Buy a 1994 Volvo 960 with 33K miles?


#1

So my friend’s mom is selling her 1994 Volvo 960 – it’s loaded with basically every option available back then, and has just over 33,000 miles. She’s thinking about $5000 for the car. Any thoughts as to whether this is a good/fair/middling deal? I live in the San Francisco/Bay Area if that makes a difference. In addition, I cannot seem to find any information online about whether this car requires premium gas, or whether the standard grade is okay. Thanks in advance for any feedback.


#2

Edmunds says it’s worth about $3700 if it is a Level II sedan. The mileage adjustment is +$1100. Tht’s in outstanding condition - no defects and ready to register, including lots of life on the brakes and tires remaining. There is no subraction for clean conition (some minor repairs needed). BTW, the only options available were heated seats, power passenger seat, and heated power mirrors.


#3

I find Edmunds TMV to be wildly inaccurate (lowball) in certain cases, especially with super low mileage CA cars. Check eBay completed auctions to get a sense what people are paying for similar vehicles. But you’ll have a tough time finding any 1994 960s with such low mileage, and I’m guessing if you do you’ll find they go for a lot more than the Edmunds value.

I know this from firsthand experience pricing low mileage Miatas in N.California. The Edmunds TMV values are typically ~$1000-$2000 under what people are actually paying. Edmunds values are only as good as there data set, and it’s fair to assume that have virtually no data points for such low mileage vehicles that are over a decade old.


#4

Take it to a mechanic.

$5000 seems excessively steep for a 13 year old relic despite low mileage. Remember cars age by both time and mileage.


#5

It’s interesting that you think Edmunds has lower than market retail prices. I’ve usually found them to be the opposite. I get the feeling that they (and KBB) are in Cahoots with the major used car sellers. They inflate the price of a car so that the buyer thinks he’s getting a REAL GOOD deal. Then they show a LOW wholesale (trade in) price so the customer thinks he’s being give MORE than their car is worth.

I understand that KBB is the pricing bible in some parts of the country and NADA is in others. Don’t know about Edmunds. Perhaps that’s why there are discrepancies. NADA will send questionaires to dealers every so often to see what they are actually getting for stuff. They also watch the major car auctions for wholesale pricing. I don’t know what KBB or Edmunds do. I also recognize that there is sometimes a lag in price changes. When gas went way up in April and May, BIG SUV prices went way down. The pricing guides lagged behind by a couple of months.


#6

I did not check a Cali price, but a MD price. The OP did not say where he lives.


#7

It really depends on condition, if it is in “like new” condition with 33K miles it will be quite valuable to someone. If it is showing signs of age, not so much. You may want to take it to a used car dealer that specializes in volvo and see what they will offer you (or what price they would recommend for a consignment sale), but don’t be surprised if they try to lowball you. Also, try finding some volvo forums and ask them what it’s worth. It’s not really old enough to be collectable, so the low mileage may not add too much to the value.

Just curious, are you trying to help her sell it, or are you considering buying it?

BTW, the book values (Edmunds, KBB, etc) are completely worthless for something like this, although a car dealer may try to use them to his advantage. I really don’t know why they are so far off, but I suspect their definition of “excellent” condition (or whatever they call it) is closer to “fair” condition. Anyway, feel free to ignore the “book value.”