I have taken the Financial Peace Course and love the majority of the advice in it, but I’m still working on the baby steps. Today I’ll continue to share my thoughts, as an auto journalist, but more specifically when it comes to Financial Peace: Car Buying Advice.
Financial Peace: Car Buying
According to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Program, the only debt you should have is your mortgage, having a car loan is a mistake according to his financial peace and coaching advice.
I disagree with his advice in his Financial Peace: Car Buying, here’s why:
Older Car Ownership REAL Cost
I have two stories to support my thinking that an old car, most of the time is more of a headache, than a way to save money and that you end up spending more in the end.
I own a brand new vehicle, but we needed a second one. My husband bought a used vehicle so he has a car for when we both need to be different places and also to save wear and tear on my new vehicle.
The car looked to be in fairly good condition and my husband, being super car savvy, after taking it for a test drive believed it to be a good option.
Well, it seemed to be!
Somebody had spilled oil all over the engine, major parts under the hood, to make the car look like “new”, but what it did, was, after driving for a while, the car started smoking.
My husband also found out a few other major problems, which he had to fix before using the vehicle, which were not disclosed during the sale.
If my husband wasn’t a car savvy person, that vehicle would have turned into a money pit.
Beware of Facebook Marketplace
The same vehicle, the Murano, which was bought cash through FB marketplace, had a Maryland title. When my husband went to transfer the title, the NJ Motor Vehicle did not accept it, because the owner had signed it in the wrong place.
My husband called the owner and he said that he buys cars and re-sells them and it was bought at an auction and he could not give us another title.
After 6 months and me threatening to sue and publish the story on FB, he finally “produced” a new title, but the car sat in our driveway for over 6 months before it was resolved.
I also have another horror story. A friend bought a Mustang for cash, he had scheduled to drive an hour to pay for the car in a public parking lot.
He left and nobody ever saw him again.
When it’s too good to be true, it is
Beware of prices too good to be true. “As is” vehicles really will require some work and you need to look into the money you’ll have to put into the vehicle to make it operational and have it up and running.
Like I said, my husband is very car savvy when it comes to vehicle repair, and we still went through hell with that vehicle.
The headache of buying an old/used vehicle that has problems waiting to happen seems crazy to me!
Also, sometimes the vehicle is fine right now but once you drive a few miles, it starts to become an expensive proposition or it leaves you stranded.
I think the Financial Peace Advice in regards to Car Buying, to sell your new car and buy a used one with no payments, which usually means buying a really old car, doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, especially when you’re going to have to spend more money later on and still own a vehicle which is not worth the expense.
A lot of used vehicles out there, unless you buy from a used vehicle dealer, come with titles from out of state.
Depending on which state you live in, you will run into trouble when transferring the title. So make sure the owner has a title from your state, which makes the transaction a lot safer and easier.
Buying a new to you vehicle should not mean headaches, hidden problem, mystery titles and money pit operations to give you a vehicle you can use.
At the end, you need a reliable vehicle for you to commute, your family to go on road trips and so much more!
Before you sell your brand new car or decide to dump money on your old vehicle following Dave Ramsey’s advice, do some investigation and check what kind of vehicle he/his driver drives? His daughter who coaches with him…I bet they drive brand new models of expensive vehicles and don’t walk the talk when it comes to car buying.
I am extremely happy with my 2023 Rogue and have no regrets on trading my 2020 Rogue for a lower payment and interest rate at our local Nissan Dealer.
My goal is to send extra payments to principal and pay the vehicle earlier, saving on interest!
Financing & Saving
Another goal I have is to keep it until the end of the loan term, taking care of it, and keeping the mileage low , bringing it for service/maintenance scheduled appointments to ensure the vehicle will last a long time.
If you don’t have good credit/money to make monthly payments on a new vehicle, here are some tips on how to successfully navigate the car buying process:
- Use a used car dealer to buy your used vehicle, preferably with a car fax report.
- Do not schedule to bring cash to people in parking lots or places where you’ll be exposed to theft or worse. Do not give people money online, just by seeing a car picture.
- Take the vehicle for a test drive and ask questions about its conditions.
- Be reasonable about cost of ownership x the reality of maintenance, for example, Mercedes, Volvos and BMWs have a high cost of repairs and shorter life compared to Toyotas. Will you have the money to pay for a repair when a light bulb blows and it costs $500.00 at the BMW dealer to replace it? (true story, when I owned a brand new BMW.)
- Ask about the title ahead of time, if it’s a clean title from your state, which is the preferred way to avoid trouble and headaches.
- Check used car dealer reviews and Better Business Complaints before heading there.
You don’t want your new to you car story to be another horror one, like many others in this country.
I truly hope my post helps you make an informed decision in regards to car buying and that you reconsider Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace: Car Buying Advice before starting your car buying process and don’t have to go through what we’ve been through.
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Here are some other thoughts on positive aspects of the Financial Peace Program:
Baby Step 1 – how to start
Baby Step 3– moving forward, one step at a time
Can’t wait to hear what you think!
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