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Old 07-05-2011, 04:27 PM   #1
MindFire
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Default Cheap First Car in the Lakes Region

Howdy All,

I read here a lot but don't post much! The info here is usually pretty reliable though, so here goes!

My son just turned 16 and is looked for a car. He's buying it on his own and has saved about $1400. Subtracting what he will need for registration and a few other things (first insurance payment to Dad), and adding a couple paychecks he has coming up... he's got about $1000.

He's willing to keep saving but I thought I would ask if anyone knew of a good place to look or had seen a "side of the road" find recently? Much appreciation for any help.

Matt
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:30 PM   #2
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Keep an eye on Craigslist too.

One thing to keep in mind, in that price range chances are whatever is found will more than likely need some work which may end up being more of an expense and headache than it's worth. All depends on what it may need. Still I think he'd need to be in the $2500 to $4000 range to get something relatively turn key, reliable, and not a complete basket case.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:43 PM   #3
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I have a nice Ford pickup I might be willing to sell him. It's a perfect first vehicle, it's got a V8 (souped up a bit so it's really fast), a HUGE stereo system, and a really big back seat. He could easily drive a whole bunch of friends around to parties and stuff, and if he has a girlfriend you can put an air mattres in the bed. PM me if you're interested.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
I have a nice Ford pickup I might be willing to sell him. It's a perfect first vehicle, it's got a V8 (souped up a bit so it's really fast), a HUGE stereo system, and a really big back seat. He could easily drive a whole bunch of friends around to parties and stuff, and if he has a girlfriend you can put an air mattres in the bed. PM me if you're interested.
I'm really not sure how to take this post.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:43 AM   #5
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Too funny! Yeah, my son actually drives like he's a drivers ed teacher or something. Never rolls a stop, never speeds, always looking around him. Got an almost perfect score on both exams. Ok, I'll stop with the fatherly bragging!

He was looking for an older Jeep Cherokee or a Subaru. Something good year-round.

He did see a CADILLAC yesterday he really liked. Yeah. A Cadillac. Sheeesh!
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:23 AM   #6
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A vehicle that passed inspection usually go for at least $2000. Anything less than that usually requires work.

www.jaxed.com is a great place to find cheap vehicles. Check it out!
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Buying from a private seller on craigslist can be totally different than buying from a dealer. Just keep look'n and look'n and look'n in craigslist cause every private seller is separate and different and some just want to sell off the car without getting top dollar, or something. Maybe they have been sitting on it for 12-months and are fed up, and want to say bye bye car....good bye!

When you go to make an offer.....just say that you're only going to make one offer ...and you have the CASH.....and it's an old fashioned, way out in the countryside, take it or leave it offer....because that's all the money you have, plus you already owe the credit card company, and the town property tax money, and the hospital bill, and the cable tv bill so it's all the money you have....and just can't pay any more....and be real polite....and go for it! Also, wearing some old, worn out clothes does not hurt!
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Used cars are going for premium right now. For the best deals look for American cars as the forgien cars will be way out of his price range.

The Ford Taurus is a decent car that can be had for cheap money. Most of the things that go on them are cheap to fix. Lot of them around too and you'll have piece of mind that he won't be driving in a tiny car.

Two-wheel drive trucks can be found on the cheap as well.

I agree with above that you are looking closer to $2k to get a car ready to go and not need a lot of repairs.

Rust is the biggest enemy you want to avoid as most other things can be fixed relatively cheaply. Check the rocker panels, floor board, and crawl underneath and check subframe.

Good luck. Let us know what he ends up with.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Just make sure you have the vehicle checked out by a reputable mechanic.
Believe me, it is money well spent!
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
A vehicle that passed inspection usually go for at least $2000. Anything less than that usually requires work.

www.jaxed.com is a great place to find cheap vehicles. Check it out!
Jaxed.com is awesome! Good find!
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
Keep an eye on Craigslist too.

One thing to keep in mind, in that price range chances are whatever is found will more than likely need some work which may end up being more of an expense and headache than it's worth. All depends on what it may need. Still I think he'd need to be in the $2500 to $4000 range to get something relatively turn key, reliable, and not a complete basket case.
I do agree with this.

Unless you have a relative or neighbor with an older car for sale with the amount you stated you will end up with a car that will need tons of work and you end up spending about the same amount as stated above.

I have found 5 cars for young relatives in the past few years. All under $3,500.00. But it takes a lot of time and many look sees to find any good one. Look sees are wasted time as seller exagerates as to condition.

All the cars I found were stock unmodified all original cars from the first owner with all maintenance records. Not an easy task. If you can find such the maintenance records are crucial. And even after finding such cars money has to be set aside for new plugs/wires, maybe brakes, and maybe tires.

If you have no experience with such then take any found car to an idependent mechanic and have it checked out.

In this price range you really need a good independent mechanic.

Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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Most older New England cars have long since rusted away.

I am always amazed at how few 20+ year old daily drivers I see when I come east.

Out West, they are very common, as we don't salt the roads (hint, hint).

Anyway, I suggest looking on craigslist.com for a 20+ year old Volvo, one that has been well cared for, well maintained.

You may need to look in Vermont.

they are good, strong cars, shouldn't rust easily, are safe, and believe it or not, they really can be fun to drive.

I own one, and use it as my daily driver (1882 Volvo 244 Turbo).

I also own a Ferrari, but don't buy the boy one of them, you'll just spoil him.
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