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Post Reply Buying used cars....
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21 / Somewhere I don't...
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Posted 5/12/15
So, I'm currently in the market for a quality car that wont break down as soon as i drive it away. I can only spend around 2500 dollars. Where do I go? How do I avoid getting scammed? Does anyone have and advice? This week will be the last week i take the bus!
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/13/15

Dopaminto wrote:

So, I'm currently in the market for a quality car that wont break down as soon as i drive it away. I can only spend around 2500 dollars. Where do I go? How do I avoid getting scammed? Does anyone have and advice? This week will be the last week i take the bus!


I'd shop Craigslist. Go with friends or family to be safe when you go look at the car.

Before you get to that step find out what is important to you. Safety? Fuel Economy? Cheap to insure? Any recalls? Once you find a car that catches your eye you can check most of those basic things on government sites.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/

http://www.safercar.gov/

http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html

Call an insurance company and they'll give you a free quote.

After you have a car in mind do random Google searches like "common problems with <insert car here>". Edmunds.com will pop up a lot and they sometimes have helpful info about reliability but they don't always have the complete picture. Message boards are good for that. Just read what the most common complaints are. If it's something small like shitty window motors you could overlook that. If it's something big like a shitty transmission avoid it like the plague.

Do your research before you start calling people, because if they sense you don't know much about the car they'll start taking you for a ride and make stuff up to get you into that car.

When you call the person up ask them if they service records. Also a CARFAX to make sure it hasn't been in any serious accidents. If they don't have any of that stuff tell them thanks but no thanks. If they do then ask them for a test drive. If they refuse then do not proceed any further.

Good luck.
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20 / M / ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/12/15
An option i would suggest is to join a local Facebook group for car sellers in your area. For instance, near me there are posts almost every hour of people wanting to trade/sell their cars. And since they are all car junkies, they take great care of their cars.
Posted 5/12/15
That's like £1500... Uhhh...good luck with that lol
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40 / M / USA
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/12/15

severticas wrote:

That's like £1500... Uhhh...good luck with that lol


You can find plenty of older/used cars in the $2500 range in America. Just have to find one that's been taken care of is all.
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38 / M / Kansas
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Posted 5/12/15
Your best bet is to ask friends/family/coworkers/church members, see if anyone's selling a car. It's always better to buy from someone you know you can trust. If you can't find a suitable option going that route, I'll just say never buy from someone without a title.
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33 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 5/12/15
hmm. try for a toyota.
Manual transmissions last longer, but clutches wear out.
look for something that has not been messed with.
stay away from cars with aftermarket rims, funny paint jobs, ect.
other than that, good luck

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24 / M / MX
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Posted 5/12/15

Dopaminto wrote:

...quality car that wont break down as soon as i drive it away...


Sounds like a Toyota.

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21 / M / Utopia
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Posted 5/12/15
go with toyota
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13 / F / California
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Posted 5/12/15

severticas wrote:

That's like £1500... Uhhh...good luck with that lol


Before Cash for Clunkers, you used to be able to get really good deals on "clunkers" I bought a $500 truck and drove it for years without a problem.
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Posted 5/12/15

yaoiboy5 wrote:


Dopaminto wrote:

...quality car that wont break down as soon as i drive it away...


Sounds like a Toyota.



seconded

i have a '96 toyota camry. gets great gas mileage, drives great, pretty much just basic maintenance. only issues are some broken door handles lol. any camry user will tell you the same XD any other issues i've had has to do with its age rather than the make ^^
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21 / M
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/12/15

MysticGon wrote:


Dopaminto wrote:

So, I'm currently in the market for a quality car that wont break down as soon as i drive it away. I can only spend around 2500 dollars. Where do I go? How do I avoid getting scammed? Does anyone have and advice? This week will be the last week i take the bus!


I'd shop Craigslist. Go with friends or family to be safe when you go look at the car.

Before you get to that step find out what is important to you. Safety? Fuel Economy? Cheap to insure? Any recalls? Once you find a car that catches your eye you can check most of those basic things on government sites.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/

http://www.safercar.gov/

http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html

Call an insurance company and they'll give you a free quote.

After you have a car in mind do random Google searches like "common problems with <insert car here>". Edmunds.com will pop up a lot and they sometimes have helpful info about reliability but they don't always have the complete picture. Message boards are good for that. Just read what the most common complaints are. If it's something small like shitty window motors you could overlook that. If it's something big like a shitty transmission avoid it like the plague.

Do your research before you start calling people, because if they sense you don't know much about the car they'll start taking you for a ride and make stuff up to get you into that car.

When you call the person up ask them if they service records. Also a CARFAX to make sure it hasn't been in any serious accidents. If they don't have any of that stuff tell them thanks but no thanks. If they do then ask them for a test drive. If they refuse then do not proceed any further.

Good luck.


