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Old 03-27-2013, 08:24 AM   #81
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Agree with many posters that "it depends". I look at the difference between buying a 1-2 yr old used versus new and make my decision. Last time the answer came out new was for a 89 Pontiac. From 1995 to 2007, it easily came out used as I could get a one year old minivan with 20K miles for 70% of new price (bought three vans that way over that time period). It was also the big SUV craze so minivans were a bargain. My last purchase was a 3 yr old minivan (my 4th minivan) with 40K miles for 40% of new price.

Unfortunately, I suspect those days have passed. My recent informal surveys of the market means I will likely be buying new next time but also keeping an eye out for out of favor vehicles that meet my needs that can be gotten for a good price. For example, pricing is decent on used small SUVs that are not all wheel drive in this area. Probably because we are in snow country (just passed 100 inches for the year) and folks think all wheel drive is mandatory in an SUV. It'd be nice, but lived very well without it. And being retired, if the roads are really bad, I stay home.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:40 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
I bought one from Carmax and have been very pleased with it. No problems in 2 years and the purchase process was very stress free. I took it to a shop for a pre-purchase inspection before completing the purchase.

Check out pre-purchase inspections, I think it's worth it buying used.

https://www.google.com/search?q=vehi...w=1352&bih=719
Carmax for used - 1996 was last one (my truck sold it)
Camry new - 1998 - my car
Hyundai new - 2012 - wife's - the used at Carmax was about the same price
as the what she paid at the dealer.

We keep cars so long that the depreciation really does not matter that much.

I have the cash for a new Hyundai. When the time comes I will check Carmax prices and New prices and see if the diff. is worth it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #83
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Camry new - 1998 - my car
Hyundai new - 2012 - wife's - the used at Carmax was about the same price
as the what she paid at the dealer.

We keep cars so long that the depreciation really does not matter that much.
You're not buying the type of car that will benefit from any depreciation capture. A slightly used civic/camry can cost as much or more than buying new.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:04 AM   #84
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Keep in mind, that local laws/taxes can skew the results.
In Georgia we pay around 6-7% sales tax on a new car ( not applicable to used cars bought from private sellers) and annual "ad valorem tax".
So for 20k new car vs. 14k used, this would roughly mean additional $1200 sales tax and about $200 more annually in ad valorem tax.
Also the cost of collision & comprehensive coverage on the new vehicle is also higher, but when I was pricing it, it was only about $100 annual difference (liability was much bigger part of the insurance price).

I buy used, but I'm specific type of buyer. I needed a truck, but don't put a lot of miles on it, so I bought a year old truck off fleet lease, for I think $13k total, which showed $30k invoice one year earlier. Such a sharp price reduction was because the truck made almost 90k mile during this first year.

We also bought our minivan used, from a rental company (Hertz) at significant discount what was available from dealers or private sellers and been happy with the purchase.

We might buy new in the future, if we were to buy vehicles which hold the value really well (like most Hondas & Toyotas)
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #85
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It took us a good three months to find the right low mileage three-five year old full load import sedan for my spouse. One that had all the bells and whistles, had not been in an accident, and was the right price. There just were not a lot of them out there. Fact is, owners tend to hang on to them.

I am on year 17 of my Camry. Just about to get the timing belt done again as the odometer hits 180,000 miles. I thought about replacing it and even test drove a new Acura. But I like my car and it has cost me nothing to drive other than normal maintenance/repair. Still no rattles.

There is a very good reason why the US badged cars tend to depreciate so quickly just as there is a good reason why some of the import badged cars tend to depreciate far less and are thus very competitive from a leasing perspective if one is so inclined. It is called quality of build and frequency of repair.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #86
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Keep in mind, that local laws/taxes can skew the results.
In Georgia we pay around 6-7% sales tax on a new car ( not applicable to used cars bought from private sellers)
They changed this law effective 3/1/2013. House Bill 386

Beginning on March 1, 2013 there will no longer be any sales taxes charged on new or used cars in Georgia. Sales taxes will be replaced with a new 6.5% title in tax in 2013 which will increase to 6.75% in 2014. This will apply to both dealership and private party purchases.


