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Cage Hell

Seeking other viewpoints about used cars

  • 11-24-2012 | 09:16 PM
  • njchopper87
  • I'm in the market for a car. I can't afford to out right pay for one, so I have to finance part of it. I stopped by a few dealers yesterday to see what they have and to get a "test drive" of how the dealers themselves act. They did not disappoint.

    I initially wanted something for $5-8k with 100k or less miles. None doing. I upped the anti to $10k.. now I start seeing 60-90k mileage with mostly '06-'08 cars. This seems like a rip off, but I'm not seeing much else for cheaper; and Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans last a long time.

    Also, one of the dealers made a good pitch at an '11 Mazda 3 with 43k miles. It's still under factory warranty for another 20k miles or so. The problem is it costs $14k. Now, consumer reports has no grudge against this thing and it would last me for quite a while. My Uncle has an '07 and loves it. My grandpa and dad say go for it. I think it's too expensive, but I know it would be reliable. But, an '06 Corolla also seems reliable.. and it's ~$4k cheaper.

    Has anyone else played the used car market recently, or has an otherwise useful opinion? I don't expect you to have all the answers. I'm just trying to form a realistic outlook of what's really out there and what I want to do.

    Last edited by njchopper87; 11-26-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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  • 11-25-2012 | 11:00 AM
  • Sean
  • Don't be afraid of high mileage. If the car was taken care of and you're willing to keep it up, cars can easily last 200k or more. Our daily drivers have 130k and 165k on them and they're running fine. Do your research on potential issues for that model of car and get a good thorough inspection with a leakdown test.
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  • 11-25-2012 | 11:26 AM
  • Homeslice
  • Quote njchopper87
    I think it's too expensive, but I know it would be reliable. But, an '06 Corolla also seems reliable.. and it's ~$4k cheaper.
    A 2011 Mazda for $14K is a lot better deal than a 2006 Corolla for $10K.

    Especially considering the Mazda is funner to drive.

    Find out what the original selling price was on that Mazda, was it a base model or premium? Brand new I think those things range from $15-22K depending on options. If it's a base stripper, then no, that's not a good deal.

    But if you want it, you've got leverage to negotiate on it, because it's high mileage for a 2011. It's probably gonna be sitting on his lot awhile, for that reason. And the end of the year is coming up, so dealers will be motivated to take your offer.

    But your main problem is you're shopping dealers. You should shop for loans first, and then buy something off AutoTrader or one of the enthusiast forums for the model you're interested in. Helluva lot better deals than a dealership.

    Last edited by Homeslice; 11-25-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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  • 11-26-2012 | 12:19 AM
  • derf
  • I bought my truck used with just under 40k on it 5 years ago. Now it has just over 100k and no major problems. It has small stuff thats wrong with it, but it is all fairly common with that specific model. I think I'm more resigned to never buy another american vehicle than not buying used.
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  • 11-26-2012 | 12:50 PM
  • defector
  • We have an '05 Corolla with about 125k on the odometer. We got probably 50k or so on it since we've had it, with zero issues. Originally bought it as a shitbox commuter car (mid to high 30's on the highway mpg).
    Nothing really spectacular about it, but let's face it; it's a Corolla.
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  • 11-26-2012 | 02:07 PM
  • njchopper87
  • Thank you for the replies. I talked to someone at a credit union today and they said I'd be able to get a loan no problem. The only negative is that it would be 14.4 %. However, with a cosigner it would be 4.2%, and lucky for me I have someone willing to help out. Unfortunately, their special 1.4% rate just ended, and it won't be for another 6 months for it to come into play again.

    All in all, that expands my search radius vastly. I'm still sitting on that Mazda 3, but if I can't talk them down enough it won't matter as much to me.
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  • 11-29-2012 | 09:24 PM
  • Cutty72
  • 4.2% isn't terrible. IF that 3 is a higher end version, that's a great price on a good, fun car.
    When I was looking for commuters I was looking at the mid 2000 Taurus', and any GM with a 3.8L, as they are solid platforms with decent mileage and long lasting.
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