Author Topic: Buying used car from family member?  (Read 1588 times)

jeromedawg

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Buying used car from family member?
« on: August 28, 2019, 04:55:44 PM »
Hey all,

My brother has a 2008 Mazda CX9 (78k miles and the Grand Touring model) that he's planning to trade-up for another Mazda. But he did 'pitch' it to me since he knows we are looking for a minivan. There's a good sized dent in one of the back side doors but other than that, it seems in pretty good condition - he's pretty good about keeping up with maintenance, etc. I would maybe put it as "Good" per KBB, in which case $4500 is the low-end benchmark for that model/year/mileage. He was saying he would probably sell for $4500 and that he likely isn't going to get more than $4000 from the dealership.

What do you guys think? Should I just offer him $4k and take it? Anyone have experience with the CX9? I've ridden in theirs a few times but never paid much attention to the performance, etc. I'm sure it's a pretty smooth ride. It's more the cost of maintenance and other 'hidden' problems that are gonna pop-up. My brothers both are into Mazdas but I've always felt iffy on the track record at least compared to Toyota.

EDIT: we have two kids and are considering trying for a third. Currently both kids are in carseats. If we had a third, we would be getting another carseat or possibly a booster since our oldest might be getting close to that point. With the CX9, I'm guessing he would be in the back and would likely have to get into the car from the back (as well as if we have one more passenger in the back). Unless we put two kids in the back and one car seat in the middle row. It just seems like a hassle though with loading that many kids in and especially if we are transporting other guests (like my parents or my in-laws)

Any feedback/advice?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 05:06:49 PM by jeromedawg »

six-car-habit

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 02:03:24 AM »
 Lots of positives here - known history, low miles, good maintenance, well sized for 5 people, good price.
 Your brothers must be "in-to Mazdas" for some reason , right ?    Don't kid yourself that regular maintenance , or major repairs would be any cheaper with a Toyota.
  What does Toyota offer in this category , the Sienna minivan ?  Uglier, doesn't drive as "sporty" as the mazda, nor handle or brake as well. MAybe a Toyota Venza - station wagon looking thing, certainly better looking than a sienna , there seem to be a lot of those owned by 60+ yr olds around here, I'm sure there are some low milage examples available, unsure on the pricing , but doubtfull you'll get one with 78K miles for $4K.

 On the kids and the car seats, put the two car seats in the left and right sides of the middle row - let the oldest child climb over the middle seat into the back, to get into his/ her booster seat. I'm pretty sure the oldest will love the climb and having "her own row".  Besides , I can't think of any cars with 6 doors, so unless you plan on putting the kids 3 across , it's climb over the middle seat or enter thru the back liftgate and climb over from there, no matter what vehicle you get....you want more kids, and to bring them and another adult with you , there are gonna be some tradeoffs. If you want to drive 7 with lots of elbow room you need a suburban , or escalade, expedition, etc....probably not worth it for low % of time grandparents will be sharing a ride.

chemistk

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 06:34:42 AM »
It's not a bad deal, and since it resides in the hands of a family member, it would be very advisable to 'kick the tires' - load it up with your current kids' carseats and see how things work.

A lot of people who use 3 row SUVs as family haulers (and who have 3+ kids) typically have the younger kids right next to each other (with the infant in the middle seat) and the older kid - especially if they can buckle themselves -  in the back. This gives the oldest kid the ability to climb in through the usual backseat access instead of the trunk.

On the maintenance front, the whole things is basically a big Ford Edge. Don't let that scare you, the chassis was designed almost fully by Mazda, and the engine + transmission combo is very robust and should last with regular maintenance to at least 200k miles. Mazdas in general, especially 2013+ Mazdas have an impressive reliability history. We sold our 2014 CX-5 to family with close to 100k miles on it and I fully expect it to easily sail past 200k miles. Never ever had even a whisper of an issue with that car. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 09:48:04 AM »
It's not a bad deal, and since it resides in the hands of a family member, it would be very advisable to 'kick the tires' - load it up with your current kids' carseats and see how things work.

