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Old 14th March 2012, 03:31   #706
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I seriously doubt even a used CTS-V will come within (my interpretation of) his stated budget. A normal CTS, yes.

Chevelle, even 15K for a used luxury car looks pretty tight...chances are he'll have to settle for a 5/6 year old vehicle with a bit of miles on it for that price. And for 20K, the only 'new' options are economy vehicles like the Focus/Civic/Jetta/Corolla/Sentra et al.

As for Cadillac's, I have never understood why they aren't in India already. I know the luxury market in India is very small at present, but GM has had a presence in India for long enough now to at least start a trickle of Cadillacs. Seems it has already missed (and conceded) the boat to the German and Japanese luxury brands when it comes to India. Some of their vehicles are absolutely awesome. (I've been working at GM for over 13 years now and will vouch for the Cadillac brand eyes closed).
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Old 14th March 2012, 06:12   #707
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Time for me to get active on this thread.

Will be looking to buy a car in the New Hampshire area (tax free, yoohoo ) by June/July of this year and i am absolutely confused what to do. Finance or lease? New or used? Sedan or Suv or (just for being crazy) pickup truck with a crew cab? Given that we are a family of four, where two will be in child seats, space is necessary. But still, SUVs and those confused things called crossovers are lowest on the list.

Been drooling over the BMW 328i xdrive for some time now.
And also the A4 Quattro
And also the Toyota Tundra

We'll probably need two cars though. One for the wifey for her runabouts and one for me. And since we will be doing quite a few cross-border trips (which goes against leasing) probably it makes sense to have one new car for that. But the first buy will be a car that will be the main car.

So, lots of confusion. Lots of fun!

Not that it means anything but if I were you and was looking for a fun car to drive, I will buy the Fiat Abarth. And @22K it's a steal. In the remaining 15K, I will buy a really good used "traditional" car (read 4 door reliable, luxurious sedan and there are myriad options)



If I was worried about kids kicking from the back (it happens that I have same age kids), I will put my one year old behind my seat and the elder one behind the passenger seat

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Old 14th March 2012, 15:32   #708
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Budget is very much in the 328i territory.

.
I thought amitoj meant a new 328 budget, not a used 15k budget.
did I miss something?
If the budget is really 15k ,ze Germans/caddy/ any entry level luxury is not a good idea, you are in used camcord territory.
I apologize for being carried away without realizing the budget.


@akbaree- Fiat 500 is good but at the same price/similar price will get a speed 3, power specs in my signature, great handling, . only problem is torque steer and for the more civilized there is the base GTi around the same price.

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Old 15th March 2012, 04:36   #709
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Thank you so much for your inputs Chevelle.
All these are points i need to keep in mind when the actual hunt starts on the ground. I will check out the used car market as well but right now leaning towards a new one since my credit history will be quite short by the time i start looking for finance.
Your credit history will only show up when you go the financing route. In that case the difference would be say 3% to 6%. But if by paying 6% more you can live your dream why won't you. You can always pay it off early.
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Old 15th March 2012, 10:33   #710
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Guys, you have given me a lot to think about and chew on and digest. I'll do some more research etc and come back to you guys for more brain pickings
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Old 16th March 2012, 01:02   #711
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Hi!!

Sorry for being silent for these days. Was traveling to and fro from Jamaica and been quit busy .

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post

The cash you have can go into down payment for two cars. If you need both cars immediately, you will have to split that in 5k each. That is good enough to get you good quotes and good prices.

Some options that you can consider are - Nissan Versa (sunny in India), Honda Fit (Jazz in India), Ford Fiesta hatchback/sedan, Hyundai Elantra. These are around $15k brand new. GM Sonic is the new hatchback but i don't like it somehow. It is a good car but i would prefer fiesta hatchback or fit. VW Jetta is also similarly priced but it has lost its interior quality for that price and that may be a deal breaker. For me it is.

You haven't mentioned how long you will be staying there. I guess since you are getting new ones, you are in for long haul. Otherwise consider used one if you are not staying for long. Less painful while selling, less heavy on pocket and can easily sell once you are done with it.
Thanks Chevelle !!
The idea is of relocating for ever as told to me or till the time the economy takes a turn or till I am fired . Thats the deal for now. I will start working from October 2012.
The point is of having two cars , cheap, and lease / mortgage not to be above 600 usd pm combined together for both.I have 10 K for the cars for the initial DP. I am not concerned about loss during selling etc. Can take the hit.

Keeping the above in view ,now can you re-guide me please.

NinadJoshi to Answer your queries

NAJ, few quick questions for you before I can make recommendations:
(1) Your duration of stay (short term ~1yr, mid-long ~1-3 yrs, long >4).
-- > 4 years.
(2) Your expected commute.
-- 20 miles each car/day avg.

