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View Poll Results: When you buy a car, what age or age range do you usually buy?
New cars 49 50.00%
Used cars, less than 2 years old 12 12.24%
Used cars, 2-5 years old 24 24.49%
Used cars, more than 5 years old 8 8.16%
The cheapest things I can find 0 0%
I usually lease 1 1.02%
Other/I've never bought a car 4 4.08%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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When you buy a car, what age or age range do you usually buy?
Old 05-24-2008, 11:04 PM   #1
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When you buy a car, what age or age range do you usually buy?

I'm new around here, but I was curious what age of cars we early retirement aspirants usually buy.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:13 AM   #2
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We have been buying new vehicles and driving them for 10 to 12 years. While working, we put about 12k mi per year on the vehicle.

DW is retired now and will put less miles on the car (probably about 5k) in a year.

I will ER in a few years. I am mulling over what to do about our next vehicle right now. One goal is to get a vehicle that is energy efficient... Fuel prices will continue to rise.

We would buy a new vehicle normally. However, if the oldest car needs to be replace in the next couple of year, I may buy a used vehicle to hold us over until a broader array of hybrids (improved efficiency) to come on the market.

We will be doing a lot of driving in ER (travel) so we will want a dependable vehicle that is comfortable and fuel efficient.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:56 AM   #3
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i'm spoiled. i had more new cars in my first 35 years of life than mom had in her entire 75 years of life. the ol'man always taught me that a car was just a vehicle to get from point a to point b. but he probably never felt that way about his boats. mom bought a new car maybe once every 10 years or whenever the old car started becoming a hassle with repairs.

but i've gone through new cars like toilet paper, having had company cars from college until just a few years ago. for the last three cars on my own, i got an almost new yellow mustang convertible (was a repo with about 3k mi on it) at just a few bucks over its wholesale auction price through a friend of a friend. then i had a t-bird on a ford-subsidized lease, a seriously good price which an industry employed friend had told me about.

since college, i've never had a car that was more than two or three years old. but at least i can say that i didn't buy my first new car until i was 50, so that story can spin either way. i might be taking a bath on the current stang vertible gt. i bought it thinking it would be a five-year car for fun roadtrips before taking off and vagabonding sans car for quite a few years, but since then my net worth has tanked and my tank is, well, how's your tank? still, very fun to speed around town, and i'm just doing more local trips instead of cross-country ones. not sure how this is going to play out but i might sell it, cutting my rather large loss if & when i get rid of these houses or i might settle someplace cheaper for a while and continue with some roadtrips before heading offshore.

had i known i wouldn't get the use (which i planned for) out of this new car when i bought it, well, as is said, i would have made a whole different set of mistakes.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:31 AM   #4
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I voted 'Other', since we've bought all kinds. Of our last 4 cars, 2 were new and two were pushing 50 years old (but driven regularly in the summer). Before that, we'd buy used, anywhere from 3 to 10 years old, any good vehicle at a good price.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:38 AM   #5
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I should buy used only and I used to long ago. My compromise is I buy inexpensive, reliable new cars (and wait a long as it takes for a great deal) and keep them for 5-6 years. We can afford anything we want, but our last two cars were a Honda Element and a Toyota Camry Hybrid. My peers all drive Lexus, BMW, Audi, huge SUV's, etc. and trade in every 3 years. They don't understand why I don't buy something more 'prestigious,' but I don't envy them at all...they'll still be working/paying long after I'm FIREd.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #6
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Our last two private cars were new. The truck I bought last summer was a better deal new than I could get used (500 over invoice, then minus a 3000 rebate from mfg). The minivan we bought in 2005 was new and was purely an indulgence for DW, not to be had again. I've had three new company vehicles (Lexus) in the past 6.5 years. My wife's car in Asia we bought used with a very good deal. On our car purchases in the states, we just haven't been able to find great deals on used cars...I don't like buying over 2-3 years old, and these days a 2-3 y.o. car goes for almost as much as a new one. Next car is still years off, and will be new, and as comfortable and efficient as we can find. Other than that, I'm hoping there is a new RV in the future for us, within a couple of years.

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Old 05-25-2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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Since I was in the car biz all my life I didn't have to buy my cars. Got 2 demos from work for DW and myself. Now that I'm retired we bought 1 new car for DW so I don't have to listen to her. (heh) For myself I bought a 4K Taurus and plan to drive it till it falls apart. DW is not to thrilled about the Taurus, but hey, it goes forward just fine.

When it comes time to buy another car for myself it will be something at least 3 years old so someone else can pay the lions share of the depreciation.

