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Used Cars- How old and how many miles?
Old 11-11-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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Used Cars- How old and how many miles?

I assume there are a lot of used car buyers here. For those who buy used cars, how many miles do the cars that you buy generally have? Do you have an upper limit when considering cars? What about age? If it matters, I am looking at Honda Civics. I plan to buy a used car and drive it until it dies.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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It all depends on your budget. For my daughter, we were trying to get something with under 60K for under $7K. That ruled out a Honda, but I figured we could find a decent not-too-old American car that met the criteria. If she goes to college someplace where she can't have a car on campus I don't know if she'll keep it, so I wasn't too concerned with long-term reliability. She wound up with a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant and it's been a good car for her so far.

Over the years in adulthood the used cars I've bought were an Acura Integra with 20K, an Acura Legend with ~65K, and a Mazda Miata for 14K. The Integra ran great another 100+K til someone hit me and totalled it. I still have the Miata and it's never had a problem. The Legend had a few minor problems and I sold it.

Whatever you do, get a Carfax report on it to check the history.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:11 PM   #3
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We have had good luck buying two year old Hondas with about 30k miles. The major depreciation has occurred, but the car is still is good shape and ready for a long life. I have gone over 200k miles in a Civic and my two current Accords have 150k and 105k miles on them.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
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We typically look for cars being sold by a very anal original owner. The kind who has records of every oil change and service visit. We bought a 1993 Volvo 850 in 2001 with 111,000. Now has 160,000 and we've spent an average of about $500 per year on maintenance/upkeep. All of the used cars we have purchased have had over 50,000 miles.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:47 PM   #5
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I think that the best buy in a used car is a 2 year old American car. They seem to take a 50% value hit in that time.

My DS is a GM at a Nissan dealer and the other day said he took in 11 Hondas last month on trade. Said the book value on the few year old Hondas was too high and the price he put on them for the customer was close to what they paid new.

So I would say new Honda or used American is the best value.

I drive a 10 year old Taurus that I paid 4K for 4 years ago with 29K on it. A 6 year old Honda Accord at that time with the same mileage was over 10K.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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Just before we separated in 1996, my ex bought me a blue 1992 Plymouth Acclaim (K-Car) with 85,000 miles on it for $5000 from our Dodge dealer.

That car was the biggest piece of cr*p to ever hit the road. I was literally on a first name basis with the tow truck driver and asking about his family each time he towed my car, which was about every other week. The problem was intermittent so I also got to spend a small fortune on repairs that didn't work.

When I traded it in on my NEW Toyota Camry Solara in 2000, the dealer gave me $200 for it. He didn't even want it but I insisted.

I am still dileriously happy with my Solara, and it hasn't required a single repair and runs beautifully.

Moral of this story: Do NOT buy a used 1992 Plymouth Acclaim!
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjpatt View Post
I assume there are a lot of used car buyers here. For those who buy used cars, how many miles do the cars that you buy generally have? Do you have an upper limit when considering cars? What about age? If it matters, I am looking at Honda Civics. I plan to buy a used car and drive it until it dies.
Generally look at 1 to 3 year old cars with some original factory warranty left.

Bought our daughter a 2000 Chev Lumina with 20k miles for $10,000. It had 16000 miles and about 14 months bumper to bumper warranty left. She is up to 90k miles on it now and it has never had a problem. Dang good car. Even has nice styling and it rides smooth.

Bought a Dodge van a year old with 10000 miles on it for $17k. Was certified so had 39months/39000 miles bumper to bumper factory warranty plus 8 years 80000miles drivetrain. We're up to about 35000 miles now and no problems. Gets good mileage too and very smooth riding.

Both were one owner cars.

I always get Carfax reports after I narrow down to a model/year I want, and locate some candidates in my area. (Sometimes, you can check the Carfax reports for free at the dealer).

Probably a 2 year old model with warranty left but 2 years depreciation on market value will give you best bang for buck.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:18 PM   #8
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Just before we separated in 1996, my ex bought me a blue 1992 Plymouth Acclaim (K-Car) with 85,000 miles on it for $5000 from our Dodge dealer.

That car was the biggest piece of cr*p to ever hit the road. I was literally on a first name basis with the tow truck driver and asking about his family each time he towed my car, which was about every other week. The problem was intermittent so I also got to spend a small fortune on repairs that didn't work.

When I traded it in on my NEW Toyota Camry Solara in 2000, the dealer gave me $200 for it. He didn't even want it but I insisted.

I am still dileriously happy with my Solara, and it hasn't required a single repair and runs beautifully.

Moral of this story: Do NOT buy a used 1992 Plymouth Acclaim!
We are still driving Mrs. Zipper's '91 Acclaim, bought new.

The 2.5 L 4 has been flawless and still passes regular emissions tests every 2 years.

The gas tank rusted out about 4 years ago and batteries last about 6 years which is typical around here.

You might have had a 6 cylinder. Consumers said to avoid it at the time so we went with the 4 banger.

