My New Car – 2002 Ford Focus

by Andy Hough on November 29, 2012

2002 Ford FocusI bought a new to me car, it is a 2002 Ford Focus. I paid $3000 which I considered to be a fair price, although the mileage of 181,000 is higher than I would like. Since the car gets about 30mpg compared to 16-18mpg for my van the car should pay for itself from gas savings in a little over a year based on my current driving habits.

I purchased the car with my credit card. I’ll earn a little cash back by using my card. I’m hoping that I can sell my van quick enough to pay the credit card off before interest starts accruing. If not then I might have been better off with different financing for the car. I’m thinking I should be able to sell the van for enough money to pay off the car plus put a little cash in my pocket. I’m also paying down the card as quickly as possible in case the van doesn’t sell as quickly as I hope. I have my 2000 GMC Safari up on Craigslist but so far the only responses I’m getting are from scammers. If any readers are looking to buy a van,contact me.

Now that I’m replacing the Safari with a Focus I no longer have the option of living in my vehicle. I still think I could live in a van if I were in a more suitable location. The Focus is a hatchback so I could sleep in it in a pinch but it wouldn’t be too comfortable. Sometime next year I’ll go camping in the Focus and see how well it works for sleeping.

Buying another car so soon after buying the van will cost me some money in depreciation, taxes, and fees. That money should be recouped fairly quickly from much lower gasoline spending though. I also saved a little money on rent during the months I lived in the van. I’m hoping that this car lasts for at least a couple years so that it will prove to a be a financially smart purchase.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

My Frugal Miser November 30, 2012 at 5:43 am

I’ve wanted to buy a car on a credit card to earn the points, but the only time I tried doing it, the dealer said they did not offer that as a payment option. Do you know of any rules around using a credit card to buy a car – price limits or only certain dealers accept them? Did you negotiate the price and then present your card, or did the dealer know you were paying with a credit card before you sat down to talk numbers?

My Corolla is doing okay now but I’d like to be prepared for when that changes. 181,000 on a Focus sounds like a lot of miles versus the 155,000 on my Corolla. Makes me want to drive it even longer just to have bragging rights.

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Andy Hough November 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I think using a credit card depends on the dealer. The salesman was a little reluctant to let me use the card for the entire balance but he allowed it. He was probably reluctant to put the price back to negotiation. I probably could have saved more money by being more aggressive on negotiating the price but that isn’t something I’m good.

My Toyota Corolla had 140,000 miles when I sold it. I’m hoping the Focus lasts at least that long.

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John S @ Frugal Rules November 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

When we bought our last car, the dealer allowed us to use our card for up to $3,000, so it was nice to get the reward points. 181,000 does sound like a lot of miles, but if its been treated right you should be able to get some decent wear out of it.

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Andy Hough November 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Maybe if I had purchased a more expensive car then I wouldn’t have been able use the car for the entire purchase. I’m hoping the car still has a decent amount of miles left in it.

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Steve Irwin November 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Congrats on the new car. Hope you sell your van soon. Sounds like you are doing well with new job and all that you are doing.

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Andy Hough November 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Things are going well. That being said, I’m making some big changes in December.

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