Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

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Figure302
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Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Figure302 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:47 pm

The dilemma is this: keep my 2007 BMW 328 that has 137k miles and soon needs $500 worth of service, but has been pretty reliable to date, and is worth around $4k in a private sale, OR, purchase new vehicle which would be 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee for about $28k out the door, MSRP 34k.

I'm trying to avoid running into more unforeseen costs - so far this year I've spent about $300 on the current vehicle in non-maintenance repairs. I'd finance about 18k of the new vehicle at around 2%.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Kenkat
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Kenkat » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:42 pm

The new car will almost always be more expensive than keeping the used car. While there is a possibility of unforeseen expenses with an older car, the expenses for the new car are very "seen" - you can count on having to make that down payment and monthly loan payments.

viking112347
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by viking112347 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:57 pm

I had similar thoughts with my 2004 Honda CRV which had similar mileage when the A/C compressor blew up. I am still driving it with 340,000 miles and has been relatively trouble free since!

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Will do good
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Will do good » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:01 pm

New car insurance is also much higher.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:03 pm

old reliable :happy

traveltoomuch
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by traveltoomuch » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:20 pm

those are very different vehicles. which will you enjoy more? would you consider a used Jeep instead?

if it were me, I'd keep (or buy) the 2007 BMW 328. No (or lower) sales taxes. Lower excise taxes, if applicable. Probably lower insurance.

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bottlecap
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:50 pm

You have an opportunity to save $500 by spending $28,000. Seems like a no brainer to me!

Seriously, I think you are looking at this entirely wrong. The $500 is maintenance. Anyone buying it will adjust their purchase price accordingly. So the $500 service is not even part of the equation.

JT

hightower
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by hightower » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:01 pm

Funny you posted this when you did because I JUST went through the same scenario as you. We had a 2008 Honda Element, which had been a great car, very reliable, very useful for hauling things, including our dogs. However, it needed around $1500 in repairs all of the sudden (front struts and tires). I had been looking for an excuse to get a new electric car anyway. SO, we went ahead and sold it (got $9500 for it! It had around 93k miles on it. Elements are highly sought after these days since Honda stopped making them) and replaced it with a BMW i3:) The electric car is awesome by the way.
For me it was an easy decision because the Element was terrible on gas and we didn't NEED it to haul stuff any more, plus now we only have 1 smaller dog. So, our Honda Fit is a good car for my wife and I get the electric car:) She doesn't care about cars, so she was actually the one that suggested I just get the i3.

But, don't try to tell yourself that it will be cheaper to buy new or anything like that. Driving an old car into the dirt is usually the cheapest option. Just do it if you want to and you're okay with spending the money.

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Watty
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Watty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:10 pm

Figure302 wrote:Any thoughts are appreciated.
Run the numbers as if you keep your current car for two more years then buy a two year old Jeep. In year three you are the same either way so there can be a lot of savings.

That said you might look at alternatives to BMW's and Jeep's. The BMW has a reputation for high maintenance costs and Jeep is pretty low rated for reliability.

mdba73
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by mdba73 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:18 pm

If the old vehicle is reliable except for the repair it needs, your question is basically - should I pay one down payment or keep on doing it month over month. Give it try - pay for the needed repairs and if you could drive without any major issues even for a month - you are break even.

Furthermore, Please check the reliability reviews for any new vehicle that you plan to buy - the last car survey on consumer reports had listed Jeep brand as a whole close to the bottom of the pile.

Goal33
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Goal33 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:29 pm

My dad had the same decision to make and he loves his BMW. Against everybody's advise to just buy a new car instead of fixing his old BMW, he decided to just fix it. Turns out he made a good choice because he's super happy and only spent a few hundred instead of buying a new car he wouldn't enjoy as much.
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rallycobra
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by rallycobra » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:03 pm

Our 2008 328xi is about to turn 120k and drives like new. Do the maintenance and keep the car. You have changed shocks, struts, and front control arm bushings (FCAB), right? If the car is well maintained I'll bet its worth closer to 8k than 4k. I would bet with just a suspension refresh at 100k, the only other things will be tires, brakes, and oil to get to 200k.
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lazydavid
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by lazydavid » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:26 am

I traded my 2000 323i at 12 years/125k, and frequently wish I hadn't. Despite the reputation, that thing was bulletproof. But I traded it for an E90 (2011, same generation as yours), and don't expect to repeat my mistake.