A lot of people who use 3 row SUVs as family haulers (and who have 3+ kids) typically have the younger kids right next to each other (with the infant in the middle seat) and the older kid - especially if they can buckle themselves -  in the back. This gives the oldest kid the ability to climb in through the usual backseat access instead of the trunk.

On the maintenance front, the whole things is basically a big Ford Edge. Don't let that scare you, the chassis was designed almost fully by Mazda, and the engine + transmission combo is very robust and should last with regular maintenance to at least 200k miles. Mazdas in general, especially 2013+ Mazdas have an impressive reliability history. We sold our 2014 CX-5 to family with close to 100k miles on it and I fully expect it to easily sail past 200k miles. Never ever had even a whisper of an issue with that car. 

Lots of positives here - known history, low miles, good maintenance, well sized for 5 people, good price.
 Your brothers must be "in-to Mazdas" for some reason , right ?    Don't kid yourself that regular maintenance , or major repairs would be any cheaper with a Toyota.
  What does Toyota offer in this category , the Sienna minivan ?  Uglier, doesn't drive as "sporty" as the mazda, nor handle or brake as well. MAybe a Toyota Venza - station wagon looking thing, certainly better looking than a sienna , there seem to be a lot of those owned by 60+ yr olds around here, I'm sure there are some low milage examples available, unsure on the pricing , but doubtfull you'll get one with 78K miles for $4K.

 On the kids and the car seats, put the two car seats in the left and right sides of the middle row - let the oldest child climb over the middle seat into the back, to get into his/ her booster seat. I'm pretty sure the oldest will love the climb and having "her own row".  Besides , I can't think of any cars with 6 doors, so unless you plan on putting the kids 3 across , it's climb over the middle seat or enter thru the back liftgate and climb over from there, no matter what vehicle you get....you want more kids, and to bring them and another adult with you , there are gonna be some tradeoffs. If you want to drive 7 with lots of elbow room you need a suburban , or escalade, expedition, etc....probably not worth it for low % of time grandparents will be sharing a ride.

The cost-value proposition is the main factor here, aside from the obvious upsides of the minivan (more cargo space, roomier, easier access to the third row, option for 8th seat, sliding doors). As far as being uglier, I don't really care so much about how the car/van looks - as long as it gets me/us from point A to point B and has the space we need. But those things aside, a 78k Sienna is going to run well more than $4k and definitely a 2013 or later (which was recommended from a recall/reliability perspective over at the Sienna Chat forums).

From a safety perspective, I've read that these older model CX9s don't have a LATCH system in the third row either. That's probably fine since car/booster seats can just be installed with a seatbelt. But I had a heck of a time installing our carseat in the middle seat of our Rav4 via seatbelt and generally don't look forward to dealing with that. I think what we would probably do *if* we move up to 3 kids is to put the two younger ones in carseats side-by-side driver-side seat and middle seat 2nd row, and have the older one's carseat/booster in the driver-side 3rd row seat. That way the 2nd row 'pass-thru' seat is still functional in terms of allowing someone to easily get into the 3rd row and frees things up. If the carseat configuration can work out that way, I think we'll be fine. Otherwise, I cringe at the thought of my oldest trying to climb over the 2nd row to get to the 3rd - I also don't trust him to buckle himself in. But by the time we have a 3rd, if we do, he may be at the age where he's much more self-sufficient in that respect.

EDIT: just found this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHsDS49z_M8 - seems like it could work but we might have to think about carseats that would fit - I'm not sure that the carseats we have will make the cut (Graco 4Ever and Cosco Scenera)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 10:16:17 AM by jeromedawg »

chemistk

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 01:38:29 PM »
The cost-value proposition is the main factor here, aside from the obvious upsides of the minivan (more cargo space, roomier, easier access to the third row, option for 8th seat, sliding doors). As far as being uglier, I don't really care so much about how the car/van looks - as long as it gets me/us from point A to point B and has the space we need. But those things aside, a 78k Sienna is going to run well more than $4k and definitely a 2013 or later (which was recommended from a recall/reliability perspective over at the Sienna Chat forums).

