★ The Cars of Personal Finance Bloggers

Blog, General Finance

mad fientist car

[If you’ve ever been curious to see what financial bloggers drive, today’s your lucky day :)
Big thanks to MP from MustachianPost.com for putting this together!]

Since I was young, I’ve been passionate about cars. It must have something to do with my grandpa who founded a car dealership which was later taken over by my dad. I spent my childhood surrounded by cars of all sorts: V6s, 1.0Ls, pick-ups, luxury berlines, you name it.

When I got into the FIRE lifestyle four years ago, I knew I had to make a choice: passion or reason? V6 or Toyota Prius 1.5L hybrid? Two hundred bucks per month in exchange for 10 minutes of fun, or for more savings?

Reason won out in 2013. I’m reminded how glad I am we went this path when we update our budget every month. I would never go back.

It is a process to go frugal. But the sooner you do it, the wealthier you will become.

I was interested in seeing what other personal finance bloggers drove, so I asked a handful of them and their responses are posted below.

There are many frugal ones in there, but also some that may surprise you!

becoming minimalist car

Becoming Minimalist: I drive a 2005 Honda Accord with 120,000 miles. I paid $9,000 cash for the car in 2010 and got it from an ad on Craigslist. I do not track MPG — never have, never will. I bought the car because it fit under my $10,000 cash budget, and my track record with Hondas are that they last for a long time.

We purchased the car 7 years ago with the assumption that my son would drive it when he turns 16 (that is two years from now). At that time, my wife and I will purchase another one. We buy used cars with the goal of driving them for 10 years.

financial samurai car

Financial Samurai: I drive a 2015 Honda Fit the cost about $20,000 out the door. I traded my 14-year-old Land Rover Discovery II at the time for $1,000 and assumed a $235 a month lease after tax.

I decided to lease the car for three years under my business, instead of purchase it, because I wasn’t sure how long I would own the car given I’m highly considering moving back to Honolulu, Hawaii. Further, in case of a family, I want to own a bigger car for safety.

The car’s name is Rhino, and it gets about 38 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city. It is the perfect small car to take advantage of 20% more parking spots in San Francisco!

root of good car

Root of Good: Our family of five owns just one car, which is weird for families of our size who don’t live in a major metropolitan area. We bought the car last year in 2016 and paid $8,200 cash (including taxes and registration fees). The car we chose is a 2009 Toyota Sienna LE minivan which made it seven years old at the time of purchase. We bought it from a used car dealership because they had just lowered the price significantly after the car sat on their lot for six months. I couldn’t find anything as cheap and reliable on Craigslist, in spite of trying for several months.

The minivan was in great condition mechanically and looked good overall on the outside, other than a few scratches and dings. The dealer told me nobody wanted this particular car because it doesn’t have leather seats (the LE model is second from the cheapest in the Sienna minivan line; more expensive models often come equipped with leather seats). We prefer cloth seats anyway so it was a win-win for us: pay less and get what we want.

We drive very little around town (around 2,000 miles per year) since we live in the city and everything is nearby. We walk a lot and occasionally use public transportation. We chose the minivan primarily for road trips since that was its primary intended use. We wanted something large enough to accommodate at least five or six passengers plus luggage and have room to stretch out and relax. In 2016, we went on three road trips totaling 5,000 miles and it was perfect!

I think this is a frugal vehicle because it was relatively inexpensive for a large vehicle (seats seven comfortably). It’s very reliable mechanically which means lower maintenance and repair costs plus we can rely on it for long road trips without worrying about driving an older vehicle. The fact that it isn’t a luxury car means routine maintenance and repairs are much cheaper compared to luxury cars. The minivan gets 19 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway according to our EPA estimates. The city estimate is about right but I think we get better gas mileage when it’s all highways with little traffic.

If you want to read more about our minivan and my thoughts on the life cycle cost of buying used cars, check out this article of mine from last year.

budgets are sexy car

Budgets Are Sexy: I drive a black 2008 Lexus RX350 SUV affectionately (and probably boringly?) called Lexi :) I never thought I’d ever buy a luxury car, especially as a $$$ blogger, but when I had to get a new ride over the summer on short notice I just couldn’t find a car that excited me more. It was either that or a minivan, and, well, I just couldn’t do that yet.

It’s definitely not a frugal move, but extremely nice to ride AND reliable – which was key since I needed it to start transporting my kids around every day. My smashed up FrankenCaddy just wasn’t going to cut it anymore :( We ended up donating her to a Veterans organizations, and taking on a car loan for the first time in a decade to the tune of $20,000 at a low interest rate. We can pay it off any time, but we like the cash buffer.

And I’m pretty sure I lost more blog readers after sharing the news of Lexi than I ever have in my 9 years blogging, haha…. But hey – it’s my life, right? And never again will I assume people buy fancy cars just for looks or showing off. There’s something to be said for the quality and the way you feel in ’em for sure.

amber tree leaves car

Amber Tree Leaves: We are a frugal family and we have 2 cars. What is wrong? Is the second car really a need? Or is it a want to show off to the neighbors? Given that we drive a Skoda and a very modest second hand Ford Fiesta, it is not to show off. For a long time, we got along fine with just one car. Now that our kids grow older, their activities increase, we decided that a second car would make our life so much easier.

Some examples of when we need it:

  • One of my hobbies is to take photography road trips with friends. We often meet far away from where I live, at hours that public transport is not an alternative. I then take the car. When the kids have their weekend activities, or my wife wants to go to see family of friends, the second car makes it easy for us. Public transport can not help us here, unless you want to travel for 70 minutes for a 20km distance. Not us.
  • In the morning, I bike to school with the kids and then to the train station. When one of the kids gets sick, I need to bring the sick one to my mother. With the bike, that would be a 1.5 hours ride. Not ideal.

mr 1500 days car

Mr. 1500 days: I drive a severe orange Honda Element with a manual transmission. The car, known for its unique styling (think cardboard box), has since been discontinued. I still love it, even though Honda didn’t.

I paid $19,100 for it (that was painful to type). I financed it (4.0%), but it’s been paid off for over a decade. It’s 14 years old! I’ve owned it since 2003! We bought it new. I know, I know, that was a mistake. To punish myself, I’ll try to get at least 300,000 miles out of it (currently 160,000).

We got it from a car dealership. And I had to travel over 100 miles to get the car. Manual transmissions are hard to come by here in the states, so I had to search far and wide to get it.
Gas consumption is 24 MPG (this is the least aerodynamic car ever made).

We bought it because I thought it would be versatile. And it has been. I have camped in the car and use it to haul around building supplies. It will fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood or drywall in the back (not flat, but still).

Buying new cars is simply ridiculous. There was nothing frugal about that and I won’t do it again. However, I earn frugal points if I manage to keep the car for another couple of decades. Wish me luck!

