I have strong feelings about buying cars with credit.
I bought my very first car 6 months after I graduated from university. It was a brand-new, 1999 Volkswagen Jetta. The base price was $23,000. Reasonable, right? Well, I wanted the 6-cylinder engine, instead of the standard 4-cylinder. +$1,000. I wanted alloy rims and a sunroof. +$1,000. I wanted a manual transmission, but as it was the first year for the new model, they hadn't yet figured out how to mate the manual to the VR6 engine. So I had to get an automatic transmission. +$1,000. The dealer found exactly the car we wanted in a nearby city, except it had heated seats. We could take this car (plus another $1,000 for the heated seats), or wait 6 weeks for them to ship our exact model. We took the nearby model.
For those keeping track at home, our $23,000 car had grown to $27,000 with the options. Then you add things like Scotchguard, extra charge for the "metallic paint", dealer admin charge, delivery charge, dealer prep, air conditioning tax, fuel consumption surcharge, and we're up to $29,000. Then you add provincial (8%) and federal (7%, at the time) taxes, and we're up to $32,800. We made a $1,000 down payment, then we financed the rest at 7.9% for 5 years, with the monthly payments coming out to $656/month (I'll always remember the exact number). Do the math. $656/month * 60 months = $39,360. When you consider our $1,000 down payment, that car cost me over $40,000.
For a Jetta.
And it didn't even have leather seats.
I'll never get suckered like that again.
P.S. - It was totalled in a rear-ending (not our fault) 4 years and 9 months later, before we were even finished paying for it. Pictures here
. A 17-year old girl, texting on her cell phone, rear-ended my wife and shoved her under a school bus. We got $13,000 from the insurance company.Think about it.
$40,000, gone from our lives. Turned into $13,000 in insurance money, which went into a used Passat. Which cost us $4,000 in repairs in one year, which we traded in towards another car, for a $6,000 credit (total spent: $17,000, credit value: $6,000. Net loss: $11,000). That car (2006 Mazda 3) now has >220,000 km on it, and is worth less than $3,000. Money you spend on cars is money lost forever. All cars are eventually worth $0.