Author Topic: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?  (Read 2966 times)

FeistyFrugal

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Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« on: September 15, 2018, 10:44:15 AM »
My husband and I are trying to decide if we should sell our 2015 Honda Crosstour (we got a really good deal on it and have about $4000 equity in it, but still owe $12,900) OR buy a 10 year old used vehicle for around $7000-8000 (minus the equity cashed out from the Honda - so for $3000-4000 total paid).

Is it better to drive a car that you can get 10+ more years out of and pay more in the short term or to buy an older, cheaper car that won't last as many years from now but is cheaper in the short term?

Please don't advise me to buy a $2500 beater or something like that. We drive a lot for work in remote, rural areas and don't want to risk breakdowns. Thanks!!!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 10:45:55 AM by FeistyFrugal »

Cassie

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 06:14:50 PM »
We drive newer and then drive them into the ground. Has worked well for decades.

ItsALongStory

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 09:22:03 PM »
I think it's personal preference, just make sure you stick with the plan that you had when you bought the car.

Per your initial post the reliability of a newer car is worth a lot for your circumstances so I'd stick with what you have unless perhaps the interest rate is ridiculous.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 06:13:59 PM »
I would probably stick with the Honda, as long as you haven't had any issues with it (I would hope not at 3 years old), and as long as you get good gas mileage for it, kind of depending how many miles/km you put on in a year?

Our plan for our next car is to buy new, and keep for 10+ years, or as long as we feel the car is reliable and safe.

boarder42

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 08:04:12 PM »
Hybrids are pretty great cars that can be had super cheap. I got our Ford escape hybrid for 4750 in 2012 with 150k miles and it's still running strong with over 250k miles on it.

RWD

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 08:42:30 PM »
Is it better to drive a car that you can get 10+ more years out of and pay more in the short term or to buy an older, cheaper car that won't last as many years from now but is cheaper in the short term?

Depends on your definition of "better". Buying older cars and replacing them more often will always be cheaper than buying newer and keeping for longer, statistically. Depreciation is just killer on newer cars. But there is a quality of life improvement for not needing to buy/sell as often plus you'll be driving a nicer and more reliable vehicle (in theory) with a newer car. There's a trade off and you'll need to find the correct solution for your needs and financial situation.

There's also more flexibility in vehicle choice with an older vehicle (more classes of vehicle within budget). For example, for the price of the cheapest brand new Camry with no options you could instead get a loaded 2012 Lexus LS 460 with under 100k miles. Baffles the mind why anyone chooses brand new cars.

FeistyFrugal

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 09:07:41 AM »
Thanks, everyone for your input. I think it would be better to keep the Honda for now based on your insights. The interest rate is really low and we've had no problems with it. It only has about 45,000 miles on it. We drive about 30,000 miles per year between our 2 cars. So we rack up the miles for work mostly (we are both self-employed in the oil and gas industry).


Cranky

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 06:02:18 PM »
I think an important variable is that you have two vehicles available. That means that if you have one out of service you are inconvenienced but not stranded.

We donít buy used any more because weíre a one car family and weíd rather pay a bit more for reliability.

middo

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 06:21:19 PM »
In terms of dollars, it is fairly widely recognised there is no "sweet spot" for buying or selling cars.  Newer costs more than older.  However, your needs for reliability may outweigh the cost factor alone.  Is it worth just keeping the difference in dollars available in case of breakdown and needing a hire vehicle?

Just a thought. 

elliha

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 03:45:35 AM »
If you already own a car you like I would not buy a new one but perhaps make the choice to buy a used one next time instead and try to keep the current one for longer than just a few years.

Cadman

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 07:00:01 AM »
The bitter pill for me isn't necessarily the purchase price of a late model car, it's the tax, registration and insurance that stops me in my tracks. In fact, the sales tax alone on a late model ~$20k car is more than the purchase price, tires and battery of the car I've been driving the past several years.

boarder42

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2018, 11:11:41 AM »
The bitter pill for me isn't necessarily the purchase price of a late model car, it's the tax, registration and insurance that stops me in my tracks. In fact, the sales tax alone on a late model ~$20k car is more than the purchase price, tires and battery of the car I've been driving the past several years.

