Car Shopping, What A Chore!

Discussion in 'Shopping & Sales' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Last week, I took my old stationwagon down for its oil change, and asked the mechanic to check out the strange "whump-whump" that I had been hearing.
    Turns out we just about need a whole new vehicle.
    The whump-whump was a wheel bearing that was about to go out, and then the wheel would have either seized up, or fallen off when that happened.
    They also said that the front tie rod ends were shot, and could come off at any time, which meant that I would then have no steering.
    So, every time I went somewhere, I was a rolling accident , just waiting to happen. The old Ford wasn't just going to die, it was going to go kamakaze on me, and probably kill us , too.

    I went home in tears.
    Midas said over $700 to fix just the worst parts, and there was a bunch of other stuff on the list that was bad; but not so dangerous.
    Bobby and I talked things over, and we decided that if I can find a usable, but cheap, vehicle (preferably one that gets good mileage); then we can use that for the necessary running to the grocery store and the fitness center, and just use the wagon when we have to go to Lowe's and haul home lumber for Bobby's projects.
    Bit by bit, Bobby will then repair the station wagon, and then we should have two decent , drivable vehicles.
    That is the plan.
    Even though it was freezing here; poor Mr. Bobby spent the weekend tearing apart the car and putting on the necessary wheel bearing; so now we can at least drive and feel safer.

    However, I have been scouring the online car sales to see what is available.
    I check Craigslist several times each day, plus I joined a couple of Facebook groups for local auto sales. The problem that I am finding is that the cars that are in my price range are not any more dependable than the old Ford, and most of the ones under $1000 have over 200,000 miles on them, and some of them have a lot more than that.
    Ours is not quite at that mark yet; but at 198,000, it is getting pretty close.
    Ones that are nicer are either way too expensive for me, or they have a serious problem , like they need a new engine or transmission.

    I would like to find a little Chevy Tracker, or the small Kia Sportage; but those do not show up very often, and the ones that do, are usually someone's battered up hunting rig.
    A hatchback would be my next preference; but not one that sits so low you have to crumple up like a pretzel to get in and out of it. I found a Geo Metro that would be okay; but they do not even make those anymore; so who knows how it would be to get parts for one. Lots of Honda's, but they are usually out of my price range, even the older ones.
    The search continues.........
     
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  2. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    @Yvonne Smith , oh, car shopping is a nightmare! I hope you get through it ok and have the best of luck getting a decent car.
     
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  3. Will Lawrence

    Will Lawrence Well-Known Member
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    Nothing I hate worse than shopping for cars... and car dealer sales staff. We haven't purchased a new car for many years. We always try to find one with 10,000 +/- miles and let someone else take the depreciation hit. It's worked well with my last two trucks. The one I have now, though, I got stung just a tad. Don't feel nearly as bad about the 4 tubes of Super Glue I used on the one I traded in putting window control switches and weather strip back in place... at least temporarily!!!!
    Shopping for an older vehicle today would be even more of a chore. One could spend $1,000 for what seems to be a solid used vehicle and then have a $1,000 printed circuit board or computer chip fail two weeks later. Today's vehicles rely on some very expensive components that the common person cannot diagnose or fix. And, no one is going to tell you the truth....

    I don't trust Craigslist. Most used car dealers will have no idea of the reliability of what they sell and, really, don't care. The sales people aren't there long enough to deal with the upset customers they sold cars to.

    One of the options I would consider would be local estate auctions. Find websites of auctioneers in your area and keep track of their estate sales. Quite often, you can find an older vehicle with really low mileage from an estate where the person had not been able to drive much in the recent past. Dealers going to these auctions are not going to pay any more than what they have to an still make a profit on the resale.
     
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  4. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    That whole thing sounds positively dreadful, @Yvonne Smith :( The part I quoted here, though... that's the important part, because you *did* catch it before something horrible happened, so I'm thinking through all the other bad things, that's a really bright spot, yes? Too Pollyanna-ish? Probably, but still a true statement! :rolleyes:

    Anyhow, Craigslist scares the devil out of me (at which point my daughter would say "he shouldn't be in there!" :oops: ) but really. Probably because there was a local (extremely local) horror story about that and someone who answered an ad and is dead now. I hope you'll be able to find something soon so that this worry can be taken from you!
     
