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Got a Quick Question for a Car Dealer?



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,163
    sometimes it is cars that don't get snapped up at the BMW dealer sale, so maybe too miled up or old for CPO, but plenty of BMWs get traded in elsewhere and could end up at the auctions.

    as long as the buyer knows what they are doing, not really any riskier than getting one at a BMW dealer, probably for a lot more money.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Hi all,

    So I am looking to purchase a used car and I came across a 96 Honda Accord at a good price. I got the VIN from the seller to run a check, and I get "no records". That has never happened to me before. And I don't mean that the VIN is invalid. It is valid because when I put in an invalid VIN it actually says "invalid". However, in this case the VIN is valid but isn't displaying any records. It literally says "no records". What would cause this? What does this mean?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    What's the VIN? Sometimes people put in an O (letter) instead of a 0 (number).


  • The VIN is 1HGCD5615TA144013.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,099
    nadia....I'll defer to Mr Shiftright because he's much more knowledgeable than I am. But, the brief look I had with your stated VIN looks like it's a '96 Honda with mileage that is stated differently, in two different places.

    Unless it's uber cheap (and it should be), it could be a number of things. First thing I thought of was it's a "chop" job...different engine, chassis, body numbers. Could be wrong, but that's the first thing that popped into my mind.

    Is this a dealer selling this? Or, is it an individual? Ask the dealer if the title is clean. Is it a salvage title?

    No matter, just from the VIN, something seems dicey about it. Plenty of nice, older Hondas out there. I'd pass on this one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    i couldn't make any sense out of it either. I'd ask to see the title.


  • i have read online that summer months july and august are best time of year to buy a used car as that is when inventories tend to be the highest. any truth to this?
  • Thanks for tine information guys. It is a private seller but I googled his telephone number and it appears he sells a lot of used cars... I'm going to leave it alone. The car is listed for $1600 but I don't trust it.

    Finding a used car has been so nerve wrecking for me. I always ask for the VIN and insist on having a mechanic to take a look at it (I even offer to bring the mechanic there since many sellers refuse to let the car leave their property), but I cant win, lol. Most sellers don't even reply when I simply ask for the VIN. Guess it's a lot more people selling crap than I thought. Thanks again for your help.
  • I live in the SF Bay Area..specifically Silicon Valley. The economy is booming here. I am in the market for a luxury used car and the prices in my area are very high. All the fairly priced cars I see are on the east coast/midwest/florida. Is this sort of regional price difference common?

    Also, I have read summer months are best months to buy due to inventories being the highest...true or false?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,163
    car prices certainly are seasonal/regional. Not just $ wise (you are in an expensive area of course) but weather (want a convertible in New England in December? Subarus in Florida?

    If you don't mind a road trip, widen the net and see if you can find exactly what you want a bit farther away, and go get it. Hey, if you save enough, it might be worthwhile.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    It's a crap shoot buying out of Florida. The luxury car might be priced more attractively, but if you intend to fly there and drive back, or hire an inspector to look the car over and then ship it back, that's probably a couple thousand bucks you should add to the price.

    Also, any car that has been exposed to East coast winters or to salt air, or to flooding conditions, needs a very close examination.


  • yes, most likely the shipping would negate a lot of the savings, but it might be possible for me to still save from the outrageous prices here. even socal is much cheaper than here, i guess just due to the sheer volume of cars down there.

    and in regards to winter exposure, yeah if i see a history that has northeastern or upper midwest states i usually shy away. unfortunately one of the cars at top of my list is 08 Audi 2.0t Quattro which you see a lot of in these states. is rust as big an issue with modern cars? i have heard it isn't, but being in CA what the hell do i know??? ha
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    "Asking prices" are meaningless. You shouldn't be discouraged by the mere bravado of asking prices. Bring cash, grind 'em down.


  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,742
    is rust as big an issue with modern cars?

    Rust isn't really a big issue in the northeast. Better corrosion protection almost ensures no rust for 10+ years.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,163
    well, going from CA to FLA is of course to the extreme. I was thinking more like drawing a circle for a day trip. As he noted, So Cal is certainly easy to do. Maybe north of San Fran?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,652
    I think you'd be crazy to not buy a car in California... As Shifty mentions, asking prices are just "free speech"...

    Out here in the salt belt, we all want California cars..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    Exactly. If, in fact, California cars bring a premium price---think about that--there's a reason for it.

    My MINI came out of Michigan, and years later, I'm still occasionally bedeviled by rusted bolts during repair work.


  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    When I was a kid, it was the "Arizona cars" that everyone wanted / searched for. Especially on the "antiques", which was only 20 years old back then. Today, there are many 20 year old cars still being used as daily drivers. Which was really rare back in 1960.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,405
    I think the term "Arizona cars" was all about lack of rust due to the dry climate, but now I think the term "California car" implies not only lack of rust, but better roads, more freeway driving, less harsh climatic damage overall.


  • ..."Asking prices" are meaningless. You shouldn't be discouraged by the mere bravado of asking prices. Bring cash, grind 'em down...

    Agreed, but grinding sellers down from an asking price of $20K here in CA versus $15K elsewhere is still going to leave you with a higher out the door price.
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