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  1. #1
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    Buying a New or Used Car

    In the next few months I'll be in the market for a vehicle. Right now I lease but will be buying the next vehicle. Not sure to buy new or used? I haven't totally decided what I will buy - hatchback, SUV or ?? I lease a truck right now, its more vehicle then I need. Plus I want to downsize because I will be retiring in about 4-5 yrs. I know its not a good idea to buy a vehicle you're leasing. If buying used, I know its best to buy a Certified Used Car, but is it best to buy from a dealer(a Certified Used) or from a private seller? If buying used how old? What sites are the best for researching? Some new vehicles I plan to check out are Ford Focus/Fiesta Hatchback, Honda CRV, Jeep Cherokee/Patriot, Toyota Tacoma.

  2. #2
    Rogue Exterminator
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    The right answer is different for everyone.
    Personally, I hate the idea of having a car payment. I loathe it and won't do it if I can help it.
    So when I looked for my last vehicle, I looked for something around the $5k range and bout a really nice 4runner in good shape. I also looked not to buy from a dealership because they charge more for the same vehicle, plus you pay a sales tax and additional dealer fees.
    Also, keep in mind nobody ever "gives" you a warranty. It is built in the price of the vehicle you choose.

    Now, if you want something newer and nicer and don't mind the payments, sometimes new is a better deal than used especially since you have good credit (figure this since you are leasing and it takes good credit to lease).

    I used to sell Nissans and one time had a lady come in wanting a used Altima so she didn't have to pay the depreciated value. After looking at her credit we realized she could get a new one for about $5 more a month (same terms) because she qualified for the cheapest financing rate which is only available on new cars.

    Point is if you are buying new or newer, explore all your options. The new car may not cost you any more money than a used one.
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  3. #3
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    Significant other and I just bought a 2014 Outback for 0.9%. Zero down. Tough to beat that deal if you have the credit to qualify. It fits a lot of stuff and I'm very happy with it. Better than a truck in all weather conditions short of 10" or more of snow. It'll go places you think it couldn't.
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  4. #4
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    I'm not really sure what I want. Besides AWD or 4WD for sure. Subaru isn't that popular in my area. I was checking out the Subaru site looks like some nice vehicles.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    There are a couple situations where a new car makes more sense, to "get what you want now", or in the rare situation where the new car costs just as much, or less, than the used version of the same thing. Such is true with WRXs up here, a 1-2 year old one is no cheaper than a brand new one at the dealer and about the worst buy, but that's a rarity. Usually you can find what you want 1-3 years old and save a ton of money on tax and stupid "document, licensing, destination, etc" charges. This is where you make out. That car advertised for $30K on CL will be $30K. The car advertised for 30K on the dealer lot will be 40K when you drive away. Pay in cash if you can.
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  6. #6
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    Cars = Depreciation. The goal is to get something you like and does the job, while taking as small a financial hit as possible.

    I almost always buy used. I like to find a two year old car with 2x,xxx miles. I drive it until it's got 9x,xxx miles and then sell it. This is the sweet spot. The first owner takes the big financial hit. I drive the car while it's still pretty much new and has almost no problems. Then I sell it before it takes the 100,000+ mile hit and mechanical problems start wasting my time and money.

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  7. #7
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    Sorry but buying a new car never makes sense. A low interest rate can definitely make it more palatable but does it really out weigh the exorbitantly higher price? If you paid cash for it and sold it the next day you would not get what you paid for it. In the long run you will always be better off buying a car that has some mileage on it. Now if money is not an issue well then buy what you like. People call old cars money pits but the reality is just the opposite. If you buy a dependable older car the repair bills will never equal what you would pay in payments and tax on a new car.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  8. #8
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    Buying a New or Used Car

    I like to buy used, just because I like to avoid the dealer costs. I also don't mind buying from private sellers because I have a generally good knowledge of cars and their condition. Last year I bought a used 4runner off Craigslist and was able to negotiate the price down over $1000 because the brakes needed entirely redone. So I did that for about $500. Been running fine ever since. Point being if you buy from a private seller make sure you know what you are looking for when you go to check out a potential car or bring someone who does. Also, use CarFax no matter what, even from a dealer. You don't want to end up with a flood damaged or totaled car
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  9. #9
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    Unless a used car comes with a warranty, then "Certified Used" doesn't mean much. They'll only "certify" a used car if they're only 2-3 years old, so that the odds that there might be something wrong with the car is a lot lower--but that will be the case anyway. If buying used, get it inspected by a mechanic before you buy, and always pull the Carfax as well as ask the seller for maintenance records. Information is your friend, and the more you know then the better decision you'll be able to make.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by abbottphillips View Post
    Hi,
    I completely agree with matadorCE that proper inspection is must before buying a used car it is important to get it checked thoroughly with the familiar mechanic to know the functioning of car properly.I brought my Honda used car from the but first got it verified from my mechanic.
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    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Sorry but buying a new car never makes sense. A low interest rate can definitely make it more palatable but does it really out weigh the exorbitantly higher price? If you paid cash for it and sold it the next day you would not get what you paid for it. In the long run you will always be better off buying a car that has some mileage on it. Now if money is not an issue well then buy what you like. People call old cars money pits but the reality is just the opposite. If you buy a dependable older car the repair bills will never equal what you would pay in payments and tax on a new car.
    I have 2 used and 1 new car. It really depends on the model that you're going for to decide whether buying new is worth it or not. The Outback we bought 2 years ago (brand new) was $25k. Looking at used with less than 50k miles and 2 years old, we couldn't find anything lower than $23k in good condition. To me, the extra $2k is definitely worth it for a new car, slightly better MPG (they revised the engine in 2013), and that smell. Plus, 2 years of free maintenance at the dealership closed the gap some. Lastly, knowing how the car was treated from the get-go has some value to it as well. I bought my other cars used, so I do see value in letting others take the hit, but again, all case by case.

