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Dazed767
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Tips On Buying A Used Car

Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:22 pm

My girlfriend is in desperate need of a new car. She was quoted around $2000 to fix the problems she has now (not worth it for this '01 neon), plus it has like 125,000 miles. Found an '05 neon sxt with 38,000 miles for $6800 at a dealership near by. So far have them down to $5700 (might try to get down a little lower if I can get another dealership to play hardball). Anything I should look out for when/if we get up there to possibly purchase it? We're gonna try and get a loan from a credit union, would that be the smarter way to go? Thanks.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:39 pm



Quoting Dazed767 (Thread starter):
So far have them down to $5700 (might try to get down a little lower if I can get another dealership to play hardball)

You wont get that car for much cheaper with the miles, unless they're hurting for sales.. Take the deal while you can. I'll reserve judgement on the car because its a dodge (im a chevy/ford man) but check the car over, check the transmission fluid for a burning smell, or better yet see if a trusted mechanic can go over the car, shouldnt cost more than 100 bucks usually. Fwiw, my friend has an older neon its a good car. But since your girlfriend already has one im sure you're aware that its relatively reliable.
 
Dazed767
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:09 am

Really she can't afford much more than that, and I'm sure I'm going to help with a little down payment. Trust me I wish she could get something different, but it's something more reliable at this point. I just found some reviews online of this mazda dealership, and it's not even getting 2 stars (while the other one around here had good reviews, but nothing in her price range). Dunno if I want to risk the b.s. now....
 
Cadet57
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:20 am



Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 2):

For a 6k used car, its not going to be a big deal. once you buy it you'll probly never see them again.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:55 am



Quoting Dazed767 (Thread starter):

Get a CarFax report...and shop around. I bought a used Volvo S30 and love it..... I don't think I'll ever buy a US car again
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:58 am



Quoting Dazed767 (Thread starter):
Found an '05 neon sxt with 38,000 miles for $6800 at a dealership near by. So far have them down to $5700

You might want to consider buying a brand-new Nissan Versa for $9990 or a brand-new Hyundai Accent for $9950. My feeling is that when you buy a used car, you're actually buying someone else's problems.
 
Cadet57
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:07 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 5):
You might want to consider buying a brand-new Nissan Versa for $9990 or a brand-new Hyundai Accent for $9950. My feeling is that when you buy a used car, you're actually buying someone else's problems.

Unless you diddnt read this:

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 2):
Really she can't afford much more than that,

 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:53 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 6):
Unless you diddnt read this:

Unless the OP's friend wants to use her money as a large down-payment on a brand-new car with a 10 year/100K mile warranty (in the case of the Hyundai)  scratchchin 
 
mham001
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:43 am

Unless you didn't read this:

Quoting Dazed767 (Thread starter):
We're gonna try and get a loan from a credit union

 
mham001
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:47 am

Dazed, I always find the best forums for a particular car and read up. Since your gf has experience with the model, you have a head start. The forums will give you an idea of what problems to look for. Don't worry about buying used, it is by far the best value and it's the "green" thing to do.
 
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asuflyer05
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:02 am



Quoting Dazed767 (Thread starter):
Anything I should look out for when/if we get up there to possibly purchase it? We're gonna try and get a loan from a credit union, would that be the smarter way to go? Thanks.

A bank may be willing to give her a lower rate and longer term on a new car than a used Neons. The combination of the two may help her overcome the price disparity. When I was a finance manager for a Honda store, most of my lenders would not loan less than $8k. YMMV since the credit crisis has changed things and I no longer handle transactions in that price arena.

FYI, used Neons are virtually worthless so she needs to be sure she is willing to see the loan through till the end or cover the difference between her payoff and the actual cash value if she decides to trade it in before it is paid off.
 
WellHung
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:35 pm

Unless she's going to buy a new car with a full warranty or used with partial warranty remaining, it probably IS worth it to repair the old car and save the additional $3700 she would have to spend on another car. Especially if she wants to buy essentially the same car that is giving her problems now.

Even though the repair costs may be at or near what the current car is worth, the cost to repair is 1/3 or less the cost of new once you factor in taxes and fees.
 
