Would you ever buy a new car? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 02-07-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always been raised to buy used cars. Dh and I have owned 3 cars in our 20 year marriage. We bought them all used and basically have driven them until they died. We've got a 1992 Mazda in our driveway that might be able to be revived, but the real reason we keep it is because it's cheaper keep it minimally insured and get the 2 car discount on our insurance than it is to give the car away and not have it insured (our other car's insurance would go up). Our only working car for the last year has been a 1998 Subaru that's served us well, but is starting to need more work (engine, suspension) than it's worth.

 

So, dh and I are hunting for new(er) cars. The one car family thing has become increasingly difficult as our kids get interested in different activities.

 

For the first (and probably only) time in our lives, we're at a spot where we could, theoretically, buy 2 new cars. But, I can't see why anyone would buy a new car vs. a 3 year old car. Am I missing something? I realize resale values have gone up in recent years so the difference between new and used isn't that great. But still... can someone explain new cars to me?

 


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#2 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 03:12 AM
 
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New cars have warranty. New cars don't have other people's cooties (who knows what's been wiped on and in the seats and upholstery). New cars you know what you are getting. We have bought both new and used, and every used car, be it 10 years old or 2 years old, has had problems. One used vehicle we financed cost more in repairs every year than in payments. I buy new and drive it minimum 10 years, or until it starts costing in repairs. Why buy someone else's crap? Yes, used can be cheaper, but new is reliable.
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#3 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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Yes, absolutely.  Now I bought a new car out of high school and have bought 1-year-old used cars since, but I think it depends on your intentions.

 

If you have plenty of money and like the car, why NOT buy it new?  If money were no object, our last family car would have been purchased new so we could get exactly the features we wanted. 

 

Plus, we also drive our cars for 6-8 years which is a long time for some and a short time for others. 

 

I used to ask the same question about people who lease cars but if you've got the money and really want to drive a new car every 2 years (or whatever), then I guess it could be a good option. 

 

It's not what I'd do, but there are all kinds of circumstances.


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#4 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 05:53 AM
 
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I was raised to always buy used cars too (and I actually tend to buy almost EVERYTHING used, lots of time at thrift stores etc.) But we did buy a new car once. The reasoning was that we weren't willing to buy an older used car because we aren't handy with cars and we needed something really reliable, plus we were looking for good mileage (major MPG improvements had just come around when we were buying), things like that. DH and I had already gone through several used cars in only 5 years (ran them into the ground, one exploded, etc.) We just couldn't seem to get more than a few years from any of our used cars.

When I compared 5-year-old cars to the new one we ended up buying, we would be paying LESS for the new car than for an older used one!! I still don't understand how it worked out like that, but it did. Of course, the new car had no added features (we still have to manually roll up our windows, and there is no CD player, things like that) but we didn't care about those things anyway. Our brand-new car still runs perfectly 4 years later, we've never once had even a minor problem with it, and it's still under warranty.

After buying that new car, we bought a used car for our second car a couple years later (figured we'd have one very reliable, still under warranty, so it would be OK if the second was a little less reliable), but I actually really regret it. It was the best deal we could find but only cost about $1K less than our brand new car had cost, even though it was 6 years old! We've had lots of issues with it since buying it, and it's sat in our driveway a lot. They are the kind of issues we couldn't have known just by looking at & test driving it.

So honestly, I'm much more likely to be new cars in the future, if manufacturers continue offering low-end deals on new like they have been. I always get my cars under $10K and I always pay cash so as long as it fits that criteria, new is just as fair game as used.

Since you're in the market... I recently heard a tip that sounds great, I guess you can buy cars from car rental companies? And they are often only a year or so old (though they might have higher mileage) and very well-maintained. It sounds promising, maybe something to look into for ya...

