Saturday Critical Action – Buy a Used Car
Welcome to the Saturday Critical Action. Each Saturday we take the weekly action from Jonathan Clements‘ blog Humble Dollar and “militarize” it for you. Jonathan Clements is a longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and he offers great advice at the best price you can get…free. Here is this week’s critical action:
BUY A USED CAR. While leasing or buying a new car may be alluring, purchasing a used one is usually the better financial choice. By buying a three-year-old car, you’ll sidestep the steep depreciation that new vehicles suffer, but the car should still have plenty of good miles ahead of it—and you should have plenty of choice, thanks to all the three-year-old cars coming off lease.
I’m definitely in agreement on this point. The last two cars I’ve purchased have been used, and both have been reliable. When I PCSed to Okinawa in 2006, we did like everyone else and purchased two old, fairly junky used cars. Both were fine for the two years we were there, and proved to me that driving a fancy new car is not a key to my happiness.
If you’re looking for a car buying easy button, USAA has a car buying service for used cars.