Yep great point often overlooked

Path2FIRE

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 10:08:17 PM »
We buy new and drive into the ground, or at least until maintenance and/or reliability becomes an issue. Usually to 10 years or more or well over 100k miles. Early on we had to take out car loans, we paid those off early and plowed the payments into savings and subsequently bought later vehicles with cash.

boarder42

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 01:12:34 PM »
If you live in a property tax state and take into account full insurance coverage on a new car there is no chance a new car driven into the ground ever beats buying a quality used car and we dont even have to take into account depreciation.  Its a comfort to buy a new car and those are things we discourage around here.  spending money for a feeling.

SweatingInAZ

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2018, 01:44:40 PM »
In Arizona:
Buying a car from a dealership incurs sales tax (new or used, doesn't matter), while private party does not.

My solution is to buy a private party car that is new enough to still have some manufacturer warranty, and then drive it for as long as it continues to be reliable. My SO and I only have one car, so the 'reliable' benchmark is a bit higher than a two-car household.

Currently love my 2013 LEAF. The only maintenance is tire rotation.

pab88

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 02:54:01 AM »
I agree that the fixed ongoing costs are what irks me most about car ownership.

The rule of thumb I go by that the higher the utilisation of the vehicle, the newer it should be. Airlines work in this way. Cargo airlines use older airframes, because most of the time those planes sit on the ground at a hub. Commercial airlines with higher utilisation pay more for newer, more efficient and reliable airframes because they use them so much they can use the savings to recoup the capex. Lower utilisation and a newer car means needlessly throwing money away on depreciation. A quality used car can last a longer time if used at a lower rate.

This has been a stumbling block for me as I enjoy my daily bicycle commute, and if I had a second hand car it would be used maybe once during the week and once more on the weekend.

Even if I bought quality second hand car for <$10K , annually I would pay 1.5K for mandatory insurance, registration and then third party damage insurance. There is no reduction in these fixed costs for lower utilisation, so effectively one is subsidising the people who use their cars everyday.

So even though I'd like a car for unplanned weekend trips, if I am only using it 100 times a year that means $15 every time my car leaves the driveway, before fuel, servicing and other unplanned expenses.

TempusFugit

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 07:55:59 AM »
I've owned 5 cars in my life.  The last 2, I bought new.  I drove the last car I owned for 100K miles over 8 years.

I'm on year 11 (130K miles) with my current car. It was an indulgence at the time. I had just started making good money and I was a bit full of myself. It's just an entry level luxury sedan (Japanese), but it's the nicest car I've ever owned.  I still love my car but I wouldn't buy new again. It's just too much of a waste of money. All of those cool features that made my car so nice were available on most other cars within a few years (except the horsepower!) Once the reliability really becomes an issue, I'll look at a late model used perhaps of the same make/model (ok, maybe the coupe version).

I can't imagine anyone seriously thinking that buying new is ever a better financial decision.  You may prefer a new car, that's fine, but don't kid yourself.  Today, with all the options in the used car market, you have so many to chose from that can be shipped from anyplace in the country to meet your preferences.  Just don't ever get rushed into buying a car.


ketchup

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2018, 07:39:20 PM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.

It's hard for me to justify tying up more than a few grand in vehicles.  We currently drive a 2001 Volvo (paid $1800) and a 2005 Kia (paid $2000).

As long as you can get your depreciation at $0.05/mile or lower (meaning you get at least 20,000 miles out of each $1000 of capex on a vehicle), your opportunity cost is low, and your car is reasonably reliable and efficient, it's hard to go wrong.

Insurance can sink any thoughts of a newer car penciling out.  I think we're paying around $45/mo for both cars together.

RWD

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2018, 08:22:34 PM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.
I would define a beater as a car that won't lose a significant amount of value when you beat it up. $2000-2500 is pretty close to the floor value of a running vehicle. There are less than 1,000 vehicles on Autotrader in the entire United States for less than $1k. There are around 4,500 vehicles between $1k and $2k, so that is a lot more common.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2018, 08:26:42 PM »
Thanks, everyone for your input. I think it would be better to keep the Honda for now based on your insights. The interest rate is really low and we've had no problems with it. It only has about 45,000 miles on it. We drive about 30,000 miles per year between our 2 cars. So we rack up the miles for work mostly (we are both self-employed in the oil and gas industry).

