By on July 23, 2018

Jack made several good observations in his post the other day, not the least of which was “The world of automotive pricing, like the world of wristwatch pricing, works on some bizarre rules which exist nowhere else.” This is true to the nth degree.

Moving metal fifteen years ago, I firmly recall an instance when the dealer bought several low-mile examples of a certain compact car that were a single model year old and of which we still had plenty new copies neatly lined up on the front row. Priced within pennies of the new units, us lads on the floor naturally steered customers towards the used cars because there was significantly more markup on them … meaning a higher commission.

This was all fine and dandy until the manager told us to cease and desist because he was catching heat from the Dealer Principal for not moving enough new cars. I will leave observations about putting the customer’s best interests first in the B&B’s capable hands.

Here’s today’s QOTD: given a budget, would you buy new or slightly-used?

Our weekly Ace of Base series (thank you to the tens of fans who read it) proves the worth of some entry-level cars, particularly ones that include air conditioning as part of their bargain-basement sticker.

Let’s imagine you’re tasked with finding a new driver their first car. They’re going to finance the thing over five years and have a 700 credit score. Being a typical consumer, they want something SUV-ish.

Your choices? Let’s employ last week’s Ace of Base, the 2019 Kia Soul, since it is decently equipped at $16,490 with air and a few other toys. Excluding tax and other state variables, this represents a payment of $290/mo or about $135 biweekly.

Behind door number two is a 2018 Ford Escape SE, a much larger car with only 5,000 miles on its odometer and offered by a dealer. Its price tag is within a few Simoleons of the Kia, however it has a bit more kit. The loan paper will be written at 4.25%, working out to $308/mo or about $142 biweekly.

Maybe you have a suggestion of your own for our fictional friend. And yes, every situation and car is different. Put aside the impossible variables and the question remains: will you recommend new or slightly-used?

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82 Comments on “QOTD: Base, or Used?...”


  • avatar
    ernest

    I answered this question in ’15 with my checkbook. New ’16 Camry SE, after discounts and incentives, just under $20,000 OTD (no sales tax in Oregon), along with 0% 60 mo. financing. Used Rental Returns (we had employee access to Hertz and Enterprise vehicles) were running $17-18,000 for year old cars with 30-40K miles on them.By the time you factored in the interest on the note, the brand new one was cheaper. No brainer, IMO.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Used it is if you must have a loan.
    Zero percent from manufacturer, buy new and use their money.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The slightly used Escape is the way to go, they drop like a rock used, but are still really good crossovers (I’ve had a couple)You get a lot for your money and if you take care of it it will last you a long time :)

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Slightly used Escape over a new Soul any day. The Escape is a class above the Soul.

      I don’t understand why the article has different payments for equally priced options. Financing varies quite a bit, so I don’t believe it should be a consideration in a hypothetical comparison.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    To be honest, I haven’t done a great deal of research on used cars lately. I have looked in the past and find that the markup on many CPO’s to be outrageous. We know the car had a residual value of 55% after a lease, why would I pay 80% of the new MSRP.

    I really don’t think this is a question you can answer in a vacuum. It will clearly depend on the models and prices involved. The closer you get to new car price, no point in buying used as financing through captive lending arms usually offers best terms. However, there are CPO models that come with warranty, lending from captive finance arms and have very realistic prices based on residual values. Many of those seem like a pretty solid offering if buying used.

    I think I would always choose a loaded up low miles used car over a base model of a new car provided financing was reasonable and used vehicle came with a warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      Grenade

      I once bought a Santa Fe from a Hyundai dealer that was marked as CPO. I haggled on it for about a week, they lowered the price a couple times and knocking off the CPO tag in the process.

      I cared not one whit because it had about 5000 miles left on its factory warranty. While I did lose the CPO extended warranty, their labor effort put into all of their CPO multi-point checking was in the past (unless of course that really didn’t happen to begin with). I felt like I came out ahead on that deal.

