What’s your stance on new cars?

September 20, 2011 · 55 comments

It seems like, on every major boulevard, there are a half-dozen or so car dealerships lined up one after another. Every time I drive by one of these dealerships I find myself staring at all the shiny new cars, not because I want one, but because I think HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF NEW CARS. Each dealership has at least a few hundred cars on site.

Google tells me there are 23,000 dealerships in the US. We also know that these 23,000 car dealerships keep a huge inventory on hand. But what I can’t for the life of me figure out is, who the heck are the customers of these dealerships?

I mean seriously, how are these places staying in business. I know the revenue the financing and service departments generate help keep the doors open, but how on earth are they selling enough cars to stay in business? There are only two logical deductions I can make:

1) A lot more people than I thought are buying new cars.

or

2) Dealerships aren’t selling cars at all, but are actually an intricate part of the Russian mob. The cars are just a way to mask all the illegal activities going on behind closed doors.

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to go with option one here and assume a lot of people must be buying new cars. So who are these people? No, seriously. I’m not being rhetorical, I’m really asking who are these people? Who buys a new car?

Girl Ninja and I made a few rules about owning cars during premarital counseling. They looked like this….

  • The only type of debt we will tolerate is a reasonable mortgage. That’s it. If we don’t have the cash to buy the car we want, we suck it up and keep saving.
  • We don’t change cars like we do our underwear. We drive the cars we have for a very long time.
  • A cars primary purpose is to take us from Point A to Point B. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • We will never own anything by Volkswagen, because all of their cars interiors smell like a box of Crayons. Anyone else notice this?

I personally have a very hard time coming to terms with purchasing a vehicle brand new, even if we have the cash to do so. They depreciate so fast in the first few years that even a “debt free” car seems like a bad deal to me. That said, I realize this is only my opinion, and as Girl Ninja likes to often remind me; my opinion means nothing :)

So now I’d like to open the floor to you. If you’ve bought a new car in the last five years, what were the reasons (old car broke down, stupid mistake, needed bigger car for family, got a good deal, etc). How long do you plan on driving said new car? For those that haven’t bought a new car recently, what keeps you from doing so? What circumstances would have to be met before you went to a dealership for your next ride (big pay bump, huge inheritance, 0% financing offer, etc)? HOW THE HECK DO DEALERSHIPS STAY IN BUSINESS?!?

1 Indian Thoughts

I bought a new car last to last year. I bought it because my old car died after 12+ years. Why i bought new, because I don’t like maintenance with old ones and I plan to keep this one till it dies, should be for another 10+ years. Next time I will buy another car will be when current one dies.

2 StackingCash

Glad to live in the USA because we have choices. Unfortunately, sometimes we make the wrong choice and get in over our heads. Anyhow I’m a new car buyer and even a new home buyer. My main reason that I do this is because I ENJOY my new purchases. I’m just able to “afford” it as well. A 3 year car note and/or a 15 year mortgage is my gauge if I can afford those purchases IF I even had to finance it :) My secondary reason for buying a new car is that a vehicle is a necessity and a part of life in Las Vegas. Might as well be safe and travel in luxury, right? My last reason for buying new is that I don’t like the history of a used car or home. The possibility of unknown bodily fluid stains grosses me out…

Old car broke down, bought a new car in 12/2004, plan on driving it for as long as possible. Also bought a new car in 7/2000, new wife claimed it 5/2001, she plans on driving it for as long as possible also.

As long as people can buy a car with credit, dealerships will stay in business. I also believe the markup on cars is like 200%, not even close to the so called “invoice” price so advertised.

Kinda crazy thinking huh?

3 Christy

I bought a new car in 2010. My 9 year old car had literally died in the street. At the time, for the vehicle I wanted, it was going to cost me $23000 to buy it new or $20000 to buy a three year old model with 60,000 kms on it. I figured it was worth the extra money to get three extra years out of the car. As a general rule my husband and I buy two year old cars, but the incentives last summer were too good to pass up.

4 slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com

My vehicle is from 1998. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I had to make a payment. It’s got about 175k miles on it and the only thing it needs right now is a brake light and a new sound system – I keep putting the iPod in the tape deck but it refuses to work.

