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How Much Does A Good Used Car Usually Cost?

JoycexGuoJoycexGuo Brooklyn, NYPosts: 503Member
edited August 2009 in general discussion
So I'm 16, with my permit, and I've been holding a bargain with my parents that if I can buy my own car (not use theirs), they'll let me get my license. I've been looking at used cars, and they are usually really expensive (most of them are 20,000 plus!) AND they have a lot of mileage on them- with the price that you get for a used car, why not just buy a new one? Anyways, I have a friend whose sister got her first used car around 1999 for $1,500. I have that much saved up, but I'm still not sure whats the good amount of money to spend on a used car. And even though its used, I'd expect a working air conditioner and radio, lol =)

By the way, I live in Brooklyn if that helps?

Replies

  • ClixClix Boop, got your nose Posts: 3,350Member

    IDOL

    A good used car cost however much a good used car is.

    Check http://www.kbb.com when you're looking at cars. It's a good reference to how much to expect. Bring your parents along so they can haggle for you.
    My Flickr - Car shows, car meets, etc.
  • SHARKSHARK Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 579Member
    QUOTE (JoycexGuo @ Aug 18 2009, 06:45 AM) »
    So I'm 16, with my permit, and I've been holding a bargain with my parents that if I can buy my own car (not use theirs), they'll let me get my license. I've been looking at used cars, and they are usually really expensive (most of them are 20,000 plus!) AND they have a lot of mileage on them- with the price that you get for a used car, why not just buy a new one? Anyways, I have a friend whose sister got her first used car around 1999 for $1,500. I have that much saved up, but I'm still not sure whats the good amount of money to spend on a used car. And even though its used, I'd expect a working air conditioner and radio, lol =)

    By the way, I live in Brooklyn if that helps?


    You should be spending about 4000, in my opinion. Get a used older Lexus, they tend to be more reliable than other brands and can run up quite the mileage despite their age.
  • MPowerKaiMPowerKai NJPosts: 328Friend of Soompi

    ROOKIE

    Depends on the car. Some used cars can range from a few hundred to a few thousand, while others can range up to 60k or more (911 turbo). You've probably been looking at really nice used cars, demos, or cars with cpo. At $1,500 dollars I think you should be looking at Honda civics and accords from early to mid 90's, older Toyota Corolla's, older Nissan Sentra's. Older Volvo's like 240 and 740. Things you should check when you are buying a used car, which are more important that a/c or the radio, is if and when the timing belt, drive belts/serpentine belt, and water pump have been replaced (some cars also require timing belt tensioner and idler roller, those can snap too and in most cases cause a lot of damage to the valves in the head) you should check if the engine and transmission is leaking because repairing seals can be expensive and the engine oil/trans oil corrodes rubbers like engine mounts. Check tire tread and make sure there is decent life on them, new tires on a car cost a few hundred dollars at minimum. Check the brakes and rotors. Also make sure the car is warmed up before you drive it, sometimes a cold car can hide a lot of problems. Take it somewhere you can take it up to 65 or some highway speed to see if there is any vibrations or if the transmission shifts properly.
    I am poor. Please spare a dollar if you see me :)
  • GofishusGofishus The Reckoning CaliforniaPosts: 3,068Member

    IDOL

    More than a 16-year old can afford, I can tell you that.
  • imurdannyimurdanny Houston, TxPosts: 340Member
    You can buy a decent car for around $3,000 with everything working.
  • DarkMagicianDarkMagician The San Francisco BayareaPosts: 533Member

    ROOKIE

    A used car for $1,500? I don't think that will be worth the money in the long-term. There will be a lot more maintenance and tune ups that will easily exceed the price. When I look for used cars I don't take anything with a mechanical odometer because it's easy to tamper with.
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  • chvietnkchvietnk Posts: 112Member
    QUOTE (imurdanny @ Aug 24 2009, 08:24 AM) »
    You can buy a decent car for around $3,000 with everything working.


    i think that sounds about right $3000 can get you a pretty decent car, especially at 16
  • jakex1jakex1 Posts: 252Member
    i agree with what the other two said. 3000 is a good place to start for a late 90's+ car with decent/low mileage, no problems. Starting from there the more you spend, you can go to higher end cars and later models.
  • Apl420Apl420 UCSCPosts: 287Member
    Yuup. like the people above said
    You should be expecting around 3-4k for a decent car
    my friend also told me you should be expecting to use about $1,000 on some maintenance after getting the used car.

    I've been looking for a used car too, for like a week now.
    I'm looking for a car about ~100k-ish (or less) mileage, clean title, decent exterior/interior, etc. on Craiglist (careful for scammers).
    I think I'll have to use 4-6k on this. really looking for Accord coupe hahah

    For $1,500, you can probably get a salvaged car or from the early 90s. which will need A LOT of $$ for maintenance, so its not worth it.
    Borrow or ask your parents to pay for it =P
    Bargain with them like a dealer. Say you'll get work harder in school or do chores lol
  • slimjimslimjim Posts: 315Member
    Check NADA and Black Book for vehicle values and then you can see which cars are in your range. Note that NADA values have been understated in a past few months while black black is closer to actual auctions.

    If you have local colleges around, students also sell their used cars there, and since they usually bought the cars cheap, they'll also sell them cheap.
  • AtoBscionAtoBscion Posts: 42Member
    so i heard about this concept w/ the clunkers program

    since individuals are buying new cars for 15k instead of msrp 20k, theyll be willing to sell it for 13k

    so there will be plenty of nice used cars by the time you're truly ready
  • jakex1jakex1 Posts: 252Member
    if u can, try to save up to about 4k, u can get something pretty nice + reliable like an integra... just dont rice it up
  • sherryberryxxsherryberryxx evergreenstate:]Posts: 607Member

    IDOL

    Like everyone above, your best bet is to probable get a used car for 3-4k...

    About two months ago, my dad about a Volvo wagon 1996 for 1,500...fixed up the brake and other little things and it cost him under 500 to buy the material...but he still need to get new tires. The a/c and radio works really good though. The down side is the cost of gas...the gas gets used up really fast...

    So before buying...definitely think about the cost of maintaining the car too...esp since gas nowadays isn't necessarily cheap...
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