Buying newer, more expensive used cars

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Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by silviasol » May 24 2017 11:49am

Looking to purchase a less then 40k mile car however never spent more then 6k on a car. Not sure what to think when buying something with no warranty at all. Was going to buy from a car dealership for sure, too many times I was burnt on my 2k to 5k car purchases from non dealers and used car places. Just can't trust people with cars. Anyone have horror stories about their higher priced used car purchased from a dealer?
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by Dauntless » May 24 2017 4:08pm

Horror stories?

The best reason for a 3-4 year old car to be on the lot at a dealer with under 10k miles a year on it is because it was out of lease. There was some paperwork mixed in with the original owners manual in the glove department and I figured out that the leasse worked 3 miles from home, therefore driving some 7k miles a year. It was still under warranty when the electrical started acting up as the car warmed up, (It wasn't being driven far enough when the lease ended to notice the problem) there was a bit of corrosion on a wiring connection and it was replaced at no cost.

The WORST reason for a car having low mileage is that it was wrecked, in a flood, etc. So it's off the road for awhile. You might notice the paint looks great in the front but they were too cheap to paint the whole thing and note the wear and tear on the finish as you get to the back of the car. Sometimes miscellaneous parts don't hold up well after the wreck. It might not be a lemon, but nagging things like a belt tensioner, steering idler arm, etc. If there's bad ball joints in the steering you might not readily notice but it could affect stability in situations.

Not so much today but in the past you'd think around 100,000 miles you'd need a water pump, maybe a fuel pump, etc. Then again around 200,000. Which is why people get touchy around such mileage, you get it home and in the next year or two if you don't work on it yourself it can total up to thousands for the multiple times to take it to the shop, maybe have it towed, etc.

In California there's the issue of passing smog. You'll have to do it ever 2 years, but you don't get the smog report from the dealer when you buy the car, you don't know how close it is. And if a sensor goes out, another potential 100k mile problem, you have to replace it before it's smogged. I can do some of them easy enough, but say a crankshaft position sensor is a major dismantle to get to. If you see so much as a quick flash of any light on that dashboard you don't want the thing.
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by swbluto » May 24 2017 4:42pm

Develop some skills in diagnosing cars is a pretty good one. It's how I scored my used vehicles, which has been running almost perfectly since I bought it (I did have to replace the fuel filter and a tire, but definitely not a major engine issue.). In particular, you might want to develop some skills in diagnosing car engine problems.

Chest the exhaust (White or black smoke - bad sign).
Check the oil (White smoke coming out of the oil pan? Bad sign. Bottom of cap a milky brown color? Bad sign.)
Listen for any unusual engine noises.
Check the radiator fluid (Colored brown - bad sign).

Put the engine under high power loads (Maximum acceleration up a steep hill) and watch the temp. It should not overheat. If it does, bad sign.

Make sure to ask about any engine work. Be especially wearing of cars greater than 150k miles in this regard.

Rebuilt engines don't often correct the original problem that required it in the first place. For example, in my vehicle, the chambers were not rebored, so they were losing compression like the plague. New pistons, piston rings, etc. doesn't mean sh1t if the chambers are bad and they aren't properly treated. Doing a compression test is a good way to tell.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by markz » May 24 2017 5:02pm

What comes to mind with the smog deal, is take it in right away to a mechanic to do a full inspection AND A SMOG TEST!

Oh and another thing is used car dealers, buy their inventory from the auction, they also sell it there too.

At a dealership, used car section is your best bet. But NEVER TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT, still get your own mechanic to do a full inspection on it. Its well worth the extra money spent.

Also please read a book written by Edmonston called Lemon Aid, and do your research about the vehicles you are interested in. My friend just bought a used car about 4 years old, based soley on he likes the way it looks. I offered him up my Lemon Aid book and he refused. Now he bought an import, Nissan, but still.........

DO YOUR RESEARCH!

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by kingjamez » May 24 2017 5:19pm

If you are looking for a good deal in your general price range. Used Nissan Leaf's are a smoking deal right now. Price is low, low due to newer cars that have longer range, and the 2018 Leaf that will have a LOT longer range.

I just bought a '14 Nissan leaf with 19K miles for $7750. It's perfectly adequate for my daily driving needs of ~20 miles and I only charge it every 3 days or so. After calculating the cost of gas over 5 years of using a used Leaf for ~12000 miles / year, it's got to be one of the lowest cost per ownership cars out there right now.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by parajared » May 24 2017 5:25pm

You can get burnt either way. If you pick something up on Craigslist there may be a good reason they are getting rid of it and you just inherited someone else's problem. You will be well served well to watch a few youtube videos on how to spot lemons not matter which route you choose.

