Most well cared for cars will last almost forever. My family has driven several cars over a quarter million miles, and one over 300,000, with very few problems at all. Except for imports, we have never had any problems on any of our cars before 100,000 miles. We got rid of our last import in 1999, and won't be buying any more.
If you make small monthly car payments vs lump payoff sums every 5 years, it's different and very affordable. I would rather have daughters in a new car with 200 bucks a month and unload them every 4-5 years. Sure, you never pay one off, but the small payment pales vs large repairs. You are a guy that has tools and time. And phone calling others to pick you up broke down again. Your labor is time consuming. If you stayed at work and worked overtime, you could pay someone else that way. I make more at work than working on a car with a 6 figure income.
I don't like working on modern cars anymore. I like having warranties and cars that are new and very reliable. The more mileage, the more uncertainty. And cars typically break down far from all your tools at home. Again, I do not know how you avoided buying timing belts and water pumps every 80k miles, tie rods, ball joints, brakes, expensive sensors, batteries, alternators etc, as it hit us.
As far as housing, it was also cheaper buying new construction vs old as well. I just had a 9k sewer line replacement in an old house. Things wear out at inopportune times. Wait til you need a new trans or engine in the high mileage vehicle. It's inevitable. You will pay back the savings quickly, free labor on the smaller repairs or not.
What do you mean "Imports"? If you're driving an American branded car, well guess what? It's probably full of "imported" parts. Interesting that somehow your "imports" all had issues before 100k, while on the other hand all of the "imports" we own - which are ironically more American-made than most domestic brands, have very easily made it past the 200-250k mark, with more than one past 300k.
Please don't bring the anti-import stuff into the debate, because it's a useless argument.
We currently own three vehicles. All have been paid for for some time now. The oldest vehicle will be 11 years old soon, and the other two are 7 and 6 years old. Not even the oldest car has required any repairs yet, and it has well over 100,000 miles on it. My wife will be taking it on a 6-hour road trip soon alone, and has no worries at all. All belts, hoses, brakes, etc. were thoroughly checked at 110,000 miles and were perfect.
The average payment on even our least expensive car if we bought a new one would be over $400 per month. Just three monthly payments would cover the total expenses (two sets of tires and three batteries) that we have had on all three cars combined.
None of our cars have timing belts (I avoid cars that do) and I've never replaced any part on any of my cars before 100,000 miles. I did replace the water pump on one of my other cars at 134,000 miles, but it only cost about $45.
Modern cars tend to be good for a very long time. Unless we are just bored with a vehicle, there is little reason to go in debt for another one. I know many people who have well over 200,000 miles on their cars and have no problems at all. They take them on long trips without any worries.
Now you know how it feels when anti-large domestic luxury car comments are being made on other threads.
I would say that the term "import" defines Toyota, Honda and so on...
My biggest pile of junk was a 2009 Camry, and I don't care if it was made in Japan, America, or on the moon, it was still very troublesome.
My issues were Toyota and Honda. Just did a new timing belt on another Civic at 77000 miles. They also recommended doing the water pump at the same time. Look at the Mazda 3 for a lower car payment as well.
Import is where the corporate based company is located. Where the bulk or major profits are returned to. For example, Toyota is a Japan based company. The big checks are sent to corporate when you buy a new car. Not content or percentage of content, or where a few jobs are at. Kind of like being a landlord; I own the properties and collect all the rents. And get richer.
I've worked on both domestic and imported vehicles. Imports tend to use more fragile and flimsy components than domestics. No import could possibly withstand the hard use many 70's and 80's full sized GM, Ford and Chrysler products took daily. That is why police vehicles have been exclusively domestic.
That's like saying the largest billion dollar chocolate company in the world based out of Hershey Pa is an import. Hershey buys Cocoa from West Africa with workers that grow it. But it's a domestic company, as its corporate is in America. I know this is about cars, but maybe this analogy may finally sink in. Somehow I doubt it, as it never seems to be understood, as it perplexes many on here.
A recent survey showed that fully 80 percent of Americans are now willing to pay MORE for goods made by American-owned companies. I'm proud to be part of that huge majority. There are a growing number of loyal Americans who are willing to take the time and energy to research products before buying to support American-owned industries. There is virtually nothing that you can buy that you can't buy from an American company. We only have two American-owned car companies, but they will get all of car business.
We've been down this road before concerning imports.
First of all, stories about imports and how supposedly flimsy or bad they are - generically because they're an import, and thus some magic wand is waved over them as soon as they enter the US, isn't a beneficial talking point. Ironically one of the suppliers of transmissions for full sized trucks is a Japanese company. So quite a few US trucks are tootling around with Japanese transmissions in them. Whoops.
Secondly, and as mentioned repeatedly, I don't care what car or truck you lift the hood on. There are only a number of huge car part and component manufacturers out there, and there is about a 95% chance that all cars and trucks at this point use parts from the same parts makers.
Thirdly, the most American-made cars and trucks on the road today are actually Japanese. Cars like the Avalon, Camry, Tundra, and Accord all have anywhere from 75-90% of the parts in them actually made in the USA. In fact, we actually EXPORT a lot of parts, engines, and entire cars made in US factories back to the countries the companies are located in.
Fourth point, it seems that the ONLY argument those who clearly have an anti-import agenda make is that "The profits goes to Japan/Europe/Korea etc".
OK, so what do you think ANY company does with its profits? They stick them into building more plants, more workers, more designers, engineers, sales staff, and testing facilities in countries like the US. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all have global facilities. Some of the American cars we drive today were either designed, engineered, or in many cases also built in other countries. So if the argument is that profits are sent overseas, well guess what? The big three do it too. So you don't have an argument to stand on if that's your issue.
And lastly, suggesting that the US should only ever buy its own goods is tantamount to stating that we should consider going into a serious economic depression. It's been tried in the past and it NEVER works. ANY modern country - and that includes the US from even its very early founding when we traded things like tea, cotton, furniture, clothing, and so forth with Great Britain, HAS to not only sell, but buy to and from other countries, because you have to have incoming and outgoing currency, lest the economy crash. So perhaps it sounds like a good idea to only ever buy American, but we would be out on the streets if that were really the case.