My wife has a long work commute, we have 4 years till early retirement. We have ran the numbers and moving does not benefit us nor does changing jobs. Her job also requires reliability, she manages scientists who monitor manufactured consumables if she is late or misses work it could drastically affect her team.

I have made a list with information I gathered from KBB.com. I used the honda civic lx as a example here because she likes the car and the car has been in production for a long time making it easier to gather data. Her commute 55 miles round trip to work X 240(48 weeks)=13,200 miles with 98% of them being highway miles at 75 mph

2004 LX 44 highway=300 Gallons,Bluebook $3,197

2006 LX 34 highway=388 Gallons,Bluebook $5032

2008 LX 34 highway=388 Gallons,Bluebook $6084 4.33% 48 MO

2011 LX 34 highway=388 Gallons,Bluebook $8602 3.11% 48 MO

2012 LX 41 highway=388 Gallons,Bluebook $10164

2013 LX 41 highway=321 Gallons,Bluebook $11800 3.11% 48 MO

2014 LX 41 highway=321 Gallons,Bluebook $13135 3.11% 48 MO

2015 LX 41 highway=321 Gallons,Bluebook $17733(OTD*) 0.9% 60 MO

2015 LX 41 highway=321 Gallons,Bluebook $14950(USED)(**Real $15,500) 3.11%

2016 LX 42 highway=314 Gallons,Bluebook $20122(OTD*) 0.9% 60 MO

* Out the door

** Could not find any data supporting sales of the kbb value suggested

Why finance? All extra cash we have is invested earning 7% and we can get loans for much lower than that. New cars have incentives with financing for really low interest rates however used cars have a bit higher interest loans and shorter payback terms.

The simplest way I could figure out to compare different scenarios was to take the monthly payment and compare it to if I were using that money to put in a investment account instead. The investment account earns 7%. Since she only has 4 years left I used 4 years for my scenario.

2016 LX Honda Civic brand new from dealer. This would require financing of $20,122 with 0.9% interest makes our monthly payment $343. So if I take that $343 and put into a investment account instead that earns 7% interest in 4 years I would have $18,938.09 but if we were to buy the car we would now have 4 year old car worth $10,164 and a loan with $4,116 leaving us with only $6,048 subtract that from what we would have gotten from the investment 18,938.09 - 6,048=$12,890 is our true cost of ownership

2015 LX Honda Civic brand new from dealer. This would require financing of $17,733 with 0.9% interest makes our monthly payment $302. So if I take that $302 and put into a investment account instead that earns 7% interest in 4 years I would have $16,674.51 but if we were to buy the car we would now have 4 year old car worth $8602 and a loan with $3,624 leaving us with only $4,978 subtract that from what we would have gotten from the investment 16,674.51 - 4,978=$11,696 is our true cost of ownership

2015 LX Honda Civic Used from private seller. This would require financing of $15,500 with 3.11% interest makes our monthly payment $344. So if I take that $344 and put into a investment account instead that earns 7% interest in 4 years I would have $18,993.30 but if we were to buy the car we would now have 4 year old car worth $8602 and a loan with $0 leaving us with only $8,602 subtract that from what we would have gotten from the investment 18993-8602= $10,391 is our true cost of ownership

Her current car 2008 EX-N Honda Civic Used . This would require our own money of $7327 with 7% interest makes our monthly payment $175. So if I take that $175 and put into a investment account instead that earns 7% interest in 4 years I would have $9,662.94 but if we were to buy the car we would now have 4 year old car worth $3197 and a loan with $0 leaving us with only $3197 subtract that from what we would have gotten from the investment 9662-3197= $6,465 is our true cost of ownership

There also other things that I have not factored in. Insurance on a newer vehicle is going to be more, however a newer car will have no repair bills,better gas mileage, more safety features and great reliability.