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        Those CPO warranties are kinda meh anyway. I had a CPO Toyota, which being a Toyota was pretty bulletproof anyway. The one thing that went wrong during my 5 year ownership – alternator – was NOT covered by the CPO warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Toyota’s CPO warranty is kinda meh.

          I just googled Ford’s CPO coverage and Toyota’s. Massive difference. Ford covers pretty much everything. Toyota is limited to powertrain (excluding the alternator). Something to keep in mind when considering a CPO.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    If a bean can base model small car is your thing, and you are the type to drive the wheels of it,buy the new one every time.

    The sweet spot for used cars is the 3-5 year old or so low mileage high(er) line car. You can, usually, for the price of a new close to it bean can get a really nice car in the half price range. It takes a bit more work to find for sure, but for me the thrill of the hunt is part of it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    In today’s topsy turvy market it’s hard to say. For example, lease rates on new Civic Sis are cheap, but used Civics are expensive. Which way do you go?

    I’m a sucker for bells and whistles so I’m going with whatever puts me in the fanciest version for the most reasonable cost.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The incentives are crazy these days so it pays to shop, regardless of the Baruth/Bozi boys say. 2015 Colorado 4×4 with 36K for $23,000, or a 2018 Colorado 4×4 disconts to $21,000?

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        It will be interesting to see what happens when interest rates go up. A lot of the incentives pivoted around those, as do customer buying habits. 200 or so higher basis points will flip things on their head.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @NormSV650 – I’m with you on this. Discounts are out there. One has to be patient. I was looking at used trucks in 2008-10 and bought new because discounts meant the vehicle was cheaper than used. Even Colorado’s are coming out with bigger discounts.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    It’s an odd coincidence you mention this, I’m doing this very exact thing for a friend of my daughter. He’s a young guy, horrible credit (560) no money saved, but has a good job with lots of OT and is driving a 20 year-old minivan that has been solid so far, but the rust will take it off the road before the mechanicals give out.

    Our short list has been (so far) to hit them where they ain’t. I’m looking for new cars that aren’t especially popular and can be had at discounts. This kid’s primary goal is a car with good gas mileage. He’s far from a car guy, so any suggestions I have thrown him, he’s seriously considered.

    We went to the local Toyota store and looked at the Toyota Mazda 2 (Yaris iA, IIRC?) and have shopped at the Chevy store looking at a Sonic sedan. Next up, I want to see what’s up with a Fiesta (or Focus) and see if he’d be interested in a Forte or a Elantra. I definitely want to show him the Soul as a dark horse. Around here the Honda tax is too high but if he want’s to look at a Fit, I’ll play along. So far, he hasn’t been too crazy about hatchbacks, so I don’t know if the Soul or the Fit will make a dent in his thinking.

    We’ll see how this pans out; I’m thinking the heavily discounted domestics may be the ticket to a new car for him. Otherwise, he’ll be searching for a used car and we start the process all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Sonic is around $8,000 off MSRP on autotrader.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Norm: Yes, I’ve seen those offers. I just don’t know if he wants a Sonic. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for. We’re very much in the discovery phase, finding a car and then finding out how to pay for it.

        That paying for it part may change everything.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      A new car is not the answer for someone with a 560 credit score. If the minivan is still able to get the job done then you should suggest to him that he continues to drive it for another 6 months to 1 year.

      560 means that he probably hasn’t made all of his payments on time and getting on the hook for big loan like that with the required full coverage insurance that it will require is not a smart thing at this point. It looks like he’ll be looking at a rate in the 15% range. Nowadays all those low mfg subsidized rates are only for those with “excellent” credit. https://www.gocleancredit.com/credit-score-of-560-what-it-means-for-loans-credit-cards/ So a $15k new car for 60 months will cost him in excess of $350 a month. Being young, male and with poor credit figure at least another $150 a month in insurance unless you live in state that is wrapped around the insurance industry’s finger, in which case it will be higher.

