What will run longer

I’m looking to buy a used car. The two options I’m considering are a 2002 Hyundai Accent with one owner and 93,000 miles. The other is a 1998 honda accord with 64,000 miles with an original owner and then a fix it and sell owner. I would prefer the Honda but it has been in a minor collision (i was told) where the headlight, front fender, and hood needed to be replaced/fixed (supposedly no structural damage). I’m wondering what car will likely last longer. Also the Honda is twice as expensive so I’d probably have to have that twice as long to get my money out of it. I’d prefer the Honda but when It comes down to it, I’m looking for reliability. What do you think?

The one that receives proper maintenance.

If you want lowest cost per mile to operate and maintain, that would be a Crown Vic…

They are both due for a new timing belt.
Unless the current owners can prove that the timing belt was already replaced, then I would avoid both of these cars.

You need to expand your options. There must, surely, be other cars available for sale.

Cars with known crash damage should be avoided, in my opinion, unless you’re an expert in body repair and can judge the extent of the damage yourself.

As VDCdriver correctly pointed out, both of these cars are due for timing belt replacement (several hundred dollars), and without ironclad proof the belts have been replaced you must assume you will have to do it as soon as you take possession.

Without knowing the maintenance history of either vehicle there’s not enough information to recommend one over the other, but if this were my only choice I’d probably gamble on the Honda.

Off the shelf with no guarantee that either got anything but marginal maintenance in a choice between these two only, the Honda Accord wins hands down. BTW, there are other reasons you pay more. The Honda has more features, rides and handles better, is more spacious, fewer miles and may be worth more trade in time where you will recover that difference. Fewer miles of less than perfect maintenance (64k v 94k) is always better too. And, there is a much better chance that down the road to “running it into the ground” is much further away.

According to satisfaction surveys by CR, I would say fewer people regret making a Honda Accord over the Hyundai Accent choice. In my opinion also, just as important as maintenance, is the driving habits of the previous owner. Have you ever ridden or talked with them as well ?

Yeah the crash makes me nervous as well. Is there any benefit of bringing the Honda to a mechanic to judge the condition, evidence of the crash etc…

I’d prefer the Honda too, but I’m nervous about the minor accident. What are your thoughts on accident? I’m sure even a minor accident could jar something loose and cause problems down the road.

I hear you. Hood, outer fender,fine. But only a competent body man can tell if inner fender where liner is attached and contains reinforcements for suspension components is compromised as well as suspension itself. It’s worth a look and not a seller’s word. I’ve been burned before by trusting a seller. On today’s cars, so much that isn’t plastic can be “structural”.

Pick the one you like most. See if the timing belt has been changed. If not, reduce the price by the cost to change it plus 20%. Then take it to a trusted mechanic and have it inspected. Make sure he knows you wan tto buy the car. Reduce your offer again by all needed repairs + 20%. If the seller won’t go for it, you have some negotiating room with the extra 20% off for repairs. But don’t eat into the actual repair estimate to buy the car.

It’s always a good idea to have a mechanic check a used car you’re thinking about buying.

I would not buy either one; the Accent has too many miles on it and the Honda has a dubious past. As well, as mentioned, both are due for a timing belt and water pump.

Take a close look at the actual structure (that’s the metal forming the side of the engine bay, among other things)…get a flashlight and look at it from below. Chances are if there’s been repair, you’ll see it there. Paint that doesn’t quite match, undercoating that doesn’t quite match, bends on one side that don’t match the other…stuff like that. More attention would be paid to the outside of the car, so that doesn’t tell you anything unless you know what to look for, and it would be a lot more subtle.

Also, you could check Carfax, but that doesn’t catch all accidents.

The Accent from that year has mixed reviews. I’d skip it.