Author Topic: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?  (Read 6676 times)

rothwem

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I've been looking for a new-to-me car for the past month or so.  I pulled 5k out of my investment account, expecting to find a simple, rugged small 2wd pickup like a Ranger, Frontier or Tacoma easily.  What I found was that all of the vehicles I looked at were junk, needing thousands of dollars of work immediately.  I bumped the price range to 10k, which, honestly, is pretty uncomfortable for me to pay in cash, but the crazy thing was that the vehicles weren't a whole lot better!  I figured out that trucks were inflated due to low gas prices, so I started looking around at other vehicles, and I found cars with transmissions about to pop, rusted out auction specials that found their way down south, and plently of leaking oil.  Lots and lots of leaking oil.  Evidently, nobody maintains their cars any more, they just put them up for sale when they stop working correctly, or start dripping fluids. 

Perhaps I have high expectations, or maybe the Raleigh area has an inflated used car market, but I really expected to be able to get more car for my money.  I'm looking at all of these year end specials at dealerships, with $11,000 off the price of a new car, and I'm starting to wonder if the new vehicles are actual better values, even though they cost more money.  I'd have a payment...but I wouldn't have a headache.  Or maybe I would, because I'd then have a payment? Gah.

Am I crazy? Do I need a facepunch?

GnomeErcy

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I'd look at total cost of ownership over the remaining life-expectancy of the car. A cheap car that needs a few thousand dollars of work to get it back to a good spot can be a lot cheaper over the long run than buying new. Don't let a seemingly high price tag on repairs direct you to something without understanding expected total cost of ownership for your options.

I ended up going with a used two-year old vehicle. Definitely not a beater or anything and it wasn't super inexpensive, but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than buying new, and it was (and still is) in great shape.

Smokystache

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I'm no car buying expert, but a couple of things:

- What type of car lots are you going to? It seems like the major dealerships only keep the better looking used cars and sell of the rough-looking ones to the used car-only lots. So if you're going to the former, they will all be pretty expensive, and if you go to the latter - they will more likely be kinda crappy.

- One of my problems is under-estimating how much less any dealer would take for a used car ... especially something that sits a while. If they list it at $8000, then there are always stories of someone getting it for $5000 or less. They just want to anchor the price really high so they can say they are giving you "more than a thousand off and they can't possibly go any lower."

 


lbmustache

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Hmm it may be your area. $3-5k will definitely get you a car that needs work down here, but $10k should get you into a relatively decent car. Trucks and SUVs are a whole different story.

acroy

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Small trucks, well any trucks, are spendy for some reason.
Here's a nice Fit for you
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/ctd/d/2008-honda-fit-sport-73k/6423050258.html

higher mile Colorado truck but 'fleet' which means it was serviced, I have had good luck with fleet vehicles:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/ctd/d/nicest-colorado-anywhere-2012/6401861988.html

keep looking buddy, you'll find something good!

BlueMR2

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Trucks are in such high demand right now that they're crazy expensive used.  I've been watching a friend try and find a good used replacement truck for one that had a catastrophic engine failure (and has serious rust as well).  Prices now are 3x what they were a couple years back...  Just crazy.

Car Jack

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I think it's the specific vehicles you're looking for.  Small pickups have disappeared and the Taco has become a cult favorite.  Check in a year and expect that Taco prices will actually go up.  Look for a cheap FJ Cruiser.......not gonna find one.

Look mainstream, everyday full size pickups.  They go down much faster.  Stay away from Wranglers (they keep their value like a Tacoma). 

boarder42

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Shopping for a car isn't as simple as boom you find what you want at a price that's good. I spend months looking for straps on cars that I want. But if you just want a good deal those can be found too. Don't fool yourself into thinking you have to pay cash you can get loans for reasonable rates and keep your money invested. Just don't buy more car because it's a loan.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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If you want a cheap, dependable car, get a used EV. Cost of ownership will be low with cheap "fueling", no engine maintenance, low brake wear because of regen, and no transmission.

fubarcamry

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You might be getting near face punch territory, but you can still be saved. I am just poking fun...

