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California98Civic 06-10-2018 09:32 AM

Efficient used cars (under $7,000 but over $1500)
 
Looking for a car that is inexpensive and fuel efficient but pretty clean and no beater? I have been. Here is a little of what I have learned and a call for community postings of other examples.

At five/ten years old (or more) some cars are still well-preserved, retaining a lot of usefulness, and with most of their depreciation behind them. They are great values and none would call 'em a POS. But you have to pay more than for a beat down Saturn like the one I looked at & almost bought a few weeks ago.

Post up examples of cars. Here are some "guidelines:"

1) Under $7,000
2) under 150,000 miles
3) No salvage title (unless its too good to miss)


Here is an example from Craig's List that could be a very good deal if there are no hidden major problems: 2011 Accord EX sedan, inline 4, with 148,000 miles @ $6900. It is an automatic that gets 33 MPG on the freeway, according to the US govt:

Quote:

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...611140877.html

2011 honda accord ex 4dr 4cyl ,,,,1 owner ,,,,,no accident ,,,,,,

pink slip,,,,clean title,,,carfax ready,,,,

142k mile ,,,,,original mile,,,

engine and transmission very very good,,,,no leaking,,,

8-2018 license plate,,,

air condition,,,tires good,,,,clean leather seat,,,,moon roof,,,alloy wheel,,,
Today, on CarGurus, I spotted a 2011 Mazda2 with 80,000 miles, 35 MPG freeway, clean exterior but some questions about the "accident reported" needing to be asked before forking over $4,600.

oil pan 4 06-10-2018 09:48 AM

An older leaf if you can live with limited range and have the means to run 240v power out to your parking area.
Most of the older leafs I saw had between 30k and 50k miles and nearly all were under 7000 with clean titles.
My 2011 leaf with 48k miles is probably the newest and lowest mile car I will ever own.

MetroMPG 06-10-2018 09:31 PM

$7000! For a car!


Subscribed, to see how the other half lives.


---



You can find manual Mirages with relatively low miles all day long at that price. Get one of Daox's custom rear stabilizer bars to get rid of the body roll and tighten up the handling of the 2014/15's (the years you'll be looking at for that price).


50+ MPG is easy with basic ecodriving techniques. In the 40's if you drive like everybody else. 60+ if you're dedicated.


You can probably find some with factory warranty left for $7k.

jcp123 06-11-2018 08:34 AM

Right in my wheelhouse! I'll have to take a look later. There were stick Ford Fusions, a stick Mazda6 wagon, and other interesting cars right in the thick of this budget range back when I was buying last year. I had a $5000 budget and spent half that, though I bought at a bit over the mileage limit (168k). Dallas was my hunting ground and it is absolutely fat with stuff in that range, and not just beater stuff, but some ones kinda intriguing or fun stuff too.

Ecky 06-11-2018 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 571761)
$7000! For a car!


Subscribed, to see how the other half lives.

In Vermont, most cars under $3k won't pass inspection (rust). People typically come over from NY to buy them, because NY's inspections are less rigorous. Between 4 and 7k, you're looking at a couple of years, tops.

If you want a car good for more than 2-3 winters in that price range, you have to drive south 12 hours to get the car.

~

I recently went through this same search for my partner, and we ended up going with a manual Fit. Looks like you can get one with closer to 100k miles for $6-7000, whereas as you approach $3000, mileage approaches 200k. We opted for a higher mile car, picked up from North Carolina and not even the beginnings of surface rust on anything. Rust will probably still take it off the road before the drivetrain fails.

40mpg is what a careless driver gets in a Fit. 50mpg is achievable in a stock car with some technique.

I basically ruled out sedans. We use our cars for things like moving bicycles (plural), furniture, construction materials, etc. and even if a Civic HX can get a bit better gas mileage, having to rent a truck every time I want to move a dresser or bookshelf negates that. Try fitting two fully assembled bicycles inside a sedan.

Some other contenders were a Toyota Yaris and Mazda 3. The Fit drove better than the Yaris by a mile, and the Mazda doesn't have quite the same reliability, but both were possibilities. We also looked at a few Volts and while they're reliable, they actually do worse than the Fit on gas alone, repairs can be terribly expensive if something does go wrong, and usable interior space is a lot lower. Driving around one electricity is attractive but her commute is long enough that she'd be burning gas on the way home every day anyway, and electricity is on the high side here.

