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volvo quality used cars Q&A Review

What is the most useful auto tip you have ever heard?

Here are six tips I follow and learned mostly from my dad:, * Buy a quality car new, and keep it 10 years or so. Cost per year is low when owned for its useful life. After 10 years, you’ll still get a good price for a quality used car. * Carefully and religiously follow maintenance schedule. Keep good records so you don’t skimp or skip. * Cars don’t heal. If something is wrong, it will not heal itself. Repair promptly. A damaged part left unfixed will often damage another good part. Pay attention to noises, vibrations. * Wash and wax car regularly. Vacuum regularly, and clean up stains. * Garage and/or park in shade if possible. * Lastly is some ,advice from a professional race car driver., ,“Drive gently, like an egg is between your feet and the gas/brake. Sudden steering means you’re doing something unsafely.” Good luck! PS Cars I’ve bought new over past 43 years: VW, Audi, Acura, Chevy, Saab, Cadillac, and now a Volvo. The 1988 Acura is 30 years old and still in the family! Personal Update, 1 Year Later: ,Thanks for so many thoughtful comments. Amazing reviews and shared experiences. Somewhat against my own advice, I bought a quality 9-month used Volvo S90 used coming off the Hertz executive rental fleet with 16,000 miles. Time will tell if this was a mistake. So far, problem-free.

I've got $2000 to spend on a used car, what should I expect?

Question: ,I've got $2000 to spend on a used car, what should I expect? Not much, I’m afraid. And this is from a man who drove a $700 USD vehicle from coast to coast. Around 2007, the prices of scrap metal were exceptionally high. A lot of vehicles, which normally would have been sold on Craigslist or on bulletin boards in supermarkets, were bought or sold for their scrap value and destroyed. That removed hundreds of thousands (perhaps even in the low millions) of vehicles from the marketplace, and essentially gutted the sub $5k used car market in many areas of the country. If you only have $2k to spend on a vehicle, I would suggest looking for a car owned by an elderly driver (Yeah, I know it’s a cliche) who no longer drives much. They often take exceptional care of their vehicles, and you might be lucky enough to find one that ill last you a few years until you can afford something else. I would look in the throwaway newspapers at grocery stores, bulletin boards in laundromats and occasionally on Craigslist. If you know a mechanic, I would ask them. I used to be up on my area’s car market; but I have been working in other areas lately and I have lost touch with many of the people who I knew who had access to some good quality, lower price vehicles. If you know a mechanic yourself, however, he or she can hip you to a number of sources of vehicles that aren’t commonly known. You might eb able to find a good deal. My choices for a vehicle in that price range: Toyota - Good luck finding one. Some Nissans (Not many and I would look at the model and years’ ratings online) Saab Volvo (240s, 740s, 850s and V50s would be my choices) Ford trucks (Certain models) Chevy trucks (certain models) Again, the sub $5k market in the United States was gutted about a decade ago and it has never recovered. It’s going be very unlikely that you will be able locate the quality of used vehicle in your price range that there used to be.

What is the cheapest way to get a car for 4 months?

The "cheapest" way (short of borrowing one from a friend or relative) would be to buy a lower cost used car and then selling it when you no longer need it. I would suggest purchasing a used Volvo (since I'm a lifelong Volvo enthusiast) as a great quality model can be purchased for 2-5k and can be resold for the same or a similar amount, Leasing and renting are very expensive and would have their own issues that might make a short-term arrangement not very practical.

Used cars: What are some reliable, low cost maintenance used car that can be bought under $3,000?

A2A First things first: This will be a very difficult question to answer objectively. This is because the sub-$5,000 USD car market has largely collapsed. For a vehicle in that range or below, private sales are likely the best bet as anything from a used car dealership will probably represent the lowest end of models on the market. About 15 years ago, due to the demand for raw materials and scrap metal, it became easier for dealers to simply sell their lower-end trade-ins to auto auctions or directly to scrappers who would strip them and then compact them for sale. It wasn’t profitable for a major dealership to sell sub $5ks and most transferred that market over to the mostly “fly-by-night” used car dealer realm. Having said the above I would suggest considering the following brands for any sub-$5k automobile: Honda Toyota Volvo Subaru All have impressive track records and the majority have been known to last 25–40 years while still being used as daily drivers. Additionally, they all were sold in large enough quantities to make finding parts and service technicians for them a relatively easy task. Unfortunately, unless you are seeking a work vehicle for which you don’t plan on doing much maintenance or retaining lengthy periods, I would strongly advise avoiding nearly all sub-$5k US manufactured vehicles. The quality of Detroit workmanship has been poor for nearly five decades and most vehicles in that price are going to be junk.

