Last time I was looking at cars I was going to take the advice you offer
above. Then I decided against it and bought new.
Sure, you want a fair deal, but sometimes I'm willing to pay more to get
what I want. One financial mistake I make is buying the top of the line.
My Buick is the Limited, by Sonata is also the Limited. They cost more than
the base model and you have more goodies in it. For every dollar the top
model costs over the base models, I'm probably getting a 50¢ value.
I looked at one of the "program" cars the local Buick dealer had. It was
OK, but the first thing I noticed was the burn hole in the seat. My car
never had a lit cigarette in it., never will. Looked at some used cars, but
the price seemed high considering the miles already used up.
I also keep cars for a long time (there have been exceptions) but if I'm
going to drive a car for 15 years, I want and I'm willing to pay for
certain features. I want the color I want, the options I want and I'm
willing to pay for them. I also pay $10 a month for XM radio in one car.
That works out to about 25¢ an hour to listen to non-commercial radio. Yes,
I thought it would be silly to pay for radio that can be had for free, but I
was hooked after a week of the free trial. I spend enough time in the car
that I am willing to pay for it. At least in my primary vehicle, not the
If all you want is transportation, buy used, by cheap. If you want some
comfort along the way, you have to be willing to pay a bit more. Repair
costs are also a consideration. In the past five years, aside from normal
maintenance, my total repair costs was $300. Buying cars with 40k miles
already on them, that number would probably be higher.
You pays your money, you make your choice.
I buy with 60,000 miles on them - 5 or six years old - for $5000 to
$6000. Generally, other than tires, brakes and oil changes I spend
less than $500 a year - closer to 300. And I drive them up to 12 years
before getting rid of them. The last couple years the price goes up
On Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:16:24 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug
Actually, there IS a financially sound reason for buying a new car
IF you are going to be financing the car AND the dealer is offering
zero percent financing. You can often buy the new car for the same or
less money than a 2 year old used car at bank finance rates.
If you are paying CASH, a new car NEVER makes financial sense.
That doesn't mean that buying a new car is a good idea -- only that it might
be a less bad, bad idea, than buying a two year old used car.
If the dealer is offering zero percent financing, you can bet that he's making
his money some other way -- like not cutting you much of a break on the price.
It doesn't matter HOW you're paying. It's still not a sound financial
decision. Let someone *else* pay the depreciation, and buy the car after it's
lost 1/3 to 1/2 of its value.
That depends largely on how skilled you are at making your own repairs. I've
been doing the vast majority of my own service for 35 years (including engine
and transmission rebuilds), so buying older, high-mileage vehicles does not
daunt me. The newest used car I've ever bought was five years old; the oldest,
nineteen. Average about ten.
With any used vehicle, there's a point where cost of repair has a greater
influence on total cost of ownership than does the initial purchase cost. If
you have to pay someone else to do your repairs, that point comes earlier in
the vehicle's life. For those folks who can't do their own repairs, it's
likely to be somewhere around 40-50% depreciation. I'm quite content to buy at
75% depreciation, but then, I pay only the cost of parts for nearly all my
On Fri, 12 Aug 2011 12:23:14 GMT, email@example.com (Doug
Likewize - but gee, WHAT repairs??
By the time my 6 year old Chysler was 18 years old I had done a
valve/guide job, replaced the exhaust, and replaced the transmission,
as well as 2 complete sets of brakes.I replaced a few CV joint boots.
I think I rebuilt the alternator once, and replaced the timing belt
and water pump. That was IT.
My 1990 Aerostar had a trans front seal leak,transmission input shaft,
U-joints, and ball joints plus one exhaust system and about 4 or 5
sets of front brakes before I sold it at 11 years of age with over
240,000 km on it. (not counting the warranty replacement of the short
block because of a piston slap virtually from new) I had bought it
from my Dad, who bought it new.
My 1996 Mystique had a problem that turned on the check engine light
- bank 1 lean - that I chased for a couple months after I bought it at
age 6 years. Replaced intake gaskets and a few other things before I
found the defective vacuum hose that collapsed under high vacuum,
opening a crack that leaned out the engine.
Other than that, A/C reciever, trans oil pan gasket, engine mount,
lower strut bushings, brakes and a few electrical contact problems
(brake lights 3 times, heater once, right front door window once.
Thankfully not much - because it is a real PAIN to work on (2.5 L V6,
4 wheel disc brakes, etc. The antilock brakes/traction control has an
issue now - don't think I'll bother fixing it. - and can't forget -
the infamous "moosing" problem - solved by drilling a 3/16" hole in a
1/2" copper pipe cap and stuffing it into the hose to the IAC.
The 1995 TransSport was a totally different kettle of fish. You'd
think the darn thing was made in England - if you didn't open the hood
and fondle it's nuts about every other week it didn't feel good.
About the second worst vehicle I ever owned. Ball joints and front
wheel bearings lasted about as long as oil filters. CV Joints were
not much better. Oxygen sensors should have had wing-nuts on them and
the trim quality made my Chryslers look like Rolls Royces.
Total cost of ownership is *never* lowest with a new car.
In limited, unusual circumstances, it may be lowER with a new car than with a
1- or 2-year-old used car. But it is never lowEST when buying new. Never.
But if you get rid of your cars at about 18 years, depreciation is
not an issue. Cost is - initial cost and repair cost - which
translates to cost per year.
A new car, bought right, CAN cost less per year over 18 years than the
used one, bought at 3 years, over 15 - or sometimes even the used one,
bought at 5 years, over 13.
Depends a LOT on how you buy it. (cash or finance - what finance rate,
and how good a deal you get - bought private, from dealer, or off used
car lot (often the poorest deal)
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