From a safety perspective, I've read that these older model CX9s don't have a LATCH system in the third row either. That's probably fine since car/booster seats can just be installed with a seatbelt. But I had a heck of a time installing our carseat in the middle seat of our Rav4 via seatbelt and generally don't look forward to dealing with that. I think what we would probably do *if* we move up to 3 kids is to put the two younger ones in carseats side-by-side driver-side seat and middle seat 2nd row, and have the older one's carseat/booster in the driver-side 3rd row seat. That way the 2nd row 'pass-thru' seat is still functional in terms of allowing someone to easily get into the 3rd row and frees things up. If the carseat configuration can work out that way, I think we'll be fine. Otherwise, I cringe at the thought of my oldest trying to climb over the 2nd row to get to the 3rd - I also don't trust him to buckle himself in. But by the time we have a 3rd, if we do, he may be at the age where he's much more self-sufficient in that respect.

EDIT: just found this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHsDS49z_M8 - seems like it could work but we might have to think about carseats that would fit - I'm not sure that the carseats we have will make the cut (Graco 4Ever and Cosco Scenera)

On the two bolded points - you're absolutely correct on #1. We purchased a 2014 Odyssey with 75k miles earlier this year and the final cost was just under $17k. You are getting a huge deal here.

Point 2 - Perhaps you're aware (some folks aren't), but LATCH systems are engineered only for a combined weight (car seat + child) of 65lbs. Once the combined weight of your kid and his seat surpasses that, it's advisable to rely primarily on the belt system rather than the LATCH system. Since you're considering a booster, your kid may be nearing that limit and so you might not even have to consider LATCH.

Also, having ridden in a few CX-9s, setting the kids up as you listed still allows for the pass-thru seat to tumble forward.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 01:45:28 PM »
The cost-value proposition is the main factor here, aside from the obvious upsides of the minivan (more cargo space, roomier, easier access to the third row, option for 8th seat, sliding doors). As far as being uglier, I don't really care so much about how the car/van looks - as long as it gets me/us from point A to point B and has the space we need. But those things aside, a 78k Sienna is going to run well more than $4k and definitely a 2013 or later (which was recommended from a recall/reliability perspective over at the Sienna Chat forums).

From a safety perspective, I've read that these older model CX9s don't have a LATCH system in the third row either. That's probably fine since car/booster seats can just be installed with a seatbelt. But I had a heck of a time installing our carseat in the middle seat of our Rav4 via seatbelt and generally don't look forward to dealing with that. I think what we would probably do *if* we move up to 3 kids is to put the two younger ones in carseats side-by-side driver-side seat and middle seat 2nd row, and have the older one's carseat/booster in the driver-side 3rd row seat. That way the 2nd row 'pass-thru' seat is still functional in terms of allowing someone to easily get into the 3rd row and frees things up. If the carseat configuration can work out that way, I think we'll be fine. Otherwise, I cringe at the thought of my oldest trying to climb over the 2nd row to get to the 3rd - I also don't trust him to buckle himself in. But by the time we have a 3rd, if we do, he may be at the age where he's much more self-sufficient in that respect.

EDIT: just found this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHsDS49z_M8 - seems like it could work but we might have to think about carseats that would fit - I'm not sure that the carseats we have will make the cut (Graco 4Ever and Cosco Scenera)

On the two bolded points - you're absolutely correct on #1. We purchased a 2014 Odyssey with 75k miles earlier this year and the final cost was just under $17k. You are getting a huge deal here.

Point 2 - Perhaps you're aware (some folks aren't), but LATCH systems are engineered only for a combined weight (car seat + child) of 65lbs. Once the combined weight of your kid and his seat surpasses that, it's advisable to rely primarily on the belt system rather than the LATCH system. Since you're considering a booster, your kid may be nearing that limit and so you might not even have to consider LATCH.

