Author Topic: Buying used car with high miles  (Read 3863 times)

EngiNerd

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Buying used car with high miles
« on: January 24, 2016, 08:20:56 PM »
At what range of miles do you expect to see diminishing returns in value for buying used.  Obviously it is vehicle specific to an extent but speaking purely in regards to finances at what point is the high miles discount offset by the expected high maintenance costs?

The reason I ask is because my 02 forester is rapidly approaching retirement.  I have 215k and on kbb it is listed for roughly 1200$.   My head gaskets and crank seals are leaking oil to the extent it's embarrassing to park overnight at a friends house or something.   It is making a few new noises under the hood as well.  But because of its low value, and extensive requirements I don't want to put money into it. So I have been watching craigslist. 

Anyways I found a 05 crv I like with a stick shift, which is a big plus for me.  I like its looks, and the ground clearance of crossovers is important for my hobbies.  It has 202k miles though, the seller is asking 5300 which is high according to kbb but even if I got them down to kbb value of 4700 it seems like I might be moving from my vehicles problems to another's and spending 3.5k in the process.  Basically I really like the crv, I am eager to move on from my Subaru, and have a high savings rate so I don't mind not making the ideal vehicle purchase.  However, I have feeling that buying a vehicle with such high miles is worse than less than ideal and could be considered a risky purchase with little upside. 

What's your guys thoughts on spoiling yourself with a relatively, compared to peers, inexpensive vehicle treat to yourself.  Anyone knowledgeable of crvs?  They seem to have good ratings. 

JLee

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 08:30:29 PM »
I'm not sure how the CRVs are at high mileage, but past 200k you'll likely start running into larger maintenance items (past just oil changes and brakes).

That said, I bought a Tacoma with 263k and a Landcruiser with 203k -- I'm not afraid of miles on a good vehicle, but I also do my own work so repairs aren't too bad.  The Tacoma needed a fuel pump, an alternator, and a throttle position sensor in the 2 years I had it. When I sold it, it needed an o2 sensor and a clutch.

lbmustache

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 09:08:06 PM »
Yes, with higher miles you start running into bigger problems. Not sure if rust is a concern where you're from.

I know used CRVs and the like hold their value really well, and I would not be surprised if the seller could get $5k for it. But I would not buy a 202k mile car for $5k. You can get something with way less mileage for like $2-$3k more. (Which is probably what you'd have to spend on repairs in the near future on a car with 200k+ miles tbh)

JLee

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 08:50:52 AM »
Im not a mechanic but 5300 bucks for a car with over 200,000 Miles on it seem crazy to me...

I assume your american?  Have you looked at the option of purchasing a used truck from canada?  Not sure what your taxes are on bringing a truck back...

The other reason I mention Canada is that price seems outrageous and I don't think that would ever fly up here...  but then again I don't pay much attention to trucks...

Best of luck

Trucks in Canada (at least Calgary) are ridiculously cheap. I found a 2007 Tacoma for $12k USD that is $21-28k USD in the States.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 01:59:20 PM »
Hondas are good but they are not magical (as some seem to think).  For some reason, the older ones still carry quite a premium despite being quite worn.  I know some do better but my expected life for a vehicle is between 200-250k miles before the annoyance and expense of repairs become too much, but we also rely heavily on our vehicles since we live in a rural area.  If I lived within biking or walking distance of work and just used a car for occasional non-essential trips, I may be willing to tolerate a higher mileage vehicle. My personal sweet spot for buying a car is around 100k miles and $6-9k.  For that I can usually get 100k+ reliable miles with relatively few repairs.  Deduct the salvage value and our annual capital expense for a vehicle is usually under $1k.

Stachetastic

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 02:43:24 PM »
When we were in the market for a used car, I was initially really focused on the crv. I liked the older body style and had several friends with them who loved them. But I quickly found out the resale on them is insane. We ended up with a 2005 Matrix with under 150k for $5k. We weren't in need of awd or high clearance, though. If I were you, I'd definitely keep looking.

honeybbq

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 03:27:54 PM »
I have a 2005 CRV. It has less than 100k miles on it.

I would spend a little more money if at all possible and get a different model year or find another CRV with less miles. While I love Hondas and believe they can make 200k, you may not get much bang for your buck if you buy one with that many miles on it.

