Should I buy a 1994 Ford Escort?

Hi Folks, There is a dealer who has got a Ford Escort 1994 for sale. His asking price is about 2997 dollars. He refuses to budge from that price. The
VIN # is 1FARP14J9RW235637
I do not hold an American Driving Licence and hence I have to pay about 860 dollars for six months of liability insurance. Thats very expensive in my personal opinion.
Also the KBB value of the car is less than 2000 dollars. However the dealer told me that a KBB value is not accurate for the low-end market. The car has gone about 75000 miles.
Can anyone get a carfax report on this car? Are cars bought from a dealer usually sound ones?
Help, Sam
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I feel your insurance pain. Assuming that you are here legally, why not obtain a US driver's license? Unless you are on a visit, it's the law, and spending the time to learn the traffic rules of your state is just the proper and responsible thing to do anyway.
If you are willing to part from $3000 for a used car, why not spend $20 on Carfax subscription? It's less than a tank of gas and, I believe, will let you review an unlimited number of VINs for a while, so you will feel more free to shop around. Have you asked the dealer to provide you with the Carfax printout? Most of them subscribe to the service, and it costs them nothing to print a report for you. If he refuses, it will be a good sign that he's got something to hide. The dealer should also show you the title, which will have the name of the previous owner - a good thing to check.
I am assuming that it's a Ford dealership, not a used car dealer lot. Indeed, factory dealerships are generally more selective with what they put on their used car lot. They have a reputation to maintain, and more so, a pile of junkers sitting next to the shiny new models is not good for their main business. But I would definitely not count on this alone -- make the sell contingent on inspection and spend the $150-$200 or so to do it. It will be money very well spent. Do not use the dealership's service department for this - go elsewhere. If they refuse to make the sale contingent on independent inspection, walk away from the deal. If any major problem is found, drop the deal -- a bad engine or transmission (if automatic) will double your cost (not to mention the hassle). Adjust the price for anything else deficient, or have the dealer fix it before you take possession of the car.
Most used cars at a dealer's lot come with some minimal warranty - like 1000 miles on the power train. Take it, to avoid nasty surprises.
As for the value, what the salesman told you about KBB is bullshit, and you know it. A used car salesman will say anything to make the sale - the commission feeds his kids. You should do enough research to find exactly what the vehicle is worth (Edmunds.com is another good source. Your insurance agent will tell you the 'book value'). Don't argue about KBB or anything else. Set your price and be prepared to walk away if they won't meet it.
Above all, remember that the dealership door is your friend. If they won't come down to your terms, thank them for their time and head toward it. There are many more 12 year old cars for sale in your town.

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Sam wrote:

For liability reasons a dealer will usually safety check the vehicles he sells whereas a private seller will not. Dealers have these and other marketing costs that drive the price up. Everything is somewhat negotiable. The dealer won't budge here because he senses rightly that you are not a good negotiator. He has asked you the right questions and knows you are dealing from a position of weakness. That's what they love.
If accurate, the mileage on that car is real low. Still, if you knew what to look for you could find a better deal from a private party. Why not apply for a license in the state where you are residing and cut that insurance cost?
Get a Carfax if you must, but don't expect it to protect you from much.
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wrote:

Around here, if you do not both safety check and e-test a car you will NOT get anything close to market value for it - private sale or not. If you have a 1994 low mileage escort without safety and e-test here, you would be doing REAL good to get 1200 for it. E-tested and safetied, with good body and coametics no problem getting $3000

In Ontario you MUST provide complete disclosure, in the form of a "sellers kit" report from the DOT if you are not a licenced dealer. Costs $20. If looking at a used car dealer, it is well worth it to pay the $20 and get the report yourself on a car you are serious about. Then you know if the dealer is telling the truth about where it came from.
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a) Anyone who is willing to pay for it can get a carfax report (they are even available online). b) Cars bought from a dealer are usually sound ones. Because Usually dealers are selling new cars with full warranties.
A used car is a used car is a used car.(Dealer, Auction, Private)
I agree with the dealer KBB won't be accurate for the low end of the market. Basing this on the fact that the low end of the market includes many $50 cars on their way to the bone yard.
If the car is a good car the dealer will have no qualms extending a 6 month 5,000 mile warranty. OTOH.......
I know that you feel that $860 for 6 months liability is expensive however keep in mind that 1 oversight on your part (red light for example) could cost an insurance company $1,000,000.00+ I would say that as a driver unlicensed for the area you are driving in, $860 is a bargain. (I found my Oldsmobile 98 was cheap on insurance).
If you really want to deny the insurance companies money and have a reliable means of transportation purchase a new bicycle. Comes with a warranty, doesn't require insurance and walmart has them from $53.00 (plus heart healthy too !)
Sorry, Don't take it personally. It's 1:05AM & I'm heading to bed.
If the Escort is a good car the dealer will stand behind it. Failing that:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1993-Ford-Escort-LX-Hatchback-2D_W0QQitemZ4593062345QQcategoryZ6229QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 44000 miles with A/C
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-Ford-Escort-ZX2-35-mpg-low-miles-runs-great_W0QQitemZ4592922656QQcategoryZ6229QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 77000 Miles (& it's a 1999)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CUSTOM-NEW-ESCORT-ZX2-no-reserve-59000-MILES_W0QQitemZ4592909207QQcategoryZ6229QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 59000 Miles (though it's "But it now price is $3 more than you're talking)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/93-Ford-Escort-Only-77000-miles-5spd-Great-car-MUST-SEE_W0QQitemZ4591861372QQcategoryZ6229QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 77000 miles Plus the reserve has been lowered
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-Automatic-Clean-Gas-Saver-66K-needs-repair_W0QQitemZ4592866762QQcategoryZ6229QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem 66000 Miles (though it might need a bit of seeing to :-)
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Not only that, but KBB is an AVERAGE. In some areas you can not GIVE AWAY certain models, much less get KBB price. In others, that same model may be in high demand - making KBB price the minimum you will buy it for.

Here in Ontario, $860 for 6 months is CHEAP if you don't have a 5 star driving record. Many beginning drivers (no insurance record in the province or country) pay well over $3000 per year.

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Generally speaking, $3000 is the minimum any used car dealer sells any car for. Evne one that is only worth $1200-$2000 like the Escort you referenced. I would not even bother shopping at such a place.
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I paid, two years ago, 3400.00 for a great running 97 Escort. Don't even think of that older version.
Hank
On 28 Nov 2005 13:24:43 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I have decided not to go ahead with the deal. So it stands cancelled as of now. I went for a 1993 Toyota Camry with 100,000 miles. It was much cheaper and more bigger.
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