Needing a Vehicle for $5,000 - or less!

MHunterB

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The son has gotten tired of the 4 or 5 miles each day that public transit doesn't cover between his work place and his apartment - especially as the weather has gotten colder. Since he has a full-time job paying more than minimum wage, he feels he can afford a car - well, not much of a car, but something more than a junker.

He of course wants something with great gas mileage: we'd like to see him in a 'tank' for safety concerns. We are hoping to find something which will last him about 2-3 years, by which point we figure he'll have enough experience to keep a newer car intact and in good condition....

We not being 'car mavens' - I thought I'd ask for your thoughts and see if that doesn't produce some good suggestions. (He can't use a bike because of 1)Hills, 2)Highways, and 3)Snow.....)

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience with us : ))
 

Jarlaxle

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Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis. They sell cheap (you can get a perfectly serviceable one for HALF that much), they're built like tanks. Parts and repairs are cheap, any shop can fix one.
 

HenryBHough

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The cost of a gas-sipping mini car (unsafe at any speed) is so much more than the cost of a tank like the Crown Vic that he couldn't use enough gas in TEN years to recoup.
 

Ringel05

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New Cars, Used Cars - Find Cars at AutoTrader.com

Put in your zip code, how many miles away you're willing to travel to buy one and the max you want to spend and search away. Change the search results to "lowest to highest".
I found my 97 Ram 1500 truck (bought it 2 weeks ago) for $2900, it was advertised for $3500. I got lucky in that it had low mileage but most in your price range will most likely have 150K + miles.
 

HelenaHandbag

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New Cars, Used Cars - Find Cars at AutoTrader.com

Put in your zip code, how many miles away you're willing to travel to buy one and the max you want to spend and search away. Change the search results to "lowest to highest".
I found my 97 Ram 1500 truck (bought it 2 weeks ago) for $2900, it was advertised for $3500. I got lucky in that it had low mileage but most in your price range will most likely have 150K + miles.
^^^^
This.

I suggest a Subaru for their great mileage and AWD safety, especially in snow.
 

Bloodrock44

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The son has gotten tired of the 4 or 5 miles each day that public transit doesn't cover between his work place and his apartment - especially as the weather has gotten colder. Since he has a full-time job paying more than minimum wage, he feels he can afford a car - well, not much of a car, but something more than a junker.

He of course wants something with great gas mileage: we'd like to see him in a 'tank' for safety concerns. We are hoping to find something which will last him about 2-3 years, by which point we figure he'll have enough experience to keep a newer car intact and in good condition....

We not being 'car mavens' - I thought I'd ask for your thoughts and see if that doesn't produce some good suggestions. (He can't use a bike because of 1)Hills, 2)Highways, and 3)Snow.....)

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience with us : ))
Whatever you buy, have your own mechanic check it out first.
 

Pop23

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Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis. They sell cheap (you can get a perfectly serviceable one for HALF that much), they're built like tanks. Parts and repairs are cheap, any shop can fix one.
I've had good luck with the above as well as the Taurus and Sable. Have the trannies checked. Any problem at all with the tranny at all is trouble though
 

Jarlaxle

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A rebuilt trans for a Vic is about $1000-1100, installed! Honestly...I would LOOK for one with a bad transmission, because it will practically be given away.
 

HelenaHandbag

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The son has gotten tired of the 4 or 5 miles each day that public transit doesn't cover between his work place and his apartment - especially as the weather has gotten colder. Since he has a full-time job paying more than minimum wage, he feels he can afford a car - well, not much of a car, but something more than a junker.

He of course wants something with great gas mileage: we'd like to see him in a 'tank' for safety concerns. We are hoping to find something which will last him about 2-3 years, by which point we figure he'll have enough experience to keep a newer car intact and in good condition....

We not being 'car mavens' - I thought I'd ask for your thoughts and see if that doesn't produce some good suggestions. (He can't use a bike because of 1)Hills, 2)Highways, and 3)Snow.....)

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience with us : ))
Whatever you buy, have your own mechanic check it out first.
^^^
This too.

$100 for a mechanic check is way cheaper than getting stuck with a clunker.
 

Sunni Man

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I like late 90's and early 2000's Buick Century, Regal, Le Sabre, or Pontiac Gran Prix with the bullet proof 3.1 or 3.8 engine. Dependable cars that get really good gas milage.

My favorite site to find out about used cars is Edmund.com

Lets say you are wanting to know about a 2000 Toyota Corolla.

Put in: Edmund.com 2000toyotacorolla reviews

By putting in the word "reviews" on the end. You will see what dozens of owners are saying about their experience with that particular car.

Good Luck .... :cool:
 

Pop23

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A rebuilt trans for a Vic is about $1000-1100, installed! Honestly...I would LOOK for one with a bad transmission, because it will practically be given away.
On the Taurus/sable, the tranny problems are often major, but I've found simply changing the VSS sensor cures 40 to 50 % of the cars that appear to have bad trannies. $20 and 15 minutes
 

HenryBHough

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For most Ford products a rebuilt automatic transmission will run closer to $1,300 installed. If you can handle it, look for a vehicle with a manual transmission. Clutches are the vulnerable part but can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of a whole automatic. Even a DIY project for someone with a little ingenuity, not requiring any immense skill level. Some auto parts stores will rent you tools; others will loan them for free if you buy all the parts there.
 
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MHunterB

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Thanks for all your advice, folks : )) Much appreciated..... I'll relay that all to my young genius and let him ponder a bit.
 

Sunni Man

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I also must add that I never buy a used car from a used car lot.

I only buy from people selling a car they own from their house.

Junky house, most likely the car never received regular maintenance.

Nice house, odds are the car was taken care of by a mechanic.

