Long story short, I bought a new Nissan Versa a couple years ago after driving a Honda Accord that was costing me $4000 a year in repairs. It was such a nice change to be able to get to work on time! Anyhow, a couple weeks ago my Versa got trashed in a hail storm. Window glass didn’t break or anything, but, it’s got hundreds of dents. I was also a bit dumb when I bought it in that I bought the extended warranty. Now, I have a trade in quote where I will be out the door with a base Kia Soul for $20,000 after taxes and fees. That’s with rolling part of my loan over as my lien holder hasn’t gotten my insurance check yet. After they get the check, I’ll be due a refund of around $2400 from the lienholder and another $900 from Nissan for the unused portion of the warranty. I will throw most of that onto the new loan. Obviously, it’s not a steal, but, it’s not a total ripoff and the Kia comes standard with the 100,000 power train warranty so I don’t have to sweat stuff during the really long length of my payment. If not for the warranty on the Nissan, I’ve made enough extra payments where I would have broke even on the trade. When I look at what people pay, I’m paying probably about $1000 more than a good deal. I know that private party value on a 1 year old soul is about $15000 (Though in my area they are priced at $16000 +). Obviously, even after I apply the money from the warranty and insurance I will be upside down at least $1000.
But, that’s not that bad right? Back when I was younger and dumber I rolled thousands from one car into another and then was ridiculously lucky that my sister totalled the car and I had gap coverage. Then I went like a decade without a car payment and then bought the used Honda in a panic (My really reliable Saturn that never needed anything done blew up at 250
K miles) The used Honda was a total screwover. Even though it was a one owner car, it was such an unreliable vehicle. I was paying $250 a month for the payment and then paying thousands in car repairs which ended up on a credit card that is finally almost paid off thanks to having a new car. It took me two years to get enough money together to pay if off and trade it in.
I never, ever want to be in that situation again. That Honda almost lost me my job and left me with almost $10k in repair bills that I was simply trapped in.
The payment on the Soul will be about 12% of my monthly income initially. Of course, that will probably be lower after another $3000 or so gets put down on it when my checks roll in.
I’m not being crazy right? My dad thought I should keep the trashed Versa and drive it until it dies. I was originally going to keep the Versa for 10 years like my Saturn. The Versa also has a weird engine noise. If I have it fixed under warranty, than I don’t get the refund on the warranty so I haven’t done it yet. I don’t feel comfortable keeping the Versa if it’s already got a funny noise at 37,000 miles.
My Versa had a payment of only $218 which didn’t even feel like having a car payment and the Soul will have a payment of $306, but, it’s more car for the money.
(Additional details, spouse and I were lucky to buy a home during the recession at an all time low, we have a very comfy house payment and we love our house and never plan to move. Our payment with taxes and interest is less than half what rent is around here. My job doesn’t pay well, but it’s very stable with excellent benefits. We don’t have really any cash saved because in the past year we replaced the roof, flooring, central ac and water heater. )
I was feeling really good about my decision until I talked to my Dad… lol Now he’s got me second guessing the whole deal. Granted, he talked me into keeping the Honda! I was going to trade it in the first time the timing belt went. The timing belt went 3 times in the two years I owned it. One time it just went cause it was old, then the AC came apart and took the belt with it, then the master cylinder? Can’t remember. Anyways, I have plenty of reasons not to listen to him, but, he’s still in my head anyways.
Soul model is the base manual.