Why I Will Never Buy a New Vehicle Again

I grew up in a very frugal household. One thing we never had was a new vehicle, as my mom always bought reliable used vehicles that would last five or so years before repeating the whole process again. Though this never bothered me, I always said once in my life I would buy a brand new vehicle, even just once. I don’t know what it was about owning something brand new, I think I just wanted to experience the whole process from test driving to taking home with only a few kilometers registered on the vehicle. I think this was more my immaturity and young age than anything but now that I’ve experienced it I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.

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My husband and I were driving an eight year old European car that was getting more and more expensive to fix. There were few people who would actually work on it and when they did, it was always expensive. In the winter we decided to buy, things started going really downhill with the car including losing not only the AC system the previous fall, but we now no longer had heat- a necessity in our winters. There were a few other small things (like the heated seats in the passenger’s seat burning holes in the fabric) but the heat going was the final straw. It was officially going to cost us significantly more to fix the vehicle than it was actually worth. We decided to stop spending money on an eight year old vehicle with over 200,000 km on it and falling apart.

We knew we’d want a larger vehicle eventually since our car didn’t hold anything. My husband was, at the time, carrying ladders and heavy work equipment around in our tiny car and it wasn’t working. He was driving our little car like a truck which I’m sure contributed to its wear and tear. We also knew that we’d eventually have kids and there was no way we could fit something like a stroller in this car. We test drove and purchased our first brand new vehicle a few weeks after deciding we would be buying a car.

Things I love about owing a new vehicle was the warranty. We only needed to use it once or twice but it was nice to have. The other thing about owning a new vehicle that I have enjoyed is that in the last four and a half years we have put very little money into the vehicle other than standard maintenance like oil changes, brakes and tires. In my little old corolla I was constantly fixing something- the exhaust, the suspension, the muffler. Knock on wood we’ve had nothing like that which, especially while working to pay debt off, has been nice.

Why I’ll never own a new vehicle again is the standard stuff though. The depreciation value kills me. To see what we paid and what a used one sells for just four years later kills my soul. I will likely always buy a vehicle at least one year old in the future. The other thing I wasn’t expecting was that our insurance went up too in the last year. Because we still owe some financing on the vehicle the outstanding balance vs the current value of vehicle is more which isn’t so great in the eyes of the insurance company who’d be responsible for helping us if we were in a bad accident.

Owing a brand new vehicle is something I’m glad I experienced, and learned from it. Going forward I won’t likely ever do it again but I’m no longer wondering what it’s like.

16 thoughts on “Why I Will Never Buy a New Vehicle Again

  1. Yeah, buying new is usually a bad choice. I did once make an exception to my used-only rule. I was looking for a used small wagon when I ran across a new Hyundai Elantra wagon for only $12k. The price was comparable to used wagons I’d been seeing, and it came with a 10-year warranty. So I got the Elantra, and I didn’t regret it.

  2. The thing about vehicles is…..the “oooh, I love my new car” thrill only lasts a little while. We bought a brand new car once. Earlier this year we bought a van – it was a year old, so it was discounted thousands over a new van. Guess what? Same “oooh, I love my new car” feeling….for just as short of a time. 🙂

  3. You are so right. Depreciation sucks and it’s a huge opportunity cost(that money could have earned interest).

    It’s so funny that I stumbled upon you on the millionaireninja blog because I was just thinking about the next car we will purchase and was wondering what were the upside to owning a brand new vehicule.

    Thanks you and I’m looking forward to your next post. 🙂

  4. I have to get a new car soon. My current car is closing in on 250k miles and it won’t last forever. I have even thought about buying new although I share your concerns about depreciation. I will def. not be buying new unless I can get a really kick ass warranty that would make it worth it.

  5. We’ve owned six new cars but I don’t think I will buy a new car again. After reading all the personal finance blogs on this topic, including this one, I feel more informed about this. I would save up the money to buy a used car in cash, as well.

  6. Kathy says:

    My husband is exactly the opposite. He doesn’t want to buy a used car ever again. We have a truck we bought new 10 years ago and so far it has been fine. (Knock wood.) We bought a used Lexus – 5 years old with only 15,000 miles – and this summer had to have repair work done to the tune of $1800. Ouch! Of course both vehicles are out of warranty so any repair is totally our cost. Prior to these vehicles, we leased, which I know is toxic to most financial gurus. But the vehicles were never out of warranty and if for any reason we didn’t like them, we were just a short time away from being able to trade them in. Trading cars is one of those areas where once size does not fit all.

  7. Like you said, the standard stuff is what gets me. I can’t handle that kind of depreciation. lol. I prefer to let someone else take it for me. I do understand people who have always wanted a new car, become wealthy, then buy one new car just for the sake of it. Other than that, I’ll always buy used.

  8. We all fall out of love with our cars at some point so there is no need to get a new vehicle that catches your eye. Buy used and let the original owner pay for the depreciation.

    The thing that really gets me is luxury cars. They are the EXACT SAME on the inside as their non luxury counterparts and people are literally paying twice as much for a lexus as they would for a camry because it is shinier with a few more bells and whistles. Also maintenance is very expensive on a luxury car.

    Buying new AND luxury just blows my mind but there are people that do it.

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