When I moved in with my Eye Candy last year, I knew that my ride around town was a BMW - bus, metro or walking. When I was living downtown, this arrangement was fine! After all, I was in walking distance to not one, but two WINNERS stores!
But for the last few months, the commute to work or anything in the downtown core has taken its toll on me as a trip to work involves a bus ride (20 minutes) plus a metro ride (15 minutes)... and while that's not too long in the grand scheme of things, the Montreal's transit system is difficult to predict and there have been many evenings where I've been left stranded on the platform or waiting in snowbanks (another good reason to wear boots with the fur) for a bus to arrive. For the most part, my Eye Candy is wonderful as he drives me to the metro in the mornings and picks me up at night. But since I can't drive standard and learning it proved to be more difficult than I anticipated (those damn hills and stop signs), I've been left to rely upon the BMW. As he's travelling more & more for work and our puppy Fergie has become increasingly demanding, the need for a car was justified as the BMW was no longer practical.
Last week, we took a look a budgets and decided we could each spend up $350
a month on car payments. Our goal is to own it as quickly as possible and to minimize interest payments. This week's trip to car dealerships has shown me that it pays to shop around!
We settled last night on a MAZDA CX7. Please keep in mind that this is a couple car! While I'm sure he would prefer something more macho and rugged, I'd also prefer something girlie & cuter... but we are incredibly excited with our new chic cross-over wheels. And we're even more excited about the price!
We were able to trade in his current Volkswagon Jetta - and while it was appraised at 75% the value of similar cars sold on private sales, we do not have the hassle of selling and do not have to pay taxes as the full value is applied against our car. MAZDA was not going to give us the same amount as FORD, after some negotiations, they agreed to make-up the difference on the MSRP. Being the young one of this relationship came in handy as we received a $500 reduction in price since I'm a university graduate from within the last 5 years.
As we reviewed payment options, I felt all my year 1 Intro to Finance knowledge flooding back. "A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow!" Repeat. "A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow!"
I am able to put down $2500 towards to the car and my first instinct was to do so. We were intrigued buy MAZDA's 1.9% financing options over 60 months (the same as VOLKSWAGON, but much lower than FORD's 3.9%). But the icing on the cake was the 0% financing for 48 months. The 48-month payment comes in at $712 (at our maximum budget) vs $607 for 60 months. While our purse strings will be tighter for the next few years, we are not paying an interest and there was no reason to put down another $2500. This money is better off being invested where I can make a return. We go for our financing meeting on Monday night at the dealership and since we chose an in-stock model, it looks like we can have our car within the week!
All in all, we were able to get wheels and remain financially fabulous as we took the time to evaluate our budgets, investigate interest rates & trade-in options, and decided ahead of time what we were looking for in our first couple car. Now I just need a new pair of driving shoes that will complement our CX7's black mica shade...