I have the opportunity to buy a used, but certified, chevy sedan with
50k miles for $7,000. This is below blue book value. The only reason I
can figure for the cheap price is because it was a rental. So is it
worth it? I will own it for 1 to 2 years and then sell it. The
certified warranty is only good for 3 months, so what's the chance I
will have to shell out for repairs afetr 3 months?
Another option I'm looking at is buying a 1997 honda civic ex with 114
k miles on it for about 5 grand from a private owner, so no warranty.
I'd take the Chevy over the Honda. The Chevy will probably have another 50K
before serious problems, the Honda is already getting to the breaking point.
Either one may go 200K, but either one can have a major problem tomorrow.
As for the value, there are many variables that you give no information on,
such as model, accessories, trim level, etc.
If I were you, I'd buy (for $5000 or so) a 2000 or so Saturn SL1 or SL2
small sedan (same size as the Honda). Find one with low, one owner, babied
miles, with all oil change receipts, like 60K miles or so. If the price is
right, from a Saturn dealership perhaps. Perhaps, buy the ext. warranty,
to 100K miles, (can negogiate its cost down to $1000 or so). The ext.
aftermarket warranties I've bought have paid for themselves. But you'll
love the Saturn -- character, personality, reliable, fun to drive, smooth.
My last car was a '98 Saturn SL1 that I bought used with 40K miles. I've
owned many Toyotas and Hondas, but the Saturn was the best of the bunch.
In the 40K miles I had it, it only had one problem. Throttle Position
Sensor. I took it to the local Saturn dealership (didn't buy it there).
They had it fixed in 40 minutes. Didn't try to upsell me anything. Bill
was $100. They even washed it after they were done. Very professional
place and courteous. And the coffee in the waiitng room was very good!
Not really. Do you really believe that driving a car a bit hard is beyond
its design intent? That getting right on it will somehow damage it? I rent
cars all of the time and though I have a pretty good right foot and don't
mind at all feeling acceleration when I step on it, I don't do anything
genuinely brutal to a car. Most people don't.
People have been buying cars that have come back in from the rental fleet
with no problems for too long now, for your idea to have any merit. The
higher risk is a personal lease car. That's the one that has more than
likely not seen regular oil changes, etc. The individual owner knows he or
she is going to roll the car back into another lease in two, three or four
years and typically only cares that they don't go over the mileage
allowance. Rental car fleets actually see regular maintenance, as do fleet
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