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Used cars...

Used cars...

Old Jul 25th 2007, 7:23 pm
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Default Used cars...

Just looking for a bit of advice on buying a car over here. I was thinking of getting a car with credit, although we have decided to take our chances on a relatively old used car and pay for it outright.
We are looking to spend about $3000, and have found a few cars that seem to fit the bill, but just wondered whether anyone had any experience with these cars:
1994 Toyota 4runner - 150,000 miles
1996 Ford Explorer - 115,000 miles
1997 Chrysler Seabring - 107,000 miles
I know that the Toyotas and Hondas are more reliable, although the miles being quoted for the ones we can afford seem to be unbelievably high. We wanted something in the SUV catergory preferably, but the Sebring is a lot cheaper (probably for a good reason) and has fewer miles...
Any advice would be great
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by mikec81 View Post
1994 Toyota 4runner - 150,000 miles
1996 Ford Explorer - 115,000 miles
1997 Chrysler Seabring - 107,000 miles
Whatever one you buy you are going to end up throwing money at within the first year to 18 months.

Personally, I would get the credit and get something newer with about 50k to 75K miles and maybe even a bit of warranty (if you're lucky). Less chance of a big repair bill in the first 18 months, builds up the credit (very important) lower mileage should come hand in hand with higher reliablity and a bit better resale value.

I would also try to avoid the domestic brands if possible.
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

I'd worry about something that old passing California emissions standards.

For good used car prices, check out http://www.kbb.com and also ebay (the motor section has a ton of cars).
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
I'd worry about something that old passing California emissions standards.

For good used car prices, check out http://www.kbb.com and also ebay (the motor section has a ton of cars).
Sorry, KBB isn't worth a wank
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by Rushman View Post
Sorry, KBB isn't worth a wank
Kelly Big B**bs? I thought that would defo be worth a quick one...

Your're totally right. KBB is a good indication of a price which is 15% above proper market value (or more)
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

All the cars I mentioned are smogged until the middle of next year. I looked into it, and unless there are some major engine/exhaust issues in the meantime, they should pass for the next few years at least (if the engine goes, passing the smog test is the least of my worries in any case!).
I see your point about the credit option, but we are already building up credit using the secured credit card etc, and really don't have the funds to be paying out additional bills (only been here and working a few months...).
So say that I really had to get one of the cars mentioned, is it basically just a matter of taking my chances, but go for a Japanese car to limit the risk on reliability?
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by mikec81 View Post
Just looking for a bit of advice on buying a car over here. I was thinking of getting a car with credit, although we have decided to take our chances on a relatively old used car and pay for it outright.
We are looking to spend about $3000, and have found a few cars that seem to fit the bill, but just wondered whether anyone had any experience with these cars:
1994 Toyota 4runner - 150,000 miles
1996 Ford Explorer - 115,000 miles
1997 Chrysler Seabring - 107,000 miles
I know that the Toyotas and Hondas are more reliable, although the miles being quoted for the ones we can afford seem to be unbelievably high. We wanted something in the SUV catergory preferably, but the Sebring is a lot cheaper (probably for a good reason) and has fewer miles...
Any advice would be great
I bought a Dodge Caravan for $3k, 2000 with 90,000 miles and some body damage.

But then put nearly 2k into it to get the mechanics specked up. Should now be good for anoher 50k without major money.

I would check the local craigslist, at that price point condition is king, as is regular servicing.
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by mikec81 View Post
All the cars I mentioned are smogged until the middle of next year. I looked into it, and unless there are some major engine/exhaust issues in the meantime, they should pass for the next few years at least (if the engine goes, passing the smog test is the least of my worries in any case!).
I see your point about the credit option, but we are already building up credit using the secured credit card etc, and really don't have the funds to be paying out additional bills (only been here and working a few months...).
So say that I really had to get one of the cars mentioned, is it basically just a matter of taking my chances, but go for a Japanese car to limit the risk on reliability?
I got mine checked by our Garage, $90 or so, but I then knew what I would be in for and used it to negotiate the price.
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

I would try and get something like a 98 civic
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

I wouldn't touch the last two on that list even if they were new.
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

That seems to be the general impression that I am getting with US made cars. They seem to be a lot cheaper, but will cost a fortune to repair as time goes on.
Think I am going to look into a late nineties Toyota or Honda, get it checked by the local garage and then take my chances. The miles and the ages of the cars seems to distort the price and it is quite easy to be attracted by the newer US made cars.
Thanks for the help
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by mikec81 View Post
That seems to be the general impression that I am getting with US made cars. They seem to be a lot cheaper, but will cost a fortune to repair as time goes on.
Think I am going to look into a late nineties Toyota or Honda, get it checked by the local garage and then take my chances. The miles and the ages of the cars seems to distort the price and it is quite easy to be attracted by the newer US made cars.
Thanks for the help
Mike, your situation is almost identical to mine 4 months ago. I wanted to spend about 3-3.5K on a second hand motor and found it very difficult. Like you, I also considered the credit option but its a mugs game when you first get here as insurance and monthly payments (shit APR) will kill you - many people on this forum can afford these things, but I certainly could not. I figured best to just get a shit heap that will hopefully last me a year or so whilst I build up credit, a down payment and also a little insurance history.

I ended up getting a 2000 Neon with about 120,000 on the clock (shock horror a US car, but in fact a very reliable model). In my opinion, the Jap cars get way too much respect in the USA and thus are WAY overpriced as second hand cars, even with 100,000+ miles on them. Yes I have spent a bit keeping mine on the road but to be fair some of those things were "optional". The mistake I made was not taking it for a decent test drive and not taking it to a shop to get looked at. My advice to you would be to find a local Meineke or Midas or something and get them to take a quick look at it - they will do this for free (don't go to a dealer). Just getting it on a ramp will reveal a lot of potential trouble spots. Also, check for leaks - especially power steering etc as this can be PRICEY, and listen carefully as in older cars its noises that will alert you to a problem! Try and test drive it cold also as high mileage cars will often reveal their troubles first thing in the morning. But at the end of the day mate, you are buying an old car with high miles so you have to accept what's coming your way.

So far, my little Neon has done me OK. I dont think it will last much longer than a year or two, but by that time I hope to be in a better financial situation and will want to invest in something more interesting.

Good luck.

Last edited by dukeynorton; Jul 25th 2007 at 10:55 pm.
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

Thanks for the warning. I know what you mean about the cost. It sounds so simple just to get the credit etc, but at the end of the day, money is not too great at the moment and would rather just get something to keep me on the road for a while, and then get something good when I can afford it!
I have seen a 97 Honda that looks reasonable, and the good news is that the craigslist here is really active, so there seems to be another 50 cars for sale in my price range everyday. The Japanese cars do seem to be sought after here, probably for good reason overall. They are reliable, although I think once you get over the 130,000 mark, every car will have seen better days.
I have found a mechanic that will take a look at it for me and I am definitely going to take it for a good test drive before buying. I don't mind spending a few extra dollars on it to keep it on the road later along the line, just as long as it is not thousands....
All good advice though, and I will keep it in mind when buying
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Old Jul 25th 2007, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Used cars...

I got mine on Craigslist - seems the best place for it!
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Old Jul 26th 2007, 12:21 am
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Default Re: Used cars...

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
I wouldn't touch the last two on that list even if they were new.
COUGH COUGH Bob I am more then happy with my Sebring Convertible
Thank you
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