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Buying a used Altima

hg2003hg2003 Posts: 2
My husband and I are eyeballing a 2003 Nissan Altima S with 35,500 miles on it, standard features besides tinted windows. It really is in great shape, looks and feels brand new except for a couple minor door dings in the paint and blown speakers. I did my research , negotiated the best I could and feel like they are giving us a fair price at $13,000 before TTL. They are trying to tell us they are breaking even on the car which is very hard for us to believe. $13,000 although seeming fair, was still our "high price" in the grand scheme of things. Still have to try to get a better interest rate at a credit union, and take it for a pre-purchase inspection, but if all goes well would it be advantageous to cut the check for $500 less than the final price we came up with last night and take our chances...OR do you think that would push us out the door? Trade in was anywhere between $10,800 and $12,700, they claim to own the car at $12.9. We are just so afraid of getting screwed and want to get the best deal we can, and make it just slightly more affordable.


  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    You could get a brand new one for around $17,000 and a new car will finance at a much lower interest rate than a used one, so the $4,000 you think you are saving on a 3 year old out-of-warranty car is a misnomer. The monthly payments on a new one may be very close to the used one you are looking at, and you could lease a new one for even less.
    The price of the car is just part of the story...
    Get the interest rate on the used one and the special interest rate NMAC is offering on a new one and calculate out the monthly payments over the same term. You may be surprised.
    On the other hand KBB trade-in value for this car is around $12,000 and dealer retail is $16,000, depending on which state you are in, so $13,000 isn't bad for the used one if it is in excellent condition.
    Get the dealer to replace the blown speakers and take out the dings using "paintless dent removal" for you at no charge as part of the deal if you decide to go for it. That is worth several hundred dollars to you.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Everything you said plus the fact that the current Altima is nearing the end of its model life. Nissan and the dealers will be offering promotions to move existing stock off the lots. I hope Mrs. hg2003 and her husband will think long and hard about going $13,000.00 into debt on what is a nearly four year old car that will suddenly lose another $2,000.00 value in September. I hope they also understand that a healthy dose of skepticism regarding what a salesman tells a customer is generally a good thing.
  • hg2003hg2003 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately we could not wait until the end of the summer for all the deals that I knew were coming or be pushed any further financially. We didn't get the 2003, but we did negotiate a great deal on a 2005 that was previously a Hertz rental for $14,500. Although it has higher than average miles, it was also serviced a lot as a rental, has a leftover warranty , auto trans, all front and rear seat airbags and ABS. More of what we wanted anyway and we are very happy with it. Appreciate the advice!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Congrats! Enjoy.
  • I bought a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S today. Having previously owned a 2001 version, I have become very attached to Altimas. Unfortunately, this one (in very good condition and only 44000 miles) did not come with an owner's manual. There are a lot of features and accessories in this that I don't know how to operate and I really need to see an owner's manual. Nissan's web site used to provide pdf files which had older manuals. However, they are only providing 2005 and 2006 model years' manuals now. Can anyone help me find someplace online that has the info that I'm looking for.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Hopefully some kind soul will offer assistance, but if all else fails, you can buy or order a replacement owner's manual through a Nissan dealership. Highway robbery pricing, but you really need access to the information about fluid capacities and grades in addition to explanations about how to use all the must-have, life-experience enhancing features that all but require a PhD to negotiate.
  • hannahjahannahja Posts: 6
    I just heard about the recall on the 2006 Altimas and I've been considering buying an Altima for a few months. If I were to buy a 2005 do you think I run the risk of having some of the same problems? I love the styling of the newer model Altimas. I have a 98 that we love-it hasn't given us any problems and has 165,000 miles on it. But I would consider changing my mind if I could find something just as sporty as the Altima without the worries. Anyone have any ideas? I've been doing lots of research and now I feel like I have to start over.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    What recall are you referring to? I have an 2006 Altima and is the best car yet. :)
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 362
    Ditto. My 2006 3.5 SL has been excellent. There are no recalls on the V6.
  • Found a 2006 2.5S with 10,000 miles, standard equip. -- AC, cruise, power windows, locks, etc. Ran a carfax and found it was manufactured in Dec.'05, before the problems with the engines, also one owner. Believe dealer will let it go for approx. $15.5K (not out the door). Will try to negotiate further, but appears to be a good deal. Any thoughts?
  • vik2vik2 Posts: 1
    I am planning to buy Nissan Altima SL 2003, milage 70000. But one mechanic has told me that it often has motor problems and it starts taking oil. Can it be true?
    Thank you for reply.
  • I am planning to buy 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S.

    But after cheking on net i found recalls & engine start up problem for this car.

    I have carfax and it shows no recalls for this car.