    trek7100 - from your list, only CRV and Tacoma make sense. Fords don't have AWD, and the new Jeeps are at the top of the Ugly pyramid. A Tacoma would be a bit better bike friendly, but a hitch rack would level the playing field.

  12. #12
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    Buying a 1-3 year old used car doesn't make much sense because you don't save all that much over a new car, plus the warranty is almost over. Even 5 year-old Outbacks are within $5K of new ones. Maybe something like a Pontiac Vibe (Toyota) or Suzuki Equator (Nissan) without the prestige mark?

    I disagree on the new Jeep comment ^^^. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would have gone with the new Cherokee TrailHawk except for the staggering transmission problems they are having. To each their own.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post

    I disagree on the new Jeep comment ^^^. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would have gone with the new Cherokee TrailHawk except for the staggering transmission problems they are having. To each their own.
    Yep, differing opinions. Having owned a couple of real Jeeps, I can't stomach the new look of the Cherokees. Plus add on the IFS/IRS. Seriously makes the old Liberty look rugged.

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  14. #14
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    Yep. New Jeep Cherokee has got to be in the running for Ugliest SUV ever. I used to own a nice Cherokee. The new one is an abomination.
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  15. #15
    Braaaapp!
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    It looks much better in person, and is still hideous. For me its just the mess of wildly different lights on the front. From the back its fairly unmemerable. First one I saw I was following and thought nothing of it till I noticed the manufacturer plate and realized it was the new Cherokee and not suv xyz.

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  16. #16
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    I'm another cheap guy so I buy used really used most of the time lol. The car I kept the longest was an old dodge caravan that I paid $800 for and kept for 12.5 years. I don't have a job where I absolutely must get there and I only drive 9k miles a year so I don't see much point in wasting money on a nicer car. Currently have a jetta TDI that I paid $3500 which is the second most expensive car I've ever bought. It helps that I can work on my own cars not that I've really had to do much to most of them.

  17. #17
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    I'm not sure what I want it's definitely going to be a research project. I've been driving SUV(Jeeps) for almost 20 years. The new Cherokee is ugly. I did sit in one at the dealership very nice inside and roomy. I would like to keep to a SUV type vehicle or hatchback. My dream car is a Pontiac Soltice.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek7100 View Post
    I'm not sure what I want it's definitely going to be a research project. I've been driving SUV(Jeeps) for almost 20 years. The new Cherokee is ugly. I did sit in one at the dealership very nice inside and roomy. I would like to keep to a SUV type vehicle or hatchback. My dream car is a Pontiac Soltice.
    Good luck trying to stuff a bike in the solstice. Maybe a folding bike is in your future. What is your budget?

    Take a look at the Subaru Forester. $23k+ price, but they're pretty nice and would make a great bike car. We have an Outback, which is very similar. ~9" of ground clearance to make it to 99.9% of trailheads, hatchback design with a tall roof, AWD, 32+ MPG (we've been getting 33MPG on the freeway at ~70MPH). I've been tempted to trade in my truck that gets 1/2 the MPG for a Forester.

  19. #19
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    Soltice would be a fun vehicle I've seen one around with a hitch rack on it. Budget wise, probably highest would be $32K, but I would like to stay around $25k. Going to check out the Subaru site. What about the Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, Outback?

  20. #20
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    Just depends on how much space you need. Crosstrek is based on the Impreza, so no size difference. They're smaller but gets the same MPG as Forester (32), but some like the styling. I would personally go for the Forester, as it is bigger and has the same ground clearance, but again, if you like the looks and don't need the space, XV is not a bad choice.

    Impreza has a lower ground clearance, but other than that, essentially same as Crosstrek, but gets 36MPG. If you don't need lots of room, Impreza is a good option. For long trips, though, a bigger/heavier car does travel better. Also, I believe the Impreza doesn't have as much sound insulation as the Forester or Outback. I've done several 6+ hours in our Outback and it's actually really comfortable. Much more so than my younger sibling's Impreza.

    Note: The higher roof on the Forester could negate the need for a hitch rack, and as a result, get you better MPG's. Check out this thread:

    Fit in new Subaru Forester?

