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Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Proposed Budget: 5k - 7k, paid in cash.
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Don't care
How will you be using the car?: ~10 mile roundtrip weekday commute, plus occasional weekend trips outside my city (Houston)
What aspects are most important to you? Reliability. That said, my attitude used to be "I don't like cars, I want something I never have to maintain." But after reading this this and other threads, I see that as probably an irresponsible attitude that ultimately is at my own expense. So, I'm not allergic to American cars, especially given my budget.

As an additional note, I posted this thread yesterday about leasing a car vs. buying used. My cousin, who's in marketing and had worked extensively with car dealers, is trying to push me in the direction of leasing as opposed to buying, saying it's a greal deal right now. But the consensus in the above thread seemed to be that with leasing, you're getting a new car and that's ultimately going to be more expensive. But BFC/A/T is a different crowd, so if any of you have a comment on leasing vs. buying used, I'd be most interested.

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Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



After reading more of this thread, I have two questions. First, I see a lot about how the common wisdom regarding the reliability of Civics and Corollas is outdated, and now used domestic cars are as good or almost so. So...which ones? Any suggestions for domestic Civic/Corolla equivalents?

I'm also concerned about the fact that apparently some years of otherwise good model years are lemons. What websites can I go to where I can look up a certain year and see if it's bad?

edit: Blue Book, duh. Yeah, I'm new at this.

Ramrod Hotshot fucked around with this message at 18:18 on Jul 8, 2012

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



kimbo305 posted:

The car that comes up most frequently as a substitute for the Civic/Corolla is the 2008-2010 Focus. It's nothing special, but cheaper and reliable.

To your other question, I feel like if your budget for a used car is 5-7k, then buying a used car over leasing is probably the right choice. There is some risk in total cost to own over several years, but that total cost might very well be lower than the kind of depreciation you're staring down with a nice lease.

Any reason 2008-2010? Some research I did on my own between my post and your reply revealed that a Focus might be a good pick, and I found some 2006's at a local dealership for a reasonable price. On https://www.carcomplaints.com I didn't see any major problems with the post 2004 years. Any reason you know of to stay away from a Focus made pre-'08?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



About how much should I be paying for a 2005 Civic with 100k miles? It's listed at 7,500, but my cousin has some leverage with the dealer and might be able to bump it down some.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



I went to a dealership to buy a used car yesterday and had a terrible experience. To make a long story short, the salesman only wanted to know how much money I had and seemed bored and disinterested when I asked basic questions about the condition of some of the car's components. There was no way for them to prove that anything under the hood was in good condition, other than me physically bringing a mechanic out to their dealership to check it out, which would obviously be ridiculously expensive if it's even possible. So in a weird way, I feel like if I buy from a private seller I'd be dealing with a more honest person and getting more assurance that I'm buying a decent car.

So, if I go that route, what's the etiquette, if you will, about getting a car being sold by a private seller checked out? Do you ask them if they will drive to a mechanic of your choosing and then hand you the report a few days later? Do I offer to go with them? Or do I offer to take the car myself and leave them some kind of collateral? Should I expect them to already have an inspection report and hope it's legit? It seems to me that getting the car checked out professionally is pretty much a requirement for buying from a private seller but I can see how it would be problematic.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Blendy posted:

Hey guys, just got a job outside Chicago now I have to move to a small town where I need a car. Last car I owned was a '92 Oldsmobile 88 Royale I drove into the ground. Since then I've been car free and have only driven rentals or friends cars. The car I'd say I've driven the most since car died was a Honda Civic (forget the year but I think it was a 04 or 05) that belonged to an ex girlfriend. I feel comfortable in sedans and liked the Civic a lot.

I'm hunting for a mid 00's sedan and I've found what I think might be some decent deals. My budget is around 8k.

This is my first pick, a 2004 Honda Civic VP Sedan
http://tinyurl.com/cqplg2r

This is my second pick, a 2005 Honda Civic VP Sedan AT
http://tinyurl.com/cm6xe74

The 05 Civic doesn't have a free carfax attached but I'm willing to buy one.

I guess the advice I need is is there anything I need to know about these models. Anything go screwy at 100k miles that I have to be prepared to drop more money on? Any known flaws with these makes/years?

I'm going to take which ever car I buy to an non deal mechanic before I buy but I'd be interested to know if there's any reason to avoid these years/makes.

Quick edit: would anyone have a suggestion on how much I could try to get a dealer to cut on these cars by paying cash in full?

https://www.carcomplaints.com

I'm looking at the same models for myself, and they're both good. '05 is even better.

Also, when I went to a dealer they wouldn't let me take it off the lot to let a mechanic look at it. Maybe this varies by dealer?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Anybody got the scoop on Labor Day sales? I'm in the market right now (your basic, reliable Civic/Corolla type of vehicle) and up until now had convinced myself that new cars were overpriced (although I'm finding that that's a thin margin with Civics and Corollas because depreciation is so low) and now my family is trying to convince me that I can save big by looking for deals this Labor Day weekend, that dealers will be dying to get rid of extra stock so they can make room for '13 models. Since buying a car doesn't work the same as buying a TV (30% off!) it's pretty hard to research how much I'd be saving without going to a dealer first. Is the Labor Day hype true? Any experiences either way?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



I loving hate car salesmen, so http://carwoo.com/ looks interesting. From the looks of it, I guess you bid for a car online or something? I guess the only problem I could see is you end up paying more than you would in person. Anybody tried it?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Ok, trying this again now that I've thought about it a little more.

