Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

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Plz
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Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Plz » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:44 pm

1) Please share your car details (bought new/used, total purchase price, and make/model; if used, how many miles were on it?)

2) What are your estimated annual expenses (maintenance, gas, insurance, etc)?

3) What is your total money spent divided by miles traveled? What is your total money spent divided by years owned in working condition?


I’m guessing that the winner will be someone who bought a ~2 year old Civic or Corolla.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:47 pm

I think I've got something in the running. The first car I bought out of residency was a Mazda 626. I paid $1,850 and drove it for four years before selling it for $1,500. I was going to sell it for $1,850 (and the buyer was willing) but my wife wouldn't let me because the buyer was a friend. In those four years, I bought 1 battery, two windshield wipers, and two used tires. Actually, I think we just pulled the studs out of some winter tires someone gave us and put those on, but I could be mistaken. Can't recall how many miles I put on it in those four years, maybe 10,000 a year.
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The Wizard
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by The Wizard » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:02 pm

Value is a tough word to define.
I hauled a modest load of logs home today.
Could I do that with a standard econobox? Probably not.

So I'm going to decline to play...
Attempted new signature...

CurlyDave
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:04 pm

Back in 1968, when I was a grad student at Berkeley, we bought a used mid-50s Cadillac for $99. Got it at a used car lot called Bi-Lo Motors. It was cheap because it had a lot of body damage, but it ran.

We drove it for two years and decided the insurance was going to be too much for another 6 months. Called around, and found a junkyard that would pay $15 for the car if it drove in under its own power and only $5 if they had to tow it in.

As we drove it out of our apartment parking lot, we hit a bump and the muffler and tailpipe fell off -- but it still ran. We got it all the way to the junkyard when we had to jam on the brakes going into their driveway. Something in the transmission broke and it stayed in drive, no matter where we put the selector. But, if I put the selector in park, I could get the starter to turn over even though the transmission was really in drive. So, we ran it the last 30' into the junkyard on the starter motor. Claimed our $15 and left.

We wrung the last bit of use possible out of that car.

surfstar
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by surfstar » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:32 pm

Bought an 8 year old Mazda MX6 with 82k miles on it in 2001 for $4200. Drove it until 34x,xxx miles. Averaged 34 mpg. Did all my own maintenance work on it besides a couple timing belt changes (did one myself even). Junked it for $250 a few years back.
Reliable, economical car. Got way more than my money's worth out of it.


But if you really want ROI "value" out of a car, I'd have to say you can't beat a couple "carbitrage" investments in VW TDIs. Making money in a short term, non-collector car is hard, but I found a couple ;)

app1
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by app1 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:24 am

I bought my first car In high school. A 2006 Mazda 3 for 18.5k brand new. By far my worst car investment but a great car. I abused it like most high schoolers. The hatchback was great for camping and sleeping in for mountain bike races. I believe my Mazda 3 had the most off road miles of any Mazda 3. The transmission went out with 160k miles around 2011 and I got 1200 for it.

Bought a 2001 Honda S2000 for $9500 in 2011. I put a little TLC into it and returned some tacky mods to OEM. I put about $1200 into it total Including tires. I drove it almost 4 years and put 35k miles on it. It was loud and horrible to commute in but had the best manual transmission I had ever shifted. Sold it for $12500 in 2015 to help pay off student loans.

Bought a 1981 Honda CT 110 with 1200 miles after I sold the S2000 for $900 dollars off craigslist. This was the most fun daily driver I’ve owned so far. It’s tiny so nobody cares if you park it at a bike rack and was great for living in the city. Cops felt sorry for me I’m sure so I never got tickets. Sold it after 2 years of ownership for 1400 with about 3000 miles on it.

After the CT 110 I bought a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser for $4200 with 270000 miles. It’s hilarious to drive (similar to a tractor) and I’m surprised it hasn’t been towed from the doctors lot at my work next to the Mercedes and Porsches. This has been my favorite overall car I’ve owned and I think the ultimate luxury is being able to fit 8 of your closest friends and their dogs and not care that it gets dirty. A month ago a nice lady hit me in a Home Depot parking lot. She left a pretty good dent and got her wallet out with insurance information. I told her not to worry about it because it had almost 300k miles and I didn’t care if it had another dent. I run into shopping carts to push them out of the way, that is true luxury people. I’ve had it for 1.5 years, it has 290k miles, haven’t put a cent into it, and I got a cash offer from a friend for 6k yesterday. I think I’ll keep it another year at least because I love my crappy landcruiser.

