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Old 07-17-2007, 04:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Silveredwings View Post
More things I like about used cars are used parts and the vast amount of DIY knowledge available from sites like this one. Someone else out there has not only solved most problems, but blogged it too. It makes it a lot easier, cheaper, and faster to fix and maintain things.
Yep lots less mystery when buying a used model. Chances are if that model had a common failure point like weak tranny, likes to blow headgaskets etc you can do some research and know to move on. Plus I've found when shopping 5-7 year old used cars that after seeing 10-20 examples I have a great idea how they'll last overall.

Maybe not the best example for gassavers, but a few years back when shopping for my current 4runner I couldn't believe how nice and solid all the ones I looked at were. Most had 120k miles or more, and the only real 'issue' I saw on any was worn leather on the drivers seat of on e that was closer to 200k. I bet all the civic guys on here would say pretty much the same thing.

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Old 07-25-2007, 09:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by tulsa_97sr5 View Post
... a few years back when shopping for my current 4runner I couldn't believe how nice and solid all the ones I looked at were. Most had 120k miles or more...
Kind of off-topic, but I bought my 97 4Runner when it was 5 years old (owner had JUST paid off) with 100,095 miles and it now has over 205K miles on it. NO PROBLEMS. It was better maintained by the previous owner than by me and is great. The 4Runner is one of the best mid-sized SUVs that you can buy, IMO.

Staying to topic, Id rather get a used (JUST off lease to get rid of reliability argument) Corolla than a new hybrid. As sweet as the Prius is, I cant justify an extra $7K over the Corolla which is beefier (like WE really care about HP), but gets good mpg on highway and will be cheaper to run when you consider that the extra $7K will NOT be realized in gas savings even with $3 gas. You have to drive over 200K to get back the $7K in gas and thats if you compare 52mpg Prius highway vs 38mpg Corolla highway. We all knwo that neither car gets those numbers but the Prius falls more short of its numbers. I ran these numbers a few years ago when the second generation Prius just came out an I was salivating. Then I decided to run the numbers to see how much financial sense it made. This test did not take anything else into consideration. This was new Prius v Corolla.

On another note: New car EPA estimates (before revised 2008 EPA) are much worse than those of older cars that gave more reasonable estimates. I was getting over 19/20 mpg combined in my 97 4Runner (rated at 17/19) which had 200K miles. I was surprised to get BETTER than EPA ona car with 200K miles. This was BEFORE I even heard of gassavers.org and with driving 100+ miles daily at high speeds. I prob averaged about 75 mph when on highway and would peak at about 80. Similarly I was getting about 29/30 mpg on my 98Camry before I stareted driving for FE and was hitting just over 30 hwy when the 98Camry is rated at 23/30 (22/28 NEW EPA). So just like the 4Runner my 98Camry was getting its stated mpg. Keep in mind my 29/30 mpg in my camry is combined mileage not highway. Try getting 41mpg with regular driving in todays Corolla. Good luck !!! Remember I said regular driving. I think older car EPAs are not as exaggerated as todays, probbaly because people look at that moreso than years ago. My .02

On the other hand, Id LOVE to have a Prius right now. High $$$ is drawback.

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Old 08-15-2007, 02:43 PM   #23
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I've been driving 10+ year old Corollas since 1990. i had a 83 then a 87 now a 90. I have averaged including purchase price, all maintanance and repairs 5 cents a mile. This does not include DMV or insurance but everything else. Let's see anyone beat that with a new car. I've had to be towed once in that time due to a bad starter and auto trans, no bump start.

