Do you buy new cars or used cars?

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by Canadian, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    My current car recently had it's seventh birthday. It has needed repairs lately and I'm aware of the fact that it may be just as expensive to keep fixing it as it would to buy a new one.

    I don't have the space or tools to do my own car repairs unless they are very minor. Every time I pay for a repair I look at what it costs me and I think I could have driven a brand new car for a month for the same price.

    I've always bought new cars but I'm wondering if I shouldn't take a look at a used car. If the used car is only a year or two old it means that it still has a warranty and it costs less than a new one. I'm just wary of buying someone else's problems.

    How do you buy your cars and trucks?
     
  2. NYsurvivalist6

    NYsurvivalist6 Guest

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    I'm on my first car still. I've had it since Oct 07 and plan on getting a newer used car this summer. But, I wouldnt buy a brand new car.
     

  3. saintsfanbrian

    saintsfanbrian Liberty or Death!!!!

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    Well, how frequently are you doing repairs? If you are making repairs every month that would total a car payment then it would be advisable to get a new car. Depending on the maintenance that you perform 7 years really isn't that old for a vehicle. My wife's is going on 10 and we don't plan on getting rid of it even though we have spent about $2000 on it in the last year. That is still less than a new car.

    If you are set on getting a new car I would look at program cars first. They usually have the warranty but you will get better deals because they have a few miles on them.

    Used cars are a gamble in my opinion. Unless you know the person selling it you don't know what kind of shape it is in.
     
  4. dukman

    dukman Greenhorn

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    I only buy OLD cars. I don't need the creature comforts of newer vehicles, and if the repairs are too much, I dump it and get another one.

    I had bought a fairly new car back in 2000. A 1998 model with only 27k miles on the clock. I never realized what a newer car cost! 35k checkup cost a couple hundred. 60k checkup cost $700! In 6 years I put $16k into it in payments, $15k in insurance, and $4k in minor maintenance and repairs.

    After it died, at only 115k.... I went back to OLD car. Actually van. I bought it for $1,100. I drove it for 2 years, and only put maybe $500 into it mechanically, and insurance was much cheaper, I figure less than $3k over that time. It didn't die.. I just sold it off, for more than I paid, and got a smaller car.

    I guess it really comes down to mindset. I think of a car as just transportation for the most part. I know I am not rich, so I would rather put my money into something else that won't depreciate as much :cool:
     
  5. doc66

    doc66 Well-Known Member

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    I buy vehicles that are about two years old and keep them forever. I currently own a 2000 Toyota Tundra, which is turning out to be my best truck ever. My last one was a Ford Ranger that I had for 12 years before I finally got rid of it. It was beat up, but mechanically sound. If you shop, you can find sound vehicles that will last, as long as you do your part, regular oil changes that type of stuff. The biggest thing--don't buy American. Sorry, US auto guys, but the 1980-2000 crop of US vehicles suck. (The Ranger is a Mazda) I'd buy a Honda, Toyota or Nissan.

    With my Tundra, I've never looked back at US trucks.
     
  6. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

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    It's always hard to give advice on this sort of stuff. Having an older car isn't necessarily the best idea if you have no place to work on it, or the skills to do the work. But buying a new car every two years is essentially tossing money out the window.

    My daily driver... is 21 years old. It has it's quirks, and occasionally requires expensive parts... but I am able to do all the work myself. The body has seen better days, but overall is quite strong.

    My wife's car is 14 years old. Again, has it's quirks, and the odd expensive item, but it's much cheaper in the long run. I bought it for her two years ago when we were dating... $850 car + couple hours of body work, patching rust holes with welded panels, paint... total cost of under $1200... to replace her newer truck that used more than twice the fuel. Sold her truck and paid off the loan on it.

    A huge factor in the costs of repairs is labour; if you can do it yourself, you can save a lot of money. Most recently:

    My Car:
    -clutch was going (turned out to be the hydraulic clutch master cylinder... swapped in a used spare I had)... replaced the original clutch... 230k km's on it... still date-stamped from 1987, almost worn to the rivets. A weekend to pull the transmission, then pull the engine when I realized it was easier to do it that way. Tools required... sockets, wrenches, hoist (could be done on axle stands for most cars), engine hoist (can be rented... or done with a floor jack). Cost for parts - $400. Labour saved - $900+ from an independant shop.
    -heater core - $80 part... 7+ hours to remove/install the dash to do it. Specialized tools... small metric sockets, philips head screwdriver, patience. Labour saved - $800+ from the dealership (dealer quotes 9+ hours and two tech's.)

    My wife's car is going to need some minor work soon... I've got a whole spare shift linkage sitting in my trunk ready to have new bushings fabricated for it. Couple new brass bushings, reassemble the shifter, then it's just a couple hours labour to put the car up, drop the exhaust and heat shields, and replace the shift linkages.

