My new Car, drive or ship?

1996 Honda Accord
Looks great for a 15-year old car!

 

I have great news, I am getting a new car.  Well… a “new” car to me at least.  I will be buying a 1996 Honda Accord from my Grandma in Irvine, California.  It has 120,000 miles on it, was kept in superb condition, runs and drives great.  Lucky for this car it has been in CA its whole life.  So no harsh winters, therefore no rust.  Originally it was my aunt's car and now I'm buying it.  Accords are such good cars, we want to keep this one in the family.  I know I will be able to get another 120,000 miles out of it easily.  Maybe even get 300,000+ miles out of this car.  Hey, it's a Honda!  It can make it.

The only problem is… well… I'm in Baltimore, MD and the car is in Irvine, CA.  That's on the other side of the county.  My two options are to ship it through an auto transport company, or drive it on a fantastic road trip across the country.  I would love to drive it, but my family feel it's better to ship it and not put extra miles on the car.  My thoughts are “It will be an adventure.  Besides it's a Honda, another 3,000 miles is nothing.  It should make it back to Baltimore no problem!”  The car does need a few maintenance items before it could make a cross country trip.  The back tires should be replaced, it could use a new battery, a brake flush, and probably an oil change.  Just that, then it should be set.  I'm having trouble deciding.  Shipping would be about $800-1000.  Driving might work out to be about the same, but it would be an unforgettable journey.

I would love to hear suggestions, comments, or advice from people.  What are your thoughts?  Ship or drive?

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Leasing… Not a Good Deal!

Leasing is one of those To Good to Be True deals. It's actually one of the worst financial decisions for a person to make.  It's very enticing because you get into a new car at minimal cost.  Leasing just isn't a good deal!  There are many factors you need to consider.

If you lease cars for 10 years, it might seem like you are making a smart financial decision.  People think to themselves “Well… I only have a small monthly payment every month!”  That's not true!  Instead of your car costs going down over say a 10-year period, they will stay high.  Many people only look at their monthly payment, but you need to consider insurance.  You will always be paying for  for new car insurance.  Also when you go to turn in your leased car, they take a microscope and go over every little possible defect the car could have.  If you read your contract carefully…. you will see it clearly says that you are responsible for paying for anything they deem they want to fix.  You would be surprised they deem need fixing, but it it's totally within their right to charge you for it.

Your better off buying a new car and driving it until the wheels fall off.  Your maintenance costs will level-off over a number of years.  Many studies have shown this.  Also your insurance costs won't be as great over the same period of time.

If you plan to get a new car, just buy it and don't get a lease!

Credit Unions

Maybe you've past by a local Credit Union or heard from a friend about Credit Unions they use. If you are going to be financing a new or used car, then I would definitely join a Credit Union.

Financing through a Credit Union is always better than using a bank or dealership. For buying a used or new car Credit Unions are the only option I suggest. As my brother Aaron found when going to his Credit Union, the rate he was given was much better than any bank he went to. Also the rates for used cars are the same for new cars. At a a bank you might get quoted a new car loan at 5%, while used car loans are 10%. A Credit Union would charge you 5% for new or used cars.

Credit Unions have many advantages as well. They are actually non-profit and owned by the members not stockholders. They are typically small and customer oriented. Credit Unions offer great rates on other services and products. Typically your work will be affiliated with a Credit Union, so ask there first. You can look a Credit Union up in your area with the CUNA Credit Union Finder.