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"Little old lady in tennis shoes" needs advice!

twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
edited July 2016 in General
I’m a 73 year old retired woman but still active and I like to think I have a young attitude. I’m driving a 2002 Saturn Vue, AWD V6 Auto 5 speed, 3.0 liter. Current mileage is 97,670. (For most of the time I drove this car I worked less than a mile from home – no commuting.) For the longest time and when I had my servicing done at the Saturn dealership, I had very few problems and just regular maintenance. I have every single service record since I bought the car! The last few years the repair costs have risen so I totaled them up in hopes of making a decision. From 2011 to 2014 repair costs averaged $1,616/year. Last year’s total was $3,978, so far this year it’s $1,160. I’m on a tight retirement income. If the fates are kind, I’ll still be driving for 10 years or more and I’m trying to decide if I should keep pushing this car or try to find a good deal on another used car. Due to some physical limitations, I need a small SUV about the same size as the Vue and so far Ford Escape fits the bill.
Obviously I’m not a mechanic so I’m at the mercy of car repair shops. Sorry this is so long but I would appreciate any educated opinions. If you were to advise me, what would you tell me to do? Thanks in advance for any wise counsel you can provide!

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Answer ✓
    Those are two good choices for you, I think. If you want to keep your "new" vehicle for 10 years, it's going to have to be pretty close to new to start with---and that hopefully will include a remainder of a warranty. I think Kia is a good choice in that regard, although the Escape has a pretty good record of endurance.

    I think you could pull off $18K if you can put $5K down and finance over 5 years at a decent interest rate. Your tax , reg, and license fees will push you close to $20K out the door.

    You really need a vehicle with warranty for your plan to succeed I think. You are driving 7000 miles a year, so a fairly new but used Kia will give you some protection up to 60,000 miles. The Kia 100,000 mile warranty is not transferable to you.

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well what's your budget, first of all? And yes, I think if you're planning to possibly push that Vue for another ten years, that's not going to happen.
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Thank you! I'm in the beginning stages of my research. I want to try to keep a car payment under - hopefully way under - $300/month. I think I can manage a down payment of $5,000 which will include what I get for my Vue (blue book is just over $2,000 - maybe more if I do private sale). Obviously, I would like to find something with as low mileage as possible so I can keep it for 10 years (?). Does any of this make sense at first glance?
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,629

    Thank you! I'm in the beginning stages of my research. I want to try to keep a car payment under - hopefully way under - $300/month. I think I can manage a down payment of $5,000 which will include what I get for my Vue (blue book is just over $2,000 - maybe more if I do private sale). Obviously, I would like to find something with as low mileage as possible so I can keep it for 10 years (?). Does any of this make sense at first glance?

    Looks like your budget would be $15K-$18K maximum. Seems like small SUVs hold their value better than small sedans, which is a negative, if you want to buy a slightly used SUV. Do you need AWD? If you can live with FWD, the Kia Soul has a lot of useful space, and it's easy to get in and out of, plus great gas mileage.
    Ford Escapes fall in this range, as well, but at that price, mostly FWD, also.

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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Thank you, kyfdx, that helps my analysis. I'll look at the Kia Soul. I'm in Michigan, so I am grateful for AWD. I think it's all going to be a tradeoff - how much can I risk pulling out of my savings for a larger down payment, or for a larger monthly payment to get what will be most advantageous for me for the long run. It's all a little scary on a limited income. Thanks again!
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Thank you again, Mr_S. You guys are helping me out a lot to figure this out. Keep your suggestions and ideas coming!
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    edited August 2016
    Hey, it's me again! Well, I screwed up my courage and went to a Ford dealership yesterday. Test drove 3 used Escapes, from S up to Titanium (too fancy and expensive for me). The contender is a Tuxedo Black SE, FWD, Certified Pre-Owned, 20,030 miles. Looks good and has everything I need, but no extra frills I don't need. The quoted price is $18,800, with tax/title etc. at $20,181.70. You were right on the money, Mr_Shiftright! They only offered me $700 for a trade-in, which is less than I expected. (I think they just don't want it because it's so old. I'll do private sell.) I'm looking to put down $5,000; they will give me financing for probably 2.9% but I'm checking with my bank also. Question is: I haven't committed to this vehicle and I would like to negotiate. What if I asked them to include the tax/title etc. in the original quote so total is $18,000-$18,800? My down payment would bring financed amount down to $13,000-$13,500. (Edmunds TMV calculation shows Dealer Retail at $17,430 and Certified Used Price at $18,335.) Is my counter offer reasonable or no, in your opinion? Thanks in advance!
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,629
    We have a guy that can give you a good idea on a selling price. We'll see if we can get @qbrozen in here to appraise that.

