Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:13 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#3422 of 3640 Re: New Car thoughts [suydam]
Aug 21, 2013 (4:18 am)
suydam makes a good point. Used can work out. And sometimes there's no other choice but used.
In my personal experience, however, in the long run of ownership (c. 10 years) the "savings" of buying used is quite exaggerated. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but I've found that a good new car with good resale value is not that far off in cost in the long run from getting an old used car with c. $1000 a year in maintenance and repairs. Both ways can work out, and often used is a bit cheaper, but the living experience with a newer car is almost always a lot better.
Unlike with some things in life, cars really are in most ways better now than in the "good old days." A 2013 Civic, for instance, is significantly better than a 2003 Civic in pretty much every way, including safety, room, mpg, performance, NVH, features, etc.
But if finances require used, perhaps a 3-4 year old Nissan Altima or something similar might be considered.
#3423 of 3640 could used cost more than new?
Aug 21, 2013 (7:32 am)
Once in a while, maybe used could cost more than new in the long run.
Imagine this scenario. Someone buys a 10 year old car for 5k and keeps it for 5 years, putting an average of 1k of maintenance and repairs each year. At the end of 5 years it's a 15 year old car, and maybe worth a thousand or so, and they trade it in on another 10 year old car for 5k
Anyway, at the end of ten years this person has spent something like 18,000 to buy the cars and for repairs (subtracting the c. 1k each for the trade-in when each of the cars was 15 years old). And at the end of ten years they might need to come up with another 5000 for another car....
Say instead the person bought a brand-new car for 18k. Over ten years it might need about 3k in maintenance and repairs, for a total of 21k. But at the end of ten years the car has a resale or trade in value of at least 5k, and so the total drops to 16k. And at the end of ten years, with luck and a tune up, the car still has five years left in it and you don't have to come up with another 5000. This is, I think, what Kirstie was talking about in a good point she made earlier.
Maybe my figures are off a bit, but in this imaginary case at least new is slightly less than used in the long run.
#3424 of 3640 Re: Dealer quote [acemanhattan]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Aug 21, 2013 (7:56 am)
Another way to get firm pricing is to try one of our Price Promise dealerships in the area:
They are OBLIGATED to honor the quote they provide. I don't mean the regular ones that say "get a quote," but the ones that have "special offer" where the price would be. I'm not saying the others wouldn't honor a quoted price, but the Price Promise dealerships have to, and we've seen several reviews from consumers that indicate that that was their experience.
The thing about the extended warranty offered by the dealership is that it is specific to THAT dealership, meaning that if they go out of business, or you move, that portion of the warranty is useless to you as it is only honored at the specific business where you purchased.
#3425 of 3640 Re: could used cost more than new? [benjaminh]
Aug 21, 2013 (8:12 am)
The problem with that scenario is that used cars are holding their value at a much higher rate than previously. Try to get any car that runs for $1000! I just sold my 12 year old car for $4500 and had two pages of email requests. I could have gotten more but I just wanted to sell it quickly and get a fair price for it. My current 9 year-old Vibe is worth nearly $6000. I paid $10k for it 5 years ago, have replaced tires, a battery (just last year!) and this year, leaking struts. It's had 1 year of $1000 repair.
Really old cars are even better. My teenagers could only afford extremely old cars. When they sold them, they pretty much got the same amount. So their only cost was maintenance.
The real problem now is the fact that 3 year old cars, which used to be a bargain compared to new, no longer are. It's unfortunate that people with limited means no longer have this intermediate way of getting a vehicle. Exceptions to that are some GM models possibly like the LeSabre and Lucerne and also the Century. Some of them have very low mileage too.
#3426 of 3640 Re: Dealer quote [acemanhattan]
Aug 21, 2013 (8:17 am)
Stay clear of that warranty, then. It seems as if you do even one oil change someplace other than the dealership, it voids the warranty. I've had to do such a thing out of necessity before, i.e. when on a long trip and it was time for the oil change, so I took the car to a dealer where I happened to be for the service. Have done that a few times over the years.
Aug 21, 2013 (8:46 am)
Hey everyone, thanks a ton for the information; I'm reading through it all carefully and doing a lot of research as a result.
A few questions on the new vs used paradox:
(1) does anyone know, off hand, the cost difference between liability insurance on a 10 year old sedan vs full coverage on a new sedan? I am running the numbers online and I find that the liability insurance would be roughly $80.00 and the full coverage would be $105.00; does this sound correct? A big part of working out the math on this requires that I understand the difference in cost of insurance.