Why are used cars so expensive in South Africa?

I love researching used cars. It is a strange hobby, I know, but I have a deep seated belief that there is very little need to pay big money for a new car if I can get the same value for a slightly used version at a lower price point. The fact is that used cars are always cheaper than new cars, and that new cars in South Africa are exorbitantly priced. A friend of mine once did the math and figured out that it would be cheaper to import a new, locally built, Toyota Corolla from Australia than buy the same model locally. In fact, comparing two similar models, the Corolla costs about R70 000 more in South Africa than Sydney, Australia. And yes, they are built here. And that is one of the main reasons used cars are so expensive. Our new car market is overpriced! That said, not all used cars are as badly overpriced. The “old favourites” tend to retain their value quite well. Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Opel tend to have better resale values. There is still the perception that Ford and Mazda are of poorer build quality (Ford more so) which means they tend to lose value quicker. Newer and American brands lose their value even quicker, sometimes suffering from poor build quality. French cars generally do badly because they are French. In fact, Citroen just left the country altogether because of poor sales figures. Anyway - there are a few makes and models that are good value for money in my humble opinion. Volvo generally builds good quality cars with a lot of features, and their resale values are terrible, which is good for you. The new XC90 for example can sell for as much as R1.2m new, but similar used models (with less than 15000km) can sell for as little as R800 000. It is still a load of cash, but it is a great discount for an awesome car. Of course, older models with low kilometers can make for really great deals in lower price brackets. Infiniti is also still in the process of fighting for market share. As Nissan’s luxury brand you get too many luxury features as standard at a far lower price point than BMW or Mercedes Benz. Their resale value is quite poor as it helps them enter the market, but also because the brand is still relatively unknown locally. BMW generally has poorer resale value than Mercedes-Benz but they can be a pain to maintain as they age. If you are looking for a smaller car, then I can recommend Diahatsu. If you can find one, the Charade Celeb is an astounding little car that just never gives up. I know because we drive one! Don’t be afraid to consider older year models with low (less than 70 0000km) mileage if they have been serviced properly and haven’t been in an accident. If you take your time and do some research you will definitely find a good deal.

What is the best used car under $10,000?

Based upon my personal experience (I have owned eight Volvos all of which cost less than $10k USD and which I currently own two) I would recommend: Any model of Volvo 240, series - This was the "workhorse" of the Volvo from the 1970s until late 1990s and almost any model will provide you with exceptional performance, outstanding safety and very acceptable fuel economy. There many used models around and most Volvo mechanics cut their teeth working on these models, so finding someone to repair one (if this becomes necessary) shouldn't be a significant issue. (costs between $3k-8k for an exceptional model) The Volvo 164, (any year) - Now a classic but certainly one of the most exceptional Volvo's ever made. Easy to work on, very sturdy and like most models of Volvo exceptionally safe. A model in almost showroom condition can easily be obtained for less than $10K . Unfortunately, it only comes in a sedan. The Volvo 740, (especially the wagons) - This model was another workhorse of the Volvo model line and there are literally thousand of the cars still driving around, even though the model was discontinued almost 15 years ago. Again, exceptionally safe, extremely sturdy and very easy to work on. I have owned four models (all wagons) and I would still own one if it hadn't been damaged in an accident. (An excellent model can be found for between $3k-8k, with the higher prices meaning almost showroom quality) The Volvo 940/960, series - While not as "sturdy" as the models mentioned above still a dependable daily driver that possesses exceptionally safety, is easy to work on and has decent fuel economy. Major caveats are problems with rear taillights, minor mechanical issues and a propensity for the headliner to fail. I own one of these models and while I haven't driven it daily for several months, I would have no issues with taking the car on a cross country drive on short notice (and I have) A good used model can easily be located for $3-10k USD with the higher prices bring the highest quality models. The Volvo 140 series, - Potentially more difficult to find as time passes but another workhorse of the Volvo line. Exceptional safety, decent mileage and solid performance. One caveat is that most models are not equipped with airbags and many of the oldest models may only have lapbelts rather than a shoulder harness seatbelt. I have owned one model (a wagon) and they can easily be found in excellent condition for less than $10k

Does Volvo make the same quality car that they used to?