(3) Seating expected (family of 3? 4? 2?)
-- family of 3

4) Expected usage (will you use your cars for long distance pleasure driving or rental ones?)
-- Office commute with some long distance traveling . Daily run about for the spouse.

(5) Cash on hand =10K, but whats your budget for both cars combined? The cheapest cars will cost in the mid to high teens...are you ready to sell out 40K for both cars in one shot?
-- 40k -No not at all. Down payment is 10k for both combined .Monthly lease/Mortgage - 500 to 600 max for both not each.

(6) Your spouse's driving status (licensed to drive in the US?)
-- Should not be a problem

(7) Have you had any previous car purchase in the US, from previous trips?
-- Nope

(8) Do/will you have an SSN?
-- Yes will have

(9) Your priorities: Power/performance/fuel efficiency/amenities etc.
-- One car to have FE and amenities. Second to have some good power /performance.

(10) DO you have a brand bias?
-- Yes. no hyundai's,suzuki's and kia's please.

(11) Time frame of purchase.
-- November Onwards. I will get the company ride/car for the first few months.

(12) If possible your location of stay.
Macon County- Springfield area.

Hope the above will help you in suggesting me with something exciting.

BTW will the Fiesta hatchback and the Honda CRV fit the Bill.

Cheers.

Last edited by naj : 16th March 2012 at 01:23.
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Old 16th March 2012, 02:54   #712
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NAJ,
thanks for the info. You still have a lot of time to prepare from now until you actually sign the dotted line/s for your cars. The fact that you will have company sponsored transportation for the first few months gives you ample time and flexibility to make your purchase. I think you have almost one year from now until decision time.

Model years change at ~October, so you will probably be playing in 2013 release vehicles by the time you are ready, so there is no point really in zeroing down on any specific vehicle or two right now. I'd say enjoy the research until then

Given your position, my recommendation would be to lease one vehicle, and get a used vehicle for the other. Leases allow you to drive a car maintenance free, and you can use that car as your commuter. The used vehicle can be the weekend grocery getter for the family, or, the 'next higher' vehicle which you can use to satisfy your power/performance needs without going into the 'next higher' budget I can touch base with you on how to buy used vehicles when the time is right and even help you with finding some good ones in your area.

Leases for mid sized sedans go from ~175 thru 300 / month depending on the brand. Hyundai , Mazda, Subaru, Nissan, Ford, etc will have affordable lease prices. In fact, I would also go so far as to suggest Buicks too if you are looking for ride comfort...the new Buicks are very good vehicles.

Your question about Honda CRV: CRV is an underpowered SUV by American standards. I am not sure how much driving pleasure it will offer you, but on the flip side it will serve you like a faithful pet anytime and every time. The CRV's perennial competitor, the Toyota Rav is also an equally able option. The new Mazda CX5 is slated for release in the 2013 year (meaning will begin sales in falll of 2012). Mazda's are fun to drive vehicles and you'll instantly feel the difference between a Mazda and a Honda/Toyota when you get on the wheels.

About Ford Fiesta: I'd say take a look at its bigger cousins the Focus and the Fusion which offer excellent value for money. I liked the Fusion very much when I drove it recently. Nissan too has good set of sporty-family sedans that you may want to consider, as does Mazda. If nothing else, there is always the ho hum Toyotas and Hondas to fall back on. But I'd say make the most of your company transportation to get to all sorts of dealerships and take test drives on as many vehicles as you can. We can always discuss your test drives here and tally it with the info and experience that fellow BHP-ians in the US have gathered over the years.
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Old 16th March 2012, 03:39   #713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
(10) DO you have a brand bias?
-- Yes. no hyundai's,suzuki's and kia's please.

BTW will the Fiesta hatchback and the Honda CRV fit the Bill.
The new Hyundai's & Kia's offer excellent value now. Quality is on par, if not better than the Japanese competitors.
That being said, they still have to catch up when it comes to ride quality (currently sporty = harsh).

The Suzuki Kizashi is an excellent driver's car - test drive one if you can.

The Fiesta is limited in terms of how many people and how much stuff you usually have to carry around.
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Old 16th March 2012, 03:48   #714
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Originally Posted by naj View Post
Hi!!

Thanks Chevelle !!
relocating for ever. I will start working from October 2012.
The point is of having two cars , cheap, and lease / mortgage not to be above 600 usd pm combined together for both.I have 10 K for the cars for the initial DP. I am not concerned about loss during selling etc. Can take the hit.

BTW will the Fiesta hatchback and the Honda CRV fit the Bill.

Cheers.
Thanks for detailed explanation. Cleared quite a few doubts. I hope i read it correctly, for both cars, it should not exceed $600/mo right?