Besides broken plastic on the right turn signal, the Element is in pretty good shape. I take good care of it (only the best synthetic oil) and drive gently. Despite its advanced mileage, the Element still has the original clutch and I’ve only done the brakes on it once!

weenie car

Quietly Saving: I drive a Mazda 2, purchased via a 3-year car finance loan in 2012. In 2015, I paid off the loan balance in full, using money I had saved up over the 3 years. The total cost was around £13,000 (i.e. USD $16,000). I have always bought new cars and I bought this one as it had an important accessory: satellite navigation! I needed to replace my previous car which was no longer mechanically economical, i.e. needed expensive repairs.

It does around 50-55 MPG but I have no idea if this is frugal. I’ll be keeping it as long as it’s economical and stress-free to do so. It has no name, however, it does have a private number plate – not very frugal I guess but I have had the plate for over 20 years!

If you’re interested, here’s a post about my cars I did back in 2014.

northern expenditure car

Northern Expenditure: We have 2 cars: a black 2004 Nissan Sentra and a blue 2010 Subaru Forester.

Mr. T was given the Nissan Sentra from his parents in 2004 after returning from a 2-year mission to Cambodia. They paid $10,000 cash and it was new. The Sentra wasn’t our choice, but it’s been a good little car. It has over 100,000 miles and it’s still plugging along.

We purchased the Forester for $17,000 in cash from my cousin who was leaving Alaska in 2014. With 3 kids, we didn’t need a second car, but reached the point where it would be a lot easier and we could spend more time together as a family if we had two cars. When our cousins announced their move, it was a perfect fit.

Subarus handle great in Alaska, as they are all 4-wheel drive. (Fun fact: the taxi cabs in Anchorage are Subarus.) The mileage was low on the car, it was in perfect condition, and they sold it to us for less than blue book. I have no idea the MPG of either car, as it really varies greatly depending on how cold it is outside, how much snow there is, etc. (blasphemous that I don’t know!).

We’re lame and don’t name our cars, though our Sentra has been a part of a “bear jam” (as pictured above) — that’s what it’s called when a bear is spotted in Denali National Park and all the cars stop and the cameras come out!

mad fientist car

Mad Fientist: When we moved back to Scotland in 2014, we bought a used 2006 Honda Jazz with about 60,000 miles on the clock for £2,400 (i.e. $3,000) cash. It’s been my favorite car we’ve ever owned!

It gets 50+ MPG, it has loads of space inside (so we’re able to move all of the stuff we own in just two or three carloads), and it’s small and quick so it’s actually fun to drive!

think save retire car

Think Save Retire: We drive a 2008 Dodge RAM 2500 HD 4×4 pickup truck. It pulls our Airstream that we live in full-time easily, and acts as our main vehicle around town. We bought it used for $25,000 cash in March 2016, after the first owner paid for the majority of the depreciation. No lease. No loan. It is ours. It gets between 12 and 18 MPG depending on whether or not we happen to be pulling our Airstream.

We certainly don’t consider this to be a “frugal” vehicle, but it’s required to pull the trailer that we live in full-time. We’ve named the truck Clifford because it’s red.

cheesy finance car

Cheesy Finance: We drive a very boring, sensible, practical family car: a Toyota Prius Plus (the wagon version of the Prius).

We paid $25,500 CAD (about $19,500 USD at that time) for it. But because we traded in our older vehicle, we walked away paying $20,500 CAD (i.e. $15,600 USD) and got a set of extra rims and 3M tape on the hood (or bonnet, depending where you live) of the car to protect against gravel damage. It still was a lot of money, but not for a nearly new car like this. We also paid about $8,000 CAD (i.e. $6,100 USD) to ship it to the Netherlands. Considering it’s worth much more in the Netherlands (currently still $16,900) it made financial sense to take the car with us.

We got it on cash, but it was initially financed at 0.9% because this way we did not have to sell any investments. But we paid the car off within the next 12 months or so. The car is from early 2013, so about 4 years old. It’s still a pretty new(-ish) car, we never owned anything this new before (and probably won’t again – too expensive in the Netherlands).

Looking at our Excel sheet, on average we’re at about 44.82 MPG). This includes a couple of rough Canadian winters as well. Our best ever on a tank was 52.2 MPG – this was in the middle of summer. Why we bought this car can be summed up in one word: SPACE. This car is huge on the inside, which is great for tall Dutch people like us. At that time, we also had a big dog and a separate stroller and car seat (+ associated kid). It all fit perfectly and we even had space left. All of this space comes with good gas mileage and low maintenance, an (almost) perfect package. Too bad it is not a pretty (or fast) car…

It is a very frugal from a gas and maintenance perspective, but very pricy from depreciation point of view. However, we would not have bought the same car in the Netherlands, simply too expensive. We will keep it a few more years and get rid of it after our next long road trip. Might trade it for a smaller car, or just rent/borrow cars thereafter. Have not decided yet what to do. But we do want to limit our exposure to depreciating assets like cars. We went to a car dealer to buy it as there was no private party selling their car at that time (there was only one Prius for sale within 300km from our home!). The dealer gave us a reasonable deal too, especially with the extra’s like the rims and 3M tape. Another bonus was free warranty for 5 years on the car and 8 years on the battery + free oil changes for life (too bad all this did not hold true when we exported the car from Canada…).

freedom with bruno car

Freedom With Bruno: Our one and only vehicle is a Toyota 4Runner named Bruno. Bruno was assembled on a factory floor in the year 2000, which makes him a senior citizen at age 17. We bought Bruno in 2014 for the ripe price of $7,500 cash. He was sold to us by a kind man off Craigslist from Sebastopol, California.

Bruno’s purpose was for our Great Big Adventure – road tripping overland to Costa Rica. We looked specifically for a Toyota 4Runner because it has 4WD and a high clearance for river crossings & off-roading. Everyone loves 4Runners for their reliability and solid resale value. It was also one of the only cars that 6-foot-tall Travis could lay down flat in comfortably, since we’d be camping in the car.

Best miles per gallon we’ve ever gotten out of Bruno is 21 MPG. And that must’ve been on his very best day. Bruno is so named because it is goofy and regal, all at the same time. Bruno was in fairly good shape when we bought him – cosmetically and otherwise. Amanda must’ve still thought he needed some character, because she sideswiped a parked green van in Guatemala leaving colorful scratches on the back bumper.

Bruno’s the best!

road to a tesla car

Road to a Tesla: My wife and I each drive a Toyota Prius. We bought them at the same time new from a dealership through a car sales program our insurance company offered. I believe they were around $29,000 each. We paid a down payment of about $10,000 on one and $8,000 on the other (which we got from selling our old cars) and took out two loans for the balance. We paid off one loan 3 years early and the second one 2 years early, which saved us a couple thousand dollars in interest. We’ve been without a car loan now for 3+ years and it’s quite nice.

