What Car To Buy? New Car, Used Car, or Somewhere In Between?

B and I have this discussion all the time about the next car and whether it should be new or used.

First I need to state that we both agree that any car is a huge waste of money to sit in the driveway. I have no desire to impress anybody with my wheels. We’d like something safe and as economical to drive and due to the suburban location we really do need a car each. I’d love to stick to a one car family but we do need to buy a car in 2012 or early 2013.

**Our Car Buying Options Are


Buy a used $2000 wonder and hope and pray we get some time out of it. This could be a really good idea and we get lucky or we could have spent $2000 for somebody else’s problems.

Double that amount and get something in the $5000 range. Again, this could be a really bad idea or a really good one. We would, or could get some life out of the car, but now we have two aging automobiles in the driveway instead of one.

Buy something new-ish, but still a used car. **Off lease models **would still allow us to save money on a car vs buying a new car and still get a reliable vehicle.

The plan is to drive the mitsubishi to work for B, and use the new off lease car as the car for longer road trips. The mitsubishi is starting to show it’s age and we’d feel better driving something newer. Assuming we wait until 2013 to seriously consider shopping for an off lease or pre-owned vehicle, that would mean we could get into a 2010 car if we shopped around.

**What Car To Buy?


We want something roomy enough to be able to toss the pesky dog into and still have room for our stuff. We both have family that live far enough away that overnights are involved and we’d like to buy a small SUV. I’d love a full sized SUV but I don’t think we could afford the fuel it costs. $4 a gallon hurts at the pumps.

Over the next few months we’re going to seriously have to start shopping for an additional set of wheels. If we can swing it, we would love to save and pay cash for our car but the reality is we may have to arrange a small loan for all of this to happen and I guess we’re OK with that, but paying cash is better.

Does anybody have any suggestions? 2 door coupes are out due to the dog, and we’re not sure if we really need a full sized SUV or even a Mini Van. We’re thinking perhaps a small SUV like the Honda CRV or the Kia Sportage. We’re not really too brand loyal and if we’re shopping used we may have toe open our eyes to other possibilities too.

The Great 2012 Car Hunt Begins..