Anyhow, I would buy new if I could get 1% financing or less. Or if demand for a used version of the vehicle I wanted was keeping prices artificially high such that the new car is actually the better deal in the long-term. Either way I don’t see that happening until my current vehicle is lying dead on the side of the road.

5 Drew

I currently have a 2003 Voyager with 86k miles on it. No payments. I am going to run that son of a b**** into the ground. If you are making serious money — then I can understand why you would want a new car, but if you are making less than 100k — in my mind its simply not worth it.

I will say I saw a few new cars that are less than 11k which makes me think — if you got the previous year new would they run more like 8-9k. That I could handle.

I had an ex-girlfriend who didn’t have a solid job and had virtually no money to her name and she got a used but basically new honda for 16k — I lost most of what little financial respect I had for her that day.

6 Allie

I have a used 2000 Honda that I got in 2002, and I plan on driving it until it dies. I’ve thought a lot about new vs. used. I always imagined when I was younger that when this car dies, I would get a new one, but in the last couple years I may have changed my mind. They depreciate quickly and are expensive, so if I can get a used car (in excellent condition, and two years old or newer, for much less than I could get a new car — I’m not just going to take any ol’ used car), then I think I would rather have that. I don’t need “new” to enjoy my vehicle.

7 Mary M

People always believe the markup on cars is 200%. It’s not even close. I sell used cars, not new ones. The average profit is $1200. It cracks me up when someone offers many thousands less for a vehicle than what we paid for it.

8 Daisy

I dream about a new car all the time. My car is 1 year older than me. I’m in my 20’s, so…yeah. I have never purchased a car. My parents buy cars, drive them until they’re practically dead, and then hand them over to me. This has happened only 2 times, and I have been driving the latest for 2 years this month. I can’t complain, it’s free!

But when I have the chance, I’ll either buy a VERY lightly used one, or a new one.

9 Marco

I think they key to a new car purchase besides being able to afford it & getting a good deal, is to keep it for a long time, e.g. 10 years if possible. You will know the maintenance history, it’ll have a warranty for about 3 years or 36k to 100k miles on the drivetrain. I have a 2004 4Runner 4×4 purchased new in Jan of ’05. Since it was the last ’04 on the lot, I got it for $5K off window sticker. I’ve been diligent about maintenance and probably have done extra. It currently has 171,000 miles and figure it should easily hit 250,000 miles.

10 CP

My Mother recently purchased a new truck. All her life she has purchased used cars (all roughly 10 years old), so it was and still is a very big deal for her to purchase something Brand New (she still smiles every time she gets into her truck and washes that thing like every week). So aside from the pure joy it brings to my Mother, it bring peace of mind to my sister and I as we know she is driving a safe and warm vehicle every time she comes to visit us, as she lives in the great white north and drives through some pretty crazy storms in the winter. (not to mention some of the craziest highways and dirt roads out there)
The truck she had prior to the new purchase was a 92 two wheel drive that no longer blew heat from the floor vents. Luckily the government gave a $3300 grant to get that (junker) truck off the road so she has a sizable down payment.
Joy and Peace of mind – Priceless!!!

11 CP

I do not purchase new vehicles myself

12 Jen

I bought a new car in February 2009. It is actually my first car – I didn’t really have any clue about car maintenance except that I need to put in gas, wiper fluid, and get my oil changed once in a while. Buying a used car would have led me to many, many more maintenance headaches than I was prepared to handle.

I ended up paying very close to the price they dealership pays for the car, and got 0% financing for 5 years (thanks to my Dad who cosigned for it, even though I make all the payments). I also plan on driving it until it dies. Hopefully, it will last at least 10 years total, so I can continue “paying” myself after my loan ends and have the cash saved up for a new one by the time I need another vehicle.

It’s a good thing I did buy a new car, because when you get in an accident, they decide whether or not to total your car based on the resale value (or something like that). If I had bought a used car, my car would likely have been “totalled” twice, while with the new car, they decided to repair it each time. (I’m not as bad a driver as that makes me sound, only one of those events was my fault).

Also, I managed to talk my boss into giving me a raise to cover the cost of getting a vehicle (he was the one requesting I get a car so I could travel for work, I told him I couldn’t afford it with my student loan payments). So while I ended up paying more because of a car, I also ended up making more. Good trade off :)

That said, in 5-8 years when my car poops out, I’ll likely buy a slightly used car. By then I’ll understand maintenance :)

13 SP

I used to feel the same way, but we bought a brand new car in January this year.