I say keep it. There's nothing like a straight-six, and a well-maintained E90 will run just about forever. Considering the base price of the Grand Cherokee is over $30k, you're not getting very much for $28k. I'm guessing Laredo E with zero options. I'd choose an Overland or a Summit over a BMW, but not a base model. And obviously those cost just a little bit more. :twisted:

Mr.BB
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:49 am

Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

awval999
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by awval999 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:16 am

Mr.BB wrote:Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
Those items are all normal wear and tear.

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bottlecap
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by bottlecap » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:07 am

Mr.BB wrote:Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
The tires would be the most expensive. The rest of thes items wouldn't have been very expensive if you did not use a dealer (I presume you used the dealer because an Indy mechanic would be unlikely to recommend a transmission flush on a 227,000 miles car. Well, that and a $150 battery.)

But these were normal wear items, as noted above, and the dealer simply adjusted your trade-in/sale price accordingly.

JT

lazydavid
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by lazydavid » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:31 am

awval999 wrote:
Mr.BB wrote:Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
Those items are all normal wear and tear.
Not even normal wear and tear, which is things like bushing rot, cv joint leakage, hose rupture, and strut failure. Those items are all scheduled maintenance. The need to do them and the interval at which they should be done is in the manual and therefore can be known prior to even purchasing the vehicle. They are not surprises. Furthermore, with the exception of the tires, they are all things that are trivially easy to do in your own garage. I've done all of them except the tune-up (translation: spark plug replacement) on one or more of our cars in the past 12 months. Would have been due for that too, but my car doesn't have sparkplugs. :mrgreen:

There are plenty of good reasons to buy a new car, but "my battery died" and "I'm due for a fluid change" are not among them.

732002
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by 732002 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:55 am

The first several years of a new car depreciation is rapid. It is a unseen expense compared
too maintenance but is usually larger.

Keep the BMW three more years and then buy a used 2017 jeep in 2020 and you will be in the same
car in 2020 as buying new today, with more $.

Ron
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Ron » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:58 am

lazydavid wrote:There are plenty of good reasons to buy a new car, but "my battery died" and "I'm due for a fluid change" are not among them.
How about "my ashtray is full" (and I don't even smoke) :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

Mr.BB
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:07 am

awval999 wrote:
Mr.BB wrote:Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
Those items are all normal wear and tear.
Yes. But I was coming up on having to do those services this year, so with a new car I don't have to do those services for a couple of years.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

deltaneutral83
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:24 am

Not sure how there are only two scenarios being drive the older car vs buying new/selling old, what about sell the old car, get a 2015 Jeep with 35-45k miles?

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nisiprius
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by nisiprius » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:29 am

Just personally, this is my philosophy... we keep cars a longish time, last was eleven years, about 160,000 miles... You can't predict repairs completely, it's a risk like everything else in life. I've once paid $2,600 for several car repairs on a six-year-old car and it was like a heart transplant or something... the car "ran like new."

I would say that for me, I get the car fixed if it seems as if it can be. I don't give up until I actually make an expensive repair and then encounter a second unrelated expensive repair a few months later. I don't beat myself up about guessing wrong. I figure I keep the car until I've guessed wrong once, so there's always one "mistake" at the end.

It's all a tradeoff, but for me the problem with car end-of-life is never the expenses. Repair expenses are always tiny compared to new-car expenses. It's the problem of reliability (e.g. on a trip), of unavailability because the car is in the shop, and, these days, because about ten years' worth of safety improvements start to make me think that the safety is worth if I can afford the new car.

There's no doubt at all in my mind that common sense applies: yes, the cheapest way to own a car is to keep it maintained and repaired for as long as possible.

(It sure gets tough though, deciding whether to keep up with the exorbitant repair prices on the small stuff. Replace the rear hatch lifters for $250... or try to do it myself and get parts that turn out not to fit, or bung up something trying to install them... or live with a hatch that hits you on the head during the winter?)

I'll admit that the first year or two of ownership on a new car, when everything is working, are delightful. Plus my wife and I find that we irritate each other less with backseat driving, knowing that if the driver were actually to inexplicably just forget to put on the brakes, the car would.
Last edited by nisiprius on Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Beast_Monster
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by Beast_Monster » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:30 am

Having just gone through this a few months ago - I suggest thinking about what you truly want/need. My story might help...

Last fall, I had a 2007 BMW 335xi with 150k miles (bought CPO with <30k miles in 2010). I loved the BMW and my first love was my 95 Limited Jeep Grand Cherokee... Initially we considered another used Jeep, BMW, Lexus or some other vehicle you'd see in a typical HCOL area, and though I've been an avid fancy used car buyer, I just wanted something reliable and hassle free for a while.

