Buy a car with 4000 miles on it?

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noppenbd
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Buy a car with 4000 miles on it?

Post by noppenbd » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:20 am

My family is in the market for a new-to-us car. The car we currently drive is a hatchback and is not big enough for the 2 carseats we now need (we have a 3 year old and a 6-month old). While searching on some car listing sites we came across a very lightly used 2010 Subaru Forester with only ~4000 miles on it. It is about $3000 less than an equivalent brand new `10 Forester. The Carfax report on it says it was a rental for 5 months before being relisted at the current dealership. Does anyone see any red flags or reasons we shouldn't buy this one over a brand new `10? We plan to keep the car 8-10 years so we feel comfortable buying a new or nearly new car.

TRC
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Post by TRC » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:39 am

That seems odd that a car rental place would get rid of it at only 4,000 miles. Seems low to me. What type of warranty comes with the vehicle?

$3,000 in savings isn't much when you're talking about new car pricing. You could probably get them down close to 3K on something brand new and have the piece of mind that you're not buying a car that was possibly beat on / neglected by a car rental agency. Especially if you plan to keep it for 8-10 years...

david99
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Post by david99 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:57 am

I agree --- $3000 isn't that much. Maybe the car was in an accident and they are trying to get rid of it. I would buy a new car.

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BachemFan
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Post by BachemFan » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:09 am

I would agree that the $3000 discount seems a bit small. Remember, though, that this the quality of the Subaru might dictate that small discountHowever, you still may be able to renegotiate that price down some. I have had good luck buying from Ford dealerships cars that had been used as rentals. Generally they would have around 10-13K on them. As a buyer you would get the remainder of the standard warranty.

Gekko
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Post by Gekko » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:35 am

IMO - use it as a bargaining chip with the dealer and go buy brand new and get exactly the color/features that you want.

good luck.

jwkde
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Post by jwkde » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:49 am

I've seen dealer sell "loaner cars" in this manner. One dealer in DE told me that if the car has less than 5K miles it can be sold as new.

noppenbd
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Post by noppenbd » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:52 am

Thanks for the replies. I did a bit more research and it appears the dealer actually has 3 of these Foresters, all with about 3-5K miles on them. So I am doubting that they were in accidents. They are asking $18K for all of them. For comparison, a new Forester is about $20.6K with USAA's auto buying service at the same dealership. The auto buying service says the dealer's "true cost" is $20.5K including holdback, so I doubt I will be able to negotiate the new Forester below that.

TO
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Post by TO » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:17 am

If I understand correctly, the OP is saying that the best deal he can negotiate on the 4k mileage car is $3k better than the best deal he can negotiate on a similar brand new car.

IMO, you should feel safe buying the car after having a trustworthy mechanic inspect the vehicle. The rental car story doesn't make sense, however, given the low number of miles. In all likelihood this was a loaner, or was driven by one of the sales guys at the dealership for a period of time.

This is precisely how we purchased our 2004 Volvo XC70: ~6k miles after the sales manager used it for just under a year. I was able to negotiate a much better deal than I would have been able to negotiate on a new car.

I have never purchased a brand new car, and view this as a respectable "hybrid" approach that reconciles the various arguments between buying new vs. used - as long as the price is right.

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dkdoy
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Post by dkdoy » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:35 am

I would buy new, save 3,000 is not a lot if you plan on keeping for 10+ years. The price premium for high demand used cars make buying new a reasonable alternative. The peace of mind of knowing where the car has been and how it was treated during the break in period would be important to me.

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Boris
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Re: Buy a car with 4000 miles on it?

Post by Boris » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:49 am

noppenbd wrote:My family is in the market for a new-to-us car. The car we currently drive is a hatchback and is not big enough for the 2 carseats we now need (we have a 3 year old and a 6-month old). While searching on some car listing sites we came across a very lightly used 2010 Subaru Forester with only ~4000 miles on it. It is about $3000 less than an equivalent brand new `10 Forester. The Carfax report on it says it was a rental for 5 months before being relisted at the current dealership. Does anyone see any red flags or reasons we shouldn't buy this one over a brand new `10? We plan to keep the car 8-10 years so we feel comfortable buying a new or nearly new car.
When you say it's about $3000 off a brand new equivalent... is that $3k difference off of MSRP similarly loaded or is that off of a negotiated price you already have with the dealer?