MMM has many good articles on his car philosophy, including this one.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

And I came across this awhile ago and thought it was great.
https://www.coachcarson.com/retire-rich-embarrassing-old-cars-fixer-upper-houses/

It can be challenging to learn car maintenance or any new skill, but an open mind here will go a long way when it comes to stashing money away, and gaining new skills and self sufficiency is part of Mustachianism (see http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/11/11/get-rich-with-the-position-of-strength/). That doesn't mean you should go out and buy a total junker either, because then maintenance can be a constant headache, I've been there. When car shopping, consider your mechanical aptitude and how much you'd like to improve it as part of your Mustachian training. My last vehicle was a 1982 Toyota pickup (very similar to MMM's first work truck). It was just so old, that after 6 years of driving it, and with 350,000 miles on the clock, maintenance had become a constant headache. My current car is a 1994 Geo Metro, that only cost $1,600.00 and gets 50-55 mpg. I've had it for 2 years, and spend maybe 20 hours a year maintaining it, even with all the miles put on by my long clown-car commute. Also try searchtempest, which allows you to easily search a larger radius for vehicles than craigslist alone. I drove to another state to get my rust-free Geo. Of course, a Geo may not be for you, but I am confident that for $5,000 you can get a good car. I've never spent more than $4,300 on one, and I've had a pretty good history.

And take MMM's advice seriously about skipping the unnecessary stuff like automatic transmissions, and AWD. If you're the one fixing it, you'll want it to have as few moving parts and breakable luxury features as reasonably possible. Bonus points for crank windows

Kashmani

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 06:55:31 AM »
You are not the only one.

When it came to replace our 13-year old German car (which had some pretty expensive things wrong with it), I was looking for a three- to four-year old used entry level van, wagon or crossover. They all had around 60,000 to 70,000 km on the odometer and were selling for around 70% of the new price.

Mentally, I depreciate a car on a straight-line basis over ten years and 150,000 km. That means a four-year old car should cost no more than 60% of new price. In practice, it actually should be less since depreciation is higher in the early years.

The only time I was able to find a used car that met that criterion was a four-year old base level Smart car, which is a very unpopular model. I bought it when we briefly needed a second car. When we needed to replace the family hauler, I ended up buying a brand-new base model Subaru Outback because I could not find any used car that met my ten-year straight-line test. Note that we will keep the car until it falls apart, which should be sometime between years 10 and 15.

I think there are three issues at play:

1) Most people these days don't buy they base model but a loaded version. The people that buy the base model are probably the same that wouldn't dream of trading in after four years.

2) Because almost everybody finances these days, there are very few private sales. Someone selling a four-year old car is much more likely to trade it in at the dealer than sell it privately.

3) Even for a four-year old used car, most people need financing. This means there is no ready private market for such cars, further discouraging people from selling them privately in the first place.

I disagree on the advice to learn car maintenance. This might work for people with tools in the countryside, but is impractical for lot of others. For example, I live in a condo building with an underground parkade. I can't exactly store a tool cabinet in my parking stall.

If I was you, I would do the math and trust your instincts.

MayDay

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 09:58:51 AM »
We have had similar experiences.

I agree with the observation about fully loaded models too. My brother just bought the fanciest Outback for the high 30's. We probably need a new car in the next year or so, and we may get a new outback- but we'll get a base model for ~25. If we compared a 4 year old loaded one, the new base model seems like a better deal.

Depends a lot on the particular car, as you have found. Popular cars retain value.


rothwem

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Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 07:18:29 AM »
Thanks for all the responses everyone. Just a couple notes:

-I’m buying a new to me car because my left knee has decided that it can’t push the clutch in anymore...so auto is required.

-I need to be able to pull a small trailer. As a homeowner, landlord and de facto property manager, it’s excruciating to rent a truck every time I need to transport something large. I have a sweet landscaping trailer that works pretty well that I got for $500 though.

-I’m fairly handy and have owned/maintained several older BMWs.

So with all that in mind, I decided that a used truck is out. Not enough value, IMO. A totally stripped down, bench seat Tacoma with 100k miles and no cruise, power windows or locks is $12-14,000 here.

Most cars are not rated at all to tow, and I’m nervous about pulling a ~2500 lb trailer with a front wheel drive car, the tongue weight unweights the drive wheels. So I started looking at RWD and AWD small SUVs, and that brought me to Subaru.

The pre-2008 Forester is a really fun vehicle to drive. Unfortunately, Subaru’s have a tendency to blow their headgaskets, and buying one with recently repaired headgaskets is no help, since it’s apparently very easy to mess the job up. I thought about trying to buy one with headgaskets that were already blown, but people still wanted ~$4-5000 for a Forester with gallons of coolant and oil streaming out of the engine.