Proposed Budget: Up to $15,000 initially. However this is somewhat flexible and my primary concern is cost over the long run.
New or Used: Either. Whichever is more cost-effective.
Body Style: Compact or Midsize
How will you be using the car?: ~15 mile roundtrip commute. Occaisional weekend trips out of the city
What aspects are most important to you? Cost-effectiveness per year. I'm thinking of a car purchase as being almost entirely a financial decision. I've got some flexbility with up-front costs, but what I really want is low cost over the long run. Whatever car I buy I will drive until the wheels fall off and it catches on fire. So what I'm really trying to figure out is how do I get the lowest number out of (initial cost + repair costs over lifetime) / years I have the car. I'm sure there's no silver bullet here, but I'm interested in any insight. Initially I thought a used car would be best because I thought depreciation takes off thousands in a short period of time, but I'm finding that this is not as much as I hoped.

Besides financials, good manuverability and good visibility would be nice if possible, because this isn't an easy city to drive in.

Thanks for any help!

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Leperflesh posted:


The moral of the story is, don't assume that buying a new car is the best financial option "because I'll be able to ensure it is always cared for properly so it will last 300k miles". That's only true if no rear end in a top hat smashes the gently caress out of it and then leaves. You can't guarantee that. Figure the uncertainty of ownership-for-life into your math.

Yes, this is probably the number one "con" I have on my list for buying a new car. Something about putting an object I just spent my life savings on into a highly dangerous place (roads) makes me very uncomfortable. Still, it's difficult to weigh such an intangible factor against the potential benefits. Argh.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



I apologize for posting this again, but does anyone know of some kind of analysis, like an article or something, comparing new vs. used over the lifetime of the vehicle (a google search revealed mostly crap) ?

Ramrod Hotshot posted:

Ok, trying this again now that I've thought about it a little more.

Proposed Budget: Up to $15,000 initially. However this is somewhat flexible and my primary concern is cost over the long run.
New or Used: Either. Whichever is more cost-effective.
Body Style: Compact or Midsize
How will you be using the car?: ~15 mile roundtrip commute. Occaisional weekend trips out of the city
What aspects are most important to you? Cost-effectiveness per year. I'm thinking of a car purchase as being almost entirely a financial decision. I've got some flexbility with up-front costs, but what I really want is low cost over the long run. Whatever car I buy I will drive until the wheels fall off and it catches on fire. So what I'm really trying to figure out is how do I get the lowest number out of (initial cost + repair costs over lifetime) / years I have the car. I'm sure there's no silver bullet here, but I'm interested in any insight. Initially I thought a used car would be best because I thought depreciation takes off thousands in a short period of time, but I'm finding that this is not as much as I hoped.

Besides financials, good manuverability and good visibility would be nice if possible, because this isn't an easy city to drive in.

Thanks for any help!

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



When talking about entry level cars, the old stand-bys of Civic, Corolla, Focus, etc get mentioned a lot, but I've seen that Ford Fiestas (and maybe other compact cars) are even less. Is there a reason I don't read Fiesta here much? Do they collapse at 80k miles or something?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/3231851811.html

Here's an '08 Corolla with 27k miles for less than $10k. Too good to be true, maybe? Should I suspect something?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



I think I'm going to try to buy this car: http://www.springbranchhonda.com/detail-2010-toyota-corolla-le-used-9188587.html

2010 Corolla, 46k miles listed at $13.2k. What should I ask for?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



skipdogg posted:

I'd start at 10,500 for that car with it's history. It's hard for me to give good advice on that car because I wouldn't want to buy it personally, but I think 10.5K would be a good starting point considering it's history. It's a former rental, and then the 2nd owner only had it 5 months and put 10,000 miles on it. Not sure whats up with that.

I can put up to 2K miles on my car a month but I have full dealer service records for it... buying an vehicle with unknown service records is a crapshoot. I would put a premium on finding a non rental CPO unit somewhere around you if you have your heart set on a Corolla.

another edit: Toyota is doing 1.9% for 60 financing on their CPO vehicles. I checked out the Katy TX Toyota dealer and they have a ton of CPO Corollas on the lot. I would go check with them.

Yeah, good points. Screw it, that other Toyota dealership has better deals anyway. I won't be financing though, I can pay in cash.

I also found this other dealership that has a "true", "upfront" price for all their vehicles, like here: http://www.momentumvolkswagen.com/used/Toyota/2009-Toyota-Corolla-Houston-b80fe49a0a0d0649014c8c6e080d656b.htm . Any idea what this means? Does it mean it's non-negotiable?

On a related note, how do I know what to price to ask for when I walk in? Most of the cars for sale are below KBB value (assuming excellent condition). So do I just offer $1,000 less just because I assume their price is inflated? I won't exactly have any leverage doing that, so won't they just say, "No, the price is x". I really hate bargaining...

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Two questions:

- Is it necessary to get even a CPO car checked out by a mechanic?

- Is this a really good deal? Should I ask for less?

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



nm posted:

- Yes

- It is ok according to the price range. I'd try to get it down though. Remember, a new 2013 will leave the lot for only $3k more. A new leftover 2012 might only be $1-2k left.

Really? From what I've researched, it looks like 2012 Corollas are going for about $16.5k. If you're getting a good deal.

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Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Alright - screw it. The hassle of buying a user car is getting to be too much for me, and I think in the long run a new one might be as worth it or at least close...and I can afford it. So I'm going new.

Right now, the Mazda3 sedan and Corolla look best in terms of price and reliability, which are my only two concerns. And I'm leaning toward Corolla because I know from experience how long they last.

I'm trying to figure out my buying strategy. Should I immediately contact dealers, and say "I've got $16,000, what can you do?" or should I go in first, and then talk price, so I can walk out if they don't meet my expectations?

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