Or maybe help me figure out what my car buying strategy should be. I tend to keep my cars for a good deal of time, so I really don't have a lot of car buying experience. My first two cars were "hand me downs" that I bought cheaply from relatives. I've had fleet cars, and then I bought the car I'm driving now 6 years ago. It's a 2014 Acura MDX; I bought it used; took out a small car payment and paid it off quickly. It's been a great car; it has 130K miles and I think I'll keep it for 1-2 more years before I replace it. I would replace it with something similar; a mid-size SUV (needs to seat a minimum of 7) and mid-level luxury. I don't even know if that's a thing but I'm not buying a range rover. I actually really like my car. Acura is coming out with a redesigned MDX in 2022 and in an ideal world, I would buy a 2022 model lightly used in 2023. I don't even know why that would be my plan? I've just always heard that used cars are a better value. I'm really clueless here. I'm not a good candidate for leasing. I drive about 70 miles a day and I do like to keep my cars 8-10 years. My MDX is 8 years old and totally fine but I know I'm going to want something new in 1-2 years. So what's your car buying strategy? After I paid off my car, I kept making that car payment to myself so I have a nice chunk saved up, but it wouldn't allow me to pay cash. Is used still the best bet, or since I plan on keeping my next car 8+ years, do I buy new and take advantage of 0%-1% financing, if that's even available?
My opinion changes if you’re financing most of the car. If you have cash where you could buy a used vehicle outright, I’d definitely go that route. If you’re financing, sometimes it’s more cost effective to get a 0% deal on a new car vs paying a higher rate on a used car. I’d compare the overall costs/terms. In terms of where to go-I really like some of the dealers that have the “sale” price on their vehicles. However there are some who’s no negotiating sales price is too high.
Post by ellipses84 on Jun 30, 2021 13:28:16 GMT -5
Slightly used is great but they can be hard to find, and I’d steer away from the first year of a major model change. I have a ‘16 pilot which is the year they changed it from the boxy look to minivan-ish look, it had too many problems for a brand new car, and others on these boards have had way more problems than me with the same year. Family members have/had several other Pilot years surrounding ‘16 and they’ve had no problems, and our other Hondas have been great.
My car buying strategy is horrible because we’ve had 4 cars totaled by no fault of our own over the past few years (3 were natural disasters, 1 was an accident caused by someone else). We had full coverage and insurance payouts. One was fully paid off and one was nearly paid off. We ended up buying new for all but one because we couldn’t find what we were looking for slightly used, reliability is super important to my peace of mind, and lower interest rates for a new vs. used car loan were lower. We used insurance money for a down payment but it’s meant way more years of double car payments than we ever anticipated. I cannot wait until they are paid off, but we don’t own a house right now so it actually helps our credit scores to have car loans and I want those to be in good shape when we buy a house again in a year or two.
I guess my strategy would be buy a new car and drive it until it stops being reliable. We’ve mainly had Hondas, Toyotas or Acuras, and I don’t know if I’d ever pay more for a luxury car unless I came into a lot of unexpected money. I know millionaires who are frugal and only drive Toyotas, which is probably why they are millionaires. One of our current cars will go to our @kids when they are teens. If / when we replace one car, I’d like it to be a hybrid.
Post by goldengirlz on Jun 30, 2021 13:34:31 GMT -5
I don’t really have a strategy but H is the type of person who buys a new car and then drives it until it dies — his last car made it 12 years and then the repairs started to cost more than the value of the car. So he traded it in and bought something similar.
I sold my last car after nine years. It was in great shape, with only 60k miles on it. But I was done with it. It was the car I bought in my 20s when I made a fraction of what I do now. It was new but an entry-level model; it didn’t have back-up cameras or even USB outlets. So after much cajoling, H finally “let” me upgrade it to something more luxurious and fun. We had the money to buy the car outright (though we ended up financing because interest rates are so low and we’re earning more in the stock market — if that changes, I can knock out the loan pretty easily.) We also sold my old car for well over what I expected (the used car market was hot at that point.) I do plan to keep this new car for a long time but it’s something I LOVE vs. one was pretty meh about.
Post by keweenawlove on Jun 30, 2021 13:54:05 GMT -5
We're "drive it until it costs more to keep running than a new car payment" type of people. I've only owned two cars and I bought from family members. For H's current one, we just bought a new Outback. He knew exactly what he wanted and slightly used Subarus seemed hard to come by. He'll drive it for 8-10 years so might as well get something that he's happy with.
I don't know what the right strategy is but I do know I was warped a bit by my dad who insisted that driving old cash-pay cars was the best and only way. For 15 years I lived at the mercy of my car issues and the stress (financial and mental) had me on edge. Just when I thought I was getting an e-fund my car would break and I'd be out another 1k. He'd insist "you can't buy a car for 1k" but after like 10k of repairs I figured out he was full of it.
