Great Used Car Buying Advice on Craigslist Frugal Forum

Used Car buying….where/how to get deals 06/29 21:50:44

Need to buy a used car.
1) Where should I look?
2) Toyota and Honda are reliable but too expensive. what about Kia or Hyundai?
3) Is there a general rule of thumb in accessing the car value based on miles & year…..aside from checking kbb for every car you look at. For example, I look up the price of a 2009 Toyota Camry with 45000 miles, but at the dealer I see a 2008 Camry with 35000 miles and a 2009 Camry with 60000 miles… to I determine the value if I can’t access kbb?
Borrow someone’s ipad or android 06/29 22:20:05

to take with you.

But –

#1 – you will NOT get the best deals at a dealer. Ever. They are WAY better at hiding problems than private owners are.

#2 – cars that young haven’t depreciated much yet. If you want more miles per dollar, seek older.


Have cash. Find one about three years old with 06/30 01:58:44

one owner, who has all the receipts for the vehicle. You can buy from an individual and get a well-maintained vehicle an usually at a reasonable price.
If you can only buy from a dealer who will finance, do your homework well. We cannot do it for you. Used cars are in high demand, thus the prices will reflect that. Since our ‘improved’ economy has yet to reach what is left of the middle class, even Walmart has noticed a significant drop in consumer spending. The fact that wages have not kept pace with prices for over twenty-five years has finally begun to affect the businesses that pay the lower wages. Most people can only afford a used car today.

Too young 06/30 08:16:47

Thanks to EPA regulations, all cars MUST carry a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty on everything related to emissions. And that’s almost everything that moves, holds fluid, corners, steers, etc.

Buy an 8 year old car and over the course of the first year, make a detailed list of all the things you think aren’t superlative, then go to a dealer and find out how many are covered by the legally-required emissions warranty.

A 3 year old car won’t be enough savings over a new one to bother with not being able to select what you want.

YouTube has some good clips 06/30 07:34:32

Check out Scotty Kilmer channel.

In my experience, look for the proverbial old lady who only drives to church on Sunday. If you have the time to look patiently, you can actually find cars like this. Years ago I bought an older couple’s second car (Toyota Corolla) that was in pristine condition with just 11K miles. It was garaged kept and the wife used it only occasionally. They were moving several states away and had no kids to give it to. I bought it for $4K and am still driving it today. If I didn’t buy it, it would have been gone that same day.

Oftentimes in life you can tell more about a car by the seller and circumstances than by an exacting inspection. No matter what deal you consider, make damn sure you are buying from the owner of record and not a middleman (curbstoner). Don’t be embarrassed to ask the seller to see the title and his DL and make sure everything matches. If anything seems ‘off’, walk away.
The best deal is one that will last and last 06/30 08:24:00

First off, do NOT buy more than you can pay for with cash. If you go into debt for a car, you’ll feel emotional pulls any time it requires maintenance. You’ll be tempted to put it off. Make a cash deal, and have money available for maintenance.

Second, the MOST important factor in a used car’s likely future reliability is the character of the person who’s driven it the most. You must meet this person and engage. Does he/she seem like the kind of person who lives life on the edge, or are they boring and unlikely to push their luck? When they speak of things at work and home, do they show a genuine concern for making sure they do things right, or do they seem frantic and probably “always too busy”.

My current car’s example (this has played out several times before in my life, and in the lives of other family members who I helped to acquire a car that lasted a long time)

2006, was looking for a car. I wanted durable, long-lived, low maintenance costs. This led me to the three brands that come up tops in Consumer Reports most often: Honda, Toyota, Mazda. After discussions with mechanics about “what to avoid if I want a car that will go 300,000 miles without major repairs” I settled on the lowest toy count, manual everything if I could get it.

Looked at a dozen cars over a month, focusing mainly on the owner.

The one I chose: The woman was a schoolteacher when she bought the car new in ’96. She seemed unpretentious. “I know nothing about cars so I just had the dealer do everything.” BTW, without paperwork to prove it, you cannot believe anything anybody tells you…get that stack of receipts. Then she got married, had kids, now needed a larger car. The ’96 Civic had not been driven for two years.

Asking price was a shade under book and it needed tires. We negotiated just a bit and I drove it home. 105,000 miles on the car. I gave it new tires.

Since then, I have had to have new front brake pads put on it, and many sets of tires, wiper blades, and a set of rear taillight gaskets when water started leaking into the trunk.

279,000 miles. Original rear brakes, clutch, etc. Cloth seats STILL have no holes or visible wear.

I would have paid over book for the car and still had a great deal.



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