Don't forget that you can negotiate the price of the car. I don't know if you've ever heard of ZAG, but it's a great resource for getting invoice pricing (or less) without any haggling. Price out an exact car you want and compare that price to the price of this used car. You'll find the difference to be much less than $3,000. I guess it can be argued that the used car is negotiable too.

When we were buying our car last year we ended up buying a brand new car. I got mine $600 below invoice and I couldn't even find a used car at the same price. Some dealers are really hurting... if you come in, show them you're serious, negotiate well (or bring in a printout from Zag), you'll come out with a good deal. Make sure you don't get nickel and dimed by the various fees. They may SAY they're standard/required, but they're negotiable as well.

Good luck,

Boris
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tjwolf
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Post by tjwolf » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:42 am

Google Subaru VIP program.

You can buy a new unit from your local dealer for 2% below dealer invoice. Eligibility for this program requires that you belong to some organization, normally a conservation group, such as the American Canoe Association. If not already a member of one sanctioned by the program, join any of them and you are eligible to purchase any Subaru after 6 months.[/url]
Tom

Spirit Rider
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Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:51 am

One thing you should consider is that there is 8-12% markup(depending on manufacturer) on new cars. This includes holdbacks but not any rebates or other incentives.

However, there is generally a "much" higher markup on used vehicles. The dealer wants to make thousands on this sale. You should want him to make hundreds. If you can generally get a new car at an agressive price where the dealer is lucky to keep his holdback. I see no reason to let a dealer have more than a $500 profit on a used car.

I'm not saying the dealer would go for it, but I would be trying to buy the car for 15-16K. There is no true value on anything. There is only what the value is to the seller and what the value is to the buyer. Always be the party who gets the price they "want" and let the other party only gets the price they "need".

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Kenkat
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Post by Kenkat » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:16 am

These are probably "Demo" vehicles. Cars used as test drive vehicles and perks for the top salesmen, finance guy, etc.

There's probably nothing wrong with them beyond the fact that you're not 100% sure who drove them or how. But they probably had a relatively normal life so far.

The thing to weigh this against is that you plan to keep this vehicle 8-10 years. $3000 over 10 years is only $300 per year savings. $25 a month. I tend to buy new for a little more because I look at it as a small cost to get that 100% certainty for something I plan to keep for a long time.

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jeff1949
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Post by jeff1949 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:31 am

Offer them $15k for the (slightly) used Subaru and be prepared to go as high as $16k through negotiation. That would be an excellent price for that vehicle. Also be prepared to walk away empty handed if you don't get your deal. Tell them you want to shop around some more at other dealerships in the area.

Good luck!

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:38 am

I did this exact thing a couple of years ago. I bought a current model year "used' car with about 3,500 miles on it. I paid about $3,000 below the best price I could negotiate on a new one, including the rebates. The story I was told was that a local person had purchased it and 5 months later decided they needed a larger car for their family. The carfax report confirmed that it was a local privately owned car. I also bought it because it had a rare combination of options that I wanted, to get the same in a new one they would have had to bring one in from 300 miles away.

noppenbd
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Re: Buy a car with 4000 miles on it?

Post by noppenbd » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:45 pm

Boris wrote:When you say it's about $3000 off a brand new equivalent... is that $3k difference off of MSRP similarly loaded or is that off of a negotiated price you already have with the dealer?

Don't forget that you can negotiate the price of the car. I don't know if you've ever heard of ZAG, but it's a great resource for getting invoice pricing (or less) without any haggling. Price out an exact car you want and compare that price to the price of this used car. You'll find the difference to be much less than $3,000. I guess it can be argued that the used car is negotiable too.
The USAA car buying service is run by Zag. Both quotes came from their site (usaa.zag.com).