Then one day in 2013 I took my cash and trade to the dealer and put 50% down on a Toyota Prius and financed the rest at 0% interest. I'm still driving the car and at 165k miles I've only had to replace wipers and tires. I probably have at least another 2-3 years before I need a repair. But when I do I'll try to repeat the buy new and drive until it dies approach. I'd love to pay 100% cash but if I can't I'll hope for another 0% finance deal. We did this for H's car as well.
Both times I negotiated the price via email direct to the internet sales manager and had all the paperwork agreed upon before I visited to sign. They still try to up-sell warranties and such but it cuts out some of the sales games.
I hate debt, so ideally I buy outright. We did that with our two previous cars.
My current car we financed about 2/3 of it because we had expensive house work done and we were not planning on buying a vehicle anytime soon (we also keep ours cars for 10ish or more years) but with the airbag recall I was no longer able to drive my car and I discovered I had to pay insurance on the rental car they gave me that I hated it was the straw that broke the camel's back. Anyway, we still paid it off in a year.
H is hoping to get an electric truck early next year and there is no way we will have enough saved to pay it in full. We will finance what we need, assuming we can afford the payment, and pay it off quickly unless it's <1% interest. It's a want, not a need, so we'll have to run the numbers. But his current car is 9 years old and starting to break down so I know a new vehicle is probably coming up soon.
Post by plutosmoon on Jun 30, 2021 16:43:08 GMT -5
I drive cars a while, my last car was 15 years old when I replaced it with my current one. It had been purchased new, had minimal issues and still drove well when I replaced it. I think the only major non maintenance repairs it had was something with the cooling fan and the ignition switch recall. I mean even the first battery lasted 9 years. It did leak a lot when it rained, that was not fun, this was a factor in replacing it, along with it's poor snow handling. My ex's car was 21 years old when we replaced it. Both were replaced with new cars. I'm not opposed to used, but the math wasn't working for used last time. I live in the mountains and before I had AWD I often got stuck at the bottom of my road in winter. AWD or 4WD is kind of a must around here. Gently used AWD SUVs just aren't all that much cheaper when I looked. With the dealer incentives and maintenance freebies it just didn't make sense to buy used and potentially buy someone else's problem.
I stick with base models, or as base as I can. The more bells and whistles the more that can go wrong, which is just more money to fix things down the road. I did spring a few hundred dollars extra for the color I wanted. My car was about 24k new, most of the 2-3 year old suvs seemed to be in the low 20s as well. They also had what I consider high mileage for a 2-3 year old car. I'm a low mileage driver. I financed the whole thing the rate was pretty good at the time, less than 4%, it is currently my only debt. I plan to drive it until my kid starts driving then she might get it as a hand me down if she proves to be a responsible driver.
Our only real strategy is to drive a car into the ground. We don't replace them just for fun. Vehicles are practical and we picked the cheapest, but reliable thing that meets our needs.
Twice we've bought new cars (both Hyundais, not super expensive) and financed at 0% and 0.9%. It didn't make sense to take cash from savings when the payment was comfortable. Once we bought a used Civic in cash and it was fine, but broke down a few times and we were always waiting for something else to happen. Wasn't sad when someone hit and totalled it.
Our Accent is almost 12 years old, our Elantra is almost 5 and will be paid off in September. We're planning ahead to replace the Accent, but this time we want a truck which will be significantly more expensive. I'm hoping to put half down and finance half, ball parking a $40k purchase price?
Post by dutchgirl678 on Jun 30, 2021 17:27:18 GMT -5
What is the current gas mileage and what do you expect to get with a newer car? 70 miles is quite some distance to be driving daily. We bought a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid in the fall for just around $40k. We needed an SUV with enough towing capacity for our tent trailer. My husband drives a Toyota Prius plug-in to work (before COVID and soon again). The HiHy gets between 30-35 MPG but on longer trips it goes closer to 35. It has captains chairs and a third-row seating bench so it would fit 7. I think we got a good deal on our trade-in and the car loan but it is still 2.75%. We had saved for a downpayment and with that and the trade-in we only had to finance about 60% of the cost of the new car. Now we are adding extra payments whenever we can and even though we still have 52 months to pay it off, I think we can pay it off in about a year. We do plan to drive this car long term.
When we first moved back to the US we bought a Ford Escape used. We financed the Prius and bought the Escape with cash and that is what we could afford at the time. We had the intention to keep it for a long time, but the < 20 MPG and the comfort felt lacking. The HiHy was what we really wanted so last year we were able to buy it and trade in the Escape.
