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Any suggestions for a decent used car around $3500

farnarkler 16 January 2009 31

I’ll soon be returning to Canberra after a decade away and, due to ACTION’s dismal services, I’ll need a used car.

I dunno whether to go for a cheap Commodore or Falcon or something small, 4 cylinder and Japanese. 

I’m also considering a high km ex taxi from interstate taxi firms.

Any suggestions?

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31 Responses to Any suggestions for a decent used car around $3500
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farnarkler farnarkler 1:09 am 18 Jan 09

Nah tack another 2 or 4 cylinders onto a V8 and I’ll be more than happy.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:59 pm 17 Jan 09

It’s true. V8s are the ducks guts.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 6:22 pm 17 Jan 09

Two words. Vee Eight. Everybody wants one these days. It’s what we’re hearing on the streets.

I-filed I-filed 10:33 am 17 Jan 09

hk0reduck said :

I’m not sure if this is really what you’re asking but I’d recommend checking.

http://billboard.anu.edu.au/classifieds.asp?
ANU Student Online Bulletin Board so most of the cars are small,older and economical & cheap. Good times to buy are at the ends of semesters when a lot of people are returning to their home state/country and need to quickly offload their vehicles.

Hmmm, not sure about this advice – I’d suggest that students would be likely to run a car into the ground over a three-year stay, and not have the money for sound maintenance in any case …

farnarkler farnarkler 9:55 am 17 Jan 09

hk0reduck those sites are gold!!

DJK if I could afford to import one, you’d see a London black cab driving the streets of Canberra. I would love to bring one to Oz.

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 2:38 am 17 Jan 09

VR/VS commodore. Bullet proof cheap as hell to repair if they die and cheap to run and insure.

I just picked up a 5sp VR ute a few weeks back for $1500, cheaper to run than my previous work cars of a VZ SV6, and 2L & 2.5L Subaru liberty

boomacat boomacat 3:09 pm 16 Jan 09

I had (until early 2008) an 89 mitsubishi lancer with 350,000km on the clock and she was still going sweet. Ran on the smell of an oily rag too. Paid $800 for her and sold her (to a mate) with no rego on her for $200. An ideal student car.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 2:51 pm 16 Jan 09

My suggestion agrees with some of the previous comments. Steer clear of Holden or Ford. Grab a smallish Toyota.

ant ant 2:11 pm 16 Jan 09

My little 94 Vitara is up to 264,000 kms and haven’t had a peep out of it. It just gets new windscreens, batteries and tyres when it needs them.

djk djk 1:40 pm 16 Jan 09

i doubt many Jap or Korean engines (or many others for that matter) will like going over 300k kms.
i have been looking for a car around the $5k bracket recently and there are plenty with less than 200k on them, so you should be able to find something reasonable.
ftr most canberra cars seem to be overpriced compared to interstate equivalents, so maybe look at bringing one with you from wherever you are atm.

Growling Ferret Growling Ferret 12:18 pm 16 Jan 09

Aim for a widebody Camry, either 4 or V6 if you can find one.

Go forever, servicing and parts are cheap.

The brides 94 V6 auto has 191k on the clock and in so far as a 94 Camry can be decent , it is. Only time it costs money is a holed radiator (rock) and a cracked windscreen.

mad_kiwi mad_kiwi 11:29 am 16 Jan 09

try and find a book called the dog and lemon guide, it is similar size to a yellow pages and lists thousands of models, all the crash safety, reliability ratings, known problems, values etc

http://dogandlemon.com/

http://www.dogandlemon.com/pdf/Sample%20review.pdf

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:17 am 16 Jan 09

boomacat said :

Go for a small cheap Japanese car…

What he said.

Get a Toymota. It’ll be boring as batshit, but given you’re allocating $3500 for a used car I’m guessing you’re an A-to-B kinda guy, so a dependable Toyota should be just the ticket.

Just make sure it has been looked after and there’s no nasty service shocks about to come (new clutch, timing belts etc).

hk0reduck hk0reduck 10:57 am 16 Jan 09

I’m not sure if this is really what you’re asking but I’d recommend checking.

http://billboard.anu.edu.au/classifieds.asp?
ANU Student Online Bulletin Board so most of the cars are small,older and economical & cheap. Good times to buy are at the ends of semesters when a lot of people are returning to their home state/country and need to quickly offload their vehicles.

http://www.allclassifieds.com.au/ac/ac0005?vmid=&minprice=1000&maxprice=2500&orderby=days
Allclassifieds between $1,000 –> $2,500) sorted by days listed (You could also do sort by KM listed).

Good luck!

v_man_returns v_man_returns 10:53 am 16 Jan 09

I have a 93 ford laser tx3…got it about three years ago for 4.5k.

It as done a few coast and Sydney trips and still gets me from A to B. If you can pick up one in good nick I’d recommend it. Had about 220,000 on the clock and I’ve taken in close to 280,000.

It still runs well but given it has served me so well, with getting a few things replaced for $700 being my most expensive service, I consider every kilometre a bonus. I think Car Care in Tuggeranong has something to do with its longevity, because I don’t drive as carefully with an older car as I should.

chrispy chrispy 10:44 am 16 Jan 09

Google redbook, it has the current private sale prices for just about every car around. the site is a bit crappy but the information is essential when you are buying a car.

Most reliable makes according to NRMA, RAA, RACV, etc
Toyota number 1
Honda & Hyundai are equal 2nd

Thumper Thumper 10:41 am 16 Jan 09

You’re right, it was a buick. Either way, you can’t kill it with a stick.

peterh peterh 10:39 am 16 Jan 09

farnarkler said :

Peterh if your 89 magna is an auto, pray it’s had a dealer installed replacement gearbox.

it has. it is the SE model, still runs well. whatever car you get, try to get something that premier automotive can service – rob is so worth his weight in gold. The 89 magna has an annoying noise brought on by the balance chain, but it has a working AC and it gets me to my meetings ok.

farnarkler farnarkler 10:30 am 16 Jan 09

Peterh if your 89 magna is an auto, pray it’s had a dealer installed replacement gearbox.

peterh peterh 10:26 am 16 Jan 09

BenMac said :

Mitsubishi Magna 1993 4cyl. 250,000km. Rego until May 09.

All yours for $1100. Any takers.

my 89 magna has a book price of $1900 – might buy it one day…

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