I’m currently poking around the internet for an E46 or 92 M3. I hope I get as much value out of it as my other vehicles. :D

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Watty
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:59 am

I never did it but during the double digit inflation years it was not uncommon for people to buy a car then sell it for more than they paid a few years later.

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:45 am

I bought an 89 Volvo 240 for $1700 when our oldest daughter turned 16 in 2001. About 7 years later, it was backed into and insurance totaled it but I bought it back. We got $2300 from insurance and kept the car. I pounded out the dent and replaced a used taillight (total was less than $100) and our second daughter kept driving it. Our family drove this car for a total of 13 years and 115,000 miles and we sold it for $800 in 2014. We didn't have to do a lot to it over the years other than normal maintenance and I did almost all that myself. Cars like this really helped build the portfolio....

bigdav160
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by bigdav160 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:18 am

There are very few cars that I've owned that I didn't make money on when I sold.

But I buy old and do repairs as needed.

I keep the ones I really like. Two old Chevrolets in the garage now. One I paid $2000 for and is worth about $60000 today. The other I paid $1500 in 1988 and today is worth $25000. As far as investment I don't have more than $5000 invested in either one.

dsmclone
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by dsmclone » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:59 am

In 2000 I bought a brand new Honda Civic Si for $16,500. Drove it for 18 months, spent $200 on a cold air intake, and sold it for $16,500. They only made this model/style for 2 years and was extremely popular.

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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:17 am

Bought a 91 Honda CRX-DX for my son to learn to drive a manual. $3500. Did an alternator and windshield wipers. Drove 10k miles. Sold for $3500.

Bought 2007 Lotus Elise with 10k miles for $30k. Did radiator, thermostat, radium clam kit, 1 set of rear tires. Total under $1000. Drove for 4 years in good weather and 17k miles. Sold for $32k. (It's probably worth $35k now, 3 years later)
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dziuniek
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by dziuniek » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 am

In 2006, I bought a 2006 Scion TC with 4,500 miles.

It had a rebuilt title (salvage).

I paid under $11,500 Out-The-Door.

I drove it for 10 years and sold in 2016. I got $2,000.

So.... 11,500 - 2,000 = $9,500.

$9,500 / 10 = $950....

I don't think I'll be able to hit numbers like these again :)

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ClevrChico
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by ClevrChico » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:46 am

Paid around $5,500 for a car. Drove for six years, then received a $4,500 Cash for Clunker rebate on it. It's too bad repairs cost around $4k on top of the purchase price. :oops: Cash for Clunkers made that purchase mistake less of a mistake. I'm definitely not winning this contest.

daheld
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by daheld » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:10 am

Thanks to Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal, I did pretty well on a Jetta. In 2012, I bought a new Jetta diesel for right around $23,000. In 2016, as a result of the emissions stuff, VW offered to buy back the diesels for fair market value as of the day before the scandal broke plus ~$5,000 OR you could take $5,000 and keep the car, as long as you agreed to whatever fix they came up with. I took the buyout, which netted me right around $18,000. I basically got a brand new car for roughly $1,000/year. I now wish I wouldn't have been so aggressive in paying it off early, but oh well.

I bought a 2016 Mazda 6 GT in late 2016/early 2017 and got a "good" (nobody ever gets a good deal buying a car from a dealer) deal--about $26,000. They generally sold for about $30,000 for a fully loaded M6 GT, but I knew a guy. 8-)

alfaspider
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:23 am

My brother has done pretty well. He bought a VW Diesel wagon in 2011 for around $22k. With the buyback, he got $19k, which means he drove it for ~$500 a year in depreciation (while getting almost 50mpg). Then, instead of buying a new car, he bought a 2007 Toyota Yaris for $2,300. It's a manual transmission car with to tachometer, but it's dead nuts simple and parts are dirt cheap if something goes wrong. All it has needed is a battery and an exhaust gasket in two years of driving. It could probably go another 10 years if he's willing to put up with it for that long :D

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snackdog
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by snackdog » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:47 am

In 1988 my college roommate bought a 1976 Dodge Dart from a neighbor for $50. He drove it from Wisconsin to Texas and drove it daily for four years around Austin. We used to joke that if the car was ever towed for a parking infraction he might not pay to bail it out. It was pretty much bullet proof. The only reason he gave up on it was that he got a good job and felt embarrassed driving an old car.