I have a 14yo Toyota and I’ve started thinking about this the last year or so in anticipation of needing a new car in a few years. I think it’s probably Toyota’s most reliable model, drives completely fine and only has about 175k miles, but I started throwing all extra money into a car fund this year, just in case. I’m not opposed to buying a late model used car the next time around, but it will really depend on the car market at the time and whether it makes sense. I do know it’ll be another Toyota. Other than a new alternator after 12 yrs, it’s only needed oil and routine maintenance.
Post by spearmintleaf on Jul 1, 2021 8:28:28 GMT -5
I buy a fully loaded car that’s fresh off a 2 or 3 year lease. Fully loaded cars hold their value better, and I get to enjoy the features in the meantime. In theory I always plan to keep it, but I’ve had a ton of transitions in the last few years. I’m back in a car that I plan to keep long term in theory, but I also want an electric car very badly so we will see how long I hold out.
Buy it and drive it until it dies. We kept DH’s last car for 10 years. It needed a transmission (everything else still worked great!) and the repair wasn’t even that expensive, we just decided to purchase new for updated safety features. We put 50% down and the rest on a 5 year loan.
I think when his current car needs replaced, he will get something a little nicer that he actually wants because @@@ kids will be out of car seats and hopefully not as rough as little kids can be on interiors.
I drive a company car, but my strategy would be similar to DH’s. As long as it has safety features and a few convenience features, I’m good to go! We don’t have a separate car fund, but have ability to pay cash if necessary.
I'm usually a "buy new and drive it until it dies" person, though for our second car (msniq is going to get her license finally) we bought a used Nissan LEAF, which we'll buy until it dies. You can get really good deals on the older model years (2017 and earlier? 2016 and earlier?) because the range is so short. But if you're driving 70 miles a day that won't cut it unless you have a charging station at work.
Our “strategy” is buying new with cash. That helps us to limit the extra upgrades. We keep them for about 7-8 years. We actually pay them with a credit card, for the points, and pay it off that month, but dealers usually only allow you to pay a certain amount with credit card, not the whole amount.
I think if you're in a position where you can wait until you find a deal you like, you're already in a advantageous spot for TCO, versus needing a car immediately because of an unexpected accident or major repairs.
Our strategy has been to buy lightly-used but full-featured models -- basically once we have a good idea of what make/model we want, DH browses and waits until he finds a great deal that we can jump on. The really good/rare used-car deals are pretty clear once you've been narrowed down your candidates.
I would pay attention to macro conditions right now, however -- this is not a normal car market, not by a long shot. Things are still topsy-turvy in the automotive market from covid and the supply chain issues with new cars (microchip shortages, especially), which has meant that used cars are in high demand as well, because you can actually get them. So used car prices are way higher than usual right now, too. So it's a good thing that you plan to keep your current car for another 1-2 years, things may have settled down by then to a point where the choice between new and used is a bit clearer.
I want my strategy to be to buy a used car that isn't too high mileage or too old, and then drive it until it dies or at least until the maintenance costs/reliability become too much to deal with. This is basically what we did with our Honda Civic - it was 4 years old/40k miles and we got it for around 10k less than a brand new one would be. Civics run forever so I figure we'll hopefully get another 160k+ miles from it.
I also have a 2003 Buick that my grandmother gave me. I assume we'll have to replace it in the next 1-2 years. Ideally I'd like to get something that is a couple of years old and has no more than 30-40k miles on it, but I also want a hybrid (and really, would like a Prius) and have had no luck finding anything that fits my mileage/age requirements so there is a chance I will end up with a brand new car.
Given the above, I would probably not replace a car at the 10 year mark just to replace it. Sadly, my last 2 cars were both totaled so I have never had the fortune of keeping a car truly until it dies so far!
The last 3 cars we’ve purchased have been new ones. Paid cash for 2 (one replaced our outback that was totaled by hail so we had a good chunk of cash from insurance) and financed about $16k (paid the rest with a combo of cash and trade in) on the third at 0% interest. I know we lose value right off the lot but we drive them for a long time so it doesn’t really matter.
Finding a lightly used car is great in theory but we can never seem to find one when we need one and if we do they aren’t much less expensive than a new one so it doesn’t seem worth it.
