Tips on buying a used car...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by epicstruggle, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    Hi,
    Im moving to Oregon, which is about 2500 miles from where I live. I dont have the time to drive a car out there. So I was thinking of getting a used car and using it for a year and selling it back.

    What would you recommend for a family of 5 (2 adults, 1x 2.5 year old, 2x 9 month old)? I'd like it to be a car that holds its value and wasnt more than $5k-10k, Should I go owner or dealer seller? Has anyone had any experiences with buying from craigslist?

    Thanks for the help,
     
  2. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Japanese minivan...carfax...consumerreports.com reliability ratings and "best used cars" article...dealers will be more $$ and actually (IMHO) more likely to cover-up a problem car. Definitely use consumerreports.com. It's a paid site but no advertisers so pretty reliable for assessing used cars. I have a subscription if you want me to check something.
     
  3. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Get a Volvo, they're good. You'll get perhaps the best active and passive impact protection in the car industry. :razz: Also, better fuel economy than a big heavy van-type vehicle.
     
  4. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    If you can find a V70 wagon or 850T Wagon, Grall is right, they're sweet and also quite fast. I was never comfortable with my kids in the third row (back facing) though.
     
  5. Silent_Buddha

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    Also, I highly recommend taking any potential used car under consideration to a licensed dealer (Honda, Ford, VW, etc.) or trusted mechanic to take a look at the car. This should cost 50 USD or less and will reveal potential problems with the frame, suspension, engine, and other things. They'll also be able to tell you if the car has been in major accidents that were not reported (and thus won't show up on something like carfax).

    Doing this saved me from spending 7,000+ USD on a used Honda which had a major accident and thus irregular frame and other problems which didn't show up on the Carfax report, due to the owners not reporting it. The car was then (presumably) sold at auction at which point a used car dealer bought it and "restored" it visually.

    Car looked great, drove reasonably well, but definitely wasn't worth 7k+ USD. And I probably would have had endless problems with it had I bought it.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  6. Sonic

    Sonic Senior Member
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    Yeah there's a lot you can do. Getting a used car from a dealership will cost you more than if someone is selling it on their own. Always get the VIN so you're able to look up the car's prior history. What Silent_Buddha said is also good, you should get the car checked out at a dealer that sells the manufacturer of the car you may be buying. There's a lot of deceitful people out there and they will cover up problems. Most people won't, some will.

    I've never bought a car from craigslist or even used their listings for a potential purchase so I have no experience there. Coming from listing rooms and other items on craigslist I find it to be #1 in terms of responses in this area. But craigslist is a staple here.

    If you're purchasing a car from someone selling theirs and not going through a dealer I would talk to them about their driving habits, what type of driving they did primarily (city, highway, etc.) and how it has behaved for them in recent years. Best advice I can give is to buy from an old person as in my experience they baby their cars more than any other types of drivers around.

    A Honda, Toyota (might be debatable now), Nissan, are all good options for reliability and MPG. I have no experience with Volvo so definitely listen to those guys up there. If you need the space a minivan might be up your alley. I had a Honda Oddyssey for a few years and it worked rather well but kind of boring for me. I like Honda Accords a bit, they are spacious enough for the driver, an adult in the front passenger seat and three kids in the back. Gets good gas mileage too.

    Always get the VIN as that can tell you a lot about what the car's been through.

    Also in my experience buying a car from a regular Joe versus going to a dealer means you can haggle the price down more. Oh and of course always look into getting a new or extended warranty for your "new" used car just in case something happens at some point. That's saved my ass a number of times.
     
  7. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    Arg.... My mom and wife are driving me nuts. Now they want to get a new (or less than 2 year old) Minivan. Im trying to wrap things up at school and they just have me running all over the place...
     
  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Small kids are much more protected riding back-facing in cars. That's because their necks aren't strong enough to handle the disproportionately large mass of their heads in the event of a front collision.

    Also, with the child facing backwards in the front seat it's easier to maintain eye contact during the ride.
     
  9. suryad

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    Subaru station wagons like the outback are quite awesome I think.
     
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