What Does That “New” Car Smell Even Smell Like?

What’s up, budgeters! Got two things to talk about today:

  1. How I’ve never bought a new car or house or almost anything big* brand new before, and why.
  2. A special offer USAA has for its members who go through their car buying service**

That second one won’t matter much if you’re not connected to the military and/or not in the market for a car and/or hate USAA (blasphemy!), but the first one I’m pretty sure most of you can relate to :) And for those who can’t, I want to know what we’re missing? And what that new car smell, smells like??

#1. How I’ve never bought a new car or house or almost anything big brand new before, and why.

Up until recently it never occurred to me that I’ve never owned a new car or house or anything substantial* for that matter, but a recent chat with a USAA colleague changed that. We hopped on the phone so I could learn more about their car buying service they’ve just re-launched (for anyone new here, I’m a hardcore fanboy of USAA and literally have 14 accounts with them!), and somewhere along the conversation I was asked what I thought about used vs new cars.

“Used all the way, baby!” I said out loud. “That’s how I roll!” (Okay, I didn’t really say that ‘cuz I’m not that clever on the spot, but I did say I prefer used all the way ;)) And it was at that exact moment that I realized I’ve never owned a new car EVER in my life before, nor do I even know what that feels like?

I then mentally went down the list of all the cars I’ve owned in the past 20 years since having my license to make sure I was correct

  1. 1988 Chevy Corsica – Used! (8 years old when I got it, hand me down from my parents)
  2. 1993 Geo Tracker – Used! (4 years old when I got it, the first car I ever bought!)
  3. 1988 Honda Prelude – Used! (11 years old when I got it – I “needed” a faster one ;))
  4. 2001 Ford Mustang – Used! (3 years old when I got it, and when neon yellow was in fashion (it *was* in fashion, wasn’t it??)
  5. 1993 Cadillac DeVille – Used! (13 years old when I got it – no more car payments, woo!)
  6. 2005 Toyota Highlander – Used! (2 years old when I got it, car payments again – womp womp)
  7. 1993 Cadillac DeVille aka FrankenCaddy – Very used! (15 years old when I got it, looked like 115 years when I donated it)
  8. 2008 Lexus RX350 – Used! (8 years old when I got it, lots of surprising effects so far!)

It was a fascinating exercise to go down – I highly recommend it :) I then wondered how much I’ve saved over the past 20 years going this way too? Or if all those total costs would add up to *one* decent brand new car? (Answer: not one, unless it was super luxurious, but probably 2 or 3 average cars. So basically for the price of 2 or 3 new cars I got 8!).

I then started rattling off all the reasons why I’ve only bought used over the years to myself, full well knowing I’d be blogging about it soon ;)

  1. They’re much cheaper, obviously
  2. You’re able to afford MORE of a used car, if you wanted to upgrade or something special
  3. You don’t have to worry about dings and dents and smashes as much (you’ll always worry, but odds are your 5, 10, 20 year old car already has them, so what’s another one (or ten?))
  4. You don’t lose as much when you go to resell them (the used car market is thriving! And you don’t get that wallop of depreciation the second you drive it off the lot either)
  5. All cool bloggers rock used! (And really, isn’t that all that matters? ;))

Of course, there’s a trade off to this too (more miles, more problems? No/less warranty? No knowledge of previous ownership?), but financially speaking used is almost always better than new. Not that there’s anything wrong with going that route if you value it (it’s your money!).

I feel like I’m missing something here, but you get the point. Used is sexy.

#2. A special offer USAA has for its members who go through their car buying service

(For any non-military-connected/non-future-car buyers, avert your eyes now and click this instead!)

As mentioned above, this all started when USAA reached out to tell me they’re offering a special deal for people who find their next car through their car buying service. Specifically, financing rates as low as 1.9% until July 9th. Here’s the portal if you’re interested:


It’s basically a place on their site where you can sort through an aggregated list of cars for sale, compare prices/costs connected to TRUECar data, check out CarFax reports, and even estimate insurance through USAA (pretty handy if you have all your accounts with them too!).

If you end up finding your car through them, you get the special rate, and if you don’t – but still finance through USAA, you get their normal rate. Which fortunately is still pretty good (my Lexus loan is at 2.75%).