Other Japanese SUVs? RAV4s are apparently made of gold, and so are Highlanders and CR-Vs. These models also are among the least maintained vehicles I’ve ever seen, it’s shocking how bad the last CRV I looked at was.

So, in the end, I ended up with (another) old BMW. I found a 2005 X3. I’m the fourth owner, but the first owner leased, the second owner had it as a certified preowned car and maintained it at a dealer, and the third owner seemed to be a BMW enthusiast, since the maintenance records show actual fluid changes in the trans and transfer case.  It drives great, and it was just over $5k. I might have to dump some money into changing bushing and shocks, but with the price differential between a used X3 and a used Tacoma, I can buy a lot of suspension bits.

Oh, and it’s got adaptive HID headlights that swing with the steering wheel. It’s like I’m in the future.

Here’s a pic, not that MMM people care about old BM-trouble-you’s

« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 07:25:10 AM by rothwem »

MayDay

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 01:45:45 PM »
At a 5k purchase price, and if you can don't he maintenance, it sounds like a great choice.

Smokystache

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2017, 05:00:13 AM »
It's all relative. Edmunds tells me the MSRP base price of a 2018 BMW X3 is ~$44k (and will lose $11k of value in the first year according to their TrueCosttoOwn calculator (and $25k in the first 5 years)) .... so $5k - even with a few repairs - looks like a really smart move.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2017, 07:41:37 AM »
That seems like a good deal.  Used car shopping is a real pain in the ass.  Everything is geared towards the "new car-buying, no money down, willing to finance for 60/72 months" crowd.  I do wonder what happens to all the 4 or 5 year old trade-ins the dealerships are getting, though.  Maybe they all wind up at CarMax?

rothwem

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2017, 08:25:30 AM »
That seems like a good deal.  Used car shopping is a real pain in the ass.  Everything is geared towards the "new car-buying, no money down, willing to finance for 60/72 months" crowd.  I do wonder what happens to all the 4 or 5 year old trade-ins the dealerships are getting, though.  Maybe they all wind up at CarMax?

I would say that ALL car shopping is a pain in the ass, unless you're looking for something cool with a giant budget. Looking for an inexpensive, reliable car is worse than shopping for a hot water heater or refrigerator.  At least with the used car places, they don't try to hustle as hard to get you sold on a monthly payment amount.  At a new car dealership, once they confirm that you're financing, all you hear is them asking about what you max payment budget is, with no mention of the total vehicle price or interest rate. 

Also, I saw plenty of those 4-5 year old cars on the used car lots I went to but the listed prices were so far out of my budget that I didn't really look very close at them.  There was a really nice 2013 Silverado parked next to one of the Tacomas I looked at, it was listed at $27,000 though so I looked away pretty quick. 

APowers

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2017, 08:28:31 AM »
Okay. I'm lost here.

You're in Raleigh area. You want a small pickup for utility reasons. Your budget is ~$5k or less.

What I hear you say: I need an automatic, I can't find anything but junk for less than $10k! Wahwahwahwah

What I think: That doesn't sound right. Rothwem should be able to find something. Let me check craigslist in Raleigh.

What I found: This truck, this truck, this truck, this truck. And that was just a search for Rangers.

This all sounds to me like excusitis for "I wanna buy a new car" or "I NEED to have power windows because I'm SOOOOO lazy" or "I've hedonically adapted to the new-car smell and now I vomit if I ever sit in a vehicle older than 23.5 months."

rothwem

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 08:44:41 AM »
Okay. I'm lost here.

You're in Raleigh area. You want a small pickup for utility reasons. Your budget is ~$5k or less.

What I hear you say: I need an automatic, I can't find anything but junk for less than $10k! Wahwahwahwah

What I think: That doesn't sound right. Rothwem should be able to find something. Let me check craigslist in Raleigh.

What I found: This truck, this truck, this truck, this truck. And that was just a search for Rangers.

This all sounds to me like excusitis for "I wanna buy a new car" or "I NEED to have power windows because I'm SOOOOO lazy" or "I've hedonically adapted to the new-car smell and now I vomit if I ever sit in a vehicle older than 23.5 months."

Ha, go take a look at those trucks. 

-The first had 200k on it and no mention of any recent trans work.  I drove several rangers, and trust me, if they haven't had the transmission rebuilt after 150k, its ready to pop any second. 