Have you been in a new S90 or an XC90? They make them better than ever. Yes, the engines are more complicated than before and not quite the 5 cylinder tanks as before, but that's the price of modernity.

Do you believe it when a car salesman tells you the garage has gone through a 100 point inspection on every car on the lot?

‘Wow, that’s impressive Mr Salesman. So ……. does that mean your company backs up your inspected cars with a substantial warranty?’ Having spent several decades in and around Car & Truck Sales & Service my experience would question such a bold statement by a salesperson and …. REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY PROOF ! Why ? Because ……. The IMPLICATION is that ‘Our cars are in PERFECT condition, right?’ So if a car company is going to make that strong affirmation shouldn’t they BACK IT UP IN WRITING and warranty the vehicle 12 Months/12,000 Miles OR MORE. However, there’s a notable exception that may benefit you as a consumer: (1). If the manufacturers CERTIFIED CAR program is strictly applied, cars ARE THOROUGHLY INSPECTED and ALL needed repairs corrected. (2). Then a copy of the Manufacturers Inspection form, signed by a Master Technician and Service Manager, should be provided to you. Ask for documented proof that specific repairs were made, components, part numbers, labor hours, etc. Better yet, ask to talk to the technician who signed off on the inspection and also worked on the car. This is where it gets tricky. All that ‘proof’ can be easily faked BUT a reputable dealer or car repair shop should NEVER stoop to that and if they do COMPLETE LOSS OF TRUST results and usually very BAD well-deserved online Reviews. More typically, expensive repairs might be left undone and inexpensive work completed as other Quora respondents have detailed. (3). This CERTIFIED CAR warranty should be a nearly identical extension of the ORIGINAL NEW CAR WARRANTY, protecting you from major repairs after you buy the car. My experience is that these VERY nice used cars built confidence for the new owners, led to real LOYALTY to the brand and the dealer and usually resulted in another purchase, sometimes moving up to a new car. You can see this type program is WIN WIN WIN for manufacturers image, dealers reputation, and consumer loyalty. This is the way car buying was always meant to be. Over 27 years I’ve worked at Mercedes, Volvo, and Audi. These Euro car makers all had serious certification programs. It wasn’t uncommon for these cars to go through our Service Dept for SEVERAL DAYS, taking a ‘fine tooth comb’ approach and being checked by one technician and re-checked by a supervising Master Technician or Senior Shop Foreman. The cars were a select few however, had been well cared for by previous owners, usually 3 or 4 year off-lease cars. Just remember the old cliche ‘You get what you pay for’. These genuinely CERTIFIED cars always come at a higher $$$$ price and it’s more economically feasible to include repair costs within the SUBSTANTIAL markup of an expensive European Luxury used car costing $45,000 to $85,000 as contrasted with a Certified other brand costing $15,000 to $30,000 if you see the difference. Also, the luxury brand manufacturer’s tend to enforce their dealer expectations for the certified car programs integrity and have ways of showing their displeasure if they receive a civil lawsuit from say, a very unhappy New York attorney. Like any business transaction it all comes down to TRUST. Once a business loses a consumer’s CONFIDENCE, it’s hard to get it back, especially if the consumer vows to NEVER return to do business again. Can you blame them ? CARMAX uses a similar business model, selling only better quality used cars that have gone through a professional inspection, repair, and reconditioning process but of course at a premium price and they’ll try to sell you a so called ‘warranty’ option. These are really ‘Extended Service Contracts’ and in my experience vary a lot as to consumer value. Consumers may get more value in the long run and avoid inconvenience and unexpected expense of repairs down the road. I prefer to do business this way because it saves me time and aggravation. Buy as much quality as you can afford. Nobody regrets that. AVOID unethical used car dealers by reading their REVIEWS and avoiding falling for some scammy 30 day verbal promise. Verbal contracts may be contracts In some states BUT they’re just NOT enforceable without documentation. Think ‘Judge Judy’ where the complainants with the best most credible, and relevant documentation usually wins the case. A friend bought a used late model Acura recently at a ‘BARGAIN’ price from a shoddy used car dealer in a sketchy part of town. Her $8,500 bargain turned into a nightmare car, needing shocks, brakes, fuel injection, and electrical work. $8,500 + $2,550 repairs = $11,050 car, right ? No, not really. It’s was really a $5,500 car which she paid more than DOUBLE what she should have. (I’d estimate they made $3,000 profit) She’s already had to trade it on a better car, a bitter lesson from NOT listening to her veteran car business friend, Me. I drove the car before she bought it and could just tell by ‘feel and noises’ that the car had multiple problems BUT she unfortunately got emotionally involved in the shiny silver Acura with the zippy engine and nice leather seats and was in a BIG hurry to replace her totaled car. Should have paid $125 for a professional PRE-PURCHASE inspection, that $125 would have saved her $2,550 and LOTS OF STRESS, WASTED TIME, AND AGGRAVATION. And non-recoverable take home pay $$$$ which required more debt. Also, sometimes a list of repairs from a legit shop can be used to negotiate a more favorable price. Caveat Emptor. Money paid for a PRE-SALE Inspection is really a form of insurance, it’s not perfect but can save you from unplanned expenses. Rely on EXPERT advice, not salesman’s hype, sizzling emotional appeal from shiny car bodies and sumptuous leather seats. You’d be surprised what you can see just by putting a car up on a lift and looking thoroughly with a bright light, such as hidden damage, missing parts, rust, etc. Find yourself a trusted shop or Master Tech for your brand and treat them well, tips, gifts at Christmas, even a large platter of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies ! Be their favorite customer. They’ll look out for your interests if you take the time to build a good working relationship.

