Lousy Escort Maintainer has two possibilities

Okay, folks, what do you think of these two possibilities – a 2005 Hyundai Accent, with ~63000 miles, $7999 price, $9400 out the door or a '99 Corolla, ~67000 mies, $5500, $6900 out the door?

I talked to the car advisor at my credit union and she sent me a list of cars to consider. I liked these two. So what say you? Thank you thank you.

What does the “out the door” price mean?

They’re both pretty good cars, but if you’re going to be keeping it for a long time, I’d go for the Corolla. It’s a more solid vehicle than the Accent and, since the Hyundai will depreciate faster, it will likely end up being worth more a few years down the road (assuming you’ve learned your maintenance lesson). One thing though is that if there’s no record of it being done, you will ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO change the timing belt on the Corolla as soon as you get it because it’s overdue and I’ll bet it hasn’t been done. It’ll be a few hundred bucks, but if you don’t do it, it’ll break soon and wreck your engine.

As usual, the price on the Corolla seems high because they are so popular. If the Corolla is immaculate with no rust, I would go for it, but change the timing belt immediately if that has not been done yet.

My response on the old thread (http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/1441010.page;jsessionid=C9A7F5BC83974F9D7CDCE2F8FB6373EF):
That Corolla seems too good to be true given today’s market for Toyotas (at least compared to my area). Have you had the car checked out? That low price makes me think it’s had some problems in the past, especially with low miles.

I’d go for the Accent, personally. However, that price sounds a little high to me. Did you check Kelley Blue Book? I saw much lower values for private party and slightly lower ones for the suggested retail price. I’d offer less and see if you get it.

Also, why are the out-the-door prices so high? That’s more than just tax, tags, and a document fee. The tags fees add up to maybe $170 (according to http://www…vfees1.asp) and sales tax is 6.5%. On that Accent, I get $7,999 (list price) + $170 (motor vehicle fees) + $520 (tax) + $100 (estimated doc fee) = $8,789. Where’s that $600+ coming from?

What’s that timing thingie on the front of the Toyota Corolla called? Oh, yeah…a CHAIN.
Howsomeever, the Hyundai Accent does have a timing BELT. It’s got to be changed at, about, 100,000 mile intervals. So, that at, even 300,000 miles, you gotta change the timing belt for the third time. Yep, gotta be done.

Find a local shop that will look over each. But I think the Toyota is more likely to have held up over the years. Do you realize that the Hyundai apparently was driven ~21,000 miles per year. That’s a lot for a car that was pretty crappy in 2005.

Ah, nuts. One of these days I’m going to get the belt vs. chain thing right.

I’d rather have a car that was driven 16k miles (probably closer to the real number since the 2009s are almost out) a year instead of one that was driven 6k. I bet the Accent driver got the oil changed more than once a year, and clearly they took it out on the highway once in a while. A 10-year-old car with low miles means short trips, which isn’t very good for the car.

Either way, ask for the maintenance records. I wouldn’t buy any used car without them.