• Matt Posted: 4/8/2008 12:51pm PDT

    If you’re able to afford low mileage used cars, the advice on “rust” and “rebuilt” is good. If your budget is a little leaner, and you’re looking at vehicles in the 100,000+ mile range, then you may want to look at degrees of “rust” and “rebuilt” rather than viewing them as absolutes.

    How long do you plan to keep your vehicle? At least in Michigan, it’s hard to avoid rust forever if you drive your vehicle year-round. A lot of rust is a problem, but a little body rust will take a while to become serious. If you only plan to have the vehicle a few years, and find something that is mechanically sound, but cosmetically less than perfect, you can save a chunk of change.

    As far as “rebuilt” goes, steering clear of major rebuilds is probably a good idea, but if a vehicle is up there in mileage, parts will start to fail. If the previous owner has taken care of some of these items, it can save you the hassle. Evaluate what has been rebuilt or replaced and then decide if it sounds reasonable or if it’s a deal breaker. I’d rather deal with the rebuilt part that someone was up front about, than find out later that someone wanted to make their ad sound better.

    The article has good advice, but a person’s budget and willingness to deal with a few problems add in a few more variables.

  • Eric G Posted: 4/7/2008 11:53am PDT

    What a great article! And written by someone still in HS? Great advice, and good luck with your search. Seems you won't have any problem finding a peach with your newfound mental artillery!

  • Joe S Posted: 4/4/2008 6:37pm PDT

    Will pass these on to my grandson....y'all forgot the real oldie from my 75 + years ago..."driven by an 87 year old lady from Pasadena only on Sundays to go to church."

  • Rich Posted: 4/4/2008 1:35pm PDT

    Ok guys...remember the words college bound and broke....that being said there probably isn't any money for cars with warranties. But, you can definitely find some deals out there on older Honda Civic and comparable vehicles. The Civic is super reliable but expensive if repairs are needed, the GM J body Sunfire/Cavalier is another decent choice, may be a little cheaper to repair but may be less reliable. (I know its the Cobalt/G5 now, but when you are poor, you're looking at Cavaliers and Sunfires)

  • Dave_in_Rio_Rancho Posted: 4/4/2008 12:51pm PDT


    If you are looking for a "clean" used car the words I would suggest looking for are certified and warranty.

    Dave in Rio Rancho

  • Ed Posted: 4/4/2008 9:31am PDT

    If I were you, Megan, I'd really worry about the ****MPG****

    Today's AAA nation-wide accurate averages

    GAS has been making records every day, incl. a big rise today, while Diesel in fact had its last high weeks ago!

    Current Avg. $3.303 $3.507 $3.634 $4.023
    Yesterday Avg. $3.289 $3.493 $3.619 $4.023
    Month Ago Avg. $3.178 $3.374 $3.496 $3.696
    Year Ago Avg. $2.706 $2.873 $2.977 $2.872

    *Prices are in US dollars per gallon

    Highest Recorded Price:
    Regular Unl. $3.303 4/4/2008
    DSL. $4.037 3/22/2008