Author Topic: Used car options, help me decide  (Read 3730 times)

Travis

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Used car options, help me decide
« on: July 30, 2015, 07:20:21 PM »
I'm looking at getting a used Prius in the next week or two.  The pickings for used in my area are pretty slim, but I found a few possibilities and I need advice on how to approach them.

I'd like to get something built between 2004 and 2008 and no more than 150,000 miles or so.  We currently drive a 2003 Focus and need to add a second car to the family now that my wife is about to start working.  The Focus is nice, but I'd like a hatchback this time since the Focus' trunk is limited.  Here are the cars I'm looking at specifically:

Local dealer with a 2008 with 160k miles for $8700.  The Carfax report shows regular oil and tire maintenance, but no other repairs.
Dealer an hour away with a 2004 with 125k miles for $8000.  No Carfax report offered.
Dealer an hour away with a 2008 with 135k miles for $9000. No Carfax report offered.
Local private offer of a 2008 with 165k miles for $7500.  Owner says battery was replaced at 153k miles with a 2009 battery.  Given the miles driven I assume the battery replacement was done in the last year or so.

Is there anything I can do to vet the dealership vehicles that are out of town without actually being there in person?  I'm concerned about battery life and other maintenance problems at that mileage that might come up.  Any suggestions?

forummm

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2015, 07:25:43 PM »
Have you looked at buying a new Leaf? You could get a brand new one with warranties for about $11,000 after tax credits and rebates with 0% financing for 72 months. CO has a great tax credit. Then you wouldn't have to buy gas. We pay about $5/mo for electricity for each car (we have 2). There's also almost no maintenance (no oil changes, etc). They're also fun to drive. And it's a hatchback (tons of cargo space.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/nissan-leaf-almost-paying-me-to-drive-it/

SwordGuy

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 07:28:58 PM »
Why buy a high mileage Prius when you can buy a low mileage sedan for the same price or less?

lbmustache

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 08:18:45 PM »
Why buy a high mileage Prius when you can buy a low mileage sedan for the same price or less?

OP said he needs more space than a sedan provides.

I looked some up in your area and I would go for the 125k mile one. Prii don't need too much maintenance, it might be due for spark plugs or brakes - could be a negotiating point to get the price lower.

There's also this one for almost $10k (too much?) http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=80204&endYear=2016&modelCode1=PRIUS&sortBy=derivedpriceASC&showcaseOwnerId=42237177&startYear=1981&makeCode1=TOYOTA&maxMileage=150000&searchRadius=300&showcaseListingId=383934240&mmt=%5BTOYOTA%5BPRIUS%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=401154685&Log=0

Too bad you are not in California, we are overflowing with Prii and there are amazing deals on them right now. Maybe time for a mini-roadtrip? :)

Travis

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 09:36:05 PM »
Why buy a high mileage Prius when you can buy a low mileage sedan for the same price or less?

OP said he needs more space than a sedan provides.

I looked some up in your area and I would go for the 125k mile one. Prii don't need too much maintenance, it might be due for spark plugs or brakes - could be a negotiating point to get the price lower.

There's also this one for almost $10k (too much?) http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=80204&endYear=2016&modelCode1=PRIUS&sortBy=derivedpriceASC&showcaseOwnerId=42237177&startYear=1981&makeCode1=TOYOTA&maxMileage=150000&searchRadius=300&showcaseListingId=383934240&mmt=%5BTOYOTA%5BPRIUS%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=401154685&Log=0

Too bad you are not in California, we are overflowing with Prii and there are amazing deals on them right now. Maybe time for a mini-roadtrip? :)

I just moved from WA, and I swear 1 out of every 10 vehicles on the road in OR were Prii or something similar.  Here in CO there isn't much inventory unless I'm willing to buy new or barely used (or drive over an hour to shop). 

If I'm doing the math right a new Leaf with full incentives financed at 0% meets the $9000 Prius sometime in year 5 assuming my driving habits don't change much.  I hesitate to commit though because I'm only going to live here for two years and I have no idea what my living arrangements will be wherever I end up next.  I'm renting (moving in this weekend) and the house doesn't have a 240v outlet in the garage for the charging station, nor do I think I would be allowed to create one.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 09:43:34 PM »
If you consider the Leaf, recognize the range may not be as advertised unless your terrain is flat. It's a lot of fun to drive and with solar it costs nothing to drive but my range is probably about 40-45 miles since we live at the top of a 1.2 mile hill. Much happier with our Prius, even though it is nowhere near as much fun to drive.