      So tell the young man you are more than happy to help him shop for a car when he can put at least $500 a month in the bank, by the 15th of each month for at least 6 months but preferably a full year, and not be late for any other payments. I’d suggest finding a credit union he is eligible for and have that account be for his “car payment”.

      So at the end of that year he should have $6K which will be a good down payment and enough for the first 6 months of insurance. Hopefully in making sure that all of his payments are on time for that year he’ll have boosted his credit score and he’ll get more car for his money.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Thanks for your concern Scoutdude. What I posted earlier is a summation of our activities. This will not be a quick process, as he has no idea what he wants and/or likes. But he also knows he’s got about 12 months of life out of that minivan, that I’m estimating before the strut towers rust completely out and it’s toast. I’ve already given him the bad news about his credit score, so he knows he’s got some work to do.

        His specific issue with credit is that he’s behind on student loans. AFAIK, the rest of his bills are paid on time (rent, utilities, etc.). This is the first decent paying job he’s had since college; he’s working on paying down the school loan and already in contact with his credit union and is working on his score. It was made plain on our first outing that he needs to put away money for a down payment and that he’ll pay a huge amount more due to his lack of credit. We’ve also discussed insurance and how badly that will suck (<25 years old).

        You can see why I didn’t mention all of this before, but it’s not like I wasn’t preparing for what’s to come and what’s needed. What brought all of this on was his buddies at work bought new cars and he wants to play along. I’m trying to get him to see what’s involved. I think his folks believe he’ll take my advice before he takes theirs. Sad but true.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah the envy of those who have the new cars can be strong. Unfortunately it seems that as kids we are programed to heed the advice of others over our own parents. It does sound like you are trying to put him on the right path rather so good for you.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Heck, at 5k miles or below I wouldn’t even differentiate between used and new. That’s likely not even into the first oil change.

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      Yeah 5,000 miles, and current model year. You are pretty much getting a full manufacturer’s warranty, and there is no missed maintenance to worry about—if it gets you a nicer car, go for it. —even better if it is something that depreciates quite a bit—like a plug-in hybrid or a sedan.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    This is the situation I’m debating right now – although not with a base model.

    Two Challengers – both 2017 models – one new – and the other, I assume, a leftover.

    The used one is 5 minutes from my house, with 5000 miles:
    https://www.waynesubaru.com/used/Dodge/2017-Dodge-Challenger-Wayne-New+Jersey-811632a00a0e0ae704022e136dab80ee.htm?searchDepth=1:1

    The other is about two hours away – and only $2k more – with incentives included:
    https://www.riverheaddodge.com/exotic-new/Dodge/2017-Dodge-Challenger-for-sale-Riverhead-NY-2ac018100a0e0a1768ab638b6d93d448.htm?mycarsr=vdp-savedCars

    Which do you choose?

    • 0 avatar
      Grenade

      Go for the new one. My experience may be anecdotal, but my local Dodge dealers like to dick around on warranty coverage if you’re not the original owner.

      Plus it looks like the new one is manual! No brainer captain obvious!

    • 0 avatar
      Car Guy

      Can you have a local Dodge dealer trader for that car in NY? 2 hours away seems like a huge hassle. Plus don’t you pay more sales tax in NY compared to NJ?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        What frightens me about Challengers or Chargers with any sort of miles on them (sometimes as little as 25,000 or 30,000 miles) is many ads say “NEW TIRES”.

        Now that owner is fitting the stereotype of a Hemi owner. Burn the tires off before the cars original warranty is even up.

        • 0 avatar
          ptschett

          A lot of 5.7 Challenger/Charger OEM tires were a particular spec of Goodyear Eagle RS-A with a treadwear rating in the mid-200’s. I got 22,000 miles out of those on my 2010. My 2015 has the Super Track Pack’s optional “all season” tire and those are about ready to be replaced at 32,000 miles with a more-normal treadwear rating in the 400’s.

  • avatar
    ajla

    As Panthers and 3800-powered things get on in years any predilection I had for used vehicles in general is waning.

