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Old 29th December 2010, 12:01   #376
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

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Originally Posted by Raghu Srinivasa View Post
I find myself in LA without a car, which means I have become an analogy for a sitting duck.
Good luck with that situation, man!

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No legal wrangle - what does a salvage title mean anyway?
A vehicle that was declared as a "total loss". Avoid them like a plague.

It's a great time to shop used in the States....what with the economy looking the way it is. I'd highly recommend you to go Japanese, and look for cars less than 4 - 5 years old. Search around on autotrader / cars.com and you'll see Nissan 350Z's, Acuras (including the RSX), Accords, Camrys and even the Prius (green = cool in LA) falling right in your budget.

Run a carfax before test-driving the car and yes, it's a MUST to get a pre-purchase-inspection done from a local mechanic. If you are able to find a car with warranty, nothing like it.

Last edited by GTO : 29th December 2010 at 12:03.
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Old 29th December 2010, 12:20   #377
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

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Originally Posted by Raghu Srinivasa View Post

Looking for help from like minded Junta living around here.
Also amenable to radical ideas in favor lot more fun!

Jai ho!
With your budget I would have probably gone in for a 2-3 year old nicely maintained compact/ 3-4 year old midsize sedan. The 1st owner would have taken most of the depreciation hit, and you should be able to get some of the remaining warranty.
Take your pick from the Japs, but the new age Americans are good too.

compact - civic / corolla / sentra / 3 / lancer
midsize - accord / camry / altima / 6 / galant

I always have bought cheap cars in US under 5K (my latest one cost 3400++), used them for local commute, and took out rentals for long drives/trips. You may consider that option too.

Last edited by blackasta : 29th December 2010 at 12:22.
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Old 30th December 2010, 04:39   #378
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Thanks blackasta and GTO,

Essentially two scenarios.
1. A car with warranty
2. Cheap car + Rent car for the reliability required during long drives.

As for the options
a. Getting certified Toyota corollas with Warranty for around 10.5-12K's. Most boring.
b. Certified Civics are boringly expensive than Corollas.
c. Tried searching for used Acura TSX, - nothing below 10K for a 6 yr old.

One thing that made me sit up, was a BMW certified 6 yr old 3 series for 14k. No idea how the warranty works though. any thoughts?

Need to start asking around for the 3-4K town runabouts.


Cheers!
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Old 30th December 2010, 06:14   #379
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Arrow Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu Srinivasa View Post

1. A car with warranty
2. Cheap car + Rent car for the reliability required during long drives.

One thing that made me sit up, was a BMW certified 6 yr old 3 series for 14k. No idea how the warranty works though. any thoughts?
Forget the BMW. Maintenance will be expensive.

If looking for new - check out the a Ford Fiesta or the Toyota Yaris, or even the Nissan Versa. (I'd pick the Fiesta over the Yaris).
They're fun and economical - the Versa isn't too much of a drivers car.
The Kia Forte and Suzuki Kizashi might be a little over budget but they're worth considering.

If used, try an older Acura RSX coupe. It's a fun car and reliable. It'll be cheaper than a TSX.

Last edited by aah78 : 30th December 2010 at 06:16.
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Old 30th December 2010, 07:07   #380
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu Srinivasa View Post
As for the options
a. Getting certified Toyota corollas with Warranty for around 10.5-12K's. Most boring.
b. Certified Civics are boringly expensive than Corollas.
c. Tried searching for used Acura TSX, - nothing below 10K for a 6 yr old.

One thing that made me sit up, was a BMW certified 6 yr old 3 series for 14k. No idea how the warranty works though. any thoughts?

Need to start asking around for the 3-4K town runabouts.
Another route you could try are cars at Auctions. Mostly dealers/agents will allow you to see the cars, ONLINE, which are being auctioned at a particular area. Many of these cars are in very good condition and have been seized by the bank when the owner defaulted on the payments (and other similar scenarios). Usually these cars work out to be atleast 25-30% cheaper than the KBB values. These are GREAT bargains, but does take some effort. A couple of my friends got great deals on the Accord, and Altima using this route.

