Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

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random_walker_77
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:14 pm

How many miles/yr do you drive?

How tolerant are you to the risk of a car breakdown? For some, a small chance is no big deal -- annoying if it happens, but not that bad. For others, maybe the risks are much higher, for example being late to work might cause them to get fired.

Toyota/Honda sedans don't depreciate that quickly, making it harder to find a good deal on a used car w/ less than 60K miles.

That said, if you don't drive that many miles per year, it's not unreasonable to buy a car with higher mileage but fewer years on it. For example, if you have a short commute and normally only drive 5K/yr, in a decade your car is going to lose a lot of its value even though its only got 50K miles on it. For that usage pattern, buying a 4 yr old car w/ 60K miles on it could make sense. For example, we bought a 4 year old Prius w/ 65K miles on it. Had it inspected by a mechanic who declared it to be in wonderful shape. It took a while to find this one, but it ended up being just a hair over $10K, purchased from a private party.

On the other hand, if you're going to keep it 10-15 years, a new honda isn't that bad either.

I'd steer clear of cars older than 10 years though. Cars were re-engineered to get better at surviving crashes after ratings included testing for "partial overlap" and "small overlap" collisions. That'd be another reason to go with something less than ~5 years old.

If you buy new, be sure to buy through their "internet sales" department. Just email a bunch of dealers for quotes on a car meeting your specifications. You're much more likely to get a good deal when you've got half a dozen bids for your business.

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Cycle
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by Cycle » Tue May 14, 2019 10:30 pm

Traveler wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:25 pm
This ratio advice is ridiculous even for boglehead standards. Omg, I have a 2014 Maxima worth about $12,000 so I am below the 1:100 ratio so oh no, I've overspent. Better go sell it and buy something a little cheaper that I can actually afford.
Good idea, though I sense sarcasm

If u need to buy collision insurance, the car is definitely too expensive.

Another good target, in Minnesota anyways, is to target the minimum vehicle registration tax, which is $35. Don't be one of those fools paying hundreds in registration fees.

A third good target is to get one for less than the sales tax limit, which in Minnesota is $3000, so one doesn't need to pay sales tax on the transaction. One can get a honda/Toyota sedan with 150k miles that fits this criteria.

But in the end, one should just estimate their transportation annual costs and try to minimize that number.

My current annual commuting costs are approx $800 (no car). My wife's are approx $4500, which is almost as much as our annual housing cost ($5,060, including utilities, taxes, misc expenses).

inbox788
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by inbox788 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:40 am

Traveler wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:25 pm
Cycle wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:06 am
You should strive to spend as little on a car as possible, to make sure you are saving as much as possible. Our current car to net worth ratio at 35 is 1:250. You should never let the ratio go below 1:100, so I'd recommend getting something for $2300 or less. that means used, private party.
This ratio advice is ridiculous even for boglehead standards. Omg, I have a 2014 Maxima worth about $12,000 so I am below the 1:100 ratio so oh no, I've overspent. Better go sell it and buy something a little cheaper that I can actually afford.
https://www.edmunds.com/honda/accord/2018/cost-to-own/

All these ratios (car price:annual salary, car price:net worth) are all ultra conservative IMO. Keeping total annual car & transportation expenses under 10% is sufficiently conservative for me (up to 20% might be acceptable/realistic), and using a net worth ratio isn't as useful early on when it might be negative or low or later when its very high. Now that you've got 3 data points from random strangers, here's one from a random "expert" that's been discussed before:

The 1/10th Rule For Car Buying Everyone Must Follow

Image
https://www.financialsamurai.com/the-11 ... st-follow/

Then rummage through some prior discussions if that ratio interest you:
https://www.google.com/search?q=financi ... eheads.org

TropikThunder
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by TropikThunder » Wed May 15, 2019 2:42 am

I’ve said it before: nothing sucks the joy out of life more than a Bogleheads automotive thread.

LFS1234
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by LFS1234 » Wed May 15, 2019 4:01 am

The best argument for buying used may be the ability to self-insure against the risk of damage to your own car (you will always need liability coverage to insure against the risk of injuring someone else or damaging someone else's property). In the unlikely event that you total a $5K or $10K car, it would be annoying, but you could make the money back within a few months. Depending on where you live, the insurance savings may be huge.