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  5. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Are there any local car lots with good reputations? There are some smaller dealers here that seem o.k., and they often do financing as well, which might enable y'all to step up just a bit, to get away from the wrecks and ones that aren't better than what you have. I'd be careful of Craigslist as well. Maybe check out some apps like 5miles, OfferUp and the like. I've seen lots of cars on those and the Facebook groups, but many of the sellers/dealers posting here don't seem to speak English, or assume everyone who speaks English and doesn't speak Spanish has money to shop elsewhere. I like the auction and estate sale idea, is there an automobile auction in the area? We have one here that is quite popular.
     
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  6. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    Seeing a lot of advertising on TV of .. "buy the car without the salesman" type thing ... like Carvana, CarsDirect, etc.
    Anyone have any experience with these websites? ... or even buying from a local dealership online?
    Salesmen scare me!:eek::confused: .... and I agree with all the Craigslist opinions. I would rather walk!

    I have to look into buying a car fairly soon. Keep putting it off. Can't figure out if I want new or used, or even buy or lease ... been weighing the pros and cons of different scenarios.
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We did check out the car lot near here; but they add at least $500 on the price, just to pay the salesman. (They call it a "docking fee"). When you are only looking at spending around $1000 on a car to begin with, an extra $500 really bumps up the price, and we are not in a position financially to add on any payments; so financing a newer vehicle is not an option for us.
    I like the idea of finding one at an estate auction, and I am sure we have those; I will just have to see when and where they have them around here.
    With the station wagon being in such bad shape, I do not like to drive it any further than I have to; so I am hoping to find a vehicle somewhere close to where we live.
    I am checking on Craigslist; but would be very careful about looking at one of the vehicles on there, just because of the bad stories about answering ads from there.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Good luck, Yvonne. Hope you find a good car for the price. I was in the same position a few years ago, so I bought a new Chevy Cruze but only because my kids offered to help with the payments. Son and daughter each give me $100 a month and I pay $60. My monthly payment is $260. They also split the down payment of $5,000.

    The dealership gave me $1,500 for my 1997 Nissan Altima and I was surprised at that because it wasn't worth more than $500!

    There might be some programs that can assist in getting a car and/or repairs. I just looked at one....

    https://www.disability.gov/can-find-help-buy-car-vehicle/
     
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  9. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Car shopping is a big pain in the rear end. My daughter just purchased a previously owned that has not passed inspection yet and now her tags are no longer legal. With this big storm hitting us it maybe another week before she can get it repaired so she has a legal vehicle. She works nights and weekends and needs a vehicle. Good luck with your search, check out Overstock, they have older vehicles at a good price listed.
     
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  10. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That's great that they're helping you, Chrissy. It sounds as if you help them quite a bit, too.

    Wow, @Pat Baker I wasn't aware Overstock sold vehicles, too.

    I purchased this one at CarMax, and I really like their no haggle price approach, but last I heard, the minimum price there was $5,000. Here's a site you can try out @Yvonne Smith, maybe you'll be able to keep track of ones near you. I get emails from them, because when times were better, I enjoyed hitting the estate sales for nice finds. At the bottom left, there's an orange button where you can sign up to receive notifications of sales around you. Here's another link to USMS auctions of seized items http://www.usmarshals.gov/assets/sales.htm
     
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  11. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, Diane....in our family we help each other in ways that we can.
     
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  12. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That's my idea of family, too. It's too bad not everyone feels and does the same, because we have way too many people in need, homeless, etc. who have families with means. I like the way some cultures live with multiple generations under the same roof (or separate homes on the same property, even better), so they can save money, help one another with things like cooking, chores, childcare, and work together to improve their circumstances.

