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Old 08-21-2012, 08:12 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,404,568 times
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My BIL totaled his car a week ago while avoiding an out-of-state driver who stopped dead in the middle of Route 1 to admire the ocean view. He's been shopping around for a used car and has been amazed at the shortage of inexpensive used cars out there. He has worked as a mechanic and service manager and currently manages the body shop at a local dealership. In the past he has bought used cars for pennies, fixed them up himself and gotten many thousands of miles out of them. Now used cars are downright expensive. Just paging through Craigslist there is almost nothing for sale under $3,000 anymore, and a dealership used car under $10k is like finding hen's teeth.

He blames Cash for Clunkers, and he's likely right. We suspect that more people are in the used car market because they can't afford factory new vehicles. And too, I think we're all keeping our old cars on the road longer than we once did rather than rush out and buy a new car every time the odometer turns 50k. Either way, he's pretty bummed.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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I have been looking for a replacement pickup for 2 years.

I have looked at over a dozen 'wholesale' trucks on dealership lots. Dealerships want over $15k for vehicles that must be towed off their lot. ['wholesale' in this context is vehicles with so much rust they have failed inspection].

Driving around I have looked at many plow trucks; that had not passed an inspection for 2 or 3 years. Folks generally want $5k to $8k for them.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,426,587 times
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Yeah, I think the days when you could buy a beater for $100 are pretty much gone. 'Cash for Clunkers partly to blame, plus, when you can get $200-300 for scrapping one it's hard to get something workable for that or less. And then, there's the planned obsolescence- I went to the Dodge dealer to get a part for the wife's '96 Jeep (not that old, in my head), no dice..."Too old, we don't carry and can't get the parts for anything that old." It's even tough finding parts in a junkyard when the price for scrap is where it is.

I looked at a '79 Ford F-150 right down the road here, bed rusted, straight-6 with a standard tranny and a plow. Asked what kind of money he was looking for, the guy held up 2 fingers...no, it wasn't $200, add another zero, I couldn't believe it. The motor was leaking, the hydraulic pump was leaking, the bed was rusted and there was a lot of Bondo under the paint. 'Salright, I don't think I'm going to be able to drive the standard much anyway, unless I get some new knees first- I jumped in the tractor at work to move a trailer and couldn't work the clutch, blew that knee out a few months ago lifting a small pallet of freight and it hasn't got much better since then.

Saw a '94 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 on Craigslist for $2000, but I can't really spare the cash right now, especially if I have to lay out more for a plow.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,610,521 times
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Well, I bought a 2002 Ford Ranger for around $3,000 this Spring and am very happy with it. The "Cash for Clunkers" fiasco removed most of the older cars from the used car market. Oh yeah, every April 15th the 50% of us that still pay income taxes get the celebrate the transfer of our wealth to Detroit... because that's what happened.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,484 posts, read 2,534,004 times
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Sometimes you can find them from friends like on things like Barter and swap. I bought a 2001 Ford Explorer AWD with 110K miles for $3400 but only because with a 5 Liter engine and AWD the mileage is only 19 mpg at the best.

Part of the problem up here is the excise tax which encourages people to keep their old cars. The second part of the problem is the SEA AIR. Most of the cars you would get come from the coast since most of the population is on the coast; this problem develops because the constant connection the corrosive sea air deteriorates the frames very quickly reducing the availability of the vehicles. Finally, the price of new cars has gone so far out of sight, that they just don't depreciate very much anymore.

I have a Ford Focus with 132K on it, and I am now told that the transaxle is dying. I went out to look for a used vehicle with low mileage or a new one and got incredible sticker shock. I can't even begin to buy a used car that is as good as my present one for the $3000 that it would cost for a spanking new transmission. I've changed the oil every 3 K for the life of the car so the engine is in great shape. But even finding a specialty shop that works on transmissions means I have to drive an hour for it. Forget that! In the little area rural Mid Atlantic where I lived before, there were four specialty transmission shops. What gets you a rebuilt transmission here for $2500 would be $1500 there because of the competition.

So I guess I'll start quick saving my pension for the $3000 I need for a new transmission(parts and labor).
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,094 times
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im moving to maine shortly. here in central florida one can find a pretty decent vehicle for 3k .I was thinking of waiting till i moved to get a 4x4 truck but from what i just read i will buy here and take to there. At least it wont be a rust bucket lol
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,484 posts, read 2,534,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budvoss View Post
im moving to maine shortly. here in central florida one can find a pretty decent vehicle for 3k .I was thinking of waiting till i moved to get a 4x4 truck but from what i just read i will buy here and take to there. At least it wont be a rust bucket lol

Good Idea. You won't find what you any for any decent price here. I love Maine, but this is one of the very very few drawbacks.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:33 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,908 times
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Sounds like you boys need a woman's/girl's help shopping for a car. (btw, There's another thread about excise tax and personal property tax. The government will get tax dollars one way or another regardless of what they name it.)

There's a Subaru place on Rt. 1 Bucksport Road in Ellsworth "Out of Town Auto." Give them a call 207 667 5195. They might have something or be able to point you in the right direction.

What kind of car/truck are you looking for...or doesn't it matter as long as the price is low enough?

SEA air?! I thought it was the %@*# on the roads in the winter. If the SEA air is causing the problem, shop in Aroostook County. Maybe Uncle Henry's will help.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:16 PM
 
17,159 posts, read 22,167,733 times
Reputation: 31228
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Sounds like you boys need a woman's/girl's help shopping for a car. (btw, There's another thread about excise tax and personal property tax. The government will get tax dollars one way or another regardless of what they name it.)

There's a Subaru place on Rt. 1 Bucksport Road in Ellsworth "Out of Town Auto." Give them a call 207 667 5195. They might have something or be able to point you in the right direction.

What kind of car/truck are you looking for...or doesn't it matter as long as the price is low enough?

SEA air?! I thought it was the %@*# on the roads in the winter. If the SEA air is causing the problem, shop in Aroostook County. Maybe Uncle Henry's will help.
Before the car im driving now, Ive had many many used cheap vehicles

you gotta do your research, from craigslist to uncle henrys, to the newspaper, to seeing used car lots...

on one hand, cars last longer than they use to....worth more particularly if they are a high mpg car



alot of demand for used cars now..... the prices of new cars are ridiculous.......


also alot of inventory at dealerships......they want to sell....just be straight, tell them exactly what you are looking for-they dont have it... keep looking
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,484 posts, read 2,534,004 times
Reputation: 4197
Thanks for the response Mainegrl2011, but there is no chance that I can find a car as nice as mine, for $3000 and one with a brand new transmission. Any car around that costs $3K will have problems, probably tranmission, just waiting to happen. Suburu's are fine, but I have a good friend who is a top notch Suburu mechanic and he's told me what to avoid there---and so most of what I'm looking for there in my price range is those problems.

I've looked around quite a bit. There ain't nothin' out there. If you think that its the salt put on the roads.... the amount of salt used in Mid Atlantic region is every bit as extensive as Maine, and their cars don't continuously rust out.

But I'm not driving two hours away to buy a car, that's crazy---for me anyway. As to the excise.... sure they will. But the newer the car the bigger the tax. The excise tax is an immediate thing when you register each year.

No... the most cost effective thing to to is to save for the new transmission. The I have a guarantee of at least 60K miles of driving. Unlike transmissions which tend to jump on you, engine problems develop gradually over time and you know its coming.
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