Automotive

New vs slightly used car?

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  • Oct 22nd, 2019 9:42 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 12, 2011
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New vs slightly used car?

I'm in the market for a "new" car and am torn on what makes most sense to do: finance a new car, or purchase a slightly used one outright. I'm looking at putting between $8,000-$10,000 as a down payment, so could realistically buy a used one in the same range.

My concern for a new car is the depreciation in value during the first few years of its life, whereas my concern with a used car is the potential for issues down the road (no pun intended)/lack of warranty. Ideally, I would also like to not have car payments which is why I like the idea of a used one.

I'm looking at your typical Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic range of cars at the moment - nothing narrowed down. If these are the types of cars I'm looking at, does it make sense to go slightly used or just go new? Basically, would it be reasonable to find a used model in the 8-10k range that will last at least 5-6 years?

Any advice/input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
68 replies
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Feb 17, 2015
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There is no such thing as slightly used for 8K-10K.
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Jan 27, 2006
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If I wasn't so anal about buying new, I would buy slightly used, it makes more sense.

I hate myself for it, goes back with simple as DVD's for example.
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Sep 20, 2019
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If I were you and I was concerned about losing money due to depreciation, I would either:
- Buy a used car that has leveled off its depreciation curve already
- Lease a new car

If you're considering the Corollas, Civics, Mazda 3, etc. Look at a Hyundai Elantra. Much better value and bang for your buck.
Especially if you finance or lease for longer than 3 years you're out of warranty on all those other brands except for Hyundai/Kia which you can
only lease for the max warranty term of 5 years, whereas Honda/Toyota/Mazda in the same situation you'd be out of warranty for 2 years.
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Oct 5, 2008
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CuriousJack wrote: There is no such thing as slightly used for 8K-10K.
agreed

The only slightly used car you get for that price would be a bare bones Nissan Micra or Mitsubishi that cost $10K new.
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Sep 20, 2019
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For "slightly used" you'll have to look at something like a Mitsubish Mirage, Nissan Micra, Hyundai Accent, etc. (Segment A vehicles)
However if going used I would forget the "slightly used" and get something good that you like for $8k-$10k.
Maybe a 2012 or earlier VW TDI. Diesels don't depreciate as fast either and are much better on fuel economy and highway driving.
- 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe V6 GT (Xclusive Stage 2 tuned)
- 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle 1600cc (Project; Currently restoring)
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Aug 6, 2019
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CuriousJack wrote: There is no such thing as slightly used for 8K-10K.
OP means $8k to 10k for down payment for the car purchase
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Jun 10, 2011
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I think OP is talking about a 8-10k downpayment not total price.
Hard to say what his budget is though
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Sep 20, 2019
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His question isn't well defined.
But I'm going based off of what he said in his initial post:
"Basically, would it be reasonable to find a used model in the 8-10k range that will last at least 5-6 years?"
- 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe V6 GT (Xclusive Stage 2 tuned)
- 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle 1600cc (Project; Currently restoring)
[OP]
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Nov 12, 2011
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Thanks all. This helps puts things in perspective. I'm assuming then for something in the 8-10k range I would be looking at things close to 2012-2014 in age?

May just go the brand new route if that's the case just knowing the new car will last me longer.
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There's a lot of early gen direct injection vehicles with the intake clogging issues out there. Their owners not too happy about the added expense of periodic intake cleaning and perhaps looking to unload even at a discount. Do your research not only on the car model/engine(s) in question, but also the specific car that you're interested in purchasing (ie: boroscope inspection). Engines that have been overly "maintained" are especially susceptible.

Ex-rentals are my personal favourite. Usually driven fairly easily, and rarely over-"maintained".
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Why do some people think a car would last only few years?

I have an '03 and is lasting me more then 16 years with regular service intervals. Heck I only change oil and tires to be honest.
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I know - cars last much longer than before. If you wanna save, go the used route especially if you just need to get from a to b.
[OP]
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peteryorkuca wrote: Why do some people think a car would last only few years?