(2) Much of the assumption seems to rest on the fact that we are spending about $1k a year on repairs. I have seen that number quoted before on this site, is there an article breaks that cost down? I ask because I ran the number by some car guys (they perform all their own routine maintenance and drive cars that are 10 - 20 years old), and though their experience is only anecdotal, the three of them each thought that $1k was way inflated.
(3) In keeping with (2), let's say that we limited our used car search to 8 year old cars that had the expected number of miles and were being sold by the original owner, an owner who always/only got the car dealer serviced and, seemingly, treated the car well; if the $1000 a year is the cost of maintenance on an average used car, how much less will the car described cost us per year in maintenance?
Aug 21, 2013 (8:20 am)
I looked into it a bit more and it seems that, though I'm sure they build it into the selling price, the warranty is free. So I don't necessarily lose anything I've paid for in the event that I deviate from the terms of the warranty.
#3429 of 3640 Re: New/Used/etc [acemanhattan]
Aug 21, 2013 (8:42 am)
All good issues to consider. The $1000 is only a rough guide. Some years you won't have any maintenance at all other than an oil change; one year you could get a big whack like leaking CV boots, alternator, all in one year. There's no way to tell. You greatly improve your chances if you buy a 1-owner, well-maintained car that has historically been very reliable (like the Civic you are most interested in). You improve your chances still more if you get it thoroughly checked out before you buy.
Liability insurance only is waaaaay less than full coverage. But it depends on the state and area where you live. I would call a couple of insurance agents and ask them to give you an idea over the phone. If you can give them specifics they will often help out with a general quote --you need the model type, such as LX or DX, and if you are looking at a specific car the VIN. Where I live, liability only on my 12 year old car was around $100 for 6 months; on my new Accord full coverage is over $400. And I live in a rural area where insurance is much cheaper than in a city.
#3430 of 3640 Re: Purchasing New [acemanhattan]
Aug 21, 2013 (12:05 pm)
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
There's always secret option C, which I chose. A nearly-new, certified used car.
In 2010, I bought a 2009 Sonata GLS V6 with moonroof/popular equip package - a $24k car, for $14,400 out the door. It had 48,000 miles on it, clearly had been used as a highway car (the interior was and still is perfect, and it came with a 10 year / 100k bumper to bumper warranty, like a new car). I've had two main dealer service visits outside of regular maintenance/oil changes. One was a belt pulley that had a bearing go bad and my Stability Control system got a software update to prevent random "ESC OFF" lights on my dash. That's it.
The thing to weigh out when going this route is the cost of used vs. new. There was clearly a big gap in price at the time because while the vehicle I bought had adequate reliability ratings from places like Consumer Reports, it's resale value wasn't great. That made my car a veritable steal. However, Hondas and Toyotas hold their value very well; this is great if you buy new, but it makes buying used a less cost-effective proposal.
My Hyundai has been reliable like a new car (because it nearly was) but didn't have the up-front cost. It now has 109k miles on it and still gives me 30mpg on my commute.
Just another perspective.
#3431 of 3640 Help me Find a Wagon Style Car
Aug 21, 2013 (12:30 pm)
For many years I've owned two old wagons. They certainly required a lot
of maintenance, but I probably saved 40-to-50K with these wagons. Except
for jobs like roofing, I never called a contractor. Sometimes I thought about
buying a pickup truck, but I could carry lumber, pipes, etc., inside the wagons
or on the roof racks. The best decision I ever made was not buying a truck.
One of the wagons develped massive electrical problems. My incredibly
good local mechanic refused to say, "junk it!" After several months I donated
the car to a charity. I want to sell or trade wagon number two.
The only "real" wagon that I occasionally see is a large, rectangular shaped
Volvo. Like all Volvo cars, it's very expensive.
Sites like AutoTrader have a wagon category, but most modern wagons are
a hybrid cross between an SUV and a mid-sized sedan. The car I see all the
time is the Subaru Outback. It doesn't have the length of my old wagons,
which means a roof rack would be the only option for small quantities of lumber.
My spending limit is 25K. A slightly used 2011, 12, or even 13 is what I'm looking
at right now. I could easily buy a car with cash. A smart relative once told me
not to do that. He said, "car dealers don't care about you, once they've got all
the cash." These days, warranties are much better than years ago. I suppose
paying with cash is safe, if you have a lengthy warranty.
Frankly, I'm having a minor nervous breakdown! I have to buy something, but
I don't know enough about the blizzard of vehicles available these days. Huge
SUV's are like trucks. I won't buy a truck or a monster SUV. If you know a lot
about cars, can you help me find a good substitute for my old wagons?