    You should definitely negotiate price.

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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Hope to hear from @qbrozen soon. Will take all the advice I can get. Thanks.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,031
    One problem: I don't see the year of the Escape.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    OOPS, sorry! 2014.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,031
    OK, so it is the 1.6 version. That isn't too bad for CPO. I don't think they have much room to move. $18000 even would be a good deal. $18,500 still is pretty fair all around, though.

    As for your Saturn, $700 is also fair. These are only going for $1k at auction, so by the time they transport and pay the overhead, they MIGHT break even on it.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,031
    May I suggest, however, checking out your local dealers for a 2016 Jeep Renegade? According to truecar, I could get an AWD Sport model with automatic and "power group" (air con, pwr windows, locks, etc) for $19,200. I know that pushes your budget a bit, but only $1k more than a 2-yr-old Escape for a brand new AWD? That might be a bit smarter, IMHO.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Thank you so much for your feedback. Every bit of this helps me narrow in on some decisions. I'll check into the Jeep Renegade. Don't know much about it. Thank you thank you!
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Wow, I would have thought that Saturn would bring more than that! I know it's a Saturn and an orphan now but still. I doubt that a 73 year old woman would want to deal with a private party sale but I'm thinking it ought to bring a couple of grand in a PP sale.
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,031
    I would have thought so, too, but it is a 2002 and prior to when they started using the Honda powertrain in them.

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Oh, I was thinking it had the Honda powertrain. Still, it's hard to find a decent transportation car for much under 2000.00.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited August 2016

    I doubt that a 73 year old woman would want to deal with a private party sale but I'm thinking it ought to bring a couple of grand in a PP sale.

    My Michigan experience, albeit in a small town, makes me think a private party sale would work out just fine. I sold three cars there in four years and the one title screw-up I made was quickly fixed for free by the counter person at the local DMV.

    And never underestimate little old ladies (or men) in tennis shoes. B)
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Small town makes a difference!

    Yeah, I would advertise it for 2200.00 OBO and run with the first 1800.00 offered.

    Oh, and I don't underestimate anyone!
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Just catching up here - thanks for all your comments, and the smiles regarding underestimating little old ladies (and men) in tennis shoes! LOL! (You should know my nickname before I retired as an event producer was "mad dog.") I was very surprised at the low trade-in amount also. Blue Book value ranges from $2,078 to $2,413. Although my car is virtually spotless inside and out with relatively low mileage, I understand it's still a 2002 under the hood.

    I haven't gone forward on anything yet. I AM a little nervous about handling a private sale. A nephew may buy my Saturn for his son but if not, I'll have to educate/protect myself, put on my Mad Dog hat, and try a private sale!

    I have researched a few other vehicles but I keep coming back to the Escape when I look at vehicle size and my small list of non-negotiables. In my first message here I mentioned some physical limitations, so one of my must-haves is a rear backup camera. That alone eliminated a few models.

    Thanks again for all the advice. I'll take it all!
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    One word of advice about selling a car to a friend or relative, make sure that they are aware that they are buying a used car that may or may not have a lot of life left and that you guarantee nothing!

    And, never ask..." How has the Saturn been doing?"

    My next door neighbor and us had been sharing for the past 12 years a 1999 Dodge pickup and it wasn't being
    used enough to justify paying insurance etc anymore. It so happens my cousin bought it!

    I told him that if it breaks in half tomorrow he will own the two pieces!

