To buy, or not to buy?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mrmayhem4, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Mrmayhem4

    Mrmayhem4 New Member

    I'm really struggling right now to pull the trigger on a touring here in Illinois. $31,975 out the door brand new...

    I have a 9 year old Suzuki Kizashi worth less than $2000 but it still runs great with 102,000 miles on it. I just need a few minor repairs to keep it going flawlessly that would cost about $1200.

    I know the EV tax credit is expiring at the end of the year, so my rationale was to take advantage of that offer since it's like getting $7,500 for my older Suzuki, which will never happen again.

    For some reason I just can't stomach plunking down a down payment ($15K) even though the cash is there. It's almost like I feel guilty for spending money on something I don't "need". I think I can get the dealer to come down more based on EV forum posts, but still.

    This is tough and I really love this car.

  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    At the current prices after the $7,500 tax credit, it’s the cheapest car for its size, comfort level, and economy available. Then throw in the gas savings of $1,000+/- a year, three year warranty, new tires, reduced maintenance costs, and environmental benefits and how can you not buy it. And if the down payment hurts you too much, there are very good leasing plans reported with quite reasonable residuals if you want it after 3 years.
    Go for it! Sometimes you have to spend money to make or save money.

    Best car I’ve ever owned. All the benefits of EV driving in town but with no range anxiety or stops to charge on long trips. I’ll take 50 mpg on gas over those any day on trips. Just keep telling yourself how much money you saved over buying a Tesla. Post back and tell us how much you like it.
  3. RickSE

    RickSE Active Member

    The question is whether you can get another 10 years out of your car. Your getting essentially $9500 for your car so spending net $22k plus taxes and excise (if you pay that in your state). If you are going to put 1.2k per year into it for maintenance then it’s like 4 months payments on a new car. I got a great trade in on my used car so my Clarity cost me $900. I don’t think I would have traded in my car if I had to fork over $5k. But that’s just me and I’m a cheapskate. I’d run the numbers that way and see what you car afford or want to pay. And then of course balance that against the Clarity which is an awesome car.

    On gas mileage I did a 100% ICE trip today with three people and a trunk full of luggage. Got 54 MPG. Probably won’t get that on a nine year old car.
  4. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    All of us have different inputs into the buying decision.

    You said, "I know the EV tax credit is expiring at the end of the year." Then you know something that I don't know. Given the current sales figures, there's no chance that the number of cars sold will end the tax credit. Maybe the current administration will decide that we're not burning enough gasoline and end it, but I'm unaware of plans for it to go away.

    I was in somewhat the same place as you when I bought my Clarity. I had a very serviceable car with a bit over 100,000 miles on it, and I expect it would chug along fine for another 100,000 miles with me spending a whole lot less on it than I'm spending on car payments. But finances are not the only parameter, at least not for me.

    I find that I actually enjoy driving again. I get a good feeling by not burning gasoline. I feel like I am putting my money where my mouth is in terms of environmental issues. I have enjoyed learning about the car and what makes it tick. None of these are quantifiable in dollars. But they are important to me.
  5. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    There’s a huge “flaw” in your thinking. A 9 year old car with over 100,000 miles is not going to keep running flawlessly with only a one-time $1200 repair bill. And Suzuki parts will become more and more difficult to find. You need to realistically budget both money and frustration to keep your Kizashi running. I’m not going to tell you what to decide, but at least be honest about your old car’s needs.
    Texas22Step likes this.
  6. Roger Lambert

    Roger Lambert Member

    Trade in your old car and lease the Clarity. You can likely get a lease for $200.00 a month or less. That is what repairs on your old car cost.
    Texas22Step and bpratt like this.
  7. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    $2,400 in annual repair costs on a 100,000 mile car? Possible but not likely assuming the car has decent reliability for that model and year, data which would certainly be available by then. If a car however has known likely failures waiting for you then yes it might be time to get out.
    Bender likes this.
  8. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Out the door pricing is EXCELLENT !
    I'd get the car just because it's so rare, gets a lot of people turning their heads, and the ride is so awesome!
    Seriously, the battery warranty makes it so much more tempting and the fuel savings are amazing!

    However, I would not plunk down $15K for a car that will depreciate $10,000 as soon as you drive her off the lot.