We looked at the “True Cost to Own” calculator (Edmunds) and since we were not getting financing and could bargain super hard on a new car (we basically had 10 dealerships competing to give us the lowest prices – not possible on used), a new car was cheaper (after 5 years) than a 2 year old one.

That being said, if you go a little older and/or are flexible on the model & make, used is most often the best choice. If you want one of the more popular & highly rated model/makes, used is hard to get a good deal on. Honda Civics, for example, just don’t depreciate much!

14 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

I leased a new car. It has 0% financing and the monthly payments are comparable to what I would have paid on a used car. However, the upfront costs were expensive.

When this lease is over, I’ll probably be looking to buy something used.

15 Alice

My husband ‘bought’ a brand new car two years ago. I put that in partial quotes because it almost doesn’t qualify as a purchase. He retired from his job at a car manufacturer and received a voucher to go towards the purchase of a new car. That voucher, combined with his healthy discount, more than paid for the car. Seriously, he got the car and a check for just under $100 handed to him. So yes, there are folks out there buying (getting?) new cars.

16 Ladam8518

I had a used ’95 Dodge Neon that I bought for $1,000 in 2000. In 2010 the electrical harness was failing and the transmission was in need of replacement. I ended up purchasing a new Toyota from the local dealer, who gave me $2,000 in trade in value for it.

The dealer was less than helpful since I wanted a base model with the winter package, power package, and cruise control and all the dealer had in stock was fully loaded models. I was ready to pay cash on the day I went to the dealer and had came in with online quotes from other dealers within New England. I ended up having to walkout on the original salesman that I was dealing with because he wouldn’t accept that I was not going to pay for the fully loaded model and that I was not going to pay more than was originally quoted to me by the other dealers.

His manager stopped me as I was leaving and I ended up putting a small down payment on a car that would take eight days to arrive from another dealer at the same price as the most expensive quote I had brought in.
The dealer wanted the full payment that day, but I refused all but a minimum required to sign a contract until the car was ready for me to take possession of.

When I returned to pick up the car, they tried to talk me into the high mark up extras – waranty, protective coatings, VIN markings throughout the vehicle, and a car loan. Unfortunately for them, I had already prequalified for Toyota’s $0 down and 0% interest for 60 months. So I took the car loan offered and the dealer seemed very annoyed that I managed to walk off with the car for $100 down and no extra costs since I can pay off the loan at any time with the cash I still have on hand. I am using the cash as a supplemental emergency fund – it is tied up in a series of CD’s that mature as the car payments come due.

17 slug | sunkcostsareirrelevant.com

That’s how you do it!

18 Mo D.

We leased a new car just last month (0.9% interest); we’ve been a one-car family since Hubby and I moved in together 10 years ago, and Hubby’s new position will have him working one week day shift/2nd week afternoons. We toyed with the idea of getting rid of our 1999 Chrysler Cirrus, but it only had 141KM’s on it, so we paid the $2500 worth of repairs it desparately needed (pd in full!!), and we now have 2 cars. The Cirrus should last us another couple of years at least, giving us 1 extremely reliable vehicle, and 1 work-horse that’ll get us to-and-from work and local errands; our commutes are quite short (about 10 minutes). Hubby’s cars have always been hand-me-downs; it’s also nice to have a vehicle his 6’3″ 250 lbs. frame can fit in comfortably.

When the lease is up in 4 yrs, we might lease another new car; something to be said about using a new vehicle every 4 years… we’ll see… 4 yrs. is a long ways away… we might just buy a newer-to-us car. We’ll drive the Cirrus until it dies in the street, and when that time comes, we’ll likely replace that with another used vehicle as well…. the savings have already started!!

19 Mo D.

I should also add Hubby’s new position came with a pay raise will more than cover the added expense of the new car’s lease/insurance/gas, otherwise, we might have remained a 1-car couple.

20 Emily

I purchased a new car in 2009 after my paid-off-still-have-hundreds-of-miles-to-drive car was totalled in an accident in which a person stopped at a red light decided going on a red light was perfectly acceptible. Even if there was a car coming at them.
I plan to pay it off (2.5 years or less to go) then drive it until I can’t drive it no more. Or I’m involved in another collision. I’d prefer the former over the latter.

