Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do You Buy New or Used Cars?

Ashley Jacobs at WiseBread,com has a post asking the question to readers - Do You Buy New or Used Cars? When I came to the US almost 14 years ago , buying a car and buying a mattress were the top two confusing purchases that confounded me to the nth degree.

Luckily for me a family friend - a Col. in the army gave some good advice.

  • As soon as you leave the dealership with a new car the value drops .
  • Buy a low mileage used car between 3 to 5 years. At the 5 year mark the car may have lost atleast 1/2 its value
  • Do your homework before you go to the dealership. Kelly's Blue Book, Consumer Reports recommended.
14 years later a few things could be different , I am told used cars are now sought after more so their price holds and new cars may be getting close to used car prices. You have the internet to research so you don't have to buy "books". You have Twitter to ask for advice or Facebook.  6 of the 7 cars I have purchased have been used. The last one I bought in 2009 was a bargain due to the economy at that time. The one van i bought new i leased it for 3 years and then returned the van at the end of the lease. The lease experience was good but somehow I felt it was more money.
Crowdsourcing : The one car I bought despite advice from the crowd was a 2003 Volkswagen Passat and boywas i wrong and they so right. The car was good to drive but was so expensive going into repair 2-3 times a year. It's completely moved me out of a European car purchase at least for now.

I also bought a used car from the owner directly twice and got a heavy bill once and smooth sailing in the other. I prefer going to a reputable dealer . For  the past few years my friend ( a childhood buddy) Harmeet Suri works in  Fitzmall in Gaithersburg  so I have bought cars from him and definitely recommend him to anyone.


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