I'm planning on using mine for at least another 5-10 years, it's in that good of shape.

jeromedawg

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 03:28:12 PM »
I'm contemplating something similar except with whether or not to get rid of or hold onto my 93 Camry that has over 200k on it now. The thing has been a cesspool of incessant non-engine repairs since owning it. I think in the past roughly 10 years of driving it quite a lot of money has been poured into repairs on it (I'd estimate somewhere to the tune of $5000-$6000 roughly, mostly before my Mustachian days where frugality with auto repairs was something I knew very little about). Of course, this car is a hand-me-down so I didn't pay anything for it. I'm not sure what else will go out on it next but I'm wondering if it's worth it to keep fixing these issues as they pop-up or if I should look for another vehicle. Also, I did start telecommuting and my wife will soon be SAHM full-time (at least, that's what the plan is for now), so it's conceivable that we could do the one-car family thing; that would be nice. And then if the need arises for two cars again, I can just get something at that point in time. More than anything though, the Camry has turned out to be a PITA keeping maintained more than anything. Besides ruining the fender/door and DIY replacing them, I just DIY replaced the rear window regulator and got the battery replaced free under warranty. If anything else goes wrong under the hood though, I'm not quite sure what to do at that point in time... 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 03:30:34 PM by jplee3 »

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 05:47:11 PM »
I'm also wondering what the sweet spot for buying a used car is. I feel like the answers so far have been focused on whether a car with 200k miles is a good idea or not. But I know for sure I'm not comfortable getting a car with that many miles. What about 50k vs. 100k vs. 150k? Where do you get the best value? I'm not looking for the cheapest option possible, I'm looking for the best value, even if it means spending more money now for a car that lasts longer without any major repairs.

EngiNerd

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 06:32:13 PM »
When we were in the market for a used car, I was initially really focused on the crv. I liked the older body style and had several friends with them who loved them. But I quickly found out the resale on them is insane. We ended up with a 2005 Matrix with under 150k for $5k. We weren't in need of awd or high clearance, though. If I were you, I'd definitely keep looking.

Yeah, I really like the older body style too.  Plus a stick shift, it'd be a hell of a find if it didn't have so many miles.  After all the responses confirming that it is unlikely to be a good buy spending $4500+ on a vehicle with 200k+ i think I'll jut let it go.  But man it would be my dream car plus still somewhat mustachian.  But making a blatantly risky financial move is not worth it for a vehicle. 

Im not a mechanic but 5300 bucks for a car with over 200,000 Miles on it seem crazy to me...

I assume your american?  Have you looked at the option of purchasing a used truck from canada?  Not sure what your taxes are on bringing a truck back...

Yep I'm from middle america... If vehicles really are that much cheaper up there, transportation and/or taxes must be too high to make it worthwhile to to easily exploit that difference in market values.  Or else it probably wouldn't be there lol. 

I'm also wondering what the sweet spot for buying a used car is. I feel like the answers so far have been focused on whether a car with 200k miles is a good idea or not. But I know for sure I'm not comfortable getting a car with that many miles. What about 50k vs. 100k vs. 150k? Where do you get the best value? I'm not looking for the cheapest option possible, I'm looking for the best value, even if it means spending more money now for a car that lasts longer without any major repairs.

I bought my 02 forester early 2010 with 125k for 5.5K and put roughly $700 in non routine maintenance in it thus far so I did alright with 100k+ with a vehicle not really know for durability.  Roughly 1k per year while averaging ~1400 miles per year (way too many I know) and depending what I can sell it for that expense will go down some.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 07:03:54 PM by EngiNerd »

tobitonic

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 08:36:12 PM »
We're all about used cars, but as I get older and plan on keeping vehicles longer, I like being the one who adds to the odometer from around 100k-130k onward, so that's our upper limit for choosing a vehicle. I'm planning on keeping both of our vans running long past 300k unless repair costs are greater than it would cost to buy newer vehicles with updated safety features. However, I'll know exactly what care has and hasn't gone into the vehicles from the 100-130k mark.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Buying used car with high miles
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 09:14:47 PM »
How many miles do you do per year?

I tend to go by the theory that a car should be good for 15 years or 200K miles/300K km without too many issues. They'll keep on going afterwards but probably need a little more mechanical TLC.

If you're looking around for a used car, how many miles you do has an impact on what to look for. If you're doing lots of miles a year, an older, lower mile vehicle would have more life in it than a newer high mile car.

That said, I've got an older low km car (122, 000km for a 2002), but only drive 10,000km a year. :)

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« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 09:16:19 PM by alsoknownasDean »