I got slapped in the face this afternoon, not literally but figuratively. My “check engine” light came on last week. I always dread taking my car into the shop because I hate getting a bill that I haven’t accounted for in my budget, but what I got this afternoon was out of this world.
For those of you who don’t know I drive a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. I got it right after I got home from my last deployment and had planned to drive it until the wheels fell off. Unfortunately I found out this afternoon that my Hybrid battery is now dead, guess how much it is planned to set me back…… $4,500!! Yes you just read that right, it will literally costs me over 33% of what I actually purchased the car for to replace a battery. Not going to happen Jack!
Should I Buy A New Car
I’ll give you the short answer up front…. NO!
But let’s dig into this a little further. I don’t know much about cars, in fact I should just stop lying to myself and say I don’t know anything about cars. What I do know however is a couple key facts regarding new car purchases:
- A new car loses 11% of its value you the minute you drive it off the lot
- During the first 5 years a car depreciates by 15%-25% each year
- After five years the car is worth 37% of what you paid.
Depressing isn’t it? There is no reason (that I can think of) that a person should ever buy a new car, ever! I understand there are some car enthusiasts/aficionados but c’mon man! Why pay top dollar when you can literally get the same thing for much cheaper if you simply wait.
What About A High Quality Used Car
You can get the same car for much cheaper if you simply sacrifice the “prestige” of driving it brand new and the odometer reading “000000” Here are a couple other reasons you should consider buying a used car:
- You can save money on insurance
- Advancements in technology have made used cars more reliable today than ever before
- Some used cars are still covered by the manufacturer warranty
- Most manufacturers sell certified used cars
I personally like extending the warranty because I plan to be in a car for approximately 10 years.
What Car Am I Going to Buy?
I really like Honda, my wife has one and we’re even thinking about getting a Honda Pilot in the next year or two for when the kids really start getting active. I’m sick and tired of wrestling with that double stroller every time I go to put it in our trunk! But I digress, the car that I want just needs to get me from point A to point B in the morning safely. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, quite frankly I hate the fact that I even need to buy a car right now.
So to keep things simple I’m going to stick with the Honda Civic. It’s simple and does everything I need it to. The one I’m looking at specifically is a 2011 model that has approximately 22,000 miles on it and will cost me about $15,000. I’m definitely not excited about the price but I’m not going to dish out $4,500 just to repair an old deteriorating car and you will never see me paying over $25,000 for a car. I simply refuse! Of course I will be paying for this car with cash, we don’t have any debt and we’re going to keep it that way. I’m just upset because I had this money put aside to pick up some cheap stocks when the market crashes.
Do you have any car buying tips/recommendations? I’m all ears!