Author Topic: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?  (Read 1549 times)

DanTheYogi

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Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« on: March 02, 2018, 08:21:33 AM »
Hi everyone

So I am going through the process of buying a car for the first time in my life.  Being the extremely over-analytical and 2nd guessing person that I am, I am trying to be as extensive and thorough as possible before making my purchasing decision.  Having said that, I found a car I am interested in and wanted to run it by some more experienced peeps such as some of you guys.

Here is the car I am considering:

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/725756453/overview/


2013 Toyota Yaris with only 23k miles.  I haven't actually driven the car yet.  The dealer website says they are totally cool with a PPI.  So, assuming the test drive and inspection check out, is this a good deal?  While I haven't seen the CarFax, I did run the VIN through a free vin check and it has no accident or theft history.  At that year and mileage, the average value was listed closer to 9-10k on the VIN check website I went to.  It appears the discount may be due to the hail/paint damage the dealer mentions, which I am totally cool with.  This is a little bit higher than I had in mind (I was thinking in the 4-5k range), but the idea of a car as reliable as the Yaris at 23k is really appealing to me because I know that if I take care of it, it should last me a long time, and I won't have to think about this process again for many years.

Anything I am/could be missing?

Laserjet3051

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 09:53:30 AM »
Sounds like a great price. So long as the discount is REALLY just due to cosmetic damage from hail and your totally cool with that then this may be quite the steal. I would be concerned that there are other issues contributing to the discount that the seller is not revealing. It will be up to you to discover those.

Last year I purchased a similar vehicle, it was a certified pre-owned 2013 Honda Fit with 34K miles on it and I paid in the high 9ks for it. So your pricing sounds really good though part of my cost was the CPO rolled into the purchase price.

I did consider a 2011-2014 Yaris but when stacked against the Fit, I went with the latter.......cant remember why ATM.

acroy

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 10:27:35 AM »
Looks like a great deal
Pics carefully do not show the hail damage - so I expect it'll be pretty rough.

nereo

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 03:14:52 PM »
VIN check says this car was salvaged because of hail damage.  That's not entirely surprising if the hail did cosmetic damage to most or all of the body panels (it could easily cost >$5k to replace and repaint).  Expect most of the car to have dings nad dents in it. 

Make sure you take it to a mechanic you trust before closing to look everything over. Pay special attention to the electrical systems; if the hail broke windows and water saturated the interior somehow you could have bigger problems.

Otherwise... this is exactly the sort of car I look for - several uyears old with cosmetic damage but low mileage and high MPG.

DanTheYogi

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2018, 06:24:53 PM »
VIN check says this car was salvaged because of hail damage.  That's not entirely surprising if the hail did cosmetic damage to most or all of the body panels (it could easily cost >$5k to replace and repaint).  Expect most of the car to have dings nad dents in it. 

Make sure you take it to a mechanic you trust before closing to look everything over. Pay special attention to the electrical systems; if the hail broke windows and water saturated the interior somehow you could have bigger problems.

Otherwise... this is exactly the sort of car I look for - several uyears old with cosmetic damage but low mileage and high MPG.


Ok thanks for the heads up.  Not sure how I missed that.

So I have a trusted mechanic, but this dealer is a good 30+ miles away from him.  I'm not sure if they will let me take the car that far.  This is on their website:

Quote
There are also inspection companies that will come to the dealership on your behalf and put the vehicle through a rigorous inspection process or you may select an inspection at a mechanic or franchise dealership of your choice anywhere within a 15 mile radius of our dealership and we will gladly deliver the vehicle there for inspection.

So I'm not sure if that means they will only deliver within a 15 mile radius, or if they won't allow me to drive the car more than 15 miles for an inspection.  I was considering taking it to a toyota dealership near the dealer - do you think that's a mistake?  If so I could probably use yelp/google reviews to find a trustworthy mechanic near them, if they won't let me take it back to mine.

Scrapr

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 09:26:32 PM »
I have used 2 different mobile inspection services. Both very good. Try Yelp to find someone that can go to the dealer. Last time the used car dealer wasn't especially helpful. No use of the mechanics bay. etc. He did it out in the lot. Good report sent by e mail as he was sitting in the lot finishing up. Don't remember the cost but likely $150-200

Laserjet3051

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 10:05:21 AM »
VIN check says this car was salvaged because of hail damage.  That's not entirely surprising if the hail did cosmetic damage to most or all of the body panels (it could easily cost >$5k to replace and repaint).  Expect most of the car to have dings nad dents in it. 

Make sure you take it to a mechanic you trust before closing to look everything over. Pay special attention to the electrical systems; if the hail broke windows and water saturated the interior somehow you could have bigger problems.

Otherwise... this is exactly the sort of car I look for - several uyears old with cosmetic damage but low mileage and high MPG.

Salvage title. Now it all makes sense.

DanTheYogi

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 05:32:10 PM »
Hi everyone!  Thanks for all the advice.  So, I went ahead and purchased the Yaris today.  I think it's gonna turn out to be a really good deal.

To start off, the cosmetic damage is pretty bad - the paint all over the roof of the car is peeling slightly, and on the hood.  Lots of dents and scratches, and the paint is chipped in a few places.  Of course, I do not care about any of this so long as the car's functionality is not affected by it.

So the car was claimed as a total loss by the insurance company of the last owner, however the title is not salvaged.  It is a clean title.  Apparently this can happen when the DMV's definition differs from what the insurance company says?  Any who, the car fax were very clean, sans the hail damage.  It appears the 1st owner took really, really good care of it in the short time he/she owned it.

Of course, I wasn't going to buy without a test drive and pre-inspection.  The interior looks very clean, almost brand new.  So no complaints there.  I tested most all the electrical stuff myself and noticed no issues.  The only 3 things that were wonky were the windshield wiper fluid dispenser was not working correctly, the front left blinker was out, and the driver side mirror was missing the outer plate on the back (this didn't effect the mirror's utility itself).  As part of the deal, the dealer agreed to fix all of these.  The blinker is fixed, and I am taking it back sometime next week once the parts come in for the windshield wiper and the side mirror.

I found a local mechanic in the area who had very high reviews on yelp/google.  I actually called them beforehand to at least get some sort of a feel for them, and after the call I felt comfortable taking it in.  In person, I felt even more comfortable - the head mechanic was very laid back, was extremely attentive while listening to my concerns and what I was looking for, and after the inspection gave me a thorough run down of every thing that he looked at.  He said mechanically, the car looks fantastic - everything is original/manufacture parts, and they look brand new.  Brakes are superb, no issues with transmission/oil, etc.

I also got a good vibe from the car dealer himself.  He was extremely laid back, not pushy at all, and accommodating of every one of my requests.  We chatted for a little bit about the car and he told me how a lot of people would come to look at it and freak out about the hail damage, even though he has it listed online everywhere that he has the car posted.  And like I said, he had no qualms about taking care of all the issues I pointed out about the car.

Only time will tell, but all told, I think I got a really good deal on a solid car today that should last me for a long time.

Trifele

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Re: Buying a used car - is this a good deal?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2018, 03:26:38 AM »
Nice job OP -- sounds like it worked out great.  I agree those cosmetically damaged cars can be a great deal.