Also, having ridden in a few CX-9s, setting the kids up as you listed still allows for the pass-thru seat to tumble forward.

Well, one big factor is the year too - 2008 makes it 11 years old versus 5-6 if I were looking at a 2013 or later Sienna or Odyssey. There's greater depreciation with older cars I think, regardless of the mileage factor.

Good point on LATCH. Our son will probably be in a carseat for a while now that I think about it, unless he has a major growth spurt. He just turned 4 and only weighs 33lbs. He's behind on weight but above average on height, like his mom lol...

So I'm not sure what would be most advisable in terms of the positioning of the carseat being in the back. Or if we should just have him ride with the Ride Safer vest we bought (primarily for traveling). For now, with just two kids, I think we would have him and his sister in the middle row side by side (driver's side and center seats in the 2nd row). I guess the real question is if the Graco 4Ever and Cosco Scenera will be able to fit side by side in that configuration. I have a feeling it may not work though... and if not, if my brother will pass down the Diono Radian/Sunshine, I think we'll be ok. In the worst-case scenario, we would just have him ride in the Ride Safer vest until we can figure out a better solution - I like the vest but I'm not sure I'd trust using it permanently/long-term.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 01:49:59 PM by jeromedawg »

MayDay

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 02:49:53 PM »
For me it would come down to the 3rd kid. If be unhappy with that car and three littles, because the seats will be a pain I'm the you know what. Now that said, if you aren't driving much, it'll be fine, and you can obviously trade it in for a minivan later on if #3 arrives.

But that is my bias of hating dealing with crunched together carseats. Many people aren't bothered. I was, and my children also enjoyed beating on each other.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:29:27 PM »
For me it would come down to the 3rd kid. If be unhappy with that car and three littles, because the seats will be a pain I'm the you know what. Now that said, if you aren't driving much, it'll be fine, and you can obviously trade it in for a minivan later on if #3 arrives.

But that is my bias of hating dealing with crunched together carseats. Many people aren't bothered. I was, and my children also enjoyed beating on each other.

Yea, I'm sort of wondering if we'll feel like we've "outgrown" the car by that point in time. We don't drive around *that* much as it is - I WFH and my wife is SAHM. If anything, she'll take the kids out for playdates, errands, and when they're bored and about to go nuts lol... one of the big considerations for looking for a bigger car was mainly my in-laws who just retired and have been visiting every other week. They are awful with directions and driving around, and my wife feels bad when they have to follow us so she ends up driving their car and I drive the kids if we go out to eat or something. So being in the same car together would alleviate that 'problem' greatly. But besides that, the Rav4 just feels *cramped* with all the crap we have in there - most of it is the kids' stuff.

lutorm

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2019, 12:43:18 AM »
You didn't mention whether your relative being "into Mazdas" means that's "just what they buy" or if they are full-n enthusiasts doing their own maintenance, too. If it's the latter, maybe you can tell them that you'd like to learn how to do stuff as well and I bet they'd be happy to teach you to do whatever maintenance is necessary. That can make a big difference to cost of ownership, especially for an older car.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2019, 07:50:06 PM »
You didn't mention whether your relative being "into Mazdas" means that's "just what they buy" or if they are full-n enthusiasts doing their own maintenance, too. If it's the latter, maybe you can tell them that you'd like to learn how to do stuff as well and I bet they'd be happy to teach you to do whatever maintenance is necessary. That can make a big difference to cost of ownership, especially for an older car.