There is a considerable adverse selection problem with buying used. The cars that have problems, were exposed to floods, were driven by people who didn't care about maintenance - these end up on the used car market. The cars that were immaculately kept tend to be quickly scooped up by friends, relatives, or savvy intermediaries who in turn sell them to their friends or relatives. If you buy new, you don't have this adverse selection risk.

Buying an off-lease car can be a very rational decision, particularly if the car isn't a model likely to have been abused (sports car). Practically all leased cars hit the market after 3 years or so, so the adverse selection problem should be smaller. And the original driver paid the "new car premium" as well as a disproportionate percentage of the car's lifetime depreciation, so you can get a much better deal.

I drove a junkmobile until I was 23. It cost me only $300 to buy but was unreliable and expensive to maintain. I wouldn't make long trips due to the unreliability. Frankly, I kept it for way too long and it held me back. I did a complete about-face at 23, buying a brand-new 1986 Accord. Fantastic car in every way. Manual transmission. Loads of fun to drive, zero problems. I have absolutely no regrets over that purchase, and the only reason I didn't keep it for 10+ years is that I moved to an area with heavy, crazy traffic and wanted a bigger car for safety reasons. At that time, the Accord was a bit smaller than the current-model Civic. All-in, the ownership costs of the car were very reasonable.

In your position, you can easily justify buying either used or new. Sticking to high-quality Japanese models makes a ton of sense. Research individual models before buying. My personal preference is for transmissions with actual gears (manuals and automatics) over CVT transmissions, but perhaps the CVTs have improved in recent years. I haven't kept up with the issue.

If buying a new Accord is a mistake, it certainly isn't a big one. Buying a house you don't need is a big mistake. Marrying an incompatible person is a big mistake. If you're going to make a "mistake" in the eyes of the never-spend-anything-at-all crowd, this would be the one to make!

msk
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by msk » Wed May 15, 2019 5:34 am

Unfortunately for many people it seems that cars are often toys rather more than a mere essential utility. My rules of thumb that have worked well for me into my 70s:
1. Save and invest 30% of after tax income
2. Never acquire car(s) worth more than six months income. Does not matter much whether you pay cash or lease.
3. Never acquire a home worth more than 3 years income (2.5x combined income).

Obviously one does not go out and purchase a 40 year-old Rolls Royce for $25k without considering its maintenance expenses, but a new car or a few-years-old car should work out fine. Anyway after you have taken care of 1. above you can splurge on any toy you yearn for, even on an over-the-top sports car.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by sunny_socal » Wed May 15, 2019 5:58 am

In your situation, buy a new Honda/Toyota and don't look back. Perform required maintenance and enjoy the trouble-free 10 years. :beer

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BoglePaul
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by BoglePaul » Wed May 15, 2019 6:53 am

Consider something newer just to avoid the maintenance. Consider your reasons for the sport purchase. I purchased a used BMW 328xi w/ sport package when I was younger. The sport suspension made the next 8 years of road travel very bumpy / uncomfortable. I immediately regretted the purchase due to the harsh ride. Looking back I would have purchased the larger engine without the sport suspension. I would never purchase another car again with a sport suspension. Perhaps the accord sport is not as harsh?

Honda Accord / Toyota Camry are wise purchases. That 1.5L accord engine outputs out an amazing ~200HP. Wow.

S4C5
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by S4C5 » Wed May 15, 2019 8:31 am

The extremes on this thread are quite spectacular.

On one end, you have people stating that your car should cost 1/250th of your worth and you should strive to spend <$2k on a car.
And on the other end you have people stating that new cars actually cost much less than used cars when you factor in maintenance.

Both of these are absurd.

As a lifelong "car guy," I'll offer a few opinions:

Used cars are hit or miss. I daily drive a 1990 Audi with over 300k miles. I've replaced most things in the car multiple times, including the engine. I do all the work myself, so maintenance costs are low. That said, yesterday the clutch pedal went to the floor in the middle of traffic. Slave cylinder went out and I had to push the thing out of the road. A few months ago on a cross country drive, the alternator failed and I was stranded in the middle of nowhere requiring an expensive tow, an expensive rental car, and an expensive and lengthy repair at the nearest random shop, not to mention a huge headache of getting back to the middle of nowhere a few weeks later to collect the car.

