase it for his sister-in-law and came visiting the subsequent day to take it for a check drive. He provided us $8,000, we countered at $8,200 and he agreed. An ideal negotiation the place each events felt like they received a great deal!

My Suggestions for Promoting a Used Automobile:

  1. Do your analysis on pricing. Don’t simply use the Kelly Blue E-book worth, have a look at what related used automobiles are promoting for in your space.
  2. Checklist on the very high of the market with the information that the majority patrons need to negotiate and you may all the time decrease the value. You may’t precisely improve the value, so listing excessive after which discount 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:

Ensure that to reveal carrot irregularities too

Whereas a superbly 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 gasoline scent outdoors 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 advisable in opposition to dropping the tank until it received 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. Now we have our mechanic chase these down each time it’s within the store, however it nonetheless has a warmth protect rattle at sure low rpms. You may’t hear it past idle.
  • Very, very gradual leak within the AC system. I’ve to cost it as soon as each spring (straightforward to do with a $15 package from Walmart) and it blows chilly all summer season. We had our mechanic do a fluorescent dye check, and he didn’t discover something (not shocking because it should be such a gradual leak). We may throw elements at it, however we simply cost it each spring. Been like that for at the least 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 serious 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 comfy sharing this information of the automobile’s shortcomings.

Do Not Do a Commerce In With a Dealership

Once 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 wished the information of their provide for this publish. After assessing the Prius, the dealership provided us $3,000 and instructed us that was, “an ideal worth for a automobile so previous.” HAH. By going via the nominal trouble 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 “trouble” 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


Bought 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 embody 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’ll be able to see, we put $2,500 of the Outback buy worth on our cash-back bank card, which implies 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 be aware that the ski roof rack was $100 cheaper than the listing worth. 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 full of gigantic supply containers of kayaks, roof racks, bicycles, and so on. Clearly low cost week is the fitting time to purchase costly outside tools!

We additionally purchased very good, very costly ground mats, which cowl the whole ground (and sides) of the inside. We did so as a result of we plan to in the future promote this automobile and we need to hold it as clear as attainable. And, since we stay within the woods, we get about as a lot grime within the automobile as outdoors the automobile. And gravel. Mud. Sticks. Leaves. After which after all there’s the snow, ice and salt… to not point out our two youngsters. We have been capable of 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 totally dirt-proofed!

Because of Craigslist we have been capable of finding some used rims and snow tires, that are obligatory out right here within the wintry sticks. The rationale 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 the rest to let you know. Hit me together with your questions!

Have you ever had to purchase/promote a automobile not too long ago? What was your expertise?

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