I know a guy who supposedly bought a 2007 Jeep Liberty, through an auto auction, for $2900. He swears it’s like-new, and just recently drove it to Florida and back, with no problems. It’s intriguing… However, I can’t help but believe there’s more to the story. That the negatives are conveniently being left out, or the numbers are radically tweaked.
Have you ever purchased a car through an auction? I don’t think I could ever do it, because I don’t trust them. I believe the vehicles are mostly new car trade-ins, and for one reason or another… the dealers don’t want their names attached. So, they offload them to an auction house.
Am I wrong about this? Our older boy is 16, and will get his license in October. He has his learner’s permit now, but will be able to fly solo next month — if he can successfully parallel park.
And why is that still so important? I never have to parallel park, anywhere. I used to, in the 1980s, but think it’s pretty much a thing of the past. Clearly, they need to put more emphasis on merging onto the interstate, general courtesy, and the like.
Anyway, Toney is working at a school this year that’s farther away than during previous years, and I work 40 miles south… So, we could use a third car. The boy has about $2000 saved, and we told him (many years ago — but he remembers) that we’d match his funds.
So, what’s the best course of action, if you have about four grand to spend on a car? Obviously, we don’t need something that’s going to be high-maintenance — my brain would probably fly apart. Also: no car payments. Help me out, my friends.
Also, what should replace parallel parking as THE MOST IMPORTANT THING during a driver’s test? Use the comments link below.
And I apologize for the brevity of this update… sent from my Blackberry.
See ya tomorrow.
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to a Full Body Unitard!
I parallel park often….living in/near a City requires the skill.
Living in San Francisco for 25 years, I am currently a parallel parking mofo. Don’t use it much here in Italy, though. I still think it needs to be learned. Not sure what would be more important – except maybe to not drive like an asshole.
When I was in Italy, I was surprised the amount of double parking. I even saw some tripple parking. I guess there’s no use for parallel parking when you just can double park beside another car.
Anyhow, it seemed common for the traped cars to simply honk the horn and see people comming out of shops to see if they needed to move their car.
I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere, but aside from Italy, I haven’t travelled much.
I’m impressed that the update was done via crackberry, you, sir, have real talent
WB in OH says
I think they need to teach kids how to text and drive properly, seems like this causes a lot of accidents.
Late 90’s Chevy S-10 or Ford Ranger.
Those vehicles were built pretty well. Well, well enough for a 16 year old if it has less than 125,000 miles.
You could also get him a Haynes manual for the vehicle so he could learn how to do standard repairs and stuff himself. That would save maintenence costs.
I don’t think you’ll convince the Jeff Kay on an S10 considering how despised his Blazer was (S10 with a closed in bed essentially).
I bought a ’93 Ranger at a government surplus auction for $2800 when I was 17 and I put that thing through hell. I still miss it. By the time it died I had +200,000 miles on it, and I’d spent maybe $1,500 total on repairs over the whole 10 years I had it. (Excluding general maintenance–oil, tires, brakes, etc.) Bought a newer Ranger a few years later to replace it.
Government surplus auctions are worth checking out if you want to go the auction route. My family has bought several of those vehicles over the years, with good results. They’re all American cars with no bells or whistles (my truck didn’t even have carpet), but they’re generally well-maintained, and since they’re surplus, the mileage is generally low. You don’t get the same kind of time to mull over your decision, though.
You should be able to change a wheel before you get your license, and be able to correct an unexpectedly sliding car.
I’m already dreading my daughter driving on her own (and she’s only 4). If she was 16 today I’d buy a Volvo station wagon for $4K, although if the child is paying half don’t they get a say in what their money is buying? And I’ll teach her to drive stick too, teach some mechanical understanding, less chance of her being a wheelholder that way.
The big question is – are you going to put one of the GPS reporting tools that reports exuberant driving in his car?
The left lane is the fast lane. The shitbags in Alabama would do well to learn that.
I think I’d search the newspapers and maybe even Craigslist. Then I’d have a mechanic on hand who could do it a once over during the test drive. I guess that’d be the safest and most reasonable course of action.
I understand your circumstance. A used car for cash is the way for you to go. I bought a little Ford Explorer for cash a while back and I was proud of myself – no payments, cheap insurance, etc. Then the fucking thing blew up and left me carless. It’s new or like new from now on for me.
Not just the fast lane, it’s the passing lane.
