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Thread: Buying a Used Car

  1. #21
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    We've had our Focus 2007- I've been happy with it. It has 150,000 on it. the Escorts before that were retired with 140,000 and 180,000 respectively. We are now looking for a smaller SUV- maybe Escape or a hybrid or Forester....it's a very slow process for us as it is not urgent. We've been pleased with the Fords. the Toyotas and Hondas do not have comfortable seats for us. We've tested them each time we look for a new car.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    happystuff, if you can spend no more than $10,000 on a used car, of the ones you listed, choose the best Fiesta or Focus you can find locally and move on with life. They're not bad cars. Ford's reputation (along with that of other American manufacturers) for building bad cars has lingered far longer than reality confirms. All cars have gotten better in the last decade or two. The Fords will be priced below similarly-sized and -equipped Civics and Corollas. I just looked at Ford's site, at which you can search for CPOs near you. They listed several 2014s for my ZIP code, with about 40-50,000 mies on them, for well less than $10,000.
    Thanks, SteveinMN. When I said my budget was half that, I meant that we have about $5,000. available for a new used car. Need to start the hunt. Thanks for the info.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  3. #23
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    Thanks, SteveinMN. When I said my budget was half that, I meant that we have about $5,000. available for a new used car. Need to start the hunt. Thanks for the info.
    Ooh. That's going to be tough. Then I have two suggestions.

    First, if DH needs a car only for a few years until he retires or starts working from home or you both can drop down to one car) you might want to consider leasing. It's true that you never own the car but it would be a way to get into a new car for a low monthly cost. The payments end when the need for the car ends. You can even lease used cars, like the CPOs we've been discussing here. But this situation may not apply to you.

    The other suggestion I would make is to talk to my trusted car tech (mechanic) (or techs your family or friends trust). IME they typically know of older cars (or perhaps higher-mileage vehicles) which they've taken care of for years which the owner might want to sell. My tech usually has a one or two cars around the shop which were too expensive for the owner to pay to have fixed but which the tech could repair (at his leisure) and then sell to make a little money (kind of like flipping houses but with less leverage and better parts). While buying used is always a bit of a gamble, a tech you trust would not put much energy into repairing a vehicle that had (other) serious issues waiting in the wings.

    One approach I do not recommend is buying a car with a "salvage" or "rebuilt" title. These are vehicles which have been fixed up for resale after being totalled. It does not take a big hit to cause enough damage to total an older vehicle. But I often see (craigslist and elsewhere) newer cars branded with salvage titles after "a light hit requiring replacement of a fender and a headlight" or some other seemingly minor repair. "Just a few" parts are not so expensive or labor-intensive that they'd constitute 70-80% of the vehicle's value. Components which look okay (and, so, were not replaced) could have been seriously stressed and could lead to problems down the road, including rust, driving poorly, or even failure of the part. IMHO not worth the money you save in either probability or ultimate safety of the vehicle.

    Good luck!
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  4. #24
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    Thanks again, Steve. Dh has the bigger commute and work-from-home is not possible for any of us. We have a great mechanic who have been an continue to be fabulous with our cars. They are keeping their eyes and ears open for us, but nothing so far - lol. It will all work out somehow. Thanks again for the great ideas and suggestions.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  5. #25
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    you should be able to find a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla with low mileage for less than $15,000.

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