You are right to believe that there can be a conflict of interest in even "honest" car dealers. The conflict of interest here being that fixing it right may directly contradict with fixing it up profitable. It's not that dealers are terrible, they will most likely fix up the stuff that really needs to get done, its just all the "grey area" fixes, those things that would probably need a lot more work but instead just kinda get half-fixed, dealers tend to get talented at hiding these faux-fixes in a way that a critical eye cannot detect. Your dealership car just may not be as awesome as you were hoping.

I wouldn't tack on a bunch of lemon scare factor to your 2 to 4 thousand dollar car just because of it it's price. If viewing a car harshly from a functionality standpoint it's not uncommon at all for all the crucial parts needed to get you down the road to be in perfectly operational shape, paint-job, old worn out seats, and lack of interest in the car being a more likely motivator for the seller to get rid of the car. A seller is less likely to care about his old car that he has gotten tired of than his new-ish sub-40k car with a hidden flaw; the seller also more motivated to lie because the amount of money being exchanged.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by rojitor » May 24 2017 6:34pm

Many years ago I wanted a cheap yet trusted used car. I went to the store and the seller showed me 20 cars.
He said... How bout that?
I replied. ....all of them are crap. By the way... that car over there?
Oh....That's MY car.
Great! I want it.
The dude doubted for a moment but we came to an agreement and I bought his car.
Btw it still works. I don't plan to swap it till it explodes.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by markz » May 24 2017 8:25pm

bought a '14 Nissan leaf with 19K miles for $7750. It's perfectly adequate for my daily driving needs of ~20 miles and I only charge it every 3 days or so.
Well a liter is $1.00(CAD) here, and a 1 US Gallon is 3.8L so $3.80CDN/Gallon which is $2.83USD/Gallon. An average car can go 10km on 1L so 20 miles = 32km, so that is ~$9(USD)/day in fuel x 30 = $270/m x 12 = $3200/year = 7k miles/yr . Your $7750usd is $10,500cad. But if you were to drive average, it would be 18k miles so 30k km, so you are doing 1/3 of the average. Assuming thats 20miles/day times 356 days in a year.
Would be 30,000 km / 10km/L = $3000, so 3 or 4 years and its paid off. That is a great deal.


I edited this post because my math was wrong.
Last edited by markz on May 27 2017 6:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by Hillhater » May 24 2017 11:39pm

I steer clear of used car dealers, they are in business to make as much money as possible, and are practised at disguising problems, and not answering probing questions. They know how to sell a lemon.
Private sellers are more focussed on just getting the car out of their driveway to get the new one in, but you have to figure if the seller is genuine and honest..Do your research on the car and know what to expect, but pay most attention to the owner/seller, and ask probing questions, like ,,"why are you selling",..."how long have you owned it"..."has it had any problems or accident repairs"... Etc etc. pay attention to the answers and the way they are spoken. look for any hesitation or vagueness in the replies.
If you have any doubts about the seller, or even think he is not the type of guy you would want as a friend.... Walk away !
Check all paperwork, especially to confirm ownership. ( you do not want to get involved in a finance repo etc)....and never be afraid to make an offer, no matter how "firm" the seller says the asking price is
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by kingjamez » May 25 2017 10:49am

markz wrote:
bought a '14 Nissan leaf with 19K miles for $7750. It's perfectly adequate for my daily driving needs of ~20 miles and I only charge it every 3 days or so.
Well a liter is $1.00 here, and a gallon is 3.8L = 1G so $4.80CDN/Gallon which is $3.57USD/Gallon. An average car can go 10km on 1L so 20 miles = 32km, so that is $3/day in fuel x 30 = $100/m x 12 = $1200/year. Plus your $7750usd is $10,500cad. But if you were to drive average, it would be 18k miles so 30k km. Which would be 30,000 km / 10km/L = $3000, so 3 or 4 years and its paid off. That is a great deal.
That's exactly the kind of math I did before purchasing it. Plus, I charge the car for free at work, so I really do save 100% on my fuel costs. Used, electric's are the best way (today) to reduce the cost of 4 wheel transportation.