A332
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:09 pm



Quoting WellHung (Reply 11):
Unless she's going to buy a new car with a full warranty or used with partial warranty remaining, it probably IS worth it to repair the old car and save the additional $3700 she would have to spend on another car. Especially if she wants to buy essentially the same car that is giving her problems now.

Not necessarily. The '01 with 125K miles is going to be in need of repairs going forward... it's reached that 'golden age' where numerous components begin to expire and need replacement.

She could end up fixing the '01 for $2000 today and then 3 months down the road needs to sink another $1K into more repairs... or worse.

In my opinion, getting the '05 SXT @ $5,700 is a great bargain and she will be better off... go for it!
 
WellHung
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:49 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 12):
Not necessarily. The '01 with 125K miles is going to be in need of repairs going forward... it's reached that 'golden age' where numerous components begin to expire and need replacement.

She could end up fixing the '01 for $2000 today and then 3 months down the road needs to sink another $1K into more repairs... or worse.

She could also buy the 2005, find out the odometer was rolled back, it has flood and frame damage and the transmission is held together by bubble gum and duct tape. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this hypothetical exercise.

All cars will need repairs going forward. And if the car needs $1000 in repairs in three months, she is still $3000 ahead.
 
A332
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:39 pm



Quoting WellHung (Reply 13):
She could also buy the 2005, find out the odometer was rolled back, it has flood and frame damage and the transmission is held together by bubble gum and duct tape. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this hypothetical exercise.

All cars will need repairs going forward. And if the car needs $1000 in repairs in three months, she is still $3000 ahead.

That's why one invests in a CarFax report and independent mechanical inspection.

Under normal circumstances, a seven year old car that has seen 125K miles will have far more worn out components than a 3 year old car with 38K. Just because she saves a few dollars by repairing the older vehicle today does not mean it won't drop a transmission in a couple of months... or worse... require a complete engine replacement.

I recently made such a change, selling off an older car and taking the money I would have spent in repairs to purchase an entirely different vehicle. There was ZERO guarantee that investing thousands into an older car would avoid more costly repairs in the near future. Cars detriorate.

In this particular example, she is far better off investing in the newer ride.
 
WellHung
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:46 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 14):
That's why one invests in a CarFax report and independent mechanical inspection.

Neither of which guarantee anything and both of which add more money to the cost of the car. This also assumes the Carfax will be accurate.

As far as I can tell, the idea here is to get a car that works and save money. To suggest that someone drop 3x the amount of money just because it's newer and that's what you did isn't exactly sound advice.

Quoting A332 (Reply 14):
Just because she saves a few dollars by repairing the older vehicle today does not mean it won't drop a transmission in a couple of months... or worse... require a complete engine replacement.

Nor does it mean that the car WILL require those things. Your hypotheticals are not convincing.

Quoting A332 (Reply 14):
There was ZERO guarantee that investing thousands into an older car would avoid more costly repairs in the near future.

No guarantee that it would not. And no guarantee that the newer car wouldn't introduce new problems.
 
A332
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:31 pm

Quoting WellHung (Reply 15):
Neither of which guarantee anything and both of which add more money to the cost of the car. This also assumes the Carfax will be accurate.

Yeah, because a CarFax report and an independent inspection are so expensive...   

Quoting WellHung (Reply 15):
As far as I can tell, the idea here is to get a car that works and save money. To suggest that someone drop 3x the amount of money just because it's newer and that's what you did isn't exactly sound advice.

For a paltry $5,700, she is going to get a car 4 years newer with 1/3 of the mileage. Keep in mind the current vehicle in question is a 2001 Neon... not the best built car out there, and worth next to nothing to boot.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 15):
Nor does it mean that the car WILL require those things. Your hypotheticals are not convincing.

It's common sense. Not my problem if you're unconvinced.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 15):
No guarantee that it would not. And no guarantee that the newer car wouldn't introduce new problems.

Like I said before, vehicles deteriorate with age and use. A person is always better off buying something newer than fixing something older, especially when the newer vehicle can be purchased at a bargain basement price, as in this case.

[Edited 2008-12-30 12:33:26]
 
Cadet57
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:48 pm



Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 10):
When I was a finance manager for a Honda store, most of my lenders would not loan less than $8k. YMMV since the credit crisis has changed things and I no longer handle transactions in that price arena.

couple years ago I financed a $2500 car. Local banks are great.
 