-The second is listed as a "hunting truck".  Let me tell you, if someone lists a vehicle as a "hunting truck", stay the hell away.  A hunting truck is the last purpose for a vehicle that would otherwise be scrapped. 

-The third has a rusted out body below the door sill, and it doesn't appear that the seller speaks english

-The last truck actually looks pretty nice, but its listed at $4900!! FOR AN 18 YEAR OLD VEHICLE WITH 160k on it.  Does that strike you as a good value?

Also, it doesn't appear that you read my followup, that that's okay.  Thanks for thinking critically though and actually checking out the local craigslist. 

APowers

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 09:41:34 AM »
Okay. I'm lost here.

You're in Raleigh area. You want a small pickup for utility reasons. Your budget is ~$5k or less.

What I hear you say: I need an automatic, I can't find anything but junk for less than $10k! Wahwahwahwah

What I think: That doesn't sound right. Rothwem should be able to find something. Let me check craigslist in Raleigh.

What I found: This truck, this truck, this truck, this truck. And that was just a search for Rangers.

This all sounds to me like excusitis for "I wanna buy a new car" or "I NEED to have power windows because I'm SOOOOO lazy" or "I've hedonically adapted to the new-car smell and now I vomit if I ever sit in a vehicle older than 23.5 months."

Ha, go take a look at those trucks. 

-The first had 200k on it and no mention of any recent trans work.  I drove several rangers, and trust me, if they haven't had the transmission rebuilt after 150k, its ready to pop any second. 

-The second is listed as a "hunting truck".  Let me tell you, if someone lists a vehicle as a "hunting truck", stay the hell away.  A hunting truck is the last purpose for a vehicle that would otherwise be scrapped. 

-The third has a rusted out body below the door sill, and it doesn't appear that the seller speaks english

-The last truck actually looks pretty nice, but its listed at $4900!! FOR AN 18 YEAR OLD VEHICLE WITH 160k on it.  Does that strike you as a good value?

Also, it doesn't appear that you read my followup, that that's okay.  Thanks for thinking critically though and actually checking out the local craigslist.
Just because trans work isn't mentioned, doesn't mean it hasn't been done.
I don't know what you see in the "hunting truck" that screams "basically scrap". It looks really clean to me. I may think otherwise after test-driving, but it's hard to say from the pictures.
I didn't (and still can't) see any rust in the pictures.

Value is kind of in the eye of the beholder... I'm not sure what you perceive as "value". 1999 is a pretty "new" vehicle and 160k is not a lot of miles, IMO. I wouldn't pay $4900 for it, because I can get the same utility from an older/less nice vehicle for likely 1/2-1/3 the price; but I'm not as fixated on "nice" as most people. I drive a '96 Civic CX, and it's fancypants and amazing even though most people would consider it a "beater".

I'm glad you found something that will work for you.

tct

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2017, 10:28:09 AM »
I agree with the OP.  Good used vehicles for good price(i.e does it make financial sense to buy this used vehicle over a new one) are hard to come by. In my area I've found that just like house flippers, we now have vehicle flippers. They watch craigslist like hawks. I know because I sold a small pickup recently on craigslist. I received more than a dozen calls/texts within 2 minutes of posting my ad. The person that bought it said it was being taken to to a used car lot to be resold. If you drive a fair amount and keep your vehicle for a long time(10+years), I believe a new vehicle can be a better value.

ohsnap

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2017, 03:41:57 PM »
...

Other Japanese SUVs? RAV4s are apparently made of gold, and so are Highlanders and CR-Vs. These models also are among the least maintained vehicles Iíve ever seen, itís shocking how bad the last CRV I looked at was.
...

The bolded text cracked me up.  My young adult son is looking for a car, and I'm horrified at the prices being asked on Craigslist.  Example: Brand new Corolla for less than $18k, versus a 2-3 year old Corolla with 50-70k miles on it for $13k.  The used car would certainly need new tires and major maintenance within a few months.  Oh, and most of the ads on Craigslist are by dealers.  Doesn't anybody sell their own car anymore?  I read a blog post from MMM about how to buy a used car, and I'm afraid it didn't give me anything actionable to help my son. 

Of course, said son isn't taking a lot of advice from us right now anyway, and will probably come home from work one night with a 100% financed Ford Mustang.

Anyway - it looks like you got a good one.  Many happy miles to you!

