Buying Used Car for Son

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stuper1
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Buying Used Car for Son

Post by stuper1 » Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm

I'm trying to find a first car for my 19-year-old son. Help me think something through. One model we are looking at is the Hyundai Elantra. There are two available locally that are exactly the same price ($5,900) and let's assume for now that they are in essentially equivalent mechanical condition. One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?

How does one look at this?

GoldenGoose
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by GoldenGoose » Tue May 12, 2020 4:45 pm

For the same price and same mechanical conditions (assuming), assuming they are also similarly equipped and same generation, why wouldn't you get the lower mileage car, unless that car is a first year model and research shows many problems with that model year?

VanGuppy
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by VanGuppy » Tue May 12, 2020 4:49 pm

you have a very lucky son. I guess I would want to know what makes the 2016 the same price?

bloom2708
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by bloom2708 » Tue May 12, 2020 4:50 pm

For a kid driver, that mileage difference might be 2,3,4 years of driving. Our teen drivers put <5k miles on each year.

Now significantly less.

Do you live in a climate that has snow/ice? If so, that should be a factor to consider.

If the 2014 didn't have side curtain airbags and the 2016 did, that type of thing might help me decide.
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Stinky
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Stinky » Tue May 12, 2020 4:54 pm

GoldenGoose wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:45 pm
For the same price and same mechanical conditions (assuming), assuming they are also similarly equipped and same generation, why wouldn't you get the lower mileage car, unless that car is a first year model and research shows many problems with that model year?
+1
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Quirkz
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Quirkz » Tue May 12, 2020 4:55 pm

I asked a similar question about half a year back, and I'd say the results were nearly a 50-50 split between those who preferred miles and those who preferred years.

I decided in my case the years would probably be a bigger hit in terms of age or expense before I was done with the car. I was buying a bit newer, but I intended to drive my car for about 10 years and 200,000 miles, and figured if, when it reached the end of its useful life, I was choosing between a 12-year-old car with 240,000 miles or a 14-year-old car with 220,000 miles, those extra two years would probably be responsible for more overall decay than the miles would. But as they say, when it comes to car preferences, your mileage may vary.

livesoft
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by livesoft » Tue May 12, 2020 4:57 pm

Our kids get a hand-me-down car and their parents get a newer car. So what car can you give them? Next ask, what car do you want to get for yourself?
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Seal the Deal
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Seal the Deal » Tue May 12, 2020 5:25 pm

stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?
I'd say it's a toss up and go with the one that has better service history, newer tires, wheels w/o curb rash, etc.

kbb.com says the newer higher mileage car should be a few hundred $ cheaper.

This should be a solid car, I have one nearing 130k miles with zero issues so far.

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cowdogman
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by cowdogman » Tue May 12, 2020 5:48 pm

Going thru the same thing now. I've heard that used car prices have dropped in the last few months, but I'm not seeing it.

My son wants a Toyota Corolla Hatchback or Honda Civic Hatchback. Both good choices.

But when I look at prices I'm seeing only about a 30-40% discount on 2016-2017 models with roughly 50K miles.

I just took a look at the Hyundai of Seattle website and it is offering three new 2020 Elantras at about $16.6K (subject to qualification for certain discounts, but if this is the price they are putting on their website, it's probably achievable for anyone). And zero percent financing for up to 6 years.

Absent a super deal on a solid used car, it hard to justify not buying a new car (with warranty, new tires, new brakes, new exhaust, etc.).

What I have been thinking is buying a new car in my son's name (possibly with me as co-signor) and doing low/zero-rate financing with the agreement that my son would take over the payments in a couple years. He gets a new car. He gets some good credit history (he's already in the mid-high-700s). In theory I won't be out of pocket more than for a used car--and even if I pay for the whole thing, he gets all the benefits of a new car. Insurance and license will, however, be more expensive.

OP: I know this doesn't answer your question but it may give you another option.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 12, 2020 6:12 pm

Two lst car stories.

Bought son #1 a mint condition Plymouth Horizon with low mileage to go back and forth to high school.
He cracked the car up on a winding open road that teens in the area used for "drifting" (sport? where a car is slid around corners)
After that, bought him a used moped and told him if he cracked it up there'd be nothing but "The Bus". He trashed it for 4 years and somehow it kept running to and from high school.

Gave son #2 my 19something Toyota Pickup truck with 200k miles on it. Standard shift. Manual everything. And patched rust holes in the roof and floor.
Stipulation was that "Betsy" was old and if he didn't drive it carefully, she would die a slow death and his alternative would be "The Bus". Son #2 was careful and responsible. The famous "Toyota 22R 4 cylinder engine" ran for 4 years without fail.

Sometimes, the concept of a first car for kids is as much or more about the lessons of ownership as what the car is.I think every young man grown old has stories of first cars or cars in high school bought while working as a dishwasher after school for $1.25/hr.

Actionably: (on topic)
Mileage on a car is like years and hard use (mileage) on a senior retiree's body.
Lower mileage is better.

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MathWizard
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by MathWizard » Tue May 12, 2020 6:13 pm

The 2014 with fewer miles.

My wife was driving a 2000 until Aug 2017, when we gave it to our youngest.

I was driving a 2002 until last Nov.

I keep the cars maintained well, and don't drive many miles in a year.
Cars can last if you maintain them.

My eldest likes his Elantra, which he bought himself after the car we gave him conked out.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 12, 2020 6:14 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:57 pm
Our kids get a hand-me-down car and their parents get a newer car. So what car can you give them? Next ask, what car do you want to get for yourself?
This sums up what DW and I have done.
Similar to toys and clothes while the kids were younger, passed down from their cousins.

