After deep deliberation, I decided to pass on buying the $550,000 Mercedes G650 Maybach. It just felt like too much to spend on a family car when I could invest the money and earn $20,000 a year in passive income forever! Instead, I bought a family car for safety first.
What type of family car did I buy? I bought a late model 2015 Range Rover Sport V6 HSE with 11,200 miles in Santorini black with black leather interior.
It's in perfect condition with a warranty until July 2019. The original sticker was $76,000 before tax or roughly $83,000 out the door. Such good value compared to the G650 Maybach right?
Safety First: Family Car
Small cars like my Honda Fit are absolutely wonderful in the city. Parking is a breeze. Gas mileage is awesome. And they're inexpensive. Unfortunately, I've noticed a surge of big cars dominating the roads, bullying smaller cars like mine.
I've never been cut off, tailgated, and snaked at a four-way intersection so much as I have with my Fit. It was when I saw a car plow into another car on a quiet neighborhood street that I decided to make the switch. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is on the rise.
I've been eyeing this all-wheel drive vehicle for three years ever since Land Rover finally updated its previous Range Rover Sport model that lasted from 2005 – 2013.
I used to drive Moose, a 2000 Land Rover Discover II from 2005 – 2012 before finally giving him up after not wanting to fix the warning lights on his dashboard for $1,000. He never would have passed the smog check and he was only worth $3,500 in the end.
Waiting until the second or third year of a new model is always a good idea so the manufacturer can get as many of the kinks out as possible. Further, buying a two or three-year-old vehicle skips the largest part of the depreciation hit while still having a warranty.
How The Transaction Went Down
I was searching on Craigslist one evening for a family car when I stumbled upon an ad by Audi Marin for $64,770. I bookmarked the ad and continued scrolling when I found another ad five spots down for the same vehicle by a private party for $61,000!
When I contacted the private party to ask if it was still available, he said he sold it while he was away on business. I asked him whether his car was the one on Audi Marin's listing, and he said yes. Then he told me he hadn't yet got a check from Audi Marin and was headed over there to get his car back due to so much demand from his Craigslist ad.
He told me the next person who gives him $60,000 gets the car.
Sensing an opportunity, I told him I'd meet him the very next day near his house. I took the car for a test drive and inspected everything. This was even though it already went through a 200-point inspection by Audi Marin before they could purchase it. Audi Marin also changed the oil and oil filter as well. Double score.
Negotiating The Family Car
When it came time to seal the deal I told the seller I'd pay $58,000 cash. The condition was only if he could sell the car to me that moment. We could go over to my bank and I'd cut him a cashier's check.
He hesitated for a little before I told him, “Seize the moment. I'll be the smoothest private party transaction you'll ever encounter. Your wife already bought her new Audi Q7, so it's time to simplify life with only three cars!“
He agreed, and we wrapped up the transaction in 35 minutes at a Citibank branch. I then dropped him off at a steakhouse along the way to SF. He was meeting his wife for dinner there. It feels great to pay $6,770 (10.5%) less than the dealer's asking price. I also paid $18,000 (24%) less than new with so few miles and two more years left on the warranty.
Although I had been eyeing the new Range Rover Sport for over two years, I'm never one to buy anything on the spot. But because the seller showed up on time, was a fellow entrepreneur, and was friendly to talk to, I felt I could trust him. He wasn't hurting for money either since he had the title in hand. All he wanted was a smooth transaction, which is exactly what I wanted too.
In case you're wondering, the seller's other two family cars are a $120,000 Tesla Model X and a $40,000 Ford F150 he uses for his business. He's in the food production business.
Didn't Buy The Family Car For Me
Do you know how you sometimes buy a gift for your significant other, but it's really a gift for you too? Well I've decided that Moose II is really a gift for my son via my business. He just doesn't know it yet! It's a great way to feel better about spending so much money, despite being $492,000 cheaper than the G650 Maybach,
I would never forgive myself if something were to happen to my family in an accident just because I wanted to save money. The Honda Fit's doors are too thin. Further, the crumple zones are too shallow for me to feel safe with a baby on board after researching the safest cars to survive a crash. It doesn't matter if I'm the best driver on the planet. All it takes is one reckless driver to ruin our lives.
It's funny how everything changes once you have children. The idea of getting a sports car has gone completely out the window. If you want one, get one before having kids. Safety is now my #1 priority, followed by comfort, and then performance.
There's a chance I might hold onto Moose II for 16 years and pass it onto my son. By 2033, Moose II will only have ~75,000 miles since I only average about 4,000 miles a year. But I'm hoping by then, there won't be a need for any of us to drive ever again thanks to self-driving cars and better public transportation. The last thing I want is a teenager driving behind the wheel!
Plans For A New Safer Car
Our goal as parents is to live as long as possible to ensure our kids become independent adults. We should own safe cars to minimize the chances of getting seriously injured in a crash. Today, I've owned my Range Rover Sport for six years now. Given my ideal length of time to own a car is 10 years, I still have four years to go.
Somewhere around 2026, I plan to buy a new electric vehicle. There should be a lot of safety improvements over a 10-year time frame. Further, electric vehicles tend to be safer given there is no motor in the front. My hope is that self-driving technology will also improve by then as well.
I'm eyeing the VW ID.Buzz as my next car. But in the meantime, I'll continue enjoying my Ranger Rover Sport!
Check for better auto insurance
Auto insurance is the second biggest expense to owning your car. AllState is one of the leading online market place to help you find the most affordable and reliable auto insurance.
It is very important that everyone gets at least basic liability car insurance. You can total your car and be fine. But if you total someone else’s car and injure them, they can go after you for ALL your assets and wipe you out.
Readers, how much do you think about safety when it comes to purchasing or driving a family car? Why pay full price and maximum tax at the dealer when you can save purchasing from a private party? Oh yeah, feel free to judge me on my car purchase. It's fun!
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Related: Is Owning Two Cars Worth It?