Well, for new two cars, you will have following options IMHO. I am going to give you scenarios for new and pre owned so you have an idea. Please be advised that its just an approx pricing based on what i was in market 2-3 months back. Things may have changed with more incentives.

Disclaimer, I am very bad at maths, so if there are some discrepancies, please ignore and enlighten me. Happy to learn. Thank you.

Scenario 1:

2012 CRV EX ($27K OTD). $5000 as DP. EMI - Approx $420/mo. at 4%. Daily ride for your wife. Loads of space for kid and have fun on long trips.
2012 Focus ($20k OTD). $5000 as DP. EMI - Approx $260/mo. at 4%. Get manual and have fun in small package for yourself. It would be very hard to squeeze 4th and 5th adults. For family of 3, its good.

Scenario 2:

2013 Mazda CX-5/ CRV EX ($25-OTD). $5000 as DP. EMI- Approx $260/mo at 4%. Daily ride for your wife.
2012 Mazda3 S Touring ($22-OTD) - $5000 as DP. EMI- Approx $300/mo at 4%. Get manual and have fun in small package for yourself.

Scenario 3:

Pre Owned Sports Sedans like G35/G37/IS350/WRX STi/Evo ($20 - OTD). $5000 as DP. EMI - Approx $280-$300/mo at 7%. Daily ride for you.
New SUV as above. Daily ride for your wife.

Scenario 4:

Pre owned Luxury sedan like 5/A6/E $25K-$30K OTD). $5000 as DP. Approx $325-$350/mo. at 7%
Pre owned Sports hatchback/sedan like Speed3, WRX, 350Z/370Z ($20k-$25k OTD). $5k as DP. ~ $280-$300/mo at 7%

Scenario 5:
New Mazda 3 hatchback.
New CX-5.
Both for <$500/mo with $10k DP.

Honestly, possibility are endless. You will need to determine what is best for you. New cars then you are restricted by boring daily drives unless you spend more. Pre owned cars opens up a lot of opportunities. Also, i have mentioned models one above the base model keeping in mind features offered. If you go for base model, you will lower the price and you still won't get all the good features. Some companies really cut down on features offered in base model save for Hyundais and Kias.

DP is downpayment. OTD is Out-The-Door. Also please keep in mind, what bank rates you get at that time may be different and you can always pay them off or change after 12 months for better rates.

As a side note, when you come here, do drive Hyundai's and Kia's. Your opinion will change. Especially Genesis coupe/sedan, Veloster turbo.

Last edited by chevelle : 16th March 2012 at 03:57.
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Old 16th March 2012, 19:50   #715
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Honestly, possibility are endless. You will need to determine what is best for you.
Let me add one more option here -

Lease something for 2/3 years - BMW has very aggressive leasing programs. If you have like a 10 mile commute for a day, get a 10000 mile a year lease, which will leave you with around 6k miles outside of your daily drive to enjoy the car. If you shop around you can get good deals on the 328xi/G37 for lease. I assume this would come to around 450 - 500 a month and you may only have to pay Taxes, Title and Registration as down payment (depending on the state around 1000 - 2000$).

For your second car, go for a small SUV, pay the remainder of the $$ (lets say 8000) you have left as down payment, for something like used RAV4/CR-V/Rogue for around 15 - 16k$ - and you maybe looking at 200 a month on the second car at the most. This can be your weekend family car also if you are taking everyone and going on long trips.

I have a couple of disclaimers for you -
Since your driving experience in the US is less, your first insurance premium would be a little high. Also depending on the car you pick up, the insurance premium varies (top safety pick or least stolen etc).
Fuel expenses - I believe the predicted gas prices over the summer are 5$ plus, so if you have two cars with thirsty engines, you are going to be spending a lot of $ at the pump.

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 16th March 2012 at 19:50. Reason: Removed the end of list tag
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Old 16th March 2012, 21:07   #716
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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Let me add one more option here -

Lease something for 2/3 years - BMW has very aggressive leasing programs. If you have like a 10 mile commute for a day, get a 10000 mile a year lease, which will leave you with around 6k miles outside of your daily drive to enjoy the car. If you shop around you can get good deals on the 328xi/G37 for lease. I assume this would come to around 450 - 500 a month and you may only have to pay Taxes, Title and Registration as down payment (depending on the state around 1000 - 2000$).

For your second car, go for a small SUV, pay the remainder of the $$ (lets say 8000) you have left as down payment, for something like used RAV4/CR-V/Rogue for around 15 - 16k$ - and you maybe looking at 200 a month on the second car at the most. This can be your weekend family car also if you are taking everyone and going on long trips.

