How to buy a kid a car

Question from a friend of mine: Melissa’s car is dying. Those b@stards want a ton of money to revive it (one more time). I need to buy her a reliable car for under $5000. Any advice on how I would go about finding a good deal? I looked at Craig’s list for cars sold by owners and although the prices were better than offered by the dealers, they were still a bit high I think.

My response:

AutoTrader.com came up with 2326 used listings within 50 miles of our zip for cars under $5000.

I’m sure you know this but once you find a car check:

1. Does the owner have maintenance record? If not, could be trouble.

2. Will the owner allow you to take to your mech (only give mech up to 2 hours). If no, walk.

3. Buy the April ’09 Consumer Reports auto issue on stands now and look at their best recommendations for cars under $5000. (This is something Andy taught me years ago.)

4. Check for lemon status based on the VIN in #3

Good luck.

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About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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One Response to How to buy a kid a car

  1. Rambling says:

    all excellent advice. I wouldn’t buy a car without those caveats.

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