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Thread: Used cars, yay or nay

  1. #1
    Senior Member jiang bao's Avatar
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    Default Used cars, yay or nay

    Living in Manhattan, I haven't really had the need to own a car, but I may finally get one this year. Not really in a financial position to commit to a new car, so probably gonna get a used one. People I know who bought used cars have had pretty good experiences with them.

    How about you guys? Anyone ever get ripped off with a lemon?
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    for cars and technology stuff (like mp3 players, comps, tvs) i generally prefer new. but thats just me
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    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    for cars and technology stuff (like mp3 players, comps, tvs) i generally prefer new. but thats just me
    Doesn't everyone want "new stuff" but can you afford it??? I have never had a car in my life since my family does NOT trust my driving skills to get me one. My family mostly buys used cars for the most part. My brother finally bought himself a new truck a few years ago. The good thing about buying a used one is that you pay it all off at once instead of having to pay each month for many years.

    My brothers always look through the net to see cars that are in good condition but are not too old like a 2003 or 2002. Then they look at cars around that age and the price ranges. Then they pick one that they like the most and then go to look at it...
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    Senior Member blueberry's Avatar
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    I don't understand a thing about a car maintenance...so I prefer to get new car, less risks of getting bad car. So far, it's been OK. My first new car never had problems for 8 years. Sold it just because I need a 4door car It's been a year, and the new owner loves it & says it's still doing great.

    I would say try to buy a used car from somebody you know treat the car well. A LOT of my coworkers/guy friends tinker (is that the word?) with their cars, add this, change that, or just pretty much abuse the car. I would never ever want to buy a car from them if I know what they have done to the car. But, if you know a lot about cars yourself, then maybe it won't be a problem to get a used car since you can try to fix it yourself.

    I think it's also depends on the brand of the car. Japanese cars usually hold up nicely even though they are old.

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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Depends on what your circumstances are.

    I got a new car a few years ago, and i find the depreciation of the car, the car maintenance, road tax and insurance etc etc makes me feel taking a used car as your first car is a wise choice.

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    I knew nothing about cars when I bought my first car. So I had a friend who was a mechanic come with me to check out the car. My friend said it looked good, so I asked the owner if I could take the car to a shop to have a professional inspect it. The seller was kind enough to let me do that. I got a good car that lasted 7 years.

    I'm ready to get a new one sometime this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    Doesn't everyone want "new stuff" but can you afford it??? I have never had a car in my life since my family does NOT trust my driving skills to get me one. My family mostly buys used cars for the most part. My brother finally bought himself a new truck a few years ago. The good thing about buying a used one is that you pay it all off at once instead of having to pay each month for many years.

    My brothers always look through the net to see cars that are in good condition but are not too old like a 2003 or 2002. Then they look at cars around that age and the price ranges. Then they pick one that they like the most and then go to look at it...
    ya price definitely plays a huge part (thats why i havent bought a car yet gotta use my mom's old camry). what i meant was instead of getting an used bmw, a new corolla would be better. u never know what had happened to the used cars!
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    Used cars save you lot of money. Huge difference in price. For me, I think I would rather get a low end used car (Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, or Nissan Sentra) with low mileage and well maintained than buy a brand new car. Again, it's depend on how deep your wallet is. If you are rich with 6 figures in the bank account then buying a brand new car is a good idea. On the other hand, if you need to get a car loan then it's better to buy a low end used car. The main reason I rather get a low end instead of high end is because the cost of maintenence of low end cars is way cheaper than the high end's.
    Last edited by Trien Chieu; 11-13-09 at 12:37 PM.

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    Senior Member jiang bao's Avatar
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    The small Honda or Toyota sedans seem to be the best bet. But it's a big hassle examining each car.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiang bao View Post
    The small Honda or Toyota sedans seem to be the best bet. But it's a big hassle examining each car.
    Yes, right on. It's doesn't cost that much if that is what you are looking for. Once you own a car, you will be experiencing all the freedom it bring to you. At the same time you will realize how suck/inconvenient public transportation is. Once you own a car, you will never want to go back to public transportation again unless you have absolutely no choice. If you don't like the hassle and want to save money, you should looking for a demo car. It can save a few thousand dollars from new and almost just as good as new.

    A 2009/2010 corolla sedan is so nice. My next car will most likely a corolla.
    Last edited by Trien Chieu; 11-13-09 at 04:54 PM.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Some things to think about before plunking down for that used car:

    1. The money you save upfront might end up coming back to haunt you in extra maintenance/repair costs. Remember: because you're not buying this car from a dealer, there's no warranty. Moreover, as the car has been used, it's likely seen some wear and tear (just from regular operation). Expect more maintenance/repair expenses compared to purchasing a new car.