We bought the cars new in 2010, so they are just hitting 7 years old. Each has over 120,000 miles and they are still running great. Gas costs are fairly low – I get between 48 and 52 MPG. This is much better than my previous car, which got about 24 MPG. Maintenance costs have been minimal.

They have suffered no major breakdowns and I’ve only had to perform routine maintenance. In fact, due to the car having regenerative braking, we’ve never even had to replace the brake pads – even after 120,000 miles! I plan to keep this car until I have enough saved up to buy a Tesla Model S!


Afford Anything: I drive a 9-year-old Honda Civic. I paid in cash and bought the vehicle when it was 5 years old. It has awesome gas mileage, though I don’t know the exact specs. Here’s an article about the purchase.

making sense of cents car

Making Sense of Cents: My vehicle is not frugal but I do consider myself to be a frugal person. We have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that has a pop-top and is fully equipped to take us anywhere off roading.

The total price for the Rubicon and all of the extras were high, but well worth it for what we are wanting in life. It’s a great addition to our RV life since we RV full-time and wanted a vehicle that could take us anywhere. With our Jeep, we can off road somewhere far away, sleep in the Jeep, do some hiking, and be in the beautiful middle of nowhere. The MPG is horrible but luckily we tow it behind the RV so it’s not going super far distances unless we are going somewhere close in it.

financial shaper car

Financial Shaper: My wife and I love cars – well designed and with good motorization. And of course we are keen on getting good value for money when it comes to a purchase. We always pay in cash and preferably buy demonstration cars which are in an excellent state and offered at an attractive discount. It is important for us that a car keeps a good resale value as we will bring it into the price negotiations when it comes to buying a new car in the future.

In February 2016, we bought our beautiful red Mazda 6 Skyactiv-G 165 Ambition, a very spacious combi. Comfortable for each distance, roomy and accommodating inside it is the perfect car for our family of four with two children. Strong fuel economy ensures relatively low running costs for a car of that size (it’s around 6.8L/100km on average, i.e. 35 MPG).

The list price was around Swiss franc 36’000 (i.e. $36,000 USD) and – having chosen a three-month-old demonstration car with only 3’000 mileage status – we concluded quite an attractive price in the amount of CHF 29’000 ($29,000 USD). I gave my ten-year-old BMW1 in exchange and got CHF 5’000 ($5,000 USD) back, so the final cash purchase price for our new car was CHF 24’000 (i.e. $24,000 USD). Quite a bargain, especially given the fact that we managed to include in that price some additional features such as a five-year workshop insurance which covers engine damages and includes a breakdown service.

hippies de land rover car

Hippies de Land Rover: Although we’re a Hippie de Land Rover family, we do drive a BMW Series 1 full equipped. Actually that car is the same car I bought in 2011 (I call it “The Black”).

The car is from 2009. The previous owner was lady that never used it. I got it with something like 30,000 kms (i.e. 18,500 miles) and included a BMW 5-year service package as well as a second set of winter wheels. I paid 23k CHF (i.e. $23,000 USD) for it.

When I told some of my friends about the car I bought, they thought it was quite a nice car but… 23k? I looked at it in a different manner. The car was quite new (the original invoice from new was 35k) so putting things in perspective was a good deal The car has now just over 190,000 kms (i.e. 118,000 miles) and this type of motor is quite good, it should last 300,000 kms :) (i.e. 186,000 miles)

The car costs us something like $300/month including, taxes, insurance, tires, services and gasoline. This year I missed the window to change my insurance provider but that $300/month could easily go down to $270, let’s see next year.

frugalwoods car

Frugalwoods: We drive a 2010 Subaru Outback station wagon and a 2010 Toyota Prius. The Subaru was paid $12,000 cash in Spring 2016, the Prius $9,000 (cash too) in Spring 2016. Both are from 2010. Both bought on Craigslist.

The Subaru is 22 MPG in the city and 29 on the highway; the Prius does better with 51 in the city and 48 on the highway.

We live on 66 acres in rural Vermont with no public transit options, so we need two reliable cars. The Subaru has All-Wheel Drive, which is ideal for our icy/snowy wintertime conditions and, as a hybrid, the Prius get extremely good gas mileage, which is important for our long treks into the city.

Both cars are frugal because they were purchased used for cash and both get good gas mileage. They’re also reliable vehicles.

Here’s my full post with lots of photos.

The Subaru is called RooBaRoo because greyhounds “roo” in lieu of barking, and our greyhound rides in our Subaru, so it’s only fitting that this car be anointed “RooBaRoo”!

The Prius is Snowdrop, because its white and we have lots and lots of snow where we live!

jesse ynab car

Jesse from YNAB: We drive a Honda Odyssey when we need to bring the whole family along. The Tesla Model S every other time. I paid around $77k for the Tesla, which I lease through the business. I got it at the end of 2015 right from a Tesla store. Gas mileage is quite cool — I mean, it’s all electric.

I bought it just for fun. I don’t think it’s frugal at all. It’s absurdly luxurious in every way. Anyone who says they bought it for the gas savings is ill-informed :) — the total cost of ownership is huge.

Above is a pic of us taking 7 people 700 miles for Christmas.

physician on fire car

Physician on FIRE: I drive a pretty sweet two-tone 2006 Chevy HHR with 133,000 miles and a few door dings. We paid about $11,000 for it used back in 2007 or 2008 from a used car lot after seeing an ad online.

At the time, my wife and I were somewhat nomadic, as I was working locum tenens jobs in different parts of the country, so we wanted a vehicle with good gas mileage. We already had one HHR, which my wife liked, so we picked up a second one, which is the one we still have today. The other one was swapped out for a minivan when we had our second child.

Those HHRs used to get around 33 MPG on the freeway, but now struggle to stretch a gallon to 30 miles, which only happens on rural highways where speed is more restricted. I hope to drive the nameless vehicle until one of us dies. The car had better go first.

Mr. Free At 33: Hey MP, I’d love to be part of your post, but I don’t drive a car at all. I’ve been largely car-free since about 2012. I currently walk or take public transportation everywhere, and I plan to continue doing so for the rest of my life. It’s cheaper, safer, healthier, and just plain more fun!

[Note from MP: I wanted to include Jason’s reply as it’s somehow the closest answer to my lifestyle. My wife is the one mostly driving our Prius to go to work, and I’m on public transportation/walk/bike 90% of the time. It’s a habit I got used to since we live in Switzerland and I would never go back. This frees up so much time where I can blog and read, or do whatever else, other than losing time driving in traffic jams…]


First, let me thank all the bloggers who took time to share their wisdom on the frugal car topic. I would like to highlight the three main lessons I learned from these exchanges.

Lesson #1: All these people made their choice consciously, and aligned with their values.
In the end, I don’t think there is one good or wrong answer. There are only people with different lifestyles and in different stages of their life (babies, dogs, etc.), who managed to adapt their car choice accordingly.