Karen/Auction Owner in Indiana says
Not all cars that are ran through an auction are pieces of shit. At our auction, we run current year units with little to no miles, all the way to a 1975 Eldo with 300k. Dealers bring cars to an auction for many reasons. Everyone has heard the “I GOT A GREAT CAR FOR $2900.00 at the auction” story……IT AIN’T TRUE! You get what you pay for…..even at at auction.
Buy him something like an old Accord or Camry.
2. Embarassing, so the urge to show-off is limited
3. Technologically-advanced enough so they can’t ‘modify’ the engine with a screwdriver or a hole to the muffler
4. Not big enough to comfortably have sex in
5.Old enough that they’ll have to learn to fix stuff… like with their own hands.
6. Limits the number of kids he can roll with – stupidity increases exponentially with crowd size [ever experienced a fraternity?]
7. Easy enough to resell when they actually do something stupid.
All excellent points, Henderson.
All of those points also apply to Volvos, which is what my 2 sons started out with. Plus there’s the safety factor. Back with the boys were 4 and 5 TW t-boned a large station wagon with a Volvo 240 DL wagon with the kids in the back seat (the other guy pulled out in front of her). She was going 45 at impact, and she and the boys walked away relatively unscathed. The front end of the Volvo accordioned, and the engine dropped down–just like in the commercials. We stayed with Volvo until the kids were out of the house.
As an aside, the oldest boy got married on Saturday. I’m old.
Lucie in Tampa says
first congradulations on getting a kid married off..
second I loved my Boxy but safe Volvo & that is a really good sugestion as far as a car!
Volvo all the way. We bought our v70 a year before our daughter was born. She is now 13 and our “Lucy” is still here waiting for her. Daughter isnt happy about an old car and threatens that she’ll blow the speakers with her techno. My beloved shade tree volvo mechanic said he’d bet money she couldn’t . Yeah, they have great radios and safe to boot.
Root 66 says
Henderson’s right on the money, Accords and Camrys are absolutely bullet-proof choices. I’ve said it before–I’d rather buy a Toyota with 100,000 miles on it than a new GM/Ford/Chrysler!
Another suggestion–sell the boy YOUR Camry for $2000, then take your money and buy yourself a newer one!!
The most important thing in a driving test? WHAT TO DO AT A 4-WAY STOP SIGN!!!
Good grief, I can’t tell you how many time I’ve almost been creamed because some moron doesn’t know who’s turn it is!! I don’t know what the traffic laws are in Somalia/India/China–wherever, but they’re different here in Columbus!
My father bought a car at auction back in 1987. It was a very nice Cadilac, previously owned by some 318 year old and he was very happy with it. My uncle – who had been buying auction cars for years – talked him into it. Most times, these cars have been repossessed – especially when the economy took a shit. Typical asshat HAS to have a Lexus even though they can’t afford a Pinto. (Not that you’d be purchasing a Lexus!) But there are some bargains to be had. It’s worth a look.
I think the Drivers Ed course should have a week long session: Directionals are NOT Options. They come standard with your car for a REASON.
Since it was stated here some time ago (I think by Brittney), I always remember what it means when someone has their blinker on. It means their blinker is on.
IF the driver uses them at all. Don’t stop, begin to turn THEN put your blinker on. Or cut into the middle lane without using a blinker.
I guess the same is true for the moron who does use it – AND NEVER TURNS IT OFF!
Go with the Chevy Blazer. I seem to remember hearing good things about those.
Ouch! You’re leading with your knock out punch, lol!
Phil Jett says
We bought our daughter a car last year so we didn’t have to pick her up after all her school functions. I trolled craigslist and the local town paper for cars. I talked to about 20 people and looked at about 10 cars. I tend to talk to people who were older and lived in nicer areas. I love buying used cars from older guys who like to take care of their car.
Ended buying a 1998 Sunfire convertible with 66K miles and it was loaded with everything available at the time. The owner was in his 70s, had all his maintenance records, there wasn’t any visible damage inside or out other than the scratches and dings from a 14 yr old car. He wanted $4400 and I paid him $3800.
The only thing I’ve done to it since buying is to change the oil, repair one of the power window motors and put in a new stereo and speakers.
Yeah, and some of us old guys will take a hit for a few hundred dollars if we think that our car is going to a “good home.” So not being a dick when looking at a used car can be an advantage.