In fact, going back through my list of cars over time, I’ve ALWAYS ended up w/ a loan through USAA. Whether starting out with them (like when I slapped my 1st Cadillac on my credit card – hah!), or when I finance first through dealerships for whatever reason, and then end up refinancing later.

Sadly I’ve never been smooth enough to pick up a car in all cash :(

So yeah, this rate doesn’t apply to everyone, but hopefully it helps those members looking to get a new ride sometime soon. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to join USAA, you can check here. (They’re great for a ton of other stuff too, particularly car insurance. And always on the cutting edge of technology! Fun fact: USAA was the very first company ever to offer check deposit by smart phone.)

usaa financing special

One note of caution: USAA’s car buying portal only connects to *dealerships*, so it won’t help you much if you prefer going through private parties. I’m 50/50 myself with dealerships vs private, and of course there are tons of pros and cons on either side. Something to consider though as you’re poking around.

And that’s all I’ve got for you today!

Used cars/houses/things = more money saved = more money for freedom

It doesn’t work out all the time or for all situations (food, toilet paper, underwear – eww, eww, ewwwwwww!), but more often than not your wallet will be happier going used in the end.

Anyone else never owned a new car before? Has anyone never owned *used*? (Are you rich??)

*There is one substantial thing I’ve bought new before – an engagement ring. Though if the diamond is millions of years old, does it still count? ;) (Side note: if I went back in time I totally would have picked one up for $780 instead of $7,800, not only to save massive money (imagine what that $7k difference would have been worth now, 10 years later?), but also because my wife rarely wears hers anymore… Turns out that dang rock gets snagged on all kinds of things like her clothes and my kids’ skin! She was always scratching them as babies, so now it only comes out on special occasions, womp womp.)

**USAA compensated me for blogging about their special interest rate today. Something I would have done anyways for free, but hey – free money! (No take backs!)

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  1. Brian June 26, 2017 at 5:54 AM

    I agree that used is the way to go but their car buying service isn’t that great the and the interest rate they offered me was more than 2% over what Lightstream offered me. I like USAA customer service but I’ve ditched them for everything except checking at this point because their products aren’t priced competitively.

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 6:26 AM

      Yikes! Even their car insurance? The one thing they’re best known for?

      1. Mighty Investor June 26, 2017 at 1:14 PM

        J. Money,

        I bailed on USAA car insurance last month. They aren’t a very good deal anymore, unfortunately. I tried to negotiate with them, but no joy. With no accidents or any tickets, they increased my rates by about 33 percent in 18 months. They said it was due to higher accidents because more people are texting and driving. I found a wayyyyy better deal.

        That said, they are an amazing company in general and will treat you right when you have a problem.

        1. Grettman June 26, 2017 at 2:26 PM

          I too bailed on usaa. Maybe they think their rep is so strong they can fleece people now. Insurance is high, interest is high and whatever you do don’t invest w them

          1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 2:58 PM

            Wowww really? I’m pretty surprised – I’m still loving them as much, if not more, than when I first signed up 20’ish years ago… My rates have always been low, and their customer service even better. Though I do agree with the investing part – they’re not horrible, but it’s hard to beat Vanguard out :)

    2. Lance @ My Strategic Dollar June 26, 2017 at 7:53 AM

      Hmm interesting feedback. I’ve never used them, but I do have an account and I’m considering it now….thanks for sharing!

  2. Ryan @ JustAnotherDollar June 26, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    Paid-for used cars are the way to go! I think we’ve got the best of both worlds currently by buying cars 1-3 years old and paying them off as fast as possible. I financed my 2012 Malibu through my insurance company at 2.25% and Alyssa’s 2014 Equinox was through the credit union at 2.5% (borrowed 14k in November 2016, will pay it off in August).

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 2:59 PM

      Hey – even just ONE day old saves you thousands of dollars! Which is crazy because the car is literally THE EXACT SAME before you drive it off the lot!

  3. Josh June 26, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    That new car smell is mostly noxious chemicals, anyway. Still loving my used BMW 525i (3rd owner) that I bought 5 years ago this week. Probably looking to trade her soon, but only because I’ve put 100k miles on her, after the 55k from the first two owners.
    BTW: happy half birthday to us!

