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Asked by Tony Williams
I CANNOT afford to buy a new car, so I am searching for the best value in a used car, I find some makes/models depreciate more in their first four to six years. Often they are vehicles that are well made, with loads of extras and, more than likely, have a long life ahead of them. I see 1998 and 1999 Range Rovers, $80,000 or more when new, that have done about 100,000km, for sale at $20,000. They have one owner, full service records and appear to be in good condition. Am I foolish to consider such a vehicle? Or should I go into debt and buy a new car, which might be of a much lower standard and compound my financial situation by depreciating markedly over the next four years or so? Or should I look at an old example of a vehicle with proven reliability and safety, such as a 1980s Volvo 240GL wagon in good condition for, say, $5000 and keep money up my sleeve in case it needs repairs?
Answered by CarsGuide26 Apr 2007
YOU have to look behind the rate of depreciation to find the cause. The Range Rover is a big, heavy car with a very thirsty V8 engine, so it is best suited to someone who wants to tow a fairly big trailer. It also had engine reliability issues that can be expensive to repair. You need to do homework on the car you are thinking of buying and find out what goes wrong with them. If you buy carefully you can get a well-designed, well-built car for a fraction of its original price. Your idea of buying an old Volvo isn't a bad one, but it's getting hard to find good examples of those models. Their best years have long passed. But again, if you do your homework you might just find a gem that will serve you well for years.
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