Buying a Mazda MPS (Speed3) Private or Dealership

Hi there,

Just chiming in to get some advice from you experts who have purchased both private and dealership vehicles. I’m looking at buying a Mazda MPS gen 1 model. I have 18k to play with.

There is a private sale which is going for a nice amount. $11,000 for an 06 with shaodw gray’d out wheels, performance chipped and straight pipe. To note it also has the Bose sound system as well. The car comes with the stock radio which is fitted to Japan stations but the owner has bought a band extender to get New Zealand frequencies. He is selling the vehicle to fund an overseas trip he’ll be going on in a month, by the looks of his facebook page he’s a young Olympian. We have a service in New Zealand where we can get a AA mechanic professional to do 100+ checks and drive test and provide a comprehensive report on the potential upcoming faults, ones that need urgent attention etc for $150 - I’ll definitely be doing this.

Here is a link the the private sale car:

Secondly I have a trusty dealership 07 MPS:

This one is 16k flat. The company provides mechanical warranty and he’s giving me a special at $1,000 for 3 years. The car has done 105km. The downside to this one is it’s stock wheel colour isn’t very appealing (I love the shadow’ed colour like the private one) and it doesn’t have the Bose sound system. Also, this one only has the Jap radio with no Band Extender meaning I won’t get NZ radio stations. They’ve offered to install a new touch screen JVC headunit for $550 for an extra $100 if I want to have a reversing camera too. Total costs if I get the mechanical insurance and head unit would be $17,650.

What do you guys think? Are KM’s a big deal too? I keep getting put off by cars that have done a lot of travel, should I be? Please give me all your opinions as I feel like a lost lamb!

Thank you all in advance,


It sounds like you know what you want already. I think you want to go with the private sale. I think you’re struggling with the perceived safety of the dealer purchase vs the appeal of the private sale vehicle.

Unless something major pops out on the inspection, the private sale seems OK. The $6K difference in price drops the risk of the private sale.

Warranties are largely legalized gambling where the entity selling the warranty knows the odds. They’re not much of a deciding factor to me.

1 Like

I don’t know where you live but $17,650 is way too much for a 11 year old car. You can buy the same car in Canada with less milage for $3000. We stay away from 1st and 2nd generation Mazda 3 in Canada because of rust issues.

1 Like

I’d be a bit wary of this car just for this reason. The owner may have used this car a bit harder than you might want them to. That seems a bit high a price for an 11 year old car.

Higher mileage on a well maintained car is not much of a concern to me. Especially 105km (which I assume is 105,000km). For most Japanese cars, that is barely “broken in.” In the US, we expect a well maintained car to easily hit 150,000 MILES (241K km) without too much expense.


@Ben_Mason-Atoni You may be the only person from New Zealand on this site. In one of your other posts you said you worked as a bank adviser so you should be able to make this kind of decision without help from people who really don’t know much about NZ.

An 07 MazdaSpeed 3 with 65k miles on the clock is worth about $8900 USD. $8900 USD is equal to about $12.3k NZD. I’m sure there are other factors in play that would explain the price discrepancy. It’s only averaging about 5900 miles (9500 km) a year, that’s nothing by US standards, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned about that.


The Mazdaspeed 3 is the different animal than the run of the mill Mazda 3. It commands a sizeable premium over the standard Mazda 3.

1 Like

I know that! They are in rough shape here due to rust issue.

1 Like

We obviously can’t comment on your prices, because none of us lives in your country (I think). The car itself is fundamentally a very good machine, but there’s no telling what’s been done to either of the ones you are considering. With the private owner you can at least question the seller, who might lie, of course, but you can try anyway. A car from a dealer is completely a mystery. I’d rather deal with the private owner, and the thorough exam from an independent mechanic. Does the seller have receipts for services and modifications? Those help, too. Make sure the car is put on a lift so it can be checked for serious structural damage. A high performance car, driven aggressively, can hit things very hard and be repaired poorly, and look great.

1 Like

Yeah for sure, just hoping and praying it hasn’t been thrashed too much. I’m sure the AA check will be able to see this hopefully.

Thanks for the heads up!

Yeah, I’m thinking the most stock version the better. The person who has the car now bought it off someone that did most of the KMs and the work so the current owner is clueless about the history really.

The post isn’t entirely about a financial decision, is that so hard to see? It’s about hearing people’s experiences with private and dealership sales and also anyone who really owns a Mazda Speed3. This will help me to make an informed decision. To me, it seems like you just get on my posts and state negative comments that don’t even help at all lol. How fun!

Thanks my man!

Thanks a bunch! Querying the seller now :slight_smile:

I just looked at the private sellers ad. Vehicle has been chipped ( red flag ) says have straight pipe ( what ever that means - red flag ) and can’t spell brake. The chance of this person being completely honest about vehicle seems remote.


The last time I bought a used car from a dealer was in 1959 and it was a dog! Since that time, I’ve bought 8 used cars privately and only one was a dog, a 1957 Plymouth. That make and model was a disaster in general.

A $100 inspection by a competent mechanic will identify any major concerns,. Any repairs needed will be easily covered by the discount of buying privately.

Use the AAA or other agency to check any liens or if the car was in an accident.

Good luck!

1 Like

The worst used vehicle I bought was from an individual. And that was before we had Craigslist curbstoners.

1 Like

Oohh Kaayy, Makes me more nervous about it. I’d advise passing on the car. It might be OK, but the risk is high that it won’t.


Apparently the previous owner is his Partners brother. He has all the paperwork which I’ve requested to get :slight_smile: