Help for newbies looking to purchase used Jeep Wrangler!

Hi!!! My husband and I are seeking help purchasing a used Jeep Wrangler for our son. He has a budget of 6000.00 dollars. We are not really car people, so we would love any help and/or advice from true car lovers. We don’t want to wind up purchasing a Jeep that looks good…but doesn’t run or needs a lot more money to run! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also…my husband saw Jeeps for sale on ebay…what’s up with that? Reliable…or stay away?

Be very certain you, your husband, and your son understand the Wrangler’s limitations. Many people buy them thinking they’re cute and tough and they’ll use them like a car during the week and go off-roading on the weekend. They are fine as weekend toys, but lousy road cars, uncomfortable, noisy, crude, inefficient, etc. I know more than one person who sold their dream Jeep after less than a year. If your son is a teen, even worse, as they aren’t the safest vehicle around for an inexperienced driver, having modest safety equipment and not handling very well.

To answer your question, the best thing you can do is to have a trustworthy independent mechanic inspect any vehicle your son plans to purchase - even if the inspection costs $100-$200. You don’t want to buy a vehicle only to learn a month later that you need a $4000 transmission overhaul. That means staying away from places like eBay.

However, I suggest you take @MarkM’s advice very seriously. I could not have worded it better.

The best help you can give your son is to not buy a Jeep. Not reliable, and not particularly safe. Tell us what type of driving your son will be doing, so we can recommend a more reliable, safer vehicle.

A pickup truck might be a better choice.

Take a 200 mile highway trip in one and the love-affair is over…But if nothing will change his mind, insist on one that is pure stock, unmodified…

When he has $6000 of his own money to spend, he can buy anything he wants…But until then…

I agree with the others. If son is a teen, there are few worse cars to buy than a Jeep.

A Jeep is just like any other used car. A thorough inspection before purchase helps but even that does not guarantee a problem-free ride.

As to eBay, they’re just like Craigslist and can be a dumping ground for problem child vehicles. Don’t fall into any of that eBay stands behind the car lingo because they will not. You buy it; it’s yours, warts and all.

My vote is also for this being a bad choice of vehicles and if followed through with the odds are that the decision will be regretted very soon.

Whenever it is too hot or too cold or too wet or the trip is too long to ride a bicycle your son will want to borrow the family car. And don’t get me wrong. I have owned several and taught 3 boys to drive in a hard core Jeep but it and all the others were just toys. In original (not lifted) condition with highway tires the ride is barely tolerable at 55 mph and above 65 it is miserable. They have more hardware to fail and when it fails repairs are more expensive. But you have likely heard all that already.

I see late model Jeeps holding their value for several years if they are kept pristine. Only the abused models and older models are priced below $6,000 in my neighborhood. The best deal might be found on a college campus where Jeeps quickly lose their luster with freshmen.

It’s OK to shop on Craigslist or eBay as long as you only look at cars that are close by. There are a lot of scams on both and you have to drive the car and have your mechanic check it to find out what is wrong.