Lesson #2: In those answers, I was glad to read what my dad repeated me countless times during my childhood: “Never ever buy a car new, always one that is used.” He would continue: “As you sign the check, it will depreciate. 50% during the first year. Then 20% each following years.” He exaggerated but at least it stuck with me. Thanks dad for teaching me this lesson early in life. You were right!

Lesson #3: Out of all the answers, 75% of the cars are from Japanese manufacturers. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, or Subaru: they all craft reliable and efficient vehicles. You now know what to look for!

What type of car do you drive?


About the author: MP is a thirty-something who blogs about his journey towards Financial Independence by 40 in Switzerland. What drives him is to inspire people to enjoy their life while building an immense wealth. You can find him at MustachianPost.com.

Bringing you the best of money! After you’re done reading this awesome article, head to our forums and come hang out :)

Last modified: April 23, 2018

134 Responses to :
★ The Cars of Personal Finance Bloggers

  1. Aspiring PAW says:

    Great article, so fun and interesting to see what everyone in this space drives. I also love the lessons that come with each!

    I drive a 2008 Saab 9.3 sedan with ~80,000 miles. Bought the car used in 2013 for $10000 cash from a friend I trusted who bought the car new.

    It’s reliable, gets 32 mpg, and MOST importantly to me has a 6 speed manual transmission. I’ve driven manuals my entire life, it really enhances the driving experience for me!


    1. MP says:

      Thanks for stepping by @Aspiring PAW!

      How is the reliability of your Saab?

  2. Great post, fun being voyeuristic and learning what folks drive (and, more importantly, why!).

    My wife drives a 2011 Hyundai Sonanta. We bought it new (we have an employee discount with Hyundai, since we’re a supplier to them), and have driven 100k without trouble. I joke with my wife that we can start looking for “her” next vehichle when she hits 200k. I drive a 2010 Nissan 370Z. I’ve always liked sports cars, but I’m also moderately frugal. I bought the Z in 2012, and have driven 70k on it without problem. As a commuter car, it appealed to me due to the fact that it was: 1) fun to drive 2) reliable, it’s a Nissan! and 3) fuel efficient (28 MPG, in spite of it’s 330 HP and 0-60 time of 6 seconds.

    1. MP says:

      Ahah for your 200k ;)
      On our side, I tell Mrs. MP that my goal is to keep our Toyota Prius until it reaches about 800’000 kms!!!

      It is also funny to see each one perspective when for you on the US side 28MPG is fuel efficient, as on the European side if already feels above the decent average.

      1. Ah, I should add for our European friends, 28 MPG is 10 Liters Per 100 km. Crap by European standards, but probably about average here (Yep, I’m “bilingual” when it comes to cars!).

        1. MP says:

          Hahahaha thanks for the translation bro ;)

  3. Mr. Groovy says:

    Very fun post, MP. Thanks for putting it together. I drive a 2004 Camry. We bought the car in 2008 and paid $14K. It currently has 155,000 miles, and when it reaches 200,000 miles (4-5 years from now), we’ll look for a new “Lucy.”

    1. Stephonee says:

      *fistbump to my fellow 2004-Camry-driving blogger*

      Is yours silver, too? I think they all might be silver. I can never find mine in a parking lot. Well, that is, I couldn’t until we installed a tell-tale dent in the bumper! ;)

      1. Mr. Groovy says:

        Of course, it’s silver. Old-man car all the way. And it’s funny you mentioned the dent in the bumper. We just had our first little accident around 4 or 5 months ago. Mrs. Groovy wondered if we should fix it and I told her “nah.” The dent in the bumper gives it character!

        1. Stephonee says:

          Hahaha yes! Well, now we can never attend the same meetup. Two 2004 silver Camrys with dents in the bumper? We’ll never sort out whose car is whose! ;)

    2. MP says:

      Congrats Mr. Groovy!

      Why is your limit so low for a Toyota? Just a random number when you feel it’s time for a change? Or do the Camrys get less reliable after this limit?

      1. Mr. Groovy says:

        Good question! Mrs. Groovy and I hope to purchase a used teardrop in the near future and hit the road for two months or so every year. Camping in the Badlands is one of my bucket list items. Maybe I’m not giving the Camry enough credit, but I just don’t know if she’s up to the task. Mrs. Groovy also has this thing for Subarus. So we’ll see. If the Camry is okay for towing, I might change my mind.

        1. MP says:

          I challenge you to try it out before selling it then ;) Keep me posted!

  4. We have 2 vehicles. I drive a 2000 Toyota Corolla that I got for around $1,500 over 2 years ago its at around 220K miles; and Mrs. C. drives a 2009 Honda Odyssey that cost around $10,000 last may that we paid for in cash, this one has around 125K miles.

    1. MP says:

      That’s for serious frugal choices, congrats!
      How is the gas mileage of your Odyssey out of curiosity?

  5. I’m with Mr groovy on this. 2004 Toyota Camry. It gets me everywhere I need to go in reliable and smooth fashioj and never needs more than a little maintenence here and there. Since my transportation costs are low, it allows me to put my money toward buying assets that can make me money. At 189k miles I’ll have to replace it one day, but that day has not come yet.

    1. MP says:

      Good choice it seems!
      Toyota Camry isn’t that famous in Europe, and only the old models got sold here afaik.

      From what you know, what is the usual max miles limit it can get before having too many mechanical issues?

  6. Shin says:

    Awesome to see so many folks driving frugal and sensible vehicles. My wife and I both have 2004 daily drivers. Hers is a Saturn Wagon and mine is a Ford F-250.

    We financed the Saturn new, before we got smarter. We bought the Ford for cash.

    This past year both had to have the transmissions replace. Many folks would have dumped the vehicles for new ones, siting that they’re going down hill and will cost way too much to maintain.

    I call Bull Ship on that one. Yeah, we had to dump some coin into them, but we don’t have 60 or more months of payments.

    Good stuff here. Keep up the great work!

    1. MP says:

      Hi @Shin,

      Congrats for keeping the cars vs. monthly payments!
      What about this Ford F-250? Any real need over there? Couldn’t a good Toyota hybrid do it in your situation?

      1. Hey, MP!
        Yeah, we’re keen on no payments.

        As for the F250, we have to haul the tractor once in a while and have to have the 3/4 ton to do so. At least once a year I also haul the Model A out of town for a car show.

        Both of our cars sit most of each week, with the truck sitting for weeks at a time. So it’s not a money pit by any means.

        I like it, despite the cracked windshield and dented rear fender.

