Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Troy asks: I have listened to you speak with David Knight on air for many years now. I really appreciate your libertarian slant on the issues. Here’s a car question for you. I have just inherited a 2015 Honda Accord with 40K miles on it. The car was driven by an elderly woman who babied it, so it’s in great shape. I had been planning on getting some kind of a hybrid vehicle (not a plug-in vehicle) prior to receiving this gift. Now I’m debating whether I should trade it in on a new hybrid (I should be able to pay the balance of the hybrid with cash, so no interest lost paying off the new car).
My dilemma is whether I should just keep the Honda and drive it or go trade it in on a brand new hybrid SUV (probably a Toyota RAV4 or one of the lower-end Lexus hybrid SUVs). My reason for wanting a hybrid is the gas savings, as it seems we are in for a long spell of high gasoline prices. I anticipate I’ll be driving 10K to 12K miles a year. A hybrid with decent range should result in gas savings over time, as I would plan to keep the hybrid until the wheels fall off. Plus there’s the additional storage available in a SUV. What do you anticipate with regard to the availability of parts for a 2015 Honda Accord in 3 to 5 years?
My reply: You have just acquired a low-miles, excellent condition Honda Accord . . . for free. This car ought to provide you with reliable/low-maintenance transportation for another 200,000 miles. Which, for you, would be the next 15-plus years.
For free. Excepting the cost of gas. Less the much lower cost to insure this 2015 (vs. new) vehicle, which will cost you at least $30k (the base price of a new hybrid RAV4). How much gas would half that sum, buy you?
I can imagine no scenario in which you spend less to own/drive the new vs. the ’15 – especially when you take into account the depreciation losses attending the purchase of the new vehicle and also the likely cost of having to replace the battery pack, if you were to buy a hybrid and “drive the wheels off.” Hybrid battery packs last longer than pure EV battery packs, but not forever. And they are not cheap.
There is one other thing, too.
Your ’15 Accord is much freer of “advanced driver assistance technology” – i.e.. obnoxious driver pre-emption “technology.”
I recommend driving the Accord for a few weeks and seeing how you like it. Then maybe test drive one of the new models you’re considering and see how you like all of the “advanced technology” it has…
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in! Or email me at [email protected] if the @!** “ask Eric” button doesn’t work!
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