California98Civic 06-11-2018 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcp123 (Post 571778)
Right in my wheelhouse! I'll have to take a look later. There were stick Ford Fusions, a stick Mazda6 wagon, and other interesting cars right in the thick of this budget range back when I was buying last year. I had a $5000 budget and spent half that, though I bought at a bit over the mileage limit (168k). Dallas was my hunting ground and it is absolutely fat with stuff in that range, and not just beater stuff, but some ones kinda intriguing or fun stuff too.

We can keep the "guidelines" flexible so that a great candidate with a bit over 150,000 miles or a remarkable deal with a salvage title for minor reasons still qualifies.

Here is an unremarkable car that is, I think, probably good deal at $2800 and the seller invites offers. Paint looks good, wheels are not all scraped up, and the interior and engine bay are clean. This car probably has at least 100,000 miles left and will do beautifully on fuel:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sf...612922747.html

Quote:

2008 nissan versa
condition: excellent
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 111000
paint color: black
size: compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: hatchback

NISSAN VERSA runs and looks good, transmission; engine in good conditions, manual transmission, 4 Cilinder ,new tires,SMOG CHECK on hand Come test drive and make me an offer. for more Info please call


oil pan 4 06-11-2018 10:41 AM

If god forbid, I ever move back to maine I would look for older vehicles from out this way. At least they are not rusted out.

jamesqf 06-11-2018 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by California98Civic (Post 571709)
At five/ten years old (or more) some cars are still well-preserved, retaining a lot of usefulness...

5-10 years? Let's see... '02 Miata, that's 16 years. '00 Insight, that's 18. And '88 Toyota pickup, that's 30. The Insight was the only one less than 10 years old when I bought it (in '03), and the only one that (barely) exceeded your upper limit on price. So yes, you should be able to find plenty of decent drivable cars.

Xist 06-11-2018 03:20 PM

Rich people problems!

I would be suspicious of the Accord. They do terrible things to commas, I would worry about what they did to the car.

California98Civic 06-13-2018 01:45 PM

2005 Prius with 80k miles
 
1 Attachment(s)
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/ws...616039342.html

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1528911834
Quote:


$700 below Kelly's Bluebook.
Mileage: 80,408 (2005 Prius)
Original Owner
Body Style: Hatchback
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Fuel Economy: Gas - City 48/Hwy 45/Comb 47 MPG
Engine: Hybrid
Fuel Type: Hybrid Gas/Electric
Transmission: Automatic
Drive Type: 2 wheel drive - front
Doors: Four Door
No back up camera.
Utility battery has been changed twice.
Main battery is original.
Only synthetic oil has been used on this car.
All Maintenance records are good.
Premium stereo AM/FM, Multi CD, Cassette, upgraded speakers and amp.
4 CYL, 1.5 Liter, Traction control, ABS (4 wheel)
Power steering, Power windows, Tilt wheel, AC, Cruise control, duel air bags.
VIN # JTDKB20U853066030
Good condition with some scratches.
No Accidents
Everything works


Hersbird 06-13-2018 04:05 PM

My brother has a 2013 Focus sedan for sale in the Seattle area for about $5500. It has the real manual transmission and I think 125k miles in the most basic model. The carfax showed it starting life in Hawaii and getting normal miles, then getting something like 80,000 miles the next year in Montana. Maybe they drove in back and forth a few times? He has had it 2 years without issue but got a $1000 2002 Mitsubishi Galant with a little more room and want to lose a payment.

cowmeat 06-13-2018 05:16 PM

Tampa Bay Craigslist is just full of G2 Insights and Prius for cheap, there are way more than the couple examples I added

https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/cto...597581597.html
https://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/cto...599676073.html
https://lakeland.craigslist.org/ctd/...612880390.html
https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/cto...591474043.html

This guy has 31 Prius on his lot, most of them for cheap

https://lakeland.craigslist.org/ctd/...606705575.html

Here's a 2011 Volt

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/ctd...614935616.html

Florida cars will have no rust, usually just some clear coat issues

redpoint5 06-13-2018 07:53 PM

My new favorite car search engine is https://www.autotempest.com/ since it searches multiple listings at once and can sort results based on different criteria such as distance or price.

I'm always telling people the Ford Fusion Hybrid is super nice and gets 45 MPG. I see a plug-in version called the Fusion Energi for just over $10k on Autotempest. If you can stretch the budget, I highly recommend it.

California98Civic 06-15-2018 02:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 571987)
My new favorite car search engine is https://www.autotempest.com/ since it searches multiple listings at once and can sort results based on different criteria such as distance or price. ....