    1. Angie June 26, 2017 at 10:42 AM

      Yes!!! Even if I was a multimillionaire, I would not buy a new vehicle simply because of all the toxic substances. That new car smell comes from an assortment of chemicals, some of which can be highly toxic. There are over 200 chemical compounds found in vehicles. These chemicals are not regulated so consumers have no way of knowing the dangers they face. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, continued exposure to these chemicals lead to hormonal disruption, reproductive issues, liver damage, and even cancer. Is driving a brand new car worth this to anybody????

      1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:04 PM

        What, really?? I thought Josh was just being sarcastic, haha…

        (And yes, happy 1/2 birthday to us, sir! Also Chad from Coach Carson.com and Martin from Studenomics.com!)

        1. Primal Prosperity June 29, 2017 at 12:26 AM

          Yes… during my stint as a Sustainability Professional, I got to learn all about the toxins in our environment. The “new car smell” is from VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These are also in sooooo many other things like paint, mattresses, couches, flooring/carpet, shower curtains… etc…. I could go on. I participated in a sustainability fellowship program that had required reading, and one book in particular I found to be a very important read: “What’s Gotten Into Us. Staying Healthy in a Toxic World”, by Mckay Jenkins.

          1. J. Money June 29, 2017 at 10:03 AM

            Well damn. Didn’t see that one coming.

  4. Apathy Ends June 26, 2017 at 7:31 AM

    I’m 30 and my wife is 28 – we have owned one new car between us, bought in 2014. The rate is super low .9% but paying registration the first few years sucks! 5x our old car every year at least.

    I think we will get an older model with 2-4 years with more upgrades for our next one – but that is a ways out still, hopefully another 4-5 years.

  5. FullTimeFinance June 26, 2017 at 7:40 AM

    We’ve had a healthy mix of both. New I’ve bought a Mazda3 (current car), Mazda 6, Corvette (current car), and my wife bought her Nissan Versa new (current car). The only one I regret buying was the Mazda 6 as I was still in college, young and dumb. I also only kept that car 3 years to get out from under its loan. I still own all the other new cars and some of them are 9 years old. But, I’ve owned plenty of used cars. Used sports cars : Camaro, Trans Am, 240zx and also less memorable used cards I won’t bore you with. The used cars were cheaper, but the longer you hold the car the less it matters. When cars are your hobby your usually willing to spend a bit more.

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:50 PM

      Oh yeah, when it’s a hobby it’s a whole other ballgame. Especially if you can afford it :) I used to LOOOOOOVE those ’80s camaros and still really want to own one one day… Sadly by the time I get one it’ll probably be another decade or two older, and I’m nowhere handy enough to be able to maintain ’em – hah.

  6. Mrs. Adventure Rich June 26, 2017 at 7:47 AM

    I’m embarrassed to say my first car was a brand spanking new Nissan Versa when I graduated college. I paid it off n 2.5 years and sold it 5 years later will close to 100k mile (commute much?) for $6,000, so I wasn’t totally burned, but it was not my finest financial move.

    I am now a used car advocate. Mr. Adventure Rich was a bit wiser isn this area with used vehicles his whole life. We are now sporting used Subarus (Outback for me, Forester for him). They are great cars and ideal for our winter wonderland in the snowy months!

    1. Laurie@ThreeYear June 26, 2017 at 7:54 AM

      In New Hampshire, everyone has a Subaru!! (Or a Prius-ha!). It was so funny to me, moving from Atlanta, where no one drove a Subaru, to move to New England, because they are the gold standard here. We’re thinking of getting one next! :)

      1. Mrs. Adventure Rich June 26, 2017 at 8:12 AM

        That was our experience moving from SoCal! I never see Nissan Versas or Honda Fits in the north… its all Subarus and all-wheel drive vehicles.

  7. Lance @ My Strategic Dollar June 26, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    I’ve made the mistake of purchasing new cars far too often and I regret it every time. I’m actually in the process of downgrading and paying cash! Woohoo!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:52 PM

      Baller! Do it!