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#5 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 07:01 AM
 
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We decided to get rid of our (used) pick-up this summer because it was getting to an age where it would need some big repairs and with gas prices so high it wasn't worth keeping. We ended up buying a Hyundai Elantra as the payments were just slightly more than what we would be saving in gas; between the two of us we are saving at least $200 a month in gas-- with dh driving the Hyundai, and me driving the Altima -- and it has a good new car warranty. So for us, the loan isn't costing us anymore than we were paying in gas feeding the truck and dh's lower gas mileage Altima (he does the most driving).

 

A used car wasn't really an option because there pretty much weren't any reliable newer models in our price range and getting the same gas mileage for a good price; largely due to that government used car turn-in program. The $250 in interest we're paying over the life of the loan was a better option for us than draining our savings which we had just built up since buying our current home (left an unsafe neighborhood). Our three cars previous to the Altima were used.

 

My ils have bought new, used, and lease; in the past couple of years they have bought two very well-maintained/low mileage Sunday driver/elderly owner cars; one for BIL who just started college, and one for FIL to take to work since there have been a lot of break-ins in the parking lot and he doesn't want to risk his nice leased car there. I don't know how they find them but they seem to be very good at it smile.gif.


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#6 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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I have bought used and new cars. The last car we bought (last week) was used, because there was not one model of the new car we wanted anywhere in Southern California. So we basically had to buy used. I think it can be very hard to find a reliable used car, because the best cars are generally not available used. Unless there are some extenuating circumstances (I am PG with twins and we need room for 4 car seats), people are not trading in their great cars. The car we just bought was leased before us.

 

The car before this we bought new partly because at the time I was commuting 30+ miles in snowy winters with two littles and needed something super reliable and because there were very few  used models of the car I wanted and the ones available were former leases which were all tricked out and would have cost more than the "bottom of the line" new.


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#7 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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Yes, I would and I have purchased a new car.
 

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Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post

New cars have warranty. New cars don't have other people's cooties (who knows what's been wiped on and in the seats and upholstery). New cars you know what you are getting. We have bought both new and used, and every used car, be it 10 years old or 2 years old, has had problems. One used vehicle we financed cost more in repairs every year than in payments. I buy new and drive it minimum 10 years, or until it starts costing in repairs. Why buy someone else's crap? Yes, used can be cheaper, but new is reliable.


 

These are some of the reasons I have almost always opted to buy new. Well, that and the 0% financing we got prompted us to buy new the last time we bought a car.  I am very open to buying a nearly new used car next time, though it would have to come with a warranty.  We'll see how I feel when the time comes.

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#8 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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I will always buy used.  Yes, I pay more in repairs, but considering what I paid, it doesn't even come close to payments on a new car.

 

If you are able to pay *cash* for a new car, then it might add up to a savings.  The fact is, depending on the interest rate you get, you are not paying 23,000 for the car, you are paying way, way more (do a loan calculation from an online calculator).  I don't think I've paid 12,000 in total cost and repairs this last 6 years for my '97 Camry (manual transmission with abut 30mpg!)  I expect to get another 4 years out of this car at least.  Of course, you could end up with a piece of crap car, but honestly?  I have never had that trouble.  I just know that if I am looking to spend $5000 on a car, I will end up spending a little more to get something fixed, so I figure that into the budget.  And you do need repairs more often, but so what?

 

Consumer Reports has annual reliability reports for used cars.  Hiring a trusted mechanic to help choose the car can help.  And, now with the internet you can research a car to see if it has been reported in a serious accident and might be "totaled".

 

I know Click and Clack recommend for most people a car that is 3yo.  By that point, its value has had its most significant depreciation but you still get the latest safety features, and that is not only good for you but good for your insurance bill.  But if you get a loan for that used car, you might get a warranty but again you are paying so much more in interest.

 

Cash cash cash.  No matter what you do, the best value is to pay cash.  Pick a car that you can afford to pay cash for, perhaps that's why I hardly spend anything on cars, relatively.