Keep it.  We have a 2016 Accord that we'll likely have for the next 30 years.  Very similar situation.

ketchup

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 08:54:15 PM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.
I would define a beater as a car that won't lose a significant amount of value when you beat it up. $2000-2500 is pretty close to the floor value of a running vehicle. There are less than 1,000 vehicles on Autotrader in the entire United States for less than $1k. There are around 4,500 vehicles between $1k and $2k, so that is a lot more common.
My cars each would probably have their value cut at least in half if I hit a deer or took a sledgehammer to each body panel. They've still got a bit of value yet to lose.  :P

RWD

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2018, 11:12:16 PM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.
I would define a beater as a car that won't lose a significant amount of value when you beat it up. $2000-2500 is pretty close to the floor value of a running vehicle. There are less than 1,000 vehicles on Autotrader in the entire United States for less than $1k. There are around 4,500 vehicles between $1k and $2k, so that is a lot more common.
My cars each would probably have their value cut at least in half if I hit a deer or took a sledgehammer to each body panel. They've still got a bit of value yet to lose.  :P
Your car values could go to zero and it would just be a rounding error in the grand scheme of your finances.  :P

englishteacheralex

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2018, 11:38:59 PM »
Another little-considered benefit of driving old cars: fender benders are a win! Twice now I have been in fender benders that weren't my fault: first time a lady backed into my parked car ($1400 from her insurance) and the second one was a guy who was driving erratically and swerved into my lane ($2400). Damage for both accidents was barely noticeable and we didn't bother fixing either of them because the first was on our $2000 1999 Corolla and the second was on our $4600 2009 Mazda 5. Just pocketed the insurance money and were glad we don't care about cars except as transportation.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2018, 05:59:15 AM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

boarder42

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2018, 06:16:58 AM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

bingo - its going to come faster than most people think.  GM has put in for approval for cars with out steering wheels or pedals to test in WA. and SF.  The tech is right on the verge of the steep climb and adoption.  tech disruptions dont come slowly they come quickly and overnight. 

catccc

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2018, 07:22:34 AM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.

It's hard for me to justify tying up more than a few grand in vehicles.  We currently drive a 2001 Volvo (paid $1800) and a 2005 Kia (paid $2000).

As long as you can get your depreciation at $0.05/mile or lower (meaning you get at least 20,000 miles out of each $1000 of capex on a vehicle), your opportunity cost is low, and your car is reasonably reliable and efficient, it's hard to go wrong.

Insurance can sink any thoughts of a newer car penciling out.  I think we're paying around $45/mo for both cars together.

I really like this thinking with the miles per $.  It is just a great quantitative way to break down the cost of a car.  IMO the car is to get you from point A to B in reasonable comfort and safety, so the biggest factor is how many miles you get out of it (and not so much if your car talks to you or warms your ass or whatever new cars do these days). 

This means on a $20K new car, every thousand, 20 of them, should get your 20K miles...  Meaning a new car should get you 400K miles.  Is that reasonable?  I know cars have been known to get that far, but can it be expected?  Maybe this is tough to do?  This means even a $10K used car should get your about 200K miles, so a 10K used car with 50K miles will need to last to 250K miles.

Our 2005 Toyota Matrix currently has 205K miles, and we got it new for ~$15K.  We always said we'd look to replace it at 200K miles, but now I'm tempted to push it to 250K or even 300K.

Really not sure what I want to replace it with at this point, anyway.

TempusFugit

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2018, 07:22:49 AM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

bingo - its going to come faster than most people think.  GM has put in for approval for cars with out steering wheels or pedals to test in WA. and SF.  The tech is right on the verge of the steep climb and adoption.  tech disruptions dont come slowly they come quickly and overnight.

This is certainly something I consider when I get wistful about acquiring a new vehicle.  I don't think my current 2008 car will last long enough to reach that transportation nirvana.