It's more the "just what they buy" aspect. My brother, if anything, may do his own oil changes and perhaps light maintenance - I saw him rotate tires like once or twice but years ago LOL. For the most part, they just have their mechanic do everything. As far as maintenance, I'd be relatively comfortable doing my own maintenance like oil changes, spark plug changes, etc. Tire rotations I would just go to America's Tire for. And everything else I have a trusted mechanic. I tried swapping out an alternator on our Rav4 recently and failed miserably... actually, everything would have been perfectly fine had it not been for the replacement alternator (that I spent hours putting in) being bad....SMH

Monerexia

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2019, 08:17:56 PM »
This breaks my fundamental rule of no business with family. Some potential upside, large potential downside. Myself, I learned this repeatedly and have enough date to personally be certain about this.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2019, 01:18:23 PM »
Quick update: my parents drove the car down this weekend as everyone came down for a family reunion/relative's wedding. We ended up doing the title transfer at AAA on Saturday because, functionally, it will be fine for our needs. Since this was an inter-family exchange and there's a certain level of trust in deferring payment, we decided to 'negotiate' after taking care of the title transfer. The main issue currently, which we brought up prior to signing the title, was all the 'undisclosed' cosmetic damage. The only thing we were told was that there was a big dent in the passenger side rear door from some druggie who kicked it in. My brother managed to pop some of it out but it's still noticeable. Also, he said he would detail the interior of the car. All he did was put leather conditioner on the seats. The car needs a good vacuuming...fine, no big deal. This cosmetic damage isn't enough to have turned this into a 'deal killer' but I'm wondering how much, if anything, it should affect the 'valuation' as per the $4500 my brother is asking and claiming is standard KBB value.
When we first looked at and did a once-over, we noticed a bunch of scratches (some 'normal wear' I'm sure... like key marks etc) but also some more significant scratches particularly on the passenger side. Part of the front wheel well trim is popped out, the passenger side view mirror trim/frame is *cracked* and likely would need to be replaced if we care to do so - it's an eyesore either way. And the rear passenger wheel well trim has a gash in it followed by scratches along the side of the bumper/frame.








Not exactly what I would describe as "normal wear" lol - given all this, would you guys still consider $4500 a "good deal"? Per KBB, I consider this "Fair" condition in which case at 78-79k miles, the KBB value is closer to $4200 on the low-end.
I'm planning to bring this into my mechanic to have him check it over again as well, just to ensure there's nothing else wrong with it. Was also planning to get a quote on detailing the exterior in hopes of taking care of some of that stuff but the dent and trim may require body repair beyond what the detailer will do). Would it be fair to ask my brother to at least split or cover most of the cost of the detailing/bodywork depending on what it is? Or should I just not complain and pay him what he's asking (his most recent proposal was to send him $600/mo for the next 7 months, so at the end $4200 - he came up with that number to basically cover and subsidize the payments on their new CX9 that they got as an upgrade)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 01:28:45 PM by jeromedawg »

chemistk

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2019, 01:32:38 PM »
Most of that damage falls within the 'Good' category on KBB.com. In fact, KBB suggests that an equivalent CX-9 would run you just around $8k if you were to buy from a private party seller. So even if you decided you hated the thing, you could flip it easily for a $3k-$4k profit.

A competent detail shop will be able to get rid of most of the scratches. Exterior detailing is much more expensive than interior so wherever you go to get it detailed, they may offer to do the interior for an additional $50. When we sold my wife's car, the shop (a locally owned one) doing the exterior detailed the interior free of charge. The rear bumper probably has a clip that's out of place...it's all plastic so even the gentlest bump knocks it out. Perhaps the only thing on there you should be bothered by is the mirror.

Your relationship with your brother will dictate how you approach the $$. Personally, I'd just ask him to split the cost of a detail job which shouldn't be more than $150 for him, and maybe look into what needs to be done on the mirror. As I said, even with the damage you're still coming out way ahead on this so I think it's safe to walk away confident you made a decent purchase.

Plus, my personal philosophy in buying used is to embrace some minor cosmetic damage. 1) I can (and have) negotiate a better price and 2) I'm not really so concerned about any additional minor scratches that I add myself.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2019, 01:42:30 PM »
Most of that damage falls within the 'Good' category on KBB.com. In fact, KBB suggests that an equivalent CX-9 would run you just around $8k if you were to buy from a private party seller. So even if you decided you hated the thing, you could flip it easily for a $3k-$4k profit.

