I hate to be rude but your friend is a moron. The math just doesn't add up when you compare the long term costs of a good quality used car over a brand new vehicle.
Here's an example. Let's say you go out and buy a quality used Honda and you pay $10,000 cash for it. The car is yours. You own it. The only expenses after that initial purchase are for maintenance and repairs. The daily expenses like gas and insurance (which you'll spend no matter what you drive) are a constant. Even if this car turned out to be a complete POS you'll probably only spend $800 or $900 two or three times a year to pay for repairs. So $2400 a year for maintenance and repairs. That's incredibly high even for a POS but let's keep going. Over a 3 year period you'll have $10,000 invested in the car and $7200 in maintenance costs for a total cost of ownership of around $17,000-$18,000.
If you buy a brand new car and spend around $18,000 for the car. Relatively cheap in today's world for a brand new car. But you can find Civics and KIAs and Chevy's in that price range. Your monthly payment on an $18,000 loan will be around $350 a month. So your out of pocket expenses per year will be $4200 compared to $2400 on the used car. And that is assuming the used car you buy is a piece of crap that breaks down all the time.
The math works out more in your favor if you are lucky enough to get a reliable used car, then your yearly maintenance expenses drop considerably for the used car while those high monthly payments keep coming in for two more years on the new car.