Author Topic: Car question: used civic  (Read 803 times)

Finances_With_Purpose

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Car question: used civic
« on: May 10, 2021, 09:36:03 PM »
I have an '06 civic that has just over 200k miles on it that we're thinking of replacing.  Unlike some mustachians, cars and DIY on cars are not our thing, and it's more than we want to keep up with, especially with more kiddos en route.  One positive complication: the car had a completely new factory engine put in it by Honda at about 75k miles (due to the known engine defect issue), so it probably has a lot of life left in it, but the intermittent repair costs are eating at us the past few years, and we can live without another car for a good while while we (1) figure out what to do next, (2) figure out our life situation more, and (3) wait out this bananas car market. 

Any thoughts on what to do with it?  Estimated value?  It's in good condition.  Has a few minor things: a back window that won't go up, and the A/C probably needs some more freon/recharge, and the headliner is just starting to come off around a door frame, but other than that, it's in good shape w/ no major accidents and only one owner ever.  I just had a major part replaced so that it's good to go (and it had never stopped running/working fine), but that's what got me to thinking that I think I've had the best of this thing and need to pass it along.   

I know there are lots of car aficionados on here, so I thought I would ask before throwing it out to the market. 

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 10:00:14 PM »
In my opinion 15 years and 200,000+ miles is plenty of life to have gotten out of a car. All the issues you described are pretty classic old car problems. You mention more kids on the way, as in babies. I'm sure the vast majority here will argue you need to just keep this car forever and never buy a car again, switch to cycling and walking, etc but I'll be the outlier and say that this is potentially a good time to just go with a new car.

Now hear me out: generally that's a bad idea but you must have seen the same thing I've seen going on, which is that used car values are stupid right now. A friend of mine just sold his 1 year old Civic Si for slightly more than he paid for it new. Now that was a somewhat special case, in that Honda has discontinued the Si coupe entirely, so there simply isn't any way for people to buy a new Civic Si coupe but it highlights with an anecdote the absolute nonsense going on with used cars right now.

Meanwhile used cars, especially plain old sedans, are still getting discounted around my parts. Everybody wants trucks and SUVs so if you're willing to go for another Civic sedan, or a Corolla, any sedan or hatchback/wagon from Hyundai/Kia, or really just about anything "sedan" you can likely get a discount, low to 0% financing, and a higher than normal amount for your used car in trade. Keep that next brand new car for another 15 years and you'll have well and truly gotten your money out of that car too. This is kind of how I've done it, and I'm in my mid 40s having bought only 3 (economy) cars in my life so far, making cars a pretty minimal expense for what will have worked out to possibly all my working life by the time I am done with my current one.

Car accidents are generally the leading accidental cause of death for a huge number of our years on this planet, so for safety alone I think it's worth at least trying to keep cars to 10-15 years and newer, especially while your kids are very young and vulnerable.

draco44

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2021, 10:08:39 PM »
Hi there. Re. Sid's comment, it's true that a repeating theme of this blog/forum is that walking and bicycles can get you further than many might assume. I generically support and defend that point, but in your case would follow up with a clarifying question: how many cars do you currently own? My first thought on reading your post was that if it's true that you can "live without another car for a good while" it might be worthwhile selling this second(?) vehicle now regardless of its condition, and see if your family can stay a one-car unit forever, or at least a long while until you have a much more pressing need. Going fully carless can be a big (but worthwhile!) transition for those who want to take it on, but going from two to one cars in a household is often a far easier switch. To me a big part of whether to keep or sell would be factoring what other transportation options you already have as a household.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 10:26:16 PM by draco44 »

Paper Chaser

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 03:46:50 AM »
The replacement engine won't have much impact on value for most buyers. It won't hurt, but I wouldn't expect to get more for the vehicle because of it.

If you can afford to reduce the size of your vehicle fleet, now is definitely the time to do it.

I've heard quite a few good things about Carvana buying vehicles lately. They tend to have strong offers (although the newer/lower mileage a vehicle is the better their offer is likely to be), and it's a fast, painless process compared to trying to deal with the public at large via FB marketplace or Craigslist or something. I'd at least see what they'd offer you here:

https://www.carvana.com/sell-my-car

ChpBstrd

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 09:20:03 PM »
Because of the used car market insanity, now would be a great time to unload a car you don't need. If you can wait a couple of years for the next recession, you'll get a much better deal on the next one.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 11:01:07 PM »
This has been really, really helpful.  You all read my mind.  I was planning to sell anyway, and then when this used-car insanity hit, I decided I really should do it now, even without having the rest of the plan worked out, especially since we have some flexibility right now.  It all just coalesced at once; I didn't even realize there was a used-car market craze until I researched selling. 