A competent detail shop will be able to get rid of most of the scratches. Exterior detailing is much more expensive than interior so wherever you go to get it detailed, they may offer to do the interior for an additional $50. When we sold my wife's car, the shop (a locally owned one) doing the exterior detailed the interior free of charge. The rear bumper probably has a clip that's out of place...it's all plastic so even the gentlest bump knocks it out. Perhaps the only thing on there you should be bothered by is the mirror.

Your relationship with your brother will dictate how you approach the $$. Personally, I'd just ask him to split the cost of a detail job which shouldn't be more than $150 for him, and maybe look into what needs to be done on the mirror. As I said, even with the damage you're still coming out way ahead on this so I think it's safe to walk away confident you made a decent purchase.

Plus, my personal philosophy in buying used is to embrace some minor cosmetic damage. 1) I can (and have) negotiate a better price and 2) I'm not really so concerned about any additional minor scratches that I add myself.

Awesome! This is the feedback I needed. My wife and I have been stressing over it for the past few days... making a mountain out of a molehill apparently. But yes, I did see the private party seller prices on KBB so it sounds like even a 'lowball' offer for him might look something like $5-6k.

I'll probably get an initial quote on detailing and, assuming it's in the ballpark you mention ($300 it sounds), ask him to split it. I'm not so sure about the damage to the rear passenger door, and if I should bother with it - it's a bit of an eyesore along with the mirror:



The pictures don't do it justice lol.

As far as the mirror is concerned, I might be able to just order a replacement unit and install it myself. If that's the case, I might ask him just to pay for the replacement unit. The thing that concerns me slightly is that the mirror has the 'blind spot monitor' indicator on it. So 1) I have to make sure I order the right one (and factor in the color too... if not, I'm not sure what it would cost to have it painted to match) and 2) I need to make sure there's no sensors on it that will get finicky is weird when I detach the old and reattach the new one. Theoretically, it should all just be wire connections and no sensors AFAIK. I think I saw replacement mirrors going for as low as $50 but that may not have included the ones that have the BSM indicator
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 01:46:36 PM by jeromedawg »

ToTheMoon

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2019, 03:47:31 PM »
Meh, you got a decent deal on the vehicle. Do not start nickel and diming your brother over things - this is where the resentment and/or conflict will build up.

It is an 11 year old vehicle that seems mechanically sound, and has some cosmetic defects. Detail it so it feels fresh, then drive it for a while. If these cosmetic things still bother you after six months, fix them, but I am willing to bet you will not even notice them anymore.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2019, 01:23:48 PM »
Meh, you got a decent deal on the vehicle. Do not start nickel and diming your brother over things - this is where the resentment and/or conflict will build up.

It is an 11 year old vehicle that seems mechanically sound, and has some cosmetic defects. Detail it so it feels fresh, then drive it for a while. If these cosmetic things still bother you after six months, fix them, but I am willing to bet you will not even notice them anymore.

Good points. I ended up popping the trim back in at the wheel well and also sorta made the mirror trim look slightly better - I popped it back together so it's not misaligned but the crack still shows. I bet I could just super glue it and be done with it. The big dent on the side still bugs me but I think I may look into trying the hair dryer/compressed air kit on it at some point - seems like it could potentially work for that. We'll probably just agree to the "payment plan" my brother proposed - why not... seems like a fair proposal. Still probably going to get the detail quote and ask him to at least split that per chemistk's suggestion.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2019, 10:10:06 AM »
This might work on the dent...😋

https://youtu.be/9HdokOl0nWQ

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Re: Buying used car from family member?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 01:17:59 PM »
Some fun points...I hope you take them this way.

The car is ancient.  It there were an axe sticking out the back, I'd ignore it.

If you want a "real" value, take it to car max.  They'll give you a written offer, so you will know exactly what it's worth.

$4k is pretty much peanuts for something that still runs.  If you were to drive it for a year, then push it off a cliff, it would owe you nothing.

Cosmetic damage.......pardon me while I laugh a bit.....