KittyCat

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 11:37:12 PM »
I don't know if some of these might be too far away or whatnot, but here is what I found. The 2007 one with 99750 is by an individual seller and the rest are dealers. At the time of posting, there are 15 on there that mostly fit under your criteria, and 7 of them have free CarFax reports.

In case you are mostly interested in having a hatchback, I searched for those as well. I don't know much about cars so I can't make any good suggestions, but I hope this helps!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 11:47:53 PM by KittyCat »

Travis

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 07:09:03 PM »
I don't know if some of these might be too far away or whatnot, but here is what I found. The 2007 one with 99750 is by an individual seller and the rest are dealers. At the time of posting, there are 15 on there that mostly fit under your criteria, and 7 of them have free CarFax reports.

In case you are mostly interested in having a hatchback, I searched for those as well. I don't know much about cars so I can't make any good suggestions, but I hope this helps!

Thanks for the link.  I hadn't searched that site yet.  A couple of those are definitely within my range of interest; however, they're all in Denver which is an hour drive away.  I'm willing to drive up there to buy a car, but I'm trying to figure out if there are ways I can protect myself and do some further research before I make the drive.

Lyngi

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 08:33:02 PM »
I'm looking at getting another car also.  Looking at Toyotas.  Go on-line to the Toyota owners site, sign up for an account and add VIN's to see what the car has been up to.  You can then delete the car(stating you never owned or leased the car).  I found a Prius with 132k miles, looked like a great deal, but the Toyota owner website listed a work order for no oil readings on the dip-stick!  The car went up for sale soon after that and not at the Toyota dealer, but at a Nissan dealer.  It is still for sale.  Also, I saw a nice 2008 Matrix for a screaming deal, but strange mileage 1321.  So I loaded the VIN--and it had 300K miles.    It is a nice alternative to paying for Carfax.  Sometimes the VIN brings nothing up at all, such as for rental vehicles.

KittyCat

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2015, 01:07:55 AM »
Thanks for the link.  I hadn't searched that site yet.  A couple of those are definitely within my range of interest; however, they're all in Denver which is an hour drive away.  I'm willing to drive up there to buy a car, but I'm trying to figure out if there are ways I can protect myself and do some further research before I make the drive.
If nothing else, what you can do is compile a list of 4-5 or so cars that reside in Denver, and then visit the dealers in descending order with respect to the interest you have in each vehicle. That way, if your most desired vehicle in Denver turns out to have a few problems that you're unable to accept, you can take a few minutes' drive to the next vehicle of interest, and so on until you find the car you are comfortable with. What Lyngi posted seems like a solid tip as well to potentially scratch some off the list.

KittyCat

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2015, 01:11:51 AM »
This Prius was listed today, and seems like a great deal! Since cars will be added to the list periodically, I recommend that you sort the list by the date added on the links I provide.

Travis

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 03:51:22 PM »
This Prius was listed today, and seems like a great deal! Since cars will be added to the list periodically, I recommend that you sort the list by the date added on the links I provide.

So...A slight matter of that car being a great deal.  Is a rebuild like that even worth investigating further?  I emailed the dealer about the ad and he sent me these photos along with the Carfax report. It's obviously a collision, but I can't tell how bad.  The pics are from May and Kitty's link has the new pics.  The previous owner's insurance totaled it so the title is a rebuild salvage.

KittyCat

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 03:55:05 PM »
Again, I'm not an expert, but while I was looking at cars, my dad very firmly dissuaded me from anything that suffered front collision damage.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 04:14:40 PM by KittyCat »

Travis

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 10:06:52 PM »
I went with the car at the local dealership (not the salvage).  It wasn't the most mustachian choice, but working with the private owner would have taken a couple weeks with his work schedule and I was able to talk the dealership down equal to most of their fees.  With sales tax it was still within the budget I set for myself.  I drove it home from the dealership (20 minute drive at 55mph) and it averaged 70mpg!

KittyCat

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Re: Used car options, help me decide
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 10:20:57 AM »
Well, glad to hear that you are enjoying it!