I'm a bit of a skeptic though when folks say it's right around the corner.  That Pareto rule thing about the hardest 20% takes 80% of the time comes to mind.   I think with lots of tech, it's easy to get a demo-ready version that looks for all the world like you're just about done, but in reality there's a whole lot of edge cases and error handling that hasn't been solved. 

ketchup

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2018, 10:02:27 AM »
Your car values could go to zero and it would just be a rounding error in the grand scheme of your finances.  :P
Very true.  I wasn't that torn up when our previous pair of cars quit on us.  We had a 1992 Buick Roadmaster wagon die at 200k (replaced by the Volvo) and a 2009 Hyundai Accent fizzled out at 262k (replaced by the Kia).  Those together at the time they died would probably worth about as much as scrap value plus a Chipotle burrito.  Maybe with guac if you include the phone chargers I abandoned in the Buick.

We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

bingo - its going to come faster than most people think.  GM has put in for approval for cars with out steering wheels or pedals to test in WA. and SF.  The tech is right on the verge of the steep climb and adoption.  tech disruptions dont come slowly they come quickly and overnight.

This is certainly something I consider when I get wistful about acquiring a new vehicle.  I don't think my current 2008 car will last long enough to reach that transportation nirvana.

I'm a bit of a skeptic though when folks say it's right around the corner.  That Pareto rule thing about the hardest 20% takes 80% of the time comes to mind.   I think with lots of tech, it's easy to get a demo-ready version that looks for all the world like you're just about done, but in reality there's a whole lot of edge cases and error handling that hasn't been solved. 
I've worked on software, and the first 80% is definitely easier than the last 20%.  Getting from 99% to 100% takes at least as long as the first 80% in my experience.  At least for one idiot like me working on his own.

However, the financial incentives for being the first out of the gate with autonomous vehicles/taxis is enormous.  Uber knows their entire business falls apart if someone can undercut them, and autonomous taxis will absolutely be able to undercut them.  There's a reason companies are throwing billions at developing this stuff.  It's going to very interesting to see how it unfolds. 

The AI for this kind of project relies a lot on tons of data collection to refine things, and as soon as autonomous taxis are rolled out, the amount of data they can collect will improve things even more.  It will build on itself and compound.  As b42 said, once the cat's out of the bag, things will move very very fast.  The most disruptive part (autonomous Uber equivalent) won't even require consumers to buy anything, just download a new smartphone app.  It could move even faster than previous recent innovations like the move from flip phones to smartphones or 35mm film to digital cameras.   Those started out as toys for rich people before becoming ubiquitous, and this could skip even that step.

Due to all this, I don't pencil out any vehicle assumptions past the next five years or so.  Once autonomous taxis are ubiquitous and cheaper than driving your own car, the used car market will crash pretty hard.

I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.

It's hard for me to justify tying up more than a few grand in vehicles.  We currently drive a 2001 Volvo (paid $1800) and a 2005 Kia (paid $2000).

As long as you can get your depreciation at $0.05/mile or lower (meaning you get at least 20,000 miles out of each $1000 of capex on a vehicle), your opportunity cost is low, and your car is reasonably reliable and efficient, it's hard to go wrong.

Insurance can sink any thoughts of a newer car penciling out.  I think we're paying around $45/mo for both cars together.

I really like this thinking with the miles per $.  It is just a great quantitative way to break down the cost of a car.  IMO the car is to get you from point A to B in reasonable comfort and safety, so the biggest factor is how many miles you get out of it (and not so much if your car talks to you or warms your ass or whatever new cars do these days). 

This means on a $20K new car, every thousand, 20 of them, should get your 20K miles...  Meaning a new car should get you 400K miles.  Is that reasonable?  I know cars have been known to get that far, but can it be expected?  Maybe this is tough to do?  This means even a $10K used car should get your about 200K miles, so a 10K used car with 50K miles will need to last to 250K miles.

Our 2005 Toyota Matrix currently has 205K miles, and we got it new for ~$15K.  We always said we'd look to replace it at 200K miles, but now I'm tempted to push it to 250K or even 300K.

Really not sure what I want to replace it with at this point, anyway.
Our previous pair of vehicles (before the Kia and Volvo) cost us a combined $1700 and lasted a combined 54,000 miles, putting their capex cost per mile at just over $0.03/mile.  Our total cost of maintenance and repairs (including some pretty stupid and expensive stuff) was $0.046/mile.

I only brush over it, but one key part you are missing is opportunity cost. 

