Better value - 2009 or 2010?

I’m buying either Mazda 3, or more likely a Honda Civic very soon. I found a 2010 Civic EX (with some cool stuff), and a 2009 Civic EXL (with the same cool stuff plus leather, stability control, and a few other things). Both are new cars, and the price is the same. Question - which is the better value - the 2010 with less stuff or the 2009 with more stuff? Thanks for help~

Pretty much a coin flip…but you could probably find a 2009 EX for less. If you like the leather, etc, then go for the '09 EX-L.

While both are new cars, I would expect to pay a depreciated amount for the 2009 (vs the 2010).

If you buy the 2009 without any discount (because it’s last year’s model) and you immediately total it in an accident, don’t you think the insurance company is smart enough to know the car is over a year old already?

The one you like better. Part of value is up front, however if the amenities keep you driving the car for another few years vs the newer more basic one than you are much further ahead in value. Basically the longer you run a new car the better the value since depreciation is the most expensive expense.

I’d take the '09. More equipment for equal money means higher value. Just remember, the car is only “new” until you drive it off the lot. Then it’s “used.”

If both are "new"I’m a 2009 fan if you keep the car a long time as the excise tax will always be a year less.

Malee, How Long Will You Own This New Car ? That Will Factor Into Which Is A better Value.

Own and operate the car for ten years or more and it doesn’t matter very much (What’s the difference in used car price between a 10 year-old car and an 11 year-old car ? Not much.)

Own and operate the car for just a couple of years and the used car prices will vary more by model year.

I usually drive cars until the wheels fall off, so whether it’s last year’s model or this year’s model doesn’t bother me as much as the equipment and price and as you point out you can get a nicer car for less money by finding a “left over”.

Make sure they both carry the same warranty (sometimes the manufacturers change them from one year to another) . The warranty should start when the car is delivered to you, regardless of the car’s age.


We are nearing the end of the 2010 model year. So, the 2009 is getting “old” for sitting on a new car lot. The dealer should be more motivated to sell the '09. Offer to buy the '09 for about $2,000 less than the best price the dealer has given you so far. Don’t expect an immediate yes. The salesman will have to talk to the mgr and then will tell you some story. Go home and tell them to call you if they decide to take the deal. If they call fine. Make sure the dealer knows you have another Civic at a different dealer that you’ll buy instead.

Dagosa, Excise Tax ? I Don’t Think We Have That Where I Live. How Does That Work ? We Don’t Have Inspections Or Anything, Either.


OOps…we are so heavily taxed, even breathing; so sometimes I forget what it’s like to be tax free. I gotta move !

When you look up used prices, you get a large drop in price from year to year. So if you try to trade it in after three years, you will lose a lot at trade in.

Seriously, How And When Do You Pay Excise Tax ? Please Educate Me.


Seriously, How And When Do You Pay Excise Tax ? Please Educate Me.
You asked for it…

Excise Tax
Maine communities are obligated to collect excise tax on all motor vehicles using the public roads. This is essentially a property tax on cars and trucks, but is figured a little differently than your property tax. The tax collector must determine the original sticker value (MSRP) of your vehicle. If it?s a brand new vehicle being registered, you are required by law to supply the tax collector with the Munroney Sticker (window sticker) given to you by the car dealer. This sets the basis for the excise tax collection. On used cars, the Tax Collector will look up the original MSRP in a book here at the town office. There is a sliding scale for the tax applied to the vehicle, starting at 24 mills for a current year vehicle, down to the lowest rate of 4 mills for a vehicle 6 years old and older. The excise tax is retained by the town, and is a major part of the funding for town services. Generally the excise tax is deductible from your federal income tax form, much like the property tax.

And a good reason to hold on to an older car here, a reason why “rust prevention” is important and why we seldom buy new…minimum is about $130 per for our cars after six years.