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Reasons for Buying a Second - hand Car

Updated on October 20, 2012

Our second hand car: a 2000 Hyundai Santa Fe Gold

Our first (and so far, only) car is a second hand, stick shift, 2000 Hyundai Santa Fe Gold (the original version of the current day Hyundai Tucson). We bought it in June 2008 with a 93,000 - kilometer mileage (now it stands at about 113,000 kilometers).

Buying a second hand car was never really part of our intentions. Actually, buying any kind of car (whether brand new or not) was not part of our plans then. But the first time we saw that car in one of client’s garage, it was love at first sight (for my husband, at least).

At first I was really hesitant. The car did not fit our budget then. But in the end, I agreed. So we got a second hand car. Needless to say, and with almost 20,000 kilometers in just over a year, we haven’t regretted our decision.

So why did we choose a second-hand car? Why not a smaller (cheaper than the SUV) but brand new car? Here are just some of our reasons:

It’s cheaper, a lot (!) cheaper. The brand new, latest version is more than twice the price of our second-hand car. Added to this is the fact that the client gave us a substantial discount in the price, it really made the deal attractive for us. Needless to say, we gave a lower down payment that what we would have given for a brand new car. So based on the price alone, the purchase is well worth it.

Payment terms are shorter. Instead of a five-year car loan, we only took out a three-year loan. Less interest, less painful monthly payments and a quicker end to our debt.

We know the previous owner. Since the previous owner is a client of ours, we already know how well he handles his own cars. So we’re kind of sure that we’re getting the car from a reliable source. Plus, since he knows us, he gave us freebies in the form of brand new, spanking spare parts.

Brand new wheels. Prior to selling his car, the owner replaced the original four tires of the car with bigger tires. So the car may not be brand new but the wheels definitely were. It gave the car a bigger look plus it made the car look taller than it really is.

The color is black. Which we both love. The car looks shiny, it’s easy to make it look shiny plus some of the scratches are well hidden. In fact, some people asked us if the car is brand new, based solely on its glossy black color! Of course, if you get mud on it or rain splatters, it’s kind of obvious but with my husband taking care of it, no way will he let such mud or dirt stick on the car for too long.

The car is ‘heavy duty’. Okay, not as heavy duty as those SUVs but it’s bigger than your average car. Plus, it can last a long time and on longer trips than the average car (we took it with us for a 10-hour trip to the southern part of Mindanao).

Cheaper gasoline. The car has a CRDI engine and runs on diesel, which is a lot cheaper than the regular gasoline. On a long trip, we can save as much as 20% on gasoline, and with 20,000 kilometers behind us, I’d say we have saved a lot.

It gave us more flexibility…in terms of where we will put the money that we saved (from buying the second-hand car instead of a brand new one). We added some features, repaired some portions, had a paint job and an undercoating done on the car and we are still a lot of thousands (alright, hundreds of thousands of pesos) away from the price of the brand new one. Not bad, huh?

Would you buy a second-hand car?

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Lastly, it gives us the convenience and a shorter travel time. Since we travel once or twice every month (one travel averages around 6 hours, two-way), having our own car greatly reduces our travel time and gives us the convenience of going at our own pace. If riding a bus will take us around 7 hours to get to our destination, riding on the car will just take us less than 5 hours! That’s a lot of hours saved and if we translate that into pesos, well, that’s a lot of peso saved. Plus, since we are using diesel, the cost of our gasoline is lower than our fare.

So those are our reasons for buying the second – hand car. When we were still contemplating buying that car, we were asked if it is really worth it since the bus, the jeepneys (the unofficial king of the Philippine road) and the tricycle (three-wheeled vehicle for short distances only) here are available 24 hours every day. We had to do a lot of number crunching (and soul searching) before deciding to buy it. I even told my husband to leave the car be for three weeks, if it’s not purchased yet after the three weeks are up, then it’s meant for us. And three weeks later, it was still in the previous owner’s garage! So yes, we decided to buy it. And yes, after more than a year of riding in that car, I can definitely say that our purchase is definitely well worth it.

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