    There are still a few ‘premium’ or ‘enthusiast’ vehicles that I might have some interest in at that 3-5YO range, but for the most part I’m either buying a new car or something over a decade(s) old.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    We purchased new also. It is a base car but has the V6. For $2k I got a new car, (two years newer than the used cars on the lot) with a V6 over a 4 banger. They don’t offer 0% on used so it was a no brainer.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    This is kind of the flip side of a well-worn argument. When somebody reviews a new Lacrosse with an as-tested price of 45 – 50k, somebody will always chime in with “Well for that price I can get a BMW 3-series, MB C-Class” or whatever. And this is true but it all depends on what a buyer wants. Personally, I’d rather have a loaded Buick than a stripper BMW but that is me and my wants and taste.
    It also depends on the new base car and the more loaded used car and where on the technology wheel they fall. When a car goes through a re-design, the level of technological goodies and standard kit usually goes up, so last year’s model becomes less desirable, although cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      Grenade

      When I read stripper 3 series I think of RWD, manual… loaded Buick I think of cars my 70 year old mother drove. If you’re looking for luxury I guess the buick would meet that, but I need something with a pulse. Stripped BMW for the win!

  • avatar
    Booick

    Used all day long. Nissan versa vs 10 year old lexus ls with 80k. I will take the lexus.

    Only time it makes sense to buy new is if you’re buying a tacoma or another vehicle with ridiculous resale

  • avatar
    omer333

    Depends on the car, a CPO Civic is a great deal, but if you’re looking at a German car, or anything from Chrysler, get the new car.

    I’m speaking from experience on this. Although after a year with my GTI, I’ve only done an oil change and bought a new battery.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    For myself, I’ve done this several times: I like to find the leftover or dealer demo cars when I can. The demo cars are usually pretty well equipped. A base car at full or close to full price, not my first choice. But, base cars are pretty comprehensively equipped these days, so that may be changing for me.

    Usually these demo/leftover cars are under 5K miles, and probably most of the first year depreciation already dealt with, but with full factory warranty (at least the last couple of times I did this). This only really works with volume models, though.

    I seriously doubt I would find a Hellcat in a situation like this.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I only chuckled because my local Dodge dealer has a Charger 392 sitting on the lot priced at full MSRP (which is why its been there a while) but he is apparently letting people test drive it.

      Every time I see someone doing a full throttle run down the nearby US Hwy I shudder a little. Lots of tire kickers but no one willing to bite at his price.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      For those reading, “full factory warranty” starts from the time of sale. If the factory warranty is 36K miles and the demo has 8K on it, the warranty goes until there are 44K on the odo.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    In my expwrience, the only models where you get a really significant discount for <1 year old and <5k miles is on an unwanted car that doesn’t sell well anyways and you therefore probably don’t want.

    For something reasonably desirable, there is little discount so you might as well buy new. This math has held up on 2x TSXs, 1x MkV Jetta, 1x Liberty, and 1x RDX.

    YMMV.

  • avatar
    dwford

    “Moving metal fifteen years ago, I firmly recall an instance when the dealer bought several low-mile examples of a certain compact car that were a single model year old and of which we still had plenty new copies neatly lined up on the front row. Priced within pennies of the new units, us lads on the floor naturally steered customers towards the used cars because there was significantly more markup on them … meaning a higher commission.”

    Isn’t it interesting how the owner’s interests and the salesmen’s interests are not aligned in a car dealership? The owner earns more money from the manufacturer kickbacks than the extra profit on some used cars. Buyers think that a car deanship is a well oiled machine of sleaze, when in reality the salesmen, manager, finance manager and owner all have different profit motives that compete with each other.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The smarter play is to look for good vehicles that aren’t popular, which today mostly means fuel efficient cars. BMW is offering between .9 and 1.9% interest on 60 month loans on 2014-16 CPO on the i3, 3, 4, and 5 series models, which is lower than the interest rate they charge on the new ones, plus an added year to the 4 year factory warranty, which I assume is to help prop up resale values on unpopular models. Mini is offering 1.9% on new Minis, but apparently no special financing on CPO models, I assume because new Mini sales are very weak. 2014-15 3 series and I3s can be had under $20,000 and with .9 or 1.9% financing I would find that much more attractive than something like a Soul or Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      BMW’s CPO program isn’t as attractive as it used to be. In the past, you got the remainder of the factory warranty and service program, then the CPO warranty to 6 years/100K miles (a $50 deductible applied.) If you bought a slightly used service loaner or dealer demo, you could almost have a new BMW with a warranty for 6 years. I bought a 3-series with 10K miles on it as CPO and it was almost like buying a new car with a 6 year warranty.

