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Old vehicles as a "value"


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Alaskan Swamp Collie

I buy used, low mileage vehicles and drive them as long as possible. My work vehicles(construction) I drive till the wheels fall off. Mostly retired now but still do some jobs, my present work van has many miles on it, how many who knows as the dash doesn't work anymore. The heater makes a hell of a racket, but it is warming up so I won't need it for a few months. PRND is all I need to know to go forward or back. Going to probably run out of gas one day, but I carry a can. When my last work van died I couldn't give it away. That one some kid hit me in the side and I took the his insurance check and put new brakes in it and left the dent. Now as for my hunting rig, that one I make sure it is mechanically sound as that is what is really important.

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"The rich get richer by acting poor, and the poor get poorer by acting rich" - I think Sam Walton said that?

I drive more than 95% of people who aren’t truckers, and I dare say I drive for less than anyone else here. I commute at least 125 miles a day, and I buy well maintained oriental cars a few years old

Appreciate reading this discussion as I'm grappling with this myself: newer, nicer, perhaps longer-lasting (time-wise) truck, or much cheaper, higher mileage truck that will need some maintenance in t

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chilly460

I was referencing the restoration of "toy" type vehicles, versus just buying one that's done.  In that case, it's ALWAYS cheaper to buy the complete good car versus starting with a project and building. 

 

I think this is a different topic, keeping older "late model" vehicles alive versus buying new.   I have a '96 C1500 GMC with 363k on it, this falls in the category of a beater, and in my opinion is always the more affordable option over buying a new $50k truck.  I'm trying to think of my costs over the last five years....alternator, shocks, fuel pump, clogged catalytic convertor....around $600 all in all with me doing the work, that's little more than a single monthly payment on a new truck so it's a no brainer.   Granted, it's a pretty frail feeling old truck by now and I know the trans can't support tow duty so I have a 2017 F150, but if I didn't have the towing requirement the old truck could be my only vehicle.  

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Appreciate reading this discussion as I'm grappling with this myself: newer, nicer, perhaps longer-lasting (time-wise) truck, or much cheaper, higher mileage truck that will need some maintenance in the near future but with a substantially lower price point. I'm leaning toward the latter, but not entirely sure what the break-over point will be. I honestly thought I'd buy a new, zero-options 4x4 F150, but for just a bit more than the payment on that, I could buy a 2008 Porsche 911 AND a beater Xterra. (Maybe that's the way to go...). 

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Jazz4Brazo
1 hour ago, Greg Hartman said:

 

I try to do that, too.  BUT...

 

One problem for me is that I'm not any kind of mechanic, so I have to pay someone to keep an older vehicle on the road. 

 

My other problem, as a non-mechanic, is that it's always hard for me to know when "it dropped".  My last "shooting brake" - an old Jeep Liberty - gave me many years of service, but in each of the last two years I owned it, I spent at least the cost of buying an equivalent vehicle to keep it running.  Each time, I figured "OK, now I've fixed everything on the vehicle!  There's nothing left to go wrong."  Then, something else would fail and I'd be stuck with the Hobson's Choice of just junking a non-functioning vehicle, or paying, yet again, to fix it.  After two years of that, I decided that "it dropped" and bought a new truck.

 

Same boat here and had to decide my Tacoma had "dropped" after 18 months of hopefully this is the last repair for awhile.

 

Paid cash for our new vehicles (had started a car fund awhile ago)...hoping to run those for awhile now...buying strategy also depends on available funds and personal priorities so each to his own...no judgement zone 🙂

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WI Outdoor Nut
1 hour ago, jeff88 said:

That's classic reverse snobbery with an Eff U to boot.  Love it.  I don't feel real badly about folks who flaunt their wealth but it is pitiful.   The older I get, the more I enjoy the  "not caring" factor.  Not caring + CRS = 😎

 

I agree.  I am friends with a guy from church.  He is in his 80's and lives in a modest ranch house, and drives an F150.  One Sunday I casually asked him how things were going, to which he flipped out his phone.  He showed me a nice 6x7 elk he shot the week before.  I was amazed.  When I asked where, he said his ranch he had out in western KS.  I asked the details on the ranch.  Said it was 3800 acres and said that is what $10MM will buy out there.  This guy never flaunts his wealth at all, and you would never know that he has 10's of millions.  Often provides "unknown" donations to the church and school.  Great guy all around. 

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"The rich get richer by acting poor, and the poor get poorer by acting rich" - I think Sam Walton said that?

