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New or Used Civic

cali_drivercali_driver Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Honda
I haven't owned a car in about 8 years and am looking to get one after moving to the SF Bay Area from NYC.

My husband and I are looking at putting down $2000 and would like to keep payments around $250/mo. He was approved for up to $17,500 from Capital One at 8.6%/60mo.

We were looking at the 07 Civic LX Sedan. Now we're wondering if we should just skip it and check out used (04's or 05's?) Civics. Would it be wiser to get a 10K loan and get a used car that's around 13K?


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    k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    Less debt is always preferable to more. If you can find a GOOD used car you like and take on less debt you should appreciate the savings. Good luck.
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    cali_drivercali_driver Member Posts: 9

    Did all my research on how to purchase new, so now I got to see what to do when buying used. Somehow I picture buying new as less stressful. But, hey, I wouldn't know the difference since I've never bought new before.
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    sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    New is alwys preferable over used as it's much better to have full factory warranty on a car that you know hasn't had another owner...or two. When you test drive the new car, the mileage is usually pretty low, say under 10 miles, so you know no one else has used the car. With used, one does pay less and depending on the age, it'll have little or no factory warranty unless one buy last years model or even the year before. And one needs to weigh the fact that others have driven the car from when it was new.
    I've bought a few used, low mileage cars and eventhough the lower purchase price made them all attractive at the time, I wouldn't repeat it. I think I'd only buy used from a family member or a close friend who I knew would've taken care of the car.
    Personal preference of course, but don't let the fact that you will be spending less upfront on a used vs new car influence your good sense. Used isn't always the best option. And cars like the Civic seem to get ridiculous $ for used that new might be your best bet anyways. Now if y'all had in mid a GM product, used would be the only way to go as you can pick up a newer model with lots of factory warranty left for very attractive prices. Some guys at work do this and they've bought some real cream puffs with miles in the teens for tremendous savings over new.
    Good luck and don't buy focusing just on the money saved variable. look at the whole picture and even the breal even point to see what option works best. Also remember that sometimes one can find some great deals on lease returns, as most will stay within the mileage limis and keep the car in good shape as they are only "renting" the car for a specific time period.

    The Sandman :)
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    filodfilod Member Posts: 189
    Using Kelley Blue Book, you can use the info below to make your decision. If you are planning to buy from a dealer (use the suggested retail), a used civic with 40,000 miles might cost you $16,066.

    If you can still get some 2007, a brand new LX can be purchased for invoice or $16,944 (including destination of $595). In both cases you still have to pay sales tax of about 8.25% in the area.

    If you will keep the car for a long time, I will at least look at the 2004 or 2005 with the typical mileage indicated. In both cases, and if you buy the used car from a dealership, I think you will be better off buying new. You can use this forum to help you get the best price and where to buy around the bay area. These are just guides and you maybe able to find a better price that will make a used car a better alternative. Try to play around with the Kelly Blue Book just in case I had some typo errors.

    Good luck to whatever you decide and welcome to the bay area.


    2003 Civic LX 4 Door Auto
    Typical mileage 63000 miles
    Private Party Good 10,890
    Suggested retail (dealers) 13,665

    2004 Civic LX 4 Door Auto
    Typical mileage 53000 miles
    Private Party Good 12,265
    Suggested retail (dealers) 15,150

    2005 Civic LX 4 Door Auto
    Typical mileage 40000 miles
    Private Party Good 13,150
    Suggested retail (dealers) 16,055
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    k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    A used car is a gamble however with careful shopping one can do quite well with them. I'd say any of the above cars should be available for between 5-10% below the dealer amount, from a dealer. If it's a CPO with warranty then perhaps close to those prices provided the warranty is a good one.

    Buy a new car and 3 years later it's dropped 40% from what you paid for it. Buy a 2 year old car and a year later it's dropped 5-10% from what you paid for it. Cars 1-2 years old are the best value available. They require more care in purchasing than a new one but the financial rewards are much greater.
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    cali_drivercali_driver Member Posts: 9
    Thanks everyone for the great info.

    If I were to shop for a used car, is 10% off the asking price the average amount I'd be able to knock off the price? Could I get away with more? (I'd probably try even if you guys told me no. Ha!)

    Still not sure on the new vs. used route. I saw an ad for Honda of Oakland advertising the 07 LX Sedan at 15995, new. (If they're advertising it for that price, about how much lower do you think they'll go?) They also were offering 0% APR financing on 07's. But I'm not sure if my husband would qualify. (He was at 715, then dropped to 707 I think from the inquiries? It happened overnight. His other two scores are around 690ish.) Worth looking into perhaps.