My posh European car at the same time was a 1983 Peugeot which I paid 100 times more for - $5000 - in 1987. I drove it extensively for 13 years, including multiple trips to California from Texas, until it was totaled while parked by a hit and run artist. Insurance gave me $900.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:55 am

I've had 3 cars over a 15 year span that have depreciated about $1,500 total and haven't required much in maintenance. I think the key is finding a reliable high mileage car and negotiating a great buying price. Then when you go to sell many year later, it won't take much of a hit

warner25
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by warner25 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:06 am

Plz wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:44 pm
I’m guessing that the winner will be someone who bought a ~2 year old Civic or Corolla.
No way, it will be someone who bought and sold a very old used car. I don't have exact figures for mine, but I bought a 2000 Corolla with 95k miles in 2010 for $3,000, and then sold it with 115k miles in 2014 for the same $3,000. I know I spent $140 for non-routine maintenance, and I put at least two new tires on it. I got lucky. I can estimate $2,000 on gas. Maybe $150 in registration. I have no idea about insurance, and that seems highly variable based on the driver's age, sex, etc. anyway.

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lthenderson
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:14 am

Plz wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:44 pm
1) Please share your car details (bought new/used, total purchase price, and make/model; if used, how many miles were on it?)

2) What are your estimated annual expenses (maintenance, gas, insurance, etc)?

3) What is your total money spent divided by miles traveled? What is your total money spent divided by years owned in working condition?
This car paid me to own it:

1) An early 1980's era Ford Station Wagon that I bought for $10 from someone moving across the country. I don't recall how many miles on it but it was a lot.

2) $0

3) I drove it five miles home and spent a couple hours jumping it over a field terrace with some friends until is stopped working. Called a local junkyard and they came and picked it up AND payed me $50 scrap value. Assuming 10 miles, it PAID me $4/mile to own. Calculating the amount of fun I had that afternoon, PRICELESS!

Runner up

1. 1998 Honda Civic bought new for $12,000

2. Probably around $200 not counting gas.

3. So that comes out to about $800 a year to own and it is still getting cheaper since I still own and drive it.

AnonJohn
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 am

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:45 am
I bought an 89 Volvo 240 for $1700 when our oldest daughter turned 16 in 2001. About 7 years later, it was backed into and insurance totaled it but I bought it back. We got $2300 from insurance and kept the car. I pounded out the dent and replaced a used taillight (total was less than $100) and our second daughter kept driving it. Our family drove this car for a total of 13 years and 115,000 miles and we sold it for $800 in 2014. We didn't have to do a lot to it over the years other than normal maintenance and I did almost all that myself. Cars like this really helped build the portfolio....
Good one!

My offering: Bought a 1986 Corolla SR-5 in 1999 for $1300. 105k miles. Put about $700 in for clutch and timing belt, did minor repairs myself. Drove it for 7 years, 40k miles. Sold it for ... $1300. Drift racing became a thing ...

Insurance was cheap, gas cheaper. Don't track those things much. Plus they depend strongly on where you live, so arguably not comparable. Cost for capital expenses was about $100 / year or $0.02 / mile ...

Second entry: 1999 Elantra, wife bought new for $12k. Still going strong at 72k miles in year 19. Also cheap to insure and operate. Total repairs maybe $2k? Capital $730/ year or $0.19 / mile. Huh. Higher than I expected. Guess I'll have to amortize this over another few decades. :) Alas, it's almost time for a new car ...

But: value proposition on Elantra has been excellent. Lots of long-distance trips (up and down East Coast, East Coast -> West Coast, East Coast -> Midwest) ... and routine needs as only car for a family over 12 years. First a family of two, then three, then four ...

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:34 am

I bought a 1968 Mercury Comet in 1972 for $900. It was a stripped vehicle, hardly any options, with the shift on the steering column. Wife was able to drive it after I was finally able to teach her how to shift gears.

I drove it to work until 1980, when it died on the way home. I parked it at a gas station, called a junk yard to come get it. The car was worn out, clutch was slipping, just a mess. $$$ for $$$ might have been the best car I ever bought.

