Saturday, 8 April 2017
Pete has a good one up on his blog about car ownership.
My Dad is a master mechanic that worked on everything from jet engines right on down to our dirt bikes and lawn mowers on the farm. Like Pete, he won't touch a new vehicle. Most mechanics are like that. Big Bro is the same. He isn't a mechanic and he has had some epic fails with used vehicles. He was trying to sell a used motorcycle he bought to some other sucker once and it caught fire and burned to the ground on his driveway. Both Pop and Big Bro looked down their long noses at me because I bought new and paid in blood to do it. Pop was a mechanical man and did alright with his used vehicles. Big Bro was a poseur and failed miserably and even spectacularly with some of his. I had no illusions about where I would land were I to buy used vehicles. (Mind you now that I think about it I DID buy a used ultralight aircraft and crashed it in a field of canola, so maybe I better not sneer at Big Bro too much).
My advice to young men goes contrary to that I see being meted out by my moral and intellectual superiors: I say buy new, but buy something REASONABLE. You got the warranties. Yeah, I know, the manufacturers can squiggle out of them. That used to be true, 20 years ago when the union slobs of The Big Three ruled the market. Now the Nippers are in like a dirty shirt and if nothing else they are raising the bar for everyone. There is cut throat competition in the marketplace and if somebody gets greedy and stupid - it's out there NOW and those guys live and die on PR. Most manufacturers take their warranties very seriously now. Buy new. Take care of your vehicle and treat it well. Today's vehicles will often go 15 ~ 20 years if they're taken care of. My pride and joy, a 1997 Jeep TJ, turns 20 years old today. I gave it to Flapz' 16 year old son and it's still going strong. She's a little rusty and tired, but she'll take care of Brayden if he takes care of her.
I may anger some folks here but I'm sorry. This is my life experience, based on what I have seen with myself, my family and others. It's subjective and even offensive... but, I will NOT buy an American car made by the Big Three. (My father, the master mechanic - will disagree with me on that so I concede I may be full a beans). Those unionized shits of The Big Three had my loyalty and they pissed it away. The Jeep was a life long dream of mine, I was raised around the old CJ's and Willy's and vowed one day I would have one of my own. After that, it was all Toyotas. They've never let me down. Mine is an 08 Tacoma or whatever that midsize one is and it runs great. The wife has a Rav and it's great too. Both those vehicles were built by Canadians or Americans - but as far as I know, no union slobs made a dime off them. It's a rotten thing to say but true - in the 70's and even early 80's those union slobs at the Big Three took no pride in their work, they built junk and they treated their employers and customers like crap. If anyone deserved to lose their jobs to robots and Mexicans - it's those guys. I've been on both sides of the union and I hate them with the heat of one thousand suns regardless of what industry they are in. Having said all that... those assholes are finally producing respectable vehicles today. They only reason they are is angry consumers like me forced them to.
That's the automotive world according to Filthie; your mileage may vary. Also, having said all that... I would stay away from Nissan too. Folks around here have had problems with them. Just sayin'.
New vehicles provide pride of ownership and that's a big thing for me. Back in the day I camped, hunted and fished in the back country where a breakdown meant a long, long, long walk. I had to be able to rely on my machines 100%. I buy them new - and drive 'em until the doors fall off.
When you pay the car off, don't just spend the extra money on something else. Keep that car payment but make it to yourself instead. In 5 years you will be more than able to buy the next one cash. If my truck blows up and burns down A La Big Bro... I will just sweep the mess and wreckage onto Uncle Bob's property - and go down and buy another one. It's an awesome way to deal with those bungholes at the dealerships too. "I'm buying today, I am paying cash, I want your lowest price and I'll call ya back once I'm done shopping...". THAT puts the fear of God into cheeky car salesmen. Most of 'em won't dicker much now anyways so screw 'em. And, once again, having said THAT... I usually pay at least half the vehicle up front and finance the rest provided the interest rate is 3% or lower. I think the wife's Rav is at 0.9%. I just want to pay it off and tell the bank to FOAD... but it's hardly worth it.
So that's my two bits and it's worked for me.