WellHung
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:51 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 16):
Yeah, because a CarFax report and an independent inspection are so expensive...

The goal here is to save money. They may not be that expensive to a high-roller like yourself, but the buyer in question is clearly hard up for cash, so it would make sense to eliminate all unnecessary expenses.

Quoting A332 (Reply 16):
the current vehicle in question is a 2001 Neon... not the best built car out there, and worth next to nothing to boot.

Agreed it's a pos. And I'll add that the 2005 is a pos, too.

Quoting A332 (Reply 16):
It's common sense. Not my problem if you're unconvinced.

When trying to save money, common sense dictates that you don't spend 3x more than necessary based on some guy's hypothetical situations he disseminates on the Internet.

Quoting A332 (Reply 16):
A person is always better off buying something newer than fixing something older

Whoa, that's quite a statement, high-roller. Is there some evidence to back this up? An independent study or expert testimony of some kind?

Perhaps someone like yourself who enjoys tossing their money around unnecessarily shouldn't be giving advice to someone who is trying to save money.
 
jutes85
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:13 pm



Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
Whoa, that's quite a statement, high-roller. Is there some evidence to back this up? An independent study or expert testimony of some kind?

That statement is half true. Some models/brands will give you more headaches in repairs than a new model.

I for one will NEVER buy or recommend an American designed/engineered vehicle again.

I just don't think a $6000 car will be all that reliable in the long run. I would try to save up more money and find other forms of transportation until then.
 
A332
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:13 pm



Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
The goal here is to save money. They may not be that expensive to a high-roller like yourself, but the buyer in question is clearly hard up for cash, so it would make sense to eliminate all unnecessary expenses.

Only a fool would purchase a used vehicle (regardless of age) without having an inspection, lien check & VIN search done. It's a minor expense.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
Agreed it's a pos. And I'll add that the 2005 is a pos, too.

Exactly. The smart move is to get the newer "pos" since it is likely going to last far longer.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
When trying to save money, common sense dictates that you don't spend 3x more than necessary based on some guy's hypothetical situations he disseminates on the Internet.

So it's smarter to continually fix a worthless deteriorating car and deal with the inconvenience of being stranded, being left without a car, tow charges, etc... than to take a bit more money and invest it into something that will last significantly longer?

Right... that makes a ton of sense!

Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
Whoa, that's quite a statement, high-roller. Is there some evidence to back this up? An independent study or expert testimony of some kind?

Perhaps someone like yourself who enjoys tossing their money around unnecessarily shouldn't be giving advice to someone who is trying to save money.

I've just purchased a newer car at a bargain basement price to replace a car that was old and in need of about $4000 worth of repairs.

Sure, I could have spent the money on it, but then I have the same old car, still worth nothing, riding around on original 13 year old components, waiting for the next part to break.

Or... I could have the pleasure of driving a nice car that is several years newer, better equipped and provides stress free & hassle free motoring for virtually the same cost.

I picked the latter. Why? It's the better choice.

If one needs to seriously save money, then buying or fixing a vehicle shouldn't be an option. BOTH are wasteful.
 
Dazed767
Topic Author
Posts: 5009
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:30 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 14):
That's why one invests in a CarFax report and independent mechanical inspection

Already checked the carfax on it and would have my mech. look at it. It was sold as an auction car at the beginning of the year and pretty much sat there for 6 months at a toyota dealership was sold and was back at a dealership again in october.  scratchchin 

Quoting WellHung (Reply 18):
Agreed it's a pos. And I'll add that the 2005 is a pos, too.

I'll second that! Hey, it's either this or a Kia haha.
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:58 pm

I'm not as familiar with the used car market in North America anymore - but at least in the UK I have done really well on my past two cars through eBay.

Everyone sounds shocked at first, espescially buying a car sight unseen. But if you know the model well and it has an impeccible reputation (i.e. Honda Civic), and you can check the VIN / reg for leins, then it is fine. A seller with good feedback on eBay isn't likely to want to mess it up by ripping someone off. It takes a leap of faith, but in my experience it has been very rewarding.

