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Old 09-28-2016, 08:16 AM   #21
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They had motion pictures back then?
Yes, but I don't think they were talkies, yet.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:21 AM   #22
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So, does anyone look at their purchase in terms of cost per mile? If so, do you have a sweet spot? For example, buy a 2yr old car, drive two years and sell before problems and while the value is still there. Or, drive it into the ground?
no. not ever. I look at my purchase in terms of how good of a deal I'm getting compared to MSRP (or KBB if used) and how much fun I'll have driving it.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:38 AM   #23
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In my experience, when shopping for value cars has been:

1. Two to four year old low mileage cars.
2. Do not buy high demand vehicles (whether it is body style or trendy).
3. Prefer cars that depreciate quickly as they are not in demand, but also stay away from those that appear to be troublesome. Usually means stay away from Fiat/Chrysler products.

My best values in last 20 years have been minivans (but not Toyota or Honda or Chrysler).

Be very patient in shopping. It usually has taken me months to find an acceptable vehicle at a good price.

Current fleet:
2011 Kia Sedona minivan, purchased in 2013 with 8K miles for $18K
2012 Hyundia Sante Fe AWD purchased in Jan 2016 with 40K miles for $15K, added new tires, minor cosmetic issues I can easily live with.
2010 Mercury Mariner AWD purchased in May 2016 with 36K miles for $13.2K, needs tires.

My observation has been that if your looking for a Honda, Toyota, or Subaru, you may as well buy new, the price differential is not there to bother with a few year old version.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:47 AM   #24
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We bought a full load new 97 Camry. Drove it for 18 years and now our son has had it for the past two years. Just under 250K miles. Perfect shape, have never burned oil, etc.

Bought a three year old full load Accord in 2010. It had 23K miles on it. Bought it on the lot but called the previous owner first (long story). We had been looking a new one. The used one was about 60 percent of the cost of the new one. We expect to keep this for at least another 10 years. We do not put much mileage on the unit. When we were shopping our target vehicles were Camry, Honda, and possibly Mazda 6. Very satisfied that we went this route. Why incur the first few years of depreciation expense?
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:02 AM   #25
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For years I bought gently used 2 year old cars with about a year/12,000 miles left on the manufacturer warranty. I saved a lot.

But when I went to replace my vehicle in 2006 I found that the discount to new was not very significant... I've bought new since then.... I get the thrill of a brand new car plus a better/longer warranty.

For example, I looked at 2 year old Subaru Outbacks last fall with ~$20k miles and they were ~$26-27k and I bought new for $29.5k. I found the same thing with trucks... new seemed to be only a little more than gently used... the savings were not attractive.

I usually keep them up nice and trade them around 100-125k miles unless they start giving me problems.
That's a very good point - I find the same holds for me too. The major reason for that is that I always go for the lower end trims (fewest extra gizmos) when I buy new, while most of the used cars tend to be more decked out versions that started at a much higher price. Since I don;t need all those extras, I'm better off buying new, stripped down models
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:10 AM   #26
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I chose to replace a truck I loved exactly a year ago. Partly because it needed a lot of repairs and partly because I felt I needed more of a road trip vehicle. I found, as others expressed, that the "discount" for "gently used" was not nearly what I thought it should be.
I was comparing Hyundai Santa Fe with Toyota Highlander, and what I really loved about the Hyundai was that it cost about 7K less. What I didn't like about it was that whenever I test drove it, my left butt cheek went numb. No matter what I did, or how I adjusted the seat, I could not get comfortable in the Hyundai.
The Highlander was great from the moment I sat in it, I new it was the perfect fit for me.
So I spent the extra jingle for the Highlander.

Also, the truck I was losing was a Toyota that had served me well for 14 years, so I had confidence in Toyota.

My point is that cost per mile is one thing, but for what these things cost, get something you like, if you can.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:19 AM   #27
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..... The major reason for that is that I always go for the lower end trims (fewest extra gizmos) when I buy new, while most of the used cars tend to be more decked out versions that started at a much higher price. Since I don;t need all those extras, I'm better off buying new, stripped down models
Our last two new vehicles (in last 9 months but that is a whole different story) were ordered and we waited 4-6 weeks for them to be delivered. That way we were able to get the trim level, colors and options that we wanted and valued but skip the options and trim packages that are commonly loaded on vehicles on dealer lots that are expensive but nothing that we are interested in.

