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Thread: Used cars

  1. #1

    Default Used cars

    Okay, so i am looking for a car, but i have not much money to spend on one. Whata re some of the best car brands to buy from that are used and are VERY cheap, but also not gonna break down in like 100 miles? I am looking to spend no more than $1500.

  2. #2

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    do your research. For that price I would recommend finding private sellers in your local classifieds section. If you, your parents, or someone you know has a subscription to Consumer Reports, they're ok for a general breakdown as to what to look for when buying used.

    Generally alot of vehicles in your price range are going to be at least 10+ years old an have well over 100K miles on the engine, so look out for transmission issues, brake lines, pump problems, coolant leaks, etc. GM is especially notorious for these things.

    VWs and BMWs will run forever, it's things like electronics that crap out. Avoid the Ford Explorer like the plague. Jeeps are pretty solid if you get an older Wrangler or Cherokee. With all of GMs issues, people I know have been satisfied with Grand Ams and '00 or later Buick Centuries/Regals. My grandmother drives.. I believe it's an '03 Oldsmobile Intrigue that runs like a dream.

    If you're looking for more sportier vehicles, I know next to nothing about them, I can't fit in one comfortably and they are too small for my needs.

  3. #3

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    I've always bought used cars. Keep in mind the cost of replacement parts. You may have to do some repairs sometime and a car that sold off the showroom floor for $30,000 is going to have more expensive replacement parts than one that sold for $10,000. As an example BMW parts will cost more than Corolla or Altima parts.
    The year of the car also affects insurance.
    I've been driving a '93 Corolla for 3 years now that I paid $500 for and when it needs more than I care to spend for repairs I'll get another '$500 special.'
    Good luck in the hunt.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cation View Post
    I've always bought used cars. Keep in mind the cost of replacement parts. You may have to do some repairs sometime and a car that sold off the showroom floor for $30,000 is going to have more expensive replacement parts than one that sold for $10,000. As an example BMW parts will cost more than Corolla or Altima parts.
    The year of the car also affects insurance.
    I've been driving a '93 Corolla for 3 years now that I paid $500 for and when it needs more than I care to spend for repairs I'll get another '$500 special.'
    Good luck in the hunt.
    I like what you said at the end...That is my plan too, i will be like a Hermit carb, once the old car craps out i'll scrap it and move on to a new one, lol.

  5. #5

    Default How about a compact pickup?

    I would look at an older 2 wheel drive pickup myself. A compact one such as a Ford Ranger, Mazda B series, Nissan, Toyota, Dodge, or Mitsubishi with a 4 cylinder engine could be a good choice. They get decent fuel economy (20+ mpg possible), last a while, and are usually cheap to repair. Look for one that runs good but looks less than mint. An old work truck is usually a good choice. These are usually better maintained but lack attention to appearance. Dents and dings happen, but don't affect the function. Value is determined by appearance and drivetrain condition. I choose drivetrain over appearance every time. Getting both is a bonus to me. The Chevy S-10 is usually regarded as the worst for reliability, but also the cheapest. The Ford Ranger with the 2.3L 4 cylinder and a 5 speed is reliable. The Mazda B-series is a re-badged Ford. Nissan and Toyota make excellent little trucks. The Dodge D-50 is a re-badged Mitsubishi. The V-6 engines get lower fuel economy and tend to not last as well as the 4 cylinder engines. Toyota may be an exception to this for reliability. Manual transmissions are less problematic, easier to function check, and provide better fuel economy. Automatic transmissions cause the vehicle price to be higher.

    With the current economy, trucks and SUVs have lost value and are easy to find at cheap prices. SUVs are heavier, have more features, and are more expensive to insure. This makes them get lower fuel economy, have a higher purchase price, and cost more to own.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    I would look at an older 2 wheel drive pickup myself. A compact one such as a Ford Ranger, Mazda B series, Nissan, Toyota, Dodge, or Mitsubishi with a 4 cylinder engine could be a good choice. They get decent fuel economy (20+ mpg possible), last a while, and are usually cheap to repair. Look for one that runs good but looks less than mint. An old work truck is usually a good choice. These are usually better maintained but lack attention to appearance. Dents and dings happen, but don't affect the function. Value is determined by appearance and drivetrain condition. I choose drivetrain over appearance every time. Getting both is a bonus to me. The Chevy S-10 is usually regarded as the worst for reliability, but also the cheapest. The Ford Ranger with the 2.3L 4 cylinder and a 5 speed is reliable. The Mazda B-series is a re-badged Ford. Nissan and Toyota make excellent little trucks. The Dodge D-50 is a re-badged Mitsubishi. The V-6 engines get lower fuel economy and tend to not last as well as the 4 cylinder engines. Toyota may be an exception to this for reliability. Manual transmissions are less problematic, easier to function check, and provide better fuel economy. Automatic transmissions cause the vehicle price to be higher.

    With the current economy, trucks and SUVs have lost value and are easy to find at cheap prices. SUVs are heavier, have more features, and are more expensive to insure. This makes them get lower fuel economy, have a higher purchase price, and cost more to own.
    Ah, I am going to inherit my dad's old Mazda B2200 compact truck when I turn 16. It's small and simple, but I like it very much.

  7. #7

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    Avoid anything Chrysler Dodge Jeep. Go with a manual transmission if you can, fewer and easyer to fix it yourself problems. Staying with Ford or Chevy will allow you an abundance of cheep repair parts. There are some great foren cars out there but the part priced can be rediculis. I've had great luck with older Escorts and Tempos, My 84 Econoline up to 184K amd my 94 Explorer over 230K.

    Nam

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam Repaid View Post
    I've had great luck with older Escorts and Tempos, ...
    Seconded. My first car was a '94 Merc Topaz (aka Ford Tempo) and damn was it cheap to fix - and surprisingly reliable too. Taught me how to fix things on cars (everything from changing the oil to an alternator or starter..)

    Currently driving a '98 Escort (2DR/MTX) and loving it

  9. #9

    Default

    Personally, I would simply check with Consumer Reports - take a look at their best and worst used cars list. I've always listened to CR when buying a car and they have always been spot on with reliability. Most things from Honda, Nissan and Toyota will last a while, Civic's, Accords, Corolla's, Camry's, Sentra's & Altima's are pretty much bullet-proof. Steer clear of anything from Daimler-Chrysler, GM's are hit or miss, the Vibe is a re-badged Toyota Matrix, both of which are derived from the Corolla, Both Matrix and Vibe are awesome cars in terms of cost and reliability. Get a stick shift if you can, only thing that really goes wrong with sticks are the clutch, which is a lot cheaper than a new transmission.

    Other cars that might be OK, Saturns are cheap, but are hit or miss, I had one and it went over 200K miles with few problems and I bought it for less than a grand. Cavalier's are so-so. I'd be careful with VW's, especially the new beetle, avoid the Mercury Cougar and Ford Explorer like the plague. Ford Escort's are generally OK though.

    Again, check Consumer Reports and pick a model that is consistently on their "Most Reliable Used Car" list. Also, you may be able to go to an auto auction, we have one near me that is open to the public. The plus is you can get a cheap car, the problem is they generally won't let you even test drive the car before bidding on it.

  10. #10

    Default

    I gotta wonder what you two have against Explorers? Aside from only 17 MPG mine is as tough as the truck its based on and at way over 200,000mi it just won't quit. Mabey I got the good one.

    Nam

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