Is it worth it to buy a used vehicle and add mods or just buy new?
Hi Fluther, it’s been a long time. Life is crazy and I have some things that I need you to help me figure out. My beloved bright green 2008 Honda Element was just recently totaled in an accident with a light pole. I am devastated and I really want another one, only Honda discontinued the Element in 2011. I have found a beautiful cobalt blue 2010 in good condition with 27k miles on it that I can get for around $17k through a relative. It has pretty much all the same things my 2008 Element had in it but now that I’ve been out car shopping I want more.
It’s 2013 for crying out loud! I want bluetooth audio! Possibly navigation, remote start, and a kick ass sunroof to top it all off as well. I want gadgets. I’m definitely looking for a SUV/Hatchback and better gas mileage is a plus but not a deal breaker. I’ve searched and searched but nothing popped out at me until a friend of mine showed me her brand new 2013 Hyundai Tuscon in the same cobalt blue color as the 2010 Element I’m looking at. It has bluetooth, navigation, and most importantly a huge panoramic sunroof that kicks major ass. I can get one for around $28k or I could save a little money and get a smaller, sportier Hyundai Veloster with the same package for about $24k.
A benefit of going with either of these cars is they would be new, they offer better gas mileage than the Element, and they have the option of coming with everything that I want. The downside is they are more expensive and they are Hyundais, I think Hyundais are boring. I’m the kind of person that likes to walk out to the parking lot and have no doubts that the bright, strangely shaped vehicle in the lot is mine.The Veloster is a little sportier but I am really just in love with the panoramic sunroof and all the features the Hyundais have to offer, but not so much the cars themselves.
I felt like I belonged to a special club with my Element and I feel even stronger about that now that they have been discontinued. The Element is truly my dream car and there is just nothing like it out there. My dad recommended looking into getting bluetooth, navigation, remote start, and possibly a panoramic sunroof installed in the used Element that I am interested in that way I could have the best of both worlds. My insurance company gave me around $12k for my totaled Element so I planned on using that as a down payment for whatever new car I get and financing the rest. I’ve attempted some research on car mod installations and it seems like the bluetooth & navigation will probably run around $2—$3k, the automatic start should be another $1k, but the panoramic sunroof is tricky because I want a huge glass one that looks just like the one in the Hyundais. If it can be done I would say it will probably cost me between $2–3k, maybe more and I would probably use some of my down payment money to pay for the installations.
My question to you is would paying almost $7k (or more) in modifications on a used vehicle be a waste of time and money? I plan on keeping my next car for at least 5 years and if I decide to go with an Element I will probably keep it until the wheels fall off, even if I keep it as a weekend car and get something else down the road. Would I be better off to just get a Hyundai with all the bells and whistles? Has anyone else out there ever been in a situation similar or ever added any major installations to their used vehicle? Any advice you can give is welcomed. Thank you!
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