2015 VW GTI’s + Seeking General Advice

Love my ‘03 GTI but it’s time for something newer.

Seeking some input:

  1. Where have you had good experiences looking for a used car online?

  2. Negotiating Skills and Tips needed: Strategies to negotiate price to on a private sale? (The car is listed at $16,500. My budget is $10,000-$15,000. KBB is for private sale $14,239-$16,652 so ~$15,446.
    I need to decide a.) if it’s worth making the trip if my offer isn’t accepted and I stick to my budget or b.) is it worth changing my budget?

The car is over 2.5 hrs- 4.5 away depending on traffic and construction. I have ME and the exertion from the trip will likely cause me to feel more sick for about 3 weeks following the trip.
My lovely mom is willing to go with me, but we are both are at increased risk if we contract COVID and the trip won’t be a breeze for her either. That said, I haven’t seen a listing for a car similar to this in my area for months.
Here’s the Fb Listing : 2015 Golf GTI Autobahn
Facebook private sale

Original owner

Comes with 2 keys and service records from dealer + 1 other shop only.

Monster weatherproof floor mats + unused stock floor mats

Legal tint

Minor exterior paint damage (all minor door dings & rock chips on hood) but had paint protection treatment applied shortly after purchase.

Cosmetic wheel damage but otherwise car is is great shape.


I’ve had good experiences buying from CarMax. You will pay a bit more but they don’t haggle over prices or trade-ins, don’t hide fees into the contract. You can have any car in nearby CarMax inventory shipped in for free for you to see and drive or for a few hundred they’ll ship one from farther away if you want something special in color or options. They will let you have your mechanic inspect it… and we recommend that for EVERY used car purchase.

I’ve bought 2 cars from them and sold them 2 cars.

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I know that you really like the VW GTI and I understand that. But seriously going that far in this Virus climate is not something I would even think of. Of course what you do is your business but I think you should consider new that you can afford. There are a lot of nice vehicles on the market at 20000.00 or less and many of them have good finance rates .
I also would say look at Carmax if there is one near you because they are not the lowest prices but they have a decent warranty and return policy.

[quote=“sparklehoof, post:1, topic:166910”] The car is over 2.5 hrs- 4.5 away depending on traffic and construction. I have ME and the exertion from the trip will likely cause me to feel more sick for about 3 weeks following the trip.
My lovely mom is willing to go with me, but we are both are at increased risk if we contract COVID and the trip won’t be a breeze for her either. I haven’t seen a listing for a car similar to this in my area for months.

I also love a bargain, but is a bargain worth putting your health, and your mother’s health, at risk? Whether it might be a VW or another make of car, surely you should be able to find a decent used car closer to your home than this one.

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It’s an excellent point, and I appreciate the feedback.

$20k is definitely outside my budget of $10k-$15k.
I don’t think financing a new car is the right option for me, but I can see why that would make sense in some situations.

Thank you!

I love the GTI compare to my current Corolla.I choose reliability over fun,…go figure it out.If it suit your needs,go for it.Wear a mask and make sure the car has received a desinfection treatment.

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I would never go that far away only to LOOK at the car.

Even with all COVID reservations and such, the most likely outcome is that you will find the car is not as advertised and/or was involved in some fender-bender or worse and was repaired to be shiny again, but CarFax is not reporting the damage since it was not reported, that happens a lot.

Now, you are there, so you are pressed to make a decision to pull the plug or not…

At the very least, I would ask to scan and email me all the paperwork the owner has, to check validity of his claims… still, the whole setup is quite risky.

Then you may consider thinking why you are setting up on the brand known for low reliability (especially as of late) and high cost of repairs?

I might not go as far as @COROLLAGUY1 suggests about Toyota Corolla, but at the very least I would entertain the idea of MazdaSpeed3 or even regular Mazda3 with 2.5L engine - both will be in your price range and will be heck lesser expensive to repair and maintain.

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@sparklehoof - Yes , I am a little stuck about my idea of vehicle purchase . I just have had friends and relatives who have bought used vehicles that have had costly repairs shortly after purchase .
Since you are not walking at the moment just take a little time and search the new dealers new inventory near you many times they have an internet discount price . That is how we found a 2018 Ford Fiesta for almost 3000.00 off the sticker price

Thank you.
I have looked at Mazda 3’s, but the price point seemed the same or higher for a vehicle with more miles. I’ve searched listings for Toyota’s, Hyundai’s, Subaru, Honda, and Volvos as well.

The 4 used VW’s that I’ve had have been reliable, but maybe I need to do more homework and look into VW’s unreliability as of late. Thank you for the warning.