I have an '03 and is lasting me more then 16 years with regular service intervals. Heck I only change oil and tires to be honest.
It's not that it won't last, it's more so the desire to not want to pour $$ into a car that has no value anymore. I drive a 2010 at the moment and I'm at the point where I will need to start putting more money into the thing than it's worth.
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What car do you drive? We have an 11 Accord I4 couple that is holding up pretty well except for the a/c compressor breaking down half a year after the eight year warranty expired.

What issues are you experiencing with your vehicle?

2012 Civics and Corollas can probably be nabbed for around $10k but that is only two years newer than your current ride.
[OP]
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alanbrenton wrote: What car do you drive? We have an 11 Accord I4 couple that is holding up pretty well except for the a/c compressor breaking down half a year after the eight year warranty expired.

What issues are you experiencing with your vehicle?

2012 Civics and Corollas can probably be nabbed for around $10k but that is only two years newer than your current ride.
Yaris RS. Do you bring your car to the dealership for repairs or an independent mechanic?
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Typhoonz wrote: Yaris RS. Do you bring your car to the dealership for repairs or an independent mechanic?
Independent mechanic after my extended warranty expired. Before it ended, only issues (we are the first owners) were a squeaky trunk, broken front passenger backrest beam (replaced under warranty), VTC actuator grind (replaced under extended warranty), noisy blower fan motor (replaced under warranty) and some rusting on driver side sill which Honda Canada covered the first $500 for because they noticed I brought my car to the dealership for servicing and that I had opted for the Honda Plus.

So far the Accord has held up quite well. I did all the fluid changes myself in the spring with some help from a Mityvac. I don't think there is any excessive motor oil consumption and when I had Ivan of iGarage check it one last time last year before the extended warranty was up, he said the suspension system was still pretty good but pointed out a few potential issues that the Honda dealership said were either non-issues or wear and tear (heat shield for emissions).

Not sure how much of an itch you have but lots of upcoming BEVs coming out. I'm waiting until 2025 though and I have an 02 Civic that's still alive and kinda kicking lol. If by then there are still no AWD BEVs with torque vectoring priced $80k and below, I will relax that torque vectoring requirement haha. Also, I just found out that for Tesla's, the battery is owned by Panasonic and when the joint venture ends and Tesla starts manufacturing its own batteries, Panasonic will likely be selling its batteries to other car makers so expect the driving range for some BEVs two to three years down the road to be as good as the current Tesla's, if not better.

If I was in the market today, I'd choose a hybrid (Toyota most likely followed by a Honda) because for Toyota hybrids, there are no starters and alternators, water pump and HVAC are electric and brake pads last thrice (or more) compared to regular ICEVs. If you want a Toyota that handles relatively well, go for anything on the new TNGA platform. The past ones aren't as sporty as Honda's. We have a 16 RAV4H and oh man, it's been rock solid reliable, I'm regretting buying the seven year extended warranty (included first six services).
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Apr 25, 2019
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search for mazda3 2016 elantra 2017 and forte 2017+ from private dealers. You should be able to get these for around 12k.
Avoid honda and toyota as insurance is high for these cars, with same money you can get a 2014 civic but its not about mechanical reliblity, here in canada car would rust so better to buy newer model cars.
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May 17, 2005
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dentonic88 wrote: search for mazda3 2016 elantra 2017 and forte 2017+ from private dealers. You should be able to get these for around 12k.
Avoid honda and toyota as insurance is high for these cars, with same money you can get a 2014 civic but its not about mechanical reliblity, here in canada car would rust so better to buy newer model cars.
in a year (I hope not sooner , lol) I will be looking for a ~2y old Mazda 3 with high milage and stick shift (that should bring the price down) , Mazda from 2015 has unlimited milage on their warranties so no matter the milage on the car it will still have 1y b to b and 3y power train ...
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lubmar wrote: in a year (I hope not sooner , lol) I will be looking for a ~2y old Mazda 3 with high milage and stick shift (that should bring the price down) , Mazda from 2015 has unlimited milage on their warranties so no matter the milage on the car it will still have 1y b to b and 3y power train ...
Didn't know the warranties were transferable but good to know.

Definitely going to void the unlimited km warranty if someone in the family does Uber correct?

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