The Diaper Diaries

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Frugal Fridays- Car Buying Tips August 16, 2007

Filed under: Frugal Fridays — thediaperdiaries @ 10:40 pm

car.jpg Yes, my internet friends, it is that time. We are looking at buying a new car (or at least new to us). I can’t believe it, but it is time for me to enter the world of minivan moms. I once swore I would never drive one, but when you are thinking about adding more kids to the mix, very few other things can accommodate you unless you get a gigantic SUV that costs $150 a week in gas. Plus, my parents have a minivan and they are so easy to get used to.

Anyway, I thought I would share some tips to help you save money when buying a car. Let me just say, everything I am sharing I learned from the hubby. If it was up to me I would have a whopping car payment every month while leasing my Jaguar XK convertible.

  1. Buy used:It is evident that we adhere to this principle by the fact that we are driving cars that are 12 and 13 years old. Cars depreciate 60% in the first 4 years. It is one of the worst investments you can make. Buy a car a few years older and a majority of its depriciation has already taken place. Let some other sucker get stuck with it for the first couple years.
  2. Pay cash: I can proudly say that we have never had a car payment. The average American has a monthly payment of about $400 per month. So buy a cheap car with cash. Then bank your $400 a month and upgrade every couple of years. Or, drive a 13 year old car like us and use the almost $5000 a year not going to a car payment to take a sweet vacation with your hubby.
  3. Never lease: With very few exceptions, it is one of the least beneficial financial decisions you can make. You are basically renting a car and have nothing to show for it at the end. Plus there are usually all sorts of stipulations and restrictions that you would never have to contend wtih if you owned it outright.
  4. Try to buy from a private seller: You will get a better deal because you won’t encounter the $1200+ markup that dealers need to add onto the price of each car. It isn’t always possible to find the car you want anywhere but at a dealer, but try Craigslist,, and You can even buy a car on Ebay (we sold one on ebay and had a really great experience).

There you have it. Also if you have a Toyota Sienna with 4WD you are selling for a steal, let me know. And if you see me driving a minivan around, you are not allowed to point and laugh.

For more tips check out Biblical Womanhood.


7 Responses to “Frugal Fridays- Car Buying Tips”

  1. bigbinder Says:

    Well done! Will you get a Honda Odyssey so I can live vicariously through you? It’s the only minivan I have ever loved.

  2. SAHMmy Says Says:

    I think the minivan thing is inevitable. I used to swear that I would never own one just on principle. Today, though, I have achieved financial freedom and if buying a used minivan helps keep it that way, so be it.

  3. canearl Says:

    This is a great tip! We’ve only bought used and have never had a problem. We bought our minivan off ebay and also had a good experience. I’m with you on leasing- we did it once- never again. It was such a bad idea.
    I also thought that I would never get a minivan, but now I love it. If you have more than 2 kids it’s only a matter of time.
    You should be proud that you’ve never had a car payment- that is a huge accomplishment! My dad would be so proud of you- he never had a car payment either :).

  4. Great tips! We are currently looking into getting another car. We both work from home, so we just have (ahem… I hate to admit it!!) a total MINI-VAN!! I actually love it now… after my husband convinced me the 3 boys could not and would not fit in a mercedes coop! 🙂 BUT… nonetheless, I have joined the ranks and love it! But thank you for this good post, it is something I am going to refer to for sure!
    – Audrey
    Pinks & Blues

  5. adventuremom Says:

    Don’t rule out the GMC Acadia 🙂 Seats 7 but it is only 1 year on the market so probably not a great choice for you guys. I agree about the Honda Oddessey, very cool mini.

  6. goodideamomma Says:

    Tony would be happy to help your family car shop. I will also volunteer his services when you do find your new-sed mini-van to check out to make sure it is a safe, quality family transporter!

  7. Auntie Nan Says:

    Just wanted to say that I agree with the Honda Odyssey vote. As you know, we’ve had one since 1999 and love its versatility.

    PS I can’t believe I’m actually doing this:-)

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