Best car for ERE

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OldPro
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Best car for ERE

Post by OldPro »

So what's it gonna be? A compact, 4 cylinder banger for $1000 or................

Now before you answer, let's set a few ground rules. First, I don't wanna be a monk living in a cave who can't get a date ever and walking around asking if any woman/man wants to go out with me because I'm a really nice if desperate guy/gal. I'm just a (example) healthy 35 year old guy/gal who likes to live frugally on a relatively low income which I have without having to work for a living. I'm an EREer. What car should I buy?

My suggestion is a classic car. Now before anyone says, 'yeah right, that fits the EREer lifestyle and budget', ask yourself why it doesn't?

Here's my justification.
1. Older cars are self-repairable and maintainable far more so and easier than newer cars are. Appeals to EREers?
2. Insurance is actually cheaper on classic cars than new cars of the same value. Appeals to EREers?
3. Unlike other cars, the value of classic cars can increase over time. Appeals to EREers?
4. You can buy something that looks great but doesn't cost any more than something that just looks old and used. Appeals to anyone who want's a car?
5. Not all classic cars cost big bucks. There are some that are undervalued because they are not considered as 'desirable' as a 'collecter's car'.

Do you want to show up for a first date in this?
https://img.4plebs.org/boards/o/image/1 ... 012912.jpg
Or in this?
http://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/images/102308car.jpg

Average price and value over time for the second one, is here: https://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools/ ... ?vbe=91308

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fiby41
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by fiby41 »

OP wrote:Best car for ERE?
None.

I remember a comment on the blog that said something to the tune of "what expectations are you setting up if you are already flaunting wealth that way for that?"

If you do that, you cannot be surprised when you ask the other person to join in your frugal lifestyle when things move forward and they feel like they've been deceived.

It is like you promise something and deliver something else. Better to be consistent in your principals/values from the get go so that there's no misunderstanding. This also acts as a filter and removes all the undesirable choices eg spendthrift, materialist people.

KevinW
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by KevinW »

This has been discussed a few times and also has a wiki page: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/wiki/ ... le=Driving

Briefly,
- fiby41 is correct that the default answer is that no car is best.
- The ERE book makes a compelling case for bicycling being more economical than walking or driving.
- That wiki page makes the case that, if a car is a must, the "beater," "lifer," and "classic" (as OP suggests) can be ERE-compatible. Which of the three is optimal depends on how the rest of your lifestyle works; how much you are willing to invest in space, tools, and skill, and what features you need from the vehicle.

The "date factor" is highly subjective and not a universal ideal. But, for the sake of discussion, IMO the following would work as classics and demonstrate understated class: BMW E30, Mercedes 230SL, Alfa Romeo Spider, Datsun Z-car; 1990s Lexus LS, BMW 7er, MB S-class, or Audi A8.

Then again, if the goal is to find an ERE-tolerant partner, gauging reaction to a beater K-car, VW Bug, or 1980s Corolla might be more instructive.

vexed87
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by vexed87 »

I get what you are saying about a monk in a cave and all that, but I wouldn't want to attract people who are shallow enough to care about my car. I've worried about that in the past and the relationships didn't last longer than any surface interactions. Of course, if getting lucky is your priority, go for a classic car over a beater any day.

However I have to make my argument, being the cycling enthusiast that I am, I now get around solely by road bike and it hasn't hampered my luck with the lady in my life. In fact, I'd wager if I was single, my bulging calf and thigh muscles and lean physique (~6% body fat) makes me far more attractive to the opposite sex than old me driving around in my flash car.

Also, the cardio fitness has other benefits :lol:

Some dudes are fearful of turning up to a date in lycra, and probably with good reason, so I'd just turn up in a taxi. :)

Chad
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Chad »

If you want a car I think MMM has the right philosophy...

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/ ... rt-people/

Not that I followed it.

Dragline
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Dragline »

I've driven old cars off and on during my adulthood, starting with a 1962 Ford Falcon that I bought in 1986 and drove until 1993. It worked for me at the time, but I don't think most of your premises hold up well:

"1. Older cars are self-repairable and maintainable far more so and easier than newer cars are. Appeals to EREers?"

No cars are self-repairable. Older cars may be easier to repair by one's self. But finding parts may be more difficult. Older cars typically require more care more often, even if its trivial, like oil changes and adjusting carburetors and spark plugs. The risk of a major failure such as a transmission or motor is also increased, as older cars were typically not designed to last beyond 100K miles, if that, and tend to rust much more easily than modern cars. Finding one that drives forever is the exception that proves the rule.

Bottom line is you need to enjoy working on these things for this to make sense. They take up your time.

"2. Insurance is actually cheaper on classic cars than new cars of the same value. Appeals to EREers?"

My experience is that its about the same -- it depends largely on how much the car is driven and the characteristics of the driver. I only buy liability insurance -- there is another thread about that.

"3. Unlike other cars, the value of classic cars can increase over time. Appeals to EREers?"

