Author Topic: Used car  (Read 2595 times)

struggleism

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Used car
« on: January 14, 2022, 03:34:50 PM »
We've been fortunate enough to be car-free for about 10 years but may need to bite the bullet and get one soon. A couple questions:

1. I liked this 10-yr old post from MMM with recommended cars - is there an updated version?
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

2. How are you all thinking about EVs vs. gas powered? Seems like EVs are still pricey, but to me buying a gas powered car now would be like buying a portable CD player just as the iPod was taking off.

3. How do you all feel about online used car retailers like Carvana? Anyone have a good experience with them and recommend them?

I'm sure there are existing forum conversations that answer questions just like these; I just couldn't find them. If so, would you mind pointing me there? Thanks

Paper Chaser

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Re: Used car
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 04:15:07 PM »
What do you need out of a vehicle? How will it be used? What's your budget? Can you charge it easily where you park? What do you not want in a vehicle?

EVs can be great. But they're not perfect. A cheap older Leaf might be great for you if you don't need tons of range.
PHEVs are cheaper and more flexible, but still have an ICE for better (no range anxiety) or worse (will likely require a bit more maintenance than a full EV).
Standard hybrids like a Prius have a great reputation around these forums, and will be available in more body styles, from more manufacturers than PHEVs.

More info would really help. The suggestions will need to be tailored depending on if you need a hatchback, or are planning to use this for cross country trips, or drive in super hot or cold temps, or want to haul a family around vs a single commuter, etc.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Used car
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 07:04:34 PM »
Everyone needs a hatchback, some just don't know it yet.

Cheap or older EVs will have slow charging and not be good on road trips. Don't do road trips? Then maybe they're a fit!

I really like our EV. It is a fantastic user experience -- quiet, smooth ride and acceleration, never have to gas it up in the middle of winter, seat/steering wheel heaters (more efficient to heat you than heat the air/car). It could use faster charging though, as well as a touch more range to offset the cabin heater range penalty in the winter. That'll come with time and tech advances. It could use to hold more -- the Honda Fit packs better than the EV, despite the EV being *substantially* larger on the outside.

Sometime, someone will make a "charges in 20 minutes 10->90%", competent, refined EV the general size and shape of the Honda Fit. And I will buy it and love it forever. As opposed to Honda's Fit EV which was a compliance car and kinda bad.

struggleism

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Re: Used car
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 07:23:14 PM »
I appreciate the responses. Here's how I think we'd use it: 70% Costco runs with the baby; 20% Sunday drives around the city; 10% road trips of more than a couple hours. We don't have a charging option at the moment (so that probably answers that question!)

Dave1442397

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Re: Used car
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2022, 06:18:44 AM »
I appreciate the responses. Here's how I think we'd use it: 70% Costco runs with the baby; 20% Sunday drives around the city; 10% road trips of more than a couple hours. We don't have a charging option at the moment (so that probably answers that question!)

Personally, I'd go with a hybrid. There are plenty of options, and they get great gas mileage in city driving. We bought a Toyota Venza (hybrid) in October, and my wife loves it. It has an 11-gallon tank, and she only fills it once every three weeks or so. There are plenty of used hybrids out there, including many versions of the Toyota Prius, although even those cars can have issues worth checking into before buying. See here, for examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAS9_iPeMPE

I looked at EVs, and seriously considered one, but at the rate battery technology is advancing, I prefer to hold off on that until next time we need a car, maybe ten years from now.

Car Jack

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Re: Used car
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2022, 08:19:50 AM »
Without a charging option at home in a garage, an EV makes no sense.  You are also going to find that anything that's not ancient out there is going to be wicked expensive.  It is probably worth considering a brand new car.  I've been considering one and had the commitment from a dealer I've worked with in the past that I can order exactly what I want for MSRP.  Pre-Covid, that would be $2000 cheaper, but no more and I've seen the car I'm considering with a $15k over MSRP tag.  I say to consider new because used cars have gone through the roof.  Carvana, Car Max and the like are good places to see the top priced cars.  They have been traditionally much more expensive than local used car places for me and much more than private party.  They make an absolute ton of money selling their used cars.  I've brought my 13 Subaru Crosstrek limited to them a few times to get quotes for them to buy.  The latest one, just over 100k miles where their comment was that the only issue was a scratch on the rear bumper, because it was over 100k miles, they'd only give me $2800.  Look at their for sale threads and the same car will be for sale for $12,800, so they are adding $10k to my car.

The other problem with an EV is road trips.  You'll need to stop and charge and that costs a lot of money plus these aftermarket, non-Tesla chargers often are either not working or not available either because they're being used by other EVs or because the spaces are near an attraction and an ICE car is taking the space. 

I'll say that also, a lot of car owners are keeping and repairing their cars rather then selling and replacing.  I'm doing exactly that with that 13 Crosstrek I talked about.  It has 155k miles on it and one of my kids drives it a lot because his welding school is over an hour from where he stays.  I just put $2400 in repairs into it (CVT valve controller, 1 wheel bearing, 1 ball joint, 2 CV Axles, trans service) plus $700 in new snow tires and alignment.  Back in the before covid days, this car would have been sold off 50k miles ago.  But as I mentioned, the dealers are all selling this car for ten grand more than I can get for it, so if I want something say 2016, I'd pay what I paid new for my other crosstrek....a 19 premium with a manual transmission at $22k.  Not willing to do that.  We fortunately have extra cars and my other son has 2 cars of his own, so we're going to be sitting tight for a while.