  8. Laurie@ThreeYear June 26, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    The only new car I’ve ever had is the one my parents bought for me–a 1998 Acura Integra. We made a deal that if I got a scholarship to college they’d buy me a new car. I kept it for nine years and then traded it in for my first used car of many. I wish I’d kept it for ten more years! It was such a great car (and I didn’t have to pay for it!). The next car I got was a used BMW X5. That car was the biggest money pit–we actually put over $9,000 in it the last year we owned it (I was in a post-baby fog and had just moved. Obviously not thinking clearly). Then I got a water-damaged Volvo Cross Country with way too many miles on it, but it was an awesome car (except for the strange electrical problems). And now I’m rocking my Honda Accord. We bought it with a payment but from here on out, it’s cash only!! (Fingers crossed). I don’t think I could buy a new car. I can’t handle the depreciation!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:55 PM

      Oh man, those X5s are prettttty though!

      My dad made the same deal with me, but only if I went into the military like he did, and his father did, and his father did :) Even said I could get a Porsche if I wanted!! Sadly, all of us kids ended up going into some creative field instead, breaking the chain :) I’d have gotten my ass kicked there for goofing off too much – I can’t stay serious for too long.

  9. Adriana @MoneyJourney June 26, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    I have nothing against people who buy new. For some it’s a lifelong dream! personally, however, I wouldn’t buy new even if you paid me.

    In fact, if I were to win a brand new car, I’d probably sell it, buy a used one (if necessary) and put the rest of the money into a savings account :D

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:55 PM

      Haha – agreed. On all accounts.

  10. Owen @ PlanEasy June 26, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    I’m on the fence for this one.

    My first car was new, a 2008 Honda Fit manual transmission. That car was awesome and would have lasted even longer but we had to switch to an automatic so that my wife could drive the kids around town. Our “new” car is a used Honda Fit, two years old. We’ll see how it goes. I do like the idea of buying new if you plan to own the car for 10-15 years.

    I completely agree with the dents thing. We dented the door on our “new” used car not long after taking ownership and it didn’t bother me nearly as much.

  11. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar June 26, 2017 at 8:23 AM

    We’ve never had a new car or home either.

    1993 Turquoise Cavalier – Used – This was my wife’s car through high school and college – Bought from a little old lady so it had very little wear/tear. Father-in-law sold it for about what he paid for it 9 years later even though it’d been through a few accidents. For fun, if you hit a bump the interior light would fall down and also the brakes were goofy. Sometimes it felt like you got hit from behind, but really it was the brakes locking up!
    1999 Tan Camry – Used – I paid insurance my parents paid the car payments. They kept it after I went to college and it was junked by them last year. RIP Camry.
    2007 Mazda 3 – Used – My wife’s graduation gift – this thing was way too sporty and cool for us but we put 100k miles on it.
    2006 Scion xB – Used – this is my baby. I love the hell out of it and want to drive it forever.
    2012 Mazda5 – Used – Our Mazda3 evolved into a micro-van (I call it that. No one else does). It’s handy and fits our family right now.

    The only new things we’ve really bought are bedroom furniture, our just ordered living room set, our entry doors, and our kitchens. But this is 8 years into the post-college world.

    We’d gone without for a long time. I can go around my house and tell you where we got each of our used items. Couch – grandmas’ sister for free (RIP). Other couch – best friends’ sister’s for $50. Dining room set – Craigslist for $350, kids’ toy story table – craigslist for $15, other couch – $50 estate sale, kids’ bed – Craigslist for $100… want me to go on?

    :) I think that going “without” or “used” has let us appreciate our items more and now we’re ready to get some things new, but not everything!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:58 PM

      I love it man! *Appreciating* your things are where it’s at, whether new or used.

  12. PaulM June 26, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    I’ve bought two new cars in my life and I guess I’ve been lucky because I haven’t regretted either purchase. For me, the deciding factors were to pay cash for both and keep them at least ten years. I also bought when there was a sizable factory rebate. I have a separate account where I save a couple of hundred each month for the purpose of buying a new car.

    I tend to keep cars a long time so buying used left me with significant repair bills after the car was 7 years old or so and I owned them for only 3 or 4 years. My current Malibu just hit 8 years without any significant repairs. I intend to keep it another 2- 3 years. One of the advantages of new is that you don’t have to worry about its history.