Should I get my 19-year-old son what he wants, a Lexus, or just buy a him used Toyota or Honda?

Go back to the cell phone discussion I had with my kids. I got them cell phones, and I paid for it, but the prime condition that they had to understand was that its for my convenience. So long as they keep their grades up and don't abuse it, they can use them as they like. But, when I call, text or e-mail, they damn well better get back to me toot suite. Then think about the smartphone choice. A lot of kids got to pick, or got the default iPhones. I'm fine with smartphones, they actually use them for educational purposes in schools around here. But they got hand me down Samsung Galaxy phones with fresh batteries and a solid, unsexy case that we (parents) picked out. So, back to the car. If you buy him a car, it's for your convenience, so you don't have to worry about driving him around. Maybe he can contribute to the expenses, or maybe you don't want to have to worry about him working so many hours to afford it that it affects his grades in college. That's fair. So, what does a Lexus do for you, that a quality used car doesn't do? Maybe he'd be better with a used station wagon/crossover type vehicle for hauling crap to and from school, maybe carrying supplies for whatever he's studying or athletic gear if he participates. And, for your benefit, you can probably get a lot more car used. I bought myself a year old used Volvo that came with a warranty that was twice as long as the new ones. So, as for the car itself, what does it do for you, and maybe shop the best deal rather than a specific car.

Is it better to buy a used car compared to a new car?

I bought a new car because I was ,broke., Hear me out on this, because I think most people get this very very wrong. I was starting my fourth business just as the economy crashed in 2001. After a year I had burned through nearly all of my liquid savings but was getting just enough traction to think that I could make a go of the business if I stayed in it longer. I didn’t want to liquidate my 401(k) and I didn’t want to move away from Silicon Valley. Then someone rear-ended my car at a stoplight. It was 11 years old, but it was a Volvo and it was paid for. So the insurance company totaled it out and gave me a five-figure check. I needed that money to live on. But I also needed a car to get to customer sites. Solution: Lease a car with $0 down. $350/month payment, and ,predictable expenses,. A warranty means no surprise repairs. Insurance went up a little, maybe $30/month. That was next month’s problem. In the meantime, I had thousands of dollars in the bank and many more months of runway to work on my business. If you have a paid-for car, that’s ,equity, in ,a depreciating asset,. Why the hell do you want that? You want to borrow money at 3%, invest your cash at something more than that, and have completely predictable automotive expenses. Now I have 15 cars, all paid for. Only two are depreciating daily drivers, and the rest are classics with appreciating or stable value. I keep receipts and I know damn well that my paid-for Mercedes costs me just as much to maintain, on average, as the lease would on a new Toyota, but I get to drive a much nicer car for my troubles. If it were an old Toyota, it would still cost the same amount to maintain; labor rates are the same no matter what. But if I have money trouble again, they all get sold to liberate liquid cash, and I lease a car with no money down. No hesitation. Cash is king.

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