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#9 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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I was also raised to buy used vehicles.  My parents bought a new car once when they were young and my Dad always told me stories about how he had to eat soda crackers with peanut butter for supper several times to make the payments and would never buy new again.  The real reason we were always told to buy used was because the car depreciates by several thousand dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot.  So why pay $3000-$5000 for a new car smell?

 

That being said, DH and I are currently driving a car we bought new (Subaru Forester).  We fully intended to buy used, but between the new graduate rebate and the manufacturers rebate at the time (we have the last model year for the previous style of forester, so they were offering a $3000 rebate to get rid of the old models) it was actually cheaper for us to buy new than to buy a 2 year old Forester! If we were to finance, that also would have been a good reason (cheaper financing options on new than used.)  So we did, but that's the only reason.  So I think you have to do the math and see what makes sense for you.

 

We also have a '98 Dodge Laramie pickup truck currently that we paid $2700 for, and after driving it for 4 years (not daily mind you, but on some long trips, pulling a trailer, taking heavy loads to the dump, and through the Canadian Rockies) we've had to do oil changes and pay for tires, and that's it.  Our truck before that was an '89 Chev that we paid $500 for and then drove until it died (we drove it for 4 years!).  I drove my gramma's 1990 Toyota from 2004-2008 and had to get 1 repair: a new hose ($200).  We sold it when the transmission started to go.  Before that I had a 1989 Chev Cavalier, which required a few repairs along the way, maybe $1500-2000 in the 7 years I drove it (I got it when I turned 16 in 1997).  I feel like ALL of those used cars were a great value and I will buy used again for sure. 

 

I think that you have to do your research, check consumers reports and lemonaid guides, but depending on the vehicle, yes, used can be good value. Especially as if you are buying a "newer" used car, you can often still get a warrantly.

 

My good friend's hubby is a mechanic, and he says that in his experience, you will almost always spend less on a used car.  Even if you have to get a repair for $200 every 3 or 4 mos, this is still cheaper than car payments!


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#10 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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We have done both.  I will never ever have payments again. And I also won't shell out that kind of money for something that will ultimately end up in the salvage yard.  We have enough money to buy a new one and just write a check- but at this point we are looking a a cheap beater and keep the cash in the bank.  OK- not a new car like the one we are looking at- but a decent new car... (y'all might die if you saw my thread in frugality and finances :)  

 

It is really what you want and what you will be happy with I think.  We are over having new vehicles....  We had them when we shouldn't have and now that we could- it just isn't  a priority anymore.  


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#11 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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Iowaorganic, i read your F&F thread last night but was too tired to respond! I think it would be super cool!!!! I have no clue where you'll park that thing but otherwise it sounds awesome! smile.gif

By 'new car' I am gathering most of you are talking about $25K+ fancy cars lol... When I said I bought new, it was the bottom-of-the-line model & leftover from the previous year... it cost me I think $9500?? I can't imagine buying a $25K car or having car payments just for the sake of having a new car.
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#12 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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Crunchy mommy-  I rarely see a new vehicle for sale that is that cheap.  Like probably never.  You must totally luck out on where you go :)  Or perhaps order them from the dealership....  In 1999 I looked at buying a brand new Caviler for 9K.  It was the most stripped down car ever and would have been perfect.  Didn't get it though- but always thought I should have :) All the dealerships here order the deluxe Lucerne or something equally overpriced.


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#13 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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My work is with auto dealerships so I guess I just see the deals more or something since I'm looking at car websites all day every day? lol

Used cars around here seem to be crazy expensive....

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#14 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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We have bought 2 new cars. Prior to that dh had used cars.

I don't think we are absolutely stuck on buying a new car versus a used car.

The new cars that we have bought have been reliable and had better safety features or got better gas mileage. The used cars we had did not stay with us as long and had multiple problems.

 


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#15 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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We've bought new but most recently we've bought used. 

