Author Topic: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?  (Read 3355 times)

Meinurgill

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Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« on: July 08, 2014, 05:29:32 PM »
Found a 2011 Forester, 86,000 miles, listed at $16,900. We think we can get it for closer to $15K because of the car fax. Clean title, 1 owner, but had 2 minor accidents reported. Our mechanic is looking at it tomorrow. It is from a dealer but we have been unable to find a Forester from a private seller in our area--no one is selling them. It took us a week to find one on the lots that we could test drive. Anyway, good idea? Bad idea? I think the price is a little steep for mustachianism but I commute 2 hours a day and we plan to hold onto it for 10 years, so the upfront investment into a lower mileage, highly reliable vehicle seems sound to us. Feel free to punch me in the face, maybe I need it.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 06:47:21 PM »
Do you really need 4wd?  A 2 hour commute screams honda civic to me!  The forester isn't bad on gas, but the difference will really add up if you are putting those kinds of miles on it.

Have you thought about a slightly older Forester?  The depreciation curve is still pretty steep on a 2011.  In my area the sweet spot seems to be around 2008.

mpg350

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 07:41:45 PM »
Just a heads up most used car dealers don't negotiate on the price.  They might take $500 off at most.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 07:52:34 PM »
I dunno. Some cars are just never quite right again after an accident and any problems might not be immediately apparent. I would be very hesitant unless you could find out what kind of repairs were made. Also, many insurance companies will not pay for OEM parts--they will put in aftermarket or even used parts--so you don't know what's in the car.

I agree that commuting two hours round-trip in even a small SUV is, to a casual observer, foolish.

mpg350

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 08:12:59 PM »


I work in the insurance field, yes most cars will not get OEM new parts unless its a very new car.
A used part is fine because the part being replaced was used anyways.  Insurance only owes to get your car to prior condition not new.

I wouldn't worry to much about the prior car accidents…I think car fax makes a note where on the car the accident was usually its the front or rear bumper.  If everything looks ok on the car and runs good it should be fine.

Your best bet though is look for a private owner maybe even drive a good distance if needed you could save a good amount.

Meinurgill

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 09:05:02 AM »
Do you really need 4wd?  A 2 hour commute screams honda civic to me!  The forester isn't bad on gas, but the difference will really add up if you are putting those kinds of miles on it.

Have you thought about a slightly older Forester?  The depreciation curve is still pretty steep on a 2011.  In my area the sweet spot seems to be around 2008.

We live in Michigan so yeah, the 4WD seems like a good idea. Plus, we have 10 month old and really want something that sits higher on the road for winter highway driving etc. It just feels safer to us.

We started out with a much smaller price range, but when we started to think about how long we hope to run the vehicle (at least 10 yrs), and how much mileage we put on cars annually, it started to seem like the newer we could get around $15K the better our investment would be. I mean, we can either pay into a vehicle this way or via the cost of parts that need replacement as the vehicle ages. We both work 50+ hours a week and just will not have time to do our own repairs etc. It's a hard decision to make. We have really waffled on this.

Of course we looked at older and less expensive cars, but when it comes down to reliability, safety, and cost of ownership, Subaru, Honda, and Toyota win hands down. Unfortunately they also don't depreciate and so you end up having to shell out a little extra to get a vehicle with a long life left in it. Is that really so fiscally irresponsible?

Meinurgill

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 09:08:32 AM »
Also I have looked for 2008/2009 range quite a bit and we just can't find any around here. It's like no one is selling their Foresters. I have seen some much older and much newer but not a lot in between. We don't have time to travel a long distance right now and we need a new vehicle within a month or two, so we are stuck with local options. :( I will keep looking though. I am not at all opposed to an older model, I just can't find one with comparably low miles.

Meinurgill

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2014, 09:27:25 AM »
Oh, and I should mention--we are replacing a Ford E150 Conversion van with 220,000 miles on it. My husband still might need occasional towing capacity, maybe more than occasional as of next year, and he also needs to haul gear a couple times a month or more. So we need something a little bigger than a sedan. We went with the smallest SUV class though, no V6 or anything.

darkadams00

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 10:03:39 AM »
Just a heads up most used car dealers don't negotiate on the price.  They might take $500 off at most.

Not where I live. I've only paid asking price twice on a used car. One was a truck that was already a great deal from a family friend. The other was a salvage title 3-year old Chevy Cavalier that ran for 200K miles and almost ten years--$4000 price tag. Every other used car I've ever bought came from a used car dealer, and I got between 10-12% off asking price. There's not as much margin on a used car as there is on a new car, but the price tags are usually well under half of the new-car price by the time I'm even looking.

To the original question, my salvage titled car came from a local car repair/rebuild guy with a pretty good reputation in town. Folks knew he would give a pretty good car for cheap, but the titles were always salvage due to wrecks. I saw the car before he fixed it (rear end/passenger doors), and the price was too good for a college student. I wouldn't buy a salvage title now for different reasons, and I especially wouldn't buy a flawed/salvage titled car from a dealer I did not know well or have a solid recommendation from a friend. That's probably more of a "peace of mind" issue for me since neither of two "flawed" cars I have bought gave me a minute's trouble, and the only lemon I ever bought had a clean Carfax. YMMV.

partgypsy

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Re: Buy a used car with a flawed car fax to get a better deal?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 11:29:22 AM »
We bought a van with an accident deemed "minor" in the carfax report.
But because of the "minor" accident it basically threw the van out of alignment. It's hard to close the back gate without slamming it and soon the plastic covering part broke and came off. And we constantly have problems with one of the electronic sliding van doors, to the extent after trying 2 times to fix it, we basically never open that door anymore. That said, if you are willing to deal with those headaches the rest of the car seems solid and we expect to drive it for many more years.

Basically the vehicle who has been in an accident should sell at at discount from a car that is in excellent condition, but what that amount is, I don't know.