  7. k.Jam says:

    Hail storms present excellent car buying opportunities if you care more about mechanical integrity than cosmetics. I picked up an ’07 Accord with low miles for about 40% off ($5500 vs just over $9000 blue book at the time, paid off over an 18-month 0% credit card promotion to maintain a cash buffer for maintenance). The car was ‘totaled’ by the insurance company and has a salvage title solely because of the hail damage, which is noticeable only when the car is clean and shiny (a rarity in New England). I brought it to my mechanic for the pre-purchase inspection (probably the most important part of buying any used vehicle, anywhere) and learned he drives hail-damaged, salvage-titled cars exclusively. In fact, his wife drives a late model Porsche Cayenne with a few hail dings they picked up at an insurance auction. We tell people the golf ball motif improves gas mileage, and I am now considering the license plate ‘HAIL-YEA’. I pay lots of attention to the vehicle’s mechanical bits, and stuff it like a 30-MPG pickup truck, and have been pleasantly surprised by how refreshing it is to not care about the appearance. It’s a tool to get from A to B and save a bunch of money in the process.

    1. MP says:

      How awesome! Completely right about he hail storms!
      You gotta take a picture of your new plate once ordered ;)

    2. J. Money says:

      That is hilarious!!! And so smart!!!

    3. The “Golf Ball” motif! That’s freaking awesome!

  8. This was an eye-opening read. I’m totally with you on the “only buy used, never new” train. I bought a 1-year-old VW Golf at the height of the VW emissions scandal when they were practically giving them away. I feel pretty smug about that decision.

    1. MP says:

      Or how to pick cars as you pick stocks!

  9. I drive a 2001 dodge stratus, which is half my age. It deters gold diggers easily ;-)

    I expect to drive it to the ground.


    1. MP says:

      That’s for a return on investment!

      How many miles so far?
      And the gas mileage?

      1. I have close to 160,000 miles on it.

        But I live close to work and shopping/entertainment locations, so my commute is really low. I get to work in 5 minutes or so.

        I put in gas once a month or so.

  10. Financial Samurai sure is great at parallel parking! I always wondered what happens if you have an emergency and people are parked a couple inches off both bumpers.

    I plan to keep my old 20+ year old Jeep forever!

    1. MP says:

      @Tyler is it frugal enough to keep it this long?

      1. I don’t drive it too much, maybe 4-5K miles a year. The last 5 years only oil changes and new shocks. 4Runners from the late 90’s and Honda Civics from early 2000’s also super durable and inexpensive.

        Best advice for buying older vehicles is to get up underneath the vehicle and look for anything more than minor surface rust. Some of these vehicles from up north have severe cancer from the salt and snow. Beware when purchasing on eBay.

        1. MP says:

          True story about 4Runners and Civic!
          Clearly you need to be careful and not only check the shiny upper side that just got cleaned before the sale ;)

  11. We have 3 cars:
    1998 Ford Expedition with 200,000 miles & a funny transmission that only makes it good for around time. (my wife has had this car since 1999).

    2009 Ford Flex w/ 145,000 miles is our family vehicle. We bought it used on Craigslist when our Expedition was no longer reliable for long trips.

    2004 Ford Mustang V6 5-speed (my fun car w/ 120,000 miles). Another Craigslist find I sold my 2012 GT 6-speed for $20,000 & this cost $3k. We put the difference in savings & toward our mortgage.

    1. MP says:

      Gosh! That’s not the most minimalist way of driving, but at least you must get some fun out of the Mustang!
      Some people here in Switzerland who have the V6 one told me it was less funny than the V8 version. Is that the feeling about the engine you got?

  12. John says:

    2010 Mustang Convertible on sunny days.

    Ford F-150 on the rainy ones.


    1. MP says:

      Love both cars! Hate their gas mileage though!

  13. Wess Stewart says:

    Dat Tesla tho…

    I drive a 2008 Scion xB. Manual transmission. Maroon with orange ghost flames on the hood.

    I’m not even joking about that. I can back it up with pics. :D

    The fuel economy is pretty decent. Oddly, it seems to do better in the city than it does on the highway. Probably because there are more…ahem…officers…watching the roads in the city. ;)

    1. MP says:

      You *have to* post a picture in reply to this comment mate!!!

  14. Mike says:

    We have a 2003 Toyota Sienna with 175000mi, and a 2013 elantra. The Toyota has been amazing, although is starting to wear out. The Hyundai has been OK. Not as fuel efficient as I had hoped, but it was only 13k new. Hopefully the quality holds up as advertised

    1. MP says:

      East Asian manufacturers for the win!

  15. Miss Mazuma says:

    Haha – we have a twitter feed regarding this very topic! Many of us PF bloggers are members of the High Mileage Club not to be confused with the “other” club of a similar name. I drive a 2001 Honda CRV with 140k miles. She’s been side swiped multiple times and stolen for a period of 3 months but she’s back and still kickin…good for at least 140k more!

    1. Cuz, you are TOO funny. What other club could you possibly be referring to? Leave it to a flight attendant to throw that one in here!

    2. MP says:

      @Miss Mazuma: where is this club? Link or it didn’t happened ;P

      As I told J. Money, we got to add this number as a ranking possibility on the bloggers’ directory!

      You rock with your Honda CRV story! That’s what I call frugal!
      Any picture of it?!

      1. J. Money says:

        It would be a fun addition for sure :)

  16. Awesome idea for a post!

    I drove one of the tiny Smart cars for 4 years and it was super cheap to run. But you know what after a while the thrifty nature becomes not worth it, the car has to meet your needs and you need to reasonably enjoy owning it. Shows some areas of life are not worth saving money on.

    Love the Dodge RAM of “Think Save Retire”, we don’t see beasts like that in the UK!

    1. MP says:

      What are you driving nowadays?

  17. We don’t fit the frugal mindset for cars, our two adults and two children under five have three, yes count them three cars. The first is my wife’s car from college graduation (she’s younger then I am) a 2008 Nissan versa bought new. It has 83k miles and I drive it four miles to work down unsafe for biking rural back roads. My wife now drives a 2015 Mazda 3. Also bought new, it replaces my unfamily friendly dearly departed 1999 Pontiac trans am. It was bought new in the hopes that 12 years from now it’ll still be here. Did I mention all our cars are stick, so options are also limited on car choice. Finally the ultimate in non frugal, I have a 2008 corvette I bought new in 2007. Long before I was controlling costs I fought with friends and family on whether to buy a house or this beauty. I lucked out of the housing crisis due to my choice, though I still would have been better off buying stocks. Still it keeps me otherwise frugal, so a decade old sunk cost is not extravegent. Sometimes splurging in one hobby, in my case cars, keeps you from splurging on others.

    1. MP says:

      “One can have anything, not everything” as Paula says ;)
      Enjoy your hobby!

  18. This is such a fun post. While my car is definitely the least frugal of the bunch here, haha, I do love it.

    1. MP says:

      @Michelle thanks for your participation.
      I really liked to see how each and everyone is aligned with his values!

