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Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:49 am
by Thegame14
Wife's car I posted about a few weeks ago, was repaired and working on getting all the money back from their insurance for my rental and deductible and then last night, I got hit by a Target truck in my back driver side tire. Got estimate this morning and it is $3,000 to fix a 20 year old Toyota Camry, so it is totaled. Which sucks as this was my grandfather's car with only 165K miles on it so worth more than the likely $1,000-$1,500 I will get for it, assuming the person who hit me, their insurance pays for the damages.

Now I have to buy a "new" car, but wife's car still has $6K loan on it, I am hoping between tax return which I still have to file and the money from insurance I can pay off her loan, but then I will have to get a new car and loan, but I assume I don't have much time to "shop around". Ideally Id like a compact car, but can fit a bigger driver, that is 3-5 years old with 50K or less miles and under $10K. We don't have CarMax in NJ.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:55 am
by quantAndHold
Just to be clear. I’m having trouble parsing what you wrote...these are 2 different cars. You don’t owe $6k on the 20 year old Camry that just got totaled, right?

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:01 am
by Thegame14
quantAndHold wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:55 am Just to be clear. I’m having trouble parsing what you wrote...these are 2 different cars. You don’t owe $6k on the 20 year old Camry that just got totaled, right?
Right, owe $6K on wife's car 2013 Mazda CX-9, that was fixed a few weeks ago, now my 20 year old camry was totaled last night, and I have to get a new car, but hate having two car payments, really don't like having any car payments with two kids in daycare.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:02 am
by BBBob
Maybe look at swapalease.com if you want to minimize cash flow for the moment?

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:06 am
by quantAndHold
Ah. Got it. :sharebeer

The annual auto issue of Consumer Reports just came to the other day. I think they still post lists of reliable used cars in specific price ranges. Might be worth a look.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:07 am
by bloom2708
With those specs, probably start with a Ford Fusion sedan. 3-5 years old and under $10k. That will take out a lot of cars.

Funny out fender benders seem to bunch up. It is a jungle out there.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am
by Thegame14
I found a 10 year old mazda CX-7 from dealer, with only 68K miles on it but two reported accidents asking %7,500. If not for the accidents I would be more willing.

Same dealer has a 2013 Mazda 3 which Iike for gas mileage, used not certified, $35K miles asking $9,300, but tru car says it should be $5-7K, not sure if I can use that to negotiate.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:18 am
by Jack FFR1846
I'll second and third the first generation Ford Fusion idea. I have one. It has had one problem ever. The transmission cooler steel line rusted out and leaked. $100 part at NAPA and an hour total, including driving to the NAPA and I got that fixed. Mine has the Mazda 2.3L engine and an auto.

I wander around the local pull a part junkyard for fun and they are always cycling through first gen Fusions. Never seen a second gen for some reason. Parts are cheap as dirt. The cars are cheap as dirt. For $4k, you could buy one of these with under 100k miles that looks brand new easily. Because this is a grandma car, you'll find them with under 50k miles for not much more. My mom gave me mine when she bought a new Subaru and the dealer offered about nothing for it.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:25 am
by quantAndHold
Okay, so I went and found the Consumer Reports. April 2020, pp. 82-83. They like these ones for <$10k (above average for both reliability and test scores):

2011-13 Honda Fit
2012-14 Toyota Prius C
2011-14 Mazda 3
2011-13 Nissan Leaf
2010-14 Toyota Corolla
2010-12 Toyota Prius
2010-11 Toyota Avalon
2010-12 Toyota Camry
2010 Acura TL
2010-11 Acura TSX
2011 Lexus CT 200H
2010 Lexus ES
2010 Toyota Venza
2010-11 Toyota RAV4