Using that search engine today, this surprising listing (beware!) comes up from eBay motors:

2014 Tesla Model S | eBay

A 2014 Tesla Model S P85D. Bidding started at $200.00 and is up to $6300.00
VIN# 5YJSA1H29EFP66142

This photo and 8 or 10 other pictures are the only description.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/attachmen...1&d=1529087488

Buyer beware! The problems with a used Tesla purchase will begin from the instant you get a hold of the car.

redpoint5 06-15-2018 04:29 PM

Someone please buy this Fusion so I can quit thinking about it!

Seller seems motivated based on communication with him.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Ford-F...25.m3641.l6368

MetroMPG 06-15-2018 06:44 PM

Sharp looking car.

redpoint5 06-15-2018 07:09 PM

I think Ford bought Aston Martin around the same timeframe as the development of the Fusion, hence the stolen identity. Drive an Aston Martin for a fraction of the price (and a fraction of the performance).

I've gone as far as looking up how much to ship the car to Oregon. There is no reason for me to buy another car (I have too many).

jjackstone 06-28-2018 02:37 PM

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...627587643.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...617338949.html
This one is salvaged but doesn't say why. Usually out here it's from minor body damage that is too expensive to repair.

Here is a nice one.
https://chico.craigslist.org/cto/d/2...620509155.html


https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/cto...624035805.html

JJ

California98Civic 06-28-2018 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjackstone (Post 572989)

This first one was real nice too. Under $5K. But no indication of battery condition at 52,000 miles.

jjackstone 07-28-2018 07:58 PM

A few nearby EV's for sale on CL.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...648975269.html
$6000

https://goldcountry.craigslist.org/c...642653517.html
$2000

https://chico.craigslist.org/cto/d/e...649092055.html
$3499

They all have some type of problem. But would likely make good project cars for the techie types.
JJ

Xist 07-28-2018 08:52 PM

I found one Leaf in the Phoenix area for $8,000. The owner says it is a great car if you drive 40 miles a day or less.

I imagine my clients would love to have me walking up with a 100-foot extension cord so that I can make it home.

California98Civic 07-28-2018 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 574808)
I found one Leaf in the Phoenix area for $8,000. The owner says it is a great car if you drive 40 miles a day or less.

I imagine my clients would love to have me walking up with a 100-foot extension cord so that I can make it home.

And it's too expensive. Forgeddaboudit!

MetroMPG 07-28-2018 10:06 PM

Talk about borrowing electrons: I know someone who just bought a Prius plug-in... and has no place to plug it in!

She lives in an apartment/condo, and there are no outside outlets.

(But is planning to move in the next 6 months or so.)

redpoint5 08-28-2018 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xist (Post 574808)
I found one Leaf in the Phoenix area for $8,000. The owner says it is a great car if you drive 40 miles a day or less.

I'd avoid AZ Leaves like the plague. With no active thermal management, Phoenix is among the harshest environments for the Leaf. The car is probably worth closer to $4,000 than to $8k. Did the owner say how many "bars" of capacity were lost?

ProDigit 08-28-2018 09:35 PM

For that price you'll get a lot of nice gasoline cars around here. too many to name!

The only electric, will be a 2012 Nissan LEAF - hatchback. Not something you'll want as a fuel saver. Might save you some fuel, but low reliability/fun factor.

mpg_numbers_guy 11-05-2018 01:45 PM

My mom is currently looking at purchasing a new vehicle after our '04 Toyota Sienna got totaled by hitting a deer. She is considering purchasing an '07 Prius with 133K miles.

She reached out this morning to confirm with the seller that the battery change is in fact the hybrid battery. I have been looking at the "what to be looking for when buying a used Prius" thread to prepare a list for her and my dad to use when checking out the car (I am at college and unfortunately unable to be there to assist in person).

I was wondering if any of you experts had an opinion on the car (or the price! KBB says value is ~$6000, so we're hoping for negotiation if we pursue), and any especial things to be on the lookout for, maybe things that particularly stand out as opposed to the general checklist, or additional things you know are important.

https://fortwayne.craigslist.org/cto...717946828.html

Thanks in advance!

redpoint5 11-05-2018 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy (Post 583043)
My mom is currently looking at purchasing a new vehicle after our '04 Toyota Sienna got totaled by hitting a deer. She is considering purchasing an '07 Prius with 133K miles.

She reached out this morning to confirm with the seller that the battery change is in fact the hybrid battery. I have been looking at the "what to be looking for when buying a used Prius" thread to prepare a list for her and my dad to use when checking out the car (I am at college and unfortunately unable to be there to assist in person).

