The Benefits of Buying Used Cars

The benefits of buying a new car are pretty self-explanatory. Everybody likes owning new things. Sure, it might cost a little more, but you get the benefit of feeling cool, having a nice thing that works really well, and reaping the benefits of consumerism.

For those who just aren’t into those things, at least enough to warrant spending thousands of dollars more than necessary to get a nice and reliable vehicle, used cars are always the way to go. Some of the benefits of buying users are well known. We’ll cover most of them here.

1)    Newer Used Cars Are Better Than Ever. People like to complain about the quality of consumer vehicles, but the reality is that cars are getting better and better. The average car is safer, lasts longer with less maintenance, and gets much better gas mileage than a similar car would have gotten a couple of decades ago. If you go to J.D. Byrider, you could pick any car on the lot and find a vehicle that won’t break down anytime soon. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember ten or fifteen years ago when car trouble was frequent for just about everybody. You might go to a party and learn that your friend didn’t make it because they broke down on the way. This doesn’t happen nearly as often anymore.

2)    Used Cars Depreciate Less Quickly. If you want to buy a car that holds a lot of it’s value, buying used is the way to go. Cars lose value most quickly when they are new. People will pay much more for a brand new, never-driven car than they would for the same car even three months after it was first purchased. Some of these reasons are practical, others are psychological, but the outcome is the same: used cars lose value, but not as fast as brand new ones.

3)    Used Cars Cost Less. This will be obvious to anyone paying attention, but used cars cost less than new ones. They’re cheaper to insure and they’re cheaper to purchase. They can cost more to maintain and repair but, as described in point one, used cars of more recent vintage have higher standards of design than those manufactured ten years ago. They’ll continue to perform well, often without expensive repairs, even though they are no longer brand new.

4)    They May Get Fewer Tickets. Some studies indicate that people who drive new cars get more tickets. We won’t get into the weeds of the implications of this. Maybe new car drivers just drive faster. Maybe people in new cars seem like easier targets to corporals on patrol. Whatever the case, a used car might make you slightly less conspicuous on the road, which is never a bad thing where traffic violations and ticketing are concerned.

 

Used cars are the way to go for people who want to save money. If you do the leg work necessary to find the right vehicle at the right price, there is pretty much no downside to buying used instead of new.

Wife = asset or liability?

Screen shot 2009-11-17 at Nov 17, 2009, 8.15.38 PMSo I have this great plan in my head: Get married and get rich. They go hand in hand right? Okay, I know it may not be all gravy, but I still can’t wait for the days of being a DINK (Dual Income No Kids). I’ve got a gameplan in my head, but I wanted to run it by all you married folks to see if it was reasonable.

The plan is simple: Live off my income, put wife’s income in the bank. Let’s pretend I get married in a year. At that point, I’ll be making $62,000 annually. That is easily enough money for both me and the Mrs. to survive on. Let’s not forget she will be working as well. I’ll assume she will be making roughly $40K/yr. Whatever is left after taxes are taken out of her paycheck, will go straight to Roth IRA’s and savings (probably about $25K/year).

I’m not naive though, I’ve listened to my fair share of Dave Ramsey and it is not uncommon to hear a caller indicate his wife is responsible for accumulating a significant amount of debt without his knowledge (Don’t label me a sexist, I know this works both ways). The power of a larger income can lead to a tendency to live a more frivolous lifestyle. New cars, lavish vacations, and dining out become the norm. High income often causes increased spending.

The main reason I want to be able to survive off my income, and save hers, is I don’t think my wife will work forever. Once baby ninjas enter the picture I want her to have the option to stay at home. If we allow ourselves to become accustom to surviving off both of our incomes, it would be super difficult to take a $40K hit in income for her to stay home. I feel like a lot of people purchased huge homes based on their dual income, and now find themselves struggling as one lost employment or decided to stay home with the kids. I would like to avoid that situation at all costs.

If I play my cards right and buckle down on the budget, future Mrs. Ninja and I should be able to comfortably live on my salary and take hers to the bank. Hopefully accumulate $100K in savings come time to make a home purchase, and then she can quit and stay home with the kids. Am I living in a dream world? Is there something to the DINK formula I’m overlooking? For current Dinks, is it totally awesome? Have you become dependent on both incomes? Has the dual income caused any issues? I need all the info I can get so I can plan accordingly.