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Old 07-08-2015, 03:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 38

Red Bean - '01 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 34.44 mpg (US)
Thanks: 20
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
You could try visiting your local Craigslist auto section. Entering a $5000 max price will likely find you lots of Hondas and Toyotas.
Depends on the area it seems. In my area most cars on Craigslist under $5000 are domestic cars with serious issues. On occasion you will find a diamond in the rough but rarely. I've had better luck just asking around, driving around looking, and such. The last three cars I've had were not found online. The rolling turd was sold to me from a family member who obtained it from an estate auction. The Honda was a sort of hand me down. The Red Bean was purchased from another family member who purchased it from a neighbor who was both moving and "upgrading". Seems the best deals on used cars require a network of people who all have their eyes and ears open. The Rolling Turd and Red Bean were offered to me because I was asking around the family (and family members like to talk to each other). I let it be known I was looking for such and such and since they could potentially benefit from helping me, it was a win win for them to keep an eye out. However, in my situation, the two family members also sold cars as a business so had the experience and knowledge to find decent used diamonds in the rough.

The rolling turd set me back $1000. The Honda set me back $0. The Red Bean set me back $650. The rolling turn was in active use for about two to three years. The Honda has yet to be put in use. The Red Bean is not technically in use yet since there is paperwork that needs to be done which is taking a little longer than expected. For $650, if I used Craigslist in this area, I would only find essentially "junk cars" that need extensive repairs. For $1000, I might could find a few junkers that at least run and drive, but they probably wouldn't for long before you would have to sink more money into them. For the $5000 mark, you have a much better chance at finding something decent but you still have to wade through a bunch of crap first. When you are a buyer, every sellers car is gold. When you are a seller, every buyer sees your car as junk.

That "Cash for Clunkers" thing ruined the used car market by taking so many decent used cars off the market for good. Right after, the used car market here dried up and only the junkiest of cars seemed to remain. Since then there are more and more modern used cars for sale but modern cars tend to have some seriously expensive issues with age.

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