RWD

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Re: Used car
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2022, 08:35:59 AM »
We've been fortunate enough to be car-free for about 10 years but may need to bite the bullet and get one soon. A couple questions:

1. I liked this 10-yr old post from MMM with recommended cars - is there an updated version?
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

2. How are you all thinking about EVs vs. gas powered? Seems like EVs are still pricey, but to me buying a gas powered car now would be like buying a portable CD player just as the iPod was taking off.

3. How do you all feel about online used car retailers like Carvana? Anyone have a good experience with them and recommend them?

I'm sure there are existing forum conversations that answer questions just like these; I just couldn't find them. If so, would you mind pointing me there? Thanks

There has not been an updated version of that MMM post. Similar principles can be followed though. Basically it boils down to an efficient and affordable used car. Probably something 5-10 years old, though keep in mind that the used car market is not as good of a bargain today as it has been historically. MMM recommended vehicles up to ~$12k which with inflation is ~$15k today. Add a bit more for the hot market at you may even be considering up to $20k for similar types of cars. Amazingly it may even make sense to get a new car.

You didn't mention your budget but you can get a Chevy Bolt EV for under $20k which has decent range and might be sufficient for your occasional road trips. You could also consider a lower range EV and rent a car for road trips. But I'd imagine a conventional efficient vehicle would be fine for your use case.

I have used Carvana to sell a car but haven't tried buying one from them. They are very convenient and hassle-free for sure. Just expect to pay a premium for that convenience. The best deals will always be from private sellers, of course.

Another relatively recent thread on this topic:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/update-to-mmm-blog-post-%27top-10-cars-for-smart-people%27/

More resources:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-buy-a-car-(if-you-must)/

draco44

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Re: Used car
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2022, 09:11:24 AM »
Everyone needs a hatchback, some just don't know it yet.

Ha ha, I second this comment. I love my Subaru Impreza hatchback. Did you know you can fit a twin mattress in there (flat) with the rear seats folded down? And yet it is considered a compact car and is far easier to park or drive in high winds than many other vehicles with similar hauling ability.

Anecdote aside, the other posters have outlined some good general principles. Good luck to you, OP!


struggleism

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Re: Used car
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2022, 03:10:59 PM »
Thanks again to all responders for taking the time to offer such thoughtful replies. You've given me a great start.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Used car
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2022, 10:22:53 PM »
Not EV nor PHEV unless you really expect to move (soon) to where you can charge easily.

Mileage would determine if I looked hybrid in your situation. The previous points we were looking at cars (~2008/9, ~2013), the hybrid premium was too expensive vs how much we drove (not much -- under 8k mi/yr). Do the same math yourself. You can pay it anyway and "save the earth", but that's an opportunity cost where those funds could (potentially) save the earth in a different way (eg, insulation, more efficient appliances, etc).

The bad news is that with the (US) used car market sucks and at the same time many of the small/efficient cars quit being sold new here. The fit is no more, ford has quit selling any non-suv car except the mustang (no focus, fiesta, or c-max).

Paul der Krake

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Re: Used car
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2022, 02:34:14 AM »
I wouldn't worry about your gasoline car becoming obsolete if you're buying used. It's a concern for a long term owner of a new vehicle planning to keep the car 20 years and not so much if you're buying something used. Even the most bullish EV projections out there do not get rid of gas stations in the next 10 years.

Seconding this thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-buy-a-car-(if-you-must)/

tl;dr subcompact[1] sedan master race

[1] there's nothing subcompact about a corolla or a civic, but I'm not the one making the labels

RWD

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Re: Used car
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2022, 07:17:54 AM »
tl;dr subcompact[1] sedan master race

[1] there's nothing subcompact about a corolla or a civic, but I'm not the one making the labels
The Civic has been classified as compact since 2000. The Corolla has been a compact class since 1991. So you are correct, they are not subcompact cars.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Used car
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2022, 09:37:29 AM »
tl;dr subcompact[1] sedan master race

[1] there's nothing subcompact about a corolla or a civic, but I'm not the one making the labels
The Civic has been classified as compact since 2000. The Corolla has been a compact class since 1991. So you are correct, they are not subcompact cars.
Nice!

HenryDavid

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Re: Used car
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2022, 11:49:02 AM »
Go to used stuff website ie Craigslist.
Conduct search for:
Manual shift
5 door
Under 100000 miles/160000km

Test drive cars. Get best one inspected by mechanic. Haggle. Purchase. Keep 10 years.

Just Joe

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Re: Used car
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2022, 01:31:59 PM »
Buick. Taurus. Fusion. Chrysler sedans. Chevy sedans like Malibu or Impala.

If hauling people and shopping is what you need to do, these will do it. If you need more utility look at minivans or hatchbacks.

Another approach is finding an older, low mileage example of anything that appeals to you. I once saw an early model CRV that had 75K miles on it online. Lots of years but few miles. Looked very clean inside and out. Very affordable. I know it can be a good car b/c our's has over 300K miles on it. Considered upgrading to it for a moment. Kept driving the one we already own.

Keep whatever you buy forever but drive as little as you can to extend its lifespan and slow the costs to you.

jinga nation

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Re: Used car
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2022, 06:18:28 PM »
Cargurus.com

filter by year, mileage, days on market.

When you scroll thru the listing, go to Negotiation and expand the price history to show the graph. Use this to negotiate. Vehicles sitting on the lot for over 30-45 days are perfect, sales people are eager to get rid of these to stop incurring further lot fees.

I've bought a few used vehicles for ourselves and friends/family since 2017 using this info. Dealer sales people use the site/app too.