Random Used Vehicle Purchasing Question

1908_Cubbies

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I have started the somewhat unpleasant task of searching for my baby girl (yes this hurts) a truck for when she gets her license in a couple a months. Currently, I am just looking through local online ads (FB, Craigslist, etc) and not really too serious about it yet. It's unbelievable the amount of listings that I have come across that are titled with "Runs Great" but go on to explain that you need a trailer because it's not running or the transmission is out. Of course, they still are asking close to retail for them since at some point in it's history it ran great.

Just curious.... Has anyone actually bought or sold one of these vehicles? I just don't see someone paying $10k for a 15-20 year old truck that is listed as "bring a trailer". Unless of course it was some special/collectable vehicle. I definitely would have no interest, but based on how many adds that I am seeing like this, wonder if there is a larger market.
 

DaveB

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Yes, purchased 3 Ford Escapes off FB marketplace.

All 3 were bargains. Not a bit of trouble with any of them since, pushing 5 years now.

Pickups OTOH suck. Be prepared for wasted trips to test drive a junker. Have cash in your hand but doan tell anyone.

Been looking for nearly 4 years. More than once had a vehicle purchased as I was on my way for a test ride.

It could happen a bargain appears tomorrow...you don't look you won;t find.

Best of luck.
 

TNTreeman

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Feb 27, 2017
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Franklin Tn
I have started the somewhat unpleasant task of searching for my baby girl (yes this hurts) a truck for when she gets her license in a couple a months. Currently, I am just looking through local online ads (FB, Craigslist, etc) and not really too serious about it yet. It's unbelievable the amount of listings that I have come across that are titled with "Runs Great" but go on to explain that you need a trailer because it's not running or the transmission is out. Of course, they still are asking close to retail for them since at some point in it's history it ran great.

Just curious.... Has anyone actually bought or sold one of these vehicles? I just don't see someone paying $10k for a 15-20 year old truck that is listed as "bring a trailer". Unless of course it was some special/collectable vehicle. I definitely would have no interest, but based on how many adds that I am seeing like this, wonder if there is a larger market.
Going through this now for my youngest, my girl. Not 16 yet, we've got about 10 g to spend . I've done this with my three boys and it was much easier. It's half her money so I want to help her find what she wants- 4 runner, RAV4 . It's near impossible to find and most are junk. Soooo many vehicles here from up north and they are rusted badly. I will not even consider a car from Kentucky or north and folks will lie in a heartbeat about it.
 

sun

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Connecticut
Just curious.... Has anyone actually bought or sold one of these vehicles? I just don't see someone paying $10k for a 15-20 year old truck that is listed as "bring a trailer". Unless of course it was some special/collectable vehicle. I definitely would have no interest, but based on how many adds that I am seeing like this, wonder if there is a larger market.
I looked at F150's on CL in my area just for the fun of it and I saw some fair deals on clean, older trucks with low miles. Not every one has a crew cab or 4WD so it depends what you're looking for.
But with relatively low mileage like 91K or 111K, another with 149K, there's some deals out there.
I think that it's your area, and that you should expand your search to larger metro areas even if located some hours away.
To take it a step further, about 5 years ago, I helped a buddy locate a specific discontinued compact car model that he wanted from a warmer weather state that wasn't a rust bucket.
I found one at a dealer in Virginia for a reasonable price and mileage that he wanted to buy.
Then I found him an online vehicle transportation services vendor that advertised the job to truckers within his network.
A few outfits called my friend with offers to put the vehicle on a flatbed and deliver it right to his door.
It worked out perfectly for him because a local guy took the job and charged him $400 - $425 to bring him a car from 600 miles away, about 8-9 hours driving time [one way].
The vendor finds guys that are either running empty one way, or who don't mind making the round trip based on mileage.
I'm suggesting that if you widen your search to larger metro areas that you'll find a better deal.
Who knows how far that you'd need to look, since dealers aren't offering as good deals right now.
But there's private sellers who are honest.

Another idea that worked for one of my kids was we found a small local used car dealer who took us to a car auction where he didn't charge us unless we successfully won a car.
Then he charged a flat rate of $200, plus the auction fees and the bid amount.
Many of the vehicles are auctioned by new car dealers who take them in trade, and they just want to wholesale the car.
Before each vehicle is brought to the auction block, there's about 10-15 minutes or more when the car is in line and running and available for a quick inspection.
They let interested bidders look under the hood, trunk, check out the interior and all of the switches. see if any warning lights are on or not.
The used car dealers are there and some are mechanics who can quickly assess a vehicle.
Some of the cars are cream puffs, and many are one owner vehicles.
But you need to investigate local people who attend these auctions that will take you there because the public can't attend unless they're with a licensed dealer.
My kid was high bidder on a car that brought less than the seller expected, so the auction house had to contact the seller for final approval of the bid before they would transfer it which took an extra 1/2 hour.
There's often more than one place that has these auctions, and they occur on different days of the week.
Some vehicles sell for higher prices than expected and others don't.
It depends on different factors, but the used car dealers are usually going anyway, so if a person needs to go more than once to find the right one it's doesn't cost them anything.
Search for a guy like that who may be willing to take you to a dealer auction.
They don't like advertising that service, unless the dealer is small enough to need the extra money for helping you out.
It helps if you know someone who knows the dealer.
Some dealers are just a mechanic shop that sells used cars as a side business.
 
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Rackseeker

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I'm glad my girls are grown in a way. Man I feel for you looking for a good used vehicle for a teenager right now. If you will send me a PM of about what you are looking for I will be on the look out for something. Used vehicle prices are crazy right now as you know. Good luck...
 

Gravey

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Christiana (Rutherford County)
Good luck! I bought used when my daughter was 15. She’s 21 now and I used that vehicle for her and my son to get them through high school. Bought them both new cars when they graduated. Sold my diesel truck a few months back and looking to get back in one. Had planned to buy used but can buy a new one cheaper than some I’m seeing that are 2-3 years old. Crazy!
 

PalsPal

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TN
Another idea that worked for one of my kids was we found a small local used car dealer who took us to a car auction where he didn't charge us unless we successfully won a car.

This is excellent advice. We did that with a friend we go to church with for one of my daughters. Just be ready, because those auctions move quickly.

Also, with it being a truck, while the deal will be better, I'm sure the small car lot owners will run the price up a bit knowing they can get more than KBB.
 

Coltens

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Oct 21, 2019
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Good luck! I had been looking for a truck off and on for about a year and finally found a 2011 F-150 4x4 with 116k miles for 14k. I wanted a crew cab but I settled for an extended cab because it matched all my other needs and was lower than my budget. I found it on Facebook Marketplace and drove a little over 2 hours for it.
 

Rabbitkil

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Jun 23, 2018
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38.8976763 -77.0365298
Regular cab and extended cabs are normally 3-5k cheaper than the 4 door trucks… it’s hard to find a truck newer than 2010 with under 200k miles on it for less than 15k … I have people offering me what I paid for my truck 4 years ago with half the miles
 

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