 

Our reasons for buying new are reliability and warranty. It's also nice to get exactly what you want for the exterior and interior features. Most times, we've enjoyed driving new cars, but once we ended up with a lemon. So I'm not sure that buying new always works out. Even though repair costs were covered, it was still a huge inconvenience to have this car with ongoing problems. It always seemed to be getting work done. Even when it was out of the service dept., we never knew whether something was going to go wrong when we drove it. 

 

We bought our current car used, and it's mostly been fine. Now that we've had it for a couple of years, we're finding out a few things. At one point, the front windshield had been replaced and the seal has leaked and rusted. Not good. With used, unless you know the vendor, there's always some worry about the history. 

 

For some, there's also the environmental impact of buying new vehicles. 

 

Eventually a vehicle is going to present some kind of problems as it ages. I think whether you buy new or used, doing your homework and finding the best value (based on whatever your priorities are) is key to being happy with whatever you choose. 

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#16 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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We used to buy used but would end up trading them in once the warranty we got with them ran out.  Seriously the only thing I would buy used at this point would be a nissan.  Everything else we bought seemed like they needed major repairs every 6 months.  We bought two new cars a year apart and have since paid them off.  No problems.  Both are now 7 and 8 yrs old with less than 60k in miles on both.  We seriously have never had it so good.  The only things we've replaced are tires and then have done the normal maintenance.  I would buy another used car but maybe an old truck and only because of needing to haul things like dirt and wood. 

 

 

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#17 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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Nope.  I'm not that kind of girl.


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#18 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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ok Iowa, I am intrigued! I will look at your post on F&F, especially since we are in the market for a new/used car!


 
 
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#19 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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I bought my car new.  My issues were fuel efficiency and reliability, and after a bunch of research I decided I really wanted a Honda.  After looking at used Hondas I realized the price differential from a new Honda was small enough that it didn't seem worth the risk-of-headache to buy used.  It made more sense to buy new with warranty and then sell it (if ever so inclined) for only a couple thousand less than I had paid in the first place.


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#20 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Some cars really hold their value.  When I sold my nissan and my honda I was surprised to get more than half back of what I paid for them and those were trade ins.  Crazy!  Other cars... not so much. 

 

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I bought my car new.  My issues were fuel efficiency and reliability, and after a bunch of research I decided I really wanted a Honda.  After looking at used Hondas I realized the price differential from a new Honda was small enough that it didn't seem worth the risk-of-headache to buy used.  It made more sense to buy new with warranty and then sell it (if ever so inclined) for only a couple thousand less than I had paid in the first place.



 

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#21 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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The benefits of buying new would be that you got to pick out whatever toys and features you wanted, which upgrades, etc.  New doesn't guarantee no problems.  I once worked with someone who had to trade in TWO new cars (under warranty) in one year because they had a million problems.  I don't know the brand but it must have been awful (but it wasn't a no-name brand either, it was a nicer car).


I would personally buy an almost-new, still under warranty used Honda any day.  If I struck it rich, really freaking rich, I might consider a new one so I could customize it.  But I think I'd still find ways I'd rather spend my money.  I guess I'm just a cheapskate!

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#22 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 01:14 PM
 
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The benefits of buying new would be that you got to pick out whatever toys and features you wanted, which upgrades, etc. 

You can still do this (somewhat) with used.  It just takes more time and research because you can't go into the dealer for it.  My Dad (always the frugal Scot) did this with the second van my parents bought.  He picked out the color, approximate milage, interior specs, model,etc. etc. etc. and then phoned a bunch of dealers around the province, told them what he wanted, and sat back and waited for them to call him when they found it.  The best part is, they were all under-bidding each other to try to sell him the same van!  Depends on the vehicle you're buying though.  At the time a Ford Aerostar was a very common vehicle.


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#23 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Huh.  Well, I don't know if I'd be that patient!  :)  But it sounds like a good deal for him.