GA House Bill 386 New Motor Vehicle Tax Policies in Georgia | Ed Bolian
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:21 PM   #87
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You're not buying the type of car that will benefit from any depreciation capture. A slightly used civic/camry can cost as much or more than buying new.
That is what I found from reading all the posts here.
Every time we did the math buying new seemed to be the way never realizing
that it was the type of car we looked at that made the difference.
I never been a car guy.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:30 PM   #88
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I hear that US quality is catching up to foreign, but I still stand by Honda/Toyota. My family has never owned a Honda that we didn't drive to at least 175K miles before selling. We've had two die (get to the point where repairs cost more than cars value) and both were in the 200-250K range.

I am currently driving a 2006 Accord that was bought for $23K new. It has 99K miles on it and still feels brand new. About to do the 100K round of maintenance. It'll easily get over 150K (another 3 years) before I even consider buying something to replace it.

I understand that there are instances where people can get unlucky with a particular car and have problems before 150K miles, but it is my strong belief that if you do the following two things, you shouldn't have a problem driving a car for 10+ years

1) Make sure you buy a quality car (avoid the ones that die young)
2) Make sure you maintain it.

I never drive more than 4K miles without changing the oil. For Honda's that's about it for maintenance beside the obvious brakes and tires when they are getting low.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:53 PM   #89
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2 years into a Subaru Forester.....they just don't sell as many total cars, but I don't understand why they don't get accepted more. With hind-site... coming back from the UK to the US I would have bought a Honda Fit....would have been more appropriate.
subarus are all over Washington. It's very popular car here. Perhaps not quite so much around Spokane as out here, but I think they are very popular there too. I had one for 5 years until it got crashed, and I liked it very much much.

Ha
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #90
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haha- tons of subaru's here. I was just making the comment that they don't sell the numbers of vehicles that others do....just not that big of a company compared to Honda/ Toyota etc. They are very popular in the NW and NE though. Probably overkill for what we have used it for so far....a good front wheel drive car with good winter tires are more than enough for most people.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:08 PM   #91
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subarus are all over Washington. It's very popular car here. Perhaps not quite so much around Spokane as out here, but I think they are very popular there too. I had one for 5 years until it got crashed, and I liked it very much much.

Ha
Ohhh, they do well in Spokaloo.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:55 PM   #92
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I see many here buy slightly used vehicles and keep them "til the wheels fall off" and I'm wondering how you are finding reliable used vehicles? The few used cars I have bought in my lifetime have invariably been lemons that the previous owners were happy to unload on someone else so I am very gun-shy about buying used.

I have one word for you, CRAIGSLIST!!!! I just went through the stressful process of purchasing my first car through craigslist. Here is what you need to do. Go to the dealers and find your ideal car first. Do test drives and look at consumer reports to find the most reliable car. Once you have picked out your ideal vehicle. Start skimming craigslist. What you are looking for is probably a 3-5 year old single owner vehicle with a clean title/history. I would recommend going to carfax.com and signing up for a $50 1 month service where you can run unlimited license plates and 5 vins.

Any posts on craigslist that seem interesting, ask for the license plate or vin and run a carfax report. If the carfax report comes back clean with no accidents/good maintenance history/no liens/etc, schedule an appointment to test drive the car. Remember used cars are guilty until proven innocent. So do a very thorough test drive and if you are still interested take the car to your local mechanic for a comprehensive look. If your mechanic gives you a thumbs up, make an offer slightly below KBB/NADA Private party values.

The goal isn't to get a certain mileage/year car, but rather get a car within your mileage/year range that was treated well by a single owner. If you find this type of car that is verified by a mechanic, it is most certainly worth the private party value. Also, remember to verify the story for why the poster is selling their car. If they say they are leaving the country and have a thick accent, they are probably telling you the truth. If they are buying a bigger car for the kids, look for evidence of kids around the sellers house or garage. It is a big benefit if they are selling their car for a reason unrelated to "This car is a lemon" and can really give you confidence if you can verify their story.

I went through this process in the last month and picked up a 2011 civic with 10k miles near kbb trade in value. The car had 3 oil changes and regular maintenance checks as well as clean title/accident history. I did my research and knew the deals when they came to craigslist. Once I saw something I liked, it was all about verify verify verify. Good luck and I hope you can find a reliable/affordable vehicle.