21 Joe C Skrizel

i bouth a new car in march i traded in a 2008 for the new one. the new car was a left over 2010 model which i was able to purchase for 3K under MSRP. i got zero percent interest for 60 months. i was a sweet deal, but i bought it on a monday in a snow storm. That being said i went to the dealer to buy an old beater to reduce my debts by 10K but really peace of mind for the new car in this situation was worth the deal. besides i could sell it for more than my loan amount right now and it gets better mileage. Mazda is pretty awesome if you havent driven one give them a shot

i got the new one for no real reason,it seemed like a good idea. i have had it for 6 months or so and i think about new ones all the time so who knows how long iw ill drive it, i may let my parents drive it and i get somethign else. if you are not particular on color,options, or model year you can get a sweet deal on left overs from the previous model year and always wait for the 0% interest deals why pay any interest right now in this market.

i think the U.S. is on pace to cell 12.5 million new cars this year at a U.s. population of 300 million that is a new car purchased for 4.17% of the population this year, a healthy car market is 14.5 or more new cars sold per year. 12.5 million divided by 23000 = 544 cars per dealership which is less than two new cars sold per day on average by each dealership

22 Heidi

My husband and I had to replace both of our cars about 2 years ago. He lost his in a snow storm, so we replace that one with a used car that would eventually become the car I currently drive. The car I was driving, a 93 Camry with 272,000+ miles on it was getting to the end of its life and I didn’t want to put in the repairs, so we splurged and got the hubby a fantastic new car.

The car we bought was technically used only because the dealer had titled it to himself to get the factory to dealer incentives that were expiring, but since it only had 26 miles on it after our test drive and it hadn’t left the showroom floor before we came to get it, I still consider it to be new. Since it is a significantly modified, limited edition sports car, the MSRP was astronomical. But since we were buying it during a recession, we were able to knock $16,000 off the MSRP. As for how long we will drive it, I guess that depends. We intend to own it for our lifetime, but I expect we won’t be using it as a daily driver after another few years when we will buy another car (used) and keep this one in the garage, only to come out on nice weekends and for car shows.

Why spend so much money on a car? Well, my husband was either going to spend the money piecemeal to modify a car until it was similar to this one, or I could pay for the piece of mind of having a new car, modified by professionals, that I wouldn’t have to constantly play catch up with on repairs like I would have if we had bought something used.

There are a lot of things that go into the decision making process of new vs used. This time, new made more sense. I doubt it will again anytime soon.

23 Laura

I drive a 97 Honda Accord with 215k miles on it. And we are pretty sure we can get another couple years out of her. When we get a new car, we will pay cash. We will probably get an electric next.

24 Jennifer G.

In the last few months, I’ve had a few family members buy brand new. One of them told me the demand for used cars is so much higher now (since people are hanging on to their cars and therefore the supply is lower) that it made more financial sense to buy new.

No miles, no questions, no previous owners. At least, that was his take on it, and it made sense.

I’m not in the market for another car, so it’s hard to say what I’d do.

25 Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)

I will only buy used, period. Why buy a brand new car that loses a huge amount of value as soon as it leaves the lot. I only buy nice high quality cars (2 Infinitis so far) with less than 40k miles and drive them to at least 250k miles.

When you buy a new car with financing it is STUPID! You are paying extra money (interest) for an item that’s going down in value. The math works against you in two ways. That’s UGLY.

I teach people in my “Celebrating Financial Freedom” home study course that even if I had $100,000 cash to spend on any car I wanted, I would still buy used just to avoid that first year depreciation. You can afford more car that way too.

26 Melissa

I bought a new car after having a poor experience with a used ’07 Honda Civic. I found extremely good financing on it, and it’s far more reliable and comfortable than the Civic. Considering it’s a 6 speed manual diesel, with proper maintenance, it will last far longer than the Civic, also. I bought new simply because there is not a wide market of used VW TDI’s available within a several hundred mile range – those that are available are typically A) really old or B) almost new and therefore still retaining most of their original value and are not eligible for any tax credit or special financing. I can rest assured that I will take care of the maintenance schedule on a diesel vs. relying on the previous owners to be honest about the frequency of oil changes (10K miles), usage of fuel additive if the diesel in their area is poor quality, or if they changed the timing belt on the car at 100K miles.