Pete G says
I would start with safety options – anti-lock brakes, air bags all around, front wheel drive, and plenty of room to haul crap off to college.
Buy something sporty as all teen boys are ranked in popularity by how cool their cars are. Also it must have a cooler built into the console area!
For Gatorade & the such……What were you thinking?
How to drive with your knees. Leaves your hands free to do other things. Pop open a beer using a Bic lighter for example. Roll a joint. Help your girlfriend undo her bra. I’m sure there are incomplete statistics on poor knee driving ability as related to accidents but it should not be over looked.
Look around. Keep your eyes and ears open. Take your time. He’s gonna be excited and quick to jump (that’s part of the fun tho).There’s probably some really nice older ‘puffs’ around where you live. Old folks garage kept stuff. Try to stay around $32/3500. Insurance, registration and sales tax will eat up a chunk of that 4 grand. (…and never suggest he should learn to drive with his knees. He’ll figure that out soon enough)
I’d go with the best luxury car you can get for $4k. The reason is that many luxury cars have/had more safety features like anti lock brakes, more air bags, traction control and more. If it were my son I’d want him in the safest car I could afford. Just my opinion.
Toyota is good, but for the price Honda is very good. around here there is a ton of them, so there is competitive prices. I would go for a civic.
The trouble with teenage boys and Civics is they seem to think they should slap a turbocharger kit in there, which then either kills the car – or them.
Volvo station wagon. It’s boring, useful to have one around sometimes, he can sleep in it if needs be – much cheaper than a motel when you go to see a band.
Forget the ’90s GM or Ford products, they are at or very near the end of their usable lifespan. Daughter had a ’97 Jimmy, what a POS. My 16 year old granddaughter recently spent $2800 on a ’97 Camry with about 200K on it, and it seem to be a decent enough car for a kid. Between my wife and I we’ve had 5 used, cheap Subaru GL wagons from the late ’80s to the early ’90s. The last one I paid $100 for because it needed a timing belt. Replaced both belts, the water pump and did a tune up and put well over 60K on it before the clutch went out and I sold it. The older 4WD models with the two speed transfer case would be ideal cars in your area. Look for older people who either are giving up driving or buying newer cars themselves. WHATEVER YOU DO, and I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT buy anything from household that has teenage drivers in it. Also do not buy in the more economically depressed part (think Cesar Chavez Blvd or MLK Ave) of whatever town you happen to be looking in. If it’s a $500 car with 22″ rims that they want $3000 stay away, some idiot thought looking cool was more important than basic maintenance. Old people’s staton wagons are generally a good buy. With the added plus of having a portable bedroom for those occassions when a teenage boy might just get lucky. (The preceding advice given by a man who spent over 30 years in cheap but mostly dependable used cars, and paid cash for his first new car six years ago at the age of 51).
Check with your insurance company see if and how used cars are rated, and specific safety features factor into the premiums you will be paying. Insurance will be more than the price of the car!
Steve in WV says
I would go with a Corolla or something similar.
Too bad they don’t still make the Chevette.
southern surfer says
I would like to propose a Hyundai Accent. An older one say 2004
or 3 would run about $4000. I just sold my 1998 and after 14 years that car was still getting 34 to 37 mpg with the ac on. Why did I get rid of it? My wife said I should and yet it had cost me less than $3000 in total maintenance in 14 years.
My experience with a young driver was poor at best but taught me safety first (for the rollover incidents) and reliability second.
My boy’s first (a Blazer) lasted from Christmas until June – flipped into a ditch. The second (hand-me-down from Dad MINT Nissan Frontier with less than 30k miles) lasted for just a couple of years due to excessive ragging out and abuse.
He paid for the pickup he has now himself (mostly) and doesn’t have the downpayment or decent trade for a new one, so he takes a little better care of it than the predecessors. The Nissan looked like shit at the end…dash pulled out for after market stereo in a break in. Was also stolen from the house one night and joy ridden for a week before recovery (left the keys in it all the time.)
I never let him drive my Honda if I can help it. Just a couple of weeks ago he went to pick up Chinese for us in my car–came in with bag spillage and no red sauce. Next day, I found the red sauce. Down the passenger door. Ivory leather. Nice.
Cindy from Oregon says
I love my Honda Civic, but I’m well aware that if I ever get in a tangle with almost any other vehicle on the highway, I’m going to lose. I would want my kid in something solid.
