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Old 16.02.2011, 11:22
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How old is too old [for a car]

So I want to buy my mom a car in Peru (because she lives there btw), we agreed on a budget ~10-14K USD
The thing is I would like to get her a second hand 4x4 as they are great for getting out of the city, but she wants to buy a brand new car, saying that if we get a second hand car it will last only a short time and in the end we will spend more money than with a new car....so my question is how old is too old for a car? Is it the years or do I also have to consider mileage? HELP!

Thanks!
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:30
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

The Jeep Wrangler I brought over from the UK is a 1996 model and has done 60,000miles.
I have had it for about 6 years now and have not had any real probs with it. Replaced the usual stuff, brakes and 2 tyres and the odd little thing.

An older car can be fine if you do a bit of research on it. Also, depends on how much it will be used, what for etc. Also depends if what she wants as new will be in the budget anyway.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:34
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Years are relevant if it is too old to get spares or not up to a certain minimum technical standards: Automatic brake control, disk brakes etc. come to mind.
Mileage is highly relevant, but also the type of mileage: A rental car or a taxi will have aged quicker than a car with the same mileage done only on smooth long drives on highways.
Since this is about Peru: If a car was sitting in a coastal area next to the ocean spray it might have aged prematurely. Not soooo relevant for Switzerland...
Don't confuse the specs of a Swiss model with those of the 'same' model in another country. Many manufacturers produce cars to lower specs for developing countries.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:38
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

In general, try to buy a 2-4 year old car as you will get a much better car than you could afford new (a large amount of depreciation occurs in the first 1-3 years). Any decent second hand car unless it has done ridiculous mileage should last for a good few years without problems other than normal servicing/consumables replacement.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:39
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Modern cars are extremely well-built, and I would always buy a used car over a new one. With proper maintenance, there is absolutely no reason that a newish car won't last 10 years+ and 100K miles+ without causing any major problems.

Regardless of make or model, new cars depreciate very heavily. Rather than investing half your budget in depreciation, why not buy a car that's three years old? At that age, it's likely to have been fully serviced with a main dealer and any faults rectified under warranty, plus it's likely only to have had one owner. Save $1-2k as a contingency fund in case something goes wrong, and if it gives you peace-of-mind, buy an aftermarket warranty.

If I had $10-14k to spend on a 4x4, I would much rather purchase a high-spec Japanese or German model that was a few years old (with all the toys -- leather, air con, sat nav, nice stereo) than a cheap, basic Kia or Suzuki that was brand new.

You need to use common sense and good judgement when buying a second-hand car. I wouldn't touch anything without a full service history, and I would focus on cars known for their reliability and longevity (which is why I'd focus on German & Japanese rather than American, despite improving quality on American cars).

Last edited by Village Idiot; 21.02.2011 at 09:33.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:41
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Thanks guys, my mom lives in the coast but not too close to the beach for it to be a problem but I guess we will have to consider that when we know where the car came from.
I was thinking a 5-6 year old car with not so many miles would be great. She mainly wants it to do her daily chores and then during the weekend drive up the mountain, since there are lots of us a big car is a plus.
I was thinking she should consider a car for which parts are easy to find, she drives an old AUdi now but since it is 1990 no more parts are available and it keeps breaking down (and I hate it)...
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:56
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

My car back home is a 12year old Subaru Impreza

I had no problems with it and if i could drive on the proper side of the road here i would bring it over.
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Old 16.02.2011, 12:13
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

My thought on cars is to buy high quality, and used. Make a short list of makes and models you are interested in, and then research them. You may find that the apple of your eye was made in a transition model year and is plagued with problems, while the same model from the year before or after is fine.

I'm a former Volvo mechanic and am loyal to the brand, and have always bought cars that were ~10 years old, often with over 150K miles (that's 240K km) on the odometer. Over the course of 5 cars the only repair work needed aside from standard maintenance (brakes, belts, etc, water pumps replaced preventatively when doing the timing belt) has been a turbo at 250K km, and some suspension work after a slide down an ice covered hill .

Quite a few other makes have as good or better long term service records; I wouldn't even consider a car personally that isn't capable of hitting 300k km without major work.

Do you want a 4x4 car, or something a little bigger? As you're talking Peru near the coast, I would pay attention to what's said about rust resistance for the models you are interested in. Some cars definitely rust out more easily than others and that can be as big a factor in a used car as the mechanical reliability.

Used is good. And in my opinion better to pay a little more for something with a known history and service record and perhaps a few more km's than a complete unknown with lower km's.
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Old 16.02.2011, 12:18
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Well that is what I am telling my mom, that we should go to a proper garage where they can give us some kind of warranty but the woman won;t listen! Thanks guys again, will come up with the list of requirements
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Old 16.02.2011, 13:10
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Tell her she'll get what she's given. Ungrateful old bat.
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Old 16.02.2011, 13:12
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

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Well that is what I am telling my mom, that we should go to a proper garage where they can give us some kind of warranty but the woman won;t listen! Thanks guys again, will come up with the list of requirements
Would you like me to talk to your moms?
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Old 16.02.2011, 13:32
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Agenal, you and Whysoserious? should team up. He's got a mother in law trying to buy him a car.

Seriously though, buy a second hand still on warranty car. If you mother doesn't like it, well, she can just refuse to drive it.
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Old 16.02.2011, 13:52
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

There is a copy of the official German testing station report,
if you see the magazine on sale, then buy it!

Generally all Toyotas come out very well.

http://download.autobild.de/dl/69971..._001_Titel.pdf
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Old 16.02.2011, 14:02
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Does she really want a 4x4? Wouldn't a small Toyota/Mazda/whatever with a new car warranty do the trick. I am sure you could buy one of those for under $15000.
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Old 16.02.2011, 14:04
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Definitely, I would go for the second hand car over the brand new one because of the high depreciation. Try to find something that had only one owner and been driven by human driver and not higher millage than 50'000km. If I were to buy in a country where travelling distances are long, I probably would have looked into 1-2 (max 3) years old vehicle becuase I believe vehicles are relatively hard pushed and beaten cr@p out of due to the terrain and roads there.

Here in EU, I would still opt for 3-5 years old car with single owner. We got our 2007 model for nearly half a price of the new one and in excellent condition.

Good luck!
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Old 16.02.2011, 14:12
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

Angela: my "FIL" in Lima has a Toyota Rav 4 that's lasted forever and he drives everywhere no problem. I think for 10-14k USD it'll be a good one too.


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Old 16.02.2011, 14:28
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Re: How old is too old [for a car]

I used to have a 25 yo. Volkswagen Beetle. No problem at all, it didn't even need water, but that model was made to last.

Tips:
  • Check the reviews for models on the web
  • See what the local taxi drivers have. They usually pick only well performing, cheap and low maintenance cars.

I'd buy a model from 2 or 3 ago. It pays off as you could save on taxes while still getting a recent unit.
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