  19. Steven says:

    This was fun to look and read, nice work MP! I sold my Mercedes Benz aka Benzo de Lorenzo about 6 years ago and by no coincidence is when I started to turn around financially. Mrs. Even Steven did bring a 2007 Toyota Sequoia into our marriage, she purchased the vehicle very close to new almost 10 years ago, it has been long paid off and currently sports 113,000 miles. In the city of Chicago it currently acts not much more than getting groceries and an occasional trip to see friends. It is not economical in any way, does not fit our family of 2 plus a dog, guzzles gas, and is rear wheel drive (not a good thing in the snow), but it’s paid off and it’s Mrs. ESM “baby”. I’m still waiting on getting my 1995 Toyota Tacoma, one day I tell you, one day!!!

    1. MP says:

      One day the revenge will come ;P

  20. This is really cool MP, great idea!

    Tesla model S FTW! ;)

    1. MP says:

      Don’t start me on this topic…….Insane mode……7 seats…….. ;P

  21. David says:

    Very cool seeing what other people drive.

    I drive a 2015 Golf GTI, named Shadowfax. Got it new, for about $3,000 under invoice. I really enjoy driving (and do a lot of it), and I drive a lot. So spending $24,000 for it was worth it to me, especially given I’m looking to get about 200,000 miles out of it. Its definitely more expensive than I initially thought it would be, but still within my budget’s tolerance.

    1. MP says:

      You gotta sell this one bro! And jump onto a good old Toyota Prius 2006 as I did! Your savings will thank you ;) (insurances, gas, and co)

  22. Ah but what about non-blogger FI people? We took a poll of everyone at Camp Mustache SE on what kind of car they drive. Take a look!


    1. MP says:

      Thanks for sharing @Gwen!
      I’m still amazed by how many Japan cars there are in there!

  23. Mrs. Grumby says:

    Mr. Grumby and I have been car-free for nearly 2 years. We both ride Surly Long Haul Truckers, which are great bikes for commuting, weekend outings, and multi-day adventures. We also use Portland OR’s great transit system and Mr. Grumby uses car share when he needs a car for his regional job. We are fortunate to live in a location where there are grocery stores and parks within walking distance of home.

    1. MP says:

      That’s the true frugal way @Mrs. Grumby!

      Do you mind sharing the amazing city you live in? Or you fear to see 10k Mustachians coming in the next month ;P

    2. J. Money says:

      I bet you guys are so much healthier too riding those around!! I really need to get back to biking again… esp now with kids who will soon be learning how!

  24. Great post MP! We drive a 2005 Toyota Sienna, paid for with cash, currently has 200,000 miles, and still going strong. We also have a 2013 Hyundai Elantra, not paid for with cash, but paid for nonetheless. It’s got about 60,000 miles and is car I drive to work. Fuel economy is pretty good, but it’s not as efficient as my previous ride, a 2003 Toyota Corolla.

    1. MP says:

      I’m curious:
      1/ What the gas mileage of your 2005 Sienna?
      2/ Why did you switch from your beloved Corolla to your new Elantra?

  25. Enjoyed the post! Thanks for giving Bruno a forum for his massive ego :)

    1. MP says:

      Ahaha thanks to you @Amanda for your participation!

  26. Our household has a 2011 Toyota Prius. I’ve always thought the Prius was the perfect car because when you look at it, you can’t really tell if the person who drives it is rich or not.

    The other benefit, it can fit so much stuff! It’s seriously like a clown car with how much we can pack into it.

    1. MP says:

      Yeah, welcome to the Prius club!!! Can’t help but to recommend this car!
      I’m jealous of you having the new model ;P

      What’s your gas mileage with this model?

  27. Shaun says:

    Jesse from YNAB – I am soooo jealous of your Model S!

    1. MP says:

      One day, it will come for you too ;)

  28. NZ Muse says:

    2011 Mazda 6 wagon – our single vehicle for a 2pp household :) (and 2 dogs)

    1. MP says:

      Is the wagon for 2 dogs ;P?

  29. Mr. WLM – 2006 Honda Accord, 150k miles, bought new, never again!

    Mrs. WLM – 2008 Toyota Highlander, 140k miles, paid $13k in cash several years ago

    Kids – 2007 Toyota Corrola, 135k miles, paid $6.5k cash a year ago.

    1. MP says:

      Two things I’m glad for you: 1/ Japanese FTW, 2/ you learnt from your first mistake. Congrats!

      How is the Highlander doing regarding gas mileage? Isn’t it overkill (I don’t know your situation though)?

      1. J. Money says:

        Those Highlanders are nice – we used to own one for a few years too :)

      2. Gas mileage about 20ish a gallon. Got it to replace a Honda Odyssey that we had for 13 years. Kids are older and the wife wanted something that handles better in the snow. We lucked out too because it was a base model but the previous owner upgraded to leather and heated seats after market.

  30. Car1: 2007 Nissan Murano with 97K+ Miles.
    Car 2: 2002 Lexus LS300 with 226K+ miles.

    We have 2 cars and 2 teenage drivers. Luckily, one has started college and doesn’t need a car . Leaves us with a high schooler. He doesn’t mind sharing the car.

    1. MP says:

      Are those frugal regarding gas mileage?

  31. Recently upgraded to a 2006 Volvo wagon -new to us. We had a 4Runner prior to that still running with no problem for 14 years even though it rusted out

    1. MP says:

      How is the brand new (kidding) Volvo regarding gas consumption?

      1. MP – great question. I thought it would be horrible but according the fancy on-dash calculator thingie in our fancy new-to-us-ride it’s about 20 miles per gallon. When I first saw the real time MPG I was obsessed for the first six months and did a lot of coasting and got it to about 25. Still not the glorious 40 + those lovely hybrid and electric cars get but the numbers didn’t pan out for the safety features we wanted for the hybrids. I am reluctant to pay 10K to save 1K over the life of a vehicle. We do drive less as a compromise.

        Having a wagon or hatchback is golden. We pick up and drop a lot of stuff in the car and I admit to calculating how much we save on delivery/pickup for major items and I consider it a “car dividend”. Some day I will post about that – I believe that alone has paid for a quarter of the car.

        Example: Last month a dishwasher was taking to the recycling center instead of having to pay for that) – plus we got to see the impressive operation that have going on there.

        1. MP says:

          I look forward to reading your car-dividends blogpost!

          As for your next car, I think you could combine the best part of both words of wagon + hybrid by buying à used Toyota Prius+. These cars are huge and efficient.

  32. We drive a 2013 Vauxhall Meriva (UK). My husband calls it a Vauxhall ‘sensible’. Back seats fold down to give us tons of space. It cost us £12k, which was less than the same car did in 2004. The only reason we changed was the old one was having too many engine problems, caused by low usage on the diesel.New car is petrol, so mpg not great… It has 23,000 miles on the clock, and it will be at least 10 years old when we next change it. The mileage might have crept up to 60,000 by then! We only use it for groceries and long trips. All others we use public transport (buses are free for age 60+ in Scotland)

    1. MP says:

      That’s for financial wisdom, congrats! Car only when needed then public transports for all where it can take you.

