Author Topic: Help! Car suddenly available...  (Read 4510 times)

homeymomma

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Help! Car suddenly available...
« on: June 05, 2014, 03:26:42 PM »
My aunt just told me she's going to be buying a new car and thus, selling her old one. It's a 2002 Volvo v70 station wagon with 116,000 miles. It's been meticulously kept since it was purchased new (by her) and was, at the time, a totally decked out model (leather seats, moonroof, etc etc.). I'm guessing it also has one of the nicest "engine models" (can you tell I'm not a car person? Lol), but I'm not sure which.
We don't urgently need a second car, but the one my husband drives every day for his killer dc commute is reaaaally on it's last legs, we don't know how much longer it can hold on. Probably a year or two at the most, and that's assuming nothing goes horribly wrong tomorrow, which could easily happen also. There is no reason to put more $$ into the current car- when it has it's next problem, it's off to the junk pile.
So I'm suddenly wondering if I should jump at this deal, and at what price I would be foolish to pass it up. Also what price is acceptable, and at what point it would be a ripoff. Kbb says private party value is between 6-7K, depending on condition, it's definitely in great condition. I don't want to take advantage of my aunt, but they definitely don't need the money... So I'm kind of thinking I might lowball an offer and see if they take it? On the other hand they may just offer it to us at a low price and I'll just jump at it if it's low enough.
My main concern is maintenance costs for a Volvo... Notoriously expensive, I think? We are not car people. We outsource all car maintenance. With 116K miles, repairs will be part and parcel of it, but I don't want to be buying a dumb lemon of a car.
Mileage: probably not good. My aunt didn't know what it gets, says she's never calculated it. Kbb says 17/24. This is laughably low, but it would probably be my family car (2 kids) and I drive really few miles per year... Short trips 2-3 times/week. Our other car gets 34/40 I think, so it would become hubby's commuter car.

So, used car gurus... What numbers should I be using as benchmarks here? Does it sound like a terrible car? I was thinking the opportunity to buy a reliable, used car from a very trusted source without paying extra for it to come from a dealership (carmax), does not come around often. Should I snap it up?

Thanks, pros!

okashira

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 03:41:53 PM »
Pass.

homeymomma

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 03:43:22 PM »
Pass.
Can I ask why? Volvo? Mileage? Mpgs? (All good reasons, lol)

CarDude

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 03:45:34 PM »
Volvos are great from a safety standpoint, but poor from a maintenance standpoint. I wouldn't pay more than 3000 for a 2002 V70, even with that mileage.

For me, it really depends on whether you're planning on buying a new vehicle for your husband or not. What is your husband driving now (year, model, mileage)?

okashira

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 03:46:08 PM »
Volvo, gas mileage, family (do you want to lowball her and shes offended of her babied car?) (what if the car turns out to be a nightmare?)
I guess if you don't drive it much (5000 mi/yr or less) then the mpg is not a big deal.
Check insurance cost too. That's probably ok.
Repair costs probably not the lowest.

okashira

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 03:48:37 PM »
Pass.
Can I ask why? Volvo? Mileage? Mpgs? (All good reasons, lol)

You're being opportunistic, which is good, but in this case, a little legwork can replace opportunity.
You say you are not a car person, so finding a good used car is a little more difficult. But oftentimes, when looking for that "babied," used car, you interview the owner, not the car. How's your people skills? :-D

homeymomma

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 03:54:18 PM »
Volvos are great from a safety standpoint, but poor from a maintenance standpoint. I wouldn't pay more than 3000 for a 2002 V70, even with that mileage.

For me, it really depends on whether you're planning on buying a new vehicle for your husband or not. What is your husband driving now (year, model, mileage)?

Yeah I'm a little freaked by the maintenance costs. She said they wanted to get it totally mechanically checked out if they were to sell it to us to make sure anything that could be fixed was fixed ahead of time. But obviously next year, the year after... Things will go downhill.

So 3K would be your top dollar? Good to know.

