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What used car buying site?

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  • What used car buying site?

    I've never bought a used car before, but I think I'm ready to take the plunge. If I end up buying in Maryland where we used to live, I have a mechanic that will do the inspection for me.

    What websites (other than Craigslist) are good to find used cars from (preferably) private sellers? Places like Carmax and new car dealerships selling used cars do not seem to be a bargain.

    Thanks,
    Paul

  • #2
    There is truecar, but I haven't used them outside of researching average selling prices. One thing to keep in mind with buying from a dealer is the certified pre-owned often come with a bit more of a manufacturers warranty/guarantee vs buying used where there might not be any warranty outside of any factory warranty (if there is any left) that is transferrable.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mm1992 View Post
      There is truecar, but I haven't used them outside of researching average selling prices. One thing to keep in mind with buying from a dealer is the certified pre-owned often come with a bit more of a manufacturers warranty/guarantee vs buying used where there might not be any warranty outside of any factory warranty (if there is any left) that is transferrable.
      Thanks. My Dad liked TrueCar when he bought a new car. I'll check them out.

      We'll be bringing the car overseas and I've heard that the warranties don't transfer overseas.

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      • #4
        Oh yea if you're taking it overseas that makes sense. Even if it did apply heret I'd bet they want you to bring it back to a "certified service provider" to do the work anyway.

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        • #5
          Depends on what you are looking for - for late model higher priced cars, Carvana seems to be a good option.

          For the older, specific model and brand I have been looking for, though, I have recently found Facebook Marketplace to be the best option.
          --------------------------------------------------
          Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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          • #6
            Dang! These Toyotas hold their value, don't they?

            I checked out TrueCare and FB Marketplace. Slightly better pricing than CarMax but I haven't see a single private seller ad.

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            • #7
              I bought a used car a year ago, and found that the best thing out there is Carfax. My neighbor bought a used car from a Craigslist ad with reasonable miles and in good condition. When he got it home, he found the recent smog inspection report and it showed 100,000 more miles on it than what was on the odometer. Carfax would have helped him catch that before buying. Carfax has links to vehicles for sale on it's web site, so that's a great place to start..
              I signed up for the free maintenance tracker and was surprised at the complete history that my car has. When I bought tires and had 3 additional alignments done in the last year (lower control arm bushing story, self-inflicted) the small tire dealer reported every service automatically. Every DIY service.repair I added into my vehicle history, too.The Carfax system is genius in how it has complimentary relationships with service and sales outlets that creates a high participation flow of information. The other VIN check services can't compare.

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              • #8
                In my neck of the woods rust is not something we often see on any car or truck. In my young days if you saw a car with rust it had a military ID on the windshield, telling me it was brought in from somewhere with road salt. I believe that I could put up without about any problem with a used car before I could tolerate rust. How is rust reported on Carfax?
                Another thought I have about buying a car sight unseen from parts unknown....... just what happened to all of the many thousands and thousands of automobiles that were flooded in the river floods and hurricanes every year. Surely we aren’t to believe all of these cars were just hauled off to be melted crushed or melted down? Likely they were secretly whisked off, pressure washer and dried out and probably unbeknownst to us blended back into the used car market. Do these waterlogged potential lemons get reported in Carfax?
                I would recommend shopping from a reputable dealership that could vouch that the car you want to buy was originally sold new and serviced by his dealership and not depend on the luck of the draw.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by d_meister View Post
                  I bought a used car a year ago, and found that the best thing out there is Carfax.
                  I have not been impressed with Carfax, their history is often incomplete. They rely on shops to report information and many shops don't report. I've seen reports where they missed things like a salvage title, flooding incidents, and mileage anomalies, all of which showed up in the free online insurance VIN check.

                  --------------------------------------------------
                  Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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                  • #10
                    I always like Edmunds.com for doing research.
                    But I don't think they have a private car sales section.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                    • #11
                      I narrowed down my list to a Toyota Highlander or 4Runner and newer than 2016. My wife watched some YouTube videos of both cars paying particular attention to the interiors and made the final decision for the Highlander. If only the 4Runner had better gas mileage and seated 8, it would have been a shoe-in for me.

                      Although I signed up for TrueCar, I got the best deal by going to Autotrader and saw a much better price from a dealer not using TrueCar. I used AutoTrader in the afternoon after visiting a local dealer in the morning who fortunately turned down our offer.

                      These Toyotas hold their value like crazy! A 2016 with 30k+ miles was only a few thousand less than new (less $3K Toyota rebate) so we ended up buying new even though the warranty won't transfer overseas. I guess I'll have to drive the heck out of it for the next several months.

                      Paul

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                      • #12
                        Car gurus is your friend.


                        Like novel things?
                        I watched a friend buy as vehicle from a vending machine..... (carvana). It was priced competitively, too.

                        When I lived in the Gulf region, I saw how well Toyotas handle anything you throw at them. were now a 2 Toyota household. It's been that way for a decade. I've had a 4runner (awesome), sequoia (loved it), Venza, and Tacoma.

                        I just bought an end-of- year accessorized Tacoma SR for less than the three lease turnins on the lot.

                        My own opinion of Toyota is that depreciation is so insanely low, you either buy new, or buy a 100k+ used.

                        Toyota leases are also crazy low, and make sense if you have vehicle write offs in your taxes. Most leases include all maintenance.







                        Last edited by durango dude; 01-22-2020, 10:15 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I would love to use the Carvana machine, but my next vehicle will be a diesel Gladiator and they won't be available used for a while.

                          Toyota leases are low because residual value stays high. My friend was just begged to trade up from a three year old 4Runner to a new one for only a $4k difference. So $1250/year to drive it, no maintenance costs, and now on a new warranty with free maintenance. The tires would have cost him that much and were 75% used.

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