Author Topic: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles  (Read 1047 times)

teamzissou00

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« on: November 25, 2020, 01:22:06 PM »
Hi all.  I bought a 2007 truck two years ago with 155k miles on it.  It was spotless, had the top trim level.  So far so good. 

I only drive it about 5,000 miles a year.  It's a second vehicle - wife has a 2016 minivan for the kids. 


Next time I buy, what's the consensus on optimal miles to buy a vehicle with?  In my head, buying at 150k and drive to 200k, then repeat seemed to make sense. 
I don't do repairs at home, but have a trusty mechanic. 

Paper Chaser

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 02:14:28 PM »
For me, it's much more about the quality of the individual vehicle and the complexity of the systems on said vehicle. Sometimes more bells and whistles are just more things to break and cost money to repair. KISS is a valuable philosophy with high mileage vehicles.
For this reason, I'd probably lean toward port fuel injected engines vs direct injected engines. I'd also lean toward naturally aspirated engines vs turbocharged engines. I'd stay away from most things with CVT transmissions (unless it's a Toyota or Ford hybrid because their CVTs are a much more elegant and simple design with really strong reliability). I'd lean towards brands like Toyota and Lexus and away from Dodge or BMW. I'd take a basic pushrod engine from GM over a direct injected/turbocharged Ford. The list is pretty much infinite and just depends on the specific vehicle you're considering at the time.

v8rx7guy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1913
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 02:17:36 PM »
I'm usually looking in that 130-160K range. 

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2301
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 05:48:03 PM »
Depends on how much you drive per year. That said, I tend to look at under 250,000km, but the last four cars I've owned were acquired with between 111,000km and 177,000km on the clock.

Queen Frugal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Location: Over the Rainbow
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 05:49:21 PM »
I think you have the right idea.

Buy the oldest, highest mileage car you can stand, drive it into the dirt, rinse and repeat.

My most recent purchase was in February. 2011 Toyota 4Runner with 162k.

Ecky

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 277
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 06:31:51 PM »
I bought my most recent car at 158k. Fast forward 7 years and 120k miles and it's still running basically like the day I bought it.

Gagnante

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2020, 07:05:39 PM »
I am far more conservative.  In April 2017, the A/C in my 20 year old Ford Escort (aka "Mrs. Car") died for the second time in two years, and it would have been another $1200 to replace it.  It just wasn't worth it.  I live in a distinctly warm climate, and spent three months driving around town literally wearing ice packs while I searched for the ideal new-to-us vehicle.  I happened upon an ad in July for a 2010 Toyota Corolla SE with a whopping 50,000 miles on it for $8.5K.  It was more than we wanted to spend, but I kind of obsessed over the fact that it was a 7 year old car with such low mileage, and we made an appointment with the owner to go see it.

The car was impeccable, the people who owned it certainly were also impeccable, and we bought it on the spot.  We've replaced the tires, and done a handful of oil changes, but it has otherwise been 100% trouble free.  As an older car, its systems are simple (although much fancier than my little 97 Escort) and I like that aspect of it.

Three years later, it has about $70,000 miles on it, and we expect to own it for many, many years to come.  And of course, it will always be "New Mrs. Car" :)

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
  • Location: U.S.
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2020, 04:44:52 AM »
One huge advantage to shopping the used vehicles, you can buy one month worth of access to consumer reports online service, and compare all the vehicles you're looking at.  You can see what systems might have needed work, see what years are better for certain models, I highly recommend that, it's less than $10, I believe.

norajean

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2020, 05:50:12 AM »
I like vehicles with just over 100k miles. That mental cliff for most people seems to drop the value a lot. If they are a Toyota or Lexus they still have another 100k left. At 5k per year, that is 20 years.

researcher1

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 01:40:42 PM »
I bought a 2007 truck two years ago with 155k miles on it. I only drive it about 5,000 miles a year. 
I don't do repairs at home, but have a trusty mechanic.