My point is, with a used car, you can get stranded at any time and have an expensive repair bill. After 70k miles and/or 10 years, things start to break. That is about how long cars are designed to last (a 10 year life cycle is standard in the automotive industry).
If you want to drive used cars with >70k miles, you absolutely need AT A MINIMUM, 2 cars. I have three, and there have been occasions where all 3 have been down for maintenance at the same time and I've been stuck riding the motorcycle to work until the weekend when I can get one running again.
You can minimize the risk of downtime by doing regular preventative maintenance, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to have complete reliability.
So, additionally, I will say that if you want to drive old used cars, you need to be proficient and at least some basic automotive skills and have some basic automotive knowledge. If you can't even change your own oil, you have absolutely no business driving >10 year old > 70k mile cars. They will be a total money pit for you.

Now, on to the business of new cars. It is outrageous to say that a brand new 40k Honda is going to be "cheaper" than a 20 year old 3k Honda. Even with absurd maintenance costs, the depreciation hit on the new car alone makes the new car that much more expensive many times over. If you get a 4k repair bill on your 3k Honda, so what? Sell it to the scrap yard for 1k and buy another 3k jalopie. The advantage of the new car is not that it is somehow mysteriously mathematically cheaper in terms of cost, but the benefit it offers you in quality of life. Especially if you have zero car skills. If there is a problem, you take it to the dealer, they give you a loaner, you come back and get it when it's fixed, and you pay nothing. This convenience is worth something more than zero. This is what most average americans with good jobs do. The other factor is the fact that you drive something modern that smells nice, looks good, and is clean. Not something that leaks exhaust fumes into the cabin, has a sagging and stained headliner, can't interface with your phone, has dirty and torn seats, and projects an image that you are just a slob.
But these are all premium aspects that you pay for.

The OP sounds like many people who will fall somewhere in-between the brand new car crowd and the 20 year old 300k mile clunker crowd.
He already seems to have figured out that the sweet spot for a used car is something <7 years old with <50k miles, preferably with a CPO.
It's important to avoid the trap of buying a 10 year old German luxury car with 100k miles unless you are a mechanic and do your own work. I buy these vehicles, but I also have zero labor costs. There is a reason that a 2006 BMW 7 series sold for $130,000 new and now sells for $6,000. People think, why would I buy a 2006 Honda listed at $6k that sold for $30k new when I can buy the $130k BMW for the same price? I see this all the time. The car is one simple repair away from being totaled.

stoptothink
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 15, 2019 8:36 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:15 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:20 pm

For those who say they do better driving new, I think they are trying to justify it to themselves. It's fine to drive a new car but not usually the best financial decision, which is ok. You can spend your money on whatever you want.
Depends on the model. I spent 6 months looking for a Wrangler before buying mine new. Cheapest used 2 year old one I could find was $29k looking in 2 states. I paid $28k ordering exactly what I wanted.

Currently looking for a replacement Crosstrek soon. One dealer I watch is offering $2k off factory orders right now. The cheapest used Crosstrek they currently have is $23,400. What that exact vehicle will cost me to order right now....$22k.

So sometimes, yes, new can be cheaper than used. But again, the model matters a lot.
Wrangler, Tacoma, 4-runner, and even some you'd never guess. VW gives huge discounts the end of summer as new models roll in. We bought a new jetta in '17 for less OTD than what we were seeing 2yr old models with ~$20k miles going for. Thanks dieselgate.

It is just a fact, it isn't that rare to find better deals on brand new vehicles than lightly used models these days.

inbox788
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by inbox788 » Wed May 15, 2019 11:04 am

LFS1234 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:01 am
Sticking to high-quality Japanese models makes a ton of sense.
Do you mean Honda and Toyota, or are there others? [Or do you mean those built in Japan? Are there any foreign manufactures building cars in Japan?]

Are there low quality Japanese models? Or high quality non-Japanese models? Where do these manufacturers fit in the quality scale?

Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda

GM, Ford, Tesla

Fiat, VW, BMW, Daimler

Kia/Hyundai, Others

https://www.statista.com/statistics/249 ... facturers/

IMO, there was a time where quality and reliability of Toyota and Honda were far above the rest, but I think they've been resting on their laurels too long and that gap has narrowed considerably.

Are there any low quality cars today? There was a time when Ford, Fiat, Land Rover, Audi, Jaguar and others had terrible reputations, but quality overall seems to have risen to a point where it's not good vs. bad anymore, but good vs better vs best.

