Automotive

Buying used for under $6000 - is it possible?

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  • Sep 8th, 2021 6:25 pm
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
19638 posts
20059 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Absolutely possible. I’ve owned a 14 year old civic that I bought for $500 and put in another $500 for tires and brakes. Drove it 50,000kms before the head gasket blew. Only maintenance I did during the 50k were oil changes.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 29, 2021
3 posts
3 upvotes
Wow, sorry for not replying earlier, but rest assured I've read all the replies attentively. Thanks so much for all the insight and advice!

I'm perfectly fine with a Honda Fit, I'll add it to my list for consideration. My mother owns a 3-door Yaris and it feels kind of small, so I would consider a Yaris but definitely would be the 4-door (I've been checking those out on the street and they seem to be a decent size). I'll also be open to the other models mentioned in this thread.

I'm also in agreement regarding focusing on condition and maintenance rather than year and raw mileage; I'd still like to get something not-20-years-old mainly because I've been in the "so old, it's hard to get parts for" situation.

Please keep any and all comments and advice coming, I'm eager to learn and appreciate all the help.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2017
1194 posts
1081 upvotes
I have both older Honda Civic (2010 ex-l low kms/under 100k) and a 2011 Mazda 3 Sport with the 2.5 6MT (140k kms) and both are well maintained and in great shape

I drive the Mazda almost exclusively plus they sell used for quite a bit less than Civics and corollas. You will need winter tires as well and make sure your brakes and tires are close to new or replace after purchase. Safety comes 1st.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 7, 2004
8001 posts
4873 upvotes
West GTEH!
carseeker6966 wrote: Hello everyone,

I'm looking to buy a car to get me through a relatively short daily Montreal commute - despite it being only 20 min or so, there's no feasible public transportation route (that doesn't take 3x as long), nor can I go by bicycle. Thinking distances, I'd probably only drive the thing about 8-10,000 km/year.

With that in mind, and since I know nothing about buying used cars, I thought I'd ask the wise people here to please help check on my assumptions and expectations and help me adjust them to something realistic.

I would be looking at a used car at no more than $6000 (plus tax + registration) and would like something that's 2010 or newer and has under 140,000 km. I think this would give me 3-5 years of service which would fit my needs.

I would prefer a sedan (think Civic, Corolla) and would prefer to stick to those two brands (Honda, Toyota) but am super flexible in both form factor and make - given the above criteria I know I can't be picky and I'll settle for anything that gets me there and back and has only infrequent breakdowns, proper maintenance taken into consideration.

Another thing I would like is using a dealer of some sort, as I don't feel confident dealing with private sellers. Is it a terrible idea to go to one of those used car lots so I can peruse their inventory and find something that fits the bill? (which on the other hand I can pre-screen online to ensure they have several options within my criteria). I'm in Montreal, so would also appreciate either suggestions on decent nearby dealers or advice to run as far as I can from them :)

What do you think? which of the above ideas or expectations would I have to adjust?

Thanks!
It's possible.
You have to do the work and search on Autotrader or other Sites for what you're looking for.
😎
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
3097 posts
2020 upvotes
ontario
If I recall we paid 4500 for our 05 corolla 4 years ago with about 150k on it. Today, it has 259k. Oil changes and brakes in that time... ohh and the catalytic died but since no etest anymore shes straight piped lmao

Parts availability will be a non issue with civics corollas etc. Even if from the 2000s.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 21, 2005
3220 posts
1192 upvotes
Lévis
Whatever you do, I strongly suggest a deep inspection at a dealershop. Will cost <200$ on many thousands expanse. Worth it IMHO.
Pourquoi pas?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
56484 posts
21533 upvotes
You can also shop for larger two-door vehicles. I noticed the '12 CT200h I bought from a friend early 2020 has shot up in price ($10K or so) but other '11-12 Accord coupe 4-cyl 5AT on autotrader can be had for $6+K but those ones have 200+k km. Mine has about 145k but I have no plans of selling it until I switch to a BEV.

