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New (Pre-Owned) Auto
Old 07-19-2015, 03:32 PM   #1
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New (Pre-Owned) Auto

My 2002 Toyota Avalon has 325k miles and I believe I can get it to 350k before its over. I've had the car for a little over 10 years driving about 25 k per year. I don't believe the 1k cost of a catalytic converter next spring at the time of emissions inspection will be worth it.

Where's the best place to find another Avalon, single owner, with 15k or fewer miles for the best price in the 20-23k price range ( Year 2013-2014). I'm also trying to avoid getting a lemon that was involved in one of the floods. I plan to keep the car for at least 12-15 years and since I'll be driving less in ER I think it should last at least that long and it too get to 350-400k miles
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:15 PM   #2
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I like Autotrader.com

Here's a quick search:

Toyota Avalon vehicles for Sale in Houston, TX 77001: cars under 24000 - Autotrader

Note the cars aren't really in Houston (my neighborhood). I put "any distance" in the search.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:31 PM   #3
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Good used cars, (as well as lemons) can turn up pretty much everywhere from Craigslist to your local paper to sitting on the corner with a for sale sign in the window to a used car lot.
If you can't find one from an individual you trust, try a major dealer. With a dealer you may be able to wrangle at least a bit of warranty. I think the only place I'd avoid are the small, independent car lots.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:54 PM   #4
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Obituaries.
I bought a ford off a dead lady, it was hardly driven, new tires, exhaust,brakes, and it had very few miles on it as she only drove it 2-4 miles a couple of times a week.
Old folks (the over 80 kind) that are likely to die within a few years are not drag racing their cars
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:06 PM   #5
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I bought a ford off a dead lady...
Guess she didn't dicker on the price.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:22 PM   #6
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I bought a ford off a dead lady...
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Guess she didn't dicker on the price.
I dunno. She might have stiffed him....
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:24 PM   #7
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I dunno. She might have stiffed him....
That's cold.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:23 PM   #8
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Obituaries.
I bought a ford off a dead lady, it was hardly driven, new tires, exhaust,brakes, and it had very few miles on it as she only drove it 2-4 miles a couple of times a week.
Old folks (the over 80 kind) that are likely to die within a few years are not drag racing their cars
Cars with too few miles can be as bad as those with too many. Sitting doesn't do any good for the rubber parts, especially in a hot climate.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:20 PM   #9
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The good news is that you know what car you want to buy. The not so good news is that there isn't a single aggregating used car search tool that I know of, so you have to do some keyboard "leg work" to cover all of the options.

Since you're willing to buy a fairly recent used car, you should check out Toyota's Certified Used car list.

Certified Used Toyota Vehicles | Pre-Owned Cars, Trucks, SUVs & Hybrids

Autotrader is good as is Cars.com. Dealers pay for listing their cars on these sites, so you have to search them both. My last two car purchases were from listings on Autotrader.

I've searched on eBay, but never come close to bidding on anything and Craigslist seems to be mainly for older cars.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:53 PM   #10
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I've been looking at the new Avalon hybrids, seeing advertised prices at local dealers on the new 2015 models that are close to the invoice price. What criteria do you guys use to decide if a new or used car is the better deal? I've used the sites listed above and in my area there are very few used low mileage Avalon's available, only two Avalon hybrids in a 250 mile radius. Both 2014 models, one with 20K miles and $5K less than new, one with 11K miles and $1500 less than new.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:02 PM   #11
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I've been looking at the new Avalon hybrids, seeing advertised prices at local dealers on the new 2015 models that are close to the invoice price.
Do a little homework before using "invoice price" as a measuring stick:

Invoice price on any car is a mythical figure
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:18 PM   #12
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Do a little homework before using "invoice price" as a measuring stick:
Invoice price on any car is a mythical figure
Agree it may not be what exactly we think it is but it does seem like it's the best measuring stick we have. From the article:
Quote:
So even after you have consulted Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book or Consumer Reports, there's almost no chance you will ever be able to determine the dealer's actual cost.

But as a general rule, you've gotten a good deal if you're final number is within $250 or so of the publicly available invoice price. Just don't delude yourself into thinking you just tricked the dealer into selling you a new vehicle at a loss.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:38 PM   #13
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Agree it may not be what exactly we think it is but it does seem like it's the best measuring stick we have. From the article:

Quote:
So even after you have consulted Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book or Consumer Reports, there's almost no chance you will ever be able to determine the dealer's actual cost.
I've never understood this idea of trying to determine the dealer's 'cost'. Who cares, that's the dealer's business/problem? I just want the best price I can get, and hopefully I can get dealers to compete for my business.

If the best price I can get is $1 or $1000 over (or under?) the dealer's cost (whatever is included in that figure), it makes no difference to me. If that's the best price I can get, it's the best I can get.

Do people try to figure out what a pound of apples costs the grocery store, or do they just shop for the best value?

-ERD50
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