As for what they need to be taught? How to merge! They also need to know about ICKY – Impatience Can Kill You. Look twice before you pull out, whether it’s onto a street or changing lanes to pass.
Never heard of ICKY before – but I love it! Thanks, Cindy!
I always look twice before I “pull out”
I say “Sorry’ and the pull out.
Yeah, and if you don’t pull out, she says “ICKY”.
The above suggestion about checking with your insurance agent first is very good.
Run the camry, ranger, crown victoria & grand marquis (yes, it will make a difference in rates even though its the same car) and just for shits ‘n giggles, run mustang (v8) past your agent to see how much it would cost the boy to insure. You’ll need to pick a few years, if its like here, year of the vehicle makes a big difference in rate. Ie: a 1985 Chevy c10 will cost you ~ 100 more to insure than a 1983 Chevy c10. Figure that one out considering the two are identical except one is carbureted and the other has tbi injection.
Recommendations without hering about desires:
1998+ Ford Crown Victoria
1998+ Mercury Grand Marquis (yes, I am serious about those two. Go drive one before you poo poo it.). Ideally, 2004+
Auto auctions are good if you know your cars really well, and have some ability at doing some repairs yourself lest you shoot yourself in the foot since you can’t take them for a test drive.
Jeff, keep an eye out in your spam folder for an email with ‘auto auction’ in the subject.
I bought a brand new S-10 pickup at a dealer’s auction in Ohio in 1985 for $4000. Great truck, no problems.
With $4000 I think I’d take $1000 and buy an S-10 Blazer, get full coverage insurance, put another $1000 in the front seat and light it and torch the Blazer. Then take the remaining $2000 and pocket it. Use the $2000 and the insurance money to buy a good vehicle!
Actually, I would be prone to buy a new car. I went through my days of used cars, and never again. You can get into some reasonably priced new cars fairly reasonable, and they come with a warranty.
Oh, and before you go out shopping for a vehicle, watch the movie “Used Cars.” I does contain swear words, but still is a great flick. It stars Kurt Russel and Jack Warden, and was Steven Spielbergs directorial debut.
Fifty bucks never killed anyone.
Robert Zemeckis directed Used Cars.
Oh wow…I thought it was Spielberg. Thanks for the correction.
“I don’t know officer. I saw a van drive up and all these little guys with towels on their heads got out shouting, “Ayatollah, Ayatollah.” I guess they were Iranian students out to discredit the American way of life.”
Lucie in Tampa says
Ha Ha my first car was a K car… damn cardboard box on wheels.
1. TURN SIGNALS!!!!
I live in FL and nobody knows what they are or how to use them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Reverse! I have been hit a few times by dumb ass kids that don’t know how to reverse a friggin car.
3. limit the amount of kids per car. more kids bigger chance of an accident.
when my b/f got his first car his mom got him a CRX so he could only have one passenger.
The K Car…touted by Lee Iaccoca as being as being the equivelant of a Mercedes Benz. I think the only time I’d seen a “Mercedes” looking that bad, she was dancing at a strip joint in Parkersburg.
…and Opel was next up on the main stage.
Oh, btw, you owe it to your children to get them into some nerdy car they can drive to school…which will in turn, scar them for life. Ahhhh, such fond memories of driving my Mom’s 1966 Dodge Coronet to High Shool.
On the first day of school I got a reckless driving ticket for 72 in a 25 MPH zone. Hmmmm, who woulda thought the police would think of putting up speed traps around the scool on the first day of class?
And I would like to thank Officer McGlimmery for giving me that ticket, which resulted in a suspended license. When the judge handed down the sentence it almost felt as if I were being paroled from a senior year of driving my Mom’s car.
Root 66 says
I wouldn’t mind having a ’66 Coronet right now! Especially if it had a 440 V-8 with a 4bbl carb! 🙂
The next time you are passing through Wilkes-Barre, go see these guys…. http://www.wyomingvalleyautos.com/
We have gotten 3 used cars from them and are very pleased. They give a 90 day warranty too in case they miss something and the motor falls off or something big.
It’s the way to go if you don’t need/want to finance. Avoid this one you will pass on your way to the other one…. http://achoicecars.com/
They jack up the prices as they specialize in selling to people who can’t get credit and need to use in-house credit.