MSRP for the Forester is $22.2K new. Invoice is $21.2K. The USAA Zag quote is $20.6K for the brand new 2010 Forester and $18.0K for the lightly used 2010 Forester with ~3K miles. So I doubt there is much to be saved on the brand new below the USAA Zag quote, which is already $600 below invoice. To me a $3000 discount on a $21000 car is significant enough to warrant some risk, especially since it will still be well under warranty.

If the 3 2010 Foresters with ~3K miles were loaner cars, I wonder why the carfax report lists them as rentals?

rdgamblr
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Post by rdgamblr » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:18 pm

I, while surprised that a car rental agency would get rid of them this early, don't think its a loaner. 2 of the last 3 vehicles i bought were low miles under 10K same model year.

1 was a rental suv sold as a GM certified with extra warranty length that had 7800 miles. Carfax correctly listed it as a rental unit.

2 was a truck with 5500 miles that was never titled. It was driven by a GM exec and had manufacturer plates on it. In this case Carfax listed it as a Manufacturer lease.

I strongly believe if the Subaru was used by the dealer or company as opposed to a fleet company the dealer would try and prove that Carfax is in accurate as that could help their resale.

Buying this type of low mileage helps ease the instant depreciation of a new car I typically save around 25% off the MSRP of the new price buying GM though so maybe less with a Subaru.

TRC
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Post by TRC » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:47 pm

jwkde wrote:I've seen dealer sell "loaner cars" in this manner. One dealer in DE told me that if the car has less than 5K miles it can be sold as new.
A dealer tried to say the same thing to me before. His rationale was that if an owner never took title to it, it's still considered "new". In this case it was a Honda Odyssey with 5,000 miles on it and they were barely willing to move on price. He said "it's new"...I said "you're smoking crack if you think any vehicle with 5,000 miles on it is new".

Flashes1
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Post by Flashes1 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:38 pm

A lot of rental car companies rent to companies for the employee's use....."company cars." My dad bought a Chrysler 300M with a Hemi V-8 thru Enterprise this way.

fsrph
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Post by fsrph » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:43 pm

jeff1949 wrote:Offer them $15k for the (slightly) used Subaru and be prepared to go as high as $16k through negotiation. That would be an excellent price for that vehicle. Also be prepared to walk away empty handed if you don't get your deal. Tell them you want to shop around some more at other dealerships in the area.

Good luck!
The above is good advice. I have been watching the market for used 2009 Foresters for a while. Even within a 50 mile radius of where I live (Pa.) the supply of used 2009 Foresters is scarce .... but I was looking for one with a manual trans and the Premium package. They're scarce because Subaru redesigned the model for 2009 and I think it looks a lot better than previous years. I would only be interested in the used Forester if they come down on the price several thousand dollars.

I don't know where you are from but there is a place in northern Pa that has tons of late model Subaru's for sale. It's a bit further than I wanted to drive for a used Subaru, but maybe I'll go there when I'm ready to buy. They have great prices that are mostly firm and the vehicles are clearly marked if they were rentals. Currently they have an inventory of 98 used Subaru's of which nine are 2009 Foresters. All have between 8-14K miles and are priced at 18 - 19K. If I am not allowed to post the link will a moderator please remove it .... http://www.simmons-rockwell.com/index.asp?pageid=28

Francis

DennisRoche
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Post by DennisRoche » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:26 am

fsrph wrote:
jeff1949 wrote:Offer them $15k for the (slightly) used Subaru and be prepared to go as high as $16k through negotiation. That would be an excellent price for that vehicle. Also be prepared to walk away empty handed if you don't get your deal. Tell them you want to shop around some more at other dealerships in the area.

Good luck!
The above is good advice. I have been watching the market for used 2009 Foresters for a while. Even within a 50 mile radius of where I live (Pa.) the supply of used 2009 Foresters is scarce .... but I was looking for one with a manual trans and the Premium package. They're scarce because Subaru redesigned the model for 2009 and I think it looks a lot better than previous years. I would only be interested in the used Forester if they come down on the price several thousand dollars.

