I’m a recently licensed high school student looking for cheap transportation. My usual trip would be about 5 miles one way. Recently I found, through a friend, a 1999 Land Rover Discovery for the very reasonable price of 800 dollars. The catch is that it has 215k miles and an oil leak. Initially I thought no way, for obvious reasons, but I drove it just for the heck of it and it drove amazingly smooth. There are no electrical issues and everything seems to work perfectly. So my thought is this: I buy it and drive it for however long it lasts me, hopefully several months, and then scrap it- I’ve looked into it, I could get close to 400 dollars. At this point I would have a bit more experience as well as a lot more money to look for something to last a long time. Thoughts? Just tell me if it’s a moronic idea. I just got to thinking and I wanted a second opinion. Thanks
The only Discoveries that don’t leak are the ones that are already empty.
I’d buy it. $800? Can’t find anything that runs and drives for $800, at least not around here. Keep the oil full, park it over a catch tray, and drive it until it dies.
Insurance may be another question though…
Land Rovers are usually money pits. But your plan might work. Just don’t get sucked into making any expensive repairs. Also consider the cost of sales tax, title, and registration of the car. On top of that is insurance. You might need $1,100 to get your $800 car on the road.
Would you like to know how to drive a Landy and still have a small fortune? Start with a large fortune.
Landies have the worst reliability records of any vehicle. And the costs of operation, maintenance, and repairs are much higher than other vehicles. They’re luxury SUVs. The original owners usually dump them the day the warranty runs out, because they know the story.
Pick up a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore. Use that as your shopping guide and get any vehicle that looks good thoroughly gone over by a reputable mechanic prior to signing any paperwork. If a serious problem is discovered, keep looking.
Also, don’t forget to tell all your relatives that you’re looking. The best deals come from generous relatives who were thinking of getting a new car anyway.
I agree; an old used Land Rover is a money pit. The first repair will cost more than what you paid for it.
Get a good used econo-box like a Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Accent, Mazda Protégé, Chevy Cobalt with not too many miles on it.
These cars are relative cheap to fix and reasonable reliable. We sold our 1994 Nissan Sentra fro $750 in near perfect mechanical condition but it was starting to rust, and my wife was tired of it.
Normally no, but at that price yes, as long as you can deal with the unreliability and don’t sink money in it.
Normally I might say no but the price and the fact that it’s a running, smooth driver with a chunk of salvage value I’d say buy it.
The old girl may surprise you. It’s made well over 200k miles up to this point and could go another 50-100k miles.
Knock on wood the oil leak may be something minor. Change the oil, keep an eye on it and other fluid levels, and drive it until there is no hope for it. Then send it off to the recycler for a return on your investment.
It really depends. At that price I’d buy the thing, hook it up to an oil tanker to keep the drip pan full ( ), and drive it until it needs a repair that costs more than $100
Which is very likely to be tomorrow.
The catch is that I’ve been out of high school for a very long time and have sufficient disposable income that I could go out and get another vehicle when the Land Rover inevitably dies. I would not have been able to do that in high school - I’d have been better off paying more up front for a more reliable vehicle considering I would very likely have to buy a more reliable vehicle anyway shortly after I bought the Land Rover.
@asemaster is right, btw. The only LRs that don’t leak or burn oil are the ones that are out of oil. It’s really amazing what LR buyers will put up with.
I’m hoping the tires and brakes are in decent shape
If they are, buy it
If the brakes are shot, it might still be viable, if you’re comfortable with the idea of store brand brakes. Because this vehicle is a notorious POS and it’s not worth a set of expensive and high quality brakes
If the tires are shot, forget it. it’s not worth a set of new tires, not even a set of the lowliest chinese tires
As mentioned, check on insurance costs. It wouldn’t surprise me, if the insurance costs are so high, that it kills the deal
By the way, as far as insurance goes, would you be on your parent’s policy? Because if you’re trying to insure yourself, you’re going to get hammered. The insurance agent will take one look at you and then at the car, and say “You’ve got to be kidding, sonny”
This is the guy who was posting all kinds of ridiculous Craigslist ads a few weeks ago. I really can’t take this person serious.
Nice catch . . . !
I just klicked on OP’s name and came across that horrible post, which you just mentioned
If the brakes feel good (no pulling to one side and no dragging), I’d buy it. Remember, it’s a truck and can flip much easier than a car.
A five mile walk is good exercise anyway for a high school kid.