We bought our first new car in 1974, a Ford Pinto aka Chariot of Fire . Ordered it with exactly what I wanted, $2650. We drove it for eight years, sold it for $500.

Back in those days 100,000 miles was the goal. Today, 100,000 miles is just a good beginning on some cars.

Broken Man 1999
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AnonJohn
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:38 am

warner25 wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:06 am
Plz wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:44 pm
I’m guessing that the winner will be someone who bought a ~2 year old Civic or Corolla.
No way, it will be someone who bought and sold a very old used car. I don't have exact figures for mine, but I bought a 2000 Corolla with 95k miles in 2010 for $3,000, and then sold it with 115k miles in 2014 for the same $3,000. I know I spent $140 for non-routine maintenance, and I put at least two new tires on it. I got lucky. I can estimate $2,000 on gas. Maybe $150 in registration. I have no idea about insurance, and that seems highly variable based on the driver's age, sex, etc. anyway.
Very similar to my Corolla story above (this post; below your post). Also bought and sold for the same price. Your numbers beat mine, surprisingly (to me :). Guess I should have taken the chance on the timing belt. :) Or maybe I can add in the cost of capital ...

Nah. Well done! :sharebeer

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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:01 am

My dad sold me his used AMC gremlin in the summer of 1976 for $100. It was a base.model with no carpet on the floor and original cost was 2k. It went to college with me in my Sophomore year. I used it for the next 4 years. No idea of miles.

warner25
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by warner25 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:06 am

AnonJohn wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:38 am
Your numbers beat mine, surprisingly
Probably not with the cost of the tires added in. I might have changed all four, and I don't remember what they cost. But yeah, this is about as good as you can do with a car.

harrington
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by harrington » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:13 am

I bought a brand new leftover stripped down 1989 Mazda 323 for 6 grand in 1990. No a/c no radio 5 speed. Drove it for 12 years and put 225,000 miles on it and it was still running strong when I sold it for $500. I would have kept it but the body was so rusted I didn't feel safe driving it.

mxs
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by mxs » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:32 am

dziuniek wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 am
In 2006, I bought a 2006 Scion TC with 4,500 miles.

It had a rebuilt title (salvage).

I paid under $11,500 Out-The-Door.

I drove it for 10 years and sold in 2016. I got $2,000.

So.... 11,500 - 2,000 = $9,500.

$9,500 / 10 = $950....

I don't think I'll be able to hit numbers like these again :)
I had a similar car...
In 2004 I bought a 2003 salvage/rebuild Ford Focus ZTS with ~200 miles for $6500. I drove it for 10 years putting on about 130k miles. I sold it in 2013 for about $500 (it started to have an exhaust leak smell in the cabin, which the new owner fixed with a head gasket? I think). I went through a few sets of tires, had to change the AC compressor clutch pulley, change a battery or two and the terminal leads to the battery, and a relay that controlled the windshield wiper speed and stop position. Relatively minor stuff that I was able to do myself.

All told about $6000 / 10 years = $600 a year, or $50 a month. Incredible value.

dziuniek
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by dziuniek » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am

mxs wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:32 am
dziuniek wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 am
In 2006, I bought a 2006 Scion TC with 4,500 miles.

It had a rebuilt title (salvage).

I paid under $11,500 Out-The-Door.

I drove it for 10 years and sold in 2016. I got $2,000.

So.... 11,500 - 2,000 = $9,500.

$9,500 / 10 = $950....

I don't think I'll be able to hit numbers like these again :)
I had a similar car...
In 2004 I bought a 2003 salvage/rebuild Ford Focus ZTS with ~200 miles for $6500. I drove it for 10 years putting on about 130k miles. I sold it in 2013 for about $500 (it started to have an exhaust leak smell in the cabin, which the new owner fixed with a head gasket? I think). I went through a few sets of tires, had to change the AC compressor clutch pulley, change a battery or two and the terminal leads to the battery, and a relay that controlled the windshield wiper speed and stop position. Relatively minor stuff that I was able to do myself.

All told about $6000 / 10 years = $600 a year, or $50 a month. Incredible value.
Good Value!

In my case, I lucked out with it being a Toyota (Toyota owned Scion).

It was oil changes and tires for me :) That's it!

