Vehicle: refurb vs buy new

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  #1  
Old 01-26-17, 12:14 PM
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Question Vehicle: refurb vs buy new

If a car like a Corolla which has a good record for going the distance is refurbished by dent repair and paint, tires, then detailed - 1K, would it be a good idea rather than buying new - 30 K?

I know the other options like buying certified, and that we all have different finances, ages, driving habits etc.

My Corolla has 73 K and is in good shape. I always follow the manufacturer's guide re fluids, belts, etc.

So without too many off topic, basic variables, would refurbish/detail be a viable option to buying new?

An after thought is that I like to feel safe on a trip but starter motors and alternators only start and charge so many times.

Is $ 1 K (old) better than $ 29 K(new)

We were looking at the 2017 CR V.

Any opinions appreciated and thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-26-17, 01:10 PM
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I would keep your car, but I keep cars till they won't run. Current car 12+ years old with 140000 miles.
 
  #3  
Old 01-26-17, 01:26 PM
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All of the things you mention for refurbishing are not really items that affect reliability or longevity. You do replace tires when they are worn but that is the easiest item to maintain since they are very visible. You don't mention the age of the car and the miles don't necessarily relate to reliability. If the car is 20 years old, it will have aged parts like you say about starters and alternators. If it is 2 years old with 70k miles, it will have a different set of concerns. An old car with a perfect looking body may still have rotted brake lines, seals, bushings or gaskets. Wires in a door that has been opened and closed 5000 times will be weaker and more prone to breaking than in a new car.

So , it really comes down to what you expect to have at the end. For $1000, you aren't really refurbishing the car. It is primarily cosmetic improvements at that cost. The engine, transmission and electronics and mechanicals are still as old as the car with the same number of miles on them.

If you want reliable and worry free, buy new. Save a few dollars and buy 2-4 years old used. To keep cost way down, you can clean up what you have but accept that it is still an older car and things do go wrong as it ages.

I have an 1999 Acura with faded/peeling paint and 90k miles. I drive it every day. Sometimes things go wrong but I do trust it enough to take a trip if I needed to. Then again, my first choice for travel would be my wife's 2011 car. Today, the Check Engine light came. It is 18 years old so I kind of expect that. Painting it and taking out some dents wont change that.

- Peter
 
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Old 01-26-17, 02:01 PM
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Financially, you are almost always ahead fixing an old car versus buying new unless it's a catastrophic repair. As stated, what you're talking about doing to this car is cosmetic, not repairing or maintaining it.
 
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Old 01-26-17, 02:33 PM
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Ideally you'd keep your car but begin making car payments [to yourself] That way if an unexpected repair bill pops up, you have it covered or when you decide you must have new vehicle you can either pay cash or a big down payment so your monthly car payment will be lower.

Not sure if I'd spend the money on detailing and dent repair although a lot depends on how it looks and suits you.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 02:30 AM
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Lets think about this, $29 minus $1 = $28, invested in the market, 20% return over the next 5 years (assuming remaining life of the car) and I'm at roughly $33.6K which I then use to buy a clean used vehicle at $19K and the remaining $14.6 continues earning.

And we haven't even figured in the cost of the financing!!

That's been my formula for the past 40 years but I'm truly grateful for all the folks that do buy thoes new (over priced) cars!
 
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Old 01-27-17, 06:17 AM
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I appreciate the replies

I am 77 in rough shape. My wife is 5 years younger and in good shape. The car is 9 1/2 years old and in good shape with 73K on it. It is however stiff as Corollas tend to be. I follow the manufacturer's schedule religiously.
I have a savings and modest pension but need to consider her as she will lose my pension(private - no SS) when I pass.
We travel about twice a year from MD to MA and back.
I have pain issues a more comfy car would help and also encourage us to travel more.
I am not sure about certified cars - sort of dicey.
CRV did a complete over haul from 16 to 17 and is nice but you get what you pay for. That's it.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 08:37 AM
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Certified, blessed, or cursed, if it comes from a dealer you are paying top price for that used car regardless of the condition.

Every used car I buy, is either still within the manufactures warranty or taken to a local shop where they do a very diligent inspection for $75. If a seller is unwilling to participate in that inspection process then no sale.

Either way I figure I'm saving around $8K to $10K off the price of the car and considering the quality now that 20K miles means nothing.

Multiply that over 10-15 cars (4 drivers in the family) and we're talking some big $.

To date we have never had a vehicle that was a bad purchase!
 
