Can I Get Out Of My Loan And Into Something Cheaper But Just As Nice?

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As Jalopnik’s resident car buying expert and professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve decided to pick a few questions and try to help out. This week we are discussing trading in cars for something similar but cheaper, Nissan Juke styling, and whether or not to bring your old car on a long-distance relocation.


First up, is it possible to get a cheaper payment on a similarly enjoyable car?

Long story short I have a 2018 Kia Stinger GT that I really enjoy but don’t think it’s worth the $600 a month that I’m paying for the financing, I just don’t drive it enough and get very nervous even thinking about daily driving it into Manhattan. I’m looking to lower my monthly cost and get into something still fun to daily drive.

I’ve been looking at the used market for the BMW 440i coupe or grand coupe, hoping to stay under $28,000. It has good reviews and 320hp to boot.

My concern here comes down to two things. 1: The BMW warranty and 2: Selling my Stinger.

Looks like a trade-in for my Stinger COULD net something like $24-28K, according to Edmunds. It’s very clean and only has 14,000 miles on it. However, I still owe $27,000 on it so I would want to make sure I at least break even. Hoping a dealer can match that.

I’d like to bring my monthly cost for the car down to even $350. As much as I love the Stinger, I’m not driving it enough to justify that high monthly cost when a 440i could give me the same driving fun for much less monthly.

So let’s look at some math here: You owe $27,000 on the Stinger and Edmunds pings its value between $24,000-$28,000. Usually, you will get on the lower end of the spectrum from a dealer, but let’s say the best-case scenario your trade offer is a wash. If you are targeting $350/mo on a 60-month loan at 5 percent APR (about average for a used car). That means you can spend around $18,500 including all tax and fees -

A good CPO is going to run in the lower $30,000 range, but maybe you get a screaming deal and find one for $30,000 out the door. Using the same terms of 60 months at a 5 percent APR you are looking at $566/mo

You aren’t going to save that much money and you will be sacrificing warranty coverage. Again this is assuming you break even on the trade, what is likely to happen is you get $23,000-$24,000 for your Stinger and you have to come to the table with a few grand to get out of that loan.

Going to a cheaper car might be smart, but something tells me you aren’t going to be happy with something that costs under $19,000.


Next why does the Nissan Juke get all the hate and other cars get a pass?

How come new Hyundai styling does not get as much as hate as the Nissan Juke?

-I never hated Nissan Juke, I think it has nice proportions. I think it can be a stylish car with good color or something like NISMO trim. But I accepted that people hate the headlights.

-Now, I can’t understand people’s enthusiastism about new Hyundai cars. How can people say Palisade is a good/fine/OK look vehicle from outside? Or Kona, or Venue? I cannot imagine get out of one of this vehicle, I would be embarrassed.

-Am I weird?

Hyundai definitely has some funky looking cars but I think the Juke was one of the first in its class to really challenge the aesthetics a bit. I’m with you, I actually like the Juke and the little Nissan wasn’t nearly as bad as the Aztek. There are people who still aren’t keen on Hyundai’s looks or other brands, but I think the Juke and Aztek perhaps got buyers used to unconventional styling.


Last, if you have an older car and are relocating far away is it better to take it with you or start fresh?

I’m moving 2000 miles across the country. I’m thinking of a local cash sale of my 2012 Mazda 3 prior to the move, rent a vehicle for the trip, then buy a 2 or 3- year-old newer vehicle in my new location. The Mazda has 120000 miles and concerned with an unexpected breakdown along the move, plus I’m moving to Toronto and import duties will cost me $400 upfront. A car rental will be $800 for the trip. The car is otherwise in good shape, and a local dealer cash offer is only around $2500. I like the car but also concerned it’s starting to put on too many miles. What do you think?


It all depends on whether or not you are itching for a newer car or want to save your money. If you want to save your money have a trusted mechanic check out your 3 and see if it needs any significant service. If it’s just minor stuff or the car really doesn’t need anything it may be worth just incurring the import costs and riding it out for a bit until you get settled.

Got a car buying conundrum that you need some assistance with? Email me at!



“Hi, I owe 27k on my car, and that’s too expensive! I’d like to buy a car for $28k to lower my payment.”

Whaaaat the fuck?

“Hey Tom, can you validate my Juke fetish? Thanks.”

“Hey Tom, validate my desire to purchase a new car in canadian dollars, I’m tired of the one I bought with USD.”

I don’t think I could be as patient and good-natured to handle car questions like this. Like, could we be a little specific why a car with only 120k miles and 8 years is going to fall apart suddenly? Especially if the letter-writer likes the car, and is only going to get $2500 for it on a trade-in, when the car is worth twice that if he takes his time and sells it private party.