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 Post subject: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
Hi PPK! I'm pretty darn stoked, I'm so close to buying my first car! Well, truck, actually, but first vehicle of any kind!

Some issues with this though. I feel like there's kind of an art to buying a car and I definitely don't know it! I'll be looking for sure at two trucks tomorrow. I've called and asked and got all the info I could think of; clean titles, known mechanical issues, MPG...

One friend of mine said to hire a mechanic to do a full test on it before purchasing. This sounds like a good idea but I'm not sure where I would find one or how to go about this.

One of the trucks is at a dealership, one is just by owner. The dealership one is a better price and also has better gas mileage, so I'm leaning towards that one.

Oh also there's another truck I'm kiiiiind of in love with (visually) but it has known issues that will need fixing. Do you think it's a bad idea to get a car that from the get-go needs a fix, or, if the price is right, might it be worth it?

I will be bringing someone with me who is confident driving stick. I can, but it's been a while and I'll be all nervous and probably stall and look like a goof. I don't want to allude that I'm not too confident with stick, but they'll see that someone else is driving it, so, should I try and pretend like my confident driver friend is the one who's looking to buy?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:00 pm 
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I actually just bough my first used car. Bu I went through a very large dealership, so I could have had a different experience. Basically I knew what kind of car I wanted. Then I narrowed it down to a Ford Fiesta so I did a search on the used ones available in my area. Then went to the dealer and spent an entire night talking price (after the test drive). My husband and I went together so I had a partner and really he did all of the talking.

I guess the best advice I can give you is never take the first price being offered. There is always something better under that offer. We left the dealer to go look at another car and then a few hours later called back and talked them down way more. Some people leave and don't go back for a few days. Anything to make them think you have another option.

If you are buying from a large dealer I don't think you have to worry about getting it inspected by another garage. If it's a small used car dealer or an independent seller I would get it looked at by a mechanic you trust.

And I think if there is a vehicle you want that needs work it would all depend on the price and whether or not a mechanic would feel confident fixing it and then the longevity of the fix and overall condition of the car.

At any rate, Good Luck, and we want pics once you have it!

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:38 am
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Location: Rochester & Albany, NY
I agree with everything GraciaKai said.

Usually, dealers will give you some kind of warranty (90 days or so) even on a used car - (at least in New York) they always inspect the vehicle too. With private sellers or small dealers, you might not get that - so having a trusted mechanic take a look is a smart move. Based on what you've told us, I'd go for the dealer truck over a private seller.

If there is a known issue with a truck you're considering; make sure you have a good idea of what the parts and labor are going to be to make the fix. Labor costs can vary depending on how long it takes to do the work.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:53 pm
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I suggest figuring out ahead of time how much you are willing to spend and sticking with it - you don't want to fall in love and blow your budget! As others have said - never take the first offer! When I bought my last car (used from a dealer) - I made a low ball offer and left when they didn't accept it. They called 2 times with lower offers at which point I told them that "I just started looking, I have a working vehicle so I'm in no hurry and I'm not willing to pay over $XXX". They called back a few minutes later and took my offer.

Make sure you understand exactly what is covered under the warranty. I've watched enough People's Court to know if they offer you anything not in the standard contract - extended warranty, return options - whatever - make sure they put it in writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As far as your friend driving goes - I wouldn't try to pretend anything - there's no need to explain. If directly asked I would say something like "he has a lot of experience driving a stick, so I want his opinion". If you get to the point where you want to make an offer, I would suggest driving it a little - even if just in an empty parking lot - to make sure you're comfortable in it.

Good Luck! Buying your first vehicle is so exciting!! (BTW, I did none of these things buying my first car - at 19 I bought a Ford Escort from a private seller because it was cute and I liked the color - I got lucky but it could have been a total disaster!)


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Take someone with you who really knows about engines and can look under the bonnet for potential problems, not just a good driver. If you don't know anyone like that, then consider paying for a mechanic to go test it as even though it can cost a bit, it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for major repairs down the line if there's some hidden mechanical problems.

ETA: It's a pretty frequent thing, at least here in the UK, for used vehicles to be tested before purchase, and any reputable garage should offer this. I recommend asking friends for recommendations for a good mechanic/vehicle garage.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:49 am
Posts: 1346
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Regardless of if its a new car or a used car, you might want to check out edmunds.com to just do some general research. I like it because it gives you the "cost to own" so it factors in gas and repairs. If you are deciding between 2 specific vehicles, this might give you some helpful info to that end.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Those kind of websites never seem to have options for cars older than 1990. :/

I'm pretty excited, a truck was just posted today that's... perfectly exactly what I want. Aaaack. They only have a way to respond via email and so I'm all impatient for a response now.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips for Newbs on Buying Used Vehicles
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:51 am
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Location: RI
Ask for a carfax if it's a dealer, or run one yourself if it's private party. It might not catch everything that the car has been through, but it could catch something you'd want to be aware of.


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