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 already know 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 automobiles is astronomical.
  2. The chance value of shopping for a brand new automobile–even in the event you 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 is just not 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 will have observed, we’ve got some inflationary motion taking place nowadays. And as I famous on this article, inflation doesn’t impression all costs equally. Fortunate for me, a few of the most egregiously inflationary gadgets are automobiles. 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 automobiles that value 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 motive of availability. In case you want a automobile instantly, you may need to overpay for a used automobile as a result of you may’t get your palms on a brand new automobile quick sufficient (though there are exceptions. See my notes on the Mazda CX5 under).

In regular financial instances–or fairly, in previous financial instances–used automobiles had been remarkably cheaper than new automobiles, which made the depreciation on new automobiles astronomical. In different phrases, new automobiles would lose an amazing quantity of their worth as quickly as they had been not new. Used automobiles, then again, had a way more gradual depreciation curve, which meant you possibly can purchase a used automobile for an inexpensive value after which, if wanted, re-sell that used automobile at an inexpensive loss. At present, thanks to provide chain points, a scarcity of pc chips and inflation, used automobiles are not a deal.

We had been confronted with the fact of buying a several-years-old automobile for under round $2,000 lower than a brand new automobile. In mild 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 and not using a guarantee.

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

We did. We’ve wanted to switch our 2010 Toyota Prius for the reason that begin of the pandemic. However… we waited. We started looking for automobiles in earnest throughout the spring of 2021 and had been flabbergasted by the costs. At that time, used automobile costs had been up 42%!!! So, we determined to attend a 12 months. We had 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 a terrific value. HAH. Little did we all know, inflation was simply getting began.

Why Didn’t You Wait One other Yr?

We thought-about this. Strongly. However, we lack the power to foretell the long run and had been involved automobile costs is likely to be even increased subsequent 12 months. Plus, we didn’t wish to undergo one other winter with the Prius.

Why Did You Want To Substitute 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 best to outlive Vermont’s winters and he or she made it (kinda) by six of them with out (utterly) falling aside. The Prius was splendid from a fuel mileage perspective however abysmal from the views of:

  1. Driving on rutted filth roads
  2. Driving throughout spring mud season
  3. Driving on ice
  4. Driving by 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 is just not made for rural backroads. I’m actually impressed we lasted so long as we did. After we lived within the metropolis, the Prius was a really perfect automobile. Right here within the woods? The Prius was changing into a joke of a automobile.

Her main shortcomings had been:

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

Floor clearance is just not one thing I thought-about earlier than dwelling rurally. However after getting each single stick, rock and piece of bark conceivable caught to the underside of the Prius, floor clearance is one thing I take into consideration usually. Moreover, we incessantly must drive by a number of inches of snow as a result of when there’s an enormous 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 already know, you wish 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 once we purchased our home.

Fortunately, Mr. Frugalwoods maintains it himself with our tractor, which is a year-round job: snow removing 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 number 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 reminiscences 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 fuel mileage.
    • I’m speaking 12 MPG. Driving the truck every day defeated your 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 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 number 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 rooster coop and the woodshed.
  • Our objective is to maintain the truck for a lot of, a few years as a beater farm truck.
    • Driving it usually added mileage and put on/tear, which negated this objective.

Why Do You Want Two Automobiles?

It is a honest query as a result of I earn a living from home and Mr. FW is early retired, so we very hardly ever each must drive reverse instructions on the similar 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 guardian at dwelling with the children and not using a car–if there’s an emergency, they’d haven’t any method to go away. I really had this occur to me a number of years in the past (as a result 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 purpose 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 mission into our subsequent automobile. Our priorities had been:

  1. All-wheel drive
  2. Affordable 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 youngsters
  7. The very best fuel mileage for a non-electric, non-hybrid car
  8. Capacity to haul issues like skis, paddle boards, kayaks, and many others on the roof

We’d LOVE to get an electrical automobile and it’s our 5/ten-year objective 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 know-how is tremendous new. I don’t wish to get the primary technology of any new know-how–I wish to see the way it performs out after which choose a automobile with a confirmed file of reliability. Since electrical autos use a wholly totally different know-how than fuel automobiles, I don’t really feel assured falling again on my earlier data of automobile manufacturers. It’s all totally different now! At any charge, our hope is that our subsequent car will likely 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 categorized as “small” SUVs. We didn’t need something bigger–such because the Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sequoia, Honda Pilot, Honda Passport, and many others–as a result of these value extra and worsen fuel mileage. The entire autos on our listing value roughly the identical and supply roughly the identical fuel mileage.

I made this comparability chart on Kelly Blue Ebook and, as you may see, these automobiles are practically an identical 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 file. 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 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 right away deal breaker. Can’t have a automobile we’re too tall for!

Honda CRV

Valiant snow-clearing effort by the children

This was a high quality automobile to drive, however we weren’t as impressed with the trunk area. We regularly want to suit two youngsters’ bikes + different sundries and this trunk appeared tight. Extra importantly, the CRV’s complete package deal isn’t pretty much as good: the AWD isn’t the perfect, neither is the bottom clearance, and recent-year CRVs have had an oil dilution drawback. As a result of these elements, we discounted the CRV fairly rapidly.