We're not planning to buy a new vehicle for him tomorrow, if that's what you mean. He drives an Audi sedan, 1996 I believe, a billion miles, everything broken (only sort of being sarcastic here... It needed 4K to get it through it's last emissions inspection... It's worth about 1500). It actually belongs to a family member, which means we don't pay insurance, which is nice. Really every day we can keep it on the road is money in our pocket. That being said, if a good used car dropped in our laps, it would be dumb to pass it up because we definitely need one eventually. Whether it's because the current car's owner decides it's not worth the maintenance costs, decides to sell it herself, or whatever. The current car is a temporary fix.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 04:11:43 PM »
If you currently only need one car, why put a second one on the road?  Let the husband's die, then replace it with something that's appropriate for both of you.  Don't just buy a car because it's available.  Too many things can go wrong and much potential for increased costs.

CarDude

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 04:19:48 PM »
Volvos are great from a safety standpoint, but poor from a maintenance standpoint. I wouldn't pay more than 3000 for a 2002 V70, even with that mileage.

For me, it really depends on whether you're planning on buying a new vehicle for your husband or not. What is your husband driving now (year, model, mileage)?

Yeah I'm a little freaked by the maintenance costs. She said they wanted to get it totally mechanically checked out if they were to sell it to us to make sure anything that could be fixed was fixed ahead of time. But obviously next year, the year after... Things will go downhill.

So 3K would be your top dollar? Good to know.

We're not planning to buy a new vehicle for him tomorrow, if that's what you mean. He drives an Audi sedan, 1996 I believe, a billion miles, everything broken (only sort of being sarcastic here... It needed 4K to get it through it's last emissions inspection... It's worth about 1500). It actually belongs to a family member, which means we don't pay insurance, which is nice. Really every day we can keep it on the road is money in our pocket. That being said, if a good used car dropped in our laps, it would be dumb to pass it up because we definitely need one eventually. Whether it's because the current car's owner decides it's not worth the maintenance costs, decides to sell it herself, or whatever. The current car is a temporary fix.

Ah, I see. Yup, I wouldn't go higher than 3k. Compared to what he's currently driving, it would be more reliable. However, for 3k, you could also get something like a 2000 Toyota Avalon or late 90s-early 2000s Camry that would be a much more reliable vehicle than either the Volvo or the Audi (I'm talking drive to 300k with only ~1-1.5 grand of maintenance a year reliable). So I'd probably hold out for something like that if I were in your shoes and could wait. The older V70s are ticking time bombs.

GRSConstruction

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 04:32:22 PM »
I have to agree with the others that have commented. My wife had an older (1999 or 2000) model Volvo S60. It was nice and all, but seemed to always have something wrong or some minor electrical issue. We eventually sold it and got into the bad car decisions I spoke of in my recent post! haha BUT, the repair costs on her Volvo were so expensive we couldn't afford to keep it and it actually had less than 100k miles. They are very safe cars and some will last forever with no issues, but kinda like a VW it's very hit and miss and expensive when you miss!

I have had nothing but great experiences with Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda. I know Honda is great too, just have never owned one. Good Luck! :)

homeymomma

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 07:49:12 PM »
Thanks so much everyone. It smacked of a bad idea when she mentioned it, mostly because an old Volvo is bound to be pricey to keep on the road. I'll see what she is thinking price-wise. Since she's unlikely to offer it at less than half of kbb value (7K down to 3K), it's probably a moot point. We'll wait it out until the Audi sputters it's final sputter, then probably head to carmax for a 8-12K small commuter car with way fewer miles, which was our original plan. Hubby has done enough used car buying privately to know he's not interested in doing it that way anymore...
We've already got a 2012 Hyundai elantra which is lovely and shiny and paid for. I was thinking the Volvo could be a good stop-gap car while we are in a transition mode, not knowing our next step for job/living arrangement/commute, etc. but it sounds like the maintenance costs will just be silly. We are on our second baby, and the third is far enough off I don't think we're in immediate need of upgrading to a larger family vehicle, so a small (Toyota or similar) commuter car it is (when the Audi dies)!

tmac

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Re: Help! Car suddenly available...
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 07:53:58 PM »
Good call. I've had three Volvos, and loved them, but I'll never buy one again, unless it's a 240 and I can do all the work on it myself. The maintenance costs are just insane.