Author Topic: Buy a new car (used, of course)?  (Read 2800 times)

rickscr

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Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« on: July 03, 2016, 07:05:13 PM »
Hello Mustachians, here's my dilemma:

My current commuter vehicle, a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer with 130k miles, is due for some expensive maintenance and repairs, ~$1000 (timing belt replacement plus some other issues). My commute is 40 miles round trip, mostly on the highway, and the car currently works OK for this purpose.   

Option A is to sell it now and buy a newer used car. I estimate the Lancer is currently worth about $1500-2000. We have been putting $100/month into our "next car replacement" savings account and the balance is currently $3500. That would leave us with a total new car budget of $5000-5500, since we don't want a car payment.

Option B is to repair it now, keep saving $100/month for a few more years, then sell it for ~$1000-1500 and buy a newer/more expensive/nicer used car for $7000-8000. 

I'm not sure which would be cheaper in the long run, though I suspect it would be Option B. Other things to consider besides money are safety, reliability, and comfort.

Option A would get me a safer and more comfortable car right now, but it would have highish miles with more opportunity for abuse by the previous owner(s).

For Option B, I could get a car that would have lower miles than Option A, and be potentially more safe, reliable, and comfortable. However, it means I would be driving a car without traction control, stability control, and side and curtain airbags for 2-3 more years.

What do you think?

Kaikou

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2016, 02:12:50 AM »
me i would fix the car

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 06:23:35 AM »
I think option B is a better approach. Better the devil you know and all of that. Besides, it's only got 130,000 miles.

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undercover

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 07:03:40 AM »
Definitely B. Has the water pump been replaced yet?

frugaliknowit

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2016, 09:45:46 AM »
Do you mean $1500-2000 after fixed or "as is"?

rickscr

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 01:57:47 PM »
The water pump has not been replaced, but would be along with the timing belt.

The 1500-2000 I could get is without the repairs. Maybe 2000-2500 with repairs. It has a HVAC mixer problem common to these cars that Mitsubishi would not issue a recall for. That's probably another 600-700 that I've been reluctant to spend. I currently have to reach down to the footwell and pull a cable if I want to switch from hot to cold or cold to hot.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 03:50:30 PM by rickscr »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 03:28:12 PM »
I can see why you are pondering this.  It's a close call.  I think I'd lean toward sticking with "the devil you know", unless you see a real "creampuff" deal (like someone you know dies and the family has a great car to get rid of...).  $5K ish is not a fabulous move up and has it's risks...

rickscr

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 10:05:38 PM »
Thanks for all the advice, I think I'm going to fix it up

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Cornbread OMalley

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Re: Buy a new car (used, of course)?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2016, 12:22:50 AM »
Fix it up.