Thank you also for the warning about scams- people doing major damage without reporting it.
I figured that between a Carfax, looking it over, having a VW Mechanic at the dealer look it over, and seeing the seller’s records and or the dealer’s records that I’ve done due diligence.

As far as asking the seller to scan and email all the receipts and records, that seems like a lot of work. I have all the records for my car, by it would be a project to scan each page of 17 years of records and email it to a prospective buyer. I also have no way of knowing if they omitted receipts for substantial accidents not reported. Is there

Do you recommend specific details that I should look for on the car to check for scams? Did you see anything in the listing or photos that made you suspect?

Financing is not the right choice for me at this time, but it sounds like these scams are more the norm than the exception.

Thank you for sharing. I eliminated any listings that were overtly misleading, or had salvage titles, múltiple owners, no records, or if the seller wasn’t willing to disclose the VIN so I could run a Carfax, but maybe I’ve been more trusting and less skeptical, than maybe I need to be. I’ll try to be more cautious.

I went to a local dealer earlier today.

I would think twice about making this trip unless I knew exactly what to expect. Spending that much money on any car warrants an inspection by a mechanic. Unless you can make arrangements and have the car inspected and found to be in a condition you would accept, BEFORE you make the trip, I would stay away and continue to look more local.

Besides, the outcome of an inspection might give you more negotiation powers.

Do yourself a favor and remove used Volvos and Subaru from the shopping list.
Also, make sure you have at least a $1,000 cash reserve for catch-up maintenance items, as you can safely assume that if something non-essential is due (like transmission or brake fluid) and you have no receipt for it, it was not done.
If you want to keep car long, you have to address all these “delayed” items.

Or the accident was to recent and they just don’t have the info yet.

The Volkswagen GTI comes with a 217 HP engine, the Fiesta and Corolla are not in the same class.

This is from the Car and Driver 40,000 mile long term test;

“Initial testing returned only so-so acceleration performance, with a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.1 seconds and a quarter-mile pass taking 14.6 seconds at 100 mph. We’ve recorded 5.8 and 14.4, respectively, in other GTIs. More importantly, though, the GTI hung on to the skidpad at 0.93 g and stopped from 70 mph in 156 feet.”

Quarter mile times in the mid 14 second range is rather respectable. A 0 to 60 time of 6.1 seconds might be “so-so” compared to sports cars, the 0 to 60 time for the Corolla is 10.4 seconds ( Consumer Reports, price as tested $23.530). That is so slow a senior citizen would be disappointed.

The Autobahn package adds features like leather seats, you won’t find a new sports car (or a Corolla) with leather seats for $20,000.

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Of course! my Corolla goes from point A to point B and it won’t turn heads like the GTI.Its a grocery getter and it does a great job at it…

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I don’t think anyone said that they were . I mentioned our Fiesta just because it was new in the persons price range . Of course I understand Sparkle wanting a GTI but I think with her and her mother having health problems that new with warranty and road side service is more important than having a used GTI that might have some costly repairs in the near future.

Of course the Fiesta is no longer but a little research might find something acceptable . She said that she did not want payments but if spending all or most of her budget on a used vehicle will leave very little for repairs or service that was not done.

We have a Volvo purchased new and this is another vote to remove used Volvo ( or any used European Luxury type ) from the list.

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With you and your mother’s risk factors, there is no way I’d travel hours to get a used car. Is there no way to keep your current car until the Covid risks are past?

You made some great points. I’m not planning on drag racing, so I don’t have a need for a sports car. What you said makes sense and is very practical advice.
Some of my reasons for liking to GTI
perceived control/safety and creature comforts. I’m 5’2 and have found the visibility, layout, steering and seats to be much more comfortable than other cars. I also like the way it handles, it’s agility and response- not for aggressive driving, but defensive driving.

While it’s not safer than a Corolla or similar I feel like I can respond quickly or get out of the way if I needed to. I could definitely learn to adapt my driving style.

When I drive my parents Toyota, it’s a completey different experience and I’m not as comfortable, but I can learn to adapt. I don’t need to be so set in my ways that I avoid change. Most anyone can get used to most any car. I’m thankful for the prívilege of driving and owning a car, but I don’t want to overly picky and entitled.

I appreciate the points that you and the other folks on the forum have made. The balance of varying perspectives is helpful.

I could definitely keep my car and maybe wait until spring and see if things have calmed down with COVID.
There’s no emergency.

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It sounds like CARFAX’s and having it looked over by a mechanic at the dealer isn’t enough. I’d have to dismantle every piece of the car and confirm every part number to determine if something like this happened.
I must have just had good luck in the past buying used cars, but it sounds like there are more crooks than honest people.