 Mazda CX5

We liked 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 had 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 meant to get a Forester. However once we went to the dealership, the salesperson advised us that Foresters had been means, means, means 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 could be out there sooner.

Subaru Outback

After I searched my pictures for “automobile,” numerous “carrot” pictures 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, in truth, the automobile we purchased for our new Vermont way of life! Nevertheless, we had been attempting 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 is just not, in truth, a truck and you can not, in truth, 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 unique 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 one in all our bins:

  1. Greatest AWD of the autos we thought-about (an identical to the Forester)
  2. Highest floor clearance of the autos we thought-about (an identical 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 damage to say goodbye to the Prius’s phenomenal fuel mileage, however we weren’t capable of reap the advantages of that fuel mileage throughout the winter anyway, so we must 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 pictures of Kidwoods

    Good reliability:

    • We aren’t 100% jazzed with Subaru’s longterm upkeep file, BUT, shopping for a brand new automobile means it’s underneath guarantee for 3 years/36,000 miles for fundamental and 5 years/60,000 miles for the powertrain, at which level we’d promote it and get an electrical car anyway.
  6. Wonderful trendy security options.
  7. Good affordability and inside a pair thousand {dollars} of all the opposite automobiles we thought-about.
  8. A roof rack got here commonplace:
    • 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. Always attempting 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, aside from the Mazda CX5. We may’ve pushed a CX5 off the lot the day we checked out it, so in the event you want a automobile ASAP, take a look at Mazda!

This brief 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 throughout the winter (homes, automobiles, chickens) isn’t terribly frequent right here. Most folk appear to favor to transact when the climate’s first rate. 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

Another excuse 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 site visitors alert plus trendy crash take a look at situations. Newer automobiles have been re-engineered to fulfill increased crash take a look at 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 had been a precedence. After we added the Outback to our automobile insurance coverage, our legal responsibility insurance coverage really 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 moderen 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 value we paid for it again in 2015: $8,900.

We didn’t get any presents 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 presents. Apparently, a lot of the queries got here by Fb Market, which we’d by no means used earlier than. Prior to now, we’ve purchased and bought the whole lot by Craigslist, however I assume Fb Market is extra standard now. Many because of our associates A & C for recommending we use it–I actually wouldn’t have even thought-about it.

A mechanic messaged me (by Fb) that he wished 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 bought a superb deal!

My Ideas for Promoting a Used Automobile:

  1. Do your analysis on pricing. Don’t simply use the Kelly Blue Ebook value, have a look at what comparable used automobiles are promoting for in your space.
  2. Checklist on the very prime of the market with the data that the majority patrons wish to negotiate and you may all the time decrease the worth. You possibly can’t precisely enhance the worth, so listing excessive after which discount down.
  3. Be terribly clear in regards to the situation of the automobile. You don’t wish to hoodwink anybody and it engenders belief while 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 pictures of the physique injury:

Be certain to reveal carrot irregularities too

Whereas a superbly dependable every day driver, this automobile does have 163k miles and comes with the next recognized defects that we by no means felt had been value 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 beneficial in opposition to dropping the tank except it bought 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 underneath the automobile. We’ve our mechanic chase these down each time it’s within the store, but it surely nonetheless has a warmth protect rattle at sure low rpms. You possibly can’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 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 not 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 pictures for particulars.

The one that purchased it stated he was particularly inquisitive about shopping for from us as a result of we had been so forthright in outlining the automobile’s recognized 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 wished the information of their supply for this publish. After assessing the Prius, the dealership provided us $3,000 and advised us that was, “a terrific value for a automobile so previous.” HAH. By going by 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 Value 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

Meaning the Prius solely depreciated $133 per 12 months (or 16.73%):  Good! Like I stated, 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 examine
Remaining stability on Subaru Outback $2,500.00 By way of bank card
Ski roof field $590.52 Roof field for skis
Rims & snow tires


Ground mats




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

Ground mats

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

As you may see, we put $2,500 of the Outback buy value on our cash-back bank card, which implies we netted 2% money again–also called $50. The dealership stated we may put a max of $2,500 on a bank card and so we did. We paid the remaining stability by way of private examine. We’ve by no means financed a automobile as a result of we don’t wish 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 observe that the ski roof rack was $100 cheaper than the listing value. That’s as a result of we purchased it throughout an REI 20% off member sale and thus acquired 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 many others. Clearly low cost week is the proper time to purchase costly out of doors tools!

We additionally purchased very good, very costly flooring mats, which cowl your complete flooring (and sides) of the inside. We did so as a result of we plan to sooner or later promote this automobile and we wish to hold it as clear as attainable. And, since we reside within the woods, we get about as a lot filth 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 youngsters. We had 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 splendid 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!

Due to Craigslist we had been capable of finding some used rims and snow tires, that are necessary 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 along with your questions!

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

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