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Friday, October 13, 2006

Buy Used Car or New Car?

Our trusty old car is giving us problems agains. Its an engine overheating problem. Sob. Sob. The men at the workshop could not find the problem and after losing RM1k plus for fixing other things the problem recurs in the evening. How annoying is that! Thats always the problem with mechanics. Fix everything else accept the problem. The other thing about mechanics is everytime we send the car over for fixing, somehow or other a new problem will arise within the next month or two.

We were hoping to keep this 12 year old car of ours for a few years more before we scrap it and get another but looks like it may be time to change. Sigh! New cars are so expensive. Some of them even cost the same as an apartment. Imagine driving an apartment around! And they depreciate so quickly. Getting a new car does not seem to make financial sense. Not only that, theres the car installment payments to consider. We didn't mind driving an old car because it meant driving a fully paid old car but now that its become not so reliable, its costing us to keep it so maybe its time to go.

So, we're thinking of second hand but then we are worried that in trying to be smart we end up making a big mistake like getting a stolen vehicle, a problematic one that has been through an accident or whatever risk associated with a used car. Aarrgghh! Hubby asked me to check out Eon. Apparently they also trade in used cars and give a warranty. I found a lousy website that has no links and no contact address. If they can't even have a proper website, I worry about the service.

What to do? Dunno, dunno, dunno. All I see is money flying out the window. If must pay mortgage and car installments too, how to save any money for the children's education or even have any retirement plan?

Anyone has any thoughts to share? What car do you drive? Is it reliable? What about fuel consumption? Should we get a new car or a used car? What car? Should we keep this since its worth so little now? Any tips on buying new/used car? Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.


  1. In s'pore, buying a car only consider one factor... cost$$$$ Buy wat u can afford.hahaha

    Maybe in m'sia should consider MPV if you much barang to put in the car (bicycles, pram, tiny tikes playground set :P) Otherwise I think a sedan will do fine as the boot is quite big. Ours is a Honda Civic, about 2 years old. We bought it when my son came along. Before that was a toyota echo (or yaris) which had a pathetic boot. My hubby loves his honda, cos he said engine powerful. for me,I find the handling of the car quite good, no complaints about it.

    If got $$$ maybe get a second small second-hand car for you to zip here and there to do errands...

  2. What type of car are you looking at? My granma's car is in excellent condition!!! Email me if you need more details. But I do recommend 2nd hand car. I learnt frm experience. You can check the car out at puspakom, hv a friend (v good in cars) help you out.

    My hub's co just bought a 2nd hand fiat multipla (the ugliest car) in the world. A lil weary looking, but the internal parts are great!

    Let me know ok ;-)...it has the lowest mileage in the WORLD!!!!!!

  3. i drive a tincan (proton), its ok, but somehow like all tincan owners, after the 2 years warranty, the tincan starts to sound funny.
    my bro in law drives a new city, he gets better mileage than me, my Rm70 takes me abt 320km++ around city, he gets approximately 450km. wow ! and it squeek less.
    having own and drives tincan, i have no intention of upgrading to a better tincan. with a bigger family now and older parents to think of, i'm looking more at a mpv, and the innova, looks quite reasonable price. and i hope that will last at least another 10 years.
    i think toyota and nissan gives good value for money. even the eon mechanics drives toyota. anyway i'm only a driver and knows little under the hood.

  4. Buy New One! Big Big One! With Many Many Seats! But not bus la.. then you can come and bring us go ride ride...haha

  5. Financial planning and talking abt cars, me not good at! :P

    But my experience is that driving an used car, you will not know the condition of the car, my first car was a used car, so as the one my mum's driving now. Every now and then, we've to spent $$$ for maintanence.

    Both hub and me driving local car (Perodua and Ria, cannot afford other imported one la) Used to drive a proton, but from our experience.. perodua is more reliable. My car going to be 4 yrs old, no problem (touchwood)and fuel consumption also ok. Hub's car going to be 2 yrs..but has more prob than mine (has been in the workshop so many times liao, somemore brand new one)Our old Waja also got some prob..traded in for our Ria (need more space when WH came along) when the car's 4 yrs old.

  6. karen,
    Have to think so hard to get first car, certainly no extra for a second!

    What car (make & year) does your grandma drive?

    Toyota has a used car centre which I may check out. Thanks.

    Why not you come and take me for a ride?

    Hmmm... new doesn't mean reliable eh?

  7. My hubby only believes in buying used car. He said for new cars once they are out the door, their value drops. If you really wanna buy a reliable new car, go for the Japanese cars. Furthermore, their parts can be easily sourced and cheaper too. Well, that's the case for us here..not sure about Msia.

