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Thread: Question on Used Versus New

  1. #1
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    Question on Used Versus New

    Hi All,

    I'm thinking about buying an Atom in a few months to a year and am looking for advice on new verus used.

    From what I understand a new atom can be bought for around 65k but it seems atoms that are 2-5 years old typically have less than 10k miles but are hovering around 50k. I don't see a typical reason to buy used.

    Are the people asking for 50k getting close to what they are asking or are they dreaming?

    I'm in California.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Neutron
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    The used ones tend to hold their value because they are still pretty rare, the owners tend to not need the money when selling them, and a lot have features that are not available anymore.

    Say you have more experience with GM engines, or want aftermarket seats. Then you may want one of the used Atom 2's with a GM engine.

    Some cars are already registered in California making the process for a new owner much easier. Perhaps you dont want to wait for that one day every year in California to get one of the 500 offered SB100 smog exemptions for the entire state? Then buying a used California registered Atom may be the way to go because the prior owner would have already done the tons of work it takes to register one.

    You might find an occasional used Atom around $40K as well. There are a few listed here.

    Good luck!
    the high profile toy thrower

  3. #3
    Neutrino
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    the used ones going for $40-$50k are probably $75-85k new so let's start there for comparison's sake.

    I think the most common reasons are listed below, see if you can categorize it as one of them below. I sold mine recently and I would put myself in category 5.


    The used cars vary so much in cost because you have a few different types of sellers
    1: cheap atom...why? seller is not the original owner, bought it at a lower price, so not a huge loss
    2: cheap atom reason 2 seller is highly motivated to sell, needs money asap, must liquidate
    3: medium priced atom: atom as little to no known history, selling from a dealership, they are taking a stab at the pricing and don't really know what they have
    4: medium priced atom reason 2: seller is original owner car is mostly in stock form and has been tracked / street driven, may or may not have plates / be legal now.
    5: high priced atom: atom meticulously maintained, all bugs sorted out, modifications made to make car safer, faster, more reliable, street legal
    6: high priced atom reason 2: fairly new atom, fully optioned out, hardly used at all likely an atom 3, original owner not wanting to take a big hit on the sale and with supply being low, it's acceptable b/c at least with a small discount the buyer doesn't have to wait.

  4. #4
    Neutron
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    silver makes a good point. I just went and priced my original car's specs if I bought it new and I got $88,000 and that did not include the options that are no longer offered (aftermarket seats (sparcos), carbon fiber tub, supercharger, carbon fiber console, carbon fiber extended fenders, etc)
    the high profile toy thrower

  5. #5
    Down Quark
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    Keep in mind that a 3+ year old car listed for 1/2 the price of new is really not that unusual, or cheap in the car world. That's standard depreciation for a car. Just before I started building my current car, lots of sellers came to me with cars that were already completed. However, they were asking a price of roughly 90% of the "new" cost, 3 years after the car was completed. That's just not realistic.

    Now the Atom is somewhat rare so depreciation should be somewhat less, but its also extremely niche so the market is somewhat limited. There are several cars currently listed for sale on this forum. They mostly seem priced fairly and correctly.

  6. #6
    Neutrino
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    Quote Originally Posted by schills View Post
    Keep in mind that a 3+ year old car listed for 1/2 the price of new is really not that unusual, or cheap in the car world. That's standard depreciation for a car. Just before I started building my current car, lots of sellers came to me with cars that were already completed. However, they were asking a price of roughly 90% of the "new" cost, 3 years after the car was completed. That's just not realistic.

    Now the Atom is somewhat rare so depreciation should be somewhat less, but its also extremely niche so the market is somewhat limited. There are several cars currently listed for sale on this forum. They mostly seem priced fairly and correctly.
    The atom has seen around a 31% increase in price since 2006 in new car pricing, and a loss in options.

    There such a massive difference in people's reasons for selling theirs, it lends itself to a massive swing in pricing on used atoms, and unless you've lived through the changes since the beginning I don't think you'll truely appreciate why cars are worth what they are worth.

    There are some good buys out there that aren't selling and it's because the buyers need quite a bit of education to know what they are buying.

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