I was wondering if any of you experts had an opinion on the car (or the price! KBB says value is ~$6000, so we're hoping for negotiation if we pursue), and any especial things to be on the lookout for, maybe things that particularly stand out as opposed to the general checklist, or additional things you know are important.

https://fortwayne.craigslist.org/cto...717946828.html

Thanks in advance!

I don't respect sellers that give very little detail, or inaccurate information. For mileage the seller said 133 miles. Obviously they meant 133,000 miles, but if they are too lazy to type three zeros, then I'd be too lazy to offer them more than a lowball price. They didn't list what option package the car has, so you've only got what few things they listed as features to go off of. I'd use the base option package to value the vehicle in absence of them telling you what options package it is.

Some people report oil consumption, so ask about that and see if the oil reading is low.

I've recently had a change of heart on the Prius and think they are over-valued. I just bought a reconstructed title 2013 C-Max hybrid with 44,000 miles on it for $7,000, and it had every possible option. The C-max is very roomy and peppy compared with the Prius. It uses a lithium-ion battery instead of NiMh, so will probably perform better and last longer.

If they don't mind a sedan, the Ford Fusion hybrid is spectacular.

Finally, if they park in a garage, I'd look for a plug in version of any of these cars. 30% of the miles I drive on my Prius are pure EV. Not bad considering it only has a 12 mile range on EV only.

My last bit of advice is to check other sites for vehicles. I found the C-Max on OfferUp, but I also like Autotempest.com since it searches multiple sites at once. Get the Edmunds.com used car pricing too, since it usually is much lower than KBB. It's an extra bit of leverage in negotiating a lower price.

Daox 11-05-2018 02:01 PM

Looks to be in good shape body wise, but price seems a little on the high side IMO. Not sure what their budget is.

Here are a few others:

Here is one for a bit more ($8250), but only 66k miles and 2 years newer.
https://southbend.craigslist.org/cto...734002249.html

Or, one that is 2 years older, 30k more miles, but $2500 less.
https://fortwayne.craigslist.org/ctd...736368805.html


As for what to look for... there really isn't that much. The 2nd gen Prius is nearly legendary in its reliability ratings and has been named by some outlets as 'the most reliable car in the US'. I honestly haven't done anything to my 2004 Prius besides replace a rear tail light, replace a spark plug that went bad at about 135k miles (original plugs), and replace the front wheel bearings. The front wheel bearings seem to go out around 120k. I've done them on my car as well as my in-laws 2006. Tell tale signs of a bad bearing are noise going around corners, but quiet/er when going straight. So, its pretty easy to tell when they're going.

mpg_numbers_guy 11-05-2018 03:11 PM

Budget is $6800 max, including all extraneous costs. Lowest C-Max within reasonable distance is ~$8000.

Looked up the same car on Edmunds...$4800. What a difference. The reason for a Prius as opposed to other hybrids is their better fuel efficiency, and increased cargo capacity compared to a sedan hybrid. She's "downsizing" from a minivan.

Craigslist was honestly the only place we've looked so far besides Facebook marketplace. I'll definitely keep a lookout elsewhere.

Kinda hoping to find one with a new battery to avoid the potential of having to replace it after another 100K miles.

I've heard the 2nd gen Prius is better than the 3rd gen, is this true?

cowmeat 11-05-2018 03:15 PM

Might just be my cheap self talking, but that seems pricey for an 11 year old econobox
If you gave them full asking price and totaled it a week later you'd probably be out thousands of bucks

They apparently go for way cheaper down here in sunny Florida:

https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto...718179435.html
https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto...717803108.html
https://lakeland.craigslist.org/ctd/...737170198.html
https://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/ctd...729445526.html

Plus it's a Prius

Ecky 11-05-2018 04:26 PM

$6800 is verging on Volt prices if you really shop around and seems high for a 2nd gen Prius. I like the Prius a lot, and it's bigger than a Volt, but the Volt is the more attractive car to me.

redpoint5 11-05-2018 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy (Post 583058)
Budget is $6800 max, including all extraneous costs.

I've heard the 2nd gen Prius is better than the 3rd gen, is this true?

I don't know what the VA fees/taxes are. In Oregon there is no sales tax, and it cost $260 to title (salvage to reconstructed), license, and register the vehicle for 2 years, so total out the door cost was $7,260. Buying private party is going to save a ton of money, though sometimes you can get a good price from a dealer that has sat on an undesirable car for too long, such as a manual transmission.