    He fully understood. I hope.
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    thebeanthebean Member Posts: 1,221
    Good advice @isellhondas.  My two cents is that it is just not worth it to me to do a private sale.  Too many nuts and people who would try to cheat you out there.  My time and peace of mind is worth the loss I take on trade-in versus private sale.  
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2019 Honda HR-V EX
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    edited August 2016
    A lot of people feel this way and for good reason. Dealing with strangers, tire kickers and non serious shoppers can be a pain. Still, I've sold a lot of cars that way without any real problems. I try to screen the people over the phone and if they sound flaky I'll try to discourage them.

    A lot of states give sales tax credits for the value of the trade and on high value trades that can amount to a lot of money.
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Isellhondas, I understand. As it happens, I am very close to the family (he is actually my nephew-in-law) and they are quite aware of the history of my Saturn. I have already told them I am nervous about selling it to them and will only do it if they have all the repair records and understand. They are struggling financially and have four - count 'em - four kids in college, and if they buy it would be for one of the boys to get back and forth to school. I may also give them a low price in exchange for future services, such as painting and household chores. My nephew is good at that and has helped me before.

    I am also back and forth about the private sale if I go there, but will ask that same nephew to help me with it. I do a lot of local selling (Facebook, Ebay, Craiglist) but mostly just household and original crafts, not electronics and not cars.

    Gotta run - back later. Thanks again.
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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    I'm back! Well, I did it. Yesterday I contacted my sales person to hopefully negotiate a better price on the Escape I drove. That's when she told me that they just got another 2014 CPO in with slightly lower price and slightly lower mileage. I asked "what's the catch" and she told me it all depends on how the car comes to them. If it costs them less they try to pass on the savings to the customer. Anyway, I liked this car, and I did manage to negotiate them down about $500 to $18,130, mileage 19,673. There's about a year left on the manufacturer's warranty, then I decided to upgrade the CPO to year 2020 or 75,000 miles.

    My nephew and great-nephew came over tonight to take my Saturn. I gave them a discounted price (about half), with the understanding that I will take the rest of the price in trade for upstairs painting and other chores at my condo (I very much need this help nowadays). I was nervous about selling to relatives until they told me my great-nephew is driving a 1995 rust bucket! Every car in their family is very used, so they assured me they are well versed in dealing with car repairs. My clean Saturn looks good to them!

    All in all, I'm happy. And I want to thank all of you for helping me out with your advice and comments. It really really did help me to maneuver through the process again after 14 years! Thanks!!!!!
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    qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 33,031
    Congrats

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

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    MichaellMichaell Moderator Posts: 243,237

    I'm back! Well, I did it. Yesterday I contacted my sales person to hopefully negotiate a better price on the Escape I drove. That's when she told me that they just got another 2014 CPO in with slightly lower price and slightly lower mileage. I asked "what's the catch" and she told me it all depends on how the car comes to them. If it costs them less they try to pass on the savings to the customer. Anyway, I liked this car, and I did manage to negotiate them down about $500 to $18,130, mileage 19,673. There's about a year left on the manufacturer's warranty, then I decided to upgrade the CPO to year 2020 or 75,000 miles.

    My nephew and great-nephew came over tonight to take my Saturn. I gave them a discounted price (about half), with the understanding that I will take the rest of the price in trade for upstairs painting and other chores at my condo (I very much need this help nowadays). I was nervous about selling to relatives until they told me my great-nephew is driving a 1995 rust bucket! Every car in their family is very used, so they assured me they are well versed in dealing with car repairs. My clean Saturn looks good to them!

    All in all, I'm happy. And I want to thank all of you for helping me out with your advice and comments. It really really did help me to maneuver through the process again after 14 years! Thanks!!!!!

    Looks like everybody made out well with this.

    A new car and some help around the house for you, and a family member gets an upgrade on their transportation at a discounted price and a bit of sweat equity.

    Congrats, and enjoy your new (to you) Ford!

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    twistedsistertwistedsister Member Posts: 13
    Thank you! I'm very happy with how it all worked out.
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