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Old 11-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #21
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The domestics also hold together pretty well these days. I assume any of them newer than 2000 will easily go 200k on engine and mechanical stuff. It's the body and ancillaries that sometimes give up the ghost before then.

EG: I have a '97 ranger pickup with 220k on it with the original exhaust system. It led a hard life as a service vehicle, and needed very little in repairs over the 12 years I have had it. Is it fun to drive now? No. But on a cost per mile basis it has been very economical.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
My mom's 2001 Saturn SC2 with 16,000 miles is going up for sale soon and I think we will list it for about $4,000. You know that story about a little old lady who drives only on Sunday to the grocery store?

I don't think I would trust the odometer if I saw the car being sold by someone else. The low mileage is pretty unbelievable.
To the West of Tampa, between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #23
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But even I've never bought one with 16k on the odometer. Lowest I ever got was a 10 year old Buick with 26k on it.
OK, can't help it, have to chime in… We picked up a 3-4 year old Kia with 8K miles for $8K for our son who was a couple of years out of college. He's up to about 130-140K miles now… Best deal ever! It sounds awful, I thought maybe an engine bearing was going out, but the guy that works on it says it's fine, just a fan. Since it's been about 25K miles since I first heard it, I guess he's right…

Guy bought the car new when he was 90, his daughter was ticked at the salesman for taking advantage of him, I think it was $16-17K car. Depreciation took it down, they just wanted it gone since nobody in the family needed a car, and we lucked out. My son didn't even return the e-mail at first when I said we needed to move quickly, he figured I made a typo and it was 80K miles…
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #24
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To the West of Tampa, between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Dang, a bit too far for us to drive for it...but someone will be delighted to get that car!
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #25
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Our youngest just entered graduate school and we didn't think his car would make it to the Midwest and gas mileage would have been a killer (12-14 mpg). Since we were out of state purchasing a car, we went with dealers, hoping to get a used AWD/4WD car. Dealing with a private owner out of state seemed like too much of a hassle. One thing we learned is that if the car has a re-constituted title, it was either storm or accident damaged. We figured some of the ones listed were from the hurricane. We didn't want to deal with any hidden problems. We also checked out the Carfax reports to eliminate some of the choices.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #26
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Our 97 Camry has 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like new. No problems whatsoever. Our 2006 Honda Accord still runs like a new car.

I would avoid a domestic brand in favor of a Japanese or certain Korean brands/model years.
My 98 Camry has 182,000 on it. No problems so far. not sure what they sell for
now but a really great car.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #27
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On the CarMax site the Toyotas, Hondas and Subarus seem to have their superior quality factored into the price.

I did ask our insurance agent what his other parent / clients bought for the kids and he said the most popular choice was a used Toyota, with Camry being the most popular model.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by oldphd View Post
OK, can't help it, have to chime in… We picked up a 3-4 year old Kia with 8K miles for $8K for our son who was a couple of years out of college. He's up to about 130-140K miles now… Best deal ever! It sounds awful, I thought maybe an engine bearing was going out, but the guy that works on it says it's fine, just a fan. Since it's been about 25K miles since I first heard it, I guess he's right…

Guy bought the car new when he was 90, his daughter was ticked at the salesman for taking advantage of him, I think it was $16-17K car. Depreciation took it down, they just wanted it gone since nobody in the family needed a car, and we lucked out. My son didn't even return the e-mail at first when I said we needed to move quickly, he figured I made a typo and it was 80K miles…
I do have some experience with an older (2006) Kia Spectra. Seemed very reliable.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:34 PM   #29
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I'd second what Sarah said. I shop the seller as much as the car, preferring to buy from older, upper middle class people that had the money to maintain the car. They usually just want to get more out of it than the dealer offered, but aren't trying to wring out the last dime.
I'd like to carry the motion.

My process starts with Consumer Reports auto edition's reliable used car list (it's sorted by price, so you get a dozen or so for the $1k increment). I happen to skip craigslist; because it costs nothing to post, there are a bunch of people hoping for a sucker, and not too keen to sell. There are internet sites and classifieds that cost a few bucks, so the sellers are more interested. I go to then and make appointments. If you don't mind wrangling the title details, you can get a good deal. I got my last car this way, no problemo. Not super cheap, mind you, but less than the dealer. And my BP didn't knotch up a bit (as it would have at the dealer).
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:39 PM   #30
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We were considering a runabout at one time-new or used. The list was Honda Fit, Toyota Corolla or Matix, Pontiac Vibe (Matrix), and Hyundai Accent.

There was a reason why Chrysler and GM went under.....and it was not because they made good vehicles!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:02 PM   #31
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I would be inclined to offer a modest budget and a little advice including a link to this thread, then stand back.
This is exactly the kind of life experience needed to sucessfully fledge out into the brave new world.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #32
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We need to buy a dependable, new / used car for a child in college with ~6 hour drives to college and back. We want something safe and dependable with decent mileage that doesn't cost a fortune.

What kind of price point would you look at? How many miles on a used car would you look at? Is 100K too many miles to buy used?

We usually only buy new cars and drive them until they wear out, but in this case he will graduate debt free in a well paying major, so he can afford to buy the car of his choice once he is working. But we need something dependable but not too expensive for the interim years.
Toyota. Be careful of Honda's. Back in the 2001 + years, bad transmissions.

Our Toyota, 2002, Camry, 4 cylinder, very reliable. Has chain, so do not have to change belt.

so far only changed tires, and water pump. (actually good yet, just wet spot).

100K.

2001 odyssey, 3rd trans. motor mounts, sliding door hinges, etc,
engine is very good. 148K
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #33
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Thanks again to all who posted. You've given me some great ideas and trust that a 100K mileage Toyota would likely be a good buy.
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