My 60mph e-bike is 4x as efficient as the Leaf, and my BBSHD ebike is 6-8x as efficient.... but when fuel doesn't cost anything, efficiency means less.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by markz » May 25 2017 7:06pm

I wonder tho if you can make your own battery for it when the time comes. Its a shit load of cells tho, like 5k or something.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by silviasol » May 26 2017 8:15am

Thanks for the advice. Maybe at the dealership I can ask their mechanics to take a second look at it with me there before I buy. Few more things I have been thinking about. I won't put more then 30-50 miles on the car a week, I just want a car to drive do my M-F 3-5 mile a day trip and stop riding my bike. So I wonder about price for current mileage vs the mileage I will put on it at only 2500 miles per year when I sell. Say I buy a 40k mile car now for $20k, and an exact same car with 20k miles is $25k. So say I sell in 3 years with under 10k extra miles, would a 50k mile car sell at 5k higher then a 30k car, maybe it is best to get the higher mileage car? Another thing is insurance. I haven't drove in 5 years now, and last time I bought insurance, I think in 2007, pretty sure there was only two options, full coverage or liability. I did a quote with progressive and there are a ton of options. What is best for me not driving too much, will always be parked in a garage, probably want enough coverage in case I do cause an accident(never once in my life been in an accident though, just in case) and some kind of theft coverage. Last thing is I will be getting a sports car, not sure what people will think driving it in the winter here in MN.
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by Dauntless » May 26 2017 5:39pm

What you can REALLY figure out in advance:

You buy a car at the dealer price, you sell it immediately you can only sell it for the lower private party price. A few months and a few thousand miles drops it more. Don't get caught up thinking you can do better.

If you're financing, they'll traditionally finance 80% of what they think the value is. In general tradition isn't the driving factor it---TRADITIONALLY---is. Low miles doesn't drive up the value much. So you need a bigger downpayment when you get such a car. High miles can drive it down more because it can REALLY be high compared to not much room for low. Hey, small downpayment, eh? As for selling it later higher miles are just plain harder, but if you paid less to begin with no so bad, eh? The trade off is that the more you want for a car the harder it is to find someone willing to pay that for a car, so starting out at less and selling at less is going to make that part easier.

You can look at the car you're thinking of buying in the Kelly Blue Book and it will give you some idea of the mileage impact on the value for that particular car. But there's no saying for a fact exactly what the impact will be.

The best way to retain value is to get a vehicle that retains value, year model after year model. Toyota Tacoma, etc. If your new looking car then acquires all sorts to dings and scratches that can seriously devalue the car, more than the mileage.

Full coverage and liability are the extremes. There can be state laws affecting what coverage you can get, but literally you can get liability plus say uninsured motorist damage, maybe some higher than minimum liability limits, etc. If you've had no insurance for 5 years your rates will be higher for that reason.
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by torker » May 26 2017 7:22pm

If you have any doubts about the seller, or even think he is not the type of guy you would want as a friend.... Walk away !
Sterling advice here.

Do your homework. Use the bluebook. If you have not bought a car or haven't in awhile get a friend to help you. Trust your gut and make sure you take a good long testdrive. Make sure you drive it at hiway speeds. Hit the brakes at 60 , make sure you don't have warped rotors etc.

Dealers always want to make 1000 dollars minimum on a used car. Better deals are had from an individual.

Reread Hillhaters post.. He has done this. Sound advice..
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by flat tire » May 26 2017 7:31pm

I bought my 135i used and paid too much for it. Money in the toilet but I was sick of no RWD! If I had gotten it for a slightly more reasonable price I would have no complaints at all. Ceteris paribus, the general rule is if you're going to spend what you consider "a lot" of money on a car, you're nearly always better off buying used.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by swbluto » May 26 2017 8:44pm

torker wrote:If you have any doubts about the seller, or even think he is not the type of guy you would want as a friend.... Walk away !
Sterling advice here.

Do your homework. Use the bluebook. If you have not bought a car or haven't in awhile get a friend to help you. Trust your gut and make sure you take a good long testdrive. Make sure you drive it at hiway speeds. Hit the brakes at 60 , make sure you don't have warped rotors etc.

Dealers always want to make 1000 dollars minimum on a used car. Better deals are had from an individual.

Reread Hillhaters post.. He has done this. Sound advice..
You get pretty good deals from the Repo/Towing man, who gets his vehicles for pretty much the cost of towing the vehicle way and storing it on his lot. It's how I got my vehicle well below KBB and it's running like a champ. Of course, those guys aren't really advertising much like the used car dealers are... so, pretty much look for the barbed wire fences with a bunch of unmarked vehicles inside (Typically off the main road a little bit in the industrial areas) and you might get lucky and find a good vehicle going for an excellent price. I found mine on Craigslist listed for $1. I didn't see it personally since I have price filters, but my dad spotted it and thank goodness he did.

