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I know zilch zip zero about cars! - Printable Version

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RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - maki2 - 08-26-2019

20 years ago I bought a used van from a company that specialized in selling vans. They were in a different city but still not a huge distance away. I requested an inspection and they arranged to take it to a mechanic. Of course since it was not in my immediate neighborhood I did not have any actual references from people I knew for the mechanic shop. But it was not a rip off inspection, it was done to a specific checklist that covered all the basics and all the safety items too.  Pre buying inspections are a very common service that companies get asked for and that is why they use checklist to do them as it makes it easy to write up a professional quality report. There were a few items on the report that needed fixing and some that were items to keep in mind for repairs that would be needed within a few years. Those get used for price negotiation with the seller Smile Maybe they have to fix it to close the deal at their price or maybe they agree to lower the price and you get it fixed.

Sure maybe you could end up with a reference that is a rip off connection but that is not all that likely as companies that do van reselling do have a reputation to protect as do the mechanics.  Back then Yelp was not even around or Angies List etc.

My partner just bought a used Volvo Station wagon from Facebook that was in a different state. He arranged with the seller to have it taken to a reputable mechanic for an inspection before he even went in person to look at it. Of course the potential buyer is always the person who pays for the inspection.

The vintage travel trailer I am renovating was more than 250 miles away in a different state. It was sold as a fixer but of course I had to inspect it to make sure it could be safely towed back to my place.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - tx2sturgis - 08-26-2019

I dunno....it seems to me this might be a good plan IF you were spending over 10-15 grand or so for the vehicle, but if my assumptions (and memory) are correct, you were looking for vehicles in the $4000 range.

It is possible you will spend maybe as much as $2000 to $3000 total in your search (travel, gas, motels, meals, hiring mechanic, minor repairs, etc etc) so I might be inclined to suggest adding that 2 or 3 grand to the original 4 grand, and look for a 7 or 8 grand vehicle locally, or at least, within say a couple hundred miles of your location.

On the other hand, if you just really want to travel and get some road time, and have an adventure, then it kinda makes sense emotionally.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - CityWoman - 08-26-2019

(08-26-2019, 01:04 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote:  I dunno....it seems to me this might be a good plan IF you were spending over 10-15 grand or so for the vehicle, but if my assumptions (and memory) are correct, you were looking for vehicles in the $4000 range.

$4k is not my limit, just a number I was hoping to find something for.  I hate to seem wishy-washy, but I'm still not sure just how high to go, because I want to hang on to as much of my settlement money as I can.  But it's possible I'm being too cautious due to having been so utterly broke for so long.

(08-26-2019, 01:04 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote:  I . . . suggest adding that 2 or 3 grand to the original 4 grand, and look for a 7 or 8 grand vehicle locally, or at least, within say a couple hundred miles of your location.

Sure, I'd rather stay closer to home where it's somewhat more familiar, but what about all the RUST that everyone keeps warning me about?  And the wear and tear from city and suburban stop-and-go driving?  Makes me wonder how anyone buys a car in NY/NJ/CT/PA.  Most of the cars I'm finding are outside the city anyway, so I might as well look in a place where rust isn't an issue.

(08-26-2019, 01:04 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote:  On the other hand, if you just really want to travel and get some road time, and have an adventure, then it kinda makes sense emotionally.

Bingo on adventure!  

My idea is to take a train trip to see my sister, with some brief stops along the way, and on my return trip to get off and buy a car in this other state and drive it home.  I could buy it where my sister lives and stay with her -- although she says she doesn't know a mechanic, she does know "a few guys who know about cars" -- but she's much too far away for me to drive back home.  The state I'm thinking of buying in is far but much more do-able and not completely unfamiliar.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - tx2sturgis - 08-26-2019

(08-26-2019, 02:03 PM)CityWoman Wrote:  Sure, I'd rather stay closer to home where it's somewhat more familiar, but what about all the RUST that everyone keeps warning me about?  And the wear and tear from city and suburban stop-and-go driving?  Makes me wonder how anyone buys a car in NY/NJ/CT/PA.  Most of the cars I'm finding are outside the city anyway, so I might as well look in a place where rust isn't an issue.

Rust is an issue to be aware of, but more so for older vehicles in your area...generally speaking.

Doubling your available budget will usually mean you will be buying newer, and those will tend to have fewer miles and a lot less rust.

All I'm suggesting is that as your travel expenses increase, your available, left-over budget for the vehicle you really want might decrease. You have to find the right balance...for you.

The rail trip does sound fun and would be a great way to re-boot your outlook.

Have fun with it!


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - CityWoman - 08-26-2019

(08-26-2019, 03:44 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote:  The rail trip does sound fun and would be a great way to re-boot your outlook.