  8. For your existing car, check the following items:

    1. Water pump is functioning well. If you have not changed your water pump at all, then it is probably the cause of your problems.

    2. Radiator. Has it been flushed regularly, say every 40k km and topped up with fresh coolant and distilled water? If not, you may want to consider flushing it or even replacing the entire radiator.

    3. Radiator fans. Are they all running with their relays all in order? Sometimes the relays fail and your fans fail to kick in when they should.

    4. Radiator hoses. Any blockage there?

    As for cars. If new....very simple....get either a Toyota Innova or a Toyota Avanza. If used, get a Toyota Unser from Toyota Topmark (their used car centre). I am not a fan of Toyota but they usually make the cars that suit the family's needs.

    Naza Citra and Ria are also options if you can put up with Naza's legendary lousy service standards.

  9. I think if can afford, buy new one and got warranty some more.
    My brother and SIL bought 2 2nd hand cars, but they sort of know the owners and the cars are really in good condition. They managed to save a lot too.
    So, the thing is, if you're really sure about the quality, then can get 2nd hand

  10. Ooo..sorry..i shud hv gvn details.

    Honda City 1997, mileage less than 40K. It was granpa's car. He left us for heavenly pastures in 2000 and my g'ma..well, she can drive..but hvg alzheimer's, not so good idea. HAHA!

    It's well kept - upholstery, well-maintained - internally. I will not lie though..I think there are some dents and scratches, all minor tho. All genuine parts. Good savings here! No pressure tho'..anyone interested, EMAIL ME!!!

  11. oop! forgot to mention. Accident-free! Major one that is. They had some problems parking properly (senior citizens mah!), hence the minor dents n scratches.

  12. vien,
    "Once they are out of the door, the value drops."
    Yup, there is some truth in that.

    Thank you for sharing. Its good to know a bit about cars like you do. I think we have ruled out 1-4. Not sure but it appears to be a problem with the gasket.

    Yes, getting second hand would be good value if you know the seller and the car quality otherwise it could turn out to be a nightmare.

    Honda City? Oooh I like! But that looks more like a lady's car. We need a family one. Now, if we were getting a car for me...... (*dreaming*)

  13. hmm...very hard decision because got pros and cons. Besides that, also car is not a profit investment...

  14. Get an Avanza. Can car pool ur neighbours' kids to and from school to earn extra money (dat's what one of my frens is doing). Not a bad idea hor?

  15. I will go for a new car for fear of more maintenance cost with a second car. Unless you have a trusted mechanic family members or friends who can do the check-up of the second hand car and give you the thumb up for the car!

  16. Hey, if you're considering a 2nd hand car, you should go look into the owners' experiences at http://autoworld.com.my/forum/ . A new car will give you peace of mind for a few years at least, while a 2nd hand car can give you good value for money - so it really depends on what you look for.

    If you're looking for a 2nd hand car, here are some thoughts:

    Japanese cars are usually quite hardy and reliable and not terribly expensive to maintain. Downside is they're more costly than their continental counterparts.

    European cars are cheap and excellent machines but maintainance could be expensive - unless you know where to go. This is where Autoworld Forum is helpful.

    Korean cars are quite cheap in the 2nd hand market but I hear replacement parts are even more expensive than European cars.

    Anyway, getting a car is always exciting! Good luck. :)

  17. Hubby always prefers recond cars (as value depreciates very fast for new cars) & me, I prefer brand new ones (less maintenance). I do not agree on Unser as my uncle has one and petrol consumption is high. I'm a supporter of Perodua as I owned a 10 years old Kancil and a 2 year old Kenari. One good point is low petrol consumption in the long run. Obviously, they are not so ideal as a family car. But if you were to compare a Proton to Kenari, it's definitely a Kenari for me.

  18. chanelwong,
    Definitely not a profit investment.

    Yah, not a bad idea.

    contented mum,
    Its true what you say.

    Thank you for the tips and the link. Will check it out.

    With rising fuel prices, petrol consumption is certainly something to consider when buying car. Thanks for sharing.

  19. We have two cars. Kelisa and Avanza.

    The Kelisa is good for short drives as well as long drives if one or two passengers. VERY fuel efficient and Road Tax is negligible. Good value. RM40,000.00 thereabouts.