With the used autos seemingly being more expensive than I like these days, I might opt for another rebuilt vehicle. We shall see.

mxs
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by mxs » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:44 am

dziuniek wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am
mxs wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:32 am
dziuniek wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 am
In 2006, I bought a 2006 Scion TC with 4,500 miles.

It had a rebuilt title (salvage).

I paid under $11,500 Out-The-Door.

I drove it for 10 years and sold in 2016. I got $2,000.

So.... 11,500 - 2,000 = $9,500.

$9,500 / 10 = $950....

I don't think I'll be able to hit numbers like these again :)
I had a similar car...
In 2004 I bought a 2003 salvage/rebuild Ford Focus ZTS with ~200 miles for $6500. I drove it for 10 years putting on about 130k miles. I sold it in 2013 for about $500 (it started to have an exhaust leak smell in the cabin, which the new owner fixed with a head gasket? I think). I went through a few sets of tires, had to change the AC compressor clutch pulley, change a battery or two and the terminal leads to the battery, and a relay that controlled the windshield wiper speed and stop position. Relatively minor stuff that I was able to do myself.

All told about $6000 / 10 years = $600 a year, or $50 a month. Incredible value.
Good Value!

In my case, I lucked out with it being a Toyota (Toyota owned Scion).

It was oil changes and tires for me :) That's it!

With the used autos seemingly being more expensive than I like these days, I might opt for another rebuilt vehicle. We shall see.
I live in Illinois and just happened to know someone who had purchased a rebuilt from the company that was in Wisconsin. I kind of lucked into it and as far as I know that company no longer sells salvage/rebuilt cars, so if I wanted to go that route I don't know where I would go. It is very uncommon in Illinois as far as I know.

Thegame14
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Thegame14 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:45 am

in 1998, I inherited a 1996 Toyota Corolla from my dad. Drove the car until 2005, sold the car for $800, with 260K miles on it. The car had literally almost no repairs other then maintenance and ONE Timing belt and replaced a radiator with a used radiator. My dad used to joke that the car makes me money, as it got hit twice on the side, and I left the dent and kept the insurance check. I miss that car, DW made me sell it when DS was born, she said it was too old and not safe to drive him, I loved that car. It was a tank, wife drove it once in snow and a woman skidded and hit her from behind. DW got out of car and the other lady was freaking out, her bumper was on the road, my wife look at her car and there was nothing there, so she said don't worry about it and drove away.....

stoptothink
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:02 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:45 am
in 1998, I inherited a 1996 Toyota Corolla from my dad. Drove the car until 2005, sold the car for $800, with 260K miles on it. The car had literally almost no repairs other then maintenance and ONE Timing belt and replaced a radiator with a used radiator. My dad used to joke that the car makes me money, as it got hit twice on the side, and I left the dent and kept the insurance check. I miss that car, DW made me sell it when DS was born, she said it was too old and not safe to drive him, I loved that car. It was a tank, wife drove it once in snow and a woman skidded and hit her from behind. DW got out of car and the other lady was freaking out, her bumper was on the road, my wife look at her car and there was nothing there, so she said don't worry about it and drove away.....
This was actually my first car. I bought it off my grandfather when I left for college; this was 1998 and the then 12yr old car had ~30k miles and looked literally brand new. My grandpa just wanted something new and sold it to me for $1k. I drove it through undergrad with zero issues and then (mistakenly) gave it to my sister for graduation and I bought a '00 Civi Si. My sister totaled it in a matter of like 2 months (and the Civic Si was stolen shortly after). Had I not given that corolla to my sister, I think I might still be driving it. After my civic was stolen, I took the ~14k insurance check and bought a '97 Nissan pickup with ~70k miles for $2500. Drove it for the next 11yrs and 100K+ miles with nothing but oil/filter/tire changes before it was totaled by a hit-n-run driver in front of my home in the wee hours of the night on New Year's day 2013. Unfortunately this time I only had liability insurance so I got nothing. I would for sure still be driving that pickup.

jacksonm
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by jacksonm » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:05 am

Still driving my 2006 Dodge Caravan with approximately 135,000 miles. Suffered a cracked engine block earlier this year but I put some stuff in the radiator and even though it ruined the radiator it seems to have sealed the engine block. Fortunately, I'm retired and it gets driven less than 3k miles per year so hopefully it will last a while longer. I did have to give it a cheap paint job last year just to keep it from being a neighborhood eyesore.

