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Old 05-30-2011, 04:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,735 times
Reputation: 19

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I'm a college student looking for a place to buy a cheap used car in southeast MI. I'm in the Ann Arbor area but could travel. My budget doesn't allow for anything fancy, but I would like to buy a car with KNOWN problems so I can budget for fixing them, rather than one where the owner is going to tell me "the a/c just needs to be recharged!" when in reality there's a thousand things wrong.

I'm interested in the Volunteers of America retail cars (not the auctions) as they seem fairly legit, but does anyone here have experience with them? Or can recommend another used car company?

Thanks for the help
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,806 times
Reputation: 10
[url=http://www.tricityusedcars.com/]Tri City Used Cars - Car Lot Offering Pre-Owned Vehicles in Auburn, Michigan.[/url] I know a lot of people including me who went there they are pretty good and will tell you your facts and also sell cheap parts when something goes wrong.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,951 posts, read 6,288,352 times
Reputation: 3257
I would be very, VERY cautious with buying a VOA car. My former career was working for a tow company that picked up VOA cars --- and lets just say that many of the cars donated have problems. People found they could get a better deal by taking a tax write off for the donation than they could selling the vehicle. If you're getting better $ for a donation rather than selling, what does that tell you about the condition of the car?

Yes, some of the cars could be in good working condition. But, I wouldn't go shopping at the VOA unless I had: A) a strong vehicle mechanical knowledge, or B) a trustworthy associate with a background in vehicles to go with me.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:39 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,846,584 times
Reputation: 10268
I recently bought a used vehicle and noticed a lot of VOA cars listed on autotrader. What put me off was that they advertised and automatic 25% off the advertised price if the buyer had a Bridge card or some other proof of government assistance in their name.

So...since I don't get food stamps/bridge card or any type of assistance, I automatically pay a higher price....that just rubbed me the wrong way. I called them and was assured they would accept offers and their pricing was "flexible" but I decided...meh. I ended up buying from a private seller and am happy.

It's been over a month since the OP posted their first and only post here so I imagine he or she won't be back to acknowledge or update. And the second poster is probably just trying to drum up business. My response is to bolster chance2jump's post for random readers: don't bother with VOA unless you are on assistance, have crappy credit and don't have the cash to buy a car outright.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:44 AM
 
7,307 posts, read 9,757,538 times
Reputation: 8727
Quote:
Originally Posted by huronriver View Post
I'm a college student looking for a place to buy a cheap used car in southeast MI. I'm in the Ann Arbor area but could travel. My budget doesn't allow for anything fancy, but I would like to buy a car with KNOWN problems so I can budget for fixing them, rather than one where the owner is going to tell me "the a/c just needs to be recharged!" when in reality there's a thousand things wrong.

I'm interested in the Volunteers of America retail cars (not the auctions) as they seem fairly legit, but does anyone here have experience with them? Or can recommend another used car company?

Thanks for the help
Volunteers of America are totally legit, but every single car is accepted and offered "as is." They don't even check them out. Bring a mechanical friend to investigate for yourself before you buy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:38 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,114 times
Reputation: 10
From their website: "We choose donated cars and send them to our team of 18 staff mechanics for needed improvements. After that we put them on our lot for sale to low-income drivers – at below market prices"
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: north of Windsor, ON
1,903 posts, read 5,024,612 times
Reputation: 652
If I bought a car there, I'd peel off that embarassing bumper sticker before I even left the lot.
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