2006 Mercury Milan...too good to be true!?

I am 19 years old and am in the process of buying my first car (my parents bought my previous car). I found a 2006 mercury milan premier edition at a major dealership nearby. The asking price is $10,990, and it has 47,000 miles. I did research on KBB.com and it says I should be looking to pay around $14,500. I was wondering if the asking price of $10,990 is too good to be true (possible underlying defects and problems) or if it is just a really good deal. Any feedback would be appreciated!



An independent review by a trustworthy shop is a good idea before buying any used car!

Find a shop that does pre-purchase inspections for about $20 to $30 and have them check it out. You are concerned about safety items and body damage, as well as whether or not the oil was ever changed. If there is a paper on it that says that it is an AS IS sale, don’t buy it unless you have $5,000 extra dollars laying around. Test drive it first and if ANYTHING seems wrong or the transmission doesn’t shift normally even once, don’t even bother to have it inspected. The price thay want is reasonable. If you buy it, change the oil immediately unless there is a new oil change sticker on the windshield and the oil filter looks new or the oil is clean.

thanks! i am taking it on a test drive tomorrow and will bring it to my family’s mechanic if the test drive goes well.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask (Insist) On An “Extended Test Drive”

Any car purchase that I have ever made from a lot has occurred after an extended test drive. Following showing a lot of interest in a car and being qualified to buy it, I ask to keep the cars overnight and have not been refused yet. This gives me a chance to get to know the car and to “sleep on it”, figuravtively. Questions pop up and you can go outside and check things out. Take the Owner’s Manual (It should have one.) into the house and check out the car’s features. Also, take a little trip on the Interstate, bumpy roads, etcetera. See if it’s comfortable for you. Keeping ovenight lets you try a “cold start” in the morning. This longer test drive has always helped me to avoid buyer’s remorse.

See if they will be giving you a free warranty of some kind. Even one of relatively short duration is a good thing. Make sure you understand what is covered and to what extent (parts, labor, both). A warranty (at least engine/transmission)assures you they aren’t trying to hide anything (salespeople do that you know). They love to make money selling warranties that often are not good deals for you.

When the car is checked by your mechanic have him/her make sure the car doesn’t have anything other than very minor collision repair. It’s best if there has been none. I’d walk away from it if it’s been crashed. Underpriced cars have sometimes been wrecked.

The price is negotiable (often, even if they say it’s not) and a free warranty can be, too. It’s easy to get caught up by “new (or used) car fever”, but if something’s not sitting right with you, give the keys back, thank them for the ride and tell them you’re still looking and you’ll be back again.

10,000 bucks is a chunk of change. Buying a car can be fun, but takes some work. I love it and hate it. Doing the work first while you can still walk away if necessary is still way better than the work involved in trying to straighten out a mess after buying buying a car you know nothing about. I practically marry cars before I buy them and the people at the lot get weary of my thorough test drives and check-outs, negotiating, questions, etcetera, but they respect it and a good dealer welcomes it.

I stopped at a dealership once (new car) and took a car for a drive wherein the salesperson said they were required to go with the customer. I went to take it on the route I wanted and was told I could only go on their “approved” route. I laughed, said “you have GOT to be kidding” (she wasn’t), drove straight back to the dealership, told their salemanager I was amazed that they sold ANY cars, and walked out.

They went out of business early last year…before the recession even hit.

TSM, I Live 20 Miles From “Town” . . .

. . . I found a car on a lot that I liked and hinted around about an extended test drive. The Pontiac dealer-owner put a plate on the car and threw me the keys. When I asked if he needed to see my driver’s license or I D, he asked, "You live out at the lake ?"
I nodded and took the car home until sometime the next day. I bought it.

Several years ago, same dealer, a woman my wife works with “test drove” a Pontiac off their lot. She liked it and just kept it, driving back and forth to work. My wife took several of the phone calls for a couple of weeks reminding this lady to either stop in and pay for the car or give it back. They weren’t shook up, but wanted to end the test drive. She finally paid for it.

I have found KBB to price things a bit high, sometimes, so I checked out nadaguides.com. They price it at $10375 clean trade value and $12000 clean retail, for the Kansas City area. The asking price appears OK, from my perspective, but not necessarily a “great deal” as KBB pricing might indicate. This is for the 4 cyl engine.

I would certainly consider it if the mechanical inspection checks out OK.

Additional concern that would be just as important and potentially costly…
buying a used car for a first time buyer should be predicated on your search for a local independent and/or dealership you can really trust to take care of your car w/o taking advantage of you. More than 50%, I’ve read, of car purchases go back to the dealership for routine work. If you don’t have one you can trust, you can loose whatever savings you thought you had on the purchase price, pretty quickly. I’d choose the dealership with the car and always have a local independent I can trust to compare work/cost on maintenance and repair items.
Selling a car is a business, owning one is too.