Also, if you look at autotrader, craigslist, local classified newspaper or drive by the area, you should be able to nab a 2-3 yr old Civic/Corolla (with low miles - 20 to 30k) from a private party at close to 12k (or less). The dealers usually have HUGE markups and then there is the tax/registration which raises the value by a further 10-12%. So I always prefer getting the car from a private party.

Finally, you could spend 6-7K on an economy Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Mazda with less than 60K miles. Most of these cars are very reliable and not that expensive to repair. For ex, I got a '02 Honda Civic in '06, and I've put almost 60K miles on it, after purchasing . Still runs like a champ, and I usually never need rentals on long travels. Other than the regular oil change, I've had to do timing belt change, brake pads, iridium spark plugs, transmission/Power steering/coolant flush etc - but these are not that expensive as you can always buy the parts online and then either DIY or go to a cheap local mechanic.

Last edited by imjimmy : 30th December 2010 at 07:10.
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Old 30th December 2010, 07:15   #381
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Try to avoid the luxury cars if you can. The primary reasons are expensive maintenance and premium gas which would be a downer every time you fill it up.

Similar to aah78's suggestions, I would also suggest a new Kia Forte. With year end deals you could even get their topline koup around your budget.

Some of my suggestions are

1) 3-4 years old nissan altima/maxima
2) 5-6 years old hyundai tiburon
3) used dodge charger (should be in the budget i guess)

If you want to go at the luxury/premium cars try this - 100k-125k run models around $5000 - $7500. But the guidelines are bargain low from kbb baseline price. Look at carfax - normally the seller would lie like single owner, etc. these would be exposed through carfax. And finally have a mechanic look at it.
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Old 30th December 2010, 14:47   #382
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

A good option for used cars woud be CarMax (www.carmax.com), a nationwide used car dealer. They have a no haggle price for all their cars. Their price may be a little bit on the higher side, but i suppose the quality would be good.
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Old 30th December 2010, 16:05   #383
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Altima, Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Legacy should be in your price range.
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Old 31st December 2010, 00:51   #384
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Default Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Wow..thanks for the responses,

So far,

1. Found a couple of 2008 Prius cars on CG List for 12K - low mileage. Has an awesome screen with alternating power sources - cool. Equivalent 2008 Prius on Carmax is 19.5 K!!
2. Kia Motors USA website is unavailable
3. 1 Acura RSX on Car Max for 500 miles!


Cheers!
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Old 6th January 2011, 05:11   #385
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Arrow Re: Buying a car in USA. New, used, etc.

Oh! Do you really want to buy a Prius?

Kia website works for me -> KIA
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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:49   #386
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Default Advice needed- Second hand car!

Hello,

I just moved to the United States in January and i am doing my masters in Mechanical Engg here. I live in Beaumont, Texas. After a few months here i have realised that a car is a necessity in the US and not a luxury. So, i am searching for a second hand car right now and need help from the bhpian on this side of the world.

My budget would be around 5-6k $ and i need a car which is reliable and which will take me long distances without giving any trouble. You know road trips are going to be frequent as i love to see places and i am a student. Most of the people i know suggested a Honda Accord (1999-2002) model should easily fit mu budget. Is that true? I dont want the Civic neither the Corolla. And the Camrys here are more expensive compared to the Honda. What are my other alternatives? Is my budget good enough for a decent second hand Accord?

I am searching for deals on craigslist and sulekha. Have not come across anything which interested me. How about the Mazda Millenia?

Also i wanted to know whether the automatic transmission might have troubles after probably 120,000 miles? Should i consider a manual option as well?

Sorry about the number of questions! I need your advice.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Adi
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Old 2nd April 2011, 03:00   #387
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Default Re: Advice needed- Second hand car!

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Originally Posted by aditya.86 View Post
Hello,

My budget would be around 5-6k $. Most of the people i know suggested a Honda Accord (1999-2002) model should easily fit mu budget. Is that true? I dont want the Civic neither the Corolla. And the Camrys here are more expensive compared to the Honda. What are my other alternatives? Is my budget good enough for a decent second hand Accord?

