Used cars in the USA

Used cars in the USA

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mr_spock

Original Poster:

3,020 posts

174 months

Thursday 13th August
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I'll be looking at buying a car in the next few weeks over in North Carolina when I visit the mrs, so I've been looking at Craigslist and Facebook. Is there anywhere else I should look? I'm hoping for a 10-15 year old not-completely-shagged pickup, SUV or wagon under $5K and preferably less.

And, as an aside, HOW MUCH do shagged old pickups go for? I can see me getting a Saab 9-3 Combi or a V70 or E-class instead of the ridiculous Suburban/2500 pickup/SUV or Caddy/Panther platform barge I had envisioned.

Although there's a decent '58 Edsel in the classifieds for an insane 5K... And I have Y-block spares at home...

Loach1

430 posts

100 months

Thursday 13th August
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You are looking in the right places. Used car prices are pretty steep in the US, but there are bargains to be had. If you want a barge you won’t go wrong with a Sequoia, which should be about $5K. The older Tundra is a good buy too. Chevy trucks hold on to their value very well because they go on forever. Ford maybe not so much.
Older European cars like you mentioned, especially estates, are not well loved here. The cost of repairing makes people shy away, so a Passat or Audi A6 can be cheap as chips. Just maintain it yourself and enjoy a bargain.
Buying from Craigslist or Facebook from afar will be difficult. I do my fair share of buying and selling and in my experience the good deals go quickly to the first person with cash.
I wish I had something to sell, but unless you’re in the market for a nice TVR or two I’m not the guy for you!
Where will you be visiting? I’m in Durham, BTW.

mr_spock

Original Poster:

3,020 posts

174 months

Friday 14th August
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Yes, I’d got that impression. Some great 80s barges if I don’t mind driving 4 hours! My wife has an apartment in Burlington and works in Raleigh, our prospective house purchase is near Mebane. Drop me a PM, would be cool to meet up. I’m definitely thinking of a euro wagon since I know them, but also happy with US simple stuff as I have experience of those too. TVR would be fun but think I’ll need a load lugger for dump and DIY runs for a while. Also we need to buy some furniture so will hit the antique shops and estate sales.

BertieWooster

1,270 posts

123 months

Tuesday 25th August
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You could also try autotrader.com as well. As suggested earlier, a Sequoia would be a good choice. They are reliable, easy to maintain, and hold their value.

mr_spock

Original Poster:

3,020 posts

174 months

Tuesday 25th August
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Thanks everyone! I found a few candidates on Craigslist. We decided to find something locally as we're short of time, so went to see a couple of pickups but these were knackered at the money I was looking to spend. Looked at a couple of smaller SUVs (an Explorer and a Blazer) which were OK but the lot was shut at the weekends!

Then a 2002 Sequoia SRT for sale privately. By an odd coincidence the seller has the same last name as my wife (she hasn't changed it yet, long story), but no relation. Truck is white with tan leather and duct tape interior, 240K on the clock, everything works except the back window which is a common issue I think. Late model Sequoia wheels and new reinforced tyres, no leaks or any evidence of ever having had any, no service records on paper but some on Carfax. Drives really well.

Asking $4500, bought for $3800. I feel that's OK. It's also HUGE! But doesn't feel it on the roads. Pics to follow. Did I say it's filthy? Under the factory mats the carpet is immaculate though.

BertieWooster

1,270 posts

123 months

Wednesday 26th August
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Try and download the myCarfax app - you can put in the VIN for your car, and track maintenance and fuel economy (not good for the Sequoia hehe). I use it all the time for both my vehicles.

mr_spock

Original Poster:

3,020 posts

174 months

Wednesday 26th August
quotequote all
BertieWooster said:
Try and download the myCarfax app - you can put in the VIN for your car, and track maintenance and fuel economy (not good for the Sequoia hehe). I use it all the time for both my vehicles.
Thanks, not on the UK app store sadly.

Spent a little time yesterday with some spray cleaner/disinfectant, a vaccum and some carpet cleaner in a can. The mats came up almost like new, the "warm dog" smell is gone and the center console isn't sticky any more. Car wash soon to get the greem mould off the roof where there was a roof rack. It still seems like a decent truck, although the air con was struggling a little at 104 degrees in the sun.