When you buy off a lot you have no idea about the cars history. ... :cool:
 
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Book of Jeremiah

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Marge, the Buick Le Sabre or Buick Century are both great cars. You'll get about 30 mpg on the highway with those cars and the Buick is a very safe and dependable vehicle. You should be able to get a 96 - 99' in excellent condition for that money. Don't go to a carlot -you'll get robbed.. buy from a private owner. There are many out there. - Jeri
 
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Book of Jeremiah

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I also must add that I never buy a used car from a used car lot.

I only buy from people selling a car they own from their house.

Junky house, most likely the car never received regular maintenance.

Nice house, odds are the car was taken care of by a mechanic.

When you buy off a lot you have no idea about the cars history. ... :cool:
I agree with you. I'd never buy a car from a dealership. I've been paying myself to drive for years by buying at the auto auction or private owner. If you buy a new car at the auction - you are going to save between $5,000 - $8,000 right off the top( more if you are looking for a high end car ) - you just need to find a reliable person with a dealers license to bid on the car for you once you select it on Manheim auction site online. You should pay him about $200.00 to do the bid for you and drive it out of there. You can get buy pretty much anything you want there and the color, options too. I've never thought about the junky house theory, interesting, Sunni. Youre probably right. Another way to know it is rough, is to look at the headliner. It should be clean and undamaged. Look at the brake pedal - is it worn? If so they drove it hard.. I would look for a car that has never been smoked in.. door panels should be clean, the cleaner the condition -look at the seats, that is going to tell you alot - and the carpet..the interior should like the owner was a neat freak... ( even with a detail job you'll be able to notice the difference )
 
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Book of Jeremiah

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Marge, if you buy through Manheim auction you can a get car worth $8,000.00 if you are spending $5,000.00 plus the fee for the buyer.
 

Sunni Man

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I also must add that I never buy a used car from a used car lot.

I only buy from people selling a car they own from their house.

Junky house, most likely the car never received regular maintenance.

Nice house, odds are the car was taken care of by a mechanic.

When you buy off a lot you have no idea about the cars history. ... :cool:
I agree with you. I'd never buy a car from a dealership. I've been paying myself to drive for years by buying at the auto auction or private owner. If you buy a new car at the auction - you are going to save between $5,000 - $8,000 right off the top - you just need to find a reliable person with a dealers license to bid on the car for you once you select it on Manheim auction site online. You should pay him about $200.00 to do the bid for you and drive it out of there. You can get buy pretty much anything you want there and the color, options too. I've never thought about the junky house theory, interesting, Sunni. Your probably right. Another way to know it is rough, is to look at the headliner. It should be clean and undamaged. Look at the brake pedal - is it worn? If so they drove it hard.. I would look for a car that has never been smoked in.. door panels should be clean, the cleaner the condition -look at the seats, that is going to tell you alot - and the carpet..the interior should like the owner was a neat freak... ( even with a detail job you'll be able to notice the difference )
I agree with what you have said.

This summer I bought a 1999 Buick Le Sabre for my daughter who is going to college.

It has the bullet proof 3.8 engine which was built to go the distance and only had 49,000 original miles.


I totally believe in buying a car with the lowest miles possible.

In fact, I will pay more for an older car with lower miles....than a newer car with higher miles. ... :cool:
 

Book of Jeremiah

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I also must add that I never buy a used car from a used car lot.

I only buy from people selling a car they own from their house.

Junky house, most likely the car never received regular maintenance.

Nice house, odds are the car was taken care of by a mechanic.

When you buy off a lot you have no idea about the cars history. ... :cool:
I agree with you. I'd never buy a car from a dealership. I've been paying myself to drive for years by buying at the auto auction or private owner. If you buy a new car at the auction - you are going to save between $5,000 - $8,000 right off the top - you just need to find a reliable person with a dealers license to bid on the car for you once you select it on Manheim auction site online. You should pay him about $200.00 to do the bid for you and drive it out of there. You can get buy pretty much anything you want there and the color, options too. I've never thought about the junky house theory, interesting, Sunni. Your probably right. Another way to know it is rough, is to look at the headliner. It should be clean and undamaged. Look at the brake pedal - is it worn? If so they drove it hard.. I would look for a car that has never been smoked in.. door panels should be clean, the cleaner the condition -look at the seats, that is going to tell you alot - and the carpet..the interior should like the owner was a neat freak... ( even with a detail job you'll be able to notice the difference )
I agree with what you have said.

This summer I bought a 1999 Buick Le Sabre for my daughter who is going to college.

It has the bullet proof 3.8 engine which was built to go the distance and only had 49,000 original miles.


I totally believe in buying a car with the lowest miles possible.

In fact, I will pay more for an older car with lower miles....than a newer car with higher miles. ... :cool:
Yes, low miles is another thing Marge should be looking for. You want a car grandma drove to the grocery store and back. He'll drive the wheels off of it before it wears out. You found a cream puff for your daughter, Sunni. Good job. When I have sold my cars to buy another one past 4 times the first person who called and came over bought the car. I made money on every single one of them. I'm driving a 96 Nissan Maxima gold package right now, leather seats, sunroof, bose stereo that was owned by a school teacher. ( garage kept - very low miles - mint condition) The car drives as if it were on air. It is a great car and I am breaking my own rules by not getting out of it now - but I cannot part with the car. I love it. I've decided to just keep it.
 
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Sunni Man

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I'm driving a 96 Nissan Maxima gold package right now, leather seats, sunroof, bose stereo that was owned by a school teacher. ( garage kept - very low miles - mint condition) The car drives as if it were on air. It is a great car and I am breaking my own rules by not getting out of it now - but I cannot part with the car. I love it. I've decided to just keep it.
Yea, I would keep that car........ :thup:
 

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