used car buying

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
looking
Posts: 680
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:14 pm
Location: morgan hill ,ca

used car buying

Post by looking » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:02 pm

Hello BH

Used car buying

I’m trying to buy a used car, what is the best way of buying used car.and how do I know
What is the right price, right time and right makers and models? Maybe some case better buying a new car. I know the time I buy a new car and drive away it depreciates 20 %, am I right ??.

Certified pre-owned care
the used car still in factory warranty ( most cover 3 years )
Buy less than 10 years old ( not always )
Reputable dealer
Kelly blue book ( pricing)
Edmond.com (pricing )
eBay
Craigslist

chevca
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: used car buying

Post by chevca » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:16 pm

Find a car you like, at a price you like, and buy it. It can really be that simple. :happy

You have asked way to broad of a question, really. You will get answers all over the place based on personal preferences. Have you even narrowed it down to a few cars you like?

mindgap
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:24 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by mindgap » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Get a Toyota Camry.
Pay Cash.
Done.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9471
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: used car buying

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:26 pm

You're looking for general rules and they don't apply in a general way.

If you look for a used Wrangler, Civic, Crosstrek or Tacoma and think that any of them lost 20% driving off the lot, you'll be very surprised when you see 4 year old ones still more expensive than 80% of new.

But find a Buick, GMC, for example and yah.....they drop like a rock because the GM has always tanked prices in the form of rebates or nationally advertised "friends and family" 15% off of new.

So it depends on the make and the model and even the time of year. VW in the fall showers dealers with cash to get rid of the rest of the outgoing model year car.

Narrow it down to some make/models you like and ask here. Plenty of us watch the market for specific cars all the time.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 1310
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: used car buying

Post by Cycle » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:29 pm

Buy a used Honda or Toyota via private party (Craigslist, fb marketplace)

8 years old.

4k will get you a vehicle that will last many, many years.here you don't have to pay sales tax if it's less than 3k.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

livesoft
Posts: 66924
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Dealers of new cars sometimes have used cars to sell, but they price them outrageously high. They do this so that people looking will think "Oh, a new car is about the same price as this used car, so I will just buy a new car instead." The dealers need the high-priced used car to play with your mind which loves to make these easy (but false) comparisons.

That doesn't mean you cannot bargain down the price of such used / CPO cars by 15% to 20% though.

The more cars that are nearly identical that you find online for sale, the lower the price than you can bargain down to. That means cast a 500 mile radius net or larger when doing your internet search.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

LawyersGunsAndMoney
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm

mindgap wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:19 pm
Get a Toyota Camry.
Pay Cash.
Done.
Will make this easier.

Buy a Toyota.
Pay Cash.
Done.

User avatar
dual
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by dual » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:07 pm

My suggestion is to analyze the use for the car first:
  • short drives in town, long distance commuting.
    How many passengers?
    How many miles per year do you drive?
    Do you want a multi-use car like a minivan that can haul passengers or cargo?
    Do you drive in heavy metro traffic or suburbs or countryside?
    Do you get snow or other hazardous driving in your area?
...

From this you can get the type of car you are looking for. For example, if you drive only a few thousand miles per year like me then it makes sense to buy a late model used car with lots of (hopefully) freeway miles.

Then start shopping for cars.

randomguy
Posts: 7819
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: used car buying

Post by randomguy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:31 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:38 pm
Dealers of new cars sometimes have used cars to sell, but they price them outrageously high. They do this so that people looking will think "Oh, a new car is about the same price as this used car, so I will just buy a new car instead." The dealers need the high-priced used car to play with your mind which loves to make these easy (but false) comparisons.

That doesn't mean you cannot bargain down the price of such used / CPO cars by 15% to 20% though.