    I'd choose the minimum down payment and then pay her off later after the depreciation hits the low point....
  9. Roger Lambert

    Roger Lambert Member

    He is at $100 per month for a solid year right now. Repair costs on a 10 year-old car with 100k miles go up, not down.

    So, you trade in that old car which costing you $100.00 per month minimum the next coming year. A new Clarity might be $200.00 per month - what that old car is already costing him for the coming year - at minimum - plus what that car will cost him at minimum for the year. IOW, $100 per month additional at his current repair rate. But instead, you have a new car for 3 or 4 years. At which time you could buy it for less than 1/2 of what you would pay today.

    The concept is called throwing good money at bad. The kicker is that with that Clarity you are not burning carbon most of the time, AND you are saving a ton on gasoline over the next 3 or 4 years. Each year the OP would likely save $1000.00 on gas every year. Basically, he would be getting a new car for $17 per month. Well, the privilege of driving a new car for 3 or 4 years for $17 per month.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  10. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I thought you were replying to the MNSteve post right before yours I realize now you were replying to the OP. Especially as pointed out that the $7,500 is not a given in future years so that should be factored in as well. Even if the math works out slightly in favor of keeping the old car there is certainly value in driving a new car especially something as enjoyable as the Clarity is.
  11. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    When I bought my Clarity, my Prius was 10.5 years old and had 188,000 miles on it. Since I kept it and drive it when hauling cargo, I can say that the Clarity makes the Prius feel and sound primitive. I wouldn't hesitate to grab one to replace a 9 year old car - consider it a reward for all the money you saved up to this point. In short, I think you'll enjoy the quiet, the smoothness, and the modern features even more than you anticipate you will.

    However, I find the $200/mo lease to be a bit misleading. Sure, they may be advertised as such, but you have to include the down payment. I had mine calculated with no down payment and am paying $276/mo, with 15k mi/yr rather than 12k. Buyout after 3 years is $13,700.
  12. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    You should look at your electric versus gas cost, and possible usage and savings.
  13. Roger Lambert

    Roger Lambert Member

    He has a trade-in.
  14. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    OP, two other things to think of, 1) what state do you live in, and what is your cost of electricity? That is a major consideration. I am in CT, where we pay over 20 cents per kwh, so fuel savings are not as big as people in states where electricity is closer to the national average of 13 cents per kwh. 2) cost of insuring the car. Insurance on a car with a value under $2000 will be much cheaper than on a brand new Clarity with such a high sticker price.
  15. Roger Lambert

    Roger Lambert Member

    My cost of insurance for the Clarity is only $100.00 more a month than my 14 year old Infiniti G35 coupe. But, I am an oldster.
  16. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    $22,000 after rebates is a ridiculously low amount to pay for what I and most people on this blog think is an absolutely wonderful car. you won't want to trade it in. It is much better than the 2002 Acura TL I owned and paid $28,000 for at the time! BUY IT!
    Texas22Step likes this.
  17. Can you share which dealer is offering such a deal?
  18. Mrmayhem4

    Mrmayhem4 New Member

    Napleton Honda in Oak Lawn, IL. Be careful though because the showroom black Clarity had deep gouges on the fenders and a very noticeable paint imperfection on the hood the size of a quarter.
  19. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I am also a very frugal car buyer, but this car is awesome. It was a no-brainer with my 80 mile commute (40 each way,) $4 gas in Ca, Govt rebates, HOV access, and free charging at work.

    But aside from that, the adaptive cruise control is the greatest thing that I've ever experienced in owning a car (use Sport mode for sure.) It makes my traffic filled commute bearable.

    And aside from that it is quiet and rides very smoothly. Go ahead and pull the trigger- you won't regret it.
  20. Texas22Step

    Texas22Step Active Member

    You can get lost in the many details of maintenance costs, comparative costs of gasoline and electricity, etc., but the Federal tax credit alone would strongly support a positive decision for your purchase or lease of the Clarity. Your post makes it clear that you can use all of the $7500 tax credit, which is money that you would otherwise pay anyway to the government. You have a chance to divert those monies to your own use and for your own benefit instead of ritually paying the government that $7500. Not a tough decision, IMHO.
    MajorAward likes this.

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