Author Topic: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?  (Read 670 times)

Ready2Save27

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Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« on: January 06, 2019, 08:20:29 PM »
Hi all,

Iím in the lucky situation where I am being gifted a car. Essentially I have approximately $16,000 to spend on a car, any car I want. But I only get the car, not any money left over.

I know typically a used car is recommended here, but what about in my situation? The only costs that I can think of are fuel, insurance, repairs, and lifetime of the vehicle. So does a slightly higher insurance make up for the fact that the vehicle will last a little longer and have less repairs initially?

Ready2Save27

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 08:25:20 PM »
Sorry for multiple posts, phone was acting up and multiple went through. Trying to delete the others.

RWD

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 10:05:11 PM »
Choosing a good make/model will have more bearing on longevity than whether you buy new or used. I assume you won't be paying for sales tax? But what about registration costs? Depreciation can also vary a lot based on the vehicle age/make/model.

For the same money I would rather buy a slightly used vehicle than brand new. For $16k you could get a base model brand new Ford Fiesta (a piece of junk, by the way) or a lightly used 2011 Lexus ES350.

How do you plan to use this vehicle?

reeshau

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 01:21:05 AM »
I agree with @RWD.  The method of shopping for a car does not change, just because the source of money for the purchase is unusual.  You can get a much better deal on a newer, used car than a brand new car.  Unless you are looking for something specific that is very new (i.e. semi-autonomous driving) you should be looking for used cars.  If the idea of maintenance worries you, make it a certified used car, so you get something of a warranty.

Villanelle

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 03:23:28 AM »
This situation isn't really different than someone buying a car with their own funds.  Used is better. 

Given that you don't get to keep the difference, buying a somewhat newer, lower mileage car makes sense. So find that in a reliable model with good gas mileage.  (I'd probably air for 5-9 years old, 60k or less.)

Ready2Save27

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 06:46:14 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I plan to use it for commuting to work mainly (looking for a close job to minimize commuting costs, but donít think I can bike there). Iíll look into certified used cars.

And I wonít be paying sales tax (and I donít think I need to pay registration, but not sure).

Iíll look more at the list of cars MMM recommends and see what I slightly used vehicles cost.

RWD

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Re: Being gifted a car- ask for new or used?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 07:26:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I plan to use it for commuting to work mainly (looking for a close job to minimize commuting costs, but donít think I can bike there). Iíll look into certified used cars.

And I wonít be paying sales tax (and I donít think I need to pay registration, but not sure).

Iíll look more at the list of cars MMM recommends and see what I slightly used vehicles cost.

An electric car would likely have the cheapest operating costs for your use case. Look into Nissan LEAF, Kia Soul EV, and Volkswagen e-Golf. These are all easily available in your price range in barely used condition. There are several other electric options too like the BMW i3 (if you want to be fancy, tires are expensive though), Mercedes B-Drive (which no one has ever heard of), Toyota RAV4 EV (if you want a small SUV), Ford Focus EV (if you must own American), Fiat 500e (if you want people to know you have a quirky personality), etc.

If for some reason an electric car won't cut it (e.g. you need to take longer trips or you don't have a place to charge it) look into the most efficient hybrid you can get your hands on. This will probably be the newest Prius in your price range, but there are a ton of options.

Even if you aren't paying the initial registration costs I'd be surprised if you were not going to have to cover the annual registration. Depending on your state and value of the vehicle this can be hundreds of dollars per year. Just a heads up.

The list of specific car recommendations on the MMM blog is very out of date. The general concepts are still sound though.