Shopping for a car after 10+ years

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prettybogle
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Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by prettybogle » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:16 am

Long story short we have been happy honda car owners for more than a decade but giving away our honda accord to a cousin. We need to find a car for our cute little family of 3 - includes 6 year old daughter as early as we can. We made the following decisions:
1. CR-V kind of vehicle
2. used car
3. Year 2013 ++
4. Less mileage on the car
5. Carfax report clean
6. Price <= 15k planning to pay it in cash
What are some good places (online or physical dealership etc) we can search in ? Would really appreciate any recent car buying experiences.

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Kenkat
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by Kenkat » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:31 am

When I bought a used car about two years ago, I primarily looked on cars.com and cargurus.com. Most dealers seem to advertise there and you can get a good idea of pricing if you do enough research on those sites. Edmunds.com and kbb.com are additional sites to get pricing information.

I haven’t bought a used car from a private party since you used to look in the paper for listings, but I think most of that is now on Craigslist.

Rupert
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by Rupert » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am

Read the long thread here by CULater about oil dilution issues in the Honda CR-V before you go that route. If you hate negotiating, Carmax is a decent place to buy used cars. You won't get the lowest price there, but you'll get a stress-free buying experience if that's important to you. In general, Hondas, Toyotas and Subarus don't depreciate much the first few years. So you don't often get good deals on those brands when buying used, unless you're looking for something older with higher mileage. I think it makes more sense to buy those three brands new and to shop other brands, e.g., Hyundai, Kia, the Americans, Mazda, Nissan, used. Hyundai, in particular, has a very long manufacturer's warranty. So you can find gently used Hyundais with lots of original warranty left on them. The Tucson -- same class vehicle as the CR-V -- has really good crash test scores.

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lthenderson
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by lthenderson » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:16 am

About the only thing I use eBay for these days is to buy used vehicles. I like how the site lets me narrow down the search to my specific desires from mileage to drive train to price. Since I live in a fairly rural area, I search for these vehicles being sold by dealers who received them for trade in, in regional large cities. I seem to get the best deals at dealers who don't sell that brand of vehicle. For example, I bought a Honda CR-V at an Audi dealer. New Audi dealers don't get a lot of traffic from people looking for used Honda's so they are willing to make a deal. Once I find one I like and win the bid, I buy a one way plane ticket from the local airport, test drive the car to verify it is as advertised, hand over the money and drive it home.

02nz
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by 02nz » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:23 am

Rupert wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am
Read the long thread here by CULater about oil dilution issues in the Honda CR-V before you go that route.
This won't apply to the OP. The oil dilution is only an issue for 2017 and later CR-Vs, and then only the 1.5-liter turbo motor. The 2.4-liter engine (the only engine choice before MY17) has never had this issue. The OP won't be getting anywhere near MY17 at a budget of <$15K.

02nz
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by 02nz » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:30 am

Rupert wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am
The Tucson -- same class vehicle as the CR-V -- has really good crash test scores.
That's true of the current-gen Tucson, 2016 and later. The '15 and earlier model, which is probably what the OP would be looking at given budget, did not do so well on IIHS tests (which are probably the most meaningful). The CR-V, Forester, and Mazda CX-5 performed better.

GmanJeff
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by GmanJeff » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:32 am

CarMax.

livesoft
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by livesoft » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:39 am

When I shopped for used cars, I found CarMax higher than the dealer. In terms of prices that I looked at, high to low:
CarMax > TrueCar > CostCo > Dealer > Individual

I am sure others have found a different order. And it is true that your negotiating skills play a part in getting a lower price than someone else except at CarMax.

Kbb.com, edmunds.com, nada.com, and others will give you an idea of price ranges to expect. But they are always a little high.