Apple_Tango

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2017, 04:01:30 PM »
My momís 87 Nissan 4x4 manual pickup had about 95k miles on it. It had just a little rust around the wheel well. It had a major oil leak and some belts needed to be changed. Anyone want to guess what it sold for last year? $2200. People love old, small, simple trucks. My mom asked the buyer where itís next life would be, and he said he was taking it to Ecuador.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2017, 10:45:44 PM »
We ran into this issue with Honda Fits a few years ago.

Used Fits can only be found loaded (sport package) with automatics. We searched for months. A 2-3 year old model might be $13-14,000(!) and often has 50-80k miles.

However, we walked into a dealership, ordered a brand new BASE model - with a stick, no $100 pinstripe, no $300 floor mats, no $150 bumper appliquť, no add-on bullshit at all - and wrote a personal check for just over $16k. That's about $2,500 less than the loaded models for sale in the used market originally cost. The downside is we have hubcaps instead of alloy wheels and no nascar spoiler. Boo hoo. That's about it. The dealership didn't make much money on the deal. When they refused to negotiate the price down any lower, I started writing my check for my price and told them they could have it if they throw in three oil changes.

I suspect my long-term cost of ownership is lower for the new car than if I'd bought, but it's hard to say. 2-3 extra years of use for maybe $2k more money. Edmunds.com has a True Cost of Ownership calculator that should be your guide.

This stunt only works in cases like I described - (1) there's a base model that nobody orders which is way cheaper, and (2) the used market only has loaded models for sale at prices close to the new price of the base model.   

I also once had a Ranger. It was a horrible little truck. 20 mpg and literally the same horsepower as a Toyota Corolla. I put it up for sale on Craigslist at $250 over blue book and sold it a few hours later. Oops. Should have asked $500 over. People are desperate for trucks in the deep south, and are willing to overpay. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2017, 10:51:39 PM »
Keep in mind that when people post a CL ad, they fully expect to entertain offers 10-25% below asking price. When you see a vehicle posted with a ridiculous price, just send them a friendly message "Call me when you would consider a $X offer".

If you must shop at a dealer, don't bother with any dealer whose lot is paved. The markup at such hothouses is astounding. Also, after asking the price, ask "what's your cash price." You can expect a quote about 10% lower. If they won't do that, spin on your heels and walk away.

Asalbeag

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2017, 07:26:55 PM »
Agree with the OP there's not much available between a beater and a new base model car. Even 2-3 year old cars just off lease aren't great deals (especially if you're looking for a base model).

But admittedly a series of beaters is almost certainly the best deal depending on your life circumstances.

My old beater is rusted out and will need to be replaced before next summer and I'm having real trouble finding anything decent for under 10k. But manuals tend to demand a premium since they are less common.

Gronnie

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2017, 08:06:36 PM »
Keep in mind that when people post a CL ad, they fully expect to entertain offers 10-25% below asking price. When you see a vehicle posted with a ridiculous price, just send them a friendly message "Call me when you would consider a $X offer".

If you must shop at a dealer, don't bother with any dealer whose lot is paved. The markup at such hothouses is astounding. Also, after asking the price, ask "what's your cash price." You can expect a quote about 10% lower. If they won't do that, spin on your heels and walk away.

Why would a dealer take less for a cash deal, much less 10% less? They make a good chunk of their money on financing.

facepalm

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2017, 07:54:01 AM »
Thanks for all the responses everyone. Just a couple notes:

-Iím buying a new to me car because my left knee has decided that it canít push the clutch in anymore...so auto is required.

-I need to be able to pull a small trailer. As a homeowner, landlord and de facto property manager, itís excruciating to rent a truck every time I need to transport something large. I have a sweet landscaping trailer that works pretty well that I got for $500 though.

-Iím fairly handy and have owned/maintained several older BMWs.

So with all that in mind, I decided that a used truck is out. Not enough value, IMO. A totally stripped down, bench seat Tacoma with 100k miles and no cruise, power windows or locks is $12-14,000 here.

Most cars are not rated at all to tow, and Iím nervous about pulling a ~2500 lb trailer with a front wheel drive car, the tongue weight unweights the drive wheels. So I started looking at RWD and AWD small SUVs, and that brought me to Subaru.

The pre-2008 Forester is a really fun vehicle to drive. Unfortunately, Subaruís have a tendency to blow their headgaskets, and buying one with recently repaired headgaskets is no help, since itís apparently very easy to mess the job up. I thought about trying to buy one with headgaskets that were already blown, but people still wanted ~$4-5000 for a Forester with gallons of coolant and oil streaming out of the engine.