I don't know where you are from but there is a place in northern Pa that has tons of late model Subaru's for sale. It's a bit further than I wanted to drive for a used Subaru, but maybe I'll go there when I'm ready to buy. They have great prices that are mostly firm and the vehicles are clearly marked if they were rentals. Currently they have an inventory of 98 used Subaru's of which nine are 2009 Foresters. All have between 8-14K miles and are priced at 18 - 19K. If I am not allowed to post the link will a moderator please remove it .... http://www.simmons-rockwell.com/index.asp?pageid=28

Francis
Can't hurt to try but I'm pretty skeptical that you'll get them down that low. $16,000 would probably match a low mileage 2008. Tough car to get a better deal on. My guess is the best you can do is get them down to $17,500.

It might be that the dealer has loaned the car to his own sales staff.

Neilkevin
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Post by Neilkevin » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:06 am

We saw a Subaru Forester for sale in a rental car company in NY which seems to be in good condition. Car is having 08 plate with original manufacturer's warranty. How much is it worth to pay....any rough idea?
Last edited by Neilkevin on Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rustymutt
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Re: Buy a car with 4000 miles on it?

Post by rustymutt » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:46 am

noppenbd wrote:My family is in the market for a new-to-us car. The car we currently drive is a hatchback and is not big enough for the 2 carseats we now need (we have a 3 year old and a 6-month old). While searching on some car listing sites we came across a very lightly used 2010 Subaru Forester with only ~4000 miles on it. It is about $3000 less than an equivalent brand new `10 Forester. The Carfax report on it says it was a rental for 5 months before being relisted at the current dealership. Does anyone see any red flags or reasons we shouldn't buy this one over a brand new `10? We plan to keep the car 8-10 years so we feel comfortable buying a new or nearly new car.

Often dealers will use cars as rentals for people to use while servicing their cars, and then after a year of use as a "program car", they are sold as used rentals. I wouldn't have a problem buying one of these as long as the dealer stood behind the warranty. I wouldn't pay them what they are asking.
Offer them $15,000.
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rcshouldis
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Post by rcshouldis » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:22 am

Spirit Rider wrote:One thing you should consider is that there is 8-12% markup(depending on manufacturer) on new cars. This includes holdbacks but not any rebates or other incentives.

However, there is generally a "much" higher markup on used vehicles. The dealer wants to make thousands on this sale. You should want him to make hundreds. If you can generally get a new car at an agressive price where the dealer is lucky to keep his holdback. I see no reason to let a dealer have more than a $500 profit on a used car.

I'm not saying the dealer would go for it, but I would be trying to buy the car for 15-16K. There is no true value on anything. There is only what the value is to the seller and what the value is to the buyer. Always be the party who gets the price they "want" and let the other party only gets the price they "need".

There is a higher markup on accessories.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:37 pm

That is very low mileage for a rental car that was used for 5 months, it should be double that or more.

My worst-case-scenario thought is this. It was a rental car that got in a bad accident. Sat around for a month or two while they sorted out the financial details and repairs, accumulating no mileage. Some kind of deal was made whereby the rental car company was able to terminate a lease on it or sell it back to the manufacturer. Manufacturer or leaseholder auctions it off and dealer buys it.

If it is a Subaru certified pre-owned (which you didn't indicate) then it probably wasn't in an accident.

Check the car fax or find a friend who owns a paint meter.

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norookie
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Post by norookie » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:43 pm

:D This is a dated thread.FWIW
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harrychan
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Post by harrychan » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:51 pm

Foresters are great cars. I currently drive a 06 Impreza Wagon and thought it was too small for our growing family. I have a 2 year old that is the size of a 3 year old and a 2 month old. I went to look for 06 Forester and the interior is only *slightly* larger than a Impreza.

Now for your issue. I think $18k for an almost new Forester is a great deal. The cheapest Foresters around here at that mileage are all over $20k. BTW, 06 Foresters run about $12-14k around here in LA.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:22 pm

norookie wrote::D This is a dated thread.FWIW
Just noticed that. I guess if the car was truly a bad deal or a piece of junk, the OP would know by now. :lol:

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