It's a second vehicle - wife has a 2016 minivan for the kids. 

Next time I buy, what's the consensus on optimal miles to buy a vehicle with?
In my head, buying at 150k and drive to 200k, then repeat seemed to make sense.   
What criteria are you using to define "optimal miles"?
Initial purchase cost?  Ongoing maintenance/repair costs?  Reliability/dependability?

Under your scenario, you will keep your current truck until the year 2030, which will make it 23 years old.
I think that is unrealistic for the vast majority of consumers.
In fact, you didn't even follow this yourself, since your other vehicle is only 4 years old, and presumably has far fewer than 150K miles.

Personally, my priority for my family is #1) reliability/dependability, #2) ownership period, #3) ongoing maintenance/repairs.
My wife and I work full-time and shuttle kids to school/activities/ect.  I don't want my vehicle not starting or leaving my wife/kids stranded on the road. 
We don't have time to take off work, bringing beaters into the mechanic, shopping around for estimates/parts/ect, spending hours/days/weeks fixing things.
I also don't want to be shopping for a new used car every few years, and all of the hassle that goes along with it.

That is why I buy a car with 0 miles, and drive it until 150K-180K miles, then repeat.
The last time I did this I spent $19,500 for a brand new car, drove it for nearly 14 years and 185K miles, then sold it for $4500.
It never once failed to start or left me stranded.  It never spent a single day at the mechanic for any reason.
It required nothing more than routine maintenance (which I did myself), though it was soon requiring several repairs I couldn't do myself.

ChickenStash

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: Midwest US
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 02:27:58 PM »
I guess I go a bit counter to the flow on this one. I aim for a used car only a few years old with preferably <30k miles then I drive them until I can't reasonably repair them - around here it's usually rust that finally takes them out after 15-20 years.

There will usually be a decent discount from new but with the low miles I don't have to worry as much about missed maintenance, rough driving, or ham-fisted mechanics taking a heavy toll. By getting an early start, it's so much easier to keep up with maintenance and repairs than dealing with whatever was thrown together by previous owners.

researcher1

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 03:14:23 PM »
I aim for a used car only a few years old with preferably <30k miles.
There will usually be a decent discount from new
When you say decent discount from new, how are you calculating that?
Are you using the new vehicle MSRP, or the negotiated new car price, which is usually significantly lower than MSRP?

For the types of vehicles I buy, there is little to no mileage-adjusted discount when buying a 2-3 year old used car, compared to buying new.
Maybe this works if you're buying a crappy Fiat Chrysler product (or similar), or an ex-rental car.

draco44

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 04:13:38 PM »
I guess I go a bit counter to the flow on this one. I aim for a used car only a few years old with preferably <30k miles then I drive them until I can't reasonably repair them - around here it's usually rust that finally takes them out after 15-20 years.

I also follow @ChickenStash 's philosophy of car buying. It really comes down to your personal comfort level of "used" in a car and how much you want to pay up front vs over time in repairs. If you are happy buying in at the 150K mark and out at 200k, more power to you! Personally I would be annoyed by the hassle of looking for a new (to me) car every 50k miles I drove. I think there are enough used cars out there that people can have success with multiple bargain hunting strategies.

ChickenStash

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: Midwest US
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2020, 12:48:55 PM »
I aim for a used car only a few years old with preferably <30k miles.
There will usually be a decent discount from new
When you say decent discount from new, how are you calculating that?
Are you using the new vehicle MSRP, or the negotiated new car price, which is usually significantly lower than MSRP?

For the types of vehicles I buy, there is little to no mileage-adjusted discount when buying a 2-3 year old used car, compared to buying new.
Maybe this works if you're buying a crappy Fiat Chrysler product (or similar), or an ex-rental car.

I try to compare used vs. the average purchase price. It's difficult to be precise due to options, rebates and the like so there's a few K wiggle room. I usually aim for mid-tier cars, luxury or performance based depending on what I'm replacing. 