27 Melissa Z

We just bought a Volkswagon TDI too! I looked for a long time for a used one close to us, but we ended up driving a couple hundred miles to get one. I like knowing that it’ll be good for another couple hundred miles & I love the gas mileage too.

28 Ashley @ Money Talks

I think if you can afford to buy new and drive it til the wheels fall of it’s not a bad deal. Buying a new car every few years is pretty expensive. I bought my minivan new and plan to have it for AT LEAST 10 years and probably more. I’ve had it for 4 years so far and it only has 41,000 miles on it. We bought my husband’s car used, but he will still drive it for 7 years or more.

I wonder the same things about all the new cars on car lots. Even if a lot of people buy new then who is buying all the used cars. It just seems like there are too many cars out there for all the people.

29 Margaret

Well, I just bought a new car (and it’s a VW, so I guess I’m breaking two Ninja rules). I bought it because my previous car, while only 6 years old with ~60k miles, was not the best fit for my car needs, and it was a very expensive brand to maintain out of dealer warranty (new brakes and rotors just on the rear cost me $900 last year, no joke, and that was after shopping around).

The new car is a station wagon (much more carrying capacity than in a sedan), and it’s a diesel, which gets way better gas mileage and will require less maintenance over time. My old car was worth enough that I’m only out about $10k (and I paid cash, no financing shenanigans) for a brand new car that fits my needs better and has 4 years without maintenance costs (compared to ~$1000-1500 a year in maintenance costs on my previous car). And I do plan to drive this new one for a really long time.

30 Ninja

Wait, so does your car smell like crayons?!?! I guess it was the bugs, passats, and jetta’s that smelled like crayons due to a sealant wax placed on the floorboards.

31 Margaret

This one does not smell, although I know what you’re talking about (I had a Jetta a long time ago that did have that distinct smell). VW’s have gotten pretty fancy of late (mine has a touch screen radio system, which is way way fancier than my last Jetta), so the interiors are different now.

I usually go a little crazy with the armor-all on the interiors of my cars anyways (I tend to detail my car a few times a year), so that’s pretty much what it ends up smelling like!

32 Melissa

If it’s a leather TDI Sportwagen, it better not smell like crayons :) Mine smelled of leather and new car smell when I brought it home. To keep that going, I stuck a Yankee Candle “Leather” scented vent stick in it. Still smells awesome!

33 Happy Homeowner

I’m definitely going to drive my current vehicle for as long as possible. It’s a 2003 that I bought brand-new in 2002, so I haven’t had a payment in years and it still gets me to where I need to go, dented bumper & all. I mostly bike to work now in an effort to save myself the stress of Boston commuting, and I know this is helping to prolong the life of my car. I don’t plan on driving again (other than going to the grocery store) until the snow starts flying.

The only way I’ll ever purchase a new car again would be with 0% financing. And I’d run that puppy into the ground as well :D

34 Financial Success for Young Adults

I’ve never bought a new car. I bought my most recent car used, one year off the model year and I plan on driving it until the wheels fall off.

35 Momninja

I bought a new car because I could! I will drive it until it is ready to die or I pass it on to someone else.

I love the new car, the warranty and the 4 wheel drive! I know your feelings as you shared them with me at the time. However the 30 years your dadninja and I have been together we have only bought a total of 5 new cars –
the ultimate family ninja van, thhe truck we drove for over 200k miles, cheap commuter still in use by babybro ninja, dad and my current cars so I would say we do a good job on keeping them and getting our m oneys worth.

36 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

A lot of dealerships also have service departments. So repairs, upgrades, extra parts etc. is an additional revenue stream…

37 Sara

I have heard several stories about how in this economy, people are getting such good deals on brand new cars that it’s really not a better option for them to buy used. Totally depends on the make/model/etc etc of course! We bought my car new back in 2002, and we got a great deal on it via AAA – no negotiating at all, it was just a set cost. That was mostly because I’m my father’s only daughter, and while he let my brother’s first car be some hand-me-down junker, he talked himself into a frenzy about my safety and decided new or nothing! haha. If I bought a car these days, I’d try to buy used, but the other thing is that I drive very little – my 9 year old car has 62,000 miles on it, and a lot of 2 year old cars on the market already have that many miles! So I would hate to buy something that has already been roughed up and is in need of big repairs that start to come after 50k.