    @Yvonne Smith I forgot to mention eBay. I don't know if y'all have looked there, but they have a vehicle app in addition to the main eBay app, and you could also check kijiji classifieds.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Many years ago, after buying my first new car, I sold my old one for a hundred dollars. It ran fine but they didn't offer me much on a trade-in so I thought I'd keep it instead, then I learned that I couldn't get a second parking space at the apartments where I was staying. The manager was complaining so I just wanted to get rid of it. I sold it a lady for a hundred dollars and went on with my life.

    More than a year later, she called me to complain that she was hearing a ticking coming from the engine. I couldn't believe it. I'm not a mechanic, so it's not like I was going to be able to help her with it, so I suggested she take it into a mechanic. She said, "I was thinking that you said that it was in good condition when I bought it and.." I cut her off, reminding her she had been driving the car for more than a year and a hundred dollar car does not come with a warranty. She started to complain again so I hung up on her, and didn't answer the phone the next couple of times she tried to call me.
     
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  14. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    This reminds me of our plan to buy a new car in late 2011. We had the budget for the down payment so our intention was to buy a brand new car in 2012. Great. But since we are slow in deciding, it was nearing 2013 and we still hadn't decided on our shortlist - Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero, Hyundai Tucson. That was our short list. On the Christmas of 2012, we were able to trim the shortlist so it was now between Toyota and Mitsubishi, both SUV of the same size. In January of 2013, we spotted a Ford Everest in the mall that caught our attention. We visited the nearby Ford dealer in our town and our sight shifted to a Ford Escape. You can guess that we bought the Ford Escape in January 2013. That's our car until now.
     
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  15. Bobby Gnomy

    Bobby Gnomy Member
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    Believe it or not, but eBay has a motor division where you can either list your car for sale or buy a car. A friend of mine sold his Audi from a post he made on eBay. The person wasn't local either, and they flew in from two states over to purchase his car. But, you can possibly put in the details of your needs and wants and find something there. Here are two links:
    http://www.ebay.com/motors
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Cars-Trucks-/6001/i.html
     
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  16. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    I just have 3 words for you….toyota, toyota, toyota

    I've had my SUV since 2003 and now has 160,000 miles on it. I have never had any issues.
    Only routine maintenance (but just recently, 2 months ago, it's developed an oil leak…which will be a pricey fix of up to 2k depending on where it is).
     
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  17. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My daughters's previous car was a Toyota Sierra minivan and it had 200,000 miles on it before she traded it in for her Lexus SUV. It was still running but she was ready for a new car.
     
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  18. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    Mine is a Lexus SUV too…Lexus is made by Toyota though. I should have clarified that in my post. My mother has a Toyota RAV4 mini SUV and that has never had any problems either…purchased around the same time.
     
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  19. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I forget the year my daughter bought the Toyota Sierra but she had it a long time. The Lexus she bought last year.
     
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  20. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I so agree with you, @Lara Moss , and would love to have a Toyota, or even a Subaru; but both of those vehicles are out of my price range, even the old, broken down ones.

    Here is what I have discovered so far with my car search.
    For my $1000, I can either get an older (seriously beat-up) car that gets good gas mileage, and has between 200,000 and 300,000 miles on it already; or I can get an older , lower mileage (100,000-200,000) vehicle that does not get good gas mileage, and used to be a luxury-type vehicle, once upon a time.
    To get any kind of decent vehicle that does not have this high of mileage, you have to have at least twice the amount of money that I have, and so I am looking for something in my price range that has the best of both worlds.
    Since I do not drive very many miles anyway, I am now focusing on a compromise between these two extremes. I am hoping to find a vehicle with under 200,000 miles, and that can get at least reasonable gas mileage, and is not due to fall apart any second.
     
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  21. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    Yvonne, I hear you. I bought mine used although it was only a year old but still…it cost less than new. I bought it from a reputable place called CarMax. I was very pleased. They have all these services they perform to get the car in like-new running condition. They took my car as a trade-in but I didn't get much for it. It was worth not having to sell it myself though.