Also i wanted to know whether the automatic transmission might have troubles after probably 120,000 miles? Should i consider a manual option as well?

Adi
Hi Adi, For $5-6k you can get a good, reliable honda accord. The year range is correct. But if you look at Mitsubishi Gallant, Mazda 6, Sonata, altima you can get 2003-2006 models of this cars. These are reliable too with even better prices than what accord/camry demands. You can get CR-V or RAV4 for similar years and price too if you hunt around. You will also find Acura TL, Infinity G35, Lexus ES in this price range. Mostly 1995-2002 models.

Keep in mind, most cars need transmission rebuilt after 1,50,000 miles. My relatives and friends here have gone through that for odyssey, acura TL, accord, camry and what not. So do keep in mind while buying this. Also try and get it from an owner, you will get better price, better haggling power and above all a better vehicle. I have came across dealers who are selling salvage title cars as clean title and trying to make more money.

Manual's are good too, but they also require clutch overhaul in long term cars. And chances of those being abused are more, atleast that's what i have seen in CA.

Finally, if you have made up your mind for accord, go for it, its reliable, fuel efficient and good car for starters. But you can consider the above options too.

p.s: If you like coupes, accord coupe, toyota solara is cool too.

Last edited by chevelle : 2nd April 2011 at 03:03.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 03:32   #388
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Default Re: Advice needed- Second hand car!

Thanks you for the response chevelle.

I basically want a reliable car which is going to serve me well for the next one and a half years without any hassles. Thats why i prefer a Honda. Also the spares compared to Mazda and Acura would be cheap and easily available.

I always thought the dealers sell clean cars. Now i got to know that its not true. Thanks a lot for that. And know what. I missed out on a 05 Mitsubishi gallant which had done 75k miles. It was going for 6.5k on Sulekha. The car was sold in 2 hours after the add was posted.

Like you said i ll keep the other cars in mind too. The search is still on.

Thanks you once again for your suggestions!

Adi
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Old 2nd April 2011, 09:27   #389
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Default Re: Advice needed- Second hand car!

@aditya.86. Though I have not been to US in the past three years I will pop in to add some thoughts.

While Accord is not doubt a reliable car and you can probably get a 60k-80k miles 04-05 Accord in 5-6k$ range; do think about Altima. 04-05 Altima was rated as a better car than 04-05 Accord, as far as I remember. Definitely they had better features and driving characteristics. Specially the V6 was a blast.

Do check out Edmunds.com reviews. You may even get a lower miles car on that budget. Or same miles but lower prices. Further in J.D reliability ratings, Nissan does as good as Honda.
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Old 2nd April 2011, 12:03   #390
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Default Re: Advice needed- Second hand car!

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Originally Posted by aditya.86 View Post
Thanks you for the response chevelle.

I basically want a reliable car which is going to serve me well for the next one and a half years without any hassles. Thats why i prefer a Honda. Also the spares compared to Mazda and Acura would be cheap and easily available.

I always thought the dealers sell clean cars. Now i got to know that its not true. Thanks a lot for that. And know what. I missed out on a 05 Mitsubishi gallant which had done 75k miles. It was going for 6.5k on Sulekha. The car was sold in 2 hours after the add was posted.

Like you said i ll keep the other cars in mind too. The search is still on.

Thanks you once again for your suggestions!
Adi
For 1 and half year, you can go for better riding cars than accord, you will have more fun. Spares are cheap for almost all cars give or take a few dollars. Also these cars don't require much maintenance if they are cared for by previous owner which can be made sure by looking at carfax and riding it as well as showing to workshops like pepboys, autozone and likes.

i would suggest you get other brands which are better to ride and have fun rather than driving perfectly boring car - accord/camry.

There are some dealers who do sell good cars but that is if you spend more than 10k and go with financial loan. Then are they are good to deal with. if you say you are looking for cars around $5k-7k, they will give you a cold shoulder. that is what i have experienced in sacramento, ca. They literally show you cars that are way above what we asked for. Be careful when you deal with them.

meanwhile, keep looking. better deals are just a call away.
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