How would you go about buying a used car/van?


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Mar 25, 2003
Both, yes both of our cars were stolen last month. We know who did it, the police know, but can not arrest the blankety blank blank person....

So we got an amount for my car, not much... :( and I expect less from my huband's car... as his Saturn while newer then mine, and had less miles, sucked rocks. LOL

Soooooooooo here is my tale and my thoughts... but I need input....

My car has been deemed a complete loss (it still has not shown up) and I have been offered a whopping $4,000 for it. I am guessing D's car will not show up as well and I can promise you his will get less $.
They do not go by the Kelly Blue Book which was almost double on my car then what they gave me.

We'd pay cash outright. NOW, we have some $ given to us by D's grandpa on top of whatever insurance gives us... for use of buying a vehicle. My question is, do we buy 2 family cars (used) and if so where/how would you go about buying them... a dealer? Through the paper? OR would you buy one mini van.

The reason I have been looking at a mini van is I am working (still) on getting an electric wheelchair. It will not easily fit on the back of a car. Plus it will get dirty, I worry it will fall off or worse, with my luck be stolen. Ect ect ect... We'd been looking at mini vans back in early May.
Plus we have the stroller, and other stuff to haul around. There is no way we can take a stroller and even my small push around wheelchair in a full size car. Forget luggage or anything else if we went on a weekend trip.

A mini van is running around $14,000+ through the dealerships. Even the 2003, 2004's are running close to that. Nothing below it is showing up.
We can get a decent family car for under $6,000-10,000 depending, again through a dealership. My big thing is it in good shape, plus low miles. It will have to last us a few years.

So if you were looking, how would you go about buying a new used vehicle?
I hate having one car is my big problem. Look at the issues just this past 2 weeks trying to get to doctors appointments ;(
D says he just needs something to get to work that is reliable. Mine would be the family car (if we go this route). Any time I go out, it would be the car we use.

Any suggestions? We need to come up with a plan soon. Insurance will only pay for a rent a car another week or so :(

Do you know, I got docked for insurance on both cars today (payment for insurance) even though technically I no longer own one!? Isn't that kind of weird. They claimed it as a loss on Monday but I am still paying insurance on it.
We stopped buying brand new cars and now focus on getting a fairly new car from a large a Ford dealership,etc. Not just Sam's used cars down the block... We feel that the major dealerships offer warranties that help you through the repair costs that may crop up. Our criteria has been: 1 - 3 years old, no more, mileage under 30,000k miles, and buying an extended warranty for as long as allowed.

We were getting killed with repair costs on our cars. This way, we save the $$ of the new car and we have an extended warranty to get us through usually 5 years after purchase of the vehicle.

Just bought a car last year for DS under that criteria, full extended warranty, after getting hammered with repair costs on his first car. Don't you know, his windshield got hit by a stone the other day and cracked it....the only thing NOT covered by the warranty! laid plans. :rolleyes:
i would say definitely 2 cars-i hate to hear that about your cars-sometimes i wonder is full coverage worth it and then you remember something like this and think you have to have it-i wouldn't hesitate to buy a used car-my dad has been in business for over 40 years now and he has many repeat buyers-don't just assume that you can't get a mini van in great condition for under 10,000-i think if you look hard enough you can find a good deal-i purchased from my dad of course a 2006 buick terazza mini van a few months back-loaded dvd leather-the works-5,000 miles for 12, 900 and my dad still made money off of me-just look around maybe you can find a great deal and you might also want to check out to compare prices for your area- good luck-
I would also check the paper for a car that you might be interested in for sale by an individual.

Get hold of the paper early or try to get the classified early online.
The last car we bought my son found online.

Try to find a one owner car where the owner has all the repair ect paperwork.

And take it somewhere and have it put up on the rack and have a mechanic check it out.

Good luck!

Do you know why your insurance co paid so little or if you have any chance of fighting it? That doesn't seem right.

I alwasy decide what kind of car I want and then search for them online. I also always buy a car that is about two years old with as low of mileage as I can afford. For my car that meant 28 K and for DHs it was close to 40K but his is a HOnda and we know we will get at least 250K on it.

I would lean toward a cheap small car for the DH if he won't object. We for quite awhile had a Geo Metro that cost around $3000 for DH. Got great gas mileage and we were able to pay cash. Then a bigger family car.

Good luck!
Do NOT purchase a 2005 Town & Country mini van with the stow and go seats until you have read my thread over on the Community Board - "I'm in for..Car update pg.6"..

I am absolutely LIVID right now!! :mad:
We bought ours on ebay! I was very hesitant,however after all was said and done we were very happy. We saved over 5000 on our odyssy compared to what a local dealer was asking for the same everything. We bought from someone in Atlanta her id is Wagner? . She has a dealer license so when we went for the loan we were able to say it was a dealer buy, since they just need the dealer #. She often has great buys on odysseys and other vans. Do your homework and i think you might find this is a great route to go.:)


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