  33. Mollie says:

    I wanted to give a shoutout to Mr. 1500 Days in support of the Honda Element! I don’t own a car, but I’ve had a carsharing membership for years, and I enjoyed driving the Element. Despite it not being the most attractive car, it was easy to drive, the car frame didn’t create a lot of blind spots (looking at you, Prius), and it was incredibly versatile–it completely took care of one of my apartment moves in addition to other assorted random errands! At some point, people in my city started stealing a particular car part from outside all the Elements, and they were cut from the carsharing program. Also, carshare programs are a great way to try out different cars. =) We’ll have to buy at some point in the future, and this article + that experience helps with a lot of ideas. This was a fun article!

    1. MP says:

      Hi Mollie,
      Thanks for sharing the idea of trying cars via car sharing programs! You clearly have less stress from the car dealer where they try to absolutely make you buy the thing.

  34. vivienne armatage says:

    I drive a 2000 Toyota Corolla Hatch that I purchased from new. Would never purchase another new car – it was like I had a sign on it – come take me out as within the first two years my car was the victim of idiots doing dumb things. For example while waiting at the lights who the heck would decide to reverse – yes my corolla was the victim – he didn’t see me! Anyhow, its a bit worse for wear now but only has 109000 on the clock. Will be passed onto to my daughter in two years when she gets her drivers licence. I live in an area where looks count when it comes to cars and my kids’ friends are fascinated by the manual window winders in my car. However at the end of the day I’m the one laughing as I plough every cent into real estate assets. And I love the looks on peoples faces when they come visit us and we have the beach at our door step.

    1. MP says:

      Millionaire next door for the win! Completely aligned about car looking — if only investments of people could be visible like their cars, that would be fun!

  35. Daniel says:

    Car ownership is ridiculously expensive in Brazil so my wife and I decided to downgrade from a 2015 Honda Fit to a 1996 VW Gol, it’s boring with its 1.0L but doesn’t pay the 4% anual state tax, it isn’t insured, so the only expense that we have is gasoline and maintenance, here in Brazil the VW are reliable and as we just drive something like 5.000 km yearly, it’s ok for us. I also have a 2006 Yamaha 125cc that is also cheap to maintain. The best part is to keep the image of broken people what is important from the security point of view down in Brazil. It’s funny how people think that we are broken even we are financialy independent 2 years from now. Sorry, English isn’t my first language.

    1. MP says:

      Hi Daniel,

      I also like a lot the feeling when people look at you like your are broke from their brand new Porsche Cayenne on leasing — as in these circumstances what I only see is a price tag of the debt above people’s head ;)

      How much gas mileage do you experience with your oldie Golf?

  36. I’m a lucky guy. Don’t own a car, but I have a company car.
    Although you could argue that that comes at the detriment of a higher salary, in which case I would have preferred the higher salary and driving a beater.

    1. MP says:

      What car does your company provide you? Do they pay gas also when you are on weekends?

  37. Nice lineup! I drive an ’06 Impreza. Not sure how long these things will run, but the paint on the hood has been peeling off for years after the rough snows in the northeast!

    1. MP says:

      How does it compete regarding gas mileage?

  38. I loved this post!

    We have a 2012 Volkswagen Polo. We bought it last year for $10 500 with 72 000km on the clock (we’re Australian… that’s 44 738 miles for you North American folk).

    We get about 900km (560 miles) to a tank which is amazing. We love our little red car.

    1. MP says:

      Woaw that’s for a frugal car. Although it depends on the side of the tank ;) but knowing the Polos I think it’s not that big.
      What’s your gas mileage?

  39. I drive a 2007 Honda Fit that I bought used when it was only a year old. My husband donated his car years ago and now commutes every day via bike (he says his commute is often the best part of his day). The Fit is still in great shape and I hope I can get many more years out of it. We haven’t had car payments in about 7 years and it is great!

    1. MP says:

      I can definitely relate to your feeling with no-car-payments!!!
      And congratulations to your husband, he’s a smart guy! How many kms/miles does he bike to get to work?

  40. We bought a Hyundai Elantra 2009 in 2015 for CAD $8,000 with 120 000 km on it. Never thought I would buy a Hyundai but so far I love it. Drives well and easy on the wallet.

  41. Live Free MD says:

    Fun Post. I have a 2015 Subaru Forester. Works great in AK. Purchased new. Not frugal. You can’t win all the personal finance battles. At least I paid cash.

    1. J. Money says:

      Paying cash def. puts you back at the cool table ;)

  42. We drive a 2002 Honda CRV, bought used in 2012 for $9,000. Super-reliable and decent gas mileage (by US standards, anyway!); now has 190,000 miles on it. I’ll probably start looking to replace around 250,000 miles, maybe more.

  43. Mihaela says:

    We live in a city with nice public transport and we have a year’s pass, so we don’t own a car. My husband bikes to work or uses pt in the winter, I walk or use pt to work. I am planning on getting a bike too. We were thinking of buying a car for more trips around the country, but as I insist on at least a hybrid, if we ever do it, it most probably would be a new hybrid. Almost none buys hybrid/electric cars here, so no used market…And that’s why we don’t buy, lol, and just imagine having a car :D:D:D My dad drives a WV Passat, made in 1998, he bought it in 2003. It’s a pretty sturdy car too, no major mechanic issues as far as I know.

    1. J. Money says:

      No shame in that! Feet and legs make for a much healthier lifestyle :)

  44. Jackie says:

    I drive a 1990 Mazda Miata that I bought used in 1991. It was my dream car, and I still love driving it everyday! (Especially since I got the air conditioning system replaced last summer — makes a big difference in Phoenix.) It’s getting much harder to find parts for it now but I hope I can keep doing so for years to come :)

    1. J. Money says:

      I remember loving those cars when they came out too :)

  45. I drive an awesome VW from 99. Cost me $3k. Best car I’ve ever owned!

  46. This is fun! I’ve got the same car that I bought (for $6,000 cash) as a senior in high school, a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. Now that we have 3 kids and a dog, we got a fully-loaded 2006 Honda Odyssey and paid $9,000 for it. And, begrudgingly, my husband has 2 motorcycles that he got for free. That cheapskate life! :)

    1. J. Money says:

      I wanna know the secret to getting free motorcycles!

  47. I drive a 2013 Toyota Prius C that I bought new for $24,000. I got it financed with 0% APR and I had the car paid off in just 2 years. Today it has 58,000 miles on it, and it only costs me about $25 to fill up the tank which will usually last me about 2 weeks. Couldn’t be happier.