I would just say, cast a very wide net. The more cars you see that meet your requirements, then the more preliminary price info you have and the better you can negotiate.
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Rupert
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by Rupert » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:55 am

02nz wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:30 am
Rupert wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am
The Tucson -- same class vehicle as the CR-V -- has really good crash test scores.
That's true of the current-gen Tucson, 2016 and later. The '15 and earlier model, which is probably what the OP would be looking at given budget, did not do so well on IIHS tests (which are probably the most meaningful). The CR-V, Forester, and Mazda CX-5 performed better.
You can presently purchase a 2016 Hyundai Tucson SE with less than 50,000 miles on the odometer at Carmax for under $16,000. I'm sure you can do even better than that price in a private party sale or at other dealers.
Last edited by Rupert on Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:57 am

I usually look at cars.com. If you don't want to haggle and don't mind paying a little more CarMax or Carvana. Given your specs and a quick look, a 2013 CR-V is going to have 50k-100k miles on it for $15k (at least where I live). Similar cars would be the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tuscon, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Jeep Cherokee and Ford Escape off the top of my head.

letsgobobby
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:12 am

prettybogle wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:16 am
Long story short we have been happy honda car owners for more than a decade but giving away our honda accord to a cousin. We need to find a car for our cute little family of 3 - includes 6 year old daughter as early as we can. We made the following decisions:
1. CR-V kind of vehicle
2. used car
3. Year 2013 ++
4. Less mileage on the car
5. Carfax report clean
6. Price <= 15k planning to pay it in cash
What are some good places (online or physical dealership etc) we can search in ? Would really appreciate any recent car buying experiences.
Carmax if you’re willing to pay a bit more for a simplified, no hassle experience and want to be confident the vehicle is in good shape.

Craigslist to find a deal, a needle in a haystack, and are willing to put in time to save money. Need to have vehicle inspected by a good independent mechanic prior to purchase and it helps if you know a thing or two about cars.

Used car dealers if you have a masochistic streak, like going to war to save a few bucks, and have more time than money. Also need to have vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic prior to purchase. “Certified” means either very little or nothing at all, depending on brand.

mhalley
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by mhalley » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:24 pm

Carvana is another option, here is a recent thread on them.

viewtopic.php?t=272106

sk2101
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by sk2101 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:29 pm

Rupert wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am
Hyundai, in particular, has a very long manufacturer's warranty.
Hyundai and Kia long warranties are non transferrable. Whoever buys a used one only gets the standard 5 yr /60k miles coverage.

To the OP: also consider Carvana as an alternative to Carmax and at least where I live Offerup is now better than Craigslist for private party.

UALflyer
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by UALflyer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:29 pm

The biggest downside of buying a car at places like Carmax, Carvana, car dealers, etc.. has to do with the unknown quality of the cars that you are buying. Regardless of the model that you're considering, if it was previously neglected and abused, it is very likely to give you problems down the road.

All the re-sellers, like Carmax, Carvana, car dealers, etc... clean up the used cars that they sell, which ends up making it virtually impossible for people to assess how their previous owners treated the vehicles. If you ever see the condition of some of the vehicles that all these re-sellers take in, you'd realize that no amount of cosmetic reconditioning would ever make many of these vehicles good buys. Once they're cleaned up, even if you hire an independent mechanic to inspect them (which is something that most people don't bother with), it'll be exceedingly difficult to determine their previous condition, as the reconditioning process tends to masque the evidence of prior neglect and abuse.

So, the best way to find a well cared for vehicle is to purchase it directly from the owner, as you'll get to evaluate not just the vehicle in its raw state, but also get to evaluate the vehicle owner, which can be very telling.

Having said all that, sometimes buying a used car directly from the owner isn't practical and you may have no choice but to purchase it from a re-seller. In that case, as much as it pains me to say this about Carvana and Carmax, as I really like their model and want them to be successful, I wouldn't buy a used car from them. Not only do their prices tend to be high, but they also don't have the same access to high quality models. New car dealers get trade-ins and get first dibs on the best lease returns, so while it still doesn't guarantee quality, as you don't know what car dealers take in and what they discard, you have the best chance of finding a high quality vehicle there.

I would stay away from all dealers that only sell used cars. Their model is to compete on price, so they tend to buy some of the lower quality vehicles at the auctions and then re-sell them.

Whatever you do, do not expect databases like Carfax to be complete and accurate. They are helpful, but they also do not always capture everything, so cars with significant issues and a clean Carfax are fairly common.

letsgobobby
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:33 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:29 pm
The biggest downside of buying a car at places like Carmax, Carvana, car dealers, etc.. has to do with the unknown quality of the cars that you are buying. Regardless of the model that you're considering, if it was previously neglected and abused, it is very likely to give you problems down the road.

