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vehicle frugality...

 
Posts: 499
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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Because I live and work 10 miles outside of town, a work truck plays a major role in my business. Years ago I came up with an approach which has worked out pretty well. I bought a new work truck in 1996 for $10k, drove it for 17 years, and sold it for $4k. This is what it looked like when it was sold.



Then I bought a new work truck for $19k which I'm driving today.



I buy new vehicles and maintain them myself, so over the years they're essentially trouble free. I also buy them for cash so I don't waste money paying interest and don't waste more money paying to insure them for a loan company. in 17 years, my old work truck was out of service only one day for new wheel bearings. I buy the cheapest stick shift model with a tiny engine and no options so there are less things to go wrong. They also get the best gas mileage which saves even more money. The one I drive today averages 24 mpg. A work truck is just another tool to use to make money, and over the years they more than earn their keep.
 
master steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Good approach!  I do the same and historically bought 3 year old trucks with low miles.  I figured the original owner couldn't do too much damage in 3 years if they were low mileage users (clearly an assumption).  And I saved 30-40% over the price of new.

That changed with my latest truck.  I wanted a 2WD, 4 cylinder, stick shift Tacoma.  They don't have that combination in Wisconsin.  Or the midwest.  Maybe one of those three features but definitely not all three.  So I had to either go 700 miles to Pennsylvania to look at a used one for $22K, or buy a new one for $25K.  So I bought my first ever new vehicle.  27.5 mpg so far since I've owned it.
 
Posts: 57
Location: Unincorporated East Bay Area, CA
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I am going back to the same thing next month when this lease runs out (long story...). It's what I did until my 40s, when I made my first mistake purchase. Used cars for cash is the way to go. I once bought a car for $650 that I drove the wheels off of, it got 40+mpg as well (Geo Metro). Plus I sold it for $400.

My best story is buying a used salvaged 1989 Honda CRX for $2500. I drove it 60k miles, it was stolen, I got it back with the stereo and wheels gone so I got the car PLUS $2000 from insurance, put free wheels on it and a stereo from the wrecking yard, then sold it for $2500!

It was a really economical and fun car too.
 
Greg Mamishian
Posts: 499
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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Mike Jay wrote:Good approach!  I do the same and historically bought 3 year old trucks with low miles.  I figured the original owner couldn't do too much damage in 3 years if they were low mileage users (clearly an assumption).  And I saved 30-40% over the price of new.

That changed with my latest truck.  I wanted a 2WD, 4 cylinder, stick shift Tacoma.  They don't have that combination in Wisconsin.  Or the midwest.  Maybe one of those three features but definitely not all three.  So I had to either go 700 miles to Pennsylvania to look at a used one for $22K, or buy a new one for $25K.  So I bought my first ever new vehicle.  27.5 mpg so far since I've owned it.



Toyotas make excellent frugal vehicles! That's really good mileage. Mine is always loaded down with tools and material so it doesn't do as well. And yeah, it's hard to find cheap vehicles with manual transmissions and no options. People don't want them so the car companies don't make them. Toyota even discontinued single cab pickup trucks. The cheapest 2020 Taco in California starts at $29k cash out the door.

We did the same with my wife's car. We sold her 19 year old car for $1,7k and bought this zippy little 2012 stick shift Yaris coupe new for $16.6k. So she got a brand new car for just under $15k. At that time there were only three stick shift Toyota coupes in California



Even though new vehicles are a cash outlay up front, by getting cheap no frills models over the years we save tons of money on gasoline, debt interest, and insurance!










 
pollinator
Posts: 1354
Location: RRV of da Nort
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Kali Gardener wrote:
My best story is buying a used salvaged 1989 Honda CRX for $2500. I drove it 60k miles, it was stolen, I got it back with the stereo and wheels gone so I got the car PLUS $2000 from insurance, put free wheels on it and a stereo from the wrecking yard, then sold it for $2500!



I just have to add this tale to your story, Kali.  A friend of mine was living in East Los Angeles for a while, keeping his Toyota Corolla diligently locked during his stay.  The safety measures didn't provide for long and soon it was stolen.  But it was miraculously recovered by the police.....with NEW tires!  The next time it was stolen it was recovered with a 5-speed manual instead of a 4-speed that he had purchased it with.....so he started leaving it unlocked in the worst parts of town after that :-)
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 3272
Location: SW Missouri
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John Weiland wrote:

I just have to add this tale to your story, Kali.  A friend of mine was living in East Los Angeles for a while, keeping his Toyota Corolla diligently locked during his stay.  The safety measures didn't provide for long and soon it was stolen.  But it was miraculously recovered by the police.....with NEW tires!  The next time it was stolen it was recovered with a 5-speed manual instead of a 4-speed that he had purchased it with.....so he started leaving it unlocked in the worst parts of town after that :-)



John: Hey, I want my work truck to be a manual instead of automatic (I didn't choose the truck) maybe I'll quit locking it!
 
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Kali, as zoon as i figure out how to turn a geo metro into a truck im all set.
I bought a head gasket online for $15.00 (with gasket set)and yesterday i put it in. Total cost..$15.00.

No interference engine, i keep spares in the car.

I buy my cars at auctions in los angeles.

On my last drive from arizona there was a radio advertisement offering new cars with SIX years no interest.  Auto industry is in trouble. Or is it us in trouble?
 