I'd tend to agree that a $6000 car isn't worth it. Heck, in America you can get new cars for about $10,000 with a five year warranty! I've seen the Nissan Versa with 0% 36 month financing. I think that is about the smartest buy you could make, if she has the credit rating for it.

I'd either stump up for a brand new (albeit basic) model. Or go for an older (i.e. 6-8 year old) model that has a very good reputation for reliability - Honda Civic/Accord, Toyota Camry/Corolla etc. Although older than the Neon, they will likely be much cheaper (and less hassle) to run. I know someone who had an '01 Neon in Canada - the door sills were rusted by '03!

I just love the UK used market, cars become completely undesirable between the ages of 5 and 25! People also treat their cars much better here. I picked up my baby for £1000 back in Sept (97 Civic Coupe / 85,000 miles) and she has been a real treat. Not a scratch on her!

Big version: Width: 400 Height: 300 File size: 32kb
 
Cadet57
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RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:02 pm



Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 22):
I know someone who had an '01 Neon in Canada - the door sills were rusted by '03!

Winter will do that to a car. Granted two year's isnt good thou. I'll give you that. Like I said before, I avoid dodge products like the plague. But my friend has a neon and for the ugly little s**tbox it is, it's a good running car. That said, my girlfriend owns a plymouth and I despise the very thought of working on it. Whoever designed the brakes on that car should have electro shock applied to their nads.
 
WellHung
Posts: 3299
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:50 pm

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:09 pm



Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
Only a fool would purchase a used vehicle (regardless of age) without having an inspection, lien check & VIN search done. It's a minor expense.

A minor expense added on to the $3,700. Common sense dictates that only a fool would spend $4000 more than necessary.

Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
Exactly. The smart move is to get the newer "pos" since it is likely going to last far longer.

Ahh, another "common sense" approach to the issue. When dealing with a pos, spend 300% more whenever possible.

Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
So it's smarter to continually fix a worthless deteriorating car and deal with the inconvenience of being stranded, being left without a car, tow charges, etc

No, it's smarter to take reality into account instead of trying to prove something with worst-case hypotheticals. Every post contains a new hypothetical. If you are going to state something as fact, back it up. If it's your opinion, don't state it as fact.

Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
Or... I could have the pleasure of driving a nice car that is several years newer, better equipped and provides stress free & hassle free motoring for virtually the same cost.

The "same cost" as what? Your doomsday hypotheticals?

Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
If one needs to seriously save money, then buying or fixing a vehicle shouldn't be an option. BOTH are wasteful.

That isn't entirely true. If someone needs a car, for example, to get to work, it is not wasteful to spend money on the car. After all, without the car, the person might not be able to get to and from work and earn an income. If that is the case, the option that saves $4,000 accomplishes both goals.

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 21):
I'll second that! Hey, it's either this or a Kia haha.

That sure is a predicament. I'd go with the Kia...
 
A332
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:08 am



Quoting WellHung (Reply 24):
A minor expense added on to the $3,700. Common sense dictates that only a fool would spend $4000 more than necessary.

So only fools prefer having a reliable ride over a piece of shit? That's news to me.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 24):
Ahh, another "common sense" approach to the issue. When dealing with a pos, spend 300% more whenever possible.

Most people like reliable transportation. If you prefer to do your motoring in an unreliable shitbox, that's your prerogative.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 24):
No, it's smarter to take reality into account instead of trying to prove something with worst-case hypotheticals. Every post contains a new hypothetical. If you are going to state something as fact, back it up. If it's your opinion, don't state it as fact.

You want reality? It's a 2001 Dodge Neon with 125K in need of $2000 in repairs. Guess what... it's going to continue to need repairs as the days, weeks, and months drag on. That's reality.

There's a reason why people are more than happy to ditch their shitboxes in favor of something better. If you don't agree, meh... that's your problem.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 24):
Quoting A332 (Reply 20):
Or... I could have the pleasure of driving a nice car that is several years newer, better equipped and provides stress free & hassle free motoring for virtually the same cost.

The "same cost" as what? Your doomsday hypotheticals?