38 Ryan

Wait, are you suggesting that crayons don’t smell good?!

39 Jonathan

I bought a new Nissan Versa in ’07 and a new Chevy Silverado in ’08. Both of these were replacing my previous cars (a Ford Escort ’95 and Ford 150 ’95). I bought new because they were discounted, and in a similar price range as a 2-3 year old car. Getting a new car means I also have the newer features (mileage, airbags, comfort), a 5-7 year warranty, and most important: peace of mind that the vehicle won’t break down when you need it the most. I plan on driving these until they fall apart (like the vehicles they replaced). I’ve bought used cars in the past, but it’s always a tradeoff — they usually need maintenance/repairs sooner than a new car that you’ve taken good care of.

The decision to get a new car was triggered when my average monthly maintenance/repair bill (or deferred maintenance bills) started to approach the cost of a car payment. (Replace timing belts / water pump / oil seals / muffler / EGR valves / brakes, etc). If I have to spend/budget that much money for repairs, and worry about the car breaking down at a bad time, then it is worth it to spend slightly more for a reliable car, and eliminate the stress associated with a breakdown. After all, who needs more stress in their life? (Not to mention a much happier spouse who REALLY hates dealing with unreliable machinery)

Both of my vehicles were paid off by last year, so I don’t have any payments (repairs OR loans), everything works (no broken AC/heater/radio), and they look nice; not as dingy as a 12+ year old car. I’d say it was worth the temporary pain of the initial purchase price.

40 Alayna

We bought a new car three years ago when we moved from Chicago. We had been planning to buy a used car in our new state, but a wreck totaled the car we already had. So, we needed to buy a car, and it was not worth buying a used car that had been through Chicago road conditions and taking it out west.

Since then we have bought a used car with the settlement money, and last month we traded in that car + cash for a used pickup.

Cars are not that important to us, besides the basic safety issue, so no use to go into debt for them.

41 Andrea @SoOverDebt

I have always said I’d never buy a brand new car, but I did in late 2008. I totaled my car (lamest wreck ever) and was 2 years out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the time – NOT in a position to be purchasing anything. I had zero cash and a 75-mile commute to work every day, though, so there weren’t many choices. I had to have a car.

I was able to get financing at 8.9% on a new car vs 15% on a used car. Both rates are terrible, but I had to go with the least damaging. So I bought my trusty little Toyota Yaris, which I will drive until it falls apart. I did get it for $2000 under MSRP, and I’m paying extra every month to pay it off as quickly as possible.

When that one dies, I will go back to purchasing used cars only. Because I’ll be paying in cash (unless another disaster happens) and I refuse to do this to myself again.

42 sandrac

I purchase new when I go to buy one. My 1999 Corolla is still going strong with more than 250K kilometers on it. The average annual repair bill has been <100$ – a good solid car coupled with a DH who has looked after the few minor issues. It will be driven until it dies and cannot be resurrected, just like its predecessor – my 1984 Tercel. Here's hoping I get another 5 years or so in order to allow me save the money to buy outright the next new vehicle.

43 krantcents

I would love two new cars, but I do not want payments. This small point stops me and the fact my current cars are in good condition although they are old (16 & 14 years old).

44 Claire

The one point that never seems to get raised in the new vs 2nd hand arguement, is that someone has to buy new, so there can be 2nd hand cars.

Our car was bought new in 2003 and will be driven until it dies – I assume that will be about 20 years. By then I think cars will be a different beast in terms of engines – i.e not petrol – hybrid, hydrogen electric? who knows, so I think holding onto this one as long as we can is the way to go.

45 Paula @ AffordAnything.org

My parents, despite my urging to the contrary, bought a brand-new car recently — BUT apparently it has the highest safety ratings; better than even a 1-to-2 year older model. Apparently this new model has some new safety features that last year’s stock didn’t have.

I’ll support their new-car-buying rationale for that reason, especially since they’re 70 and therefore statistically more likely to be in an accident. But I personally will be sticking to used cars until I’m a senior myself.