10 Worst Car Brands in Initial Quality
https://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/201 ... ality.html

LFS1234
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by LFS1234 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:38 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:04 am
LFS1234 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:01 am
Sticking to high-quality Japanese models makes a ton of sense.
Do you mean Honda and Toyota, or are there others? [Or do you mean those built in Japan? Are there any foreign manufactures building cars in Japan?]

Are there low quality Japanese models? Or high quality non-Japanese models? Where do these manufacturers fit in the quality scale?

(....)
You make some good points, and I should backtrack a bit. My bias, as you may have guessed, was for Honda and Toyota, regardless of their country of manufacture (my Honda was manufactured in Ohio). I am well aware that other makes, including non-Japanese makes, also now have a reputation for excellent value for the price (Kia comes to mind). I am also aware that at least one Honda product (the CRV) apparently has a very troublesome oil dilution problem.

So let me try again, a bit more thoughtfully. Here are some key points:

1. It is said that car quality overall today is better than ever, and that the "worst" car today has a higher quality than the "best" car of a couple of decades ago.

2. It is also the case that quality is measured in terms of the number of reported defects, and that complicated cars (with all the bells and whistles) have more things than can go wrong than simple cars. Thus, the easiest way of having a car which scores high in quality is by keeping it free of any features other than those which are required, and especially by keeping it free of untried new technology. It has always been a good rule of thumb not to purchase a new model in its first model year, before the bugs can be ironed out. In any case, the car which is best for you is not necessarily going to be the one which has the absolute highest quality score.

3. Very important - if e.g. a Mercedes has the same number of defects as e.g. a Hyundai, it doesn't follow that you'd be equally well off with either car. Fixing the Mercedes may cost you a fortune, while fixing the Hyundai may cost you much less. This is highly relevant but is not taken into account in the quality calculations.

A few years ago, I had the interesting experience of helping a younger and poorer relative go shopping for a car. The budget was limited but he wanted a prestige brand. The most enlightening conversation we had was with an old hand at Carmax, who pointed out that service costs for Audi and BMW were several times higher than service costs for Honda or Toyota. The way he pointed this out was about as credible as you can get: he showed the pricing of the service contracts available through Carmax for the Audi, BMW, Honda and Toyota models being discussed.

For anyone looking for an affordable used car, I would suggest that as part of their research they speak with Carmax or someone else who can quote them the cost for an extended service plan for each of the cars that they are considering. The relevant fact isn't what the plans cost; the relevant fact is what the ratios are between the costs of identical service plans for the various cars under consideration. This should closely approximate the relative ownership costs that they would be likely to experience with the vehicle they choose.

malbecman
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by malbecman » Wed May 15, 2019 1:49 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:01 pm
IMO the most Boglehead car you can buy is a used Toyota Prius.
- Low entry cost (10k is easily doable)
- Great reliability. Reports of 300,000 mile Prius' are easy to find
- Low overall maintenance costs (brakes last longer, engine is near indestructible, battery replacement fears are unfounded)
- Great gas mileage (I average 45 mpg)
- Super functional: The hatchback design and ability to put seats down makes this super functional. I can slip (2) bikes into the car without issue.

I think a used Toyota Prius is the lowest total cost car you can purchase.
I'll present a Boglehead alternative that's much cheaper to own if it fits your driving style (eg, commuting ~20 miles each way)....a Nissan Leaf. You can get a 2012 model for $8K or a 2016 for ~$13K, both around 30-35K miles.

You can go ~100 miles on ~$3 worth of electricity. No oil changes or smog checks. They are pretty maintenance free.

fittan
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by fittan » Wed May 15, 2019 2:18 pm

yuppiebogle wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:50 pm
Hulu wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 pm
You’re so young that an extra $10k now could easily be worth $2M-$5M later in life. I’d expand the search to include the 2015+ Kia Forte and buy used. Whatever you buy please inspect it and drive it safely. Good luck!
You’re so young that an extra $10k now could easily be worth $2M-$5M later in life.
Can you explain how that is feasible? I used the simple compound interest calculator @ http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/co ... ulator.htm and it says $10k, assuming no annual additions, grown at a 8% interest rate over 40 years becomes ~$217k, not millions :confused
bitcoins :)

hudson
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by hudson » Wed May 15, 2019 3:40 pm

yuppiebogle wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:41 am
Hi fellow Bogleheads,