For a fairly el cheapo fleet like ours, it's inconsequential.  If we say our 2001 Volvo and 2005 Kia are worth $3500 combined and we drive 25,000 miles per year on both combined (we do drive a lot), that puts our opportunity cost at 0.98 cents per mile if you have average investment yields of 7%.  I'm not losing any sleep over that.

But for your example of a $20k brand new car, assuming you pay cash, and using the 7% number again, that costs you $1,050/year.  If you drive 20,000 miles per year (very high number for a single vehicle), that's another 5.25 cents/mile in opportunity cost alone.  So even if you are able to get your 400k miles (not impossible but far from something you could count on) out of that car, for the first year at least, you're paying even more in opportunity cost than you are in long-term capex per mile.  Obviously this gets less dramatic with time as the value of the car decreases, but my point is that it throws off the calculations even more than you're imagining.  The numbers are also a lot worse if the car doesn't last to 400k (very likely) or if you drive less than 20,000/year (also likely).

This also completely ignoring increased cost of insurance, taxes, registration, etc.  And your cost of crashing the car is higher.  Or if you don't feel like taking that risk, you get to add the cost of full coverage insurance.  Either way your risk-adjusted cost is higher.

You have to take the entire picture into account.  Even on places like this forum, opportunity cost is the most overlooked part of that.

The best way to compare total base vehicle cost (agnostic of fuel efficiency and insurance/taxes) is adding together capex per mile, total repairs and maintenance per mile, and opportunity cost.  People tend to overestimate the cost of repairs and maintenance per mile of a decent older car, and underestimate the opportunity cost of a new car.  Paying $550 to replace the gas tank of a 23 year old car with 176k miles on it at the time (true story) might feel insane in the moment, but paying a grand a year in opportunity cost on a 2018 car is completely invisible to most.  Out of sight, out of mind.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 10:06:24 AM by ketchup »

JLee

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2018, 10:04:09 AM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.
I would define a beater as a car that won't lose a significant amount of value when you beat it up. $2000-2500 is pretty close to the floor value of a running vehicle. There are less than 1,000 vehicles on Autotrader in the entire United States for less than $1k. There are around 4,500 vehicles between $1k and $2k, so that is a lot more common.

Craigslist would probably be a more accurate representation - paying for an Autotrader listing for a $900 car seems silly when you could list it on Craigslist for free.

RWD

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2018, 10:12:59 AM »
I like that the OP considers $2500 to be a "beater."  The most I've paid for a car is $2000.
I would define a beater as a car that won't lose a significant amount of value when you beat it up. $2000-2500 is pretty close to the floor value of a running vehicle. There are less than 1,000 vehicles on Autotrader in the entire United States for less than $1k. There are around 4,500 vehicles between $1k and $2k, so that is a lot more common.

Craigslist would probably be a more accurate representation - paying for an Autotrader listing for a $900 car seems silly when you could list it on Craigslist for free.

True. Harder to get the statistics on Craigslist though and I imagine there are a lot more non-running vehicles.

catccc

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2018, 10:57:19 AM »

I only brush over it, but one key part you are missing is opportunity cost. 
....
This also completely ignoring increased cost of insurance, taxes, registration, etc.  And your cost of crashing the car is higher.  Or if you don't feel like taking that risk, you get to add the cost of full coverage insurance.  Either way your risk-adjusted cost is higher.

You have to take the entire picture into account.  Even on places like this forum, opportunity cost is the most overlooked part of that.

Oh, I didn't mention it, but I definitely think about the opportunity cost...  Let's say the market is returning 10%, in 10 years, your $20K new car has cost the initial $20K, plus $2K a year for 10 years, so another $20K.  The 20K new car has suddenly truly cost you $40K, and that doesn't even consider reinvestment.

Earlier this year we were looking at purchasing a car, and I called the insurance company to see what it would cost.  I was amazed at the increase in my premium.  It was definitely an incentive to keep the current car.  I def. like that I don't care about dings and dents.  I had a deer run into the front fender of our Matrix, and wasn't even gonna bother getting it fixed.  A week later, DH's friend tried to get into the passenger side and we realized the passenger door wouldn't open.  So we got it fixed.  But I think the reality now is that our Matrix is getting into "beater" zone.