I think the next car we buy will be new. We like to drive cars for a good long time. Our current two cars were bought with two different strategies--one is a Toyota Prius that we bought new 10 years ago. I think we got 0% financing, but paid it off in full within 6-9 months. The car has been (and continues to be) perfect. Never had a single problem. Our other car is a Subaru Outback that we bought used. It was only a couple years old with low mileage, but it's had quite a few problems, some major, all covered by Subaru's warranty. I don't know if we just got a dud or if the person who owned it before us didn't take care of it, but I feel like it does not live up to the reliability that people speak of when they talk about Subarus. Subaru has fixed it every time, but it's a pain. That said, it's our camping/hiking/weekend family car and we love the size/setup for our family. We're planning to replace it in the next 1-3 years (hopefully the longer end though!) and we will probably replace it with a brand new Toyota. Looking at used car prices for Toyotas, it's just not even worth it to us because all the low mileage/newish used cars are practically the same cost as the new ones. This is even more true right now with the crazy car market. Once you factor in the free maintenance on the new ones and the general niceness of a new car, it's not worth going used for us. We are hoping to hold onto the Outback for a few more years though, since hybrids and electrics are making huge strides ever year. We will definitely replace it with another hybrid, but we hope to replace it with something like the Rav4 Prime (hybrid and plug in).
We’ve bought our last 3 (combined) cars new (in our 30s) and they were the first new cars we ever bought. DHs truck is now 10 years old but we just got him a different car to drive last year so we can reserve the truck for towing vs daily driving. It has 150kish miles and is starting to show a bit of aging with some electrical issues and just had his first oil leak repaired.
My car is now 6 years old and we will keep it at least few more years, and maybe even for when ds1 gets his license in 6 years. It’s still in great shape.
We have always saved and paid cash for cars and bought based on needs and budget and kept them about 8 years or so and are on a rotation to get a new one every 4 years, alternating between Dh and myself. So we roughly got a new to us car in 2000 (Dh), 2004 (me), 2008 (Dh), etc.
Post by dr.girlfriend on Jul 5, 2021 21:07:00 GMT -5
We bought our last two cars new -- both Honda Fits, 2011 and 2012 models, so they are going on 10 years old. We've had almost no costly repairs for them. They were cheaper than a lot of other cars would be used (I think they were about $15k at the time?).
I think they might still be going when our son is old enough to drive in 4 years, which is pretty crazy to think about since they'll be just a few years younger than he is!
I will say, though, that I only drive mine to the train station and back, less than 5 miles per day, and thanks to COVID now my husband barely drives at all. He did commute regularly for quite a few years in his car, though. I will also say that we are not "car people." I don't have the slightest interest in a status symbol car or whatever. So, I would advocate for buying a cheap but reliable new car, since that's what worked for us.
I bought my car new in 2012 and will keep it until it no longer makes sense to repair. So far, I’ve only had routine maintenance. I bought it using a 0% interest loan.
We bought our second car pre-owned in 2017 and will also keep that until it no longer makes sense to repair. 0% interest loan.
We are both WFH now, so when one car dies, we may go down to one car. We do not drive much at all. Just locally to grocery store and then a longer trip on weekends to see family. Our cars should continue to last for many years. But in general, our buying strategy is to put enough down that we can get 0% financing and finance the rest. My DH prefers pre-owned cars and he’s the more knowledgeable one in our relationship.
My 2015 Honda CRV was bought new. I also bought an extended warranty for it. It saved me earlier this year when my car needed $2500 worth of repairs to the emissions systems. I've also put about $1500 worth of repairs into it in the last 18 months that weren't covered by the warranty....and $1000 in body repairs (don't run into a tree when you back up!). So, I plan to drive it til it falls apart. All other expenses have been routine-brakes, tires, etc. I anticipate keeping it about 200,000 miles. I do drive quite a bit, so this is probably another 4-5 years.
I did the same with my previous CRV. I replaced it just shy of 220,000 miles.
H's first car was a used 2006 huyndai accent he bought at the end of 2007. It had been a rental previous to him buying it so it had a lot of mileage on it. He bought it when we'd been dating for 4 months. We gifted it to Habitat for Humanity in March 2020. It needed 2-3K in repairs but was worth about that at the time. Considering H drove it for 13 years/I drove it for 11 years, it served us well. The first car H and I bought together was a new 2014 Mazda CX-5 in July 2014. We paid it off 2 years ago now? It's still going strong 6 years later. It's not our main car anymore though. We bought a 2021 Tesla Model 3 in February. We paid for almost half up front and financed the rest. So we've switched to the buying new and running it into the ground approach once we had enough money to do so.
I would caution against buying the first year of a new model or major redesign for any brand. There are always bugs that need to be worked out so avoid that if you can. I would also try out any appealing car in the class you’re considering just to see what the other brands/models are like.
Anyway, I used to think I would buy a new and reliable car and keep it 10+ years to be economical, but the reality is that I want a new car about every 4 years with all new features. I’m on my 5th new one since 2002 (we use mine as our family car so it gets more use). I started with Lexus and Acura (because they had the most reliable reputation back then), then changed to BMW since I preferred the more sporty drive after awhile. The included service in the first 4 years was good to offset the higher price. My H has a certified Audi that hasn’t had any trouble in 5 years either so luxury european cars are not necessarily more expensive to maintain in my experience.