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:35 am
by Thegame14
thanks, so far two best finds are a 2013 mazda 3 for $9,300, it doesn't say sale or internet pricing, so I think it has some wiggle room with 53K miles on it

second 2013 mazda CX-9 for $12K, only has 48K miles on it

first car cheaper better gas mileage, second car, we already have a CX-9 so used to it, but I think better to have one big car and one small and spend less money and much better gas mileage. Mazda 3 is 40MPG highway Mazda CX-9 is like 17 MPG highway.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:50 am
by Watty
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:49 am Now I have to buy a "new" car, but wife's car still has $6K loan on it, I am hoping between tax return which I still have to file and the money from insurance I can pay off her loan, but then I will have to get a new car and loan, but I assume I don't have much time to "shop around". Ideally Id like a compact car, but can fit a bigger driver, that is 3-5 years old with 50K or less miles and under $10K. We don't have CarMax in NJ.
I guess that I would also qualify as a "bigger driver" and I used to have a Honda Fit and even though it is a very small car it has a great layout interior layout and it worked just fine for me.

One thing to be aware of is that they have gradually made cars larger so you may be able to look at models that you think of as being "smaller". I currently have a 2018 Corolla that is about the same size as an early 2000's Camry that I had.

I once had to buy a car in a hurry when I moved across the country and that makes it difficult to find a really good used car since there is so much overpriced junk out there. I ended up buying a used Camry from Hertz and that worked out very well for me. You can see their inventory online.

There have been lots of threads about buying a used rental car that you can look up. Some people are convinced that they have all been terribly abused but lots of people posted about having good experiences with them. I don't recall anyone ever posing about having major problems with a used rental car that they bought. One thing nice about a used rental car is that you know that they are just selling them because that is their normal schedule. If you find some relatively late model used car on someplace like craigslist or a car lot you have to really wonder why someone is selling a car that is just two or three years old.

If you are looking at Toyota's then one thing to watch out for is that they made a lot of their advanced safety features standard equipment in 2018 so even though it might be a bit more expensive getting a 2018 might make sense. Likewise ESC became standard in 2012 so if you are looking at cars that are older than that be sure to check to make sure that it has ESC which is a very good safety feature to have.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:08 pm
by Watty
A few more things I thought of;

1) Many of the cars you may be looking at may have had an airbag recall, check on that since that can be a pain to have done.

2) Some of the rental cars may still have some of the full 36k mile warranty left or the 60k powertrain warranty.

Out of curiosity I looked at my local Hertz car lot and they had several 2017 Toyota Yaris with about 44k miles for around $10,500.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:33 pm
by lthenderson
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:49 am Now I have to buy a "new" car, but wife's car still has $6K loan on it, I am hoping between tax return which I still have to file and the money from insurance I can pay off her loan, but then I will have to get a new car and loan, but I assume I don't have much time to "shop around". Ideally Id like a compact car, but can fit a bigger driver, that is 3-5 years old with 50K or less miles and under $10K. We don't have CarMax in NJ.
Since you are depending on a tax refund and insurance money to pay off your wife's car, it sounds like you might be stretching for money. I would suggest setting your sights a bit lower say trying to find a car for under $5000. It will be less of a financial burden until you get some money saved up to buy your next car. I bought my first two cars for under $1000 each and both of them were still running more than five years after I bought them.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:41 pm
by Crustus
There are two CarMax sites in NJ (that I know of). One is in Sicklerville (off AC turnpike) and the other in Maple Shade (on NJ route 38). Not necessarily recommending them but, they do exist.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:01 pm
by TheAccountant
If you don't want a loan, and don't have (or want to spend) too much of your cash, then just buy another mechanically sound Camry for the amount that the insurance reimbursed you for the old one.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:13 pm
by Thegame14
lthenderson wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:33 pm
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:49 am Now I have to buy a "new" car, but wife's car still has $6K loan on it, I am hoping between tax return which I still have to file and the money from insurance I can pay off her loan, but then I will have to get a new car and loan, but I assume I don't have much time to "shop around". Ideally Id like a compact car, but can fit a bigger driver, that is 3-5 years old with 50K or less miles and under $10K. We don't have CarMax in NJ.
Since you are depending on a tax refund and insurance money to pay off your wife's car, it sounds like you might be stretching for money. I would suggest setting your sights a bit lower say trying to find a car for under $5000. It will be less of a financial burden until you get some money saved up to buy your next car. I bought my first two cars for under $1000 each and both of them were still running more than five years after I bought them.
I don't like the idea of two kids in daycare, plus two car payments, and I sold in the past few years old camry's and carollas for $750 that were still running well, because I didn't want to keep paying insurance on the extra car, or have a car sit idling without insurance.....

