Thru all this, one thing starting to bother me.Resale value. SUV’s used to be hot property but that is in the days gone by.Now they just sit on dealer lots for long.This realization pushed the Ranger Rovers out of contention. I did have Jeep Wranglers on my radar but most of them are modified with something or the other and good ones are rare to come by. so SUV’s went off my list. what next?
what’s the other other car hot in my list ?
oh yes.the W126.grand daddy S Class. I’d always wanted to buy one in Bangalore.I friend of mine was selling it and I so wanted to buy it but since I was moving to US, I did not do much about his W126. but now that there was an abundance available, I started looking for them.good ones all came in at around 4-5k USD and not so heavy on miles.But I was going to pile miles on it though. Kept searching for the right one.In the meanwhile, looked at BMW’s too.None of the BMW’s I saw were worth considering for one reason or the other.While searching for these german cars, I also got enlightened about the maintenance costs.HIGH. very HIGH and most mechanics would shun away from german cars coz they take too much time to work on.So therefore, slowly my want for German cars too faded away.
I had a time crunch .I was going to be in Peachtree city,GA for only 10 days after which I had to go to Americus,GA.the only fact bringing fame to Americus was a hurricane which tore away some parts of this city.that apart, this town was a small quaint town in the countryside of US. And once I move away from the ATL region, the search narrows to whatever is available there.which is all american cars. I stay away from all american used cars.why? more on that later..
With time, I had no option but to do what most people (not just indians) end up doing..Bying a Jap car.Now I understand the logic.Very low maintenance cost, long engine life, parts last longer, good MPG, reliable, good resale value and a generally good demand in the market (means I can sell it quickly).
and with that, I officially started looking for used jap cars – read Honda CIVIC/Accord, Toyota Corolla/Camry, Nissan Maxima/Altima.
i got back to classified again.I had only 1 more weekend before I packed up and left to Americus.I had to find a car asap. but which one? jap cars are available but not all are good to buy.civics are notorious.many of them have engine swaps for mods or have very high miles.The ones with low miles needn’t have to be so.The ads cleverly word it as “120k on the engine” . people who just read 120k get fooled coz the ad means that car is way older and has had an engine swap and then run for 120k. Now that’s a car Fucked beyond recognition. I had to filter these out.Then there are those who price the cars really low and have genuinely low miles but with salvage title.What it means is that the car has met with an accident and has been declared as ‘totalled’ but has been repaired to run again. now this is scrap value coz nobody wants to buy these.Well, not me atleast. these ‘salvage’ titled cars are next to impossible to sell.
my new checklist :
1. non smoker car
2. good service history.
3. no pets.
4. genuine miles (car/engine/transmission)
5. no salvage title.
6. less owners (preferably 1 owner)
7. no engine work (done previously or pending in near future)
8. no mods whatsoever.
9. direct seller..I avoid dealers.
10. not repainted.
11. no accidents/dings/dents
12. carfax report.
now you see how I learnt about US used car scene thru the 1 weeks of research.
I started shortlisting cars and then came this majorly attractive ad on craigslist..
‘2006 PONTIAC GTO/50k miles/no accident/genuine title/single owner/must sell immediately/$ 6000.’
pic source – netcarshow. credit to original photographer.
aah..now I found the next best ad after the Range Rover.
no phone number on the ad so I had to email which I did immediately.
the pontiac GTO is a rebadged LHD Holden Monaro. one of the better known RWD performance car. naaisss.I like I like..And guess what, I even got an immediate response.
craigslist is a a very good classifieds site but then it also hosts a lot of scamsters..
this Pontiac GTO ad sounded very nice and looked like the deal of the year. But when I got the reply, I smelt something fishy. summary of the lengthy reply – car is in Texas, he ‘says’ he is a soldier and is deputed to IRAQ and has to sell immediately, I pay via ebay motors and the car with title will be shipped from ebay motors’ yard to my location. if i don’t like the car, I can return it.
This ad was a carrot for all the stupid folks of US. whats wrong with that ad you say? well, I can’t even see the car since it is so far away. so, I’m not even sure if the car in the pic is the car that’s for sale.he does give me a VIN and the carfax will be predictably good.But what I could be getting for that money will be a only a title and a heap of metal..yupp..if its met with an accident and had only liability insurance (3rd party) , then all that’ll remain will be a heap of metal. and that’s what was being sold.you can find an ad like this ever so often and only careful eyes can point them out.
and btw, after making the payment I’m not sure if there is any legal way of tracing the transaction too so all that is a big scam..
the symptoms became more and more predictable as I bumped into more such ads..
so I continued searching…
– To be continued