I’ve been tasked with looking for an inexpensive used car for my nephew Tyler. His grandfather (my father) is footing the bill for this one, and the intent is for it to get him through college. I really hope Tyler appreciates it.
Hmmm…I hope Tyler appreciates me too…I’ve spent a bunch of time researching and looking for something decent and that fits within the budget.
Gad. There’s a lot of sheer crap out there!
So, a term or two…
Low Miles: This means anything from 100,000 to 340,000 miles…and basically translated means, “We got it to start.”
Needs TLC: Needs $8000 worth of body work and a complete engine rebuild to even be legal on the roadways.
We can come close to the price you’re looking for: We’re gonna try to upsell you by $6000 and won’t even show you the cars in the price range you’re asking for until we’ve wasted 5 hours of your time.
One Owner: I can’t find the title, but if you’ll pay me cash up front, I should be able to get one for you.
Good Buy: The VIN number plate has been removed and the serial number ground off the engine.
Very Clean: This car was under water for 5 weeks in New Orleans in 2005 and we just now managed to get the smell out.
I’m looking for cheap…most of the individual ads in the paper are dealers in disguise…and I found at least 3 (most probably) stolen cars. Out of the first 10 cars, not one had clear title available, yet strangely, wanted cash on the barrel-head.
The $1000 cars weren’t worth $50. The $2000 cars weren’t worth $1000. The $3000 cars were worth…well, $2.95 tops.
Lots of scams in the individual market…I found cars with no VIN number plates. More with emission equipment that had been removed or destroyed (you can’t register those in this area). Cars from out of state (not necessarily bad, but with no paperwork?), rusted out ex-business cars, taxi-cabs (Hey! Only one owner!), even an extra police car or two.
The big dealers don’t want to mess with anything under $5000. The cars I’m looking for go to the auction, then are picked up by the massively overpriced tote-the-note lots that won’t even tell you the price (“Hey! We can get you into this one for $395 month!”). Ya know…those wonderful, upright guys that
prey on provide a service to poor people.
You’re best bet is finding somebody you know that’s legitimately looking to sell what you’re looking for. You’ll know the history, whether the price is fair, and that the sale itself is not a scam. I did just that. A coworker’s extended family had what I wanted for sale, and for a fair price. They got a reasonable price for the vehicle, I got a decent vehicle for the price. Everybody wins.
So, Tyler has a new ride. He can’t have it quite yet though…I’ve got to get the paperwork straightened out, make sure he has liability insurance and such. Hopefully by the end of this week.
More pics are here: Tyler’s New Ride
If he doesn’t tear it up, this will get him through college and also a good head start on his career. This is his chance.