In the case of my truck, it was a mid trim level but with no options other than a dealer applied spray-in bedliner but I was able to get the colors that I wanted. In the case of our SUV, we were able to get the trim level, colors and options that we felt were worth the money.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:47 AM   #28
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Some cars (Toyotas, Hondas, etc) depreciate so slowly that it's almost the same price to get a new one. And they routinely run for 200K miles before they start to decline in reliability.
I've noticed this more and more lately.
Comparing a certified used model with a new one, I've been seeing such small differences that I'm amazed.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:56 AM   #29
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I've noticed this more and more lately.
Comparing a certified used model with a new one, I've been seeing such small differences that I'm amazed.
very true for subies, as pb4uski mentioned - new ones are just a better deal if you can work one on the stealership
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:01 AM   #30
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True for small pickups as well in my recent experience.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:03 AM   #31
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True for small pickups as well in my recent experience.
I sold my 2011 4x4 ranger for $25 less than I paid for it last month

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Old 09-28-2016, 10:18 AM   #32
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I've noticed this more and more lately.
Comparing a certified used model with a new one, I've been seeing such small differences that I'm amazed.
One significant cost savings for going "recently used" would be avoiding the sales tax by buying from a private party. If a person lives in a place where sales taxes are high and he/she is willing to go through the extra bother of dealing with private sellers and knows how to reduce the risk of getting a dud, then I suppose the purchase of a 2-3 year old used car from a private party might offer worthwhile savings vs purchase of a new car. Since we keep ours for 20 years or more, I've rationalized that it's okay to pay a bit more for the "bare bones" new car and start with a known quantity. To us, even the base models seem pretty nice.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:21 AM   #33
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You don't avoid sales tax by buying from a private party. When you buy from a dealer you pay sales tax when they do the registration papers. If you buy from a private party you pay sales tax when you register it.

I've never lived anywhere where it was different from that and you could avoid the sales tax.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:35 AM   #34
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You don't avoid sales tax by buying from a private party. When you buy from a dealer you pay sales tax when they do the registration papers. If you buy from a private party you pay sales tax when you register it.

I've never lived anywhere where it was different from that and you could avoid the sales tax.
Ahh, thanks. I know some folks do cheat on this, but I'd forgotten about the tax paid during registration of newly purchased used car.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:14 PM   #35
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We buy new (our history with used cars was not good so we stopped that) and just drive them until either reliability or parts availability become issues. I kept my last pickup truck for 18 years and the 2003 GMC pickup at 95k miles is just broken in. The 2014 Honda Accord might still be around in 20 years, maybe we can trade it in on one that drives itself.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:41 PM   #36
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I'm setting up what hopefully becomes a disruptive rental/lease car business right now (yeah, call the FIRE police).

Can confirm - a good deal on a new car can be just as good as young & used. The time based depreciation curve has become a straight line. Sometimes even inverted: You can find deals now (rarely) where a new car is actually cheaper than a used one. Market inefficiency in your favor.

I'd only advise buying old if you can do some repair and maintenance work yourself, and save money that way.

Otherwise, buy cars that are very common, get rid of it at least one year before most warranties expire. That minimizes tail risk - they don't fluctuate as much in residual value. Look at both new and nearly new, and take the best deal on offer in that moment.

And to add to that: leasing as a private individual doesn't usually make sense if you have the cash outlay. Although sometimes, the price is right. Usually it isn't (certainly not if you go via a dealer-allied lease company).
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #37
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Another reason to buy new (we almost always have) is to consider your usage. I've averaged about 24,000 miles a year for decades -- no difference before/after retirement. I start getting nervous about even a good reliable car around 150K, so six years is my limit.

Last three have all been completely repair-free for that period -- just routine maintenance.
They were all Honda CR-Vs, so I definitely have a warm fuzzy feeling about that model.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #38
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Food for thought, I'm leaning less towards the "keep till they drop" mentality. Mostly because technology is changing so much. case in point, its really annoying not to have Bluetooth and USB ports in the car which my 2011 doesn't have, so we are looking at getting a 2013 which would. Also the 2013 comes with a backup camera which I didn't think we needed but as I get use to it, it seems like a good idea.

As we age, upgrading to get the latest technology may be the best option. My father as he turned 80 started having problems turning his neck as far, which meant his blind spots were more an issue, but if he got a car with blind spot monitors on it, that would make him feel much safer to drive. I just don't see keeping the car as long as I once did because technology would drive the desire to upgrade thus making sure I buy a car with the most amount of resale is now my driving factor.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:58 PM   #39
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You don't avoid sales tax by buying from a private party. When you buy from a dealer you pay sales tax when they do the registration papers. If you buy from a private party you pay sales tax when you register it.

I've never lived anywhere where it was different from that and you could avoid the sales tax
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Come to AZ, no sales tax when buying from a private party.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:59 PM   #40
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As we age, upgrading to get the latest technology may be the best option. My father as he turned 80 started having problems turning his neck as far, which meant his blind spots were more an issue, but if he got a car with blind spot monitors on it, that would make him feel much safer to drive.
With correctly adjusted side mirrors, the blind spot is virtually eliminated.
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