I don't think this is correct if you are planning on driving the vehicle regularly. At best, it won't decrease in value. Cars as an investment are usually quite a poor investment, unless you are talking about museum pieces. Maintenance and storage costs must also be subtracted.

"4. You can buy something that looks great but doesn't cost any more than something that just looks old and used. Appeals to anyone who want's a car?"

This is correct. But not all more recent used cars look bad and not all classic cars are attractive.

"5. Not all classic cars cost big bucks. There are some that are undervalued because they are not considered as 'desirable' as a 'collecter's car'."

True -- but then you are not talking about something that would qualify for point 3.

John Goodman's advice on cars is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdfeXqHFmPI

I also love watching this guy, who also recommends buying older Toyotas because the engines and transmissions work forever. Here he his telling you why NOT to buy an older hybrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYpIjnBGL-E

BTW, I still own a '63 Ford Ranchero and a '48 Plymouth that I need to get rid of if you're interested. ;)

cmonkey
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by cmonkey »

For me, it's GM's widebody line, Grand Prix in particular, but really any of the 3800 engine cars. The engine/tranny will last a long time, the parts are very common and fairly cheap (because so many were sold), its very easy to learn how to do the repairs, and you can get a decent 3800 car for 5K or less these days.

I bought my 98 grand prix back in 2005 for 5K cash and have never looked back. 205K miles and running great.

For me, the "reliability" of a new car is heavily offset by the price tag ; particularly when you consider that the reliability will eventually be the same as any older car in the long run. Find a car you can fix yourself, drive it once a week and enjoy a lot more money in your pocket.

If you need hauling capacity, go for an older Toyota truck (as we also did). The older Tacoma's have a nice bit of charm around them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Tac ... 7-2009.jpg

Peanut
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Peanut »

I wouldn’t want to drive either one of these, but I would think if a guy has the confidence to show up to a date in the first car, he’s got it made.

JasonR
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Re: Best car??? for ERE

Post by JasonR »

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Last edited by JasonR on Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by jacob »

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Well-Pract ... 1581602820 makes the case for classics (no it's not the one on the cover).

For ERE (the principles of systems theory), you should first consider car as part of a system. Mostly a car serves as a "transportation solution" for those who have a "transportation problem". I admit that a car might also serve as a "dating solution" to a possible "dating problem", but keep in mind that "kids" (Gen Y) these days seem to place far less emphasis on one's wheels than do older generations. To impress the average date, you might be better off with a latest gen smartphone. No, I don't get that either but it is what it is. Then again, if you're ERE, what are you doing with an average date? ;-P

It also depends very much where your hypothetical 35 yo lives. For example, car ownership in downtown Chicago, New York, or most other metropolises with a functional public transportation system and nowhere to park would be a major hassle. For example, when we moved to Chicago, we quickly found that a major fraction of the driving we needed to do was to go around the block(s) every damn Thursday to find another free parking spot (not easy!) to get out of the way of the weekly street sweepers. Everything else was walkable.

Transportation hooks into the system in terms of where you live in relation to where you need/want to be. Consider moving closer or finding other ways of satisfying the need (Amazon prime?). There are very often several alternatives to four-wheeled driving that aren't considered in this car-centric culture. Also consider that driving doesn't create the same health benefits as walking or cycling. If driving, then this problem [of being fit and adding several years of lifespan over a sedentary driver) is not automatically solved and must be solved in other fashions.

However, sometimes a car may really be the only option such as when living 60+ minutes of driving from a city (if your commute is that long or you really need to go that far to buy a hamburger, consider moving instead) or living on a farm and needing to haul feed for the animals, etc.

Having considered all this and the cost of driving and not exercising automatically and factored it all into various solution sets and having determined that a car is the best overall solution, the above suggestions for specific models are all good. In particular if you have the mechanical skills to make ownership practically free.

Don't forget that direct costs of car ownership sucks up 20% of the average consumer unit's income. If that amount of money is added to savings instead, it's worth years of no needing to work.

DSKla
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by DSKla »

I'm not convinced of the dateability drag of not having a fancy car. I have a beat up, 16-year old Japanese pickup, and the reaction I would usually get from new dates upon seeing it is, "I couldn't imagine you driving anything else. That's so you."

Was never sure whether or not that was a compliment or a jab, but either way, it never scared anyone off.

Edit: I am male, dating females, for what it's worth. That usually the combination that has to worry most about cars. Men don't give a rat's ass what a girl drives. Not sure how it works in the homosexual community.

Scott 2
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Scott 2 »

If your success moving towards ere hinges on having the "right" car, you're doing it wrong.

A car is a luxury, an optional expense, in either money or time. Nothing wrong with it if you enjoy the lifestyle it enables, but it increases the resources required for financial independence.

Most of us are indulging in some luxuries at the expense of a longer timeline. It's just a question of choosing the ones we value - as Jacob posted earlier, optimizing the constraints.

sky
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by sky »

A compact, 4 cylinder banger for $1000. If one must own a vehicle, this is the correct choice.

Ydobon
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Ydobon »

We got a free car from a relative. Despite being a gift and a low maintenance Japanese small car, I'd absolutely agree that no car is best. Even a free car ends up surprisingly expensive, maybe £150/mth all in?