That guy was an interesting guy, it seems like he had 3 non-related families living in small RVs on his lot.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by dingoEsride » May 26 2017 9:10pm

All good advise above, Billy T James knows how to buy from a dealer

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by silviasol » May 27 2017 5:34pm

flat tire wrote:I bought my 135i used and paid too much for it. Money in the toilet but I was sick of no RWD! If I had gotten it for a slightly more reasonable price I would have no complaints at all. Ceteris paribus, the general rule is if you're going to spend what you consider "a lot" of money on a car, you're nearly always better off buying used.
Yea rear wheel drive is a must for me. My camaro and ford rangers were so much nicer to drive then the front wheel drive cars I had. They always had perfect alignment also, front wheel drives were always a mess. What do you think about the 370z's? I see some as low as 16k but not any that are the 2012 or newer version. Kind of leaning more towards a two seater car, not many options though.
Dauntless wrote: Full coverage and liability are the extremes. There can be state laws affecting what coverage you can get, but literally you can get liability plus say uninsured motorist damage, maybe some higher than minimum liability limits, etc. If you've had no insurance for 5 years your rates will be higher for that reason.
I have had insurance, only insurance to cover parking the car. When I did the quote with progressive it asked if I had insurance for some amount of time which I put yes, it is illegal to not have insurance on any car you own in MN. Will that keep my rates lower or won't qualify?
My first idea was to spend 20 to 25k on a 1 or 2 year old car, no loan just all my savings. I am thinking now just 10-15k.
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by markz » May 27 2017 6:46pm

Insurance question(s) is really for your province/states broker/agent.

If you are only going to be driving such a short distance then why not buy a beater car like a 1.1L or 1.6L engine like in the Suzuki Swift, or Geo Tracker. That would be so much cheaper for you.

Those cars can get above the average 10km/L so I would say easily they can achieve 14km/L which is 8.7miles/L or 33 miles per gallon. I dunno how much a gallon is where you are, but here the price is $1.05(CAD)/L so that converts to $0.80(USD)/L or $3.05/Gallon.

So $3.05(USD) per Gallon and a mileage of 33MPG, and I bet that tank is 50L so say 15G, a fill up costs you $45USD, and you can drive for 450 miles or 22 days. Total cost per year in fuel is 215G/year so $600/year. Easy to obtain parts at the junk yard. Cheap tires. The car/suv itself would be $1000 maybe $1500. So thats your $1.70USD in fuel per day.

Then look at your EV angle. $7500 plus what did you say? Free electricity?
To be honest with you, I do not see value in that at all. Your insurance maybe higher for the EV, but its sure lower for the small car/small SUV using the 1.1L or 1.6L type engines.

Here is a sampling
http://www.kijiji.ca/b-cars-trucks/calg ... ice=__5000
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by Hillhater » May 27 2017 6:54pm

+1 on the cheap car option.
Any car has to be the worst possible way to use hard earned cash.
Even dirty women and booze is a better use for it ! :mrgreen:
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by dingoEsride » May 29 2017 3:38am

Ha ha HH, true that, my worst car was the one I paid the most for(4wd), since then cheap vans to cart me and tradie work tools around and being handy with a spanner (wrench) helps
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by torker » May 29 2017 9:05am

Ditto on the cars being the worst investment ever. If you can call it that.. Cheap miser car with a good heater.. It is Mn. :)
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by wineboyrider » May 29 2017 9:53am

I only buy beater old cars like Toyota or Nissan. I currently have 2 1994 Toyota Tercels. One runs and the other is a parts car! But, if I had the money for a newer car I would buy a 2 or 3 year old economy car with some factory warranty left on it. Here in NM it's easy to find Vans, cars and motorcycles cheap, but trucks are harder to find. Look for someone selling at the end of a lease or the rich person who wants to sell and buy new again. Smog testing is not an issue in NM so that's why I don't mind buying a $900 car and fixing it myself.
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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by markz » May 29 2017 4:10pm

Aint nothing wrong with full sized vans because when the shit hits the fan, you can always sleep in it.
"They" say that minivans are the worst to buy, and preferably a regular van because you can fix them so easily, whereas a minivan is harder.

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Re: Buying newer, more expensive used cars

Post by flat tire » May 29 2017 6:47pm

silviasol wrote:370z
Highly recommended if you get a well maintained specimen. Those are great cars, very good enthusiast setup stock. Unless you are a very good driver you won't be able to disable the assists and drive it in anger without getting handed your ass. That is a very good thing.

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