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2411
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2020, 02:56:41 PM »
It depends on what kind of car we're talking about.

For some models, like the Ford Focus, Kia Spectra, or Dodge Dart, the answer is no regardless of miles. One routinely sees these on craigslist with bad transmissions, bad motors, etc. and <100k miles or less than 10 years old.
For others, like the Toyota Corolla, various Lexuses, or Ford F150 the answer could be well over 150k miles. One routinely sees these for sale with over 250k miles, or 20 years old and still on the road.

Also, if the car is ragged out, the mechanical systems are too. If the PO played ram the shopping carts for fun or used the floor as an ashtray, they probably ignored the change oil light too. Meticulous people keep their stuff clean.

carcomplaints.com is a good resource to see how good a car is. There will always be complaints, so ask your self are the engines blowing up or are people bitching about the infotainment system being hard to use?

I bought my car with 42k miles for about 30% off the new price but that was only because I knew I was about to spend several busy years when I could not afford the time to do maintenance. Depreciation has been $1k/year.

researcher1

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2020, 03:20:56 PM »
I bought my car with 42k miles for about 30% off the new price but that was only because I knew I was about to spend several busy years when I could not afford the time to do maintenance. Depreciation has been $1k/year.
When you say "30% off the new price", how are you calculating this?

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2411
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2020, 03:24:26 PM »
I bought my car with 42k miles for about 30% off the new price but that was only because I knew I was about to spend several busy years when I could not afford the time to do maintenance. Depreciation has been $1k/year.
When you say "30% off the new price", how are you calculating this?

(newprice - usedprice)/newprice

30% was off the top of my head, but on second glance it was closer to 35% off.

(20k-13k)/20k=35%

HotTubes

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: College town USA
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2020, 06:51:29 PM »
Least reliable car I've ever had, and the only clutch I've ever burned though, was a Toyota Corolla.  So go figure.

Today's cars are largely reliable, 200k is the new 100k.  Trucks routinely go way over that.

Steeze

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 769
  • Age: 33
  • Location: NYC Area of Earth
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2020, 07:02:08 PM »
I look for a car that is 3-5 yeas old with 30-50k miles.
I bought a Prius this year 7 years old with 45k miles.
I’ll drive it about 5k miles a year and hope to own it for 10+ years.

Highest mileage car I bought was a 19 year old Subaru Outback with 190,000 miles. I drove it 30k miles in 2 years then sold it to a friend, he drove it another 20k miles before he totaled it. Was still going strong, we didn’t have to do any major work to it. Although his other newer Subaru and my moms very new Subaru both drank egregious amounts of oil before being retired.

Now when I look I usually don’t consider anything with more than 75k miles on it.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 07:04:03 PM by Steeze »

researcher1

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2020, 07:20:41 AM »
(newprice - usedprice)/newprice

30% was off the top of my head, but on second glance it was closer to 35% off.

(20k-13k)/20k=35%
But what are you using for the "new price"?  MSRP?
If so, your calculations are way off.

You drive a Honda Fit, right?  What trim level and transmission do you have?
MSRP starts at just $17K for a 2020 Fit.
But no rational person pays MSRP for this type of vehicle.  Your actual purchase price would be $1500-$2000 less.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2125
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2020, 08:19:17 AM »
More than miles, Id look for service records, number of owners, accident history, etc.

Id pick a single owner car with 150k miles and full service records every time over a similar car with 100k miles, 3 owners, and spent its first year or two as a rental, with no service records.

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Used Vehicles - acceptable miles
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2020, 08:55:04 AM »
I try to buy a new-ish vehicle with higher miles and good IIHS ratings (IIHS.org).

Two years ago I bought a 2015 Toyota Prius with ~85k miles on it. It's been great.

I like newer vehicles because they have much better safety features and are generally more reliable. As someone from the insurance industry, I think safety isn't brought up enough in this discussion.