How one blogger bought a used minivan without borrowing a dime, just straight-up cash on the barrelhead. [No Credit Needed]

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  1. humphrmi says:

    How to buy a new car without borrowing money:

    1. Have more cash on hand than most people can afford
    2. Buy car with it

    Clear as a bell. I’ll get right on it.

  2. RottNDude says:

    Not only that, the brilliant man bought a used Chrysler, sight unseen (although he apparently doesn’t have to accept it on arrival).

    With zero percent financing and the American manufacturers regurgitating incentives left and right, I’m not so sure how smart this guy really is…

  3. buzzair says:

    How come there are no real numbers being provided? A newer van, a gold and two red ones? Can’t you be more specific?

    I would take this write up to be more creditable if I saw makes and models plus real quotes being provided.

  4. tozmervo says:

    I saw my car in the classifieds. Called the lady. Test drove it that evening. Brought her a cashiers check a couple of days later. Six and a half years later its still rockin’. I didn’t realize it was such a unique situation.

  5. somecop says:

    Buying something with cash? What a novel concept.
    Why is this news again?

  6. anon55 says:

    Buying a used vehicle without a thorough inspection by a reputable, independent mechanic? Absolutely nuts. The best cash I have ever spent buying a used car was $100 for an inspection by AAA.

  7. MadMolecule says:

    I also don’t get why this is so amazing. In 1999 I looked at a bunch of trucks until I found one I wanted and could afford. I took it for a test drive and then to a mechanic I trusted, who gave it a clean bill of health. I went to the seller and made him an offer of $2200, which he accepted, so I wrote him a check.

    Eight years later, the truck still runs like a champ.

  8. howie_in_az says:

    This could wind up being a very stupid thing to do if your loan rate is less than what you’d get investing the money.

  9. rjhiggins says:

    I bought my last three cars with cash. I’m not rich; I just buy what I can afford.

    This could be the dumbest post I’ve seen on Consumerist.

  10. velocipenguin says:

    How to buy a car without borrowing money:

    1. Find a car you can afford.
    2. Give the requested amount of money to the seller.

    Did this really need to be posted? This article explains nothing beyond the above two statements, but also suggests doing incredibly stupid things like buying a used car (and an American one, at that) sight unseen.

  11. tmanAg08 says:

    @rjhiggins: agreed. This is news?

  12. EtherealStrife says:

    The dealer is going to hold the check for 5 days while the funds move from ING to my checking account.

    Lots of people pay by check for cars. Making it to consumerist I figured you’d paid in 20’s or something. Or pennies. Pennies would be cool.

  13. balthisar says:

    Previous Chrysler minivan transmission is failing, so run out and buy another!

    Seriously, all of the American companies now have stellar quality, but… does that go also for notorious Chrysler transmissions? (really, I’m asking.)

  14. missdona says:

    This reminds me of my favorite Lifehacker post of all time.

    Quickly convert from the 24 hour clock
    [lifehacker.com]

    I still laugh about it and it’s been like, a year and a half.

  15. @missdona: That’s awesome!

    @somecop: It’s not news as much as it’s an opportunity for people to argue about about buying a car with cash vs a loan.

  16. Anitra says:

    I dunno, it seems pretty rare to me. Of all my peers, my husband is the only one I know who bought his most recent car with cash, rather than financing. If you have other debt (and most people under 30 do), you’re better off buying beater-type cars that you can afford, rather than paying $300/month or more for years… by the time you pay that car off, you’ll be sick of it and want a new one… or, you could get in an accident that totals the car and owe more on your financing than your insurance will cover. No, this isn’t far-fetched, it’s happened to at least 3 of my friends.

  17. NCN says:

    Just a little info. on me and my site – and why I wrote this post.

    A little more than 2 years ago, I decided to get out of debt – and start my blog. I am now debt free – and this is the first automobile that I’ve ever purchased with cash. In the past, I spent more than I should have on vehicles, because I could finance them. This time, I managed to stay below budget, get what I wanted, and pay cash.

    I really didn’t write this as a “how to” post… please note that the title says “Here’s how I…”
    and I ended the post w/ the following –

    I’m sure that there are savvier shoppers out there. I would never, ever purport to be an expert when it comes to buying or selling automobiles – but I think I did a pretty good job of finding a nice automobile at a decent price – so I’m happy.


    I’m glad that Consumerist linked to the article – but main purpose was simply to share what I had done and to celebrate the fact that I paid cash. As I’m sure that you figured out from my blog title, I’m trying to live without using credit – and this was the first , major, non-credit purchase for me and my family…

    NCN

  18. humphrmi says:

    The problem is that the implication here is that if you finance, you’re spending more than you can afford, which is just plain wrong. There are lots of reasons to finance, from the obvious to the admittedly corner-cases. For instance:

    - Someone can afford a beater, but they have 2 or 3 kids and need enough room for car seats. Just buy what you can afford! You won’t likely get into an accident!

    - The prevalence of 0% financing. Six to seven years / same as cash is smart, even if you have all the cash in hand. Put the money in the bank and make auto payments from the account, then keep what’s left after it’s paid off.

    Those are just a few examples. I’m not all for financing here, I live debt free myself. But I think that belittling people who finance cars for valid reasons isn’t a winning argument for living debt free.

  19. NCN says:

    @Humphrmi…
    When did I belittle folks who finance cars? I simply wrote about my own experience…
    In the past, I spent more than I could afford because I financed vehicles and focused on the payments that I could make and not the overall impact on my finances.
    (Please note the pronouns used!)
    NCN