EDIT: OH btw, I "upgraded" from a 16 year old civic that has been in my family since 2002. Definitely would recommend toyota or honda. If you look at consumer reports, reliability is exceptionally high for these two companies.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:34 AM   #93
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Jeez, some of you people really drive a lot. We will have the Forester for two years in June...we average under 1000 miles a month. To get to where some of you folks are (200k+) would take us 20 years. Granted....I'm not driving to work anymore, but we were under 1000 miles a month when we were working. We are boring.....
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:43 AM   #94
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In the way of background, my wife's vehicle is getting a bit long in the tooth: near the 100k mile mark and starting to have some problems. Nothing major yet but I get seriously stressed by unreliable vehicles. As is my normal routine I have started considering a new car for her. I usually buy new GM products and keep them for approximately 5 years / 100k miles, although this time for a variety of reasons the brand will probably change.

I see many here buy slightly used vehicles and keep them "til the wheels fall off" and I'm wondering how you are finding reliable used vehicles? The few used cars I have bought in my lifetime have invariably been lemons that the previous owners were happy to unload on someone else so I am very gun-shy about buying used.
I'm not a GM hater or anything (owned a 1995 Saturn SL1 that I bought new for 13 years and a 1986 Buick Skyhawk that we bought used for about 6 years), but TODAY, if you want reliability, no GM product would be my first pick -- well, strike that...if you buy a used (they stopped making them in 2010) Pontiac Vibe (which is really a Toyota Matrix), that's a pretty reliable car. I see you are considering a change.

If you're buying used, New Cars, Used Cars, Car Reviews & Car Prices | Edmunds.com has some good info on reliability for cars from 2009 and older. They also have lots of customer reviews on newer cars that have seemed helpful to me in the past.

Toyota has righted the ship, and Honda, generally speaking (there are stinkers for ANY car maker) is the king of reliability in my opinion.

We bought a used 2005 Honda Accord in 2008, and other than tires and oil and gas, that car is as reliable as they come. I expect to get 200,000 miles on it before we get rid of it.

I also bought a NEW 2011 Honda CRV that today only has 24,000 miles on it, but of course, that car has a great reputation for reliability as well.

Finally, just earlier this month we became a 3-car family when my 16-year-old daughter passed her driver's license test. We bought her a 2006 Scion xA with 60,000 miles on it. Scion is made by Toyota. Awesome little car. Same engine that's in the Toyota Yaris, and a timing chain instead of a timing belt that should help keep maintenance costs to a minimum.

If I were to buy a new car for myself and I didn't have two kids and a big dog living at home, I would get one of the following:

Kia Soul - Kia made them for younger drivers, but older empty nester people are buying them in droves.

Scion xD - This is the evolution of the Scion xA...it's a little bigger with the Corolla engine, and it's a super cool-looking hatchback and of course with Toyota reliability.

If you need a super smooth ride or a VERY comfortable car, then the above two aren't for you though.

If I were getting an all electric car for just tooling around town, I would consider the Nisan Leaf (though I would need to research that a bit before buying). Someone in my neighborhood has one, and they are cool little cars.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:59 AM   #95
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In the way of background, my wife's vehicle is getting a bit long in the tooth: near the 100k mile mark and starting to have some problems. Nothing major yet but I get seriously stressed by unreliable vehicles. As is my normal routine I have started considering a new car for her. I usually buy new GM products and keep them for approximately 5 years / 100k miles, although this time for a variety of reasons the brand will probably change.

I see many here buy slightly used vehicles and keep them "til the wheels fall off" and I'm wondering how you are finding reliable used vehicles? The few used cars I have bought in my lifetime have invariably been lemons that the previous owners were happy to unload on someone else so I am very gun-shy about buying used.
I found reliable used cars the day I quit buying domestic cars.........
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #96
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With the exception of things like suspension, tires, etc. we have our service done by the dealer at the recommended intervals. I believe that this, along with very regular oil changes has elongated the life of our vehicle.

It has been interesting having two cars-one with an import label, the other with a domestic label in terms of the quality of dealership service. For us, there was no comparison.

We frequently had to take my domestic label vehicle back in to have serviced for the same issue. We found this to be true of the two domestic dealerships that we dealt with for service. Our experience with the import label dealership was completely different. Good, reliable service and we never had to take the vehicle back. For us, this was just as important as reliability since one car was used for business.

