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Old 11-21-2013, 07:41 PM
3,279 posts, read 4,940,834 times
Reputation: 6149


My wife was saying she wanted a truck for hauling large items. I compelled her that a minivan would be better, as the items in question typically can be handled by a minivan & that such would still have far more room than the 2 trunk-based sedans we currently own, & plus you'd be able to still haul all 4 of us around (so long as at least the 2nd row of seats weren't removed), which a truck couldn't do unless it was an extended cab. Also in this area where we live anyway trucks tend to cost a lot more.

Anyway I spotted a 2003 Kia Sedona for $1500. I drove it & it seemed fine, the only thing was that when putting it in drive it took a second to "engage," there was a brief bit of "lag," but once it did it zoomed on without incident. Our 2 cars also do that sometimes & there's never been any issues, but I thought I'd mention it. Also, its battery was dead & they had to jump it, they left me with a very "ghetto" impression of it, but they replaced it with a new one.

Kia seems to have a bit of a "ghetto" reputation, yet I once drove the Ford Festiva, which Kia made, and everyone I owned was very reliable.

Where I'm being nervous & cautious etc, is this:

(1) I have said I want to sell one of our 2 cars to help fund the purchase, even though we have enough to buy it outright & sell later. I don't want to be stuck with 3 cars if one of the original 2 has a hard time getting sold. Is it foolish to "hold out," or does that make sense in terms of really being responsible?

(2) With the cars we own now, both private sales, one was bought at the owner's house and he was a former car dealership owner, he had all of the papers and was handling it all very well. The second one the car's title was owned by a check cashing place, but the owner accompanied me to the place & I was thus able to verify right in the office that it was free & clear to be transferred over before giving over any money & before letting her on her way and potentially having trouble tracking her down to sign anything.

In this case, the seller is not the original owner, they bought it but never changed it over in their name; however, they have the title and it's signed, they say (I haven't seen it yet). They seem a little more "haphazard" with it all (although that could just be my skepticism), and so if I were to get this my inclination is to not hand over any money until someone at the DMV looks over the papers and validates that all is clear and that no other papers are needed. Thus, whereas I was going to buy it tonight & then handle the paperwork tomorrow, I decided to hold off until tomorrow when the DMV offices will be open.

As I told the guy, I once bought a van (thankfully a really cheap and really old one as in I paid $500 for it) and failed to have the guy sign the paper that is for paying the tax/title/license on it and states how much we paid for it; when I tried to follow-up with the guy to get him to sign it I could never get a hold of him & thus could never change it over to our name, and I don't want something like that occurring again. They don't seem altogether resistant to such on our part, yet they were saying "it should be fine just like it is."

Does this sound fishy as I'm describing it, or should I be okay so long as the papers pass the DMV desk clerk's scrutiny? (Or does their behavior suggest they may be selling me something that's been "chop-shopped.") Does it make more sense to wait until I've sold one of the other 2 cars so as to prevent having too much that we're "tied into?" Otherwise, what is the general consensus of something like a Kia Sedona?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:47 PM
Location: Portland, OR
1,425 posts, read 2,264,086 times
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Oh yes, this sounds very fishy, price also too low unless the car is in seriously bad shape, with a branded title and an interglactic mileage. I'd get the car checked by a competent mechanic that specializes in pre-buy inspections and then have the title very carefully inspected at the DMV with the seller there. Run a carfax and check the VIN matches in the several places that it is stamped on the car (google to find out where). Do the transaction at either the DMV or a bank and get 2 bills of sale signed by the seller and you and keep one of the originals. Get a copy of their driving license and take a surreptitious photo of them (recent case in my home town of a shady seller getting caught as the buyer photoed them and turned it into the police when the car was proved to be stolen). Google the Kia by year and see what Edmunds, KBB and other car sites say about them. My personal opinion from limited googling, probably reliable if you buy a good, well cared-for example, but it is a soul-less utility vehicle with an uninspiring interior and sluggish performance.

Finally if is sounds too good to be true then it probably is, proceed very cautiously.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:56 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
42,706 posts, read 56,986,557 times
Reputation: 121074
As stated above check the title. There are a lot of salvaged cars on the market, many from the flooded and other disaster areas. And remember, especially the older one, the KIA motto is Krap In America.
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