All the re-sellers, like Carmax, Carvana, car dealers, etc... clean up the used cars that they sell, which ends up making it virtually impossible for people to assess how their previous owners treated the vehicles. If you ever see the condition of some of the vehicles that all these re-sellers take in, you'd realize that no amount of cosmetic reconditioning would ever make many of these cars good buys. Once they're cleaned up, even if you hire an independent mechanic to inspect them (which is something that most people don't bother with), it'll be exceedingly difficult to determine their previous condition, as the reconditioning process tends to masque the evidence of prior neglect and abuse.

So, the best way to find a well cared for vehicle is to purchase it directly from the owner, as you'll get to evaluate not just the vehicle in its raw state, but also get to evaluate the vehicle owner, which can be very telling.

Having said all that, sometimes buying a used car directly from the owner isn't practical and you may have no choice but to purchase it from a re-seller. In that case, as much as it pains me to say this about Carvana and Carmax, as I really like their model and want them to be successful, I wouldn't buy a used car from them. Not only does their pricing tends to be high, but they also don't have the same access to high quality models. New car dealers get trade-ins and get first dibs on the best lease returns, so while it still doesn't guarantee quality, as you don't know what car dealers take in and what they discard, you have the best chance of finding a high quality vehicle there.

I would stay away from all dealers that only sell used cars. Their model is to compete on price, so they tend to buy some of the lower quality vehicles at the auctions and then re-sell them.

Whatever you do, do not expect databases like Carfax to be complete and accurate. They are helpful, but they also do not always capture everything, so cars with significant issues and a clean Carfax are fairly common.
Despite your concerns about Carmax, their customer satisfaction ratings are very high. The data don’t support your assertions.

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fortfun
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by fortfun » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:38 pm

Email all the Subaru dealers within a 250 mile radius and see who can give you the lowest out the door price on a modest new Forester. Only deal with them through email. Tell them you'll buy from the lowest bidder and won't haggle beyond the price they give you, explain that you've sent the same email to 25 other dealers, etc. You might get a brand new one for not much more than you can find a used one. Might be worth considering an out of state new vehicle too. My friend got an amazing deal on a new vehicle in Florida and paid $400 to have it transported to his home state, several thousand miles away. Some private brokers have no overhead and can give you a much better deal since they are not paying for a fancy dealership.

UALflyer
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by UALflyer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:44 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:33 pm
Despite your concerns about Carmax, their customer satisfaction ratings are very high. The data don’t support your assertions.
Their customer satisfaction ratings don't have anything to do with the quality of their inventory, as vehicle issues don't show up for a little while. Their customer satisfaction ratings have to do with their no pressure, up front pricing model, which I completely agree is honest and refreshing.

My guess is that you don't have access to dealer auctions or you wouldn't be trying to debate this. At large dealer auctions like Manheim, every vehicle is independently inspected and every vehicle is accompanied by a report that contains a list of issues and a vehicle score, with 5 being the absolute best and 1 being the worst. If you watch the auctions, you'll consistently see Carmax buying 2.8-3.5 vehicles. If you review the list of issues, you'll see that those are the types of vehicles that most people wouldn't want to own. Carmax then cleans them up inhouse and resells them.

The above model that Carmax employs isn't predatory or wrong, but they simply don't have access to the same number of trade-ins and lease returns that new vehicles dealers enjoy, so they have no choice but to do the above. They do get some high quality vehicles that are sold to them directly by the owners, but not enough to sustain their business model.
Last edited by UALflyer on Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

letsgobobby
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:06 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:44 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:33 pm
Despite your concerns about Carmax, their customer satisfaction ratings are very high. The data don’t support your assertions.
Their customer satisfaction ratings don't have anything to do with the quality of their inventory, as vehicle issues don't show up for a little while. Their customer satisfaction ratings have to do with their no pressure, up front pricing model, which I completely agree is honest and refreshing.

My guess is that you don't have access to dealer auctions or you wouldn't be trying to debate this. At large dealer auctions like Manheim, every vehicle is independently inspected and every vehicle is accompanied by a report that contains a list of issues and a numeric rating, with 5 being the absolute best and 1 being the worst. If you watch the auctions, you'll consistently see Carmax buying 2.8-3.5 vehicles. If you review the list of issues, you'll see that those are the types of vehicles that most people wouldn't want to own. Carmax then cleans them up inhouse and resells them.

