New vehicle vs used


We feel that the dependability and warranty of new outweighs the uncertain future of used. A recent post was about spending about 20000.00 on a used vehicle with 70000 plus miles. Using our credit union rates a 4 year loan of 20000 was 451 a month. A 5 year loan on a new Honda CR-V AWD was 26000 at 478 a month. If it was my wife who had to make a daily commute any distance no matter the weather the new vehicle would be an easy choice. Also the full coverage insurance on our new car is only 100.00 a year more than our 9 year old car. ( I was told that 16 year old drivers are crashing older cars and keeping the rates up).


Part of the discussion has to be the type of used vehicle you are comparing that new CRV to. If that vehicle with 70000 were a truck based SUV you needed to tow on weekends, the choice is less clear. We needed to compared use apples to new apples instead of used apples to new oranges.


Agree; a used Volvo is in a category all by itself when it comes to upkeep cost. In other words, a used Volvo will be more expensive to own than a new compact car from a manufacturer known for reliability.

Years ago we bought a 3 year old Nissan Sentra with 30,000 miles on it for 50% of the new cost. The car served us well for 15 years and had no major components break. We sold it last year for $750. Had that been a Volvo we would likely have spent several times the amount in upkeep.

Compare apples and apples.


$20k for a car with 70,000 mi?!?

What kind of car is that? Certainly not a CRV-equivalent. OF COURSE a cheaper new car is cheaper to own than a totally dissimiar used car.

As a general rule, when comparing across one trait, hold everything else constant: compare new CRVs to 70,000 mile CRVs.

(On a related note, 2-stroke gas engines are very fuel-efficient. I mean, a 50cc scooter gets 90 MPG, and a Peterbuilt diesel only gets, like 8 MPG on a good day…)


I primarily bought new cars and trucks when I was in the position to do so. I no longer buy new vehicles at all. I let someone else pay the depreciation and I only drive used vehicles. It’s worked for me and I’ve found that used cars and trucks are just as dependable as new ones. I only buy vehicles that are around 5-10 years old so that may be a big part of my success. I also check each vehicle before purchase from bumper to bumper and pay another mechanic to do the same thing.


Please leave the $xxx dollars a month for a loan out of the initial discussions. It never captures the real cost. The lowest, by far, is a 2-3 year old car (24 to 36,000 miles) coming off lease. The car can be bought for about half the cost of new with 3/4s of the life (150-200,000 miles) left. Keep an emergency fund for unexpected repairs and drive it until the car loses its reliability. The $xxx a month issue is only used to determine how long you need to finance once you find the right car. If the monthly’s are too high, look for a cheaper car.


According to car and driver or one of those, the average retained value after five years is about 50%. So that is somewhere around what you should pay plus the average miles then would be around 60k.

I ended up with a one year old car instead of a four year old one because the credit union interest rates were something like 3% versus 5%. Kinda a no Brainer to buy a newer car for less money per month or total. Nothing wrong with buying a new car. Someone has to.


@Bing…I agree 100% that some people should buy new vehicles. That way…I can pick up a great used vehicle and reap the benefits. I think that’s a no-brainer.


I’ll buy new or close to new. (1-2 years old with under 20k miles). I’ve seen too many people who lease vehicles then trade in every other years. And while they were leasing…they NEVER EVER did any maintenance…that include oil changes. And by the time you figure it out…it may be too late.


Ask 10 different people, get 20 different answers.

Factory warranty
New tires, battery, wipers, etc.
Full tank of gas
You know the maintenance history of it the whole time you own it
Lower interest rates on loans
Usually more expensive to buy
Not as much wiggle room on price
Can be picky on which colors and options you want on the car

(generally)Cheaper to buy
Price is more negotiable than new
Don’t know how well it was maintained
Higher interest rate on loans
Take what you get with colors/options


Yeah the thing is, when you get too be a certain age, saving money isn’t necessarily t he most important thing. Not worrying , getting what you want and avoiding the hassle of looking sometimes becomes more important. You can’t take it to where we’re all going some day anyway.


I prefer new, but I keep my cars for about 10 years.

You can't take it to where we're all going some day anyway.

That’s one of the justifications I’m using for me buying a new toy before I got my tax return; that, and the deal I got on it was VERY hard to beat. But I know the credit card company will love me; ruv me rong time.


Hi There,
I have a 98 Toyota 4 Runner with over 220,000 miles on it. I think it is time for a new vehicle. How long could it last and how do I convince my husband that I need a newer Subaru Outback instead?


At this point, it’s anyone’s guess when it’ll have something major break. It could last 10,000 or 100,000 more, but just be ready to go when it breaks. Or you could sell now, they have a following, somebody might pay a surprising amount of $$ for it on Craigslist.


Thanks texases! I think I’m going to list it on Craigslist for high bluebook and see what happens.


There is still the problem of the husband that thinks I should keep it forever, since I don’t have a car payment.


Any reason is a good one to trade. Unreliable, unsafe or no longer fills your needs are all good reasons to trade. Does Hubby keep his cars forever ?


Whether to buy new or used depends a lot on how the car will be used. An over the road salesperson who depends on the car and racks up 40,000 miles a year has different needs than someone who drives 5 miles to work and has cab service available if the car doesn’t start or is in for repairs. In recent years, late model used cars, particularly of the more popular makes, cost nearly as much as a new version of the same model.
In his book, “What You Should Know About Cars”, published in the early 1960s, the late Tom McCahill discussed this issue of new vs. used. He advised a person in buying a used car to buy a car that was unpopular as a new car, but to buy a popular make if purchasing new. For example, when my mother went back to work in 1954, my parents needed to purchase a second vehicle. The Fords and Chevrolets were the popular cars, but the used Fords and Chevrolets that were in good shape were too expensive and the Fords and Chevrolets my parents could afford were well worn out. My dad thought he wanted a station wagon, but the desirable all steel wagons were overpriced or pretty well over the hill. I remember riding in some Jeep station wagons that he tested. These Jeeps could have been used to fog for mosquitoes as the engines were shot. The affordable wagons were the wood bodied wagons which are collectors’ items today, but were available for peanuts back then. My dad wound up buying a 1947 Desoto coupe which wasn’t a very popular model and it turned out to be a great car.
If buying used, there are some makes to stay away from. However, there are some less popular makes that might be good buys Back in 2006, I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander for $15,500 with 15,000 miles that was a “program” vehicle. It came with the balance of the warranty. I couldn’t touch a Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey for that price. My son now has the Uplander and it runs great. When I replaced the Uplander after we sold it to our son, I decided to buy new and bought a Toyota Sienna–a more popular make. I am driving a lot more and often transport musicians and instruments and the dependability in getting to a performance is important.


I agree that the Uplander was an underrated van

Sure, it wasn’t as fancy as the Sienna or Odyssey, but it also cost significantly less as a used car, and they’re a lot simpler, which sometimes is a good thing