Earlier this year I traded in a 2005 Hyundai Elantra on a new CRV. It had about 200k miles on it and they still gave me $600 for it. That car saw lots of relatively trouble free years of continuous use, by me, my stepson, and my wife. I don't think I ever had a repair over $500. The check engine light was on when I traded it in but that was true for quite a few years and we learned to ignore it.

trirod
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by trirod » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:32 am

I bought a 1989 Porsche 944S2 about 10 years ago for $8,000. Did some normal maintenance on it (new tires, replaced clutch, oil changes) and sold it about 4 years later for $12,000 - that was just normal appreciation for Porsches at the time. My gut feel is that the $4,000 appreciation just about paid for all my maintenance during that 4 years, so the car didn't cost me anything beyond gas, tax and insurance.

My only regret was that I didn't buy a 911 originally since that would have likely doubled in value instead of just increasing by 50%.

I'm hoping the car I bought to replace it, a 2005 Lotus Elise, at least holds its value from when I bought it (so far it's looking good).

helloeveryone
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by helloeveryone » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:39 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:47 pm
I think I've got something in the running. The first car I bought out of residency was a Mazda 626. I paid $1,850 and drove it for four years before selling it for $1,500. I was going to sell it for $1,850 (and the buyer was willing) but my wife wouldn't let me because the buyer was a friend. In those four years, I bought 1 battery, two windshield wipers, and two used tires. Actually, I think we just pulled the studs out of some winter tires someone gave us and put those on, but I could be mistaken. Can't recall how many miles I put on it in those four years, maybe 10,000 a year.
this is amazing!

helloeveryone
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by helloeveryone » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:43 pm

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:45 am
I bought an 89 Volvo 240 for $1700 when our oldest daughter turned 16 in 2001. About 7 years later, it was backed into and insurance totaled it but I bought it back. We got $2300 from insurance and kept the car. I pounded out the dent and replaced a used taillight (total was less than $100) and our second daughter kept driving it. Our family drove this car for a total of 13 years and 115,000 miles and we sold it for $800 in 2014. We didn't have to do a lot to it over the years other than normal maintenance and I did almost all that myself. Cars like this really helped build the portfolio....
this is amazing as well. My financial mistakes have entailed trading in cars. Never high dollar cars and only one bought new but always held only ~3 years then traded in. I have my fingers crossed that phase of my life is completely gone.

FloRidaRocky
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by FloRidaRocky » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:40 pm

In 2002 I bought a 95 Tacoma for $9,500 with 135,000 miles on it. Everyone told me I was stupid for buying a used vehicle with such high mileage.
In 2013 a car pulled in front of me, insurance company totalled the truck, it had 260,000 miles on it, and I got a check for $7,000.
So, 11 years, 125,000 miles for $2,500. I only put regular wear parts into it, brakes, battery, starter, tires, clutch, etc.

tman9940
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by tman9940 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Bought a 2007 Toyota Corolla in 2010 for 10k in cash, off of my Dad. It had about 33k on it when I bought it, It now has 79k. I spend 902$ per year in insurance, and usually fill the tank twice a month, and spend roughly 55-60 bucks to fill her up. Have had to replace the tires once, replace the battery once, and replace motor mounts. Other than that, no maintenance issues. Plan on driving it for I hope 10 more years, hopefully more. I am totally fine that the only other ones I see driving that exact model are little old ladies! :D

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triceratop
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by triceratop » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm

Bought a 2001 Honda Civic with ~280k miles for $500. I have driven it for 4 years. Insurance has averaged ~$650/yr and my gas mileage has been ~32mpg.

Tough to beat. Of course, it has no AC.
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Abe
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Abe » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:22 pm

Guess I'll tell my truck story. I once bought a 1954 Chevrolet pickup truck from the owner. Can't remember what I paid for it, maybe around $1,000. The fellow I bought it from went through 3 trucks (bought new), while I was still driving the truck I bought from him. Every time I saw him he would say, "man I wish I hadn't sold you that truck". :happy
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Mountain Doc
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Mountain Doc » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:59 pm

triceratop wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm
Bought a 2001 Honda Civic with ~280k miles for $500... Insurance has averaged ~$650/yr...
That insurance rate is steep for what I trust is just a liability policy. I'm guessing you live in Michigan. I used to live in Michigan and the insurance was awful.
Last edited by Mountain Doc on Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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triceratop
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by triceratop » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:01 pm

Mountain Doc wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:59 pm
triceratop wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:21 pm
Bought a 2001 Honda Civic with ~280k miles for $500... Insurance has averaged ~$650/yr...
That insurance rate is steep for what I trust is just liability. I'm guessing you live in Michigan. I used to live in Ann Arbor and the insurance was awful.
I'm in California. Perhaps my low age has something to do with higher premiums (for just liability). I've never had a traffic incident so I don't know what else I can do.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:04 pm

Optimal is subjective.

