#saving money: Refurbish my 2003 Acura RSX or Get a Newer Certified Used

In a previous post I mentioned my preference for buying certified used cars as opposed to new cars. Well, last November I wrestled with the decision to sell my 2003 Acura RSX and get a newer certified used car. I REALLY do not like car payments and dreaded having one after 4 years of not having one.

The engine in my Acura was in great condition. I took good care of it by having it serviced regularly which included oil changes and all the manufacture recommended maintenance. I only had 150,000 miles on it at the time and could easily get another 50,000 – 100,000 miles on the engine. So at my current driving rate I could get 5 years on the engine.

However, I had two issue with the car:
1. The paint job deteriorated and was peeling
2. The AC stopped working.

A car without an AC in Florida is a NO NO. The AC repair would cost estimate was $1,200. If I was going to invest that much on the AC it would make sense to get the paint job fixed. It turns out that Maaco was running a special. I could get a descent paint job with clear coat and a 5 year warranty from Maaco for $1300. Therefore, to rejuvenate my car it would cost $2,500 and spread over 5 years that would be $500 per year.

My second option was to go with a newer certified used. I was leaning towards a Toyota Camry SE, no more than 3 years old. I was looking at about $16,000. It would be roughly $350-$400 per month for a car payment. However, I had to look at the increase in the insurance cost as well. It would be about $100 extra a month for insurance. Therefore, it would cost me about $500 per month for 5 years if I went with a newer certified used.

If I went with my refurbish Acura it would work out to $42 per month for 5 years. I did have to purchase seat covers for the front sears and nice rubber floor mats so it worked out to $45 per month with those included. After little debate I went with refurbish my Acura. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The car looks great now with cool air blowing through my hair all while saving over $450 per month. I know some people would argue that my car is so old but I say that pales in comparison to having a huge car payment for the next 5 years. My wife and I enjoyed some of the money saved by going on a great cruise with all the upgraded fixings 🙂 so Happy Saving Money.

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