  21. #21
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    I will just have to do some research and then go drive different vehicles. Once I decide what I want and need. For new vehicles, just about everything is in the $20K-$30K range. Today I saw a Toyota Venza, pretty sharp car, but approaching $30K. I'm all about getting the most/best vehicle for the money. For that kind of cash, a higher end Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Outback. I don't think I want to go to a smaller vehicle like a Chevy Sonic and even think the Ford Fiesta might be a little on the small side.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Sorry but buying a new car never makes sense. A low interest rate can definitely make it more palatable but does it really out weigh the exorbitantly higher price? If you paid cash for it and sold it the next day you would not get what you paid for it. In the long run you will always be better off buying a car that has some mileage on it. Now if money is not an issue well then buy what you like. People call old cars money pits but the reality is just the opposite. If you buy a dependable older car the repair bills will never equal what you would pay in payments and tax on a new car.
    That's simply not true today. It may have been true 10 years ago, it's certainly not true today. Cars are lasting longer and depreciate less than they used to.

    My rule of thumb is, if you like a car that has low resale value, then look at a used one. If it has high resale value, and is only a few years old with less than 50k miles on it, then crunch the numbers. A new one might be a better buy.

    Take into consideration how much you drive. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, then a car with 30,000 miles on it means 2 more years of driving from that car. If the new car with 0 miles on it, is only say $1000 more after interest at the end of your loan, then a new one is definitely a better buy. $1000 for 2 more years of driving is awsome, not to mention the longer factory warranty.

    This is how it played out when helping my friend buy a TDI passat. They were looking at slightly used jetta TDI's, but those were still over $21k with 20k-40k miles. A new passat was $26k with much better interest rates. All said and done, when you calculate total interest payments, the passat was only $2000 more than the used jetta tdi, but it had 0 miles and a full warranty. It was a no brainer, $2k is like 6-7 months of car payments, but you get to drive it for an additional 2 years.

    So really, pick your car first. Check the resale value and price of a used one. Then go from there. Here is a sight which shows you the breakdown and totals at the end of your loan.
    http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/fin...calculator.php

  23. #23
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    Thanks Neseth, I have to figure out what vehicle I want, then do some researching. I have checked a few used car prices and they are pretty close to the new prices.

  24. #24
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    I think there are a lot of factors that depend on new vs used. The used car market right now is holding pretty high and depending on the rebates and incentives, a new car could actually be cheaper given the interest rates offered.

    I bought my Ford Escape new. We put a ton of miles on it and given another chance, I would probably buy it used. Its a great vehicle and knock of wood, haven't had any problems with it.

    We just bought the wife a Lexus Rx350 that we got used from a dealer around town. It had been on their lot for a few months and got it below blue book trade in value. It was 2 years old (ate most of the huge initial depreciation) and was in good shape.

    Also, what are you planning on using the vehicle for? I know my escape is primarily used by me and I do use it for commuting and toting the little one around but it also hauls my bike and takes me to all the outdoors stuff that I like to do. Because of this, it definitely has obtained a certain smell that the Lexus does not. If the car is going to be used and ruffed up a bit, I would definitely lean towards used.

    In terms of the vehicle you want to get, that also depends on your purpose. If you like offroading, definitely look towards the more offroad vehicles. Here in PHX, we have a lot of dirt trails that you have to go on to get to some good single track. The escape does everything I need it to do and its not 4x4 and it has the 4 cyl. Don't get my wrong, I don't rock climb or try to do anything crazy but it has good vehicle clearance to go on those dirt roads and handles them with ease.

    Honestly, if my escape died and I needed a new vehicle, I would probably look to getting a used Tacoma (for mild 4 wheeling) or something that I could pay cash because I am looking forward to the day of getting rid of one car payment.

    Final piece of advice is do whats going to give you a piece of mind. If you've never had a new car and want that, get one. If you feel uncomfortable buying from a 3rd party and going to a dealer makes you feel better, do that. Just be patient and do your due diligence on any car that you buy.....whether from a 3rd party of dealer.

  25. #25
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    Currently, many trucks are really holding their resale value. For example, I leased a Ram 1500 at $6,000 lower than MSRP. I can buy the truck for $19,000 when the lease is up, but the truck will easily be worth 20,000-$22,000. Not to mention, I baby my vehicles, so I can trust it for years.

    As said above, it's important to look at resale value of cars that are a few years old. It seems that the best way to spend money on a vehicle is to buy a lightly used certified pre-owned or a discounted new vehicle, maintain it, and drive it until repair costs approach payments on a new vehicle.

    The taxes and licensing fees alone on moving to a different mid-$20,000 vehicle will offset an increase of a few mpg anyways. Most people but new vehicles to have newer technology, features, mpg, etc. If you're moving to an SUV, mpg will be similar to your truck, so you won't save much there. A small car will pay for itself with gas savings. Different categories of vehicles make sense to swap to,like if you have a small parking spot in the city now but still want 4wd, a small SUV makes sense.

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