The more cars that are nearly identical that you find online for sale, the lower the price than you can bargain down to. That means cast a 500 mile radius net or larger when doing your internet search.
Dealers make more money on used cars than new cars so why are they pushing new ones?

randomguy
Posts: 7819
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: used car buying

Post by randomguy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:39 pm

looking wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:02 pm
Hello BH

Used car buying

I’m trying to buy a used car, what is the best way of buying used car.and how do I know
What is the right price, right time and right makers and models? Maybe some case better buying a new car. I know the time I buy a new car and drive away it depreciates 20 %, am I right ??.

Certified pre-owned care
the used car still in factory warranty ( most cover 3 years )
Buy less than 10 years old ( not always )
Reputable dealer
Kelly blue book ( pricing)
Edmond.com (pricing )
eBay
Craigslist
It might drop 20% when you drive it off the lot but you will find it very hard to buy a 1 year old car for 20% less than what you could have bought a new car for. That 40k GMC truck that you buy new for 30k isn't selling for 24k in 1 year. It is selling for 27k.

There is no best. Buying a new toyota and driving it for 15 years is pretty cheap transportation. Buying a 10 year old one and replacing it every 5 years might be cheaper. The difference is unlikely to change you financial picture much.

McGilicutty
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:24 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by McGilicutty » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:38 pm

The last time I bought a used car was in 2015. I bought a 3-year old mid-size SUV from CarMax. Given that I was buying a used car, the experience was pretty pleasant. That SUV now has 110,000 miles on it and I haven't had to do anything to it other than regular maintenance.

I plan to keep it until something goes wrong with it that costs more to fix than what the vehicle is worth. At that time, I'll probably go and buy another 3 year-old SUV from CarMax again.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16455
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by Watty » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:33 pm

Your buying process will be a lot different if you are looking a budget of $4,000 or $25,000.

It will also matter a lot if you are able to do a lot of repairs on the car yourself.

When I have shopped for used cars I think of cars being in these tiers;
1) Very desirable: Toyota, Honda, etc
2) Less desirable but with a good reliability expectation: Some Fords, Some Hyundais, etc
3) Cars with generally bad reliability reputations; Most Chrysler models, Fiats

The very desirable cars are usually too expensive compared to buying a new car, and the cars with a bad reliability history would only make sense if you found some exceptional deal and can do most car repairs yourself. Usually the cars that make the most sense as a used cars on the ones that are in the second group that are reasonably desirable but less in demand so they will sell for a bigger discount.


One thing that is critical is to look at the yearly and monthly cost of ownership over the long term and not just the purchase price. The will be two parts;

1) Operating costs like gas, tires, car insurance, oil changes, routine maintenance, etc. This like brakes are routine maintenance. These will be roughly the same no matter what type of car you buy.

2) There is also depreciation and non-routine maintenance which will vary a lot depending on the car model and the age.

I don't do many car repairs myself so a car that requires a lot of non-routine maintenance will be real expensive for me. I also don't need anything fancy so a small sedan or hatchback works well for me.

My basic car buying plan is to buy modest new cars that don't cost a lot, have good reliability, and don't depreciate quickly. Cars like a Corolla or Civic fit this pretty well. I bought a new Corolla last year and here is my general plan.

1) Purchase price -out the door - $17,000
2) Keep it for ten years(120 months) then sell it for $5,000
3) Total Depreciation $12,000
4) Non-routine maintenance probably pretty low, a wild guess $1,200.

Over the ten years,120 months, that is $110 a month in depreciation and non-routine maintenance.

If I kept it for another year the resale might go from $5,000 to $4,400 which would be $600 or $50 a month in depreciation. It would not take much non-routine maintenance to get to around that $110 a month figure if you are paying a mechanic to do most of the car repairs. If you can do most car repairs yourself then you would save enough money to make keeping the car longer make more sense.

As long as you don't need a fancy car this can be real competitive with buying a used car even though it is not the cheapest way to own a car.

randomguy
Posts: 7819
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: used car buying

Post by randomguy » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:44 pm

Watty wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:33 pm

One thing that is critical is to look at the yearly and monthly cost of ownership over the long term and not just the purchase price. The will be two parts;

1) Operating costs like gas, tires, car insurance, oil changes, routine maintenance, etc. This like brakes are routine maintenance. These will be roughly the same no matter what type of car you buy.