Estimating the cost of repairs on our matrix, or any older car, is the hardest part for me.  IDK what things cost, and IDK when they will go.  We had the clutch replaced at 145K... does that mean we can get to 290K without replacing it?  Shocks and struts were done at maybe 135-140K, and someone (rando mechanic while getting an oil change at Pep Boys) said they were due for replacing.  I'm not sure if I believe that, so I'll have to consult with my trusted mechanic that we use when we have any issues with our car.

And it gets harder and harder to pay for those repairs the older the car gets!  Who wants to put $1,400 into a car barely worth twice that?

Decision by indecision over here for us, I guess.  We'll just keep driving the Matrix.

I can't believe you abandoned the phone chargers.  Those are a hot commodity around my house, lol!

Thanks for all your input.  I wish I had the confidence to get a beater and get all those miles out of them, but on top of not knowing a ton about cars to estimate repair costs, I want to minimize the frequency of cars dying on me, and then needing to shop for another one.  I like to think reliability isn't an issue, but it's tough to put that aside if I imagine needing to pick a kid up from an afterschool activity and not being able to get there.  When the time comes, hopefully we will find a happy medium... maybe 10K for a used car.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 11:00:44 AM by catccc »

ketchup

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2018, 11:18:16 AM »
Estimating the cost of repairs on our matrix, or any older car, is the hardest part for me.  IDK what things cost, and IDK when they will go.  We had the clutch replaced at 145K... does that mean we can get to 290K without replacing it?  Shocks and struts were done at maybe 135-140K, and someone (rando mechanic while getting an oil change at Pep Boys) said they were due for replacing.  I'm not sure if I believe that, so I'll have to consult with my trusted mechanic that we use when we have any issues with our car.

And it gets harder and harder to pay for those repairs the older the car gets!  Who wants to put $1,400 into a car barely worth twice that?

Decision by indecision over here for us, I guess.  We'll just keep driving the Matrix.

I can't believe you abandoned the phone chargers.  Those are a hot commodity around my house, lol!

Thanks for all your input.  I wish I had the confidence to get a beater and get all those miles out of them, but on top of not knowing a ton about cars to estimate repair costs, I want to minimize the frequency of cars dying on me, and then needing to shop for another one.  I like to think reliability isn't an issue, but it's tough to put that aside if I imagine needing to pick a kid up from an afterschool activity and not being able to get there.  When the time comes, hopefully we will find a happy medium... maybe 10K for a used car.
First off, don't trust a damn thing a rando at Pep Boys says.  They're looking for a sale.  I even had a Toyota dealership tell me that my GF's sister's three year old car with 45k miles and no problems needed like $900 of bullshit work.  Come on.

Repair/maintenance costs get less predictable as a car gets older, but you can usually expect a steady slow increase. It's when things get really expensive or unreliable that I'd start saying no.  The shop my old Buick was towed to did quote me $2000 to put a "new" engine in it.  I briefly considered it, but $2000 for a junkyard engine in a 200,000 mile 24 year old car worth optimistically maybe $500 running is where I draw the line.  Girlfriend would have probably killed me too.  :P

We only abandoned the phone chargers out of negligence.  We emptied the car before leaving it at the shop (before the declaration of death "just in case" it was in fact dead), and forgot those.  The shop was 100 miles from home, so we elected not to drive 200 miles round trip to retrieve the phone chargers.

Driving beaters (like ye olde Buick) or what some consider beaters (my shiny 2001 Volvo apparently qualifies) is indeed a lot easier if you have two cars like we do.  If something stupid happens, you're still able to get by in your daily life with the other car.  Luckily the only time that's been needed in the last couple years was when I lost the keys to our Kia. <_<

Cranky

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2018, 03:01:33 PM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

Are they going to suddenly ban human driven cars? Are self driving cars going to be incredibly cheap?

Because really, you can just Uber or Lyft, but that adds up really, really fast.

That said, I'm hoping that our current car is our last car.

ketchup

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2018, 03:06:30 PM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

Are they going to suddenly ban human driven cars? Are self driving cars going to be incredibly cheap?

Because really, you can just Uber or Lyft, but that adds up really, really fast.

That said, I'm hoping that our current car is our last car.
Once a self-driving Uber equivalent is cheaper than driving your own car, things will really take off. Thatís when the magic happens.