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illumination
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by illumination » Tue May 12, 2020 6:41 pm

The cosmetic condition is also important, I can totally tell if a car has been garaged or not. Makes a car feel far "newer" if it hasn't been stored outside. I live in the Sun Belt and cars are pretty destroyed both interior and exterior if they sit outside a lot.

I almost always think it's worth "over paying" for a used car that's been really taken care of over getting a great deal on one that someone has treated as something more disposable.

My "shoot from the hip" is the the car with less miles per year would be the one in nicer condition. Someone that drives nearly 30k miles a year probably looks at their vehicle more like a disposable asset they drive into the ground, maybe like an Uber driver. But I could be 180 degrees off.

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Watty
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Watty » Tue May 12, 2020 6:59 pm

A couple of things to add to your checklist;

1) The 2014 may still be under the Hyundai 10 year 100K mile power train warranty if it is still owned by the original owner. You would need to check on all the details but with that one if anything comes up with the power train when it is inspected the seller may be able to have Hyundai fix it. If the original owner is selling it then I would suspect that there would not be any known power train issues.

2) Check the tires, one could have newish tires and the other could be about due to have them be replaced.

3) Check to see if either of them have expensive routine maintenance items like changing a timing belt, and if that has been done.

4) Check for outstanding recalls. The 2014 might be more prone to be under the airbag recall and they may still be having delays in getting the parts for it.

5) Get insurance quotes for both cars, they may vary by more than you might think.

Trader Joe
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Trader Joe » Tue May 12, 2020 7:31 pm

stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I'm trying to find a first car for my 19-year-old son. Help me think something through. One model we are looking at is the Hyundai Elantra. There are two available locally that are exactly the same price ($5,900) and let's assume for now that they are in essentially equivalent mechanical condition. One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?

How does one look at this?
Neither. I stay far, far away from Hyundai. I would only buy a Toyota.

stoptothink
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 12, 2020 7:33 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:31 pm
stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I'm trying to find a first car for my 19-year-old son. Help me think something through. One model we are looking at is the Hyundai Elantra. There are two available locally that are exactly the same price ($5,900) and let's assume for now that they are in essentially equivalent mechanical condition. One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?

How does one look at this?
Neither. I stay far, far away from Hyundai. I would only buy a Toyota.
Someone should introduce you to the 21st century.

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ram
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by ram » Tue May 12, 2020 7:42 pm

stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.
Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?
How does one look at this?
If my plan is to drive 12K miles/yr for 4 years I will get the 93000 mile car. ( By then it will be 10 yr old with 141 K miles)

If my plan is to drive 4K miles/yr for 6 years I will get the 116000 mile car. ( By then it will be 10 yr old car with 140 K miles)
Ram

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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue May 12, 2020 9:04 pm

Which one will protect your son better when he crashes it?
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GoldenGoose
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by GoldenGoose » Wed May 13, 2020 8:59 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:33 pm
Trader Joe wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:31 pm
stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I'm trying to find a first car for my 19-year-old son. Help me think something through. One model we are looking at is the Hyundai Elantra. There are two available locally that are exactly the same price ($5,900) and let's assume for now that they are in essentially equivalent mechanical condition. One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?

How does one look at this?
Neither. I stay far, far away from Hyundai. I would only buy a Toyota.
Someone should introduce you to the 21st century.
21st century or not, if it is a small difference in price between a Toyota and a Hyundai, for me about around $2K-3K, I would rather buy a Toyota. If the difference is huge, like $7K (like the Sonata vs Camry), then I am willing to take "another" chance on the Hyundai (owned a 2002 Sonata. While engine was reliable, the rest didn't hold up as well as a 1998 Camry my brother has).

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Sandi_k
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by Sandi_k » Wed May 13, 2020 7:37 pm

I would buy the one with the best maintenance history. If they have timing belts, is one replaced, and another has not been? Which one has the most treat left on the tires?

stoptothink
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Re: Buying Used Car for Son

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 13, 2020 7:49 pm

GoldenGoose wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:59 am
stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:33 pm
Trader Joe wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:31 pm
stuper1 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:39 pm
I'm trying to find a first car for my 19-year-old son. Help me think something through. One model we are looking at is the Hyundai Elantra. There are two available locally that are exactly the same price ($5,900) and let's assume for now that they are in essentially equivalent mechanical condition. One is a 2014 with 93,000 miles. The other is a 2016 with 116,000 miles. Both have electronic stability control.

Should we prefer the older one with less miles or the younger one with more miles?

How does one look at this?
Neither. I stay far, far away from Hyundai. I would only buy a Toyota.
Someone should introduce you to the 21st century.
21st century or not, if it is a small difference in price between a Toyota and a Hyundai, for me about around $2K-3K, I would rather buy a Toyota. If the difference is huge, like $7K (like the Sonata vs Camry), then I am willing to take "another" chance on the Hyundai (owned a 2002 Sonata. While engine was reliable, the rest didn't hold up as well as a 1998 Camry my brother has).
Every recent reliability ranking has Hyundai near the top, even surpassing Toyota in several. Any objective data about Hyundai having low reliability is literally more than a decade old, but when it comes to cars it takes forever for these perception to die. Personally, I feel pretty comfortable with the reliability of any new car as long as it is maintained; heck, I drive a VW because I got a screaming deal and it has been absolutely problem-free.

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