    I do agree with the worrying about scratches, fender benders and theft in the first couple of years. A friend recently bought a 1 1/2 car from Hertz that still has a warranty and saved many thousands off new. I may try that route for my next vehicle. Has anyone had luck with former rentals?

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:01 PM

      I’ve looked at a lot of rental cars before but never pulled the trigger – they always still seemed more on the expensive side? I do agree w/ holding onto your cars for long periods of time though, so well done going for 10 years like you do :) And even more so paying in cash!!

  13. Franklin Bach June 26, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    I use to get a company car benefit and over the course of twenty years I’ve had eight company cars that were used in my field sales job. We got to pick between a mini van or a station wagon and choose the color. We’d drive them for 50,000 due to the lease, after that, I got to order another. The company paid for fuel, maintenance and insurance. The end of the year I would have to claim my personal use mileage which the company would tack about $1000 to my Gross pay. Company cars are awesome. I don’t have that job anymore and had to buy my first car, gasp! I bought a new Acura MDX. Today after 9 years, it has 105,000 miles on it and plan on running it into the ground which should be in another 5 years. No regrets on buying it new, as I’m getting my value out of it. The second new car I purchased was mentioned in previous comment. I ordered a Dodge Challenger. (if you’re a car person see my blog for the story about this car. A modern version of a car of my youth.)
    Many readers are probably rolling their eyes, however, I hit FI at age 47. Never ever having a car payment helped with achieving this goal.

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:16 PM

      No shame in that!! You get to do anything you want in FI :)

  14. aretina June 26, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Not only have I never owned a new car, I’ve also never made a car payment. Aside from a 90-day note my husband and I took outfor a used Chevy blazer upon my military discharge, we’ve never had car loans. Used cars and paid cash for all of them. I have the good fortune of being married to a mechanic, and he’s had the good fortune of being married to a frugal woman who doesn’t care what she drives. Now he specializes in buying used Cadillacs cheap, replacing the head gaskets, and selling them for a profit. We’ve also paid off our house 7 years ago ( built in 1990 and purchased in 2002) so we’ve been completely debt- free through our 30s and loving it.

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:23 PM

      BOOM! Beautiful combination right there!

  15. Paul June 26, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    1985 Acura Integra – (technically not mine, but I got to drive it for a year).

    1987 Mazda RX-7 – (I consider this my first car, 10 yrs old at this point, a real POS, looked nice but was broken every other month. I did however learn how to work on cars because of it.)

    1991 Acura Integra – picked it up for $800, slapped a Japanese SI motor in with all Type R parts, very nice sleeper, huge dent in the side but fast and fun.

    1992 Mistubishi Eclipse GSX – AWD, turbo….

    1991 Chevy 1500 p/up – Wish I still had it for going to the dump and hauling stuff. The seats were like sitting on a couch and I didn’t care if it got dinged or scratched.

    2003 Ford Focus SVT – Awesome car for navigating traffic. Very fun car.

    2014 GMC Acadia – Only New car I have ever bought, huge mistake……went in to buy a used Yukon Denali and my wife talked me into smaller…. and just worse all around vehicle. I also told my wife she is not allowed to ever go with me again when I am choosing something I want.

    2011 Honda Odyssey – When I fully embraced dad-hood, tiny plaid shorts and boat shoes. Best vehicle I have ever owned. Without a doubt the odyssey makes my life easier when I leave the house with kids and its hilarious when you pull into a parking lot blasting some hip hop, metal or punk…

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:27 PM

      Oh man, those Denalis are hot! Especially sitting on chrome rims :) I always dreamt of having an Eclipse, but then a friend of mine asked if I wanted to test drive his and it exploded a few days before I had a chance too. Literally went up in flames – freaked me out!

  16. Mercedes June 26, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    In my life we have had 1 sparkly new car, and 17 years later we still have it (I’m am driving it right now as another one just died on the side of the road). Financially I regretted it, but from a practical standpoint I have to admit that it has been easier. No worries, and look – 17 years solid and still going!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:28 PM

      Was is the same one as your name? :)

  17. CK June 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    I found a dealership that specializes in hail damaged (totaled) cars, I just got a 2 year old car for 1/2 KBB price (20k miles). It still has a faint whiff of the new car smell.

