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

I enjoyed every moment of driving in the rental which was a Dodge Charger. I am still learning about the car ownership process 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 the United States from A with my company. Currently in Texas, Plano. For the past 6 years I was in Singapore, only renting cars for the weekend or for a specific need. I never needed a car, so I didn’t have one. The itch was still there and I was going to online sites still looking for bargains. I have helped friends and colleagues to buy cars, which gave me satisfaction. As they say, always the bridesmaid…

Now in Plano, I can finally get my hands on a car, my car. I’m excited, my family is excited. I’ll give a quick overview of my current situation so members have context:

  • My job does not require me to go to the office every day. The trip to the office is 20 miles one way. I work in business development, so I will often travel to different cities in NA.
  • Children’s school is a mile away, drop off and pick up required. We are a family of 3.
  • Currently living in an apartment with covered parking. There is plenty of space available for open parking, which is free.
  • Make the trip to the grocery store, other purchases are up to 40 miles. It might be once a week. Walmart registration or membership, one of the benefits of free shipping.
  • The woman does not know how to drive. She is ready to learn. I can’t wait to be there actually.
  • I got a pre-approved 4.7% car loan from a credit union. Valid only for 2022 or 2023 models, i.e. for new cars only.
  • I knew I was going to move here a while ago, saved over $50,000 specifically for a car.
  • Thinking of the SUV only because of long journeys and luggage. We are a family of 3 but pack for a family of 10!

I enjoyed every moment of driving in the rental which was a Dodge Charger. I am still learning about the car ownership process in Texas. Still applying for my driver’s license here. I am currently using my Singapore driving license for rentals. Advice on obtaining a driver’s license for yourself and driving lessons for the lady will be appreciated.

Dilemma: New or used?

My mental budget on each

  • Used: $35,000 | <100,000 miles | <5 years
  • New: < $60,000

I’m Doug DeMuro on YT fascinated by Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Mercedes GLB. Recently had the chance to drive a BMW X5, the Range Rover Evoque loved it. Did some research on these, limited to YT. I have only visited the Jeep showroom so far as it was on the way to the furniture store. I tried Grand Cherokee, it was good. They didn’t have the best finish for the test drive, so maybe that’s why I walked away feeling a bit disappointed. I didn’t visit any other showrooms as I was busy setting up the apartment and getting settled into my work.

As I mentioned, I knew I was moving here a while ago, I was going through Carmax, Truecar. The prices for used cars less than 5 years old are insane. Others have a lot of miles, I don’t know what the maintenance cost will be.

While I have nothing against brands like Toyota, Honda or Nissan. I want a car that can make me smile every time I start. A car I want to look back on as I walk away.

Finally, I don’t like EVs at this point in my life. Maybe it’s me trying to retain my youth a little longer.

Anyone living in New Plano, drop a note. Looking forward to communicating with the BHPiens and attending the meeting.

Here is what GTO should say about it:

I would normally say “pre-loved”, but the US used car market is crazy right now. I hear of people selling their 2 year old cars for profit.

Opt for new. In fact, in today’s climate, even renting isn’t a bad option. German luxury brands have such strong residues that they make leasing very cheap. Surely an option to consider.

Cars I would shortlist for 60k: Corvette C8 (yes, it will take stretching), M2, M340i, Dodge Charger (the crazy versions), used Mustang GT350…wild man, get out there and have fun.

Here is what Condor BHPian should say about it:

Since you’re open to used cars, check out rental return cars. The operation of these cars would be less than that of other cars, and the maintenance should also be better. After my first car – a new Accord, the next two were lease returns. Both were from the same dealership – an Acura 3.2TL and a CR-V. Both worked very well and I had paid much less than a new one.

Here is what BHPian mazda4life should say about it:

Welcome to the US, things have changed with regards to the US car market and it’s now a seller’s market and I recently bought a new car and I love it. Obviously, I wasn’t ready to spend the amount you planned, but I still wanted to share some things you might consider:

  • First get the US driver’s license, a lot of things depend on it like insurance rates, interest rate if you apply for a loan.
  • Good used/used cars are hard to come by and in my experience there are hardly any good deals for cars with a proper title.
  • Negotiate hard with multiple dealers and be prepared for the long haul.
  • I signed up for the Costco auto program, which was good for dealers to talk to you with copper tips.
  • Don’t rush to buy a car and if you can afford a rental/Lyft for immediate needs as there is a waiting period for almost all new cars.
  • Talk to locals and see if applicable local taxes vary by zip code (I stay in North Phoenix but bought from Mesa).
  • Do not pass by the FB market because of dubious offers.

All the best in your car hunt.

Here is what BHPian scale from 1987 should say about it:

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

Also, 4.7%?! It’s crazy. Even assuming a lack of credit history, you should be able to get a much cheaper car loan, say around 2-3%. Ask your sales advisor; many dealerships have Asian SAs who are very resourceful in getting good business.

Look for DCU.

Once you have a pre-selected car, check out the CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) cars at the dealership grounds. CPO cars are always < 3 years old, and usually very low mileage, and come with a warranty and the possibility of an extended warranty.

Check out BHPian’s comments for more ideas and information.

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