New or Used Car - Where is the Smart Money?

It?s cheaper to own and drive a used car than a new car, so the thinking goes. Is that really so, and is the difference worth it?

I?m sure it should cheaper to drive a cheap old beat up car. I?ve done that, and it is, but that choice also had the repair and things that don?t work anymore inconvenience of a used car. But (to better compare apples to apples) what if we?re comparing buying and driving (for example) a $25,000 brand new Civic for 120,000 miles (owning and maintaining it in good condition for 10 years) to leasing a new Civic every three years (paying only for oil changes), how much would the monthly cost be for each possibility? If leasing the new car is more expensive (and I expect that it is), is that difference worth the benefits (convenience, peace of mind, warm feelings) of the additional cost?

This subject has been beaten to death in many previous threads. Use the search function.

I’m very leery of used cars, I just don’t know where they’ve been!!!

Leasing is usually the most expensive way to drive. It is like buying a new car but adding a third party (the leasing company) into the mix with both the dealer and the leasing company making money on the deal.

The taxicab companies in my community of 65,000 operate used vehicles. These vehicles are used minivans to former police cars. The former company that had new vehicles went bankrupt.

I’ve been keeping detailed expense records on all of my vehicles for more than 25 years. The vehicles that have had the lowest cost-per-mile were the ones that had the lowest purchase price, regardless of age, mileage, or brand.

There are, of course, many variables, and some people look at vehicle ownership expenses in different ways, but for me, the least expensive vehicles to buy have been the least expensive vehicles to own.

This is looking at it strictly from a cost point of view. Comfort, convenience, style, etc, are different considerations.

markez, I responded in the other thread you started on this issue, but the truth is the best answer to this question depends on factors we don’t know, like your annual income, your occupation, and your lifestyle.

The best way to find the answer to your question is to read the following book:

I don’t work for Car Talk and I am not related to any of its employees, so I am only recommending this book because reading it will give you a better answer than relying on strangers who very very little about you.

There are so many variables involved as mentioned. If it is a professional with their own business they might be able to take tax benefits from leasing. Also some people need the car as a status/success symbol. A fancy lawyer showing up to court with a beat up Chevy Cavalier doesn’t scream success for the client that wants to pay $650/hr.
There is also loss of time from work. I have limited number of hours to work on my cars, so even some repairs that are within my scope get done by the mechanic. My wife can not cancel her life and wait for a weekend that I am off to do the work. So while I am at my own job earning money, someone else is taking the benefit of it. In this scenario having a car that breaks down very often becomes expensive very fast.

Why do you keep asking the question over and over again???..You didn’t like the answers you got earlier???