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:24 pm
by Nekrotok
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am I found a 10 year old mazda CX-7 from dealer, with only 68K miles on it but two reported accidents asking %7,500. If not for the accidents I would be more willing.

Same dealer has a 2013 Mazda 3 which Iike for gas mileage, used not certified, $35K miles asking $9,300, but tru car says it should be $5-7K, not sure if I can use that to negotiate.
Don't be shy. Figure out how much you think the car is worth and ask the dealer if they'll take it, and be prepared to stick to your price and walk away if you can't get a price you like. Also, try to find as many other cars as possible so if one seller is being unreasonably firm, try another.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:36 pm
by SmileyFace
Nekrotok wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:24 pm
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am I found a 10 year old mazda CX-7 from dealer, with only 68K miles on it but two reported accidents asking %7,500. If not for the accidents I would be more willing.

Same dealer has a 2013 Mazda 3 which Iike for gas mileage, used not certified, $35K miles asking $9,300, but tru car says it should be $5-7K, not sure if I can use that to negotiate.
Don't be shy. Figure out how much you think the car is worth and ask the dealer if they'll take it, and be prepared to stick to your price and walk away if you can't get a price you like. Also, try to find as many other cars as possible so if one seller is being unreasonably firm, try another.
+ 1. I talked to a friend who always buys used cars and he says this is his strategy. He usually doesn't buy until a dealer calls him back (sometimes a few days later - sometimes weeks later) and accepts the offer he gave which they claimed there was no way they could accept. At the end of the month they could get more desperate if cars aren't moving and might be willing to settle for lower prices to move some cars off the lot. I do realize, however, you are likely anxious to get a car since you are without, but if you get a cheap rental it could pay back on finding the right deal.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:42 pm
by Nate79
I would pay cash and stop perpetuating the debt and stretching just to buy a car.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:23 pm
by atikovi
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:49 amWhich sucks as this was my grandfather's car with only 165K miles on it so worth more than the likely $1,000-$1,500 I will get for it, assuming the person who hit me, their insurance pays for the damages.
Where do you get that pricing from? Insurance should pay you the retail value published in a industry price guide which is over $3,000. Take that money and buy another 2000ish Camry for the private party price of $2,000 and save the rest for repairs.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:07 pm
by DiamondplateDave
Is the 20 year old car actually "totaled"? Or just "costs more than it's worth to fix"? I know one poster here has mentioned how he fixed a "totaled" car and drove it for several years. If the car is fixable, if you can get it fixed for the settlement, it's a wash. If you have to pay out of pocket, that kinda sucks but if you can kick the cost of a different car down the road for....6-12-18 months? $1500 out of pocket is six month's car payments. The cost of buying the wrong car, or paying too much, because you're in a hurry, could be a lot more than $1500.
Just my thoughts, if the car is a total clunker or or a rustbucket, than obviously it's time to move on.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:50 am
by djpeteski
Thegame14 wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:16 am I found a 10 year old mazda CX-7 from dealer, with only 68K miles on it but two reported accidents asking %7,500. If not for the accidents I would be more willing.

Same dealer has a 2013 Mazda 3 which Iike for gas mileage, used not certified, $35K miles asking $9,300, but tru car says it should be $5-7K, not sure if I can use that to negotiate.
I really like both of these choices, and I might be a bit more partial to the Mazda 3 as it only has 35K miles on it. With the CX-7, what can you talk them down to? $6500, lower? What is the real downside of being in two accidents? Even if the frame is a bit out of wack, you will just go through tires sooner. Acceptable in my opinion and those accidents could of just been cosmetic damage.

