More than a year ago, my wife and I decided to buy a car. We were preparing to have a baby and I didn’t want her to go through the hassle of commuting while heavy with our first baby. In fact, we wanted to have a car first before the pregnancy.
So in May 2012, we finally decided to buy a car–a 1998 Mitsubishi Adventure.
In North America, our car might be called a small SUV or a crossover maybe. But in this part of the world, it’s called an AUV. Think of it as an SUV made for Asians. I’ve had American passengers in that car and mind you, it’s not built for them.
Why a used car then?
The decision was a no-brainer really. In my mind, getting a used car was the right choice. Getting a brand new one needs justification. In case, you are thinking of getting a car, too, here are 5 reasons why we opted for a used car.
1. It’s cheaper.
Told ya. it’s cheaper. A brand new car costs at least PhP800,000. A SUV costs about P1.2 – P1.5 Million. Our car cost less than half the price of a brand new sedan and it’s barely a fourth of a good-sized SUV.
A lot of people say that it’s risky getting a used car because of the maintenance costs. But even if I spent P100,000 on it in the course of two years, it would still be cheaper. I just had to endure some inconvenience if something needs replacement, but I’m willing to take that risk.
We bought our car for P280,000. In more than a year, I have already spent P35,000 (USD 850) in maintenance. Still a far cry from P800,000 eh.
2. I’d rather use the money saved as seed money for a house.
You can get a condo unit for almost the same price as a brand new sedan. Our car costs less than half the cost of a condo unit, or an average-sized house in the suburbs. If I had a million pesos and I wanted a car, I can buy a used one and use the savings as part of our seed money for a house.
3. A brand new car depreciates as soon as you drive it home.
As soon as you drive a car from the dealership, it loses value. I don’t know the percentage of depreciation in value, but a car is not an asset. It’s not even an investment, unless you have a business and the car is essential in making money.
4. I want to learn how to maintain a car and this is my guinea pig.
As a new driver, I have lots to know about cars–how they work, what pieces need to be replaced periodically, and how to do simple maintenance work. If it’s a brand new car, I would hesitate in tinkering things in the body, in the engine, and anything that has a lot of wire and mechanical stuff.
But since our car is pretty beat up, I don’t really hesitate in tinkering with it. I’m so enamored with it in fact, that I’m planning to take short courses on automotive technology just to understand this thing. Of course, I plan to blog about these so you, dear reader, can benefit, too. 🙂
5. My identity doesn’t depend on the car I drive.
A lot of people feel that their social status depend on a lot of external things–like the brands of clothes they wear, the car they drive, or how they look in public. Me? Not really. The car gets me where I need to be without the hassle of commuting, and mind you, where I live, traffic is bad! Really bad!
I expect this car to be with us for the next five years or so. Should we need to replace it in the future, we might look for another used car. But from a newer model most probably.
Who knows, when that time comes, I might be able to buy a brand new one already.