46 Merceedes

I work by a large number of dealerships, and what I wonder every time I drive by is how do the people who make all of these cars stay employed? Which I guess goes along with the “who is buying these cars anyway?” because if no one is buying the cars, then no one needs to make them, which means all those people wouldn’t have a job….

I’ve decided that I will almost always buy new because the three instances I’ve purchased used I always end up with a huge repair expense or the car doesn’t last all that long. I bought my last car 5 and a half years ago and it had something like 400 miles on it when I bought it. Now she’s got 130k miles on her and runs just fine. And I’ve never had any huge repair bills (other than when i got myself in a fender bender and had to replace the hood, but that’s what insurance is for right?)

I will be buying myself a new car next year for my birthday, of course that is ONLY if I have the cash saved up to do so. I’ve decided that although it doesn’t take much to pay off the car loan (I paid my last one off a year early, but could have paid it even earlier had I really tried) but that I’d much rather not have one at all. Plus the car I’m planning on purchasing with get 15+ more miles per gallon which will save me each week on gas. All over a win/win for me to purchase new as far as I’m concerned.

47 BRB

I know that the BMW, Lexus, Mercedes etc dealers aren’t having problems here in Seattle. The Microsoft people are sure keeping them in business just fine. And the rest of the cheaper dealers are here for the people too frugal for a luxury car, but still want new.

48 ShoeGal

I bought a new car. I am planning to have it until the doors fall off. I also looked into used ones, but the models I looked into were only 2-5k cheaper than a new one. Plus, if I bought a new one I got 0% financing. So there you have it.

49 The Calculator Dude

Cars are so expensive. Period. I’ve had the best luck with craigslist! It’s a great way to find a quality car for a decent price so that I have plenty of cash left over to dump into retirement!

50 Well Heeled Blog

Right now, used cars are actually quite expensive and new cars are pretty cheap with an abundance of low financing and deals for folks with good credit. If I were to look for a car right now, I wouldn’t mind buying new. Of course, I’d drive it for as long as possible once I get the car.

51 Trina

Two more reasons you are going to love me…my first ever car was a brand spanking new Jetta…whoop whoop! And I got it as a gift from my parents for getting a full scholarship to…wait for it…Washington State:) I drove that little lady for 10 years and, aside from her being an electrical lemon, she was fabulous to me. Never smelled like crayons. I just remember the sweet, sweet smell of victory every time we beat UW when I played:)
Fast forward 14 years and I drive a new to us, paid for Dodge Durango. It is amazing and literally perfect for our family of 5. My husband just got a Range Rover, which I think is a touch flashy, I would have been happy had he gotten a sedan…but we worked out a budget, came up with a number and he got a smoking deal on it. And it makes him happy, so that is that.
We have no interest in a brand new car. I’d much rather blow some money on a European vacation! I have absolutely no idea how dealerships stay open. Driving by all the lots in Bellevue, their inventory always looks the same.

52 Blair

My VWs have never smelled like crayons, but that’s definitely something I learned about from the forums on VWVortex.com.

53 Jerry

I knew a guy in high school who was selling cars and he made a pretty decent living. I’m not sure how they do it but apparently *someone* is buying these cars. I would pay cash, personally, instead of financing. Then you only have to worry about insurance and maintenance.

54 Allison

VWs smell like crayons? I am totally going to look into that. I love the smell of crayons!

I bought my car 2 years old, with cash, and have driven it for the last nine years. I’m planning to get at least one–if not two or three–more years out of it and then repeating the process (possibly with a crayon-scented car). I’ve never had a car payment and I never will. New cars are a ridiculous purchase in my opinion, unless you are wealthy and out of debt and would like to treat yourself. The cars that are two years old that I’ve looked into are all in great condition, loaded with lots of bells and whistles, and cost thousands of dollars less than their new counterparts. It’s an easy choice.

Seriously, though, crayons?

55 Katherine

I had been without a car for an entire year, until recently I bought myself an older model Lexus Rx300. I saved my money and paid cash. It took a lot of perserverance, however I do not personally believe in car payments. I am going to take care of this car and drive it until it dies… and when it does I will already have an emergency fund for a “new” USED car.

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