My husband is a mechanic and he always recommends a Honda Accord if you are buying used. It lasts forever and the repairs aren’t that bad. Another thing he highly recommends is a standard (stick shift) transmission. Much less problems with this type of transmission and cheaper to fix. Automatics tend to have a lot of transmission problems as they get older and they are very expensive.
Another good one is a Nissan Frontier. I have a 2001, which you can get for under $4,000. Mine has about 117,000 miles and I have not put anything into it except routine maintanence. Before that I had a 99 and basically the same story.
I found this on the Scranton/WB craigslist:
As you can see, it fits all the well crafted criteria listed above and also is super fukkin’ cool!
Big Bear In OH says
I’ve actually been looking to buy one of these for a number of years. It’s the ultimate in go anywhere driving, but also super safe. You could run big rigs off the road in that pig!
MC Perfunctory says
This may sound like a strange tip, learned it from my father back in prehistoric times. When looking at a used vehicle from a private seller, ask to see inside the trunk. If its totally clean, the carpet in it is clean, you most likely have a car thats been pretty well taken care of.
If the trunk is still full of golf clubs, piles of papers, gym bag, perhaps an ancient cooler that wasn’t emptied after the latest outing, most likely you’re buying a salesman’s ‘company sled’, and its been ridden HARD. (side note – its amazing how people won’t bother to clean out the trunk of a car that they are trying to sell)
Funny what happens when the company pays for the car and the owner doesn’t. I know, I’m a salesman. Drive it like you stole it is the motto of most of my salesman buddies. I’d never buy one of their castoff vehicles!
Big Bear In OH says
I really enjoyed my late 80’s Jeep Cherokee…it was a lot like a station wagon. Lots of room for activities, but too small to jam a lot of people in. Sold it when I bought my new pickup. Should have kept it, it was great in the snow and had a lot of torque to tug on stuff with.
I am a big fan of 2001 to 2007 Chrysler Town and Country mini-vans.
Comfortable seats, nice stereos, dependable. We have owned 5 or 6 of them. Never a problem other than occasional brake replacements, normal stuff.
Safe, airbags, satellite radio, power everything. Moms dive them, dads maintain them, and they sell cheap used.
Stay with units under 100,000 miles. Will last for years.
Additionally, cops ignore them, unlike Mustangs, Camaros, other 2 door sport models. I guess they figure the kid hates driving “mom’s car.”
You may end up trading the kid your Camry for the minivan once you drive it a few times. Not bad at all for the money.
Good Morning Surf Reporters…
…this update is right up my alley…
You can get a great car at auction in the $4k range. A lot of them are R titles (wrecked or stolen), but they’re fixed. Any prior damage/incident has to be disclosed and shown to be repaired before the sale.
Another good place to look is the local corner used car lot. They’re trying to make a buck, and you have to give them that. No one works for free.
If you can only spend 4 grand, look for the $5500 to $6000 price tag. The majority have about 3k in them. Yes, some haggling / dickering / negotiation will be involved, but they’ll take that close to 4, they just made a thousand.
…but enough about those greasy, shifty salesmen. If the car’s nice, take it to the greasy, shifty mechanic you trust and have them check it out. Can it pass state inspection right now? …in less than a year it’s going to need something.
Last bit of input / advice… beware of 3rd party, fly by night warranties. If it’s too good to be true for the price, it’s not. Do some research, there are reputable companies out there. …Promises made and promises kept are two different things.
Root 66 says
Some other car suggestions for that price point:
-an older Nissan Maxima. Their 3.0 motor is about the best in the industry. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for being kind of a ‘sleeper’ sports car. That engine packs some wallop!
-Nissan Altimas and Sentras are also good choices. They usually aren’t nearly as expensive as the Toyotas and Hondas.
Go on the web and look for US government auctions. They sell government vehicles all the time and usually at a decent price. I’m not talking about cars seized in drug busts and the like. These are fleet vehicles used by government employees such as food inspectors, military recruiters, etc. Most have low miles and have been maintained according to the maintenance schedule. My wife and I has a couple when we first got married got married. No frills but the price was right. I would think with your location there would be one on a fairly regular basis.
