Yonkers, New York – A new study by Consumer Reports has found that choosing a reliable three-year-old car instead of a new one can save drivers thousands of dollars over the first five years and, in many cases, is enough to pay for all the gas used during that time.
On average, the findings show that consumers can save 32 per cent in the first five years by buying a three-year-old car, while a one- or two-year-old vehicle will save 19 and 27 per cent respectively.
According to the analysis, a 2005 Toyota Camry with V6 engine could save about $13,000 (all prices U.S.) over five years, compared with buying a new 2008 version. At $4.00 per gallon, the driver could pay for almost all gas during that period, based on driving 12,000 miles (19,312 km) per year and still be almost $2,500 ahead. Similarly, a 2005 Ford Focus can save more than $8,000 over the first five years over a new Focus; with used-car values dropping on large SUVs, a three-year-old Chevrolet Tahoe could save $25,500 over five years when compared to a new one.
Factors include deprecation, insurance, interest, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. “A reliable late-model used car can be one of the best values out there when buying a car,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor. “Savvy shoppers can also get a more upscale model with more features for the same owner cost as a less-expensive car.”