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#24 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 02:11 PM
 
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We always had used cars growing up, and they spent a lot of time (and money) at the mechanic's.  DH had similar problems with used, and when I met him was driving a car he'd bought new.  When DH and I started looking for a family car, first priority was finding something that DH could fit in without being cramped but would still fit in our driveway.  We didn't even bother looking for used, neither of us trust enough for that.  We bought the PT almost 6 years ago now, and it has about 35K miles on it, and other than flat tires it hasn't needed any repairs. 

 

Some day we may have to size up from our 4-seater, no idea what we're going to do then, but unless we find a perfect deal, we won't be buying used. 


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#25 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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I bought my first new car (minivan, actually) two years ago. Neither dh nor I are the backyard mechanic type (and don't really have anywhere to do much work on a car, anyway), and our previous minivan was having a lot of problems. We talked about it and found a 0% financing deal on a new model Dodge Caravan. We both figured that a brand new vehicle should be good for 10 years or so, at which time our needs would be different, and would probably require minimal repairs. So, we just do regular maintenance, and have had no problems, so far. We're not expecting to get our money back - not even close - when we sell it. We basically paid for the peace of mind of having an almost certainly reliable car, knowing that it had no hidden history, and the warranty. Mind you, we went with the cheapest model on the market. Most of the secondhand models we were looking at would have cost us almost as much, as they were more expensive minivans, and had no 0% financing options available.

 

We have no intention of ever buying a new car again, though. We bought this one to address specific needs around having three young children at home.


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#26 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 04:18 PM
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We just got 0% financing on a new car. You can't get that kind of rate on a used car.


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#27 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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We just went though the process of purchasing a "new" car. After much research we decided to buy a certified used. For a used to be certified, it has to be sold though the specific make dealership and pass a in depth inspection. Usually get better interest rates than a standard used car. Best thing is it comes with an extended warranty. EX find one that has less than 10K and with the certified warranty, you are covered longer than if you bought it new. Each auto make has a certified search on the main website. 

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#28 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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I've never bought a new car, I've always considered it too expensive.  My current car is a 2003 that I bought in 2005 with only 26,000 miles on it, so it was fairly new.  But it was still several thousand dollars less than the same model would have been right off the lot.  I paid it off a couple of years ahead of schedule.  I have started thinking about replacing it, but I want to wait about a year to get my finances in order.  Even now, it is cheaper to make the occasional repairs than it would be to start monthly payments on a newer car.

 

I have thought for years about the coming of electric cars, and now the Nissan Leaf is here at a reasonable price for a new car.  But unfortunately, it doesn't suit my needs.  Electric cars don't go far without a charge, charging takes a long time, and there are few charge stations available.  It's best if you keep it charged at home and just use it to go to work or run errands.  You really can't travel with it, and it would be too hard to have an electric car as the sole family car at this time. It would need to be a secondary car.  :(  But this is a car I would consider buying new if it was feasible.

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#29 of 45 Old 02-09-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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When I think of buying a used car, I am not thinking of financing or warranties or anything.  I think of paying cash to the previous owner.  It seems like most people on this thread are comparing used cars with payments and warranties to new cars with payments and warranties.


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#30 of 45 Old 02-09-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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Dh bought himself, used, a fancy-schmancy 8-cylindar BMW that we'd never have been able to afford otherwise.  Some hotshot bought it new, drove it carefully for 3 years and put it up for sale.  That guy paid thousands of dollars for the depreciation the moment he drove it away from the dealer, while dh got a fantastic, barely used car. 

 

That said, when we had our second kid and couldn't squeeze us all into the tiny Saturn sedan anymore, we bought a new VW wagon. Up-keep was free.  Some repairs were free.  The car had all the latest safety features, and that got us insurance discounts as well.  It had better gas mileage than our first beaters, didn't burn up oil. 

 

It's 12 years old and it's getting to the 'it's been driven into the ground' stage.  I love this car, it's been so faithful and just right for us.  I will replace it with a new car if we can.

 

 


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