Why buying a 10-year-old car is a savvy move

A used car sits in San Francisco with a “for sale” sign in its window.

Want to make sure your car won’t wreck your budget? Here’s a chart that might help.

In a corner of Reddit devoted to visual representations of data, users are buzzing about a graphic that looks at different approaches to car ownership.

The graphic, shown below, indicates that the cheapest thing to do is to buy a 10-year-old used car, keep it for five years, and then repeat.

The most expensive approach is buy a brand new car, keep it for five years, and then do that again.

Is it ever cheaper to go with a brand new car rather than a used car?

Yes. The graphic indicates that if you buy new and keep that ride for 20 years, that will cost you less than buying a three-year-old used vehicle that you drive for 15 years.

The reactions from Reddit users to the graphic run the gamut. It doesn’t cover leasing, so some tout that approach. “I always lease cars with no money due at signing at $150-$250 a month,” a user wrote.

“Buying 3 years old seems to be a good sweet spot,” said another user. “Just suggested that to my girlfriend one week ago, and I’m glad that I sort of nailed it.”

Read more: How much Morgan Stanley thinks used-car prices will crater — in one chart

And see: What age is the prime of life? Here’s how each generation answers that question

Go here for a larger version of the graphic from Reddit user NMTXINSC. Go here for the ensuing discussion — and here for the data behind the visualization.

Hat tip to Monday’s Daily Shot newsletter for highlighting this graphic.

[“Source-marketwatch”]