Literally, and absolutely, everything he said. All of those are good steps to ensure that you get a decent car and aren't scammed.
Once you find a car or model you like, shop around and see what is available; you can get a better idea of what something is worth this way. Try and get something newer than 2000, I would strongly recommend not getting something older than 1990. If possible, take someone who is familiar, or knows more than you, about vehicles when you go to look at the car; advice and outside perspective are always valuable. When looking at a car itself, keep in mind that more mileage equals more wear; after 100,000 mi. you've passed a significant mark in the cars age and could be looking at a serious amount of repairs in the near future. You should visually inspect the car for damage as much as possible, the seller might try to act like the car doesn't have any problems or that it has a good history, but even cursory examination can prove that to be not entirely accurate. Check around the edges of doors and windows, the hood, and the trunk for irregularities in the spacing of the gaps, usually if something had the force to shift those, then it affected other things as well. If the paint on any area is discolored or shaded differently than the rest it could be a sign of replacement or repair from some kind of wreck. Body damage can be evidence of a wreck or accident that may well have left internal components, like the alignment or suspension, out of whack. Take a flashlight and look under the hood for anything unusual as far as dust and rust, grease and grime go. If a fluid appears to be leaking (in the engine compartment or under the car), anything from transmission to coolant, there may be gaskets or hoses to replace, which can be a real pain to fix. Also inspect the tires, which can be pricey to replace, to make sure they have some tread on them and are worn evenly. Test the headlights and make sure all the blinkers are working (a buddy can help with this). Be methodical when you are looking at the car, take your time, and use your own sense to determine the overall condition of the car; something damaged can easily lead to hassle later when shopping at that price range. If you feel the need to walk away, do so, there will always be more cars.

I also have a question that I almost hate to ask... why look on an anime site for advice on cars?
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/12/15
I don't know how much mine was, but it was rather cheap (it's an '01 Accord, my first car, runs pretty well considering its age). Given it's had more work done on it due to its age though, and the upkeep on a used car isn't cheap, but I'd first go with small, independent used car sellers, some of whom run lots/businesses, or some who are selling their own old vehicles -- some of which are more reliable than others. If you go to said sellers, ask if you can drive the car you're wanting to buy, and be wary of any problems.

Certain types of cars also go for different prices, obviously you're not going to be able to find, say, a convertible Mercedes, for 2.5k, that's just unrealistic, absurd and an obvious scam-- but an older, smaller, non-luxury car (like my lil 01 accord) may not unrealistically go for 2.5k.

Check the Carfaxes too on a vehicle(s) you're interested in buying, in order to see the history. While a car may be appealing outwardly, for all you know, it could be a rebuilt junker or a rebuilt car that someone previously totaled - facts like that of course detailed in the carfax -

also obviously, older cars are going to have their problems, so narrow your section to a few models and research into common problems the listed in question may have. i'd say pick the least problematic one. Start with broader options and multiple choices in your price range, and narrow down from there as you examine & eliminate the cars you don't want

i'm kind of a noob to this, but I was kind of glad I looked into certain things. I originally really wanted a VW Beetle but I quickly realized that all the older ones did NOT hold up well and would probably require excessive maintenance-- I mean, I had my dad's help, but I was glad in the end that I opted to get an accord over a Beetle, given the shape the latter used Beetles I saw were in, compared to my car. Cosmetic stuff should really be put second if you're in this for price, even if the color of the car is as ugly as sin to you or the model isn't exactly your "dream car" , the entire point of the vehicle is to transport you from one place to the other effectively-- ergo, cosmetic stuff really should be put behind functionality. Obviously, I'm not saying you should get the nastiest junker around, but since there's a smaller pool one has to pick from if the price range is below (x) amount....

i̶f̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶u̶p̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶ ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶t̶r̶u̶s̶t̶f̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶b̶r̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶r̶a̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶a̶s̶t̶,̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶l̶y̶ ̶f̶l̶a̶s̶h̶y̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶v̶e̶r̶t̶i̶b̶l̶e̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶i̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶p̶o̶i̶n̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶v̶e̶r̶t̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶o̶n̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶d̶r̶e̶a̶m̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶
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23 / M / Somewhere in rura...
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Posted 5/12/15 , edited 5/12/15
I'd go a mid 90's Honda or Toyota, specifically Accord or Corolla, respectively. They're hard to kill, routinely last 300,000 miles, are fairly safe, and relatively inexpensive to repair. Insurance can be kind of dicey, the Accords in the mid 90s are some of the most stolen vehicles in the US.
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42 / M / A Mile High
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Posted 5/12/15
You will be hard pressed to get a well maintained Toyota or Honda for $2500. There is just too much of a market for them to fall that low unless there are items that need to be dealt with before it can be a reliable daily driver.

Suzuki makes a great engine, but their cars are kinda cheap feeling; cosmetic crap can be failing, but they are still reliable drivers. Same goes for Nissan, except resale is a bit higher on those. Best thing about most Nissans is that they use a timing chain in a lot of their engines instead of a belt, so the replacement interval is longer. Subarus can be maintenance hogs, but are dirt cheap to work on if you live in an area of the country that has a lot of them on the road.

American cars can be money pits, they are very hit or miss on long term quality. And stay away from German cars. They are fantastic cars to drive and own when they are maintained perfectly, but maintenance is expensive and they WILL die a gruesome death if you don't keep up on the maintenance. Stay away from older Korean cars or Mitsubishis.

Bear in mind, any used car is going to need something replaced or repaired. It's the nature of the beast. So make sure you hold a few hundred in savings to take care of whatever it is.

As far as where to go, ask friends and family for a reference to someone in the business that can help you out. There is really no substitute for experience when evaluating a used car.
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