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Thread: Advice - Buying A Cheap Used Car?

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    Advice - Buying A Cheap Used Car?

    Here's th question: if you were going to buy a 8 - 10 year old auto to be used as daily transportation, what would you look for?

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    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Really depends on what you need to use the vehicle for, Angela. If you are just looking for a reliable runaround, four seats, moderate sized trunk then a Toyota Corolla is quite a good bet. Toyotas from my experience are reliable and fairly cheap to run. I've just sold my old Carina with 137K miles on the clock, other than servicing costs the car probably cost me less than a penny a mile in maintenance, one water pump, one set of front discs, one rear exhaust box, one battery clamp, one battery (when it was ten years old) and I got through six tires every fifty four thousand miles (four front and two rear).

    Others may have even better options to offer.

    Ken.
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    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaTC View Post
    Here's th question: if you were going to buy a 8 - 10 year old auto to be used as daily transportation, what would you look for?

    Look for the ownership history. A former rental car is bad. A long term lease isn't that bad. When you lease, you're just renting and they want it perfect when it comes back. Myself, I look for maintenance records and hail damage. The records show you how well it was taken care of and hail damage often means the insurance company paid some money for the damage. I've driving an '07 Ford Focus that looks like someone was practicing their pogo stick on. It runs good, has reasonably low miles and gets good mileage.

    As to type of car, get something that is fairly common. I had a '98 Taurus and there were a bunch of them in the junk yard, many even the same color if I ever needed a fender or door. This will let you get used parts cheap. A 4 door sedan with a folding rear seat is also extremely versatile. I hauled bumpers ans such in the Taurus and I even hauled the seats and upholstery kits (at different times) for a '55 Tbird in the Focus.
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    If you're buying a car that old, get something simple. A naturally aspirated in-line engine, manual trans, and as few bells and whistles as possible. Less stuff to break means less stuff to fix.

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    Thanks! Yeah, I'm big on manual transmission. Every car I've had to give up except one has been because of the transmission.

    We need the car for the hubby to get back and forth to work. It will definitely get some miles put on it, but taking out a loan is just a bad idea. We never know how long his jobs are going to last. And payments and insurance...if we can buy a car that we can work on, we'll be fine.

    In the tade off, which is better do you think - new car with higher miles, or older with low mileage.

    (My husbands friend just bought an '89 Buick with 29k original miles on it. $500. I would have gone for that, gas mileage be damned!)

  6. #6
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaTC View Post
    Thanks! Yeah, I'm big on manual transmission. Every car I've had to give up except one has been because of the transmission.

    We need the car for the hubby to get back and forth to work. It will definitely get some miles put on it, but taking out a loan is just a bad idea. We never know how long his jobs are going to last. And payments and insurance...if we can buy a car that we can work on, we'll be fine.

    In the tade off, which is better do you think - new car with higher miles, or older with low mileage.

    (My husbands friend just bought an '89 Buick with 29k original miles on it. $500. I would have gone for that, gas mileage be damned!)


    Older with low miles. Cheaper to buy and lots of parts in the salvage yards.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

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