    It looks like a golf ball with all the dents, but since I am in it when I drive, I never see it. The cosmetic damage is something that affect other people, not me.

    My wife has a used Odyssey and I agree with the poster above, it makes kid life much easier.

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:29 PM

      Nice!! Probably one of the only times you’d actually say you like hail! :)

  18. A A Rod June 26, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    I’m an loan officer at a Credit Union. Let’s run some numbers… $20,000 new vehicle, 2.950% interest rate since your credit bureau score is above 720 (and 2.950 is our best rate), 60 month payment plan… That’s a monthly payment of $358.96 (without payment protections such as loss of life, disability and/or unemployment). Total amount of interest paid over the course of the loan… $1,537.02. Total of payments… $21,537.02. All in all that’s not a bad scenario but I sure do not like that $360 a month payment.

  19. Lily @ The Frugal Gene June 26, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    I’ve never even owned a car (hubby too!) We don’t live close to work so we deal with a 1 hour bus ride because he rather zombie out at 8AM then focus on driving.

    A friend of mine brought a new car from the dealership. A Toyota for 22K or so. My first time in her car and I could still smell the new car smell and that’s how I know what it smells like…it smelled like pride mixed with lying to yourself. Her mom paid for it. She nor her mom were rich but she wanted a new car for college because that was going to “make her cool.”

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:35 PM

      Oh wow – you guys ARE frugal! Haha…. I am impressed. I wouldn’t have the patience for taking the bus everywhere :) (Unless I lived in the city)

  20. Done by Forty June 26, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Never had a new car, either. I doubt I ever will: the depreciation is a bit much for me to stomach. I barely use our little Matrix as it is. I doubt I’d get a ton of happiness out of a new car, but maybe I should test drive one every now and again just to see what it smells like. :)

  21. Mrs. BITA June 26, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Our car history:

    1. Tata Indica, used. My first car. I was 26 years old. Until then I only rode two-wheelers (a Kinetic Honda, for those interested).

    2. Honda Civic, new. My first car in the U.S.

    3. Met Mr. BITA. Sold the Civic. His car became our car – a used Honda Insight. We own this one still, and owe nothing on it.

    4. Two more new cars since then, both leased. The first was a Leaf. The lease on that is done and we’ve returned it. Our current lease is a Chevy Volt. It is new, but really cheap. Our state rebate on an EV covered our down payment. Our monthly cost to lease is $167. Mr. BITA’s company provides us with free charging. Our utility company gave us $500 for owning an electric vehicle – nearly three months of lease for free. And we get the car pool sticker!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:40 PM

      I wanna know more about you and those two-wheelers :)

  22. Dads Dollars debts June 26, 2017 at 12:49 PM

    My favorite car purchases have been through auctions. Super cheap deals but you need to know a car dealer to get in. Our last 2 cars were new but we have had them 6 years and they still only have 40k miles on them. They may have another 10 years of life left before I upgrade!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:42 PM

      I’ve always wanted to get one through a dealer auction! Particularly police auctions where you can get all kinds of tricked out rides from imprisoned drug dealers haha… (Though I always wondered what would happen if they saw you rolling around in it when they got out??)

  23. Mighty Investor June 26, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    J Money:

    I’ve bought used and I’ve bought new. You know where the sweet spot lies? Two to three years old with about 18-25,000 miles when you buy it. They even still smell a little new and have depreciated like 30 percent.

    I don’t like buying new cars because then you are totally freaked about every little ding or scratch. It sucks.

    So I say ALWAYS buy used cars and turbocharge your financial future–even once you join the seven figures club. You can give the insane amounts of money you save (not just on purchase price, but insurance, registration, sales taxes, etc) to charity if you are looking to blow some money ;)


  24. Mr. Tako June 26, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Insurance tends to be considerably lower on used cars too! Another win in the ‘used’ category!

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:43 PM

      Yup, another win!

  25. Jason Butler June 26, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    What’s up J? All of my cars have been used. I’ve driven a 2000 Chevy Malibu, a 1996 Toyota Camry and a 96 Toyota 4Runner. I haven’t had a car note in years. While that’s good, I may be getting one soon. It’s time for a newer vehicle.