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2 hours ago, jeff88 said:

That's classic reverse snobbery with an Eff U to boot.  Love it.  I don't feel real badly about folks who flaunt their wealth but it is pitiful.   The older I get, the more I enjoy the  "not caring" factor.  Not caring + CRS = 😎

CFS, too.  Gil

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What worries me about really old rides is road salt usage in the North.  In PGH, I got rid of vehicles based solely on rust issues, they were solid runners but started to look nasty.  Here in TX, about the worst body-related effect is peeling paint from sun damage.  No salt means the frame, under carriage and body parts can stay intact for a long time.  Sun belt rides can be a good used value for those who want to run older vehicles.  I sold a pristine '96 Acrua RL in 2005 to a guy who flew down from Chicago.  Picked him up at the airport, we went to a notary and exchanged money and papers, drove me to my house, then off he went.  Only reason I sold it was that I had gotten a company car.  

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Samuel Hoggson
3 hours ago, Jazz4Brazo said:

I am of the opinion that I buy new then run it til it drops with the last years always being the rationale that a $1,000 fix is equal to a few car payments...

 

Ditto.  Wish I'd saved the piece, was from the WSJ late '90s, IIRC.  Compared two average families over a 20 year (think) span.  Family A bought new, traded every 3 years.  Family B bought new kept average 11 years.  Factored all repair costs, which were higher for family B.  Around $300k saving realized by family B. 

 

Our F350s were each kept 17 yrs.  The '01 V70XC is still with us.

 

Dunno if I really saved $300k, but I hate change so..........  

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Tim Frazier

I have a very good friend who buys new and absolutely runs his cars into the ground.  To the point he was once told to replace his car or find a new firm to work at (windshield was duct tapped to the car at that time)  I have no doubt he has saved as much or more than I do buying used!

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topdog1961

I drive more than 95% of people who aren’t truckers, and I dare say I drive for less than anyone else here. I commute at least 125 miles a day, and I buy well maintained oriental cars a few years old with about 90k on them when I buy. I drive them to 250-300k and typically give them away to needy family due to aesthetic not mechanical reasons.  I do maintenance and minor repairs myself. I use 10 cents a mile as a yardstick, figuring if I bought a 20k Car new and drive it 200k, it cost me 10 cents a mile to drive new. The last 25 years I’ve commuted for under 3 cents a mile. 

 

Same for 4x4 trucks. I bought my current truck, a 98 F-150, from southern KY, original owner, garaged in winter, spotless, no rust for $6500. It’s hauled my boat, work trailer, and took me hunting and fishing for 8 years and I could sell it today for $4,000. How many of you drive a dependable nice looking IMO 4x4 for $300 a year?  A big knock on wood. 

 

Yes, there is a lot of value in driving well maintained older vehicles. 

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I like to purchase new and maintain . Keep for ten years min and then sell or give away and repeat. A well maintained vehicle goes a long way with not much out of pocket. This has been my findings.

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Tim Frazier
31 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

I drive more than 95% of people who aren’t truckers, and I dare say I drive for less than anyone else here. I commute at least 125 miles a day, and I buy well maintained oriental cars a few years old with about 90k on them when I buy. I drive them to 250-300k and typically give them away to needy family due to aesthetic not mechanical reasons.  I do maintenance and minor repairs myself. I use 10 cents a mile as a yardstick, figuring if I bought a 20k Car new and drive it 200k, it cost me 10 cents a mile to drive new. The last 25 years I’ve commuted for under 3 cents a mile. 

 

Same for 4x4 trucks. I bought my current truck, a 98 F-150, from southern KY, original owner, garaged in winter, spotless, no rust for $6500. It’s hauled my boat, work trailer, and took me hunting and fishing for 8 years and I could sell it today for $4,000. How many of you drive a dependable nice looking IMO 4x4 for $300 a year?  A big knock on wood. 

 

Yes, there is a lot of value in driving well maintained older vehicles. 

My Vibe was a 10 cent a mile car, and I should have kept it even longer.  Put brand new tires/brakes on it and sold it to a young man for the cost of those parts.  I should have kept it!!!  

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2 hours ago, Lurch said:

"The rich get richer by acting poor, and the poor get poorer by acting rich" - I think Sam Walton said that?

Sam Walton drove an old red pickup truck with the windows rolled down and no AC to church on Sunday.  I have seen several interesting pics to verify that fact locally,  His store numbers were in the teens to 40's here locally and his employees were fiercely loyal.  Including my aunt who retired 2 years ago after more than 40.  Fiercely loyal with religious conviction he was a great man.  He also made many of the early employees wealthy with stock. 

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1 hour ago, Samuel Hoggson said:

 

Ditto.  Wish I'd saved the piece, was from the WSJ late '90s, IIRC.  Compared two average families over a 20 year (think) span.  Family A bought new, traded every 3 years.  Family B bought new kept average 11 years.  Factored all repair costs, which were higher for family B.  Around $300k saving realized by family B. 

 

 

If a family manages to eliminate a typical car payment of $400 for 35 years and instead invests that money in the S&P at 7%, at the end of 35 years they've got $663,537.02.  After 40 years it's just shy of a million.

 

The time horizon and assumptions will change the exact number, but the number will always be big.

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