Ask Bark: Buy Now or Buy Later?

In this week’s installment of Ask Bark, we hear from somebody who likes us!

Hey, Bark!

Have enjoyed you and your brothers work for some time now on all the various sites you guys post on. I have not purchased a new car in quite some time, like 15 years.  I do have a stable of older cars that include a e28, e30 a mini cooper, and the odd van etc. I have long been a Golf GTI admirer and feel it is getting time to purchase a new car.  My question to you is, should I try to purchase before the end of the year?

Can I afford to wait until the MY 18’s start appearing on the lots?  Of course, finding a 6MT S and lighting package could be more and more difficult.  Also any advice on securing the best deal would be helpful, like I said, I’m out of practice on the new car lot.

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and look forward to reading you in the new year!


Hey, Rolf! Loved you in “The Sound of Music.” Let’s talk a little bit about the pluses and minuses of buying at the end of the model year versus buying at the beginning of the next model year.

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Ask Bark: FWD Fun Or Depreciated Deutschland Delight?

Ask Bark is, for now, making its home here at Riverside Green. If you’d like me to tackle a question about car buying, or anything else, for that matter, shoot me an email at I’m always happy to help!

Let’s get to this installment, which comes from a gentleman with a bit of a quandary.

Paul writes:

I am 54 years old with two kids in college.  The 2012 focus titanium has hit 200K.   I am looking for a car.  I have potentially narrowed down my options to a new Golf GTI (~$27K) or a used 2015 BMW M235i xdrive ($29K).  The BMW would have one year certified BMW warranty.  I drive my cars until they die or until my kids hijack them.  Both are automatics (wife requirement).


Do you have an opinion?   Thanks.

Do I have an opinion??? As Liz Warren might say, do you know who you’re messing with?

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Ask Bark: There’s a Big Bubble Coming, and a Man Asks About a Mustang

When I started doing Ask Bark columns, I feared that every week would turn into “What’s the best sporty car I can get for under $10,000?” Since I no longer work there, I’m sure it’s completely fine that I tell you that the most popular search on that big, orange auto classifieds site is “Any make, under $10,000.”

Why? Well, anybody who’s anybody knows that used car prices are skyrocketing (yes, there was a dip in February, but that was an aberration). But why? After all, if used cars are lasting longer than they ever have before (and they are—the average age of the car on American roads is 11.4 years, and that’s after Obama paid $2.8B to take nearly 700,000 working vehicles off the roads), then why do prices keep going up? Shouldn’t there be more cheap cars on the road now?

You can thank the lease bubble. There are going to be 7 million lease returns flooding the marketplace this year. All of these cars were dumped on the market to keep the SAAR climbing and climbing to numbers that were completely unsustainable. Well, those cars are alllllll coming back now, and the residuals are too damn high. So all the lease returns going through the franchise-only auctions are being sold with insane reserves, but if the dealers want to have late-model, low mileage inventory, what choice do they have but to pay? And you know that they’re passing those savings right along to you, the people.

As a result, used car prices now average 60% of new car prices, the highest in history. Thanks a lot, you douchenozzles who leased $99 Cruzes with zero down—you’ve killed us!

There’s a whole article on this to be written, but since this is my blog and not something I have to write for a deadline, I’ll do it another time. Now, to the man with the Mustang question!

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Ask Bark LIVE with the Boost Brothers!

I’m thrilled to bring you the first of two Ask Bark LIVE installments with our good friends, the Boost Brothers. Today’s installment features a letter from a gentleman who’s looking to get a new car for his growing family (and he also has a RAV4 project car!). Somehow we manage to discuss the Crazy/Hot index, Craigslist personals, breast pumps, and Obamacare along the way. Check it out!

Ask Bark: Where Should My Boys and I Go For “Guys’ Weekend?”


In what should become a really awesome regular feature on this here blog, I am taking a question from a reader. Here it is:

Dear Bark,

Long time reader, first time writer here. Im looking to go spend the weekend with some friends of mine somewhere fun. We are all about your age (mid-30’s) and some of us are single and some are not but have been given a “hall pass” for a weekend. They’re all thinking Vegas but I think that’s kind of cliché. Where would you go if you could pick somewhere in the US to go for a guy’s weekend and do it relatively cheap?



Oh, dear Redacted, I have just the answer for you. But you’ll have to click the jump (or look at the above picture) to find out.

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