  48. GP says:

    What a fun post. I enjoyed going through it and seeing the different car styles that make us all great. I agree that cars are not investments and am pro used car. I currently drive ’98 Toyota Avalon and it rides great!

  49. We roll in a 2007 Honda Fit bought for 5000$ two years ago. Amazing little car with very little maintenance. Our second car is a 2007 Hyundai Santa fe we got 4 years ago for 7500$, great for all the outdoors stuff we do.

  50. Thais says:

    Good! Fun Post. I have a 2015 Subaru Forester. Works great in AK. Purchased new. Not frugal. You can’t win all the personal finance battles. At least I paid cash.

    1. J. Money says:

      You get extra points for that one :)

  51. I love the vast perspective of this post. I drive a 1998 Grand Prix given to my wife when she graduated high school (wait for it)… 15 years ago. It’s only a work car and has 165K + miles on it. It’s been really good to us (financially speaking). My wife drives a 2006 Grand Caravan that we paid cash for when we traded in our Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2012. It has 157,000. We love the minivan for our family and not having car payments is awesome!

    1. J. Money says:

      Nice! You mix in well with this crowd :)

  52. Randy in Sacramento says:

    Very interesting read.

    Personally, I have one primary disagreement – but again, this comes down to a matter of personal choice and priorities. I ONLY buy NEW cars now. I bought used earlier in my life, but as soon as I could afford to, I began purchasing new cars…and will hopefully for the rest of my life.

    I take meticulous car of our vehicles. They frequently look in nearly showroom condition. This is primarily due to three things – frequently washing the cars, waxing or applying a paint sealant two or three times a year and keeping them in our garage when not being driven.

    Also we take care of all of our scheduled maintenance and we drive them as economically as possible which helps reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs.

    The ONLY reason I choose new vehicles is because we pay cash for them, drive them until the cost of ownership is no longer reasonable (usually around the 150,000 – 200,000 mile mark) and during the time we are driving those vehicles, we are making “payments” to ourselves to prepare to replace the vehicles with cash when we need to.

    This also allows us to purchase extended warranties which we have found give us the peace of mind knowing we have a fixed up front cost that will take care of everything except wear and tear and scheduled maintenance for the term of the contract (we try to get 10 years if we can negotiate a good deal on it – YES, they DO negotiate the price of these contracts! Who knew???)

    We have just finished our most recent upgrade and currently have a 2015 Honda Odyssey and a 2016 Honda CR-V. The Odyssey was replaced a little earlier than usual as our 2002 Odyssey was totaled in an accident in July of ’14 with only 138,000 on it. We had planned to drive that car at least another three years, but sometimes life happens! Fortunately no people we injured in the accident!

    The CR-V replaced our 1998 Honda Accord that had 148,000 miles on it. I really wanted that car to go a bit further, but repairs we starting to be necessary – and some were quite expensive. The car’s Blue Book value at the time was only about $3,000 and it just wasn’t worth it to put that much money into a car that was worth less than the repair costs!

    However, even so, they both had a pretty good run and now we are on to the next set of vehicles. The cars are nice, but honestly, I feel like I need an engineering degree to figure out all the electronics in these vehicles. Since they both have a LOT of electronic stuff that seems “cool”, all I can see is big $$$ when they have to be repaired. Hence, both cars are covered under a ten year warranty to cover all of that stuff for a while at least. After ten years, if the cost of repairs is more than the car is worth, we have cash to replace the car!

    This may not be the best plan for everyone, but it works for us and allows us to avoid the uncertainty of hidden problems you are unaware of when purchasing used cars.

    If I was going to purchase a used car though, we were impressed with CarMax in our area. Most vehicles are very late models so you are buying ALMOST new for a discounted price and you can still purchase extended warranties if you choose to.

    I know a lot of people won’t buy extended warranties at all – and I usually don’t either. However if it is a product that may be subject to expensive repairs during it’s lifespan, then I consider it – depending on the replacement cost of the item.R

    1. J. Money says:

      A guy with a plan (who actually follows through with it!) – can’t hate on that :) Love that you all pay cash up front too AND keep a replenishing car fund! Smart!

  53. Jonathan Wheeland says:

    “You’re not in traffic, you are traffic.” Erik Johanson, Director for Innovation for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – Philly.

    A great quote to remember that our actions affect others.

    1. J. Money says:

      daaaaaang, good one.

  54. I live in an area where looks count when it comes to cars and my kids’ friends are fascinated by the manual window winders in my car.

  55. OMGF says:

    I got my car new when she was my company vehicle. I purchased her in 2007 when she aged out of the fleet. I think I paid $11,000 which I financed through my credit union and paid off at the beginning of 2010. I’ve owned her free an clear since then. She’s a 2005 Pontiac G6 with 159,000 miles. Her name is Silver Betty and I love her.

    1. J. Money says:

      Silver Betty! Awesome! :)

  56. Jakob says:

    I have a very untraditional combination of cars as I used to do motorsport on elite level when I was younger so I have a soft spot for cars. However, consumer cars does not really do it for me. Hence; I have a Peugeot 205 from 1994 as my everyday car which I use very little as I live in the city. I bought it for less than 1000 USD:-)

    And then I have two cars for fun! The first one is a Ginetta G4 from 1966 – number 230 out of 530 made. It does 0 – 60 in just under 5.5 seconds, but it is utterly useless for anything remotely practical… My second for fun car is an Austin Mini Cooper S from 1966 as well which I have inherited from my father. I love that car:-)

    1. J. Money says:

      oooooh fascinating! that Ginetta looks hot!

  57. 2007 Honda Ridgeline, 191,000 miles.

    Right about the time I realized owning an SUV was a clown car, I shortened my commute down to 3 miles or less. Now the pain of car shopping and the low residual value makes this not worth changing.

    2002 Jeep Wrangler is the other car, it gets about 3,000 miles a year and stays in the garage. It seems to go up in value now.

    1. J. Money says:

      love your blog name, haha…

      1. Works great until you try to shorten it to SIS…maybe I’ll just go with Mr. SI

        1. J. Money says:

          Haha… I like SIS actually – hard to forget that one :)

  58. 2010 Carola with 140k miles. I’m honestly making a game out of seeing if I can get this thing running past 500k miles.

    1. J. Money says:

      Oh how I hope you can pull that off!! That’s a legendary goal to be passed down through the generations! :)

  59. Cubert says:

    Let me know when you plan to update this wonderful post. I’d love to contribute about my little honey, a used 2009 Honda Fit automatic in Lighting McQueen Red. It’s bitchin. I can fit a refrigeration back there. And it looks wicked cool with tinted windows. Kachowww!!!

    1. Steve A. says:

      Hey Cubert! Feel free to send your contribution straight to me (steve@thinksaveretire.com) and I’ll get it included in this article. I’ll need a picture of your ride as well as a nice little description (love story?) of it. :)

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