It’s difficult to offer vehicle advice when we don’t know what type of vehicle the boy wants. I agree with many here, if he is just looking for a car (as opposed to something bigger to haul, say, band equipment) I’d recommend a Civic or Accord. Fun to drive, yet economical and reliable and cheap to repair. Find a two door version with a manual transmission and a sunroof and either car becomes downright sporty – in a low powered, front wheel drive kind of way. Better yet, get an Acura Integra (or RSX) hatchback. It is essentially a Civic with a different body, so you have all the economy and cheap repairs of a Civic plus the utility of a small wagon.
As for safety, larger isn’t always better. I think it’s safer to go with a car that handles and stops effectively in order to avoid accidents in the first place.
I went to the auctions for 6 or 8 months when I was looking for a truck and learned quite a bit about the car business.
It runs in cycles like the stock market. This month maybe Grand Vitaras are hot and sell for a premium. 6 months ago you had to give them away.
Many of these auction cars are trade ins that a dealer knows that his clients won’t buy. So they go to the auction. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them.
There ARE deals to be had.
They tell you up front if the car is sold as is or is warranteed against defects. If it is and you buy it, you can take it out, have it checked out and if it isn’t up to snuff, bring it back by the end of the day and nullify the sale.
I don’t know how it is in PA, but in WV, you have to have a dealer or their agent buy at the legit auction houses.
Soylent Ape says
Having spent more than a decade in the fleet auto business, I can confidently recommend the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis. It’s a big, safe sled of a car that gets surprisingly decent MPG and is reasonable to insure. Moreover, it is the quintessential fleet car because it is so well-constructed and reliable–I’ve seen many used by police and other government entities that have 300k miles on the original engine. Lastly, they don’t hold very high resale value, so you can get a relatively late model for a low price.
Similarly, I can recommend the Ford Ranger and Explorer from 2002 and newer, as they are similarly well-built and reliable, though pickups usually cost more to insure and are somewhat less safe because of the lack of weight in the back. Also, the Jeep Cherokee/Liberty from 1998 onward is pretty decent: it is safe and sturdy, as well as dependable. A huge drawback is the extremely thirsty inline 6 cylinder used in most of those models.
Hope this helps.
went to an auto auction years ago. I was involved with a seasonal small business that required a truck. At th ebegininig of spring we would go to the auto auction to look for a pick-up truck with an inspection sticker for October or later, started, and was less than $500. We did this twice and both times the truck made it to the fall and we went back to the auction and sold it (would get 200-300 back).
The one thing someone taught us was that when buying cars at the auction (if there are dealers there). You can watch the dealers bid, once it hits wholesale they all walk away. That is the time to bid once or twice. If you get it you got a deal. If someone keeps bidding you have to walk away.
Hey, Jeff. Even dealers often get their used cars at auctions. Our son landed a job in a detail shop for a local car dealer when he was 16 and because he obviously had a brain in his head plus he was polite to his elders, he ended up driving an hour up the road with them to help them bring back cars to sell on auction days. He also developed a knack for driving a potential trade in for 10 minutes or so and coming back and reporting what kind of work it needed. He’s into other things these days, but it’s almost as good as having a doctor in the family. If you can find one of these gems to take along with you, by all means go to an auction. Also, cars offered in the want ads locally are often great buys. Our car gifted son helped our other son get a cream puff this way, which he in turn parleyed into a great new car when some idjut rear ended him as he was stopped behind a school bus. Insurance paid full (used) value on a car he had got for half that, and thus his career as an adult car owner got off to a great start. Cars that can be somewhat maintenanced on a DIY basis are good. Our local votech center offers such a course in the summer. You might even find a shade tree mechanic or some such person you trust who would go with you on the buy. By all means, check out which cars have best insurance deals and keep major recall models lodged in your noggin somewhere, too. You can’t drive auction offerings, but you can open the doors and the gas cap and look at wiring under the hood and in other odd spots for dried muddy (flood) water, or for signs of a fire, or for an engine that has been all painted up to look too good to be true. And look under the thing for more rust or wear and tear than expected, or unreasonably new looking parts. Auctions can get unnerving. Seems like a competitive atmosphere–gotta take this one now before someone else decides on it and so forth. Just a local want ad buy might be better. $4000 actually sounds like a lot. Depends on where you live, I guess. If I were doing it–which I guess we will be here again in a coupla years with our grandson, I would look for something $2600-$3200. That way if it did a nasty on ya, you would have some fallback to fix it. Or maybe pay toward insurance. And load him up a gas card so he has time to watch it get sucked down and think about what he needs to do about that. = ] Good luck.