    If you don't drive much the leasing is an option but they're a bunch of crooks so you have to educate yourself or they'll get you with that small type and stick it to you at the last minute. They won't tell you that you have to pay taxes on the sale even though, technically, they should on a used car. The newer the leased car the higher the taxes are on it.

    My daughter got a leased a new car and then went to the DMV to get her tags only to find out she owed $800 taxes on it before they could issue tags to her (she fought it and they reduced it to like $250). Just be careful and google BBB and "reviews" a lot.
     
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  22. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    That's good to know @Lara Moss. It seems odd to me that you're leasing the vehicle and don't own it once the lease period ends, yet you have to pay sales tax...that doesn't make sense. The company that owns the vehicle should pay sales tax when they purchase the vehicles, and there shouldn't be 'sales' taxes involved in a lease. Of course, the government has to have its hands in every piece of the pie, so it shouldn't surprise me at all.

    @Yvonne Smith I'm sure rental vehicles sold by the top tier rental agencies would be out of your reach, but perhaps there are some of the lower tier ones that would fit the bill, and those vehicles should have been properly maintained, also. That might make it a better deal than buying something with a questionable history.
     
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  23. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I am finding some of those rental agency vehicles in the listings of cars that I look at , @Diane Lane . Most of those are still new enough that they are above my price range as well.
    As you said, leasing a vehicle like @Lara Moss mentioned is out of the question for us, because we have no budget for making even small car payments. I have been saving every extra penny for the last couple of years because I knew when we bought the wagon that it would eventually need replacing, with as old and worn out as it was already.

    Even though I am looking for something that only costs about $1,000; I have listed my search parameters as everything up to $2,000; so I see the ones that are nicer, even though they are out of my price range.
    Possibly, the owners will negotiate, or lower the price later, so I want to look at the ones that are somewhat close to affordable.
    I am still trying to juggle that fine line between a dilapidated, extreme high mileage economy car, and an older luxury gas-guzzler with less miles. I think that everyone else is doing that, too; because those get snapped up right away.
    Plus, people are starting to get tax refunds back, and have cash to grab up the good vehicles when they are listed for sale. The ones that they do not get, the car dealers (and backyard car salesmen) will take, do any necessary minor repairs, and then re-sell.
    At least, the old station wagon seems to be putting along reasonably well since Bobby replaced the wheel bearing; and I just add that to my prayers each day, that God will help me find a vehicle that is within my very limited price range; but is still safe to drive down the road .
     
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  24. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Your car search crosses my mind often Yvonne because I would be in the same boat right now with my old car.

    I really hope something unexpected turns up for you, a lucky find! Glad to hear that your old car is still working after Bobby fixed it.

    Have you exhausted all searches for limited income help? Is there a local Facebook page where you can post what you are looking for. I didn't read back to the OP if you've done this or not.

    Maybe there is someone kind and rich enough to sell you a car they want to trade in but is still in good shape for a lesser amount that they would get in a trade in.
     
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  25. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    When I was about 28 years old my sister wanted to move to California where I lived at the time. I told her I would try to find her a car to use while she was there. I put an Ad in the paper that said, "Looking to buy a cheap but reliable car for my sister. Must be in good working condition. I don't care what it looks like."…haha. I think the paper was the "Pennysaver".

    I immediately got a call from the sweetest older couple, probably in their 60's or 70's. They had a small Volkswagon station wagon and sold it to me for $800. I think it was about 10 years old and had no body damage. It worked like a charm. At the time, I didn't know much about what cars were worth and so I didn't fully appreciate the favor they had done for me until a garage mechanic told me that it was the last year they made an engine that was as good and offered me $1000 for it. It wasn't until then that I fully appreciated what that couple did for me. I felt they were angels…real ones…I'm not kidding. That was so kind of them.

    I remember driving away as they watched me...man had his arm around his wife with the sweetest smiles on their faces

    So, Yvonne, feel free to use my classified ad writing skills :D. Seriously though, you might try putting a classified Ad in the paper yourself instead of searching for other people's ads. The world is different now and prices are higher so I don't know.

    It looked like this one:

    Unknown-2.jpeg
     
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