    My father still has his '98 Outback. One of the few vehicles he's ever bought new. Always treated with Krown rust proofing. Only major work it's needed was a fuel tank... and it will need exhaust work soon. It's been across the country and back without issue. He's had the dealer do the majority of the work on it, and has always been happy with it.

    I generally look for cars I have experience with... European cars (older Audi's and VW's), and Ford stuff. My first couple cars were older VW's, then an older Audi quattro. Picked the Ford Escort wagon for my wife because my father owned one (till my sister rear-ended someone with it), and would buy another. Great fuel economy.
     
  7. Ramkitten

    Ramkitten Member

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    My husband has a 1971 Datsun 510 Wagon. It was the first car he owned in high school (about 1991). Bought it from his friend's dad for $200, but got $100 back because he had to immediately make a repair. He drove that car all over the southwest for about five years--rough, dirt roads and all--then, after he met me and we decided to keep just my newer car and move east, he sold his Datsun for $600. When we moved back to Arizona seven years later (5 years ago), he saw his old, beloved Datsun around town, and, about a year ago, he bought it back ... for $100! He mostly uses it for driving around town, but old reliable goes much further when he wants it to. The plan is to eventually convert it to electric (so we'll be "drivin' around town suckin' up nothin'"--get it, Datsun. D=drivin', A=around, etc. Har-har), but the conversion will cost waaaaaaay more than the car. And as it is it gets good gas mileage at 40mpg, give or take.

    What's my point? Um, I don't know. Just tellin' a story.
     
  8. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. So far this year I've spent about $1,400 on repairs and parts. Some of the small repairs I did myself. Others I didn't have the capability.

    If I got a new car that $1,400 would have been about 4.5 monthly payments on a brand new car with a warranty and better fuel economy. Still if you average the repairs over a year (12 months) it only works out to $116 a month so far this year to keep the old car.

    I'm kind of waiting for something big to break on the car. Then it'll be time for sure.

    I also find that small cars have gotten even smaller since I bought my last car. Every car I look at has a smaller back seat, trunk, front seat etc.
     
  9. doc66

    doc66 Well-Known Member

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    You do realize that the vehicle is actually MORE efficient cost wise as is than if you converted it to electric, don't you? The long term cost of the batteries and the replacement cost should they "go bad" is far more than you will spend keeping it in gas an oil on a daily basis, especially if it is an "around town" ride as you say. The real cost of current electric vehicles are hidden from the populace and the technology is just not good enough in today's terms to justify them yet. Besides, the real environmental savings are a farce--the technology that is used to make the batteries and everything else is still using the petrol-based technology of yesteryear.

    I have a friend who had to have a Hybrid Toyota and now that he has it, says that it is not really worth the extra long-term cost. Do some more research on the subject. It's not as wonderful as everyone wants to think.

    You are better off leaving that Datsun as is--you'll get more bang for your buck with it as a 40 mpg daily driver.
     
  10. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

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    That's why the fuel economy is going up. Of course, a smaller car is more expensive to insure, because of the risk of injury from a collision with a larger car.


    As for spending $1400 on repairs... it's all a question of reliability. Was that $1400 spent on something that will last for years to come? Why did those parts fail in the first place?

    What's the value of your car now if you tried to sell, versus a new car that depreciates the moment you buy it.

    Often, when buying cars that are 1-2 years old, you're not buying someone's problems... you're buying a car that's been out on a lease. And in today's consumeristic market, everyone wants a new car every two years. However, there is a chance that the car hasn't been properly maintained during the lease.

    How do I find/buy my cars? Kijiji is useful; thats where I found my wife's Escort. Various car forums are how I've found my older Audi's. I'm constantly watching Kijiji for deals on an older used Subaru... possibly a parts car for my father, possibly a new car for me or my wife.
     
  11. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I have a 38 year old motorbike, 21 year old Jeep, a 20 year old Jeep, a 17 year old GM .. and a 3 year old Jeep. I have no garage, so, when it comes time to fix, I am laying in the dirt fixing whatever needs to be fixed. I just finished installing a new transmission, clutch and transfer case in the 20 year old Jeep. It was "expensive" to do, but, way cheaper than replacing the whole Jeep with something comparable and newer.

    You need to figure out where you financial priorities are. I would rather do $1,000 worth of repairs on my old Jeep every 2 or 3 years instead of paying the $5500 / year that I am on my 3 year old "new" Jeep (purchased brand-new). I am planning on keeping my new Jeep for 20+ years if at all possible, so I do the maintenance as often as it needs it, check filters, fluids and moving parts regularly.

    If you can do the maintenance, the repairs are limited.
     
  12. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I've rented a Pontiac G8 for the week. It's nice to drive a new car around. Really fast too and the sound system is pretty good. Still after a day or two it seems a car is really just a car. It's funny how quickly the novelty wears off.

