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Help Me Choose!

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Stay clear of that warranty, then. It seems as if you do even one oil change someplace other than the dealership, it voids the warranty. I've had to do such a thing out of necessity before, i.e. when on a long trip and it was time for the oil change, so I took the car to a dealer where I happened to be for the service. Have done that a few times over the years.
  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited August 2013
    Hey everyone, thanks a ton for the information; I'm reading through it all carefully and doing a lot of research as a result.

    A few questions on the new vs used paradox:

    (1) does anyone know, off hand, the cost difference between liability insurance on a 10 year old sedan vs full coverage on a new sedan? I am running the numbers online and I find that the liability insurance would be roughly $80.00 and the full coverage would be $105.00; does this sound correct? A big part of working out the math on this requires that I understand the difference in cost of insurance.

    (2) Much of the assumption seems to rest on the fact that we are spending about $1k a year on repairs. I have seen that number quoted before on this site, is there an article breaks that cost down? I ask because I ran the number by some car guys (they perform all their own routine maintenance and drive cars that are 10 - 20 years old), and though their experience is only anecdotal, the three of them each thought that $1k was way inflated.

    (3) In keeping with (2), let's say that we limited our used car search to 8 year old cars that had the expected number of miles and were being sold by the original owner, an owner who always/only got the car dealer serviced and, seemingly, treated the car well; if the $1000 a year is the cost of maintenance on an average used car, how much less will the car described cost us per year in maintenance?

    Thanks everyone.
  • I looked into it a bit more and it seems that, though I'm sure they build it into the selling price, the warranty is free. So I don't necessarily lose anything I've paid for in the event that I deviate from the terms of the warranty.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    All good issues to consider. The $1000 is only a rough guide. Some years you won't have any maintenance at all other than an oil change; one year you could get a big whack like leaking CV boots, alternator, all in one year. There's no way to tell. You greatly improve your chances if you buy a 1-owner, well-maintained car that has historically been very reliable (like the Civic you are most interested in). You improve your chances still more if you get it thoroughly checked out before you buy.

    Liability insurance only is waaaaay less than full coverage. But it depends on the state and area where you live. I would call a couple of insurance agents and ask them to give you an idea over the phone. If you can give them specifics they will often help out with a general quote --you need the model type, such as LX or DX, and if you are looking at a specific car the VIN. Where I live, liability only on my 12 year old car was around $100 for 6 months; on my new Accord full coverage is over $400. And I live in a rural area where insurance is much cheaper than in a city.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm a pretty frugal money conscious kind of guy so my initial impulse when I hear "purchase new" is "OMG no, depreciation!!!!" but I do see that a used car can end up costing the same, if not more. Essentially, my goal, is to have the most reliable vehicle possible, while incurring the least overall cost

    There's always secret option C, which I chose. A nearly-new, certified used car.

    In 2010, I bought a 2009 Sonata GLS V6 with moonroof/popular equip package - a $24k car, for $14,400 out the door. It had 48,000 miles on it, clearly had been used as a highway car (the interior was and still is perfect, and it came with a 10 year / 100k bumper to bumper warranty, like a new car). I've had two main dealer service visits outside of regular maintenance/oil changes. One was a belt pulley that had a bearing go bad and my Stability Control system got a software update to prevent random "ESC OFF" lights on my dash. That's it.

    The thing to weigh out when going this route is the cost of used vs. new. There was clearly a big gap in price at the time because while the vehicle I bought had adequate reliability ratings from places like Consumer Reports, it's resale value wasn't great. That made my car a veritable steal. However, Hondas and Toyotas hold their value very well; this is great if you buy new, but it makes buying used a less cost-effective proposal.

    My Hyundai has been reliable like a new car (because it nearly was) but didn't have the up-front cost. It now has 109k miles on it and still gives me 30mpg on my commute.

    Just another perspective. ;)

    TheGrad
  • wagonorbustwagonorbust Posts: 3
    edited August 2013
    For many years I've owned two old wagons. They certainly required a lot
    of maintenance, but I probably saved 40-to-50K with these wagons. Except
    for jobs like roofing, I never called a contractor. Sometimes I thought about
    buying a pickup truck, but I could carry lumber, pipes, etc., inside the wagons
    or on the roof racks. The best decision I ever made was not buying a truck.

    One of the wagons develped massive electrical problems. My incredibly
    good local mechanic refused to say, "junk it!" After several months I donated
    the car to a charity. I want to sell or trade wagon number two.

    The only "real" wagon that I occasionally see is a large, rectangular shaped
    Volvo. Like all Volvo cars, it's very expensive.

    Sites like AutoTrader have a wagon category, but most modern wagons are
    a hybrid cross between an SUV and a mid-sized sedan. The car I see all the
    time is the Subaru Outback. It doesn't have the length of my old wagons,
    which means a roof rack would be the only option for small quantities of lumber.

    My spending limit is 25K. A slightly used 2011, 12, or even 13 is what I'm looking
    at right now. I could easily buy a car with cash. A smart relative once told me
    not to do that. He said, "car dealers don't care about you, once they've got all
    the cash." These days, warranties are much better than years ago. I suppose
    paying with cash is safe, if you have a lengthy warranty.