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Old 01-27-17, 10:05 AM
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Never ran the numbers myself to verify but I heard once that if you buy a new car and keep it ten years you end up spending the same amount of money as you would buying two year old cars and replacing them every four years.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 11:02 AM
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I would keep it. 73K on you car is not much. We have 2 Toyotas both 12 1/2 years old. One is a Camry with 185,000 miles and a RAV4 with 83,000 miles.....these things last a looong time if well maintained. If you can afford a new car and like the new car smell then buy a new one. If you don't want to shell out for a brand new car then have this one checked out mechanically and if there is nothing major then keep it. Depending on the location of your dents an aftermarket paint won't last too long. If you will feel better with a cleaned up car then do it and start saving for a new one. If you bought your current car new then you're only doing 6K a year.
For your yearly trips from MD to MA you can rent a more comfortable car.
If you want a more comfortable car for frequent driving you can always lease a car. What will your wife's car needs be when you pass?
 
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Old 01-27-17, 11:14 AM
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Keep your old car and pay yourself a car payment each month. In 10 months you could than pay for any repair that might pop up.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 11:44 AM
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Wife

My wife did bring up the fact that she would be concerned with this old car if she were by herself. I guess there are a lot of variables
and we have to come to a decision. Living in a metropolitan area is very hard because there are so many cars and there is no room for Mom and Pop dealership or negotiating.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 11:46 AM
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I take it that the "old" car is one that you've had since it was new; so there should be no surprises waiting in the wings? I'd say your car is hardly broken in !

My own car is a 2002 Volvo with 280,000 miles on it; nothing has been ignored, and it has no deferred maintenance . . . . it's like an old Friend !

Even "new" holds elements of the unknown, and I enjoy the predictability; plus there is no Dealership (of any kind) within 30 miles of me, and most are over 75. I don't like visiting any repair facility for new or old. I'm not looking forward to making a change, and it won't be voluntary when the time comes.

But everyone likes the momentary exhilaration that's associated with having a new car; maybe you deserve it ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 01-27-17 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-27-17, 11:49 AM
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There is always room for negotiations at a car lot! It helps if you can find out a lot about pricing prior to making the deal. Mt wife thrives at dealership battles. Last summer she helped one of her sons get the price lowered on his new car purchase [they came down $4k] The dealership wasn't happy but they made the sale anyway. Just before Christmas she bought herself a new car and got them to come down $3k.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 12:25 PM
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Interesting article in recent Bloomberg:

Avg transaction price is $34K

Loans are approaching 7 years

Avg payment are $489 month

Consumer do not understand all the electronic features on their car, yet they are buying more upscale vehicles

A majority of buyers are underwater on the value of their vehicles

It makes no sense to me!
 
  #16  
Old 01-27-17, 12:28 PM
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Every guy should have a good wife like that. On the other hand and for most other things I am glad mine is passive.
 
  #17  
Old 01-27-17, 03:50 PM
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I found a new 3/4 ton truck I liked, made what I thought was a deal but said I'd have my wife stop by to drive it on her way home from work.
It was my money, but ha your married she needed to be in the loop.
She showed up and the salesman said your husband's already driven it there's no reason why you need to.
Next call is you can buy anything you want but it will not be here.
Salesman just lost over $30,000 from being a dumb ass.
 
  #18  
Old 02-04-17, 02:19 PM
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Keep it going

When one thinks of what causes one to get stranded, it is usually the following:

Battery
Alternator
Water pump
Coolant hose leaks
Distributor cap, rotor, wires, plugs

Other things that cause drivability or nuisance things that will
will not strand you are far less consequential.If your car has been inspected and maintained regularly, and most important you continue to do this, most problems can be caught early (eg. a weep from a hose, brake line inspections and such) and you simply pay as you go, with little consequence to convenience, and especially safety.

Depending on the age of your car, you might want to just proactively replace the items on the list I noted.

While head gaskets can blow, and transmission fail, cv and steering joints wear, rubber bushings fail, etc. a car with your mileage and less than 12 years old should be good for at least another 25,000km and two or three years before service life statistics of some parts start to go against you.
There are less than 5% of original build cars on the road after 15 years, so that guides the manufacturer as to what they are engineering for in terms of longevity.

The biggest issue with an old car is corrosion. Unibody cars that corrode can seriously compromise crash safety. And brake lines being sound (and hoses) are critical. So as long as your car is ok on these fronts, everything else can be repaired.

There is some pride associated with keeping a favorite car going. As long as you can inspect and be a bit proactive you will be fine. If you need a jump in and drive til it breaks car, then a newer car will better suit. (But even a four or five year car has the stranding items I note as a possible concern, so unless you buy new you always need a bit of financial reserve to deal with mechanical maladies).
 
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Old 02-04-17, 04:16 PM
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parts

I cannot type too fast but want to thank you for your valuable information. The car sounds like me as its parts are dated like mine.
I will maintain and do as you suggest with fingers crossed. AAA is a peace of mind for an old guy. Thanks again.
 
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