Buying a used car

#1

I’m trying to buy a used car (through the Internet) for my son who goes to school in Orange County (Laguna Niguel) California.

My price range is between $4000 to $5000.

Do you recommend any site or place? Do you recommend any car? Should I avoid any cars?

Many thanks,

Mehran Sabet

#2

First thing to get is the Consumer Reports used car guide, check out the different brands for overall recommendations. However, you’re at the bottom of the price range for that. Also buying over the internet is very risky (especially in this price range), no telling what won’t show up on the pictures and descriptions. Might your son make the acquaintance of someone local who might help?

#3

GOOD ADVICE FROM TEXASES. WITH SO MANY CARS NOT SELLING FROM DEALSERS LOTS THESE DAYS YOU MAY GET A GOOD PRICE ON GOOD USED CAR FROM A RESPECTABLE DEALER. YOU MIGHT ALSO CHECK OUT kbb.com FOR PRICE COMPARISONS AND carreview.com FOR RATINGS OF MANY DIFFERENT MAKES AND MODELS BY REGULAR CUSTOMERS. GREAT SITE. ALL FREE, TOO.

#4

I recommend you rethink this. Buying a car in this price range over the internet is a VERY risky proposition. Unless someone I know and trust personally inspected the vehicle, I would not do it.

Now, if your son can personally inspect the vehicle, and he knows what he’s looking at, perhaps it’s not such a big problem. You just don’t want to buy a vehicle sight unseen.

I agree with texases as far as Consumer Reports goes. They have a list of “Good bets,” and a list of “Used cars to avoid,” and both offer excellent advice.

Here are some of the cars CR recommends in the under $4,000, and $4,000-$6,000 price range:

Acura CL, '98-'99 (I own a CL, it’s been a trouble-free car for more than 10 years),
Acura Integra, '98-'99,
Chevrolet Prizm, '98-'02,
Honda Accord, '98-'00,
Honda Civic, '98-'00,
Honda Prelude, '98,
Mazda Protege, '98-'02,
Toyota Corolla, '98-'01,
Toyota Echo, '00-'02

There are more, but this is a good starting point. Any of the cars mentioned above can provide reliable, inexpensive transportation, and that’s what a college student needs.

Avoid anything from European manufacturers. Maintenance and repair costs on these vehicles is very high, and their reliability is generally low. This is not a good combination.

#5

Dude, please turn off the caps lock.

#6

Well, Orange county is pretty much LA, isn’t it, or close to it?
I wouldn’t wanna own a Civic or a Prelude in that city. The best bet would be the Prizm. But, no matter what he gets, have it checked out by a mechanic first. Nothing more expensive than a cheap car…

#7

Well, this is how I bought my car, but as I was looking at a LOW budget car (paid $1700 for it), I wasn’t risking near as much.

Car has been fine for 30k miles since, but I had to make certain repairs to get it past inspection. Considering that the same model, with similar miles, was asking $3800 at a used car lot, it turned out okay.

#8

I echo avoiding buying car through internet unless location is near enough…
Locating is one thing, fine; buying is something different.
Friend just lost $2500 over internet car scam with no recourse.