The above model that Carmax employs isn't predatory or wrong, but they simply don't have access to the same number of trade-ins and lease returns that new vehicles dealers enjoy, so they have no choice but to do the above. They do get some high quality vehicles that are sold to them directly by the owners, but not enough to sustain their business model.
What I’m saying is that if people were consistently getting cars with lots of problems from CarMax, a few months or even a year later, that would eventually show up in customer satisfaction ratings. And maybe they do sell 3.5s instead of the 4s that new dealers get. Everyone knows that dealer prices are the very highest when shopping for a used car, so maybe customers accept that Carmax quality is a little lower than other places and are nonetheless happy with the value proposition.

I agree with you that buying a car directly from the original owner is a great idea. If you want to comb through individual listings at AutoTrader and Craigslist. Call random strangers, negotiate multithousand dollar contracts with complete strangers, arrange a test drive with a stranger, and hope the final money exchange can be done safely and honestly. There are needles in the haystack out there. But this is work. Not everyone can, will, or should do this work. I have no interest in it, period. Even with an independent inspection there’s a pretty good chance I’ll end up with a dog. That’s why we now buy new cars. We drive them forever and don’t mess with used any more.

Carmax, Carvana, Beepi (RIP), etc., try to strike a middle ground between the treasure hunt of Craigslist and the high pressure sales tactics of the used car lot. They’ve been well received and there’s no indication of a pattern of problem vehicles.

dlabel
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by dlabel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:30 pm

One thing to check for on Carmax is if the vehicle was a rental. I would not buy a former rental because of the way people treat rental cars.

UALflyer
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by UALflyer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:31 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:06 pm
What I’m saying is that if people were consistently getting cars with lots of problems from CarMax, a few months or even a year later, that would eventually show up in customer satisfaction ratings.
That's not how car satisfaction scores work. If you buy a used car, which later starts giving you problems, you are going to blame the manufacturer and the model. It's likely not going to occur to you that at least some of the problems are attributable to the way that the vehicle was previously cared for.

For instance, if a car shows up at the auction and its conventional oil hasn't been changed in 20K miles, once the re-seller changes the oil, you'll never know that the previous owner didn't do it. Your engine is highly unlikely to fail because of it right away, but there's a high likelihood that its long term durability isn't going to be great. If there are engine issues down the road, it'd never occur to you that the first vehicle owner was at least partially responsible for the issues.
That’s why we now buy new cars.
There are certain situations, makes and models that make a ton of financial sense brand new (or very heavily used). There are many other ones that represent a horrible financial deal when they're brand new, but then become an excellent deal when they're slightly used.
But this is work. Not everyone can, will, or should do this work. I have no interest in it, period.
To each his own. Just like with everything else in life, you have options. People just need to be aware of the downsides to some of their decisions.

This forum contains hundreds of threads and thousands of posts where people debate the relative reliability and value of various makes and models. What all those threads and posts tend to be completely devoid of is a discussion of some of the other critical considerations that directly affect their vehicle ownership costs. That's quite disappointing, as those are the types of considerations that can allow people to drive much better and nicer vehicles for a lot less.

bluebolt
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by bluebolt » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:33 am

Some advanced safety & convenience features started to be introduced into models a few years ago (automating braking, adaptive cruise control, rear traffic alert, CarPlay/Android Auto etc). If these are important to you, make sure you know which years/packages have those features.

Rupert
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Re: Shopping for a car after 10+ years

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:58 am

sk2101 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:29 pm
Rupert wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:34 am
Hyundai, in particular, has a very long manufacturer's warranty.
Hyundai and Kia long warranties are non transferrable. Whoever buys a used one only gets the standard 5 yr /60k miles coverage.

To the OP: also consider Carvana as an alternative to Carmax and at least where I live Offerup is now better than Craigslist for private party.
Are you referring to the extended warranties that some Hyundai dealers offer (e.g., lifetime warranties to original owners)? In my post, I was referring to the manufacturer's warranty, which is transferable, and is the longest in the industry. That's 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper and 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain. Most manufacturers, in contrast, offer 3-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper and 5-year/60,000 powertrain. So you can often find 2 or 3-year-old Hyundais with lots of manufacturer warranty left.

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