Have fun with it!

Yeah, I realized I can afford to give myself a little treat before I buy my vehicle. A rail trip won't break the bank, allows me a little adventure to explore a few places I've never been as well as see my sis, and can bring me to a better place for purchasing a used car. Hopefully, it will work out okay.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - popcorn2007 - 08-27-2019

-Talk to family and friends about using their garage for a garage sale. Selling off your stuff will give you more money and avoid having to pay for storage. Storing all the stuff left over at your families house will avoid paying for storage fees.
-Make a list of sites that you can find your vehicle. I was searching on craigslist and was not finding much. I added a few more sites and found more stuff to look at.
- What is your budget for your live in vehicle and how much are you bringing in each month? Are you able to get a 2nd job?
- You can go to a major chain repair shop and ask for a pre purchase inspection and they can give it a once over.
- Would a passanger van work? It has windows so you can see out of it. Frankly, just move you vehicle as little as possible if you don't like to drive it or park as far out of town as you can. Or time your moves when traffic is slow.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - CityWoman - 08-27-2019

(08-27-2019, 08:54 AM)popcorn2007 Wrote:  -Talk to family and friends about using their garage for a garage sale. Selling off your stuff will give you more money and avoid having to pay for storage. Storing all the stuff left over at your families house will avoid paying for storage fees.

I know you're trying to be helpful and I appreciate that, but some of your assumptions do not apply to me and my situation.  I guess you didn't read the thread I linked to in my first post.

I live in Manhattan - NYC - and nobody has that kind of garage here.  You have to pay for a parking spot in a big shared garage (almost as much as what people pay for an apartment in other places) and you can't hold a garage sale in one of those. From my last post in the other thread:

(07-01-2019, 01:20 PM)CityWoman Wrote:  It's not as easy in NYC as it is in most other places to sell off everything one owns.  No yard for a yard sale, no garage for a garage sale.  My apartment building doesn't even have a front stoop for a good old-fashioned stoop sale. So, when trying to sell stuff, I'd have to let buyers inside my apartment, at least for the large things (I meet buyers at Starbucks for small things). I've never had a problem with buyers coming here, but it is still a safety concern. . . .

Putting my stuff in storage would enable me sell my belongings from a secure unit with cameras and staff nearby.  A small unit would also serve as a workspace for me to access the inventory I still have here for my small business and get it ready to ship to my buyers. . . . So, essentially, it will be like renting a room, more cheaply than in a shared apartment situation (and without the hassle of having roommates), but I'll be sleeping in my vehicle.

I plan on getting a storage unit just outside the city in NJ, where it's easy to get to and only $75/mo. instead of $250-$350 for the same size in the city.

In addition, I don't have any family nearby.  My closest relatives are 2 hours away.

(08-27-2019, 08:54 AM)popcorn2007 Wrote:  -Make a list of sites that you can find your vehicle. I was searching on craigslist and was not finding much. I added a few more sites and found more stuff to look at.

Yes, been doing that.

(08-27-2019, 08:54 AM)popcorn2007 Wrote:  - Would a passanger van work? It has windows so you can see out of it. Frankly, just move you vehicle as little as possible if you don't like to drive it or park as far out of town as you can. Or time your moves when traffic is slow.

No van would work for me unless it was small, like a Safari.  I saw one on my block the other day, liked it.

Parking in NYC requires moving the car every 2 to 3 days for the street cleaning vehicles. But basically I'd just be moving from spot to spot.  Traffic is only slow here in the wee hours, lol.  I do have a plan to also spend time parked outside the city and have researched places where that would work.


My most pressing concerns right now are getting my inventory and personal crap out of my apartment and the reason I started this thread: to get tips, advice, and opinions on car-buying to help me make a good choice with my first-ever vehicle purchase - and hopefully avoid making serious newbie car buyer mistakes!



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RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - B and C - 08-27-2019

I don't remember if I posted this in your thread:[attachment=24271]

It is a checklist to help you avoid mistakes.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - CityWoman - 08-27-2019

(08-27-2019, 10:45 AM)B and C Wrote:  I don't remember if I posted this in your thread:

It is a checklist to help you avoid mistakes.

Thanks, I think I did see you posted it before, somewhere. Sorry if I didn't thank you then. For some reason, my phone won't let me open PDFs so I'll have to take a look at it next time I'm on my laptop.


RE: I know zilch zip zero about cars! - tx2sturgis - 08-27-2019

That checklist that B&C posted looks like a handy thing to have, especially if you are not familiar with cars enough to know what to look for.

Print out several and take them with you to this new, mysterious, and dry, state!

Wink