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Need advice buying car

tom2015tom2015 Member Posts: 5
edited June 2015 in General
Hello,

I need some help in buying car. My primary focus is in this order: comfort, interior/exterior space, reliability, low maintenance costs and mileage. I like Camry especially the 2003-2006 model and I feel it will suit for my family (with 1 kid). I have seen the various forums and there is no doubt Camry is a reliable vehicle. I am also open to Lexus ES 350 but I think the maintenance costs would be higher for premium car.

Here are my questions:
1. Is it okay to buy a vehicle that is nearly 10 years old?
2. Should I go with 2.4l or V6?
3. Should I buy from private or dealer? Since this model is old, I am thinking it may be better to buy from dealer as I can ask for warranty.
4. Few of these models are available at one of the dealers near my place and they are single-owner with clean Carfax. The dealer has quoted it to be $1000 more than KBB excellent price. What price should I negotiate with dealer?
5. How much (maintenance) costs can i expect for this model at near 100K and over 100K? I plan to use the car for atleast next 3-4 years.
6. Any known problems that I should be aware of?

Thanks all!

Best Answer

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Answer ✓
    Here are my questions:
    1. Is it okay to buy a vehicle that is nearly 10 years old?

    Sure but only after you have checked the CARFAX report (often offered free by dealers) and after driving the car and having it win your approval, putting it through a pre-purchase inspection (might cost you $100-$150). You can use the pre-purchase inspection report to negotiate the price.

    2. Should I go with 2.4l or V6?

    Depends on the car you choose, but with the Camry the 4 is fine unless you plan to carry a lot of people and gear on trips to the mountains. If a few less MPG is no big deal to you and you really enjoy driving the V6 is also a good choce.

    3. Should I buy from private or dealer? Since this model is old, I am thinking it may be better to buy from dealer as I can ask for warranty.

    Dealers often have nice product--they wholesale the tired ones to smaller indy dealers. However, once in a while you can get lucky and find a car that was one-owner, low miles, perhaps a retired couple. With a Camry, you'd have to be lucky though.


    4. Few of these models are available at one of the dealers near my place and they are single-owner with clean Carfax. The dealer has quoted it to be $1000 more than KBB excellent price. What price should I negotiate with dealer?

    See #1 above. You get what you pay for. If the car is exceptional in every regard, you can throw the price guides out the window.

    5. How much (maintenance) costs can i expect for this model at near 100K and over 100K? I plan to use the car for atleast next 3-4 years.

    This is a "crystal ball" question so I don't know how to answer. If the pre-purchase inspection shows the car to be in tip-top shape, then it's a matter of tires, oil changes, wiper blades, brake pads--that sort of thing. So maybe...what....$100 a month?

    6. Any known problems that I should be aware of?

    Generally speaking, my point of view is that after 10 years, whatever inherent problems the car had from the factory have either been fixed or aren't ever going to show up.

Answers

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    Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Looks like you've covered the first few steps.

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/10-steps-to-buying-a-used-car.html

    tom2015 said:

    Hello,

    I need some help in buying car. My primary focus is in this order: comfort, interior/exterior space, reliability, low maintenance costs and mileage. I like Camry especially the 2003-2006 model and I feel it will suit for my family (with 1 kid). I have seen the various forums and there is no doubt Camry is a reliable vehicle. I am also open to Lexus ES 350 but I think the maintenance costs would be higher for premium car.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is it okay to buy a vehicle that is nearly 10 years old?
    2. Should I go with 2.4l or V6?
    3. Should I buy from private or dealer? Since this model is old, I am thinking it may be better to buy from dealer as I can ask for warranty.
    4. Few of these models are available at one of the dealers near my place and they are single-owner with clean Carfax. The dealer has quoted it to be $1000 more than KBB excellent price. What price should I negotiate with dealer?
    5. How much (maintenance) costs can i expect for this model at near 100K and over 100K? I plan to use the car for atleast next 3-4 years.
    6. Any known problems that I should be aware of?

    Thanks all!

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    tom2015tom2015 Member Posts: 5
    edited June 2015
    Can someone please help me with above questions?
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    roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,502
    edited June 2015
    I can only give you a few pieces of general advice. I'd rather buy a 10 year old vehicle that was maintained by the book than a five year old vehicle that only saw the so-called "technicians" at Jiffy Lube once or twice a year. Four of the cars in my garage are over eight years old and have over 110,000 miles on them, and I wouldn't hesitate to take any of them on a long trip- but then I know that all of them have been properly maintained.

    I would have any potential purchase checked out by a shop that is familiar with the brand and model of the car- it's money well spent. And whatever car you end up with, maintain it by the book.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport-2020 C43-2021 Sahara 4xe-1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

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    tom2015tom2015 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks roadburner and a BIG thank you Mr_Shiftright for taking time and answering each question!
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