Buy an older $1,500 Toyota Echo. Drive for 40-50k miles and sell for $1,500.

I know people do these type of transactions. You have to be willing to go down pretty far on the car ride/comfort scale.

I never seem to find a car that doesn't need some work. Not to mention tires, brakes, fluid changes.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead

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Mountain Doc
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Mountain Doc » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:06 pm

triceratop wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:01 pm
I'm in California. Perhaps my low age has something to do with higher premiums (for just liability). I've never had a traffic incident so I don't know what else I can do.
I haven't lived in CA, but age is certainly a big factor. I can insure two vehicles for less than that now :happy
Last edited by Mountain Doc on Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

audioaxes
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by audioaxes » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:11 pm

my best run has been with my current 2012 Camry that I bought used at about 35K miles. Its almost pushing close to 200k miles after 5 years and had absolutely 0 repair jobs to it besides the regular maintenance stuff like oil changes and brakes. It still drives like new and worry free... I have not driven any other cars I owned to even 120K miles without already piling up 1000s of repair bills and feeling like Im driving a ticking time bomb thats about to leave me stranded and saddled with another expensive repair job.

Travel1013
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Travel1013 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:49 pm

Back in the college days I bought my brothers 1969 Mustang fastback, 6 cylinder stick, for $400.
I was Steve Mcqueen without the looks, acting ability or ladies.
Drove it for two years then clutch died - now what? - sold it dead in the water for $250 - $75/year :sharebeer
Take it day by day and scratch where it itches...

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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:53 pm

So I'm going to throw in a ringer that I "could have" won the whole internet with. I bought a 31k mile 1990 BMW M3 in early 2005 for $17k. Let's for get that I sold it in 2007 to get a 4 door car that met my new car plan. If I had that car today and had left it in my garage with the 51k miles on it, it would easily sell for $100k today. Oh well. I did have fun with it, capturing 2 track records and an season long autocross series win and "Fastest Lap of the year".
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GoldenFinch
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:17 pm

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:45 am
I bought an 89 Volvo 240 for $1700 when our oldest daughter turned 16 in 2001. About 7 years later, it was backed into and insurance totaled it but I bought it back. We got $2300 from insurance and kept the car. I pounded out the dent and replaced a used taillight (total was less than $100) and our second daughter kept driving it. Our family drove this car for a total of 13 years and 115,000 miles and we sold it for $800 in 2014. We didn't have to do a lot to it over the years other than normal maintenance and I did almost all that myself. Cars like this really helped build the portfolio....
This frugal car story is very impressive!

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Kenkat
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Kenkat » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:21 pm

Bought a 72 Pontiac Catalina for $700 in 1979; sold it for $400 in 1982 and bought my dad’s old company car, a 78 Impala, also for $400 (won on a sealed bid and no one else must have bid). Traded in the Impala in 1987 for $1000 on an 87 Acura Integra. So drove for 8 years for -$300. It has been all down hill since.

Coachwonderful
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by Coachwonderful » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:20 pm

My father-in-law willed his 1985 Ford F150 to his grandson, my nephew, when he passed away in 1988. It had about 30,000 miles on it at the time. Donnie had to replace the transmission at 100,000 miles. He has the oil changed once a month since he took possession of it. He has, over the years, replaced power steering pump and the A/C compressor, plus the usual maintenance/wear items. He had its' faded paint redone about 6 years ago.
The truck starts on the first turn of the key, doesn't smoke or leak oil. Last summer he contacted me about writing a letter to FOMOCO. The truck is his daily driver with over 970,000 miles on it. I think he might have a keeper.

heyyou
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Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

Post by heyyou » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:41 pm

Bought a 1998 Toyota RAV4, 108K miles, in 2006 for $6500, still driving it at 222K miles and 24 miles per gallon, but have paid for two timing belts when they were showing wear.

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