I'm switching to CRX HF now due to fuel prices. I bet I'll not go over 7 cents a mile with this car and get better mileage than a new Prius. Of course the Prius might be cheaper in the long run if I got 360000 miles out of it with no maintanance. Also I'm self employed and will write off all my work mileage at 48 cents a mile
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:17 PM   #24
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I drive a 1997 Ford Escort. I've owned it for the past year... the following have been my costs so far:

Capital Expense - 5,760: Includes vehicle purchase, all service (90% DIY) incl. oil changes

Insurance expense (for a year) - $1000.00
Distance Driven - 49000 km (30000 mi)
Average Fuel Efficiency - 8 l/100 (pre-hypermiling!)
Average fuel cost - $1.00/litre
Total fuel cost - $3920.00

COST PER KM - $0.20

This compared to what I almost bought (2005 Golf TDI)
Fuel economy - 6.9 l/100
Cost - 26,000
Financing @ 4.0% APR, 4 years - $586.06/mo or $6082/yr
Insurance - $2000 /yr
Fuel cost - $0.80 /litre (diesel remember).
Distance driven - 49000 km
Maintenance cost (oil changes only) - $200.00
Fuel cost - $2704.80

COST PER KM - 0.22

So for me, doing service DIY, a used car makes more sense... however, for your average Joe a new car may be more sensible.
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:19 PM   #25
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The lending institutions are going to hate YOU!
No argument here, its perfect logic and your math is great too.

During the original gas crisis in the 70's I drove big cars. People were giving them away and with the cost of fuel they were more economical than a Honda Civic or a VW Rabbit. As you said no intrest, full coverage, or payments.

Had a neighbor at the time wanting to trade in her Aspen wagon(paid for and fairly new), for a Rabbit. They offered her half the cost of the Rabbit for her Aspen on a trade in. I pointed out that even though the Rabbit would double her mileage, $3500 would buy a lot of fuel. And with a family of four who traveled they'd be alot more comfortable. They kept the Aspen

FE is great but there are times as you have wisely pointed out, you need to weigh all of your options.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:18 PM   #26
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Another advantage of buying a used car with cash on the barrelhead is that you, rather than the bank, owns the car and you can modify it to your heart's content, which you couldn't do with a bank financed car.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:43 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
Another advantage of buying a used car with cash on the barrelhead is that you, rather than the bank, owns the car and you can modify it to your heart's content, which you couldn't do with a bank financed car.
Thats what you think! hehe!
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Matt Timion
The electric cars ARE zero emissions.
Originally Posted by BluEyes
Only where the car is. Somewhere there has to be a powerplant of some kind supplying the electricity. Depending on where you live it might be pretty clean energy, or it may be coal.
Either way, electricity is still cleaner than gas though.
I've heard this so often, it now turns my stomach. Gas doesn't come from the ground ready-to-use neither. Think about where it comes from (the Gulf) and what transports it (huge deisel tankers). Then it get refined (tons of electricity) to turn it to fuel. Then its pumped or trucked to various parts of the country. Then trucked to the station. Then you pump it in your car and THEN you start polluting. At least with EV the pollution sort of ends with the charging of the batts.
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Been seeing 37 on longer errands
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:35 AM   #29
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Actually, it ends when we recycle the battery.

Just to play the devils advocate, you can do the same with the electricity that the majority of us receive. Lots of people get electricity from a gas fired powerplant and that gas has to go through the same refining and transportation process. Coal and natural gas both require processing and transportation as well. Wind, hydro and geothermal are all nice clean sources, but rely on local availability of the appropriate natural resource in sufficient quantities to meet energy demands.

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Old 10-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #30
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Domestic cars

it seems a lot of the members on this site frown on domestic vehicles. buying used domestic vehicles for this member has immediate(lower retail) and long term(cheaper parts) benefits.

not busting on imports(do realize overall, quality is better), but domestics have served me VERY well. doing the maintenance on domestics is easier for me also, since i'm not overly mechanically inclined. water pump, radiator, alternator, etc. replacement are ALL cheap and easy to do for example.

price and maintenance aside, size and safety is another concern. my kids are getting to be almost adult size, so econo boxes are out. with safety, all things being equal, larger cars are safer as well. a local mechanic/researcher spoke on the radio about manipulation of stats to promote sales of economy cars. it's basic physics really--more mass(again all things equal) equals more safety. i've read trucks/suvs are under entirely different crash "rules" tho.

just want to reiterate, i'm not downing imports. just doing the best i can with what i have and know, which is domestic vehicles. my cost/mile(tho i've not figured it) prolly rivals many of the imports here especially if cost/mile/weight of vehicle is considered, not to mention the % of FE over EPA.

isn't that why we're here?

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