There's definitely lower demand for coupes but of course at 240k or so km, maybe they're bound for some upcoming repairs.

https://www.driveaccord.net/threads/v6- ... ty.559775/
Jr. Member
Sep 15, 2020
138 posts
141 upvotes
alanbrenton wrote: You can also shop for larger two-door vehicles. I noticed the '12 CT200h I bought from a friend early 2020 has shot up in price ($10K or so) but other '11-12 Accord coupe 4-cyl 5AT on autotrader can be had for $6+K but those ones have 200+k km. Mine has about 145k but I have no plans of selling it until I switch to a BEV.

There's definitely lower demand for coupes but of course at 240k or so km, maybe they're bound for some upcoming repairs.

https://www.driveaccord.net/threads/v6- ... ty.559775/
I was looking at Accords and I think a few reasons the Accord coupes are particularly cheaper than others, say, a Camry of the same vintage (not the 2AZ oil burner), might be due to:

1. From what I can tell, the VTC actuators on these four poppers are known to go bad in higher mileage cars. I first knew of this problem from a very recent Chrisfix video on how to fix this on an Accord sedan.

2. Perhaps still problems with the 5AT gearbox? I understand early 2000s model have been notorious for it but I have not done the research to see if it has been fixed by 2012 MY.
3. Coupes are inherently harder and more expensive to insure.
4. Be prepared to sit on it for longer and/or suffer lower resale value because it is less "practical" than the sedan version. Or hatchback version (Crosstour).
5. V6 is nice but VCM problems, engine mounts and Timing belt costs? No thanks. That's easily half the car in just maintenance costs.

Congrats on the CT200h purchase!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
56484 posts
21533 upvotes
Brianbakers wrote: I was looking at Accords and I think a few reasons the Accord coupes are particularly cheaper than others, say, a Camry of the same vintage (not the 2AZ oil burner), might be due to:

1. From what I can tell, the VTC actuators on these four poppers are known to go bad in higher mileage cars. I first knew of this problem from a very recent Chrisfix video on how to fix this on an Accord sedan.

2. Perhaps still problems with the 5AT gearbox? I understand early 2000s model have been notorious for it but I have not done the research to see if it has been fixed by 2012 MY.
3. Coupes are inherently harder and more expensive to insure. You will have to ask the actuaries in insurance companies why this is since I have no clue.
4. Be prepared to sit on it for longer and/or suffer lower resale value because it is less "practical" than the sedan version. Or hatchback version (Crosstour).
5. V6 is nice but VCM problems, engine mounts and Timing belt costs? No thanks. That's easily half the car in just maintenance costs.

Congrats on the CT200h purchase!
-I had the VTC actuator replaced under extended warranty but I think I did hear the short grind one time after that. My wife who usually drove the car in winter never paid attention to these noises haha. I don't think there has been any reported catastrophic failures on driveaccord but maybe those affected moved on to another brand LOL!
-We have 145k on the Accord and AT still shifts fine. When it's stop and go traffic on the highway, there's of course that minor jerkiness when it downshifts from third to say second or first gear but that's normal. I did a 3X ATF drain and fill three years ago.
-True for most, it's about the same as our '16 RAV4H but I live in the GTA where insurance is quite cheap and my wife and I have had driving history since '94. I also increased deductible to 2,000 since I have no plans of making claims on small damages anyway.
-Yeah, I have no intention of selling it at the moment. Waiting for the BEV battery evolution to solid states or lithium metals first and when warranty will be quite longer than eight years. My '11 y.o. still handles reasonably well with no issues so far.
- Mine is I4 so the spark plug change was quite easy to do and it comes with timing chain.

Thanks. Didn't want to give up my '02 Civic but having four cars to three drivers didn't make sense. I am still amazed at having purchased the CT for less than $6K (didn't low ball, not that type) last year. It feels good to buy a used but fully functional and decent condition vehicle for a song. Just touched up some rock chips on it this weekend when I bought the touch up pen middle of 2020 haha.
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
3241 posts
2106 upvotes
Markham
1. Ask for maintenance record to see if maintenance was performed as per maintenance schedule.
2. Request the seller to take the vehicle to a garage of your choice (and at your expense) for an inspection with engine compression test. From this inspection, you will get a pretty good idea the TRUE condition of the vehicle. You can tell the mechanic if the vehicle is in poor condition, stop the inspection (not to waste your time and money). This inspection with compression test will run you anywhere from $50-300...pending on how far you want to go.

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