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New, slightly used, or private sale

Monday, December 10, 2012

I have to buy a newer vehicle soon, the Pathfinder's inspection is due in March, and unless I throw a couple grand at it, it won't pass inspection again.

I'm in a position where I could, if I wanted to, buy a brand new vehicle, right off the lot. It's a lot of money, but the vehicle would be expected to last me 8-10 years, and that's assuming I don't void the warranty.

I could also buy a slightly used one, again from a dealership. Same deal as above, but it would only last me 5-7 years, and a little less warranty.

And then I can also buy a private-sale vehicle, and take my chances. Having said that, I have 2 mechanics who are willing to make sure the vehicle is sound before I buy it, and repair it when it needs it. Cost is significantly less, but reliability is more the issue.

Oh, the choices I face.

The biggest advantage to the last 2 is that I would get a loan through the bank, and be able to get a little more to pay for the funeral and legal fees, and only have one payment.

I'm almost sure I can't get a better deal on the interest than the dealer on a new vehicle if I go to the bank, which means I'll have to include those other bills separately in my budget. That's likely going to leave me too broke at the end of each month.

And then there are the mechanics who are looking after my wheels who are desperately trying to talk me out of buying brand new, because they can't work on the vehicle if I do. They feel it's a waste of money, especially considering depreciation. I really do know what they mean.

So, as of today, NEW vehicle is no longer an option.

Slightly used is starting to sound better & better, and a lot of times, the warranty conditions are different, so my mechanics could work on it and not void anything else.

Private sale, or Kijiji or the auctions... honestly, those options scare the crap right out of me. I know NOTHING about vehicles, and I can't afford, at the best of times, to be driving something that isn't reliable. But the price is going to be right, and I can include those 2 bills I mentioned earlier in the loan.

I also know what I need in a vehicle, and what is on the "nice to have" list is different.

4-wheel drive (AWD tends to be higher in gas consumption)
Off the ground (not a car, more likely a SUV)
Automatic (I'm just not interested in driving a standard)
Not rusted out (I have the tools to do the undercoating, so I'll call someone else to squirt oil upwards while they're lying on the ground. Somehow, being smudged with oil just isn't appealing.)
Better than 18 MPG.

Jeep, Nissan, Toyota or Hundai (I would rather stay away from domestic vehicles, but I have a soft spot for Jeeps.)
Better than 30 MPG (a girl can dream of such a SUV/crossover, right?)
Trailer hitch

Not like any of this is any easier, but at least I've eliminated one of the choices. I'm not sure if I'll have time to test drive used vehicles before Christmas, but if I'm bored one afternoon, I know where to go for "entertainment".
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    this is just me resubscribing cos i forgot.
    1741 days ago
    yeah. have you made a decision?
    im glad you threw "new" out the window. i bought a new car.
    never again.
    1741 days ago
    Have you made a decision?
    1750 days ago
  • INSH8P
    The choice of "not new" is one that my "Express" driver made 10 years ago -- and that individual is much better off financially than you or I.

    Shopping for a vehicle: a necessary task if one wants to stay independent as an East Coaster (probably debatable by our downtown, served by transit cousins).

    Having the ideal vehicle: a feeling that money can't buy.
    1765 days ago
    Tough choices. I've only had a "new" vehicle once, but Jo, it was also the most dependable one I've ever had. I've done the car lot buys and the private party. It usually all comes down to money though. Can't wait to see a picture. :)
    1771 days ago
    OK can I tell you to go on a vacation.
    No Really where the car has been driven makes a huge difference. I would buy a car that has ever been owned in the midwest because the winter driving conditions are bad on the car. I have friends who have summer cars and winter cars.
    I drive a Forester (I know AWD so not on the list) I get about 22 MPG but still I got it more for Safety ratings and reliability than milage. Still its a great car 120,000 miles 8 years old and going strong. Sure the newer ones might have better Gas milage
    But really we don't deal with having to do the undercoating.
    So go somewhere where there isn't snow and Ice all winter and you will get a better used car.
    Consumer reports has an annual book and has ratings for used cars. I would get it. Such a huge help to know how a car is rated.
    I say the only down side to my car is that I am still making payments. The upside is it holds its value so while I still owe I am not upside down.
    Car shopping is such a pain good luck
    1772 days ago
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