      Last time I looked, it isn’t as generous. I think they make exceptions for very slightly used cars, and the CPO warranty is like 1 year, unlimited miles… feel free to correct me on that.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I’ve been helping a friend car shop and BMWs have been on the list, so I can’t say I’m an expert, but the current program seems to be 1 year unlimited miles beyond the 4 year 48,000 mile new car warranty. I don’t know about the deductible. I do know that BMW used to offer 4 years of free servicing on new cars, but that is now down to 3, so I would not be surprised if the CPO is also less generous than it used to be, but it seems to be competitive with the other prestige brands. All I know is I would much rather buy a $19,000 4 year old 328i ($48,000) with the CPO warranty and cheap financing than a new base Soul or Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Funny you should mention a $19k used BMW.

          You might not be aware that $20k buys a brand new Civic EX w/ Honda Sensing (adaptive cruise, lanekeeoing assist, Android Auto + Apple Carplay). That’s new. And more reliable than anything BMW makes. And it’s a mid-level trim, not the base model.

          The 2016+ Honda Civic is a great deal new. The problem is that they don’t depreciate much, so you can’t really save anything by going used.

          But $19k is new car money, not used car money, at least in the midsized sedan world.

          P.S. I’m very happy with our Civic. We’ve had it 18 months and put 30k trouble-free fiscally-efficient and thermally-efficient miles on it. This duty cycle is far too severe for a BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “look for good vehicles that aren’t popular”

      Then you talk about BMW?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        >> look for good vehicles that aren’t popular”
        >
        > Then you talk about BMW?

        For those not following, BMWs are overpriced to create the illusion of exclusivity.

        Being overpriced does not automatically make it a good car — BMWs come with some tradeoffs. Being popular enough to jack up the margins means it’s still pretty popular.

        As someone with an actual business degree, I’d much rather sell BMWs than buy them.

      • 0 avatar
        PandaBear

        “look for good vehicles that aren’t popular”
        “Then you talk about BMW?”

        That’s the opposite.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Kia, Ford. Apples and Oranges. If you price out a new Escape, it may end up cheaper than both. As a good negotiator, I have given up on ‘almost new’. It’s a supply and demand thing. The dealer just needs to find one sucker to overpay for the almost new. The new ones, there is an endless supply, and competition from other dealers. A new car buyer (usually) has much more leverage than a used car buyer.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Personally, I try to buy new, and get the most I can get for the given model. My last two Ram Pickups are a good example. I like to purchase or trade up prior to the factory warranty expiration, and I purchased the 2014, loaded up 4×4 Longhorn edition in December of 2014.

    Fast forward to December 2014, and although my 2014 Longhorn still had a lot of warranty remaining, the desire for the 3.0 diesel model was strong. I had friends with similar trucks who were very well satisfied with the economy and reliability of those engines. A dealer in Fort Worth had just received ten of those 2017 models, and were dealing to get them moved. I received a super trade in on my 31 K mile Longhorn, and bought their new 3017 Laramie 4×4 for only 8 K difference. Yeah, I gave up a few amenities not found on the Laramie, but I am loving this truck, getting 23 mpg local and as much as 27 plus highway. I really don’t miss the sunroof and other items I gave up that much.