Other Japanese SUVs? RAV4s are apparently made of gold, and so are Highlanders and CR-Vs. These models also are among the least maintained vehicles Iíve ever seen, itís shocking how bad the last CRV I looked at was.

So, in the end, I ended up with (another) old BMW. I found a 2005 X3. Iím the fourth owner, but the first owner leased, the second owner had it as a certified preowned car and maintained it at a dealer, and the third owner seemed to be a BMW enthusiast, since the maintenance records show actual fluid changes in the trans and transfer case.  It drives great, and it was just over $5k. I might have to dump some money into changing bushing and shocks, but with the price differential between a used X3 and a used Tacoma, I can buy a lot of suspension bits.

Oh, and itís got adaptive HID headlights that swing with the steering wheel. Itís like Iím in the future.

Hereís a pic, not that MMM people care about old BM-trouble-youís



You didn't say how many miles it has  . . .  ;-}

Which motor? Since you have owned older BMW's, this seems like a great deal, since the price is right and you already know what will go wrong as the car ages. I'm more familiar with the 5 series, but know that bushings, water pumps/cooling systems, coil packs, and electrical gremlins are issues for all older BMWs. None of these are difficult fixes for anyone with a modicum of mechanical skill. So you should be fine.

Enjoy!

ChpBstrd

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2017, 09:11:54 AM »
Keep in mind that when people post a CL ad, they fully expect to entertain offers 10-25% below asking price. When you see a vehicle posted with a ridiculous price, just send them a friendly message "Call me when you would consider a $X offer".

If you must shop at a dealer, don't bother with any dealer whose lot is paved. The markup at such hothouses is astounding. Also, after asking the price, ask "what's your cash price." You can expect a quote about 10% lower. If they won't do that, spin on your heels and walk away.

Why would a dealer take less for a cash deal, much less 10% less? They make a good chunk of their money on financing.

A business's ROI is affected by how quickly they can flip inventory. E.g. you'd rather earn 2% margins every month than 20% margins once a year.

A low-margin quick flip offer is irresistible to dealers because they don't tie up their capital waiting on payments to trickle in. They can take your cash right back to the auction and buy the next car to flip the very next day. It's easy money to get paid a few hundred dollars for signing over a title. It's harder to sell a car for 25% above private party value and convincing people to sign the line for balloon payments.

Finally, it is impossible for a dealer to get into a costly repossession situation with a cash buyer. That alone lowers the minimum threshold of profit they must accept.  There are no other loan servicing costs either.

Gronnie

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Re: Vehicle Hunting--does it seem to anyone else like used cars are a bad deal?
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2017, 12:20:56 PM »
Keep in mind that when people post a CL ad, they fully expect to entertain offers 10-25% below asking price. When you see a vehicle posted with a ridiculous price, just send them a friendly message "Call me when you would consider a $X offer".

If you must shop at a dealer, don't bother with any dealer whose lot is paved. The markup at such hothouses is astounding. Also, after asking the price, ask "what's your cash price." You can expect a quote about 10% lower. If they won't do that, spin on your heels and walk away.

Why would a dealer take less for a cash deal, much less 10% less? They make a good chunk of their money on financing.

A business's ROI is affected by how quickly they can flip inventory. E.g. you'd rather earn 2% margins every month than 20% margins once a year.

A low-margin quick flip offer is irresistible to dealers because they don't tie up their capital waiting on payments to trickle in. They can take your cash right back to the auction and buy the next car to flip the very next day. It's easy money to get paid a few hundred dollars for signing over a title. It's harder to sell a car for 25% above private party value and convincing people to sign the line for balloon payments.

Finally, it is impossible for a dealer to get into a costly repossession situation with a cash buyer. That alone lowers the minimum threshold of profit they must accept.  There are no other loan servicing costs either.

That's not how it works. The dealers aren't doing the financing themselves, and they do get the money right away from the financing companies and don't have to do anything after that. They would much prefer to arrange financing for you than for you to pay cash or bring your own financing.

rothwem

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Well I sold the X3 yesterday.  With tax tags title and registration, it cost $6100 to buy, and I ended up selling it for $4800.  Main reasons for selling it were:
-Stupid oil pan gasket leak that was >$1000 to repair
-Stupid front seat was worn out and slated to the left
-Stupid intermittent long crank that I couldn't seem to diagnose.  It never failed to start, but it made the wife nervous and was terrified to take it on any longer trips
-Horrific gas mileage.