BMW maintenance + the mpg/premium difference meant BMW was costing me $5-6k/year out of warranty, not including depreciation or the time in the shop, or stress of going into limp mode on the freeway (even with perfect maintenance, the BMW can be finicky!), which was the final straw. I didn't want to wait for the Tesla 3 - don't have a great spot anyway. Everything including basics - headlights, brakes, oil changes, fixing the side mirror motor... - cost a bunch of time and money with that BMW. We already had an SUV for wife/kids, so made little sense for another. Plus I looked at my driving - 17k miles a year, mostly in traffic, so got me thinking about a new, low cost, low maintenance commuter vehicle.

So, traded my beloved BMW in for a 2017 Hyundai Elantra "Value Edition". Couldn't be more thrilled 6 months into owning a new car! Hyundai will pay for itself in 3 years net of trade in, plus the time savings from dealing with an older car & less frequent gas stops. Only issue was my kid ran out the key fob battery - it was a $3 battery change vs the $500 replacement charge + dealer visit for the BMW fob.

I'm going to get back into the luxury cars some day - but figuring out what truly mattered helped me save some money and peace of mind. $14k for the car net of trade plus services (don't take 0% APR - negotiate price) + at least $20k left in case I decide to keep my spot in the Tesla 3 line. My mileage meant leasing was not worthwhile either.

The deals & services offered on new cars, and the increased prices for used, made buying new make a ton of sense to me - but like anything else, YMMV... literally. Good luck!

:sharebeer

lazydavid
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by lazydavid » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:33 am

Mr.BB wrote:Yes. But I was coming up on having to do those services this year, so with a new car I don't have to do those services for a couple of years.
Ahh yes, the old "spend $23,000 to postpone spending $400" trick. :beer

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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by stoptothink » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:34 am

Mr.BB wrote:
awval999 wrote:
Mr.BB wrote:Just traded in my 07 civic. 227,000 miles
Because I drive around 24,000 miles a year, I found that every 3 years I had to put a lump sum of money to get through the next 2 years and the third year would be the bonus year, before I had to reinvest a bunch of money. The problem was that I was starting to get car problems that were not the normal wear and tear. Trans fluid flush and refill, radiator flush and fill, Tune ups, tires ($650...hated paying for new tires..lol), need a new battery coming up..another $150.00

Just bought a new 2017 civic...put that repair/maintenance money toward the new car.
Those items are all normal wear and tear.
Yes. But I was coming up on having to do those services this year, so with a new car I don't have to do those services for a couple of years.
And? As others have said, that's like paying $30,000 to save $1,000. Or, like the rationalization to buy more house because you can write-off more mortgage interest. The math doesn't make any sense. It's OK that you wanted a new car.

barnaclebob
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:35 am

hightower wrote:However, it needed around $1500 in repairs all of the sudden (front struts and tires).
This is routine maintenance, not repairs and it almost certainly wasn't "all of the sudden".

cusetownusa
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by cusetownusa » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:41 am

I would probably get the car fixed and keep for a couple more years if you don't need the extra space now... but I do love my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Limited). I probably wouldn't get the base model but that is just my personal preference.

runner3081
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by runner3081 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:06 pm

As I read this, our 1999 vehicle with 120K miles is in the shop, receiving 1.3K of repairs and service.

It has been very reliable and these are more along the lines of brake pads and fixing a couple of leaks that are worsening (not major break/fix).

There are really 3 options in my mind.

1) Keep it and fix it
2) Buy a 1-3 year old car
3) Buy an older used car

Option 2, for a newish car. You have to figure this would be somewhere around 12-15K, depending on what we went with. Here is my big issue. The increase in insurance and car licensing alone would be a significant chunk of the current repair costs we are facing. Sure, there are some safety features we would also gain, but the old vehicle is pretty safe.

Option 3, have done this multiple times (buying used cars a bit older). Guess what, no matter what you pay, there is a strong chance you will have a repair or other work needed within the first couple of years, thus negating some of the benefit.

runner3081
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Re: Keep old yet reliable used car or buy new

Post by runner3081 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:07 pm

Figure302 wrote:The dilemma is this: keep my 2007 BMW 328 that has 137k miles and soon needs $500 worth of service
$500 service on that car is nothing. I had one in the past.

Let me guess, water pump?

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