These numbers can vary a lot. Some cars need spark plugs every 60k. Others at 120k. Some have a timing belt. Some have tires that cost 600 bucks other have 900 dollar ones. Some tires make it to 80k Others are dead at 40k. Some cars get 40mpg. Others get 20mpg. You can end up with differences of thousands of dollars over the 10 years you are owning your car.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 5583
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:48 pm

I think you should first narrow it down to 5 or so cars that seem to meet your needs, and then research more details about those. If you're truly not picky at all and just want to keep TCO low, I would buy an American car or maybe one of the less highly regarded Asian produced models like Hyundai or Mazda, as those depreciate faster which is a good thing if you're buying. If you want a Camry I would buy it new or not at all because people ask too much for used Camrys in my opinion. You can generally get a better price from a private party, if you're comfortable handling the purchase that way.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 20731
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: used car buying

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:10 pm

looking wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:02 pm
Hello BH
Used car buying

I’m trying to buy a used car, what is the best way of buying used car.and how do I know
What is the right price, right time and right makers and models? Maybe some case better buying a new car. I know the time I buy a new car and drive away it depreciates 20 %, am I right ??.

Certified pre-owned care
the used car still in factory warranty ( most cover 3 years )
Buy less than 10 years old ( not always )
Reputable dealer
Kelly blue book ( pricing)
Edmond.com (pricing )
eBay
Craigslist
One important factor is your planned use of the car. if you drive a lot of miles and need very high reliability (and not in the shop much for maintenance/repairs), then a later model or new can make the most sense.

If, however, you are like me not - low annual miles - 99% local - and can deal with car being in the shop for maintenance/repairs - then an older car can make the most sense.

I have, successfully so far, purchased a used car from individual on Craigslist. Next time I need a car, I would probably do the same. I do not need any features that are on newer cars that are not on the older ones.

aristotelian
Posts: 5787
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by aristotelian » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:18 pm

Markets are pretty efficient so just buy what feels right in your price range. I've had good luck with any of the major Japanese brands.

CurlyDave
Posts: 1068
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: used car buying

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:19 pm

If you have cash, private party is the way to go.

Private sellers know that they can not offer choice, can not offer financing, and can not offer service. The only thing they can offer is a lower price.

The problem for a buyer is that you have to be willing to take what is available, and take the risk there is something badly wrong with the car.

Doubleeagle4me
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by Doubleeagle4me » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:03 pm

Used Volvo’s are a good buy. Try and find a one owner car with a good service record. Car fax should show this.

mindgap
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:24 pm

Re: used car buying

Post by mindgap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:47 pm

LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:53 pm
mindgap wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:19 pm
Get a Toyota Camry.
Pay Cash.
Done.
Will make this easier.

Buy a Toyota.
Pay Cash.
Done.
Let’s really break it down.

Toyota.
Cash.
Done.

:)

IHateCasinos
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: used car buying

Post by IHateCasinos » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:43 am

i have found this site makes the narrowing of choices easiest, because they compare the different years of the same car. eg a 2015 camry vs a 2016 camry. no other site i have seen does that. It helps you to know which year you should chase down, and which is no different (to you)

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/toyota/camry/2016

Enjoy.

User avatar
RootSki
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 am

Re: used car buying

Post by RootSki » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:29 am

Doubleeagle4me wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:03 pm
Used Volvo’s are a good buy. Try and find a one owner car with a good service record. Car fax should show this.
Volvo has an excellent CPO program too, as the warranty gets upgraded to 5 years/Unlimited mileage, upgradable to 10/Unlimited. If you’re really lucky and have good timing you can find employee early lease returns on MY18 and MY19 cars that have less that 10k miles at great prices. You just gotta look around. YMMV but that’s what I did.

Post Reply