Thanks especially, @Sid Hoffman .  Despite my normal defaults, I am considering that path: this is my first new car, and we have driven it long enough to make the overall average cost very minimal.  Our second car was about half as much (used), and we're on track to get about the same usage out of it as we have on this one, which will have made it an even better buy.  (Better still once you add in the minor fender-bender checks we received along the way for repairs I DIY'd.)  I've had the exact same thought, though, about going new again due to: (1) the used car market, and (2) the reality of having a kid while chasing a toddler around, and the need to offload some things. 

Also, to your point about safety, we watched a head-on collision at 60mph (both cars) when we moved here.  The innocent driver had just bought a slightly-used Infiniti for safety reasons two weeks before.  I ran up to the car expecting to find mangled bodies: the accident sheared part of the car off.  Instead, he was managing fine, and his two-year-old sat in the back unaware that they had even had the accident.  Just incredible.  I also lost a best friend to a car accident growing up.  So I'm focused in on that danger. 

And, unfortunately, I live in a place where driving is unavoidable, even though I avoid it as much as I can.  Because it's also extremely dangerous here.  I can't tell you how many near-misses I've witnessed the past few years alone.  And don't get me started on texting drivers...

Excellent questions @draco44 .  As mentioned, we have to drive.  It's a unique location: the only thing that walking or biking will do here is get one killed.  (And I have also lost a good friend to exactly that thing before.)  Even the car drivers here die at an alarming rate.  There's no public transport and our jobs are a good ways away (yay HCOL areas). 

So, to your questions: I was trying to give enough detail without giving too much.  We have two cars now, but we live next door to a surviving and retired parent who moved here and also has two cars which we can use short-term, on the one-ish days per week it's actually necessary.  In our household, one of us is full-time WFH until this fall, so it's very doable to do one car.  But long term, our job schedules make that non-viable as an option, especially once we have schools/transportation on top of our jobs--so, in a year, or two at very most.  By fall, it will start getting pretty difficult.  (E.g., I cannot park a car I do not own at work.) 

It'll eventually get complicated enough that we'll need two cars again.  Sadly.  I would love to get to where we can make do with one car, but that'll require a significant job change of some kind for one of us, if even that would do the trick. 

I figure we'll sell the older car and wing it until early fall, at which point the WFH will largely go away, and we'll have to get back to two cars--hopefully in a saner market. 

nereo

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2021, 09:41:26 AM »
I recently sold a 06 civic through CarMax and it was a great experience. I asked a few dealerships what they would give me for the car (always: almost nothing/scrap) but I got slightly above the blue book value at CarMax with minimal fuss.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2021, 09:30:45 PM »
Really @nereo ?  I'll have to give them a shot. 

nereo

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 07:57:54 AM »
Really @nereo ?  I'll have to give them a shot.

Yup.  It was pretty painless, and true to their advertising it never felt pushy.  Because of Covid19 there wasn't even a test-drive... the guy took photos of the exterior and interior, had me turn the engine on and rotate the wheels, and that was about it.  It was sent to their "buyer" digitally and about 10 minutes later they gave me an offer good for 7 days. 

My car was far from pristine, either.... plenty of door dings, some light rust and ... oh yeah, a significant coolant leak (all of which we divulged).  Apparently CarMax re-sells all older vehicles to a 3rd party which mines them for parts to repair shops.

draco44

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2021, 07:04:45 PM »
This has been really, really helpful.  You all read my mind.

Drive safely, OP! Not sure where you live but it sounds a little wild out there.

Happy to help. It sounds like you are doing a good job thinking through what might work best for your situation. It's unfortunately possible there won't be too much of a change in the heated used car market between now and fall, but whatever you do, if you do end up needing to need to buy this year, having some time flexibility and access to the neighboring relative's vehicles should give you the ability to take your time finding a good buy. That's tricky too about your work parking lot rules. You could consider car pooling with a colleague if needed for a while, but I could understand not wanting to wear out your buddy's good graces. Good luck to you!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Car question: used civic
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 12:52:47 AM »
Update: the car is sold!  Thanks, all! 

I put it on Craigslist at top of BB list price, and within the hour, a guy was here and bought it.  And a lot more people were very interested.  Just nuts!  I got almost 20% of the original sale price, which isn't bad for a car with that many miles.  And I didn't have to leave my house. 

The buyer ended up giving me a good price, and I was glad to be done--and so quickly.  And yeah, I sure hope I don't have to buy another car anytime soon...the market is hopping. 

Yeah @draco44 , I would carpool, but I don't have a colleague who lives anywhere near me, so that one is out.  But it should be fine with the other options.  I might even take a bus as far as it'll take me and go from there.