Kali Hermitage
Posts: 57
Location: Unincorporated East Bay Area, CA
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kevin stewart wrote:Kali, as zoon as i figure out how to turn a geo metro into a truck im all set.
I bought a head gasket online for $15.00 (with gasket set)and yesterday i put it in. Total cost..$15.00.

No interference engine, i keep spares in the car.

I buy my cars at auctions in los angeles.

On my last drive from arizona there was a radio advertisement offering new cars with SIX years no interest.  Auto industry is in trouble. Or is it us in trouble?



The auto industry is (IMHO) definitely in trouble!

I am in the process of figuring out what used car to buy this month as the lease expires. We have a 05 diesel truck we use just as a hauler, so we don't need a truck. The hubby has a 4 door "sports" car. I want a daily driver, dog, travel, haul a few bags of feed type car. Thinking of a used Subaru Forester but the gas mileage on them is terrible. It's tough, everything is so big now and so full of electronics. And the nice, reliable older cars have tons of miles... No wonder the auto industry is in trouble.
 
Greg Mamishian
Posts: 499
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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Our car and work truck were the two cheapest new vehicle models Toyota sold in 2012.



With what we got for selling our two used vehicles, the net total for both came to just under $30k. Most people pay more than $30k for just one vehicle.

We go for the luddite models with simple roll up windows, metal key locks, and zero options because in the long run they are the most economical. Same with appliances. "Smart" is the new dumb. (lol)
 
John Weiland
pollinator
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Location: RRV of da Nort
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Kali Gardener wrote:   We have a 05 diesel truck we use just as a hauler, so we don't need a truck. ...... I want a daily driver, dog, travel, haul a few bags of feed type car. Thinking of a used Subaru Forester but the gas mileage on them is terrible. It's tough, everything is so big now and so full of electronics. And the nice, reliable older cars have tons of miles... No wonder the auto industry is in trouble.



Does anyone know what the status, used price, and 'fix' was for the VW diesels in the US caught up in the exhaust emissions scandal?  They seemed to have great mileage, but I can't speak for the reliability and whether or not the diesel issue depreciated their cost...?  Perhaps a used Jetta wagon?  And what was the fix for the emissions problem?
 
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: San Diego, California
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I love my Yaris so much we got another one!  Quite a bit can fit in the back, especially with the seats down - huge load of firewood, lawn mower, goats, etc.

if only the hatchback window opened, even lumber would be a breeze to haul!

Versatile, affordable, and reliable
 
master steward
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Location: West Tennessee
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I live in the south, and The South is truck country. I was looking for a 4x4, V8, with an 8 foot bed. I didn't really care about much else, but hauling, towing, and being able to toss 4x8 sheets of plywood or 8 foot 2x4's in the bed, and close the gate, are important to me. I scoured dealers, Craiglist, even the "buy here pay here" shady car lots looking for something used, but not something that already had 300k miles on it with most of its useful life already gone. Everything meeting my criteria that had 150-200k miles was $16k-$20k, and I didn't want to spend that kind of money. So I started looking out of state, to the north. I found a 2009 gmc with 160k miles, meeting my criteria for $8500, in Illinois. The same truck in Tennessee was about $16k, give or take 15k miles. I bought a one way plane ticket, paid for it and drove it home, and saved a ton of money. It is the third pickup truck I've purchased in another state.
 
Greg Mamishian
Posts: 499
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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John Weiland wrote:Does anyone know what the status, used price, and 'fix' was for the VW diesels in the US caught up in the exhaust emissions scandal?  They seemed to have great mileage, but I can't speak for the reliability and whether or not the diesel issue depreciated their cost...?  Perhaps a used Jetta wagon?  And what was the fix for the emissions problem?



Diesel is over $5 a gallon in California.
 
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I switched over to Toyotas in 1994. In my driveway there are 5 Toyotas (I have 2 kids that drive). I keep them forever.

1986 4x4 - 400K+ miles. Used as a work truck around my hobby farm.
2001 4Runner limited - 250K mile (purchased new). Now is oldest daughter's
2005 Rav4  
2007 Sequoia Limited - 230K miles. Purchased new. Had 2 kids in car seats and 1 in a booster chair, was either a minivan, yellow bus, or Sequoia.
2017 4Runner 4x4.


Oil, tires, and brakes are about the only things that ever need replaced.

Here's a lovely pic of my ol' 1986 truck by our little guest house. My kids wanted to surprise me with a custom paint job. Yep she's roadworthy and makes into town (80K people) about 3 times a year. It's like being in a parade because everyone stares. I just wave and smile real big..."There goes those dirty hippies".




 
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hello, we had the same dirty trick played on us here in ireland with the vw diesel engine cars , it was a deliberate code written into the ecu to mask the sensor signal outputs when emission tested via the cars plug -in , the ob2 , they got away with it by offering a free service check and a low cost valet spruce up at the dealerships for all cars going back to the time period when they started this. They then corrected the code ---deleted it ---and of course you will now still magically pass an emissions test ---but your fuel consumption figures will be higher---than the promotional adverts claimed when you first purchased your new car ---as they were linked into trying to fiddle with higher kw output versus lower fuel use in the advertising war and the reduced road  tax offered on all cars with lower readings after carbon tax was introduced on all fuel in 2008. This boosted new car sales in a time when our economy was flushed down the crapper and we had to save the auto industry---again---also linked into the leading expert scientific numpty that the political leaders took advice from on how diesel fuel cars were going to save the planet from the evil carbon co2 petrol engine cars ---with their lower emissions and more miles to the gallon .He forgot to study the effects of nox
 
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