I am against buying a new car even when people can afford it, because a new car drops a huge chunk of value the minute you drive it off the lot . FOr example, if you buy a $20,000 new 2013 car, you can only *insure* it as a *used* 2013 car. So if it’s stolen tomorrow, you are out of luck.
There are a lot of nearly-new cars coming off-lease, and now that dealers offer free maintenance, these cars can be better than new. You can buy a 2- or 3-year old Toyota or Honda and get all the reliability without the added sticker shock of brand-new, and you’ll even have some warranty left.
My current car is a 2005 Toyota Camry which I inherited from my father with very low miles. He bought it new, and it’s still having ZERO mechanical problems. I’ve replaced the tires and the battery and the windshield wipers. If it had been sold it would have been just as great at 3/4 the new cost.
My previous car was a 1991 Camry which I bought in 2004 for an above-book $8k, with 75k miles on it. I drove that car until 2009! In eight years I had to replace the power window motors and some parts of the suspension and exhaust. In 2009, a whole lot of stuff broke at once, just one week before I was due to pick up my dad’s car. Donated it and it sold at auction for $550.
Unless something drastic happens, my next car will be a used Toyota, no matter what I have in the bank.