There is real demand for such cars with low mileage. New about 25K, with this you are saving about 15K for it being driven for 35K miles? Show them the true car, but I would be on this like crazy if I can get them down to 8K. Provided, of course, this car meets your needs.

Really what you need is a bridge car. A car that will last long enough for your kids to get out of daycare, and for you to save a bit of money. I think you can get 5 years out of either one of those cars, then you can save and buy something nicer for cash.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
by lthenderson
DiamondplateDave wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:07 pm Is the 20 year old car actually "totaled"? Or just "costs more than it's worth to fix"? I know one poster here has mentioned how he fixed a "totaled" car and drove it for several years. If the car is fixable, if you can get it fixed for the settlement, it's a wash.
Just be aware there can be some insurance ramifications for fixing up a totaled vehicle. I had a ten year old minivan that was totaled by a hail storm. It was perfectly drive-able without any work whatsoever. But if I were to pocket the settlement check and keep the vehicle, the amount of the settlement would be added to my deductible for my next insurance claim so the insurance company could recoup their losses.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:58 am
by atikovi
lthenderson wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
Just be aware there can be some insurance ramifications for fixing up a totaled vehicle. I had a ten year old minivan that was totaled by a hail storm. It was perfectly drive-able without any work whatsoever. But if I were to pocket the settlement check and keep the vehicle, the amount of the settlement would be added to my deductible for my next insurance claim so the insurance company could recoup their losses.
Who puts insurance on a $1,000 car?

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:23 am
by Para45
quantAndHold wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:25 am Okay, so I went and found the Consumer Reports. April 2020, pp. 82-83. They like these ones for <$10k (above average for both reliability and test scores):

2011-13 Honda Fit
2012-14 Toyota Prius C
2011-14 Mazda 3
2011-13 Nissan Leaf
2010-14 Toyota Corolla
2010-12 Toyota Prius
2010-11 Toyota Avalon
2010-12 Toyota Camry
2010 Acura TL
2010-11 Acura TSX
2011 Lexus CT 200H
2010 Lexus ES
2010 Toyota Venza
2010-11 Toyota RAV4
somehow forgot the Subaru models … ?

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:53 am
by GeoffD
atikovi wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:58 am
lthenderson wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:51 am
Just be aware there can be some insurance ramifications for fixing up a totaled vehicle. I had a ten year old minivan that was totaled by a hail storm. It was perfectly drive-able without any work whatsoever. But if I were to pocket the settlement check and keep the vehicle, the amount of the settlement would be added to my deductible for my next insurance claim so the insurance company could recoup their losses.
Who puts insurance on a $1,000 car?
This

If it were me, I’d keep the car and use the check to repair it enough to be driveable. Start working on the new car fund to replace it for cash when it dies.

Re: Car Totaled, need to find a new car

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:07 am
by GeoffD
Para45 wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:23 am
quantAndHold wrote: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:25 am Okay, so I went and found the Consumer Reports. April 2020, pp. 82-83. They like these ones for <$10k (above average for both reliability and test scores):

2011-13 Honda Fit
2012-14 Toyota Prius C
2011-14 Mazda 3
2011-13 Nissan Leaf
2010-14 Toyota Corolla
2010-12 Toyota Prius
2010-11 Toyota Avalon
2010-12 Toyota Camry
2010 Acura TL
2010-11 Acura TSX
2011 Lexus CT 200H
2010 Lexus ES
2010 Toyota Venza
2010-11 Toyota RAV4
somehow forgot the Subaru models … ?
At the OP’s price point (as cheap as possible), you’re probably in the bad head gasket era with Subaru. If you’re looking for a Camry replacement, you’d want a 2 generation ago Legacy. Model years 2010-2014. A 2010 might be $6k to $7k on a dealer lot if you can find one. They didn’t build many. That didn’t have the head gasket problem. The generation prior to that, a Legacy was a really small car.