    You can save 12 to 14 K by waiting till year end to purchase…I will most likely do it again in 3 years…Actually, I WILL do it again in 3 years since the lease deal was so great, I opted to lease rather than take advantage of the purchase price…I seldom drive my truck more than 12 K miles per year anyway…

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    A new driver’s first car should not be a new or almost new car that is financed. The assumption of course that this new driver is under 21 and not someone who waited until they were 25 to learn to drive.

    The full coverage insurance will be outrageous for a under 21 primary driver of a new or almost new car.

    So the answer is none of the above. They need to look at 5-7 year old base Toyotas like a Prius or Corolla. The insurance might be palatable and the car should still be running at the end of a 5 year note. By then they will have also aged to the point where insurance will be reasonable, assuming they didn’t spend the last 5 years racking up tickets and accidents.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Bi-weekly payments – total ripoff – talk about padding dealer’s profits!

    As for used v. new, I’d be very happy with a high mileage one or two year old vehicle – my parents bought one of the best vehicles ever doing just that – was cheap as chips and ended up being an electrical contractor’s company car – mostly highway miles. Car looked brand new and was with us for over a decade with just minor repairs that any car would have.

  • avatar
    jpruden

    I just did this with my Audi S3 Prestige. New is over $50K and I just purchased a 2015 with only 21K miles for $31K. Love it… and also love the ~$1 per mile depreciation that the first owner dealt with…

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      These types of cars (high end, top trim level) are the only place where used makes any sense IMO. Of course the wild card is parts and repair cost, especially for anything ‘unique’ where supply is limited.

      My 2011 TL 6MT was $26k with 42k miles back in 2013. $0.42/mile depreciation compared to what I could have gotten a new one for at that time. Sold it yesterday with significantly more miles, at a cost of $.12/mile over my ownership. High end cars have pretty rapid depreciation curves in their first 2-3 years. I see pretty killer deals for low mileage off-lease cars, and it would take a lot of maintenance costs to offset the discount.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverCoupe

      I figure that I can almost always get a higher level of trim for the price with a used car. I got my three year old (when purchased) A5 S Line for less than the cost of new base A5 – but the real reason in my case was that the used model had a V6, while the new model had a turbo 4, which was almost a full second slower to 60. Less money, more performance!

      I put so little mileage on a car that it matters little that the car had 18,000 or so miles on it when I bought it. It will likely still have way under 100,000 miles on it if and when I sell it after ten years.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    People making bi-weekly payments are getting scammed by some shady a$$ $hit.

    I realize that the ponzieconomy is allowing for such scum tactics, especially in places where inflation has destroyed the middle class (and near 80%’of the population with no savings) in places such as Canada, Australia, and increasingly, The United States of Impoverishment and Debt Slaves, so hooray for title loans, loan shark interest rates, and Aarons Rent-A-Center.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      Last time I was in Canada, in 2014, I saw car ads with weekly payments advertized. I remember being struck by that and thinking people just multiply by 4 to get the monthly payment. But months have more like 4.15 weeks in them, so $100/week isn’t $400/mo, it’s more like $415. But I’d bet 9/10 people seeing those ads just thin, hey $400 a month, awesome deal!!

  • avatar

    Around here that FWD Escape will be a hard sell when you go to get rid of it. Dealer’s not gonna want it back. Interior of the Soul is nicer as well.

    So in this offering, I go with the Soul.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Used the Escape with 4WD is far more desirable, yet barely cost more and I’m pretty sure 4WD is just as popular where you are as where I am (southern Wisconsin)

  • avatar
    7402

    We usually buy new if we plan to keep a car 10-13 years or so. If it looks like a 2-5 year hold, we buy a car that is 3-5 years old. New cars we have always bought either one trim level above base or one trim level below fully loaded as those seem to generally be the best value. Used cars we buy nicely loaded but price and condition trump all other considerations.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I don’t care about most options, so base new is preferred. Loaded cars also usually equate to auto and leather, both of which I despise.

