New car - or 'Tell me what cars you have bought lately (that are interesting)'


They don’t keep the cream of the crop, they keep what they can sell. If you go to a Honda dealership and trade in your year-old BMW, they’re probably going to auction that off, because people aren’t coming into a Honda dealership looking for recent-model BMWs. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not a fit for their lot.


Wouldn’t they sell the BMW to another dealership, or at an auction?

I gotta say, I went to a fairly smallish dealership when I found my Fit, and I had a great experience. YMMV of course.


The Nissan Versa Sedan is just about the cheapest new car you can buy. My girlfriend had one until the DUI stripper girl drove into its A-pillar at 40mph and totaled it. She really liked that car.


I bought my last BMW from a Ford dealer. I’ve never seen any selectivity from dealerships in terms of makes or models when it comes to filling out their pre-owned inventory. I would assume they have a bias towards keeping a certain amount of X vehicles of each class on hand so that they have enough sedans, minivans, coupes, etc on hand to satisfy demand. They might have a bias towards keeping a shakier vehicle if they need to fill out a class, but aside from that I’ve never a dealer turn their nose up an alternate make.

When I was BMW shopping recently I found BMWs all over the place at lots of dealerships. The one I finally bought was at a big Ford dealership. FWIW, I just checked my local Hyundai dealers website and they have a 2007 BMW X3 in stock.


When my girlfriend was shopping for a replacement car, the dealership she was browsing at had marked even their 3-year old vehicles to within a couple thousand of what you could buy a new vehicle for. But armed with data, she knew most people were buying the used cars for about $17,500, not $21,000.

They came down to her price.


One word of caution for people looking to buy used luxury cars or SUVs for what they’d pay for a new small family sedan : Repair Cost.

OK, technically that’s two words. I’ve seen people I know get bit by this fairly recently. One of the ladies I work with had purchased a very nice used Saab that she absolutely loves. She got a decent deal on it too. Then she got into an accident that damaged the passenger’s side door and some of the front passenger quarter panel in addition to some other stuff. Car is still drivable, but looks like shit. Because it’s a Saab, cost to replace the badly damaged door and panel will be close to $1000, over that with the other stuff thrown in. Insurance will not pay the forst $1000 because of the situation and her deductible. Essentially she cannot afford to repair the car for months until she saves up the money.

Another woman I know was loving her used BMW she got for a good deal at a local dealership. Before she was done paying for it she started having engine issues. Parts to repair her problems, which would have been maybe $500-$750 on a popular family sedan, ran over $2500 on the BMW.

Even something as simple as replacment tires on an SUV can be twice the cost of tires on a cheap family sedan. Be sure if you’re “trading up” by buying used that you understand the additional costs associated with maintenance and repair of the vehicle you’re buying. Extreme Example : It’s possible to purchase a used Porche or even Ferrarri for a fraction of what they cost new, but do you really want to pay the bills when it comes time to repair them?


Indeed. Don’t use the advantage of paying less to buy more car than you can afford. Instead, use it to buy the car you can afford for less.


I once went up to Dallas to test drive Shaquille O’Neal’s old Ferrari 456 that a second-hand exotics reseller had for sale for $35,000. The shocks were done, the driver’s seat was damaged from Shaq’s 350-lb butt, and there was no service history documentation.

The rule-of-thumb is that a Ferrari owner must budget about $1 in repairs for every mile driven. Unless that Ferrari is sporting a V12 engine, in which case you need to budget $2. So, with 17,000 miles on that car with zero service history, the potential buyer would have needed to budget another $35,000 in repair costs.

I passed on the opportunity.

I did however pick up a second-hand semi-exotic sports car from a private seller. Labor costs are about $100 an hour, so with the help of an enthusiasts forum, I taught myself how to perform all the routine maintenance to service its oil, brakes, and rotors. Instead of blindly purchasing factory replacement parts, I know enough to search the Internet for compatible replacements (a compatible fuel cap from Jaguar, for example, is 50% the price of the factory cap).

Moderate savings like that let me put more $$$ into the kitty for the clutch replacement I know is surely coming down the road.


What are depreciation rates like in the US? From what little I’ve seen, second hand cars are very expensive over there.

In Ireland/UK, luxury cars lose around 40-50% in the first two years, and even more modest cars don’t fare much better. For example, 5 year old BMW M5: €18,000 - cost €130,000 new. Or my car which cost €58,000 in 2005, which I purchased for €4,000 last year.


There have been a few changes in the US economy that has reduced the supply of second-hand vehicles and increased the demand.


Actually, maybe you guys can help me. Looking at changing car in the new year as
1)I’ve had my current one for 18months and am getting a bit bored
2)I hit 27 and my car insurance actually becomes relatively affordable.

Currently have a shortlist of about 5 models(for various reasons, I know it’s quite an eclectic mix) and wondering if anyone here has driven any of them?

  1. 2006 BMW 650i Coupe
  2. 2003 Jaguar XJR
  3. 2005 Jaguar S-Type R
  4. 2005 BMW 750Li
  5. 2002 Mercedez Benz C32 AMG

Prices of the above stretch from around €10-€15k, with my budget being somewhere in the middle.


Given your stated preferences, I think you clearly want a Honda Fit.


A 2011 one is out of my budget range :(


Thanks for that. Through the contacts on your links i had looked into going to an event in College Station around Thanksgiving, but unfortunately the family plans change and that’s not going to happen. I don’t have a ton of time to devote to it but i hope to find a track that i can go to in the next few months.


So are repairs on any of the cars you listed.


He’s buying a car because he’s bored with his current car, I don’t think his priorities match the hivemind’s. But hey, he can probably squeeze 18 months out of an old luxury car while he cruises for pensioners. Personally I would see about buying one of the cool little new cars they make over in Europe.



Ahhh, a driver after my own heart! All nice cars, though I agree quite an eclectic mix. You’ve got some big sedans mixed with coupes so it’s hard to be sure exactly what you are going for.

The only one on that list I have driven is the BMW 7 series and I’m not a huge fan. You can get equal performance in a lighter, more nimble, and fun to drive car by going with the 5 series or even better the 3 series.

Repair bills on all those fancy models are going to be huge, as others have warned, so if I had those five vehicles to pick from I’d bias my choice most carefully on mileage, available vehicle history, and any flaws noted in a close inspection.


That’s just a temporary blip. The big difference between the US and many european countries is the mandatory vehicle inspections. In the US any piece of junk that’s still moving will stay on the road. Even the bare minimum standards we enforce such as working headlights for night driving are only rarely enforced. I’ve driven around for months with a headlight out or a turn signal out.

In countries with comprehensive vehicle inspections, where almost any little flaw in the vehicle must be repaired in order to keep the vehicle registered and legal to be on the road at all, older vehicles that are out of warranty get much more expensive to maintain. Thus more people are willing to dump them and less people are willing to buy them. This skews the supply/demand considerably vs the US, and used vehicles seem absurdly cheap by US standards.


Yeah? Or does it make them a driver after your own heart?

(I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying used luxury cars, necessarily, to be clear. It’s just that, as I said but nobody believed at the time, buying a used car is trading reliability for performance/features, and therefore a non-thrifty move.)


I was checking your comments since I need to replace a dying Peugeot 307, and I was quite puzzled. I mean, I need another “cheap” car, and I’m looking at stuff like 2001 Avensis and 2001 S40, about 140k Km (~90k miles), prices hover around 1000-2000 euros. I’m looking into those cars exactly because fixing my current car costs more!


Weeks later and you still can’t let that one go? Seriously?