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Old 05-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #40  
Gets Weekends Off
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Joined APC: Feb 2013
Posts: 126

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
CARMAX is not the cheapest used car available, but if you're not certain what you want it's nice to be able to shop a lot... especially if you're my wife, no way could I pick out a car sight-unseen for her. Cheaper than new, and some assurance of reliability.
Carmax usually prices their cars on the very high end (thousands more) than what I see elsewhere. I'm not really sure what you get for that over any other dealer.

Assurance of reliability is questionable especially if you don't know the car's history. I used to buy hundreds of cars a month from the auctions along with a trade-ins. There are lots of tricks to hide (temporarily) slipping transmissions, bad seals, etc. People knowingly would mask issues right before getting rid of their car. Also, people who get their cars repo'd generally aren't doing the best preventative maintenance. Flood cars can be re titled from out-of-state. Frame damage can be hidden. Don't trust that Car fax report. I've seen it all.

If you are buying a "beater" to drive around for a couple grand then none of this really matters. If you can buy an off lease car still under warranty that is usually your best bet. I don't blow my money on expensive cars anymore. But if I did, I'd only lease a new Mercedes/Audi/BMW, etc. The repairs on those cars (out of warranty) will kill you.

I don't buy new cars very often so I like to buy new and keep them forever. The resale on Toyota/Honda is so high that you really aren't saving that much money buying used (IMHO) if you spread out the depreciation over 10+ years (Domestic cars are a different story). Plus, when I'm on day one on the other side of the world, I don't want to get a call from the wife about the broken down car because I was too cheap to buy a new one (and I'm not around to fix it or deal with the mechanics).

I'm sure people will say they bought tons of used cars and never had issues. I bought a five year old car from my mother-in-law that is now 15 years old and still running.
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