Need to purchase a car in Texas, USA: Should I buy new or used

Enjoyed every bit of driving around in the rental which was a Dodge Charger. I am still learning about the process of owning a car in Texas.

BHPian mac187 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


After a long break of 6 years, I am back in the market for buying a car. I moved to US of A with my company. Currently in Texas, Plano. Last 6 years I was in Singapore, I only rented cars on weekends or for some specific need. Never needed a car, hence didn't have one. The itch was always there and I was going to the online sites always looking for a good deals. Helped friends and colleagues buy cars which gave me satisfaction. Like they say, always the bridesmaid...

Now in Plano, I can finally get my hands on a car, my car. I am excited, my family is excited. I will give a quick overview of my currently situation so that members have the context:

  • My job doesn't require me to go to office everyday. The commute to office is 20miles one way. I work in business development, hence will be traveling to different cities within NA often.
  • Kid's school is a mile away, drop and pickup is needed. We are a family of 3.
  • Currently living in an apartment with one covered parking. There is lot of space available for open parking, which is free.
  • Commute to groceries, other shopping is maximum 40miles. This maybe once a week. Signed up of for membership with Walmart, one of the perks in free delivery.
  • Wife doesn't know to drive. She is willing to learn. Looking forward to it actually.
  • Got a pre-approved auto loan at 4.7% from a credit union. Valid only for 2022 or 2023 models i.e. new car only.
  • I knew I was going to move here a while ago, I have saved up over $50k specifically for a car.
  • Thinking of SUV purely from long drive and stuffing luggage. We are a family of 3 but pack for a family of 10!

Enjoyed every bit of driving around in the rental which was a Dodge Charger. I am still learning about the process of owning a car in Texas. Yet to apply for my drivers license here. Currently using my Singapore driving license for rentals. Pointers to getting driving license for self and driving classes for missus will be appreciated.

Dilemma: New or used?

My mental budget on each

  • Used: $35K | <100k miles | <5years
  • New: <$60K

I follow Doug DeMuro on YT, got fascinated by Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Mercedes GLB. Recently got a chance to ride in BMW X5, Range Rover Evoque loved it. Did research on these, limited to YT. I visited only Jeep showroom till now, as it was on the way to the furniture mart. Test drove Grand Cherokee, it was good. They didn't have the top trim for test drive, maybe thats why I left feeling a bit underwhelmed. I haven't visited any other showroom as I was busy setting up the apartment and settling into my work.

Like I mentioned, I knew I was moving here a while ago, been going through Carmax, Truecar. The prices of secondhand cars <5years old are insane. Others have lots of miles on them, I am not sure what the maintenance cost is going to be.

While I have nothing against brands like Toyota, Honda or Nissan. I want a car which can bring a smile on my face every time I start it up. A car I will want to look back while walking away.

Lastly, I am not keen on EV at this stage of my life. Maybe its me trying to hold on to my youth for little longer.

Anyone living new Plano, drop a note. Looking forward to connecting with BHPians and attending the meet-up.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

I would've normally said "pre-worshipped", but the used car market in the USA is currently insane. I hear of people selling their 2-year old cars for a profit.

Go for new. In fact, in the current climate, even leasing isn't a bad option. The German luxury brands have such strong residuals that they make leasing very cheap. Surely an option to consider.

Cars I would shortlist for 60k: C8 Corvette (yeah, will need to stretch), M2, M340i, Dodge Charger (the crazy versions), pre-owned Mustang GT350...wild man, go out and have some fun.

Here's what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

Since you are open to used cars, Check out the lease return cars. The running on these would be lesser than other cars, and the maintenance should be better too. After my first car - a new Accord, the next two were lease returns. Both these were from the same dealer - an Acura 3.2TL and a CR-V. Both ran just fine, and I had paid much less than a new one.

Here's what BHPian mazda4life had to say on the matter:

Welcome to US, things have changed when it comes to US car market and it is now an out and out sellers market and I bought a new car recently and loving it. Obviously I wasn’t prepared to spend the amount you have earmarked but still wanted to share some things which you might want to consider:

  • Get the US driving license first , lot of things are dependent on that like insurance rates , interest rate if you are applying for a loan.
  • Good second hand / used cars are hard to get and from my experience there are hardly any good deals for cars with a clean title.
  • Bargain hard with multiple dealers and be prepared for the long haul.
  • I enrolled into the Costco auto program which was good to have the dealers talk to you in brass tacks.
  • Don’t rush to purchase a car and if u can afford have a rental / Lyft for immediate needs as there is a waiting period for almost all new cars.
  • Talk to locals and see if the local taxes applicable varies by the zip code ( I stay in North Phoenix but bought from Mesa).
  • Don’t go through FB market place due to dodgy deals.

All the very best in your car hunting.

Here's what BHPian libranof1987 had to say on the matter:

As mazda4life said, get the US DL first. Not only can that affect your loan rate, it will also affect insurance quotes. So, for your wife and yourself, get the DL.

Also, 4.7%?! That's crazy high. Even assuming a lack of credit history, you should be able to get a much cheaper auto loan, say around 2-3%. Check with your Sales Advisor; a lot of dealerships have Asian SAs who are very resourceful in getting good deals.

Look up DCU.

Once you have a car shortlisted, check up CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) cars at the dealer lots. CPO cars are always < 3 years, and generally very low miles, and come with warranty and possibility of extended warranty.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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