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We Paid Cash: A New-to-Us Car

We paid cash!

A testimony from Victoria

With 2 young boys, our growing family wanted a bigger vehicle. It was complicated trying to pack 2 boys, 2 carseats, a stroller, and all the bags that go with young children into the trunk of a car!

I wasn’t ready for a minivan, and neither was my husband, so we began searching for an SUV with a third row.

Finding something in our price range was extremely difficult, but after a few months of searching, we found a vehicle that we loved. It did have more miles on it than what we wanted, but the price was right!


We were able to pay cash for this vehicle, while still maintaining a healthy emergency fund because my husband sold his beloved four-wheeler, and we put our entire 2013 tax refund towards the vehicle. We also got a nice trade-in value for our car, which helped a lot.

Helpful Hint: I suggest trading-in over selling privately. When you trade in, the trade in value comes off the purchase price of the car, therefore you pay much less tax!

Because we saved so much by paying cash and because the vehicle did have over 100,000 miles on it, we were also able to pay cash for a 4-year, bumper to bumper warranty. We hope this will also save us money some day!

Victoria is a wife and mother to two busy boys! She also works full-time as a mission trip coordinator for a non-profit in Indiana (best job in the world!). In her spare time she enjoys running, camping, and attempting to re-decorate her home.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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  • Jen says:

    Most of the time trading in your car is not a good choice. Selling your car yourself usually nets more money. We bought a new car this summer (paid cash!), the dealer only wanted to give us $2000 for our old car, and we were able to sell it ourselves (Craigslist) for $5500.

    • Victoria says:

      In this case, trading was the best option for us, because the trade in value comes off the price of the new car so you pay less tax. Selling our car outright would not have made us any more money, because it would not have made up for the extra tax we had to pay.

    • Of course, every situation is different. It pays to do some research on car value vs. trade-in value and how your state taxes vehicle sales with a trade-in. (In some states you don’t get a tax discount with a trade-in.)
      We just traded in for a newer car too. In our state, the difference in tax made it worth it for us to trade, plus our dealership was offering a bonus on trade-ins for our particular car because they were low on used models.
      Congratulations on your new car, Victoria!

  • Quinn says:

    Congrats on your new car that is paid for!

  • Brit says:

    I love these We Pay Cash posts. We paid for our new to us minivan and we traded our vehicle to the dealer because the check engine light was on and we didn’t really want to pay for it to get repaired. The minivan we were looking at was priced for over $10K we paid $6200 for the van after trade in and negotiation. Good job on your new car! 🙂

    • Laura says:

      I love these posts, too! We are working on saving up for our own vehicle upgrade. It takes a long time, but it’s encouraging to remember that we’ll get there one day.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Congratulations on paying cash for your new vehicle! I just want to say that I recognize the make and model of the vehicle because I have an identical one! You will love it. Good choice : )

    • Victoria says:

      Thanks so much! We have had it about a month now and the whole family loves it! We were worried about the high miles but if you take care of vehicles nowadays, you can get 200,000+miles out of them.

      • Sam says:

        haha we have a 2004 Nissan murano, paid cash, that we’ve kept in great shape, and it has almost 300,000 miles on it and looks great and is going strong. (Knock on wood!!!!!)

  • Marie says:

    I originally thought the same thing about taxes and trading in versus selling outright. However I discovered that in Missouri (maybe other states) you can fill out a form from the tax collector’s office that you have the buyer sign with the purchase price of your vehicle. You turn it in and get a refund deducted from the taxes you paid on your newly purchased car. Something to check out!

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