  • avatar
    hirostates12

    As I lean towards performance cars I would never go used. The way those cars are treated by short term owners can take 75% off the life of the drivetrain.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    All else being equal, I’d choose slightly used. But I always wonder why is that 5k car for sale? Either it was a rental or demo (ie that 5k is more like 35K when adjusted for the abuse) or there’s something wrong with it and the original owner was desperate to get rid of it.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    kinda of looking at new vs used sedans now, my wife would like a audi A4 or A6 ( which I think will be to big once she drives it, I have been looking at Infinity q sedans either q40 or q 50 , sh drives less than 8 k a year, keeps her cars at least 6 years and we have collage bills coming up for 2 boys in the next few years so I would like to save a buck or 2 on her next car. So far the Infinity cop programs looks pretty good. Thoughts?
    We have always bought new cars for her and mostly used one for me because it has made sense for us, not sure if new is the way to go this time around.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      If the car will see that low of miles then a “high mile” almost new car would probably be your best bet. You can buy at a discount for high miles and sell at a premium for low miles in 3-4 years.

  • avatar
    arach

    I remain unsure why anyone buys DDs new…. therefore I’m not worthy to weigh in, because of course I’d buy used.

    I got 15k off my sonata because it was 6 months old and had 7k miles? why pay 15,000 more just so it has 0 miles? I guess some people love the new car smell…

    Now I have bought new, but only when I wanted to waste my money on something super special, like a custom ordered sports car.

    You gotta be a freaking billionaire to justify buying new in my book…. and I aint’ a billionaire.

    But to each their own I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I assume that $30K was MSRP? What were actual retail prices at the time?

      I know when major refreshes are released or when a new generation is released Hyundai often sells that $30K car for $21K brand new. Then used might not be a bargain.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        6k off for 7k miles is still a bargain.

        36000 was the MSRP. Current model year in 2015. (the new version is actually cheaper because they got rid of some options)

        paid 21,500k out the door. I probably could have gotten it about 29-32k new. I’ll take 7.5k off for 7k miles. thats more than $1 per mile…

        I typically target the cars with the lowest residuals.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Just *kind of* did this in buying our 2017 Cruze HB about seven weeks ago. Used, it was roughly $8000 less than a comparable 2018. Of course, of the seven weeks I’ve owned it, it has spent 3 at the Chevy dealership. Given that it is just 3,000 miles over the State Lemon Law, I’m stuck with it. Can’t trade or sell it without losing a load of money, and I’m fairly sure the dealership knows it.

    So, maybe buying used wasn’t so smart! Granted, it is still under warranty, but if a one-year old car is already experiencing various electrical gremlins that can’t be sorted out, what should I expect two or three years down the road?

    Not sure the “savings” were really worth it to not spring a little more for something new.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I only buy used. As a rule, 3-5 years old for my daily driver, private party, one owner with a preference of senior owned. To date I’ve always sought out the loaded models. I let someone else take the initial depreciation hit. I pay myself a car payment. My wife insists on new and loaded and finances her car.

    I would consider buying new if I could cut the middlemen and buy manufacturer direct. Order what you want, pay for it, wait a few weeks, pick it up at a distribution center, done. I don’t see the value of paying a dealer several hundred to couple thousand dollars to basically remove the plastic off the seats and parking it after the fact, waiting for me to come in so they could waste my time while they made futile attempts to pitch their financing and another $5-10k of extras I wouldn’t want.

    Of course there would still be the depreciation hit but I wonder what the sticker prices would look like if the buying experience had zero human interaction with less hands touching the car and you accepted it as it was loaded onto the truck from the factory. I bet both factors would make the sticker price quite different in a good way.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Factor in that used cars can usually be bought for 75-80% of the asking price.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    You are comparing apple to orange.

    If it is the same car, especially a Korean with 10 yr warranty, obviously the new one is better as you don’t have to deal with the “what ifs” and “what happened” in the previous ownership.

    I got a left over new car sitting on the dealer lot for 6 months (Prius V) for 5k off MSRP, used one with 20k on the odometer sell for almost the same listing.

    So, where is that used car saving? I see none.


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