Fortunately, one of the so called luxury domestic cars that we drove has now recognized this and is promoting itself as a 'new company' and emphasizing its renewed efforts to provide quality service and quality automobiles. I hope this is true for the sake of those who purchase the label. We will pass.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #97
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I wanted to thank everyone for the responses to this thread. I wasn't expecting so much information and am appreciative of those that took the time to post; it has really helped me to make a better decision.

I'm comfortable with my decision to buy new again (was surprised that so many here were in the same boat as I in that regard) but am thinking it's time to look seriously at some foreign brands instead of the old-line GM products that have really only been lasting me to the 100k mileage mark. Some great advice on how to locate good reliable autos (carfax, pre-inspections, etc.) but I'm still tending to buy new given my complete and utter lack of any mechanical aptitude and the excessive stress that unreliable vehicles cause me.
.
And that's a good sound decision that works for YOU. I would definitely look at Honda and Toyota. Hyundai makes a really nice product and they all have a 10- year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

My mechanic was a Honda certified tech for 20 years, and now has his own shop and fixes ALL makes and models. We told me based on what he has seen:

Best of the best: Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus/Scion
2nd tier (very good): Subaru, Hyundai
3rd tier (good): Nissan, Mazda, Kia

As far as domestic cars, he says cars like the Fusion and Malibu show that domestic car companies can make a quality product if they choose too, but consumer confidence takes time to regain.

He says he like working on Mercedes Benz and BMW and Audi and Porsche, because they need a lot of maintenance and he can undercut the dealer and still make a good living.........
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:15 AM   #98
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And that's a good sound decision that works for YOU. I would definitely look at Honda and Toyota. Hyundai makes a really nice product and they all have a 10- year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

My mechanic was a Honda certified tech for 20 years, and now has his own shop and fixes ALL makes and models. We told me based on what he has seen:

Best of the best: Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus/Scion
2nd tier (very good): Subaru, Hyundai
3rd tier (good): Nissan, Mazda, Kia

As far as domestic cars, he says cars like the Fusion and Malibu show that domestic car companies can make a quality product if they choose too, but consumer confidence takes time to regain.

He says he like working on Mercedes Benz and BMW and Audi and Porsche, because they need a lot of maintenance and he can undercut the dealer and still make a good living.........
My 2003 Honda Accord has 164,000 miles on it and I was offered $4000 cash for it the other day..........
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:38 AM   #99
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I'm buying a Honda Fit this spring, and while I'd like to buy used, they hold their value so well I don't think the price differential compensates for the added risk - especially in an area where plenty of cars were damaged by Sandy.
I think you will love your Fit. I've had my 2009 Fit for 4 years (duh) and it's great. I haul all kinds of stuff in it when the back seat is folded down. You could sleep in that car if the stock market takes a dive and you need to cut back on living expenses.

Seriously, I have been loyal to Honda/Acura for 30 years. Would have liked to have purchased 3-4 year old Hondas, but they've always been just as expensive as buying new.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #100
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Regarding the discussion on new vs. used, I think there are many factors involved. For example:

1) The 2006 Scion xA we bought for my daughter to use will be used by her in 2 more years of high school and then MAYBE college (depends on where she goes). We bought that car for $9000, and it should reasonably last until she's done with college in 2019. I don't envision her driving that car a ton, so it could easily still have less than 100,000 miles on it then. Depending on the condition of the car by then, I could probably get $4000 for it, meaning we would have spent $5000 on a car that lasted more than 6 years. Not bad. Not really a good idea to buy a teenager a new car...even if she doesn't dent it up, other inexperienced drivers and careless kids getting out of cars next to hers at her school might.

2) When we bought our 2011 Honda CRV brand new, I had narrowed it down to that car, and when I started looking at used ones, I was finding that at the time (due in part to Cash for Clunkers), the used cars were REALLY holding onto their value, so much so that even ones 5 years old with 50,000 miles on them were MORE than the new one I wanted. Most of the used ones had 4-wheel drive or leather seats or sun roofs, or some other trim package I didn't care to get, so I bought a new one with the stuff on it I wanted for less than just about any used (within 5 years) CRV I could find.

3) In my latest car search that ended with us getting the Scion xA, I found that used car values have come down a bit from 2011. I was pleased with the deal we got on that xA.
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