Who wants to drive a car into the ground? Or drive the same car for 12 years?
If you put less than 12,000 miles a year on a car, you ought to be looking at leasing it. You would have paid just $8800 with tax to drive that RAV4 for three years. Then you walk away from it and get a brand new car to drive for another three years.
BTW, you don't have any guaranteed residual value in a purchased car. You paid $23,000 plus almost $2000 in tax for a four-year-old car which is depreciating faster than the payments you're making. You'll be underwater for the remainder of your note.
From the Toyota web site:
Lease a new 2013 RAV4 LE : $199 a month / for 36 months / with $999 DUE AT SIGNING. Amount due at signing includes DOWN PAYMENT of $800, FIRST MONTHLY PAYMENT of $199 and no security deposit. Tax, title and license are extra. Based on MODEL 4430, TOTAL MSRP $24690, & NET CAPITALIZED COST of $21940. LEASE END PURCHASE OPTION is $14779 plus tax, title and license. Customer is responsible for disposition fee of $350 (or less if required by state law), and excess wear & tear and 15 cents per mile over 36,000 miles. Dealer participation may affect final negotiated price and applicable taxes. NOT ALL CUSTOMERS WILL QUALIFY. Payments are calculated using TFS tier 1+ rate. Other tier credit payments are higher. Special financing available for a limited time to qualified buyers through Toyota Financial Services and participating Toyota dealers. Toyota Financial Services is a service mark of Toyota Motor Credit Corporation. Offers available in TX, OK, AR, MS, and LA only. Special lease offer requires application of $2000 GST RAV4 lease subvention cash. Dealer sets final price. Offer valid November 5, 2013 through December 2, 2013.
This post was edited on 11/8 at 6:33 am