I did a ton of maintenance to it and probably would've fixed the first two items and lived with the last one, but the long cranking frustrated the living shit out of me. 

use2betrix

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Well I sold the X3 yesterday.  With tax tags title and registration, it cost $6100 to buy, and I ended up selling it for $4800.  Main reasons for selling it were:
-Stupid oil pan gasket leak that was >$1000 to repair
-Stupid front seat was worn out and slated to the left
-Stupid intermittent long crank that I couldn't seem to diagnose.  It never failed to start, but it made the wife nervous and was terrified to take it on any longer trips
-Horrific gas mileage.

I did a ton of maintenance to it and probably would've fixed the first two items and lived with the last one, but the long cranking frustrated the living shit out of me.

Older German vehicles are probably the most expensive vehicles to maintain, and they arenít known for reliability. Thereís a reason the old ones are so dirt cheap, and the reason that gently used ones out of warranty are also so dirt cheap.


August26th

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Cool that you followed up on this!

So... what are you buying next? Inquiring minds wanna know.....

rothwem

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Older German vehicles are probably the most expensive vehicles to maintain, and they arenít known for reliability. Thereís a reason the old ones are so dirt cheap, and the reason that gently used ones out of warranty are also so dirt cheap.

Haha Duh!

Cool that you followed up on this!

So... what are you buying next? Inquiring minds wanna know.....

I'm going to get face-punched on this, but I bought a 2009 BMW 328i Wagon for $9600 OTD. It has 104,000 miles on it, so fairly low for the year.  I probably could've gotten something cheaper, but shit, I really liked it, and it feels like a good value.  I've worked on these before, and since this one is RWD, there's a lot more room around the engine and transmission. 

As far as towing goes, I'm cleared to tow up to 1500lbs with it and I found that there was only one time when I towed more than that with the X3.  I figure I can borrow or rent a truck for those occasions. 


noplaceliketheroad

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this thread is making me really happy for still having my 2001 tacoma (bought new) right now :)

RWD

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Cool that you followed up on this!

So... what are you buying next? Inquiring minds wanna know.....

I'm going to get face-punched on this, but I bought a 2009 BMW 328i Wagon for $9600 OTD. It has 104,000 miles on it, so fairly low for the year.  I probably could've gotten something cheaper, but shit, I really liked it, and it feels like a good value.  I've worked on these before, and since this one is RWD, there's a lot more room around the engine and transmission.

I approve.

Michael in ABQ

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I bought my 2000 Mazda B3000 (Ford Ranger basically) for $2,700 with about 160k miles. I've put in about $2,000 between a new clutch, water pump and some minor stuff but that's over about two years and another 20k miles. The blubook is still pretty much what I paid for it.

I'll probably list it for $3,000 soon. I've used the bed of it maybe 5 times where a car wouldn't have worked. Need something I can fit several kids in to talk to school. My wife needs the full size van for picking them up plus the younger kids. Not looking forward to scouring Craigslist for a couple months. Luckily we found our low mileage van pretty quickly. $10k for a 15 passenger van with less than 50k miles; albeit a 2001 model.

rothwem

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this thread is making me really happy for still having my 2001 tacoma (bought new) right now :)

Yeah, the first generation Tacomas were pretty solid vehicles for the time. They’re MASSIVELY overvalued around here though. Think 10 grand for a 250,000 mile, rusted frame 4x4 example. That’s probably not a whole lot less than the original owner paid.

Cool that you followed up on this!

So... what are you buying next? Inquiring minds wanna know.....

I'm going to get face-punched on this, but I bought a 2009 BMW 328i Wagon for $9600 OTD. It has 104,000 miles on it, so fairly low for the year.  I probably could've gotten something cheaper, but shit, I really liked it, and it feels like a good value.  I've worked on these before, and since this one is RWD, there's a lot more room around the engine and transmission.

I approve.

Haha thanks. I like it a lot so far.

Finances_With_Purpose

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I think it's the specific vehicles you're looking for.  Small pickups have disappeared and the Taco has become a cult favorite.  Check in a year and expect that Taco prices will actually go up.  Look for a cheap FJ Cruiser.......not gonna find one.

This.  You looked for small trucks, and due to regulations in the US which lead manufacturers not to make as many, that used market is inflated.  Look for cars or normal-size trucks and you'll find it easier.