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Changes and Moving On - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Changes and Moving On
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pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: January 19th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kibbitzing like a fiend

I have an old-fashioned mindset. Only buy what I can afford, avoid credit.

Put that on a badge and wear it with pride.

Now, the promised additional babbling:

Any car, as it garners miles and years, will take more repairs than a new car. Things like brakes and alternators and clutches (if the car has one) just wear out over time and have to be replaced/repaired.

However, in general, the costs of those repairs is less than the cost of a new car. BUT there is the aforementioned "hassle-factor."

Getting your car repaired, or repairing it yourself, is a hassle. Find a mechanic, or finding the parts, scheduling the time, being without the car, etcetcetc, can be a royal PITA. This is why I traded in my Jeep and got my Corolla--the Jeep was requiring more and more repair, and while they were typically fairly cheap, the hassle of doing them or getting them done was more than I was willing to deal with.

Based on that experience, I guesstimate that most cars hassle-factors become significant after 8-10 years.

Since you can pay cash ("Good on yer!"), the financial question of new v. used is less significant. I think the more important question is the hassle-factor. If you have a high tolerance for hassle, then buy used. If you don't, then buy either new, or recently used (less than 3 years old).

Of course, since you get the Detroit Discount on new cars, a two-year-old used car is not going to be much of a bargain over new.

Anyway, to 'splain--no, there is too much. Let me sum up:

New car
  • Higher price
  • More depreciation
  • Low initial hassle
  • Longer time until hassle
  • Timely features (e.g., CD player that plays MP3s)
  • Less overall features, though
  • Detroit Discount increases value
  • Better selection
  • Warranty (though, how often do you really need that?)
Used car
  • Lower price
  • Less depreciation
  • Higher hassle
  • More features (by getting an older, more depreciated car)
  • Better performance and/or comfort (by getting older...)
  • Less selection
  • Established reputation for reliability (or not)
(Have I mentioned how much I enjoy all this? If my kibbitizing starts to bug you, just ignore me, or tell me to stop. I understand.)

Anyway, so what are your priorities? How important are features, the hassle-factor and selection compared to price?
read 13 comments | talk to me!