    I think trucks and jeeps tend to be better suited to long term ownership. Cars just don't seems to last as long. They're probably not designed to be as tough as a truck.
     
  13. Ramkitten

    Ramkitten Member

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    Agreed. And I do think my husband is starting to think that way. He still talks about doing the conversion, but I told him that he'll just have to sell more artwork and do some side-projects (metalwork, etc.) to pay for it. Originally, his grandfather was going to fund it, because he'd always wanted to do a project like that, but at 93, he just wants to watch his grandson do the work. But Grampa George kind of bit off more than he could chew financially, so there goes that.

    Anyway, I know the orginal question was about buying old versus new cars. I say no way on the new cars. I can't really think of any good reason to buy a hunk of metal for--what do "cheap" new cars go for these days? $20k?--that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. We've had great luck with Toyotas. Once had a Camry wagon we bought for $4,000 with 106,000 miles on it. We added 200,000 miles and then traded it in for another used Toyota--a Tacoma pickup--that's going strong after 10 years and 150,000 miles. Never any major repairs.
     
  14. doc66

    doc66 Well-Known Member

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    Cool.... And you gotta love Toyota's!
     
  15. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Toyota is the most popular car in Canada. People love the quality. I've always bought American cars. I used to sell Chevrolets, Saturns, Saabs, Isuzus, and Oldsmobiles. Lately I'm tempted to try a forign make.
     
  16. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    I tend to buy used......I like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Ford (trucks). When I do buy new it is for my business.

    I still have a 1990 Honda Accord and a 1996 Toyota 4 Runner that I bought new. The Toyota was the last personal vehicle that I purchased new.
     
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I've never driven a new car off the lot and probably never will. The newest vehicle I have ever bought is a 94 Dodge 2500 in 98. Still driving it with 230,000 mi. I also have an 81 GMC 3500 4x4 1 ton dump with 1600,000 on it. Bought that in 98 also. I did replace the tranny in 01. I prefer the older truck because I can fix anything that goes wrong with it from a Chevy truck bone-yard about 10 miles away. The DW drives an 89 Ford Probe that she won't give up till it is totally unrepairable. I had an 89 Mazda 626 that finally gave up at 298,000. I was sooo looking forward to seeing that odometer turn over to 300,000 but it started smoking one day, and just kept getting worse. When I couldn't see the car behind me :eek: I decided it was time to take it off the road. :( I gave it to a fellow on craigslist who wanted to rebuild it. Don't know if he ever did.
     
  18. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Buying new cars or used cars depends on the economy and your economic circumstances. Right now there aren't many used cars available so they are of considerable cost. We just bought my daughter a brand new Honda Civic, it was only $2,000.00 more than a late model used one. The warranty was well worth it.
    Personally I drive 100,000 miles a year with my job, so I prefer a 2-3 year old used one. I would rather some one else took the first hit in value.
    My last car though was a brand new Jeep Patriot (2008), it was less than $15,000.00, to good a deal to pass up and it was time for a vehicle. This vehicle has 4 wheel drive and leather seats, with alot of cargo space in back when the seats are down. It gets around 28 miles to the gallon, but cant pull a trailer.
    I do recomend changing the oil every 3k miles do to how hard a 4 cyl engine has to work. Also my new Jeep came with a life time warranty on the motor and drive line, and President Obama guarenteed it.
    I got an ad from a Jeep dealer in Pittsburgh and beat up my local dealer with it. They wanted to sell a car. My wife got a price for a Honda on line and shopped the local dealers with it.
    Good Hunting, Sailaway
     
  19. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I only buy older stuff. I have gotten into old mercedes. I have picked up a few for 1,000-1,500$ in pretty good shape. I burn wvo ( cooking oil ) and the cars pay for themselves in a few months. My daily driver is an '85 300SD. I got 4 yrs ago for 1,100. I have put about that much back into it. I only fill my tank every 6-8 weeks. I used to will up every 7-10 days. I don't keep full coverage on it. In one year it would cost as much as the car is worth.

    If you buy something that "has a following" and some after market parts like MB, Jeep, Ford, Honda etc. you can find all kinds of info for them online. They all have forums where can search for your problem and read the posts for how to fix it. Most will have step by step instructions and pics.

    I also like to pick a common car, so I can find parts at the junk yard. It's easier to find a cheap used part for a Geo Tracker compaired to a CJ-5. I'm not saying you cann't get jeep parts, but people act like the part is made of gold. Most cj's in the junk yard are picked bare. You could probably find a Tracker in the junk yard that you could start and drive home.
     
  20. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    Burning the veggie oil sounds good. I've personally never been a fan of diesel engines but if you're going for a used veggie oil burner that's the way. Those old Mercedes diesels have a good rep for reliability. I've been busy rebuilding the walk in closet. Now that I'm done I'll have time to take the wife out looking at cars.