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Old 04-06-2011, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Metro DC area
4,541 posts, read 3,521,935 times
Reputation: 1286

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I've made the decision to buy outright rather than use my $$$ for a down payment. Have $2500. Would LOVE to get a Honda Accord like the one I owned about 4 years ago. It was a 1995 Accord EX..really love the shape of this car. BUT, even if I shop for one that is as new as 1997, it's still a car that's almost 15 years old.

Is that a bad financial move? How old is too old for a car purchase? I'm expecting the car to have 150-180K miles...don't mind eventually replacing transmission and/or engine, but I'm not sure if an older car will mean having to deal with stuff breaking down all the time.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,918,052 times
Reputation: 3919
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocLot View Post
I've made the decision to buy outright rather than use my $$$ for a down payment. Have $2500. Would LOVE to get a Honda Accord like the one I owned about 4 years ago. It was a 1995 Accord EX..really love the shape of this car. BUT, even if I shop for one that is as new as 1997, it's still a car that's almost 15 years old.

Is that a bad financial move? How old is too old for a car purchase? I'm expecting the car to have 150-180K miles...don't mind eventually replacing transmission and/or engine, but I'm not sure if an older car will mean having to deal with stuff breaking down all the time.
Honda's are reliable but honestly, I think buying a 15 year old vehicle with 150K-180K miles is a mistake. Sure you may get it cheap but who really wants to replace an engine, transmission, shocks, electronic components, etc etc etc??? I don't care how reliable a vehicle is, the fact that something has so many miles and is up there in age doesn't help the components of a vehicle...things simply wear out and need to be replaced after time.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Metro DC area
4,541 posts, read 3,521,935 times
Reputation: 1286
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Honda's are reliable but honestly, I think buying a 15 year old vehicle with 150K-180K miles is a mistake. Sure you may get it cheap but who really wants to replace an engine, transmission, shocks, electronic components, etc etc etc??? I don't care how reliable a vehicle is, the fact that something has so many miles and is up there in age doesn't help the components of a vehicle...things simply wear out and need to be replaced after time.
Thanks for your response. Do you think it's possible to buy ANY reliable car for $2500? Should I work on saving up more?
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,481,696 times
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I dunno. I'm looking at helping a frined find a relaible daily for her doughter under $2k, and we're looking at cars from the '80s (like a BMW 325 from the late '80s). if you have a $2500 budget, then find something for $1500-1800 and set asaid a bit for repairs. ALSO, leave little stuf alone. DOnt' try to look for essentially a new car, nor shoudl you try to MAKE it a new car. That only costs you too much money. I'v ehad good luck finding cars under $2000 that needed only a couple hundred in quick repairs, then just drove them from that point on.

As for how old is too old, I've picked up 30+ years old cars to daily drive. Like my old Falcon. Recently picked up a '94 Chevy dually to do both regular truck duty and occasional commuting when needed (it's in the parking lot here at work today, as a matter of fact). Condition is more important than age. On my daily driver BMW (that I'm doing uppper gaskets right now: valley pan, valve covers, intake manifold, and throttle body. Shouidl be good for another 150k miles) there was 143k n it when I got it, and now 4 1/2 years later it has 185k on it and it should be good for another couple hundred thousand.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Why replace an engine or trans in a $2,000 car, when it is cheaper to just junk it and buy another $2,000 car?

If your payments on a fairly cheap new car are $300 a month with nothing down, that's $3600 a year. For the same price, you can pay $2500 for a jalopy, throw a thousand at it in repairs, and be ahead of the game even if each car only lasts a year. If you luck out and get one that lasts several years (mine always do), even with that thousand in repairs every year, you're still saving $200 a month after the first year. And, you've still got the collision/comp insurance premiums in your pocket. With insurance rates what they are nowadays, that is no trivial consideration.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,790 posts, read 12,632,569 times
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Used car prices are sky high these days because of new car market was so slow over the past few years.

$2500 doesn't buy much and cars that have great reputations like Hondas are going to have to be really old and high mileage to get down to that price range. If you have a mechanic friend that can look the car over for you then do so.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,481,696 times
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He's in the metro DC area. I'm looking at a coupel cars in this same area that are under $1500 in GREAT shape. 9I think the girl is going to go for the red Jetta (they ALWAYS do) but the Saturn is a good choice as well:

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/ctd/2306274315.html

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/2304861666.html

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/2305226173.html
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:51 AM
 
861 posts, read 2,292,772 times
Reputation: 940
Use that money for a down payment and find yourself a nice used Camry or Accord. Something with 50-60K on the clock. You should be able to find something in the 7,000-8000 range. We had a guy bring in a 2006 camry last month. Said he wanted $8K for it and it was just about perfect. Car sold pretty quick though..
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,481,696 times
Reputation: 4846
he wants no debt. A car owned outright. Why buy an $8k used car that might need something in a month anyways?
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:59 AM
 
861 posts, read 2,292,772 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
he wants no debt. A car owned outright. Why buy an $8k used car that might need something in a month anyways?
Understood but you are not going to find a decent reliable car for $2500 that doesn't require a ton of work. Spend $8K on a car for 50K on the claock and you have at least 50K miles before any major service is required assuming of course you buy Honda or Toyota. Is making a Less than $200 a month payment really that hard ? If so this person is going to have real issues coming up with the large sums of cash to fix his 150K car when something dies.
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