One reader says she can afford a car note, but doesn't want to get tied down in case the economy tanks further. The solution? A used car with low mileage on it. They are out there and do exist. In fact, I own two of them. She needs to be prepared to do a lot of homework (on foot, via internet, etc.) until she finds a car with about 10,000 miles per year of age. This may take many dealer lot visits, but the hunt is well worth it.
Here's an example: A four year old brand X car (year, make and model don't matter) with 50,000 miles on it would be too high for me. I'd be looking for a four year old with no more than 40,000 on it. It takes time and effort, but they do exist. Don't forget to check out lease returns; these cars are gently-used and well-maintained. Not everyone has a one-hour one-way commute these days, so low-mileage cars do exist out there.
Here's how This Old Housewife buys cars:
Financially speaking, never buy a used car that's less than three years old. You'll lose money on what depreciation's left on it. After three years, most of the depreciation's gone already. It's somebody else's loss, not yours!
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
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