I will be potentially in the market for a "new" car (most likely a 4 door sedan) within the next 6 - 7 months and wanted your advice regarding questions such as:

- How much can I afford / How much should I look to spend on the car itself?
- What is considered a healthy/conservative % allocation toward total overall auto costs in one's budget? (taking into account insurance, maintenance, etc.)
- If I am looking at, say, Hondas/Toyotas, and am looking to drive the car for t least 10 years, then is it better to go new vs. used? (assuming I can afford it)
- Given my financial situation (briefly highlighted below), should I seek to pay for it with 100% cash? Or should I seek to finance some or all of it to preserve liquidity?

Just from browsing lately, I like the 2018 Honda Accord (sport trim) but wonder if spending ~$23-24k on a new/lightly used car is prudent vs. buying, say, a relatively higher mileage (between 60 - 100k 2015 or older - Accord/Camry for $10-12k and also driving that thing into the ground. :confused

Some background on me: Have always been blessed to drive parents vehicles growing up without ever having to purchase my own and currently drive my dad's car which he said he's thinking about needing back within the aforementioned time frame)

About me:
- Single
- 25 years old
- Currently paying for my auto insurance through my dad (car's are in his name and I'm covered under his policy; I reimburse him every month for my share)
- Make ~$73k gross salary/yr. with expected year-end bonus of ~$10k gross.
- Currently pay ~$400/mo. for rent/utilities (living situation subject to change within the next year; i.e. moving to a shared or my own apartment)
- Budgeted and on track to max out my 401k & HSA this year (Front loaded my Roth at the beginning of this year)

Assets:
-Cash: ~21k (6k of which I currently have allocated as "Emergency funds" but I don't see a high likelihood of it being needed given I don't have much in the way of expenses and am able to move back in with parents for free if need be)

-401k:$53.6k

- Roth IRA: $24.6k

- HSA: $5.6k

- Brokerage Account: $18.0k

Liabilities

- None

Apologies if my thoughts seem a bit scattered. Please let me know if there's anything I might not be considering or if there's anything I can provide that can help you give some better advice.

Many thanks,
YB
I would go for the new Honda Accord...I would pay cash if possible...if not, pay it off as soon as possible.
I would drive the wheels off.
I would also consider driving my current vehicle another year or two if possible.
Maybe consult with James Bragg's Fighting Chance website for negotiating techniques.

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yuppiebogle
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by yuppiebogle » Fri May 17, 2019 10:33 am

random_walker_77 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:14 pm
How many miles/yr do you drive?

Just ran a rough calculation based on my weekly schedule.. at my current rate I think I'll drive ~20-22k miles a year.

How tolerant are you to the risk of a car breakdown? For some, a small chance is no big deal -- annoying if it happens, but not that bad. For others, maybe the risks are much higher, for example being late to work might cause them to get fired.

If i'm late to work over a car breakdown, I'm fairly confident I won't get fired, though it'll be a nuisance. Though I'm sure I could handle it, I want a fairly reliable car that I don't have to think much about that scenario ever happening.


Toyota/Honda sedans don't depreciate that quickly, making it harder to find a good deal on a used car w/ less than 60K miles.

That said, if you don't drive that many miles per year, it's not unreasonable to buy a car with higher mileage but fewer years on it. For example, if you have a short commute and normally only drive 5K/yr, in a decade your car is going to lose a lot of its value even though its only got 50K miles on it. For that usage pattern, buying a 4 yr old car w/ 60K miles on it could make sense. For example, we bought a 4 year old Prius w/ 65K miles on it. Had it inspected by a mechanic who declared it to be in wonderful shape. It took a while to find this one, but it ended up being just a hair over $10K, purchased from a private party.

On the other hand, if you're going to keep it 10-15 years, a new honda isn't that bad either.

I keep hearing this argument, but I guess the financial side of my brain keeps thinking about the time value of the lump sum of money if it were invested instead :( I would like to aim for an early 'retirement' (early to late forties, at my current rate of earning/saving) so I just become a bit hesitant when it comes to significant cash outlay at my stage in the game. Would a new car (paid for fully in cash) derail that plan?