As far as DW, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Oh yea, Leasing, the biggest rip off in automotive history.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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Think i've had one car less than ten years old when i bought it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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Only new car I bought was 1972 Super Beetle. Others all over the map, A 62 Pontiac Bonneville, car was a mile long, step on gas, gas gauge went down same rate as speedometer up.
They were giving away salt shakers, Ginzu knife sets and other trinkets, just to get you into the gas station. Full service too, washed windows checked oil, washer fluid. Told you roll up driver's window. That, I tipped for. Shoot, with that Bonneville I had a full set of kitchen knives in two weeks. Gas 32 cent/ gallon.
Latest, an 88 XJ6, 3yrs ago, 99 GMC Suburban 7.4l, 4 yrs ago. Wife will have new only.
Used cars OK if you can do your own work, which I do.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
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In 2006 I bought a 2001 VW Beetle TDI and a brand new motorcycle. I wasn't expecting to move out to Southern California with the great year-round weather, so when I got here I sold the car and have only been riding my motorcycle. Since I like to bicycle and kayak, I'm thinking of buying a beater with a top rack if I can't find somewhere to live with some sort of body of water nearby and good trails.
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:01 PM   #11
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Always new since 1967. Kept anywhere from 2 to 9 years. Current one is an 05 SUV (can't really see selling it or going smaller - only slightly over 23K miles on it now). Current driving entails about 4.5K miles annually. Unless gas gets to $25 a gallon I can live with it (not happily but still would live with it). Maybe 2011 or so depending on what develops I may look for another new one (probably not a SUV).
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:04 PM   #12
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We buy new and keep forever. Only got rid of the last car because it was totalled in an accident. One car 10 years old and bought new and just a second on that is new right now.
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:49 PM   #13
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Daily fleet rental are taken out of service with lots of warranty and marked down by $1000's.

We got a 2003 Impala ~ 35 000 KM in 2004 and couldn't be happier.

They tend to load up these vehicles with extra features, making it an even better deal.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:30 PM   #14
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Like sweetana3 we buy new and keep them forever, until the wheels fall off or we can't find parts. That was easy for me since I had an employer's car to drive when not working with a few reasonable restrictions.

When the ones we have need to be replaced I'll be more open to buying 2 or 3 year old used. Growing up we bought used cars and they were with one exception a maintenance headache. But the quality all around is much better now, the only question I'd have on a used one is "if it's such a great car, why did he sell it?" But some people change cars just because they decided they don't like the color.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:04 PM   #15
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Conventional wisdom is buy a 2-3 YO car because that is when the major depreciation hits. I've done it, but since I keep the cars until they are 10-12 years old, I don't think it makes much financial difference. You lose miles under warranty, have to get new tires, brakes and other maint items at about that time, and if I'm going to drive it for that long, it's kind of nice to have it brand spankin' new for a few of those years. So I prefer to buy new.

OTOH, for our kids, we help them choose a decent used car ( $4-$5K range) and go in 50-50. They don't put on many miles, may damage it, and it may sit idle for the first year or two of college. Just don't want to tie up that much $ for those vehicles.

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:00 PM   #16
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We buy economical new and drive until they are ready for major repairs (10 -15 years). Most of my friends/peers drive new vehicles (Accuras, Lexus, BMW, etc. and tease me about being cheap - but I don't have to pay for premium gas, more expensive parts/maintenance/insurance.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:39 PM   #17
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We've usually bought older (5+ old) used cars. When it is time to replace my wife's 1995 Honda Odyssey (our "nice" car), we might do things differently.
-- Korean cars: These have come a long way in the quality department, and if they continue to offer very long warranties we might buy a new one (if the prices are still 15-20% below a comparable Honda or Toyota).
-- Japanese Cars: If we buy one, it will probably be a new one. They seem to depreciate so slowly that you just can't get a significant advantage by getting one a few years old. This way we'll know it's been taken care of.
-- A 3-5 YO American car: I do think they've gotten a lot better in initial quality, bit I don't know if they've got reliable subcomponents that will last a decade or two. If it looks like they've truly turned the corner and that I can get one at a bargain price, I would do it.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:17 AM   #18
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Always new vehicles - but none lately. Currently, DW and I have 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee (133k miles), 2001 Acura (95k miles), 2001 Corvette (48k miles), and a 2004 Jeep Wrangler(8k miles). I'll probably have to replace the Grand Cherokee and Acura within the next 5 years. Not sure what to get yet.
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I have bought at 2-3 years old and kept them for 10 years
Old 05-26-2008, 11:32 AM   #19
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I have bought at 2-3 years old and kept them for 10 years

But I do check what the initial depreciation is to see if it makes sense. Some do, like American luxury cars, but many really don't suffer any more initially than longer term and I would buy new in that case. Capital costs have always been the largest expense for me, even buying used and keeping them 10 years, but insurance, and gas, maintenance and repair, end up as close second and third.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:01 AM   #20
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Last new car I bought was a 89 Pontiac Grand Prix. Since then, I've purchased six vehicles: 4 were about a year old and still under warranty but at about 65% of original sticker, one was 4 years old and a good deal.....sold it less than a year later for same price I bought it due to a move to another state, and the last was 3 years old but at 40% of original sticker and average mileage.

Agree that with popular cars, don't get that big of a break in price. View vehicles as a tool so whatever gets the job done is what I shop for. BTW, of the six, one was a sedan, one a pickup truck (2wd) and 4 were minivans. I love that folks prefer SUVs, makes shopping for soccer dad minivans a bargain.

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