  26. Master Duke June 26, 2017 at 9:04 PM

    Never bought a used car and started two new blogs – you have such a great story man thank you for continuing to share it !

    1. J. Money June 28, 2017 at 6:29 AM

      Glad you’re enjoying it!

  27. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 27, 2017 at 12:49 AM

    I was gonna say my car history is boring but that’s because I forgot half of it! Let’s see…
    1. 2002 Toyota, new, $22k, still own it.
    2. 2006 Toyota, new, can’t remember cost, but sold it 3 years later
    3. 2004 Acura, used, $9k, still own it.
    4. 2004 Audi, used, $9k, someone smushed it :(
    5. 2004 BMW, used, $8k, still own it.

    My first car seems to be holding up just fine after 15 years, so that vindicates my purchase for that one at least. Then we decided to buy all used old cars after I moved out. Pretty good decision though they need a bit more maintenance than my good ole basic Toyota. Better than a car payment all the way! ;)

    1. J. Money June 28, 2017 at 6:31 AM

      A foreign lover too, I see. Very smart :)

  28. Ms. Raggedly Rich June 27, 2017 at 2:43 AM

    My first car was one my Dad bartered off the neighbour for putting up some insulation on their side of the duplex (we were doing all of our side), plus $50. I got it for free! It was his winter fix-it project. 1993(? maybe) Toyota Corolla I got in… 2002? It was the best first car ever! My Dad even upgraded the cassette tape to a CD player for me – I didn’t have power windows or automatic locks, but I sure as hell could play my CD’s on repeat!

    1. J. Money June 28, 2017 at 6:32 AM

      Haha hellll yeah, man! Music was LIFE back then! All you needed to feel on top of the world :)

  29. NM June 27, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    I really want to buy a new car but after just clearing my student loans i need to focus on rebuilding my emergency fund first beyond the bare bones 1K. The last thing i need is to jump into a huge purchase/ new debt load without any kind of breathing room. I figure i’ll continue w the cheap transit pass as long as I can tolerate then buy a decent used car. But this is my last winter of using transit though (winters in Canada get ugly)

    1. J. Money June 28, 2017 at 6:33 AM

      Ugh, yeah – you are a trooper for pulling that one off. I admire all y’all who go the mass route – I don’t have the patience anymore for it :(

  30. Primal Prosperity June 29, 2017 at 12:32 AM

    “neon yellow was in fashion (it *was* in fashion, wasn’t it”

    haha… when I bought my first sport bike I knew that I wanted the Kawasaki Ninja 250 because of its size. But, I really wanted the “Kawasaki Green”… i.e. the signature neon green… but couldn’t find a used one for sale, so I ended up with the shiny red one. Probably for the best. :)

    1. J. Money June 29, 2017 at 10:18 AM

      Awww yeah, that green was hot! The only time I ever wanted a bike myself was a Kawasaki all limed up. And even sexier when a woman was on it :)

  31. Allison Bemis June 29, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    The newest car I’ve ever owned is my 2013. My first car was a 87 Lebaron and they only went up incrementally after that.Now my 2013 is like a spaceship compared to what I’m used to with seat warmers, a USB for my phone, and… something I need desperately in the snow here, 4 wheel drive.
    Also, who hates USAA?! My 3 siblings who are/were in the Navy swear/swore by it!

    1. J. Money June 29, 2017 at 10:19 AM

      Tell me that Lebaron was a convertible too? I used to love riding around in those when my dad would get rental cars!

  32. J July 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    We just used USAA’s car buying service to get a 3-row suv (hello babies! hubby wouldn’t do the mini van). We got their 1.99% financing deal right now, which is awesome. As others noted their insurance prices are high so we switched to Liberty Mutual. We have always bought used cars. The last 3 were through Carmax due to convenience and lack of car knowledge. I’m glad we did it on our own this time, but it took about 60 hours of research, phone calls, dealership visits, negotiations, being annoyed at the used car salesman, and then repairs to said used car, etc. It was a good experience for us to go through.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2017 at 10:20 AM

      Oh wow – shows at least how much you care about your own money!! Congrats on the new babies too – I’m just like your husband in not being ready for a minivan yet :)