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    Hi there everyone,

    In an attempt to reduce our outgoings in VERY tight financial times, we decided to offload our company car and get another, cheaper one.

    Our current car (a Ford Territory) is 5 years old and is showing some signs of wear (nothing major). It costs us $870 in monthly repayments and it is pretty heavy on fuel, especially around town. We don’t need a car that costs us so much.

    In our line of work where we could work anywhere from the city to the bush, we need at least an AWD vehicle with a little more ground clearance than normal. I had for some time been toying with the idea of a Nissan X-trail, but new ones are pretty expensive. It just so happens that my Brother In Law works at a local car dealership and found us a 2009 Nissan X-Trail with only 25,000km on the clock which fitted the bill nicely, especially with the family discount. Monthly repayments have been more than halved and I guess so will be the petrol bills. Nice.

    Here is where the dilemma starts – and this might be a no-brainer to you all, but this whole process has become a bit confusing and my emotions have also become involved, so a bit of detached advice would be welcome. My wife is sick of talking about it, so I have decided to ask here! :-)

    The day we had the car yard send the invoice to the finance company (which, incidentally, took nearly two weeks to get right for one reason or another), we discovered the front drivers’ side guard had been repaired but painted quite poorly and the re-spray had also been extended into the front door. My wife, of all people, noticed this and brought it to my attention. I rang the previous owner who is a elderly gentleman and he explained the car was perfect but he had at one stage side-swiped a pole, hence the repair. No biggie I guess, but the paint repair is pretty bad. In some ways this turned me off the car, but the invoice had been sent to the financier, although at tis point we have signed no documents.

    The second issue is that what I think is a better car – a 2009 Hyundai SantaFe – became available and is only $2000 more expensive. It is slightly bigger, has more equipment and is diesel which of course means excellent fuel economy. I am feeling that this is the better buy for us, but am confused because we started this exercise to reduce our outgoings and the price is getting higher – albeit only by a couple of thousand dollars.

    I am feeling somewhat guilty because I am having trouble getting over the repair to the X-trail (should I really be concerned by this – other people might not be) and yet at the same feel a bit guilty that I am choosing the dearer car simply because it has more features (is this a case of materialism?), better economy and that it is in excellent condition – and of course no body repairs.

    Even as I type this it seems glaringly obvious to me that I should choose the Hyundai over the X-trail even though it is a little dearer, because it is bigger for all my gear, does not have any body damage repaired, is going to be more economical and has more equipment.

    As I said, this is probably obvious to you guys too, but I would appreciate knowing what YOU would do in this situation. Especially seeing as money has been tight and we need to make a SENSIBLE decision.


    • Total posts: 604

    the Nissan will have a better resale value than the Hyundai. That said, I’ve owned both, and both have literally gone for years with nothing more than a regular service.

    Which is going to be cheaper to repair and service? How long are you going to hold it for? If it’s more a short term thing (like 3 yrs), I’d probably choose the Nissan due to resale value, but if you aren’t thinking of updating for at least 5 years, I’d go the Hyundai

    • Total posts: 125

    If the Hyundai has better fuel economy then over what period of time would you recoup the additional $2000 plus interest on that amount. This might help make the decision as it seems that you’re main sticking point is that it’s $2000 dearer.

    If you purchase the other car will you regret the decision? Can you live without the additional features or are they something you really need and want?

    You might actually find that with the economy of the Hyundai being better, you’ll end up at about the same point financially 2-5 years down the track. Who knows, if you put the money saved on fuel towards paying a bit extra off on the loan, you might end up ahead.

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