It is white with huge rusty spots and generally looks like a piece of sh*t, but it goes from point A to point B.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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We are still driving Mrs. Zipper's '91 Acclaim, bought new.

The 2.5 L 4 has been flawless and still passes regular emissions tests every 2 years.

The gas tank rusted out about 4 years ago and batteries last about 6 years which is typical around here.

You might have had a 6 cylinder. Consumers said to avoid it at the time so we went with the 4 banger.

It is white with huge rusty spots and generally looks like a piece of sh*t, but it goes from point A to point B.
I'm glad (and honestly very surprised!) that not all of them were as awful as mine!!! I must have got a real lemon. I never knew when I turned the key, whether it would run or not. I had the whole electrical system replaced bit by bit, I think, but nothing helped. Maybe 1991 was a good year for Acclaims - - mine was a 1992. I think it was a 4-cylinder, but I don't remember for sure.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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My DS is a GM at a Nissan dealer and the other day said he took in 11 Hondas last month on trade. Said the book value on the few year old Hondas was too high and the price he put on them for the customer was close to what they paid new.
Yep. Here's more on the same theme: I bought a new 2008 Honda yesterday. I paid a whopping $1,350 more than the price Edmunds.com shows for a used 2007 model.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:13 PM   #11
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We are having great luck with a 1993 Explorer purchased new and a 1995 BMW Cabriolet purchased in 1997. Because we live in the city, walking distance to shopping and on a transit route, we still only have 65K miles on both of them.

We plan to drive the Explorer down to our home on PV next year and then we will replace the BMW with a used Honda Pilot.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:46 PM   #12
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The last used car I bought was my current one. I bought a used 2006 Chevy HHR with 13K miles in October 2006. $6K below sticker of an identical new '06.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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We look at 3-5 years and, on Oahu, mileage is largely irrelevant in that age range. We bought our '94 Taurus in early 1999 with 55K miles on it. In nearly nine years we've only added another 55K, and that slowed down dramatically in 2002 when I stopped commuting. We bought our '97 Altima in early 2003 with 69K on it, and it's barely ready to break 98K. Spouse doesn't commute much anymore either.

Big technology upgrades may make a difference in your used-car shopping. We're getting ready to buy a used Prius next May/June, and I won't go any older than the 2004 model year. I'm ready to be talked into a 2006/7 if they have one of the cool rear-view cameras.

I'd consider a Honda Civic all the way up to 10 years. We had a '90 that never seemed to quit and we still see it around the island.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:38 PM   #14
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I'd consider a Honda Civic all the way up to 10 years. We had a '90 that never seemed to quit and we still see it around the island.
My SIL has a 1982 Honda Accord LX still going. She bought a 2004 Honda CRV new, but kept the Accord just in case. She's single, but feels better having two sets of wheels to get around in. I don't think she's even reached 75K miles on the Accord yet.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #15
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In my life my newest car has been the first car i ever owned - a 5 YO Datsun 1600SPL with a bad clutch. Haven't owned a car under 10 YO since then. Now that i'm dealing with a bum shoulder my ability and enthusiasm to do repairs is way down. Looking like the purse strings might have to be loosened a bit. Gotta say though, that a cool older car trumps a new econo-box: trailered a dead water heater and some other scrap metal to the scrap yard with my work truck, a '93 BMW 525it, and someone commented that it was the nicest rig that had been there in some time. This for a comfortable car that gets 24.5mpg overall, performs well, and cost about $3500 a couple years ago. Scored $8.40 for the scrap. WooHoo! Beats dump fees.
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... till they die
Old 11-11-2007, 08:06 PM   #16
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... till they die

Our current car came off a 1-year lease. In past years, I bought from one of the big 3 car rental agencies (they come with their repair and maintenence records, & are usually sold out before 30K miles).

I drove all the previoius ones until they had 6 digits on the odometer.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:41 PM   #17
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I find that the best values are the $7000-$9000 foreign cars, normally with 60k miles or so. You can find Maximas, Camrys, AvalonsHondas etc that are 6-8 years old in that price range.

In 2004 I got a 1998 Maxima with 59k miles loaded for $7200. Before that, in 2001 fiance got a 1996 Avalon with 70k mi for $9k.

The Avalon now has 170k miles, no problems. The Maxima has 95k miles, no problems.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:01 AM   #18
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We bought a 2004 Chevy Impala about 14 months ago with 57,000 miles on it. Car was immaculate, like new, fully loaded. Paid $9200.00 for it. Came from a friend that I know that trades every three years, and I bought it for what they were going to give him for a trade-in on a 2007 Impala. I'll probably buy his new one in a few years....
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:04 AM   #19
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Yep. Here's more on the same theme: I bought a new 2008 Honda yesterday. I paid a whopping $1,350 more than the price Edmunds.com shows for a used 2007 model.
Which Honda did you get??
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:05 AM   #20
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The last used car I bought was my current one. I bought a used 2006 Chevy HHR with 13K miles in October 2006. $6K below sticker of an identical new '06.
Do you like it? A little bit of trivia, HHR stands for High Heritage Roofline...........
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