Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:13 PM
You are in the Sedans
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Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#3394 of 3640 Re: Naive purchaser looking for advice [backy]
Aug 20, 2013 (12:03 am)
I agree with backy's thoughts here. A 10 year old car with nearly 100k is going to have some expensive repairs over the next 7 years.
If you have $7000 now, how about this: get a brand-new 2013 Civic LX for c. $17,500. For only a little bit down you'll have payments of about $300 a month. A new Civic is likely to have at least 7 years of almost trouble-free driving, with only regular maintenance. And at the end of seven years it'll probably have a resale value of c. 7000 or so. With a 10-year old used car, you might have repairs of as much as 3000 or more over 7 years. In other words, the cost might actually be about the same in the long run, but rather than driving an old car that'll probably cause you considerable trouble you'll be driving a new car that's faster, safer, more reliable, and gets better mpg.
You local Honda dealer (or Toyota or Hyundai etc ) wants your business and has low 1.9 factory financing available if you have good credit.
My guess is that you're in your 20s. When I was in my 20s I bought used car after used car, another one every 5 years or so, and each one had significant repair and maintenance issues that cost $$$. Looking back on it, I think for the same money I could have been driving a new car and keeping it longer.
Just my 2 cents.
#3395 of 3640 Re: Honda Civic [acemanhattan]
Aug 20, 2013 (2:39 am)
The Civic is a good choice if you want to look at just one model. The library sometimes carries Consumer Reports issues; the April issue is their annual auto issue. Edmunds also has good info on used cars as does Autotrader online. Toyotas are also good choices, especially the Corolla. One you may not have considered is the Pontiac Vibe, a hatchback which is actually a Toyota Matrix but cheaper because it doesn't have the Toyota nameplate. I have one and it is like the Earthshoe of cars; just keeps on going in its plain solid way year after year.
If you look at a hybrid consider how old the battery is as they are very expensive to replace. You will probably be able to get a newer gas model cheaper and they get good gas mileage too.
Tom and Ray, the car guys, say that as a rule of thumb you should expect to put $1000 per year into a used car. Maybe not every year but there will be some years when you do. So put some $ aside for the inevitable repairs. That's still less per year than a $300/month car payment. Insurance is less too. When I was in my 20's I couldn't afford a new car payment and we had used cars for years. My kids did too.
#3396 of 3640 Re: Honda Civic [acemanhattan]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Aug 20, 2013 (5:31 am)
I rarely give absolute, black-and-white advice, but I'm going to this time:
DO NOT GET THE CIVIC HYBRID.
If you have to replace the hybrid battery during your period of ownership, which is almost a certainty, you are looking at thousands of dollars. The model years you would be looking at also had some issues, one of which caused degradation of MPG, so you would have a problem vehicle AND you wouldn't be reaping the benefits of fuel savings. Just enter "Civic Hybrid" into the search box on the left of this page and you can find a list of discussions about that vehicle, most of them with the word "problems" in the discussion title.
#3397 of 3640 Re: Hybrids? [acemanhattan]
Aug 20, 2013 (6:44 am)
Ace - agree with Kirstie - Honda Civic Hybrids have a very poor track record. I had an 09 - hybrid battery was replaced in first year I had it - vehicle was returned at the end of 2 year lease. If not under warranty, hybrid battery replacement would've been $3-4000.
#3398 of 3640 Re: Naive purchaser looking for advice [benjaminh]
Aug 20, 2013 (7:10 am)
Benjamin has a good point here. Even a lease might work. A 10 year old Honda civic will not be worth much in 5-6 years from now not to mention the repairs you might face. Bethpa over in the civic lease thread just leased a couple of LXs for a around 200 a month with zero due at signing. You could use your $7000 fund for the payments. Honda leases are very customer friendly - includes gap insurance, $1500 wear and tear waiver at end of lease and you have the option to extend the lease up to 24 months if you wish at the same payment (they adjust the residual accordingly). I only offer the lease option because you stated you won't be driving many miles.
#3399 of 3640 Re: Honda Civic [suydam]
Aug 20, 2013 (8:55 am)
suydam wrote: "...Tom and Ray, the car guys, say that as a rule of thumb you should expect to put $1000 per year into a used car...."
Yes, I recall them saying something like that too, and I'm afraid to say that averaged out it more or less held true for me back when I was driving c. 10 year old cars. Some years might be $500, but other years might be $2000, and the average was probably around a thousand.
But that might be another argument for new car. If you spend 7k on a used car and spend another 7k in maintenance and repair over the next 7 years, you're out 14,000, and at the end of it you have ancient car with almost no value.
If you instead start buying a new car, at the end of 7 years you'll still have something that's worth a good deal, and you can either trade it in or keep driving it. For many new cars, all you'll basically just need to do are a lot of oil changes, and probably a set of tires, but maintenance and repair costs will almost certainly be very low and quite predictable.
Your time and stress levels also are worth money. The stress and the hours at repair shops I used to spend with old cars was worth something to me in cold, hard cash, even if I was never paid for it. To be almost free from those annoying hours spent in that way with a new car is a positive dividend that's worth a good deal imho.
Again, just my 2 cents.
#3400 of 3640 Re: Naive purchaser looking for advice [gmanusmc]
Aug 20, 2013 (8:54 am)
gmanusmc has a good idea about looking into a lease.
No matter what the brand, it's a good time to buy or lease because car dealers are clearing out the last of the 2013 models. You should be able to get a good deal. Try this site:
There are other, similar sites that are probably just as good. You put in the model you want, and then dealers within a 50-100 mi radius compete for your biz and offer you a good price.
Aug 20, 2013 (9:15 am)
Thanks a lot everyone, I'm absorbing a lot of information here.
I'm a pretty frugal money conscious kind of guy so my initial impulse when I hear "purchase new" is "OMG no, depreciation!!!!" but I do see that a used car can end up costing the same, if not more. Essentially, my goal, is to have the most reliable vehicle possible, while incurring the least overall cost (duh, who has any goal other than that), to that end, and thinking along the lines of the reason people are suggesting purchasing new, why hasn't anyone recommended purchasing something 3 or so years old from a dealership? Don't we get most of the same benefits (reliable) while not incurring the cost of depreciation?
#3402 of 3640 Re: Purchasing New [acemanhattan]
Aug 20, 2013 (9:28 am)
I think you'll find that because Hondas keep their value pretty well, a three year old Honda costs not much less than buying new.
#3403 of 3640 Re: Purchasing New [acemanhattan]
Aug 20, 2013 (9:56 am)
Agree with gm 100% here.
If you're going to get a 3-4 year old Ford, GM or Chrysler, sure, go ahead and get used. Probably that's better than a 10 year old Honda. You also might be able to get a 3-4 year old Hyundai or Nissan at a good price.
But if you're fixed on Honda, and as a big Honda fan myself I can see why, then getting a 3 year old Honda in tip-top shape ("Certified") doesn't get you much of a discount compared to new. And by 3 years your bumper to bumper warranty has expired.
And yes there's depreciation, but the first three years in a car's life are almost always its best and most trouble-free years.