Originally Posted by RFX45
Drew, I think you might be thinking about your car purchase a bit much. Predicting 5-8 year depreciation? Just buy the one you like the most and go from there. Chances are, if you buy used, depreciation isn't going to hit you hard at all. We all know the biggest hit is in the first year, ~35% then it is like 3%-10% after that so I say do not even worry about it unless you plan to flip it and change cars every year or two.
America has simple depreciation, but it's different in here in Japan - there is a strict registration process that is really expensive - first reg on a new car is 3 years long and then they're 2 years long after that - so if you buy a new car and keep it for 5 years (normal loan term here I gather) - you will get one registration free one when new and then pay for one. If you buy a used car, you could effectively pay for two registrations in 3 to 3 and a half years. Because the cycle starts when the car is titled first, neither the used buyer nor the dealer gets to change the next registration due date... so for example, 2009 cars are gonna be due for registration again this year, as soon as right now, 1/12 to about 7/12 depending on the month they were bought new; if you buy a 2008 model, it'll have been done already and won't be due again til 2013 in various months. Needless to say, having an active registration adds to the value of a used car by several thousand dollars, and cars that don't come with registrations might be lemons that aren't passing inspection for a reason - and if that is the case, it's not gonna be on the visual, it'll be something invasive.
FWIW, if I get a German car of reasonable age plus warranty, I'm planning on spending about $2-3 a year in upkeep in non-registration years (that's just 1-2 sets of softy tires and little trim bits that fall off, basically)... but registration years cost about $10K because of the test and the prep work you do before (fresh suspension bushings, full clean, any visual repairs, 3rd party smog as a pre-emptive thing...) It's pretty crazy. So you can see, the year of the car could change your ownership costs by a huge margin - buy new car A (with high residual value) and run it exactly 4.8 years - pay about $20-25 per day overall to own it, and $10-15 a day to gas and park it. Buy used car B, have to reg'o it twice in 3 years, get rid of it not long after - it could cost like $25-30 a day to own, and $10-15 a day to park and gas... and the risk of trying to unload an old used car at the end is high - basically junk and a writeoff.rocks
I just saw a GS350 go down the street and realized the reason why you hardly see them here - there are just better choices available, even within Toyota. Lexus isn't viewed as a full standalone brand I think, it's just viewed as a Toyota sub-brand in Japan, people know it's a Toyota marketing thing vs the 'real deal' European cars. Toyota has tons of brands, like Toyopet, the Prius line, Crown, the Century by itself - for the 25 odd years that there was Lexus in America, there were the same cars as JDM models with Toyota badges that enterprising guys would do badge conversions on. Some dudes were crazy and were actually importing the real LHD Lexus models to Japan, despite there being the same cars in RHD version - that was strictly for baller status. Lexus was marked up like 30% in America at some point, when the yen was down long ago they were making good money off that line.
Anyway, when it comes to Japan, they don't choose the GS, there's the Toyota Crown brand that is arguably better and comes in at the same price point - there's several unique Crowns in the line, some are sporty (Crown Athlete) and then some are luxurious, old man cars, the Majesta, the Royal Saloon, Hybrid Royal Saloon etc - kinda like the size of an old LS, but came with cloth seats and less wood. All are RWD, inline sixes; there was an older Crown Athlete that came on BBS-LM's and has a 1JZ-GTE. Most of them look better, a lot better than the GS. They are mostly taxis and company cars here, they start around the same price as the Infiniti M and go up from there, they're supposed to be a $40-65K car, like the GS.