    2. Toyotas/Hondas: generally good cars, but because of their popularity and commonality, they are HOT targets for car thieves. Depending on the auto theft rates of the community where you live and work, you might want to buy an equally good, but less popular car (such as a Volvo) because car thieves are much less interested in those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Some things to think about before plunking down for that used car:

    1. The money you save upfront might end up coming back to haunt you in extra maintenance/repair costs. Remember: because you're not buying this car from a dealer, there's no warranty. Moreover, as the car has been used, it's likely seen some wear and tear (just from regular operation). Expect more maintenance/repair expenses compared to purchasing a new car.
    Agree. That is why we should buy a car that is still relatively new. Like no more than 30,000 miles (50,000 km) and must be in great condition. Typically, the life of a car is about 200,000 mile (320,000 km) so 30,000 miles is not all that much but you save a lot of money (like 30 -50% 0ff). So therefore, if money is a problem, then buy a used but relatively new car is way better off than buy a brand new car which cost you a lot more.

    2. Toyotas/Hondas: generally good cars, but because of their popularity and commonality, they are HOT targets for car thieves. Depending on the auto theft rates of the community where you live and work, you might want to buy an equally good, but less popular car (such as a Volvo) because car thieves are much less interested in those.
    Strongly disagree. There are good reasons behind their popularity. That is low price, low maintenance cost, good on gas, and reliable. If it's good, why would you want to substitute it with something else? Regarding car thieves, you have insurance for it. If something happens, you can claim for it. Is there that much car thieves in NY city? There are car thieves in Canada, but I would never put it in consideration when I purchase a car.

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    Senior Member Yeung Gor's Avatar
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    I bought my car brand new. If I could go back, I would prefer to buy used (2-4 years used) and pocket the extra savings.

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    Senior Member GuGu's Avatar
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    all of my cars have been brand new. i just have a thing with using other people's 'old' stuff.

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    i also bought my car new, bc i know nothing about cars and didn't want to deal with the little probs that used cars usually get.

    but owning a car in nyc? why? you're always stuck in traffic, and even if you get where you wanna go, there's nowhere to park. -_-
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    Senior Member jiang bao's Avatar
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    I donít feel right about always riding in a friendís car. Then he/sheís gotta drop me off at the end of the day. So thatís two trips, one to pick me up, one to drop me off. Thatís a lot of hassle for them.

    Maybe Iíll just do zipcars LOL. Iím not that experienced either as I havenít done much driving at all since getting my license, so Iíd like to own my car so I can at least get some practice in before taking to the highway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiang bao View Post
    I don’t feel right about always riding in a friend’s car. Then he/she’s gotta drop me off at the end of the day. So that’s two trips, one to pick me up, one to drop me off. That’s a lot of hassle for them.

    Maybe I’ll just do zipcars LOL. I’m not that experienced either as I haven’t done much driving at all since getting my license, so I’d like to own my car so I can at least get some practice in before taking to the highway.
    You will feel the freedom once you have your own car. You will never ever want to go back to public transportation again. However, do not get the one you can't afford.

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    Senior Member jiang bao's Avatar
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    Just need a car to go out of the city or to travel to the hard to reach parts of boroughs. Staten Island, Jersey, Long Island, etc.

    Will be using mass transit even with a car. The thing with a new car is that it depreciates so quickly. Iíll prolly end up going to a dealership and getting a used car. More expensive but Iíd rather do this than buy it off the street corner.
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    If it is your first car, I would suggest a used car as well. Especially if you're not exactly the most loaded person. Like Ken mentioned though, the thing with used cars is that you don't know the exact condition of the car and how it's been treated. If you ask the owners, of course they will say that they've taken good care of it. Make sure you check the inside of the car to see how the seams on the chairs and everything are...it can tell you a lot about how abusive the owner has been with it. If you have friends who are mechanics, bring them along so they can check it out with you.

    For me, the most important thing about a car is that it won't die on me in the middle of the road. Everything else comes after that. Make sure the engine is in good shape. Also be prepared to fix up used cars. Make sure you find a trustworthy car mechanic who won't rip you off. Good luck with that.


    My first car is a used Honda Civic. Cute little bugger, easy to park into tight spots, and good mileage, I guess. However, it just stalled on me during slightly heavy traffic on the freeway at a junction point. I thought I was going to die that day. I was stuck on the side of the road for an hour watching cars whizzing past me at 80+ mph while waiting for aid. Where the hell is CHP when you need them. The ironic thing is my dad's a car mechanic, so I usually don't worry too much about my car. Guess none of us saw that one coming.

  20. #20
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    With USED cars, you really have to check out the history of the car before you purchase a used car. A used car can have many problems, like it has broken down before or have some history of car problems after a few months of use. I don't like used cars, they always have problems, unless the previous owner really took care of the car and maintain it well.

    I say no to used cars.
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