17 year old going into Air Force basic, July 31st.. car questions?

I know what car I want, a Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline.. only problem is that I'm not too sure how to get there. I doubt I'm going to lease it because I would like to pass it down to my children someday, and would like to own it. I'm not gonna splurge my whole military fund, I just want this car cost around 30k(without the military discounts), so basically my question is.. how to get from no car, to Dodge Challenger by December 2012, - February 2013


ElGrande, with the usaa bank you do get cheaper insurance than usual correct? & I do understand what you're saying, but its just me, no girlfriend, wife or anything. I think I would be pretty fine with getting a somewhat decent car that cost 30k BRAND new, and I dont even want it brand new.. my enlistment is 6 years, and I havent even started it yet. Should I just pay for it in cash when I get the money. im sure it will take at least 3 years, and I could wait that.. any thoughts or comments?

Update 2:

-add, el grande.. so despite everything what will be the safest, most efficient way to get this car in the shortest amount of time & insured for the lowest price possible

2 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're about to make one of the BIGGEST mistakes that new recruits will encounter.

    (Setting aside the fact that qualifying for a loan for the vehicle at 18 will be a monumental task.)

    I have counseled quite a few of them, married and single. They all arrive at the same thought process... "I'm not paying for room/board, food, etc... I can go out and get my dream car!" My cousin was one of them. He wanted to buy a 370Z with his sign-on bonus money (which he DID NOT get in one lump sum as he thought), and was dead-set on it. I told him, "before you even seriously consider it, go call around and get insurance quotes." He did, and found that he would be paying almost as much for insurance that he would on the car payment itself. So, even with about $1200 a month in take-home after taxes, he was going to put out over $900 a month in vehicle expenses. This shut him down very quickly. Instead of making a fool of himself, he invested the majority of his pay, bought a $5000 car to get him through his enlistment, and now has enough cash to pay for 4 years of college. That education will take him MUCH farther than any silly car will.

    Another couple I counseled had already purchased a $70K SUV with their military pay. Despite being strapped for cash, they considered the "image" it brought much more important than having $$ in the bank. When they were discharged, and all of a sudden had to pay for the expenses the military covered in the past, they immediately had to sell that SUV. So now, they have stories of when they "used to have a $70K SUV". Now, they struggle to make ends meet.

    You're going to hate one more fact of life as well... the car is going to SIT for days/weeks at a time on base.

    Good luck to you, but set aside the dream car 'til you finish your enlistment. Sure, you'll see tons of morons driving around in Vettes and whatever... but most of them are either officers or idiots who don't mind mortgaging their futures for some stupid car. And those idiots won't have that car in 3-4 years, anyway.

    **ADD -- USAA will give you "cheaper" insurance, yes... but not "cheap" overall. You should definitely wait to pay in full. I had another cousin that returned from Iraq, saved his cash, and bought a Camaro SS in full when he returned... kind of his "welcome home to myself" gift. Since he paid for it in cash, had a good job waiting on him, and had no other debts, I saw no reason why he shouldn't do so. Keep in mind, a loan on a $30K vehicle (and yes, at 18 you WILL have a hard time getting financed) will run you around $500 a month. With your bring-home pay, your car expenses (even with "cheaper" insurance) will be well over half of your income. Banks will notice that when lending.

    If you're insistent, then save up and pay cash.

    I'm no expert, but I've seen MANY young recruits make HUGE financial mistakes when enlisting. You have to ask yourself "what am I going to do when I get out of the Air Force" and "what do I need in the bank in order to do it".

    (I have a SRT-8 on order, by the way... should arrive in a few weeks.)

    **ADD2 - Insurance-wise, USAA will of course be the best... there is no such thing as "cheap", but again they will be "cheap-er". As far as the funds are concerned, only you can answer that... you have several years to save up to purchase it cash. You know your monthly expenses, you know your budget. However, I will stand by my statement that financing at this age (and that's still a huge "if") is financial suicide. -- You sound like you're dead-set on owning this car, make sure you hold off all urges and buy it cash.

  • 8 years ago

    I'm confused.. Trying to get it for free?

    The only way to get a car is to pay it.

    Not really rocket science.

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