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Discussion Starter #1
I mean, its just a van at the end of the day. Sure rental vans get abused sometimes but I'm sure the majority or abuse is done in much faster and lighter cars. I bought a "newish" 2018 transit HR EL for business so I really wanted the thing to be flawless with little to no maintenance. Although a few months have passed and I'm starting to think a used 2000 - 2008 cargo van for 10 - 15k(canadian) would be much cheaper in the span of 10+ years.
 

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It is nearly always cheaper to own a used vehicle than a new one. More so for autos than trucks as the latter typically realize less depreciation.

But its not always an economic decision. Buying new lets you get the exact options you want. And you get the initial, theoretically, trouble free warranty period.

And buying new means you get to enjoy that new transit smell.

As a long ago convert to shunning vehicles from the big 3 (I mean really, why would anyone buy dodge if there is another choice?), I wanted my ownership period skewed towards the new end of the vans lifespan for obvious reasons.
 

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RVing is right. There are pros and cons to both new and used.
If you just want a base model to transform as you please, a low mileage used van is the no-brainer.
If you want a special color or factory options that are expensive to install aftermarket (limited slip for one, windows for another), ordering new is your best option.
If you want to get all economisty about the cost of ownership over your expected time of use (I figure about 200k for me), then you can total all the purchase, upgrade, expected maintenance, and fuel costs and divide by the miles you expect to own the vehicle, then subtract the expected resale/trade in value. Low mileage used almost always wins due to the 20-40% reduction in purchase price. And sometimes you find a gem where someone has already bolted on a bunch of aftermarket stuff you want.

Almost all factory options can be added later, but at a higher cost than if they were included on a new vehicle. Even paint, but I've seldom seen a paintjob that rivals factory paint for durability.
The biggest factory money waster are the audio equipment. For far less than half the factory option price you can get a MUCH better system installed.
 

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I agree that generally speaking a lightly used vehicle would be cheaper in the long run, but with trucks and vans that margin of savings isn't as large as on most cars. When I was shopping for a van I had a few things I really wanted that limited my used choice. I found a 2017 and a 2018 that were close to what I wanted, but both of those people had bought early in the year before rebates came out.. Thy were asking what they thought was a fair price based on what they had paid, and some people just pay way too much for a new vehicle. I came across more than one where the buyer had apparently paid MSRP for their van. One private seller was asking $2,300 below MSRP for a van with 7,000 miles and thought that was fair. More power to him if he can get that out of a used van, but it was a high roof extended white cargo with few options. New ones were less than that. When I looked at ordering exactly what I wanted, and factored in the rebates and the great deal from CrewVanMan at Matt Ford, the used 2018 close to what I wanted was $1,200 more than a new one configured with more options, and exactly the way I wanted it.

If you want a standard white mid roof long wheelbase, there are probably thousands of used ones floating around and so the price is lower. I just looked at Autolist.com and there are 17,828 Transits listed there for sale, both new and used and of those 16,247 are white.
 

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50 Years of buying used vehicles and I have never had bad luck with the deal. (This Transit is my first new vehicle)
Be careful there is a lot of junk out there, Flood damage, Hail damage and a small handful Lemon Law Transits have been reported on the forum, Then there is the Diesel...
 

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Been buying used for decades - my last new vehicle was 1984.
I think I'm over 45 vehicles owned so far. Only one turned out be
be a "dud" - but I sold it for what I paid for it.

My last 3 vans were all ex-rental company vans - usually < 3 years old;

Bought a 2018 used ex-rental Transit Passenger van in April (< 1 year old)
with 28K miles for $14K less than a new one. The van looks/drives/feels
brand new - not a single defect found. Vehicles are so well built/reliable now
that I have no qualms buying used - could renter have abused it? maybe
but there is a warranty which may cover for any breakages to the major
mechanicals.
 

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Typically, I agree. However, I wanted a specific color, cruise control and cloth seats. I found that combination in a local used van, but it was just $2000 less than a new one I found in Illinois. The extra $2k was worth it in this case. This was the first new automobile I ever purchased.
 

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Given the complexity of modern vehicles I'm not sure I'd want to own anything with over 100k on the clock. Don't get me started on modern dog piss diesels. There, rancidrocks and I can agree.
 

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If you are flexible on the engine, roof height, color, and options, then buying used is very likely to save money. I wanted (and got) a 4X4 HR Ecoboost Transit. Didn't see a single used one in months so I bought new. Our next car, probably a CR-V, will be used as there are a ton of them available. Best of luck!
 

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I forgot to mention on my "cost of ownership" list various tax deductions and depreciation. If you are using the van for business, then buying new or leasing might be cheaper or "free" with the write-offs.

Once you're talking about a difference in cost of ownership over 5 years being less than $3000, you might as well buy new and get that bit of extra warranty and peace of mind about where it's been and what it's done.

