I talked about getting a Mercedes...
In the end, when my opportunity came, my frugal nature still brought me back to the Toyota Camry.
Well, not entirely frugal, cos I ended up getting a new car.
The car is on lease means I "rent" the vehicle for 2 years.
At US$359.99 per month, I'd have spent a total of US$8,640 on the Camry at the end of the lease.
I could have bought some 10 year old cars at around this price AND I would be able to keep the car.
I could have gotten a Mercedes, BMW Z series and many other old cars at US$8,000...
A 10 year old Camry is around the same price as a 10 year old Merc or BMW. Cos of the expected maintenance cost of the luxury cars. So a Camry is expected not to have much issues even at 10 years old. Whereas a Merc/BMW is as cheap as a Camry cos they are expected to have more issues.
There were a few considerations to our decision.
1) We don't know how long we are going to stay in Houston.
2) It's an experience getting a new car.
3) It was supposedly a "good deal".
The main reason why we got a lease was mainly cos we didn't know how long we would be in Houston.
If I bought a car at maybe US$8k, if I were to sell it suddenly due to being sent elsewhere, I estimate I would be probably able to sell it with a US$3k loss.
Also, there's a potential for repairs and maintenance.
IF we leased and IF we get sent to another country or back to SG, the company would pay for the lease breakage. So, if like what happened in Paris, we were sent out of Houston after 6 months, we would pay US$360 x 6 months = US$2,160.
If it's 12 months, then it will be US$4,320.
So there's a breakeven point of around 9 months.
Of course getting a used car is probably more frugal cos 9 months breakeven is worth the risk cos anything after 9 months is "profit".
But I had to think about car breakdowns and any maintenance issues.
With a leased car, I can call for towing services or send the vehicle for servicing if there's any issue at no cost.
I'd admit, the idea of getting a new car had some effect on me. Hey, I'll never have the opportunity to drive a new car back in SG. So this is probably the only chance I get. AND furthermore, it's my "final" car, as in... even if I got rich suddenly, I think the most expensive car I'll ever buy is a Camry. So the idea of owning a new Camry was nice. I doubt I'll ever buy the second hand Merc I was talking about in my old post mentioned above.
Supposedly it was quite a good deal. Many dealerships have issues leasing a car to expats cos we don't have a credit score, so it's usually quite expensive. But I think my wife's company has an arrangement with some mobility company which helped us move here so the company has connections with this car dealership which allowed us to get the vehicle at quite a good rate.
I chose a Camry over the Corolla cos... Well, it's in Houston. Most people drive trucks. A Camry is slightly more hardy than a Corolla so if there's any accident. I feel safer being in a Camry and not getting flattened compared to if I was in a Corolla. Also, the price of a Corolla is around US$18k and the Camry is US$20k.
The dealership uses the sales price to calculate the monthly leasing price. So even if I got a new Corolla, it's going to be maybe 10% cheaper than the Camry... So of course I got the Camry.
I've been driving the Camry for around 3 months. It's a nice car.
It's new... It has a lot of power as compared to the old Corolla I used to drive.
I've driven at 90mph or 144km/h with ease. The Camry can handle that speed. No. I don't do that speed regularly.
When I drove the Corolla last time, I think staying at 80km/h was most comfortable for the vehicle any faster and the vehicle feels like it's struggling. That's expected cos the Camry has a bigger engine.
It's a new car. Of course it's a nicer drive.
BUT... both are still vehicles.
I like driving. But I don't love driving the Camry significantly more than the Corolla. Oh no doubt it's a nicer drive, but not significantly so much so that I'd pay more in SG to get a Camry. A Corolla is fine.
The Camry feels more spacious inside. However, I never felt cramped when driving my Corolla last time.
Also, the back seat of the Camry is supposed to be bigger, but once again, I don't/didn't carry passengers often now or last time so that's of little importance.
Overall, I'm quite happy that I got to try to drive a new Camry when I'm here in Houston. It's a bit more expensive than I would have liked. But it's something that I probably won't be able to try out in SG. Insurance is more expensive cos it's a new car, cos they have to insure a higher value.
Living overseas made me more willing to spend money. I think there's certain levels of uncertainty living in another country. So I'm more willing to pay for convenience.
Like I don't know where I can get reliable cheap tow services, or a mechanic which won't rip me off. So it's appealing to get a leased vehicle cos the company will handle all of that.
Or I rented a place which is supposedly more secure and convenient, near her office and near a shopping center with a supermarket and eating places.
I think the decision making process is different as compared to when I'm in SG. Cos I grew up in SG. I know where to get services and how things work. Whereas when I'm living overseas, I just tend to be more willing to pay for conveniences so that I don't have to think about other aspects.
I think I'll talk more about this in another post.
<<PREVIOUS POST // NEXT POST>>
Did you like this post? If so, could you "blanjah" me 1/4 cup of my morning coffee pls.
You may also consider subscribing to receive the articles in your email, link in the column on the right.