    Frankly, I'm having a minor nervous breakdown! I have to buy something, but
    I don't know enough about the blizzard of vehicles available these days. Huge
    SUV's are like trucks. I won't buy a truck or a monster SUV. If you know a lot
    about cars, can you help me find a good substitute for my old wagons?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It sounds like a Ram Van Cargo Van might fit your needs (based on the Grand Caravan passenger model); they still get in the 20s of MPG and can be had new in the low $20k range.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    edited August 2013
    graduate has a great point here.

    Hyundai's have at least as good quality as Toyota, and have for at least 5+ years. And yet the reputation hasn't quite caught up, and so resale values aren't quite as strong, although they've been going steadily up.

    A 2010 Sonata, just before they introduced the all new 2011, is a very good car, but probably could be had at a big discount from your local Hyundai dealer. The longer standard warranty on the Hyundai is a plus.

    Hyundai's are very well engineering and built cars. Built in the USA in a state-of-the-art factory.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Or ANY slightly used Caravan/T&C with Stow n Go seating should work. Likely be able to find more used regular vans than the cargo vans, and they depreciate fast so could easily fit well under $20k. Probably want the Caravan as it can be had with less fancy trim than the T&C, thus lower price.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    What about a minivan like the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna? Much easier to maneuver than a cargo van.

    The other possibility is a large Volvo wagon like the V70. One from 2006-2008 or so should be in your price range.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    You'll pay a big premium for an Ody or Sienna over the Caravan, and for the intended purpose the Stow n Go seating on the Caravan is great.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    True, but the Toyota or Honda vans are better. And I didn't read the posters price of 25k. You could easily afford a 3 year old Volvo wagon.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I don't know about your area, but within 100 miles of me the newest XC70 I could find under $25k was five years old. So I would not say it's "easy" to find a 3 year old Volvo wagon for under $25k.

    For much less than that, he could get a decently equipped NEW Caravan.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    I didn't say the XC! I said the V70, which is the big ole wagon.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    If you can find one of the last of the 2013 Odysseys, some are going for 5k off of list according to carsdirect.com

    2013 Honda Odyssey LX Passenger Van in 40201
    Image

    MSRP PRICING:
    $29,505
    Target Price: $24,710
    Pricing as of 8/21/13 in zip code 40201
    What do these prices mean?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    The newest V70 I could find within 100 miles of me at ANY price is six years old. The good news is, it IS under $25k.

    The XC70 is the successor to the V70 since 2010 (V70 was discontinued in North America then).

    So there's probably a handful if any 3 year old V70s available for sale in the USA right now (i.e. a 2010 sold at the very end of the model year). If someone is looking for a 3 year old Volvo wagon, the XC70 is the only viable choice... except for the even smaller XC60. And as I said before, good luck finding a 3 year old XC70 under $25k.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    While there might not be a used car market if everyone followed my advice (heh) , buying a seven to ten year old car is going to be a major problem at $7K. It's all about the break-points.

    With $7K, that means you're looking at $15K optimally, with some wiggle-room. Driving a $15K car, putting down $7K, and then selling it for $6K after it's run 100K miles means about $5K in extra taxes, insurance, and depreciation over a used car over the life of your loan.

    One major repair like a transmission on the used car can eat half of that up. A new radiator(plus belts, water pump, and so on)? $700-$800 by the time you are all done. Electrical issues? Water leaks? Rattles? A new Cat? Smog? it can be done, but it all grinds away at that differnece.

    Is better safety, better fuel economy, a warranty, and so on worth $80 extra a month? It's up to you. I think so. I like my MP3 player, 300HP, and non-econobox handling and style. Used might have made sense when cars only lasted ten years and you could get a 3-4 year old one for peanuts, but now anything good retains half of its value almost a decade old.
  • acemanhattanacemanhattan Posts: 79
    edited August 2013
    I'm oscillating back and forth between new and used. Thanks for all the input so far.

    IF I was to go used, what would you think of the following two cars and at what price point would you consider purchasing them to be better than purchasing new?

    1999 Civic LX Original owner 36K miles $6,750 (price here is much higer than appraised, but one owner and low low miles)
    http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/4008105083.html

    1996 Honda Accord 66K miles $5,000 (priced higher than appraised)
    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/3996680711.html

    (sorry if I'm not supposed to post links or something, I didn't see mention of it anywhere)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    edited August 2013
    I still suggest new over used.

    Low miles won't always assure low repair costs. Time does things to a car too, and sometimes only short city trips (which is what low mile cars like this must be) can cause their own issues.

    Of the two, however, I'd probably suggest the Accord. The Civics of that era are rather flimsy. The Accord is a different class of vehicle and more solidly built.

    As much as I love my Hondas, I think it's possible you might be buying too much into the idea that "a Honda will last almost forever." Hondas age better than most cars, and generally last longer, but they still age and require $$ when they get old.

    Hondas back in those days often didn't have anti lock brakes, no side air bags, and Honda's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering hadn't even been thought of yet, and wouldn't be for about 10 years. Engine tech has also advanced a lot since the mid to late 1990s.

    If you're fixed on used, I think you'd be better off with a one-owner Hyundai Sonata from c. 2007 for about the same money. Paying that much money for cars that are that old doesn't make a lot of sense imho. You might luck out, but you might not and could be facing some major issues in the next 5 years.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    You can post links - as long as you're not posting links to sell something to our members, it's fine.

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