Cheap high mileage or expensive low mileage?

I have a question for those who care to read my (sorry long) post.
Two vans we're looking at, 93 Safari with very high mileage (345000 km), saftied, and can get it for $1300 or so. The guy selling it
bought it from a lady who had to move out of the area quickly. It has a tow hitch on it and by the look of it was well used. The body is in decent condition, little rust, etc.
The other is an immaculately kept (looks like showroom condition) 92 Safari with only 148000 km. I doubt we would get it for less than $5000. It's never been driven in winter, and it's been maintained reguarly, saftied, one owner, and has never towed anything.
My fear is if we get the 92 for $5K and are in an accident (even if it's not our fault in any way) the insurance will write it off because it's an "old, 1992 van". They don't care about the mileage on it, nor how it's been maintained. We would get about $3000 for it if they wrote it off.
We're tempted to go for the higher mileage vehicle as we do have harsh winters where we live and the chance of getting in a winter accident is quite high compared to other areas of north america, so it's a bit of a gamble. Do we buy the more expensive van that we know we will get a lot of years out of and less headaches, but risk losing $2000 if we get in an accident, or buy the cheaper one and risk having maintenance problems because it is a high mileage van thats been used to tow.
Any tips for us? We're really stuck because we know the 92 is a better deal for what it is, yet there's this darn thing with the insurance being 'write-off' happy :(
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See what you can get the 92 for. What is worth in you area?

Stop worrying about things that you have no control over.
Roy
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"" wrote:
> > >I have a question for those who care to read my (sorry long) > post. > > > > Two vans we're looking at, 93 Safari with very high mileage > (345000 > > km), saftied, and can get it for $1300 or so. The guy > selling it > > bought it from a lady who had to move out of the area > quickly. It has > > a tow hitch on it and by the look of it was well used. The > body is in > > decent condition, little rust, etc. > > > > The other is an immaculately kept (looks like showroom > condition) 92 > > Safari with only 148000 km. I doubt we would get it for less > than > > $5000. It's never been driven in winter, and it's been > maintained > > reguarly, saftied, one owner, and has never towed anything. > > See what you can get the 92 for. What is worth in you area? > > > My fear is if we get the 92 for $5K and are in an accident > (even if > > it's not our fault in any way) the insurance will write it > off because > > it's an "old, 1992 van". They don't care about the mileage > on it, nor > > how it's been maintained. We would get about $3000 for it > if they > > wrote it off. > > > > We're tempted to go for the higher mileage vehicle as we do > have harsh > > winters where we live and the chance of getting in a winter > accident is > > quite high compared to other areas of north america, so it's > a bit of a > > gamble. Do we buy the more expensive van that we know we > will get a > > lot of years out of and less headaches, but risk losing > $2000 if we get > > in an accident, or buy the cheaper one and risk having > maintenance > > problems because it is a high mileage van thats been used to > tow. > > > > Any tips for us? > > Stop worrying about things that you have no control over. > > Roy
Generally if you get a high mileage car that still runs well, i is not going to have a major failure overnight and when it needs repair with the money saved you can fix it. With a newer low mileage car that has no real warranty, it is still a untested item and could fail suddenly and then you will have the price of repairs and higher purchase cost. If you want pay a lot of money, go a few extra bucks and get a new one because atleast it will have a warranty so there will be no extra expenses for a while because a expensive used one does not guarentee that you will not have some extra and possibly large out of packet expensis doe it.
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On 16 Jul 2005 08:56:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you are that worried then my suggestion would be to put collision insurance with all the fixin's including a higher deductible which will lower the rate that you pay. The high milage vehicle has too high a probability of problems in the short future.
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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A. 93 Safari 345000 km, saftied, $1300. Well-used tow hitch. Decent body, little rust, etc.
B. 92 Safari 148000 km, saftied, $5000. Immaculate, never used for towing, never driven in winter, one owner.
In our harsh winters the chance a winter accident is high. If we pay $5k for the 92 and have an accident, insurance will only pay $3000 for it because (that is its value in insurance casualty tables.)
Should we (get the cheap van because the loss is reimbursed if we crash, or get the expensive van and take the risk of a $2000 loss if we crash?)
Any tips for us? _______________________________________________________
My opinion (you asked for it):
1.) 1993 Safari 148000 km
Do not buy the 93 Safari at any price. Using a vehicle for towing probably doubles the wear rate of the drive train so if the 93 was used for towing even half its life, its effective mileage is 517,000 km. That Safari is all...worn...out.
2. 1992 Safari 148000 km
a.) Set aside your emotions about the 92 Safari creampuff. If you pass on this one, another great deal is always just around the corner. Consider buying a different vehicle which is somehow less likely to have an accident, or which is less likely to sustain major damage in an accident.
b.) Look up the private party value of a 92 Safari with that mileage in that condition and make an offer at that value. The seller will either accept the offer or counter with a higher asking price. The difference will tell you how much risk you face, and you can decide if it's worth it.
c.) If you feel you have a $2000 excess risk there are insurance firms which will cover it for a premium payment. Otherwise, you are acting as a self-insuror for the uncovered $2000. Anything is insurable.
Good luck.
Wendy & John. ___________________________________________________________
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Hi All,
I should mention that we have gov't run insurance, so we don't have the options others do. We can't get insurance to cover the excess 2K, it simply isn't available. We always have collision coverage, and still the insurance is infamous for writing off vehicles. And if its cheaper to write off then repair of course they are going to do that. The cost of insurance is reasonable, we have a 91 Astro and pay 72/month for full coverage with a $300 deductable. Our 2000 civic was $140/m full coverage !!
As far as accidents, it does not take much to get 2 or 3K in damage, and a safari or astro are pretty decent in accidents. I like that they are built on a decent frame, unlike most cars. And thank goodness its domestic, if it was an imported van the cost to repair would be much higher! Our 91 Astro was smashed by a guy who ran a red light and his car was toast, he could't even drive it away it was so screwed up. All we sustained was front end damage and a dent in the passenger door. But even that little of damage was well over 3,000 to repair, so the insurance co. has written it off. This is why we are looking for another van.
Thanks for the reminder about the towing, I realize it puts stress on everything, and that is one of the main reasons I'm leary. I have researched the prices on the 92's and 5K is worth it for only 148000 km's on it.
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I would get the better vehicle, but then I am not in the habit of totaling automobiles in accidents.
John
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Hell, if me or my family is in an accident that might total the damn van, the last thing I am worried about is being out a couple thousand dollars if they total it.
My worry would be that somebody in my family is seriously hurt.
On the other hand, if my wife drove it with my kids in it, I would want her driving the one that is least likely to break on her, which would make the van with much lower mileage my choice.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

My suggestion is to get treated for the "buyer's fever" and not buy either of these pigs. You know the one is overpriced and the other is over used. If you are so afraid of getting in an accident then you probably should not be driving.
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