    The Avanza is good for family driving especially with 2 kids and a maid along (plus wifey, of course). Sufficient room for almost anything. Great for hypermarket shoppings :) Fuel wise, more economical than Wiras and Wajas. RM62,000.00 thereabouts for the 1.3 (which I am driving) and RM72,000.00 for the 1.5 (new).

    No Problems with both vehicles until now. Very satisfied :)

  20. ok... I don't own a car so can't really give much opinions but also have kaypoed about this topic before with PiggyBeng and my dad. My PiggyBeng is driving his granddad's almost 30 yo Datsun... which is from Nissan (only to office coz have to park on open carpark - under sun/rain) and he really loves this car coz the petrol consumption is really LOW... and we have a Honda Accord... wah makan minyak! But if we go on highway...more economical. PiggyBeng made a survey that the best car so far is Nissan Sentra... first or 2nd hand. My brother owns a Honda City which he said really good for city driving but makan minyak if on long haul... HTH!

  21. Mumsgather, wow, you have many bloggers who can help.
    In my opinion, never buy new cars unless you have your own business to offset the tax. The minute you take your new car on the road, it will depreciate 15-20%. Let someone else do the depreciation for you, so 2nd hand cars is the way to go..
    Most 2nd hand cars between 2-4 years are very reliable but make sure they have full service history. Also, check reason as to why the previous ownders are selling. Try to get 2nd hand car with one previous owner only.
    If you are getting one car for whole family, go for medium size.
    We have always bought 2nd hand cars except when we had our business we bought new cars.
    All the best in your search!

  22. pablopabla,
    Thanks for sharing. I'm still hoping that after this trip back from the mechanic we can continue to hang on to this old thing for a while yet.

    Nissan Sentra not cheap though.

    Here, you probably lose about RM10k per year due to depreciation.

  23. like immom hub i like recond car cos depr is lower. but wife likes new car so my next car will be...*make a guess*

  24. Hi. Like Vien, my hubby believes in 2nd hand cars / recond cars. Since we had Ashley, we bought a 2nd hand Kia Rio which is like a little wagon. It was a 2 year old car and problem free. Very reliable and spacious. Since we have a rather big stroller, the boot space of this car is excellent. We also manage to find a really good Korean specialist who has a shop in Sunway. I think a 2nd hand Kia Rio now cost about RM30k.

  25. see fei,
    Must guess ah? Like my little boy would tell me...."Dunno?"

    mommy to chumsy,
    You're the only fan of Korean so far. Hehe.

  26. A good 2nd hand car will do. As you put it, with the rising excise duties, new cars are certainly not worth it. Alternatively, you may want to get those 6 month old demo cars.

  27. Korean car parts are certainly not costlier than European parts. In fact, they are even cheaper than European and Japanese parts.

    From experience and using oil filters as an example:
    5k km service interval
    Perodua Kenari - RM12
    Proton Wira - RM20

    10k km service interval
    Hyundai Matrix - RM12
    Peugeot 406 - RM21
    Fiat Punto - RM17

    15k service interval
    Skoda Fabia - RM35
    VW Passat - RM32

    These are original part prices from the authorised service centre. Of course, prices could have changed over the years.

    Buy the car you like, not based on what you hear (unless you hear it from a motoring fan with the relevant experience).

    My recommendations are the safe bet. How many family-MPVs are there in the market anyway? Toyota Avanza/Innova, Inokom Matrix, Renault Kangoo or Naza Citra/Ria. Suzuki's MPV does not quality to be an MPV because it is a van.

    If you do not want to be bothered with sourcing for cheaper parts (most European cars have cheaper parts outside authorised workshops) and you are not to type who anticipates problems with your car, then avoid European cars. They are not more problematic per se but they do require that you check for problems more regularly because once the part fails, everything else related to that part will encounter problems due to the interlinked nature of the car's on board circuitry.

  28. Forgot, you will need a top overhaul when you replace your engine gasket. Might as well sell the car.

  29. pinky,
    Yeah, we're thinking 2nd hand.

    Thank you for sharing with me this info. At the moment we have replaced the engine gasket for about RM500 plus. (Dunno if thats a reasonable price or what) So, hopefully, the car and tahan for a while longer till we decide.

  30. wahh so many question how to answer :P..

    hmm i would say a reliable can be a new or old car. old car really depends on luck. sometimes u can buy a 2nd hand car but very good condition. sometimes not. I bought 1 3 yrs back, worth 4k, but very reliable hehe..

    oso budget lehh..hey if u interested in waja 4 yrs old, lemme know. i got a fren interested to sell cause he's changing car, available in Jan 07. I can assure you tip top condition, he sayang his car alot haha


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