When I'm talking about "low mileage used", I'm talking about less than 20k, and usually less than 10k. Once it's past warranty, 3 years 36k basic and 5 years 60k powertrain, the value drops considerably. I wouldn't buy a used one if it was over 35k, unless it was a steal, like $10k or something with no apparent problems. I think 25k miles and two years old is the tops I would go, because at least you still have some coverage if there IS something that shows up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
GapRunr I've never heard of autolist, will have to check it out. I think on a 96month term I'm spending an extra 200/month on a 2018 than I could be saving on an older HR EL van. I see it as the cost for driving something that feels higher quality and runs smoother. The only reason I have some regret is that I am a mobile autobody technician so if I bought something old I could fix it up for next to nothing! However this transit does make a great impression on customers and businesses I work with. The whole warranty thing is nice to have but with the transits driveshaft and filter problems, it just seems like the savings I thought I'd have on a newer car will turn into 100,000km+ repair problems. But at least the past 4000kms have been pleasant hahaha
 

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I don't think dodge is the way now, but I've heard the ones from 02-04 will run forever.
Those weren't Dodge vans, the were Mercedes Sprinters with Dodge emblems. Daimler-Benz owned Chrysler before Fiat bought them, and brought over Sprinters and sold them under the Dodge and Freightliner brand names. Just like the Dodge ProMaster is actually a Fiat Ducato.

Isn't Renault buying Fiat now? What do the Renault vans look like? That will be the next "Dodge" van if that happens.
 

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Been buying used for decades - my last new vehicle was 1984.
I think I'm over 45 vehicles owned so far. Only one turned out be
be a "dud" - but I sold it for what I paid for it.

My last 3 vans were all ex-rental company vans - usually < 3 years old;

Bought a 2018 used ex-rental Transit Passenger van in April (< 1 year old)
with 28K miles for $14K less than a new one. The van looks/drives/feels
brand new - not a single defect found. Vehicles are so well built/reliable now
that I have no qualms buying used - could renter have abused it? maybe
but there is a warranty which may cover for any breakages to the major
mechanicals.
It would be interesting to add up what you've spent total on those 45 vehicles compared to the 6 new ones I've purchased in the same time period. When I purchase a vehicle I expect to drive it about 15 years and get 200,000 miles out of it. I have no expectation of resale value when I'm done with it. I buy new and I think I get my moneys worth.

When I got my van I had very specific options that I wanted on it that I would never find on a used vehicle. If I'm going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something, I want exactly what I want and don't want to feel like I settled for the next 15 years that I plan on owning it.
 

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I've bought at least half a dozen vehicles with near 100K on them, and drove them all to at, and well over 200K. One, a Jeep Cherokee (AMC straight six) went to almost 400K and I saw it on the road again months after trading it. A couple were Subarus, but I think the modern ones may not have the longevity their predecessors did.

The Transit was fairly fresh by comparison. The newest vehicle I had purchased in decades with only 38K miles and a price that was half of the original sticker after only two years. I wasn't picky about color, though it had to have factory cruise, medium or high roof, 148 length, and a gas engine. It took about three months of scouring ads to find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've bought at least half a dozen vehicles with near 100K on them, and drove them all to at, and well over 200K.
Right. A 15 year old sprinter is just a huge metal shell with mechanical components... and so is my 2018 transit LOL! I kept imagining 10k+ repairs on an older van but now that I think about it 5k is a more reasonable number. Even a somewhat abused 2004 is just going to need 4-5k max in repairs if anything goes wrong. I may one day swap the transit for someones old cargo van + cash
 

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Right. A 15 year old sprinter is just a huge metal shell with mechanical components... and so is my 2018 transit LOL! I kept imagining 10k+ repairs on an older van but now that I think about it 5k is a more reasonable number. Even a somewhat abused 2004 is just going to need 4-5k max in repairs if anything goes wrong. I may one day swap the transit for someones old cargo van + cash
A metal shell with lots of expensive mechanical components. My 04 needed $5k in parts at 250k miles. I wholesaled it.
 

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It would be interesting to add up what you've spent total on those 45
vehicles compared to the 6 new ones I've purchased in the same time period.


If we keep this conversation to just vans - then the cost of purchase and ownership has been very low

My vans I keep for 6-7 years and sell when they get close to 100K miles;
My last 2 vans had less than $1,500 worth of maintenance in 7? years
(brakes and shocks); My last van, I had for 7? years, added 60K miles and
I sold for $3K less than I purchased it - so total cost of ownership was $650/year - excluding gas.

Cars - well that a different story, I get bored driving the same car, so tend to sell then every 12-18
months. Some cars I keep for a few months only - buy a convertible in December and sell it in Spring,
usually I recoup my costs.
 
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