I'll assume there is some good reason why $6,800 is the max out the door budget, but personally I'd borrow a little extra money to get something newer and nicer. BTW, asking price is not the same as final sales price. The car I bought for $7,000 had an asking price of $8,500. My offer was $6,500. Doesn't hurt to put in low offers with many sellers and see if any respond.

The 2007 is way overpriced. I'd probably offer something closer to $4k. My friend in Portland recently bought a 2010 Prius for $6k.

Don't shy away from reconstructed titles. Insurance companies are quick to total them out, but often the damage is mostly cosmetic. Look for even tire wear after the car was rebuilt, no frame damage, etc. I reduce the price by 30% on any fully repaired vehicle with a reconstructed title.

The C-Max is way better than a Prius in every way except for fuel economy. They get about 42 MPG compared to 45 in a gen II Prius.

cowmeat 11-05-2018 04:53 PM

Quote:

I like the Prius a lot, and it's bigger than a Volt, but the Volt is the more attractive car to me.
What he said (minus the "I like Prius a lot" part) plus unlike the Prius the Volt will hold it's own off the line against most cars if you're in the mood

mpg_numbers_guy 11-05-2018 05:05 PM

How reliable are the Volts and C-Maxes? How does high voltage battery on those compare to the Prius in terms of reliability and replacement cost? I did find one with 150K miles asking $6995

Seller of that '07 Prius responded that the car does burn oil. If the car weren't already of the list it would be now.

Found two 2010 Prii, one with 72K miles and another with 99K miles, both for $7500. Also found a 2011 Prius with 98K miles for $7900. All clean titles.

I ended up in total paying 65% of the asking price for my car, so I'm hoping negotiation is possible for them.

Is the reliability of a Gen 3 Prius with lower miles better than a Gen 2 Prius with a new battery?

redpoint5 11-05-2018 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy (Post 583089)
How reliable are the Volts and C-Maxes? How does high voltage battery on those compare to the Prius in terms of reliability and replacement cost?

Is the reliability of a Gen 3 Prius with lower miles better than a Gen 2 Prius with a new battery?

The high voltage battery in the C-Max should be more reliable as the Prius as it uses lithium ion rather than NiMh. That said, they are too new to really know for sure. They both use a very similar drivetrain, so reliability should be very similar.

My impression is the Gen III Prius has better battery longevity than the Gen II, but then again the oldest Gen IIIs are only 8 years old. I just think going back 2 generations is going too far. Not sure if it matters to your folks, but the 2010-2012 Prius package II (base Prius) did not have bluetooth. You had to get a package III to get bluetooth, and you can tell by looking for the phone controls on the steering wheel. Starting in 2012 the Prius base model included bluetooth.

The 2007 and newer Gen II Prius had more standard features than prior years too.

Gen II packages
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...nk0em5hdzlzNmM

2010 packages
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...m5TeXMxV2dsUXc

Ecky 11-06-2018 05:13 AM

The gen 2 Prius is incredibly reliable, but will eventually need a battery if nothing else. Consider it a wear item, like brakes. Most of them burn oil eventually but as long as you keep it topped off it will run practically forever. I'll need to read up on it but I think the gen 3 is a little more prone to some major failures, though it's still one of the most reliable cars on the market.

mpg_numbers_guy 11-06-2018 10:15 AM

It seems that 2010 and 2011 are the model years to avoid due to excessive oil consumption, battery issues, and other factors. One of the few Toyota model+year to achieve the "Avoid Like The Plague" badge on CarComplaints.com

2012 and newer are $8900 or higher unless they have 200K+ miles on them. Looking back at Gen II's there's an '05 with a 181K miles but with new battery for $4100 obo, and also an '07 one owner, original battery, with 94K miles for $5999 obo ($1100-$1500 overpriced, but negotiable).

mpg_numbers_guy 11-08-2018 06:36 PM

What do you guys think about this? https://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/c...724142224.html

2007 blue with only 51,950 miles. Asking $7200. Private party. Edmunds suggests $5900 private party fair value, Carfax suggests $7700, KBB suggests $6310. Will be reaching out for more information since not a whole lot is provided in the ad. Thoughts, especially on price?

redpoint5 11-08-2018 06:39 PM

Too expensive. I personally wouldn't pay more than Edmunds price for it. It's 11 years old, and 2 generations behind.

mpg_numbers_guy 11-08-2018 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 583357)
Too expensive. I personally wouldn't pay more than Edmunds price for it. It's 11 years old, and 2 generations behind.

Even with only 51K/52K miles? What would you suggest offering if we pursue?

Judging a good price on a Prius seems to be a lot harder for me than with other vehicles lol..


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