'Rising Car Prices Are Sending Even Strong-Credit Buyers to the Used Lot'

right-click and save, then read, if you don’t want to subscribe

1 Like

It seems most people want big, expensive cars with lots of electronic gadgets, and are willing to take out 5, 6, 7, year loans to pay for them. In 3 or 4 years all that expensive electronic gadgetry will be obsolete. I prefer to buy new but inexpensive base model cars and keep them until they are too expensive to repair. Replaced my 26 year old Suzuki Swift last year with a new Nissan Versa that cost $11,500 cash out the door. Also still driving the base model Toyota pickup I bought new 26 years ago for $7000.

Agree! Whereas in the past engine and transmission problems were the most to be feared, now it is all that electronic gadgetry.

Our family draws the line at having power windows, cruise control and power door locks as options.

1 Like

And also limits your vehicle choices and eliminates some very good vehicles . Good Grief , I have never had any problems with any of those items.


The millionaire next door has always bought used cars, for cash.

I used to work for a family owned and run business selling $5-6 billion worth of products a year. The company bought closed factories to expand their manufacturing footprint. Had 4 corporate jets all bought second-hand. The company has been growing at roughly 10 to 15 percent a year for decades.


I was walking by a car lot, looked at the price of 1 GMC truck, it listed out at $83,000. Will probably buy out our RAV4 at the end of the lease. I m not sure what I’ll do when my Trilblazer dies, but it won’t be that GMC truck.

With any luck a market dip will result in current ATVs being tagged and driven on public roads. Turn signals and wipers are all that would be needed to upgrade them to everyday drivers.

Rising new car prices aren’t what sent me to buy used–it’s the fact that all new cars come loaded with features that I DON’T want, and would have actually been willing to pay extra to NOT have. I do NOT want such “conveniences” as power windows/locks/seats, keyless entry/push-to-start, sunroof/moonroof, alarm/security system, driver assist “technology”, touchscreen displays, OnStar/communication systems, and so on. I don’t need an audio system that can “stream” music from a cellphone, but has nowhere to put a physical disc.

I want a basic car where the front doors and trunk/liftgate unlock with a physical key, the engine starts with a physical key, you lift a lever and the seat moves in its tracks, you turn a crank and the window goes down, etc. I also don’t need a bunch of sensors and computers to tell me not to back into what’s behind me, or to check my blind spots for me–the good old fashioned “turn your head around” has worked fine for years. I do appreciate a decent-sounding AM/FM CD stereo, though.


Our 15’ civic lease us up soon
Residual is 9800.
Which is lowish retail
Should I buy a “better”, nicer 10k car?
We want a sedan.

@Cavell Well, you know exactly how the car you have has been driven and serviced, something you cannot know about any other used car. As the saying goes, better the devil you know.

If this is a car you find comfortable and is in good condition mechanically and otherwise, you will likely be better off keeping it. Four years old is only just well broken in.

A friend who is a roofer/contracter truly needed a new truck three years ago. Even after all discounts he could cobble together and hard negotiations, he swallowed hard at the $30k+ price tag for a basic work truck. I can’t imagine how an independent businessman could begin to afford an $83k truck for daily work use. Or what about a pickup could possibly warrant such a crazy price.

Every year now GM has 20% off retail sale for trucks. Avg savings is 11k. So, 60k truck out the door including tax title license prep, acquisition fee? Ha that’s a good one.

You can no longer buy such a car in the US market and haven’t for a long time. They just won’t sell in the US. Many people SAY they want a basic car but buy up-market when time comes to actually sign the deal.

The bottom-basement Mitsubishi Mirage ES and its competitors all have power windows, locks, mirrors, seats, steering, brakes plus cruise control, Bluetooth radio, AC and more as standard with a 5 speed manual trans. You just cannot get manual features at any price.


I was looking really hard for one of those several years back. Awesome trucks, and impossible to find in good shape. The ones that were in even half decent condition around here were going for what you paid new.

I ended up getting a Mitsubishi Mighty Max, which is also an awesome truck that can take a real beating and haul way more weight than you’d think for its size, but when it dies, I’ll be looking for a Hilux again.

An old Hilux in good shape can’t be bought here either.

We tend to custom order our cars; the dealer in both cases for our last 2 cars did not have that model in stock.

In any case we select cars with high reliability records and then buy them with the options we want.

If our next car of choice had a power seat we would by it, if course, but if it had a sliding roof it would be off our list.

When there was a fear of an economic downturn I found my best customers scheduling their cars for bumper to bumper inspections and if no major problems were found they wanted a lot of miscellaneous preventative maintenance done. There seemed to be a consensus among those who were successful that getting everything in order to weather the storm while stuffing some cash under their mattress was their best choice. I don’t think that was ever taught in a classroom but maybe it should be. We certainly may be facing another $torm.


Yes, that’s the ONLY time when buying new makes good economic sense. My dad always special ordered his cars–a 1981 Caprice, a 1991 Toyota Camry, and finally a 1998 Toyota Camry–all with no power options, the cheapest stereo, steel wheels, etc, but with the automatic transmission. I had my 2004 Toyota Corolla special ordered too, and it has no power options, but with the automatic transmission and AM/FM CD stereo. Now, my wife drives that car, and I wish I could find another one like it that isn’t beat to hell, or with crazy high miles.

If you’re just going to buy a ready-made car with the most common features, then why buy new? A low-mileage used model will provide a lot more bang for the buck.

Now that my market consists only of used cars, it becomes a bigger hassle to find something in decent condition, with low enough mileage to be worthwhile, which has the features I want, and not a lot of B.S. features that I DON’T want.

@Rod_Knox You remind me of what my parents did in 1965 as US involvement in Vietnam rapidly heated up. Both were WWII Army veterans (yes, my mother wore WAC army boots in the medical corps!) They remembered one morning days after Pearl Harbor when the country awoke to find all civilian auto production was halted for turning to war production and that even spare parts for cars became instantly sparse. So in 1965 they bought a new car, the 1965 Olds, and then had the 1956 Olds totally overhauled mechanically and with new tires, new seat covers, repainted, as close to like new condition as possible. And Dad sold his aging 1952 Chevy.
They figured that way they weren’t likely to get stranded if civilian car production ceased again.

They ended up getting seventeen years / 198k miles use from the 1956 Olds and seventeen years / 248k use from the 1965 Olds.

Any idea where your parents got their financial education @Marnet? But maybe your parents learned how to live wisely the same place mine did, from surviving the ‘great depression.’

I hope someone intelligent enough to take charge shows up if we slip into a similar decline these days. For now I don’t recognize anyone up to it in any direction that I look.