Hooray, the First CYPS Question!

Here's today's question:

I am buying a car with a limited income. I had already test driven this great 94 toyota camry that actually had enough car seats for my 3 kids and drove great, was the same colors as our last kids so my autistic kids wouldn't freak...yeah. I put down $100 to have him save it for me until my funds are available on Sat. Anyway, I went ahead and ordered a carfax, and everything looks absolutely great...except the mileage. It appears that someone rolled back the miles to show 114,000 when it was really 188+. I called the guy selling the car, and he seemed to be as surprised as me. Anyway, after much discussion, he is going to provide me all the paperwork on any repairs on the car (i.e., the new engine), as proof that he is not trying to screw us over. He is also going to sign a warranty that if we have any major problems for the first 6 months that we own the car, he will pay to get them fixed because it has been so well maintained that he doesn't really see it having any problems. What are your opinions?

A little research on the blue book value indicates a difference of about $500 based on what you said about the mileage difference. I would go to kbb.com and check the value again depending on the option package and other specs of this particular car. At any rate, you should not have to pay what he was asking. But before you even talk money, you should have it checked out by a mechanic, if you haven’t already. Given the mileage and the odometer situation, I doubt he could object. If the mechanic says it seems in decent shape, then go ahead and buy it, after you haggle with the guy some more about the price.

So what we should really do is make this more of a forum than a straight “I’ll tell you what to do” thing. After all, I have some of the most intelligent readers in the world (who may or may not be susceptible to flattery). So, after I post my advice, the rest of you can sound off as well. So what do you think?


Lizzy said…
I car that can fit three kids is always amazing, and the camry doesn't get bad mileage so it's good on the pocket book. But I agree with Joel. Take to a mechanic (one you trust who isn't afraid to say, don't get this) because you can't be sure who rolled back the miles. And if one thing is hidden others can be too. Also make sure about the warranty, some are written so that they don't have to fix things even if things go wrong. the whole "it's not covered under this warranty" ploy. But other than that, sounds like a good match for you.
Heidi Bell said…
If you live in UTAH don't go off the kbb value. Kbb isn't used to determine value in Utah. Go off of the NADA value, which is lower than the Kbb value. Go to www.nadaguides.com --- I know this by when my husband worked at a car dealership and from when I was a loan officer. Hope this helps!

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