    ** Side note: My husband, the cycling fan, does not have a license. Our CU wouldn't approve his loan because of this where he was given a 6.77% rate. They wouldn't take my license # in place either. Now that we have moved, he does plan on getting his license. He'll take the test in the next week and take the driving test shortly after that. In the meantime he will have a permit. We should go back through our CU and get the loan there if we can't get a lower rate elsewhere. While I don't plan on telling them "Hey, it's a permit!" this shouldn't be an issue in order to get the loan, correct? Having a permit vs. license?

    Back on topic, I'd feel better about getting more value for the car vs. a cheaper ($) car. But I don't want to get in trouble financially either. Especially after the move and getting adjusted to what our finances will be like out here. I know I will probably have to compromise somewhere, the "where" is what I gotta figure out I guess!
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    sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    Does your purchase have to be a Civic or will any late model car do? Still think a slightly used GM product would be a great choice depending on the size of car y'all needed. Don't get me wrong, I love my Civic but I need a car this size due to garage space limitations and I had the opportunity to buy new because of a small inheritance, so $ wasn't a factor in the vehicle I chose. Was very close to buying a Volvo S40 but the price differential was at the top of my "gift" and decided to go cheaper and bank the remaining $14k. And since I've never owned a Honda product, it was a no brainer in my case.
    I don't know your whole situation so would need more info to truly give an informed recommendation. A few folks at work have bought year old GM products with plenty of factory warranty left with miles in the teens for very attractive prices, and the cars look absolutely flawless!
    Just a suggestion if you need a slightly larger car for family reasons or only want to spend a certain amount of $'s. Keep us posted.

    The Sandman :)
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    cali_drivercali_driver Member Posts: 9
    It doesn't have to be a Civic. I've just heard how long-lasting they can be. I was poking around Edmunds a bit and started checking out a few other cars. (Haven't done in-depth research on any of these yet):

    Honda Fit
    Toyota Yaris & Matrix
    Nissan Versa
    Hyundai Accent & Elantra (Kinda "eh" about Hyundai though for some reason.)

    We do not need a large car. In fact, I prefer smaller cars. I'll be doing a lot of garage space and street parking and don't want to have to park a beast.

    Haven't looked into GM cars yet. I'd love to hear what you might recommend though. And just how do warranties work on used cars anyway? If it's a newer used car, do you just get whatever is left over on the factory warranty? If it's an older used car, does the dealership include some sort of warranty? What is the standard?
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    sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    The wife drives one of these and really likes the car. The entry price isn't to bad either. The Hyundai Elantra is another good car for y'all to check out. Mucho features for a very reasonable price makes this car one that should fit you guys to a tee.
    The year old GM cars will have some manufacturers warranty left for sure. And if they are CPO'd, even more warranty but you will pay a bit higher price for CPO'd units. One guy got a smallish Buick Lacrosse which would be a nice choice also. Not that much bigger than the Civic and much more comfortable seats in my opinion. True the mpg's will be slightly less, but the comfort levels and excellent a/c will put a smile on your face. For some reason, American cars have a/c that literally blows the foreign brands out of the water. Don't know why either.
    Off leased units will also be a good choice as most are reconditioned at the terms end by the dealers and they have higher standards backed by the manufactureers(?). So you do have many excellent choices to pick from. just take your time and make sure you are comparing apples to apples with your search.
    Good luck and have some fun also. Remember that this is a purchase that you will live with for a good bit of time so put in the required effoert to make the most educated decision possible. Keep us posted.

    The Sandman :)
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    cali_drivercali_driver Member Posts: 9
    CPO'd? I'm not familiar with this. What do you mean? Like a certified used car?

    And I'm not following you on the off leased units. Are you referring to cars people leased that are now back at the dealership?

    I swear I'm not an idiot. Hehe. I just don't know some of this car stuff. But, hey, I'd be an idiot not to ask.

    Regardless, looks like my car options are a lot bigger than I originally thought. I have a lot of research to do it seems. I'll keep you posted!
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    k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    CPO = Certified Pre Owned. I doubt they will do much with the 15,995 car since that's already a money loser. Unless something has changed, the 0% is only on v6 Accords. At least it was that way when I got my Civic a month ago.
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    butterflytiffbutterflytiff Member Posts: 26
    Am buying a 2005 Honda Civic LX 4dr. Sedan Nighthawk Pearl this week - about 26,500 miles on it from a NY Honda dealer
    Total is 11,290 - with taxes. 10,900 for the car.

    Looked at carfax report online - paid for it myself. Looks clean.

    Is this a good deal?

    Also - this car is not certified.

    They said they can tell me how much to get it certified. And how much an extended warranty would be if I didn't get it certified.

    What is a good amount to pay for certification? Would $1000 be about right? I just don't want to overpay. And I am on a budget
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    k5ldbk5ldb Member Posts: 62
    I'd rather have an extended warranty than certification. The certification isn't going to pay to fix anything that goes wrong. It is some comfort that nothing should but if/when it does it's your nickel. The warranty supplies the nickel. ymmv
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