TempusFugit

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2018, 04:03:10 PM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

Are they going to suddenly ban human driven cars? Are self driving cars going to be incredibly cheap?

Because really, you can just Uber or Lyft, but that adds up really, really fast.

That said, I'm hoping that our current car is our last car.
Once a self-driving Uber equivalent is cheaper than driving your own car, things will really take off. Thatís when the magic happens.

To be fair, though, if people were good enough at critical thinking and math, no one would drive for Uber as it is.  The cost in vehicle wear and tear and insurance (if they're being honest) makes that gig a financial loser for probably 80% of the drivers.  Even Uber the company loses money on each ride (they make it up in volume). 

Point being, you can't expect the average person to know when the cost is actually comparable to owning and driving their own vehicle.  It's not that everyone is too dumb to do the math, it's that everyone is too lazy to do it.

JLee

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2018, 05:26:17 PM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

Are they going to suddenly ban human driven cars? Are self driving cars going to be incredibly cheap?

Because really, you can just Uber or Lyft, but that adds up really, really fast.

That said, I'm hoping that our current car is our last car.
Once a self-driving Uber equivalent is cheaper than driving your own car, things will really take off. Thatís when the magic happens.

To be fair, though, if people were good enough at critical thinking and math, no one would drive for Uber as it is.  The cost in vehicle wear and tear and insurance (if they're being honest) makes that gig a financial loser for probably 80% of the drivers.  Even Uber the company loses money on each ride (they make it up in volume). 

Point being, you can't expect the average person to know when the cost is actually comparable to owning and driving their own vehicle.  It's not that everyone is too dumb to do the math, it's that everyone is too lazy to do it.

I don't think I understand -- how do you mean?

TempusFugit

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2018, 09:12:50 AM »
We know several companies are working on designing self-driven cars. How long do you think it takes before we do not all own private cars, but just call the cheap self-driven public car? Will that be within the lifespan of your future new car? I would think so. I would go for a used car. Even a slightly used car has less depreciation than a brand new car.

Are they going to suddenly ban human driven cars? Are self driving cars going to be incredibly cheap?

Because really, you can just Uber or Lyft, but that adds up really, really fast.

That said, I'm hoping that our current car is our last car.
Once a self-driving Uber equivalent is cheaper than driving your own car, things will really take off. Thatís when the magic happens.

To be fair, though, if people were good enough at critical thinking and math, no one would drive for Uber as it is.  The cost in vehicle wear and tear and insurance (if they're being honest) makes that gig a financial loser for probably 80% of the drivers.  Even Uber the company loses money on each ride (they make it up in volume). 

Point being, you can't expect the average person to know when the cost is actually comparable to owning and driving their own vehicle.  It's not that everyone is too dumb to do the math, it's that everyone is too lazy to do it.

I don't think I understand -- how do you mean?

It was a little tongue-in-cheek but lets face it, uber has lost $10 billion so far.  They lost "only" $400 million last quarter.   They are the opposite of a profitable business. 

Cranky

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2018, 01:42:39 PM »
It's not clear to me why self-driving cars should be cheaper than cars you drive yourself, though.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2018, 01:56:15 PM »
It's not clear to me why self-driving cars should be cheaper than cars you drive yourself, though.

Because as soon as you are out of the car, the car can pick up the next person. This way, 1 car can on average serve 4-5 people per day, for example.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 12:06:33 PM by Linda_Norway »

TempusFugit

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2018, 02:11:06 PM »
It's not clear to me why self-driving cars should be cheaper than cars you drive yourself, though.

Because as soon as you are out ofvthe car, the car can pick up the next person. This way, 1 car can on average serve 4-5 people per day, for example.

Yup, it's about utilization.  99% of personal vehicles sit idle 22 hours a day just taking up space.  Obviously a vehicle that is being driven more hours each day will wear out sooner, but in an automated, ride-share model, that cost is spread across many people. 

JLee

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Re: Cars - older and cheaper or newer and drive into the ground?
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2018, 02:14:19 PM »
It's not clear to me why self-driving cars should be cheaper than cars you drive yourself, though.

Because as soon as you are out ofvthe car, the car can pick up the next person. This way, 1 car can on average serve 4-5 people per day, for example.

As long as those 4-5 people all work different schedules :P