I'd steer clear of cars older than 10 years though. Cars were re-engineered to get better at surviving crashes after ratings included testing for "partial overlap" and "small overlap" collisions. That'd be another reason to go with something less than ~5 years old.

Anyone have any insight on 2013 - 2015 Honda Civics?

If you buy new, be sure to buy through their "internet sales" department. Just email a bunch of dealers for quotes on a car meeting your specifications. You're much more likely to get a good deal when you've got half a dozen bids for your business.

random_walker_77
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by random_walker_77 » Sat May 18, 2019 9:09 am

inlined, back in black
yuppiebogle wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:33 am

Just ran a rough calculation based on my weekly schedule.. at my current rate I think I'll drive ~20-22k miles a year.

I keep hearing this argument, but I guess the financial side of my brain keeps thinking about the time value of the lump sum of money if it were invested instead :( I would like to aim for an early 'retirement' (early to late forties, at my current rate of earning/saving) so I just become a bit hesitant when it comes to significant cash outlay at my stage in the game. Would a new car (paid for fully in cash) derail that plan?

Here's the thing... cars are expensive. After your home, they're the 2nd largest purchase you'll buy. So transportation is a necessary evil, but it's going to cost you. Think of it as dollars per year for this service. It's necessarily going to scale with miles per year. Depreciation is higher the first 3 years, so a "lease" price reflects that, and might cost $4K/yr (or more for that kind of mileage). At the other end, someone either holding a reliable car for 15 years, can amortize the depreciation down to maybe $1500/yr. At 22K miles per year, you're not likely to keep the same car for 15 years.

If i'm late to work over a car breakdown, I'm fairly confident I won't get fired, though it'll be a nuisance. Though I'm sure I could handle it, I want a fairly reliable car that I don't have to think much about that scenario ever happening.


Given that you value reliability to some extent, you have to decide how much it's worth to you. Given a reliable Honda/Toyota, how high of a mileage will you tolerate? At 20K miles per year, if you were to buy new, you could get a new car and run it to end-of-life (~200K) in under 10 years. Or an older car at ~60K and run it to 140K in 4 years. Look at what you'd buy it for, and what residual value you could sell it for. Figure out the cost per year, and balance that against the expected reliability + expected cost of repairs.

Anyone have any insight on 2013 - 2015 Honda Civics?

Not specifically, but civics are well-known for reliability. In the used car space, you generally get more of a break after 60K or 90K miles. Both because of "major" scheduled maintenance, and because of reliability concerns. But maintenance at 60K isn't necessarily that bad. Certainly not what a mechanic or dealer's "60K service" costs, as that always includes a lot more than what the manual suggests. If you follow what your car's maintenance manual suggests, it should be pretty reasonable and completely sufficient. For reliability, on the other hand, you might be ok. Buy private party. Try to find someone who's taken good care of their car. And keep in mind that your driving pattern, while high on mileage, is probably highway-intensive and so is relatively gentle on cars. A 4 year old Honda (i.e. relatively new) won't be that old after you put 100K on it over 5 years.

Financially, you'll just have to shop it. A 3-5 year old Civic might be worth it. Try cargurus.com for pricing. Make sure you pay a mechanic for a "pre-purchase inspection." Figure on the best deals being with a private party, not a dealer. Keep in mind that the price on a new civic might be less than what you see published for invoice. I recently bought a new hybrid camry for $3K under invoice and $6K under MSRP. Surprised me, but that's what some of the dealerships quoted me. Email at least 6 dealerships for quotes to get a good handle on the new car price.

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4nursebee
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by 4nursebee » Sat May 18, 2019 9:40 am

I would do what you want. Almost anything can work for you.
I see calculators that say 10-20% of take home is what to allocate for monthly new car payment, others that say <33% total take home going to debt.
There is a continuum of enjoy now or enjoy later, decide where you want to fall.
I have always favored buying new cars for the guarantee of no repairs for a long time.
It looks like Civics or Corollas could work using all of your cash, just replace it quickly.
If you have time, you can shop now and then wait for price to come to you at end of a month...
As I age, I favor more of paying up for quality, no shame in moving up from Civic or Corolla
Read latest consumer reports auto issue.
No harm in financing a car and deciding to pay it off faster as your cash position grows.
4nursebee

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wander
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Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

Post by wander » Sat May 18, 2019 9:49 am

If I were going to buy a car, I would look at a used Lexus V6.

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