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Choosing a $6k Max Used Car (older/higher end vs. newer/lower end)

daveleencdaveleenc Member Posts: 17
edited September 2015 in General
After having totaled a vehicle I am taking a serious look at my driving needs over the next 3 years. In this case all I really need is basic transportation around town and I would be surprised if I averaged over 5k miles/year. My price preference is $6k or less.

The goal here is to minimize total outlay over these 3 years (purchase cost - sell cost + expenses). Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, or even a Nissan Versa are kind of representative of some choices here. This probably puts me in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, roughly speaking.

Or I could go a bit 'more substantial' where a older BMW 3 series or Volvo sedan' (older and more miles, on average) are representative choices.

Any thoughts here on the trade-off between these choices?

Thanks.

dave

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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,556
    daveleenc said:

    After having totaled a vehicle I am taking a serious look at my driving needs over the next 3 years. In this case all I really need is basic transportation around town and I would be surprised if I averaged over 5k miles/year. My price preference is $6k or less.

    The goal here is to minimize total outlay over these 3 years (purchase cost - sell cost + expenses). Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, or even a Nissan Versa are kind of representative of some choices here. This probably puts me in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, roughly speaking.

    Or I could go a bit 'more substantial' where a older BMW 3 series or Volvo sedan' (older and more miles, on average) are representative choices.

    Any thoughts here on the trade-off between these choices?

    Thanks.

    dave

    Older luxury imports are not good choices to provide basic transportation, in an economic sense.

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    daveleencdaveleenc Member Posts: 17
    kyfdx said:

    daveleenc said:

    After having totaled a vehicle I am taking a serious look at my driving needs over the next 3 years. In this case all I really need is basic transportation around town and I would be surprised if I averaged over 5k miles/year. My price preference is $6k or less.

    The goal here is to minimize total outlay over these 3 years (purchase cost - sell cost + expenses). Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, or even a Nissan Versa are kind of representative of some choices here. This probably puts me in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, roughly speaking.

    Or I could go a bit 'more substantial' where a older BMW 3 series or Volvo sedan' (older and more miles, on average) are representative choices.

    Any thoughts here on the trade-off between these choices?

    Thanks.

    dave

    Older luxury imports are not good choices to provide basic transportation, in an economic sense.
    While in the general sense that would not surprise me. And that 'extra cost' has to be in the maintenance side (either more repairs or the fact that repairs are more expensive). But for my ultra-low mileage situation, maybe that is not the case (maybe).

    dave

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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,556
    daveleenc said:

    kyfdx said:

    daveleenc said:

    After having totaled a vehicle I am taking a serious look at my driving needs over the next 3 years. In this case all I really need is basic transportation around town and I would be surprised if I averaged over 5k miles/year. My price preference is $6k or less.

    The goal here is to minimize total outlay over these 3 years (purchase cost - sell cost + expenses). Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, or even a Nissan Versa are kind of representative of some choices here. This probably puts me in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, roughly speaking.

    Or I could go a bit 'more substantial' where a older BMW 3 series or Volvo sedan' (older and more miles, on average) are representative choices.

    Any thoughts here on the trade-off between these choices?

    Thanks.

    dave

    Older luxury imports are not good choices to provide basic transportation, in an economic sense.
    While in the general sense that would not surprise me. And that 'extra cost' has to be in the maintenance side (either more repairs or the fact that repairs are more expensive). But for my ultra-low mileage situation, maybe that is not the case (maybe).

    dave

    I have a '95, '06 and '11 BMW. They do not take well to deferred maintenance. Your biggest problem will be buying a $6K vehicle and knowing if the maintenance has been done. Most people won't put the $150/$200 per month that it takes to keep up with car like that, especially one that is only worth $6K.

    You have to love it.. otherwise, not worth it.

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    daveleencdaveleenc Member Posts: 17
    Interesting. I was taking the opposite view (given that we are talking about $6k cars in either case) that, over the life of the car, the higher end car was MORE likely to have been well cared for. But since maintenance is almost certainly higher for the higher end cars, that might have been a poor assumption on my part.

    Thanks for the comments.

    dave
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    daveleencdaveleenc Member Posts: 17
    FWIW, this brings a thought to my mind. A two owner 2004 BMW 325i that was last purchased in 2007 might well be (statistically) a better cared for car than one that was last bought in 2013.

    dave
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,556
    daveleenc said:

    FWIW, this brings a thought to my mind. A two owner 2004 BMW 325i that was last purchased in 2007 might well be (statistically) a better cared for car than one that was last bought in 2013.

    dave

    That's probably a good assumption.

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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I agree, but assumptions can get expensive.

    People tend to start skimping on maintenance as cars get older. I guess they figure why spend money on something they plan to dump soon?

    A older European car can really get expensive to own.
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