I have a couple of disclaimers for you -
Since your driving experience in the US is less, your first insurance premium would be a little high. Also depending on the car you pick up, the insurance premium varies (top safety pick or least stolen etc).
Fuel expenses - I believe the predicted gas prices over the summer are 5$ plus, so if you have two cars with thirsty engines, you are going to be spending a lot of $ at the pump.
I don't like leasing as the feeling of owning a car is not there and that is why i didn't included the option. Also there are too many small fine prints that needs to be taken care of while leasing. Also, as it may turn out, at the end of lease, you would end up paying more than what you could have while owning.

The link below by Edmunds makes a very valid point and compares buying new and used and also included leasing.

Compare the Costs: Buying vs. Leasing vs. Buying a Used Car - Edmunds.com

As it turns out it gets expensive over a period of time.

As for insurance, for first month, one can get a little expensive one and from second one get a better quote. Thats how most people do. The difference is huge. Example, my friend got a 2006 350z, for first month he paid $163 from state farm, now he pays $120/mo for full insurance. For a new car, my friend pays $140/mo for 2012 Genesis sedan from AAA. So initially for couple of months it may be high, but eventually it will go down.

Gas is something which one has to live with. Since Naj is looking for practical sedans/suv/hatchback, he shouldn't be worried. He may as well get a good manual turbo 4 and have fun. Good thing is, used car market will have more gas guzzler sports car/sedan available which one can pick up if one is doing 5-10 miles a day for enjoying it. But then that's my thinking, YMMV.
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Old 16th March 2012, 21:20   #717
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I don't like leasing as the feeling of owning a car is not there and that is why i didn't included the option. Also there are too many small fine prints that needs to be taken care of while leasing. Also, as it may turn out, at the end of lease, you would end up paying more than what you could have while owning.
Personally I don't like leasing either. I have had a bad experience once while turning my leased car in. But then I think you never pay 350$ lease per month on a 20000$ car as the article illustrates. Plus, you get to drive a brand new car also. Anyway, like you rightly said, there are a lot of things in the fine print. If you can read/manage/understand that, then nothing like it.
Typically BMW for eg. asks for 400$ or less on a reasonably equipped 328i.
BMW Current offers on 3 Series
Checkout the 335i lease offer - 459$ - but then you have to pay 4184$ upfront also.
Couple of my friends drive well equipped Acura RDX on lease for 430 and 470$ a month. It is something he can definitely consider.
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Old 16th March 2012, 21:53   #718
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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Personally I don't like leasing either. I have had a bad experience once while turning my leased car in. But then I think you never pay 350$ lease per month on a 20000$ car as the article illustrates. Plus, you get to drive a brand new car also. Anyway, like you rightly said, there are a lot of things in the fine print. If you can read/manage/understand that, then nothing like it.
Typically BMW for eg. asks for 400$ or less on a reasonably equipped 328i.
BMW Current offers on 3 Series
Checkout the 335i lease offer - 459$ - but then you have to pay 4184$ upfront also.
Couple of my friends drive well equipped Acura RDX on lease for 430 and 470$ a month. It is something he can definitely consider.
At the end of the lease, we are given two options - give it back or buy it out. If you decide to buy it out, it gets expensive. In that case paying those while owning it would have been better. If you decide to give it back, you end up with using the car for sometime which was not your own and still you paid some $450/mo.

Its a good idea for business executives or owners to go the lease way since they can get tax savings and what not because of company name being used. But for private buyer, it is not quite the best option.

As for $350 quoted by the article, i think its pretty much on cards since Naj would be a new buyer. Only when one has enough experience will it go down. Probably in next lease for another 3 year. The good thing about that is one gets to change car every 3 years, but then you pay the price too. One can always change owned car every 3-5 years once its paid off. That's what most people here use to do and still do. Too bad due to recession and high gas price it has gone down.
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Old 19th March 2012, 02:51   #719
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At the end of the lease, we are given two options - give it back or buy it out. If you decide to buy it out, it gets expensive. In that case paying those while owning it would have been better. If you decide to give it back, you end up with using the car for sometime which was not your own and still you paid some $450/mo.
Before you jump to the conclusion, keep in mind that you make the payment 3 yrs (or whatever the term is) later. discount the payment to today's dollars by the same interest rate you would otherwise pay on a new car purchase before making the comparison. Not to mention you still have an "option" at the end of the term, which itself is of some financial value. Very useful to somebody who is planning to leave the country. And as discussed, if you think you are getting a bad deal, you are always free to buy it out and sell it in open market.
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Old 19th March 2012, 06:23   #720
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Hi!!

Many thanks to you all folks.Everything was so much educative.

I am definitely very much relieved to see that I can get quite a few combinations within my specified budget criterion .
More so because I have been invited by this Employer next month for a 10 day tour of the facility and they will be hooking me up with one of the real Estate Agents to give me a tour of the county. I am still in dark as to why so early but never the less I need be prepared with my maths.

Cheers
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