    Is it still safe bet to buy 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S ?
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I would not get a 2002 altima; it was the first model year for that body style and that year there was a lot of recalls and problems, like most first model years where they work the kinks out; just check out consumer reports magazine or online for the reliability history for the altima, which goes all the way back to 99

    in 2002, there was several worse then average and much worse than average in a couple of areas, one being major engine problems; the ratings didn't get better, according to consumer reports until the 2005 model year and it wasn't till 2005 that they had better than avg overall reliability for the altima

    now you have to take everything I say with a grain of salt; consumer reports is only an avg of what the majority of 2002 altima owners experienced; you might be a lucky one and have no problems!
  • Hi,

    I saw this Nissan Altima that I like around 3000 $.It is saying that is 31+mpg on the highway and 20+mpg on city.

    I was planning to buy this with the small budget I have.I will be using it to commute to around 60 mi of highway.

    Is this a good deal.Does it really have still this good fuel consumption as what they are saying?

    Any comments or recommendation.

  • lorjosclorjosc Posts: 2
    What ever you do do not buy a 2003 Nissan Altima. There is a class action lawsuit that is starting in regards to extreme oil consumption that leads to catalytic converter damage then engine damage. Here is the link to sign up
  • raven65raven65 Posts: 2
    looking to buy a used altima in the next 6 weeks... not rushing......I noticed that that cars I am interested in are priced in the same range.. between 8900.00 and 11000.00... I am looking at cars with 65000 to 95000 miles on them. I have seen a few cars that were on the lots for more than 9 days... I am bringing the family mechanic with me to make my purchase.. what would be the likely hood of a dealership accepting say a cash deal of 7000.00 on a 9500.00 asking price. I bought a brand new hyundai sonata in 2000.00 for 4000.00 below the asking price with cash
  • I own a Altima 2006. what recall are you referring to, specifically.
    E :confuse:
  • tapsortapsor Posts: 4
    For a 2006 Nissan Altima , 84,000 miles, manual . All 4 tires need to be changed but otherwise the car looks in good condition mechanically . The seller is asking for $7200.
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Posts: 750
    If you like the manual, the price is probably ok. I don't think you will get much at trade in w/ a manual plus bald tires...5K...may be?
  • tapsortapsor Posts: 4
    Yes, probably. I prefer automatics and would have payed up to 7000 for it. But I`m not into manuals so I dont think it`s worth 7000.
  • johntenjohnten Posts: 13
    Does anyone know why a 2010 Nissan Altima with less than 20 thousand miles wouldn't be certified? I saw one oneline on a Nissan dealer's site with a great price. They even posted the Carfax and it didn't show anything bad.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,101
    It's still under factory warranty. Maybe they don't think buyers would pay the extra $$ for CPO.

    CPO-ing a vehicle results in it costing extra. If that's something you're really interested in, you could call the dealership - perhaps they'd be willing to CPO it, but be aware that this will result in a higher purchase price.


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  • tapsortapsor Posts: 4
    So I took a 2006 Nissan Altima to Nissan dealership for a pre-sale inspection on monday. The diagnostic came out clean and nothing to worry about... at all . So I go to the other dealership who is selling the car and buy the car cash for $8400 and 97000 miles. I had noticed a rattling noise and shaking on the front right of the car when test driving it , but the dealer told me it just needed to be balanced. So I buy the car yesterday and take it to firestone for balancing. They tell me that struts and all tires are bad and need to be replaced. I go back to the nissan dealership who inspected the car on monday to complain because they had found nothing wrong at all. So they redid another inspection this morning. Diagnostic : broken engine mount, cracked engine belt, loose struts, 2 tires need to be replaced ... $1500 for all repairs!!!!!!!!! Now I am stuck with the car and dont want to put an extra 1500. Can I return it ? It`s only been 31hrs that I got the car.
    Also the contract doesn`t specify that the car was bought "as is " nor does it specify warranty (neither of the boxes were checked). Do I have a chance to get my money back or get them to fix everything ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well I am NOT an attorney but here's how I see it.

    Since you relied on a 3rd party to inspect the car, this probably relieves the selling dealer of misrepresentation.....SO, what I would do is take the inspecting dealer to Small Claims Court but only AFTER you've repaired the car.

    I suppose you could go back to the original sellling dealer and jump up and down and threaten them if they don't take the car back, but if they stonewall you, I'm not sure there's much you can do.

    Not sure Small Claims would award you everything you ask for--for instance, it seems unusual that you wouldn't notice 4 bad tires.
  • tapsortapsor Posts: 4
    Well, came to find out , the dealer who I bought the car from had not even done a state safety inspection on this car. I called the State Police with the inspection sticker number that was on the car and when they checked , they found out that it was another dealership that had done the state inspection and not the dealer who sold me the car. So when I went back to the dealer this morning, he admitted that he had "done a mistake " and missed to inspect the car. Yeah right ! They offered to inspect it and take care of any repair. I said no and that I just wanted my money back. They didnt argue coz they knew they were wrong and the trooper officer was just waiting on my green light to get them. So they refunded me the money and I left. I feel better now but scared to look for the next car. This was a BAD BAD EXPERIENCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yep, bad experience but you should make an offering at your choice of house of worship---you were very lucky on this one, hard as it might be for you to see that right now. Good for you!

    you might want to browse our Altima topics before making your next choice.
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