Do you even bother to read? I just stated that my old car needed $4,000 in immediate repairs... and by sinking that money into the car, it would not renew all of the other components that are worn/wearing out and will require replacement, in addition to existing underbody corrosion and continued structural deterioration.

Unless one has some kind of serious attachment issue to their shitbox, it makes zero sense to spend a fortune on repairs when those costs exceed it's value, especially when there is zero guarantee that more repairs aren't right around the corner.
 
Dazed767
Topic Author
Posts: 5009
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:53 am

Might I add the shitbox fills up with water when it rains (seems to be a common problem with that year). Living in FL and the amount of rain we got this past summer and the 7 or so inches of rain from T.S. Fay, she gets a small lake in there. I'm just waiting for the bottom to fall out, soon she'll be in the flintstones car. My opinion if she can pick one up for $5000 with low miles (found 2 so far with around 35k) it'll be worth it. Atleast I can make sure she keeps up with whatever services need to be done. I won't let my 2 year old ride in there, at least this way she won't be using my car to go everywhere with him.
 
T prop
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 4:33 pm

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:03 am

The last years of the Neon weren't that bad, go check consumer reports or something. It's reliable transportation and it's better than a Kia any day.

I wouldn't believe the garbage posted on a-net...

Quoting WellHung (Reply 13):
She could also buy the 2005, find out the odometer was rolled back

Odometer rollback? What is this 1975?   

[Edited 2008-12-31 02:04:56]
 
A332
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:13 pm



Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 26):
Might I add the shitbox fills up with water when it rains (seems to be a common problem with that year). Living in FL and the amount of rain we got this past summer and the 7 or so inches of rain from T.S. Fay, she gets a small lake in there.

Interesting.... I had a 2002 Neon as a rental car in Miami a few years back that did the exact same thing. The morning after a pretty nasty storm there was a huge puddle on the passenger side well... not too impressed!

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 26):
My opinion if she can pick one up for $5000 with low miles (found 2 so far with around 35k) it'll be worth it. Atleast I can make sure she keeps up with whatever services need to be done. I won't let my 2 year old ride in there, at least this way she won't be using my car to go everywhere with him.

Sounds like a good plan to me!

You might even be able to scrounge up a few dollars for the '01... makes the purchase a little more reasonable. I covered half the cost of my newer ride by selling the old one to someone who wanted to fix it up themselves!
 
WellHung
Posts: 3299
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:50 pm

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:06 am



Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
So only fools prefer having a reliable ride over a piece of shit? That's news to me.

If the goal is to save money, yes.

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
in an unreliable shitbox

Hyperbole.

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
There's a reason why people are more than happy to ditch their shitboxes in favor of something better.

Because doomsday hypotheticalists such as yourself scare them into spending unnecessarily. Are you a used car salesman? You can sure sing the sales pitch of one of those unsavory characters.

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
If you don't agree, meh... that's your problem.

I don't have a problem disagreeing with someone providing illegitimate financial advice.

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
Do you even bother to read?

Waa

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
it would not renew all of the other components that are worn/wearing out and will require replacement, in addition to existing underbody corrosion and continued structural deterioration.

So yes, your doomsday hypotheticals.

Quoting A332 (Reply 25):
it makes zero sense to spend a fortune on repairs

You throw around your cash willy nilly and all of a sudden $2000 is "a fortune"? Your tune has changed high-roller.
 
mham001
Posts: 5745
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:52 am

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:31 am

I picked up a cherry 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 for 1,500 a few months ago with 100K. I have every expectation this car will go another 75,000 miles without much problem, and its fun to drive. I think he could find better cars for less money and have every expectation of reliability.

Look on craigslist, it is a great place to find people who need to dump something fast.
 
cragley
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:09 pm

RE: Tips On Buying A Used Car

Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:07 am

I just traded my car in this past weekend.

I had a 2005 Astra and my next service (timing belt) was due to cost me $1200 so it was time for it to go  Smile


I got a 2005 Subaru Impreza RV and collect it on friday night.

I didnt even bother talking him down, he made me the offer and I said 'no thanks'.

He called me an hour later and gave me an extra 2k on my trade in  Smile

I took the finance through them so that also helped. Most car finance is now even cheaper than the banks.

My interest rate is 12% but I know you can do a lot better states side.


Good luck!

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