Planning on driving this one until the wheels fall off and then we will join a car club for activities where children make a car helpful and bulk shopping etc.

I wouldn't feel comfortable cycling in my city, a lot of crazy drivers :shock:

vexed87
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by vexed87 »

Ydobon wrote:I wouldn't feel comfortable cycling in my city, a lot of crazy drivers :shock:
Sorry to divert the discussion, but this is an important observation that needs challenging!

This seems to be a key excuse for lots of people when it comes to sticking with the car. It's fair to say safety and infrastructure for cyclist has a long way to go in many cities in order to encourage more out of their heated sofa's on wheels and on to a bike, but infrastructure only needs to be put in place to change people's perception of safety. A seasoned cyclist knows how to mix with the traffic and cares not for segregated lanes or fancy lines marked on the road, the only thing that needs to change is the attitudes of city planners and politicians that more cars and roads and lanes is the way forward. Instead new and existing roads need to be (re)designed to accommodate all forms of travel and not favor one over the other, i.e. 60mph limit roads as main route into urban areas.

Unless you are riding your bike on a motorway or wobbling/swerving around the road, the risks are massively overstated. You are more likely to be killed or seriously injured (KSI) in your car than on a bike, and that's even before you factor in the health benefits! Jacob did a really good job of dispelling the perceived risks, and dodgy stats behind the dangers and risks of cycling as a means of transport in the ERE book.

If you factor out:

the accidents involving children (highly unlikely to be taking care/following the highway code),
those that ride without lights/reflectors in the dark,
those that ride on the pavement and out into junctions where a car would not expect to see you,
those who ride the wrong way down the road with headphones on,
those drunks (idiots) on bikes...

well, the stats on cycling tell a different story to everyone's perceptions of cycling safety. I can guarantee that your town is no more or less filled with crazy drivers than mine. Leeds is well renowned for being pro-car, it is by definition a motor city, in fact a motorway practically runs right down the middle of it, yet there has been a huge surge in cycling since the Tour de France rolled through town last summer. I think we are reaching critical mass, where cycling can no longer be ignored, and the ERE crowd need to be at the forefront of the change, as we all know, it starts from the bottom up!

Scott 2
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Scott 2 »

Part of the problem with a car is the behavior it enables.

Taking a quick lunch out or running over to the store for "a few things" becomes so much easier.

Developing self reliant consumption patterns is hard. A car makes it easy to avoid the necessary change.

I got my first car at 27, used, from my grandma. It's shared with my wife. I've got the capital for it though. Before that, we'd walk, take cabs, rent, get groceries delivered, etc. It was all cheaper. I had more free time too.

Bikers can be a headache by me. Very frustrating to get stuck behind a pack of 30 Lycra clad middle aged men, going 10 mph on $2k+ bikes, riding 3 deep for blocks on a curvy road. The infrastructure of trails and paths is pretty good in my area, but for some reason they insist on riding in the street.

Ydobon
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Ydobon »

I'm sorry you typed all that for my benefit.

I'm not a seasoned cyclist, there would be every chance that I would be swerving and weaving without meaning to!

Now where are the stats on the safety of new car drivers vs. new cyclists?!

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by tonyedgecombe »

Scott 2 wrote:Bikers can be a headache by me. Very frustrating to get stuck behind a pack of 30 Lycra clad middle aged men, going 10 mph on $2k+ bikes, riding 3 deep for blocks on a curvy road.
Sorry I made you lift your foot off the throttle and put it on the brake, I'll try and be more subservient next time so you don't need to move your right foot quite so much.

Ydobon
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Ydobon »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Scott 2 wrote:Bikers can be a headache by me. Very frustrating to get stuck behind a pack of 30 Lycra clad middle aged men, going 10 mph on $2k+ bikes, riding 3 deep for blocks on a curvy road.
Sorry I made you lift your foot off the throttle and put it on the brake, I'll try and be more subservient next time so you don't need to move your right foot quite so much.
Is it necessary to take it personally?

There's a big difference to driving along behind an experienced cyclist and the example cited (of a large group of slow moving 'weekend cyclists' (my quotes, not Scott2's).

It can be quite worrying driving behind a particularly slow or erratic cyclist, I don't think that's an unfair comment.

It reminds me of many, many comments from my driving instructor along the lines of 'if you force someone to change their speed or direction unreasonably, you're driving badly'. That applies equally to cars/bikes/boats/whatever. There's nothing wrong with using the brakes/slowing down, but even other cyclists seem keen to overtake the trundling road hogs.

I am not sure why cycling/car driving is always such an emotive topic.

Peanut
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Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Peanut »

Ydobon wrote: I am not sure why cycling/car driving is always such an emotive topic.
Because it's a jungle out there.
Me, I hate all of the following: reckless drivers (75% of all drivers in my estimate) who don't believe in crosswalks, turn signals, yellow lights, speed limits...; bikers on the sidewalk who almost run into me; jaywalking pedestrians who do run in front of my car.

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