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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All - I'm new here. I posted this originally in the "shopping" forum but see it's not a regularly visited board.

Ready to purchase a new (to me) RAV4. Really liking the 2009-2012 years. Feeling overwhelmed that I have to pick one that will meet my needs, budget, must-haves. I'm intimidated because I've never purchased a used vehicle, so I don't want to screw up. Your guidance and general thoughts are very welcome. Finally found "the one," I think, but what am I not thinking about??? Is this a smart buy? I'd like something that will last me maybe another 10 years. I'm coming off 16 years driving the same Toyota Echo that now has 275,000 miles, so I'm loyal and a believer. :smile

2009 RAV4 Limited
Toyota dealership (it was a trade in)
V6
105,000 miles
$14,900
Clean Carfax with oil changes every 3-5K miles
Sunroof
Leather Seats, heated
Roof rack
...

What else? Is this a bad buy? What should I ask? Consider?
 

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Welcome to the board!
Sounds like a nice Rav...especially the V6 part! Others will no doubt shortly chime in with lots of ideas, but for now, you could go to Toyota dot com/owners and look around for a place to input the vin and come up with everything Toyota has on the car. Otherwise, the usual things apply like taking it for a good ride over varied roads, listening for unusual noises(once around the parking lot ain't gonna do it). Make sure everything works ie, radio, A/C in all modes etc, etc. Also, there are lots of recalls and TSBs that should have been addressed by now, just make sure. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All good thoughts. I went to the Toyota site and found good service records-- no mention of new tires, but I guess I can get those after I buy. Thanks!! What is a TSB?
 

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All good thoughts. I went to the Toyota site and found good service records-- no mention of new tires, but I guess I can get those after I buy. Thanks!! What is a TSB?
TSB = Technical Service Bulletin
 

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Front wheel drive or all wheel drive? Color? Honestly the price seems a bit high to me considering the mileage and needs tires. Are they offering any warranty at all or is it "as is"? I'd say you have some wiggle room on what they are asking.
 

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I've only bought one new vehicle in 40 years / but older cars and trucks is my hobby & self trained in auto body...I have a good eye.

I'm also from S/W Ontario - not up on US prices but took 6 months searching, to find our mint 2008 Limited v6, with 55,000 miles (89,000 Km).
- I always buy private, and saved about $5,000 Canadian recently
- bought a Doctors car, and still had 13 months of extended warranty remaining
- and cheap enough, to install new Firestone Le2's, the next day
- I showed surgeon the rubber tread was worn right down to the tire wear bars, so he agreed to a quick $1200 discount
Other than that, car was fully serviced at Toyota dealership, since new & had leather / moonroof / tow package coolers, etc.
- just have to be patient

Re - 2009 RAV4 Limited v6 / Toyota dealership (it was a trade in) / 105,000 miles...$14,900

My gut feel is 14,900 US$ should by a 2009-10 Limited, with v6 for similar money...just 50,000 miles less...least it does, North of the boarder.
 

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Agreed, a high price for that high mileage. $14,900 is what I paid for our '06 with 72,740 miles in November 2009.

I buy a lot of used cars, vans & trucks both private and from dealers for myself (5 on my signature + a vintage Volvo that won't fit) and friends (with their $$$) over the years. There's probably half a dozen in our church lot any Sunday.

I've found the magic mileage number is 100,000 with prices dropping significantly when that 6th digit comes up. So when looking for a low price I search over 100K and negotiate pretty firmly knowing I have very little competition.

In your case I suspect the RAV4 is in great shape but I'd do more searching on eBay, cars.com, and craigslist, if not to find another car then to find similar ones for your price negotiation.
And NEVER say, "I'll offer you $XX,XXX" which invites a counter offer. I always use, "I'd be willing to pay $XX,XXX." That way you can effectively make a lower offer but w/o offending the seller. With some research you can honestly say, "I found another 2009 with (lower) miles for $XX,XXX, a lower price.

That's exactly how I got several thousand dollars off our '06 w/o angering the seller. I gave him the specific info on the other RAV4 so he knew it was real, but w/o saying I had no interest in it due to it being from a salt area.

Another piece of advice: Take your time. A quick buy is usually a bad one, or at least not the best. Took a month to find our RAV4, Accord & Odyssey.

More: My goal is to get a vehicle and a price that I could turn around and sell it w/o losing money.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
You guys are awesome. Decided to walk from this one; they wouldn't lower the price. I'm feeling good-- and well informed. Thank you so much!
 

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I am in NY and looking at a 2012 for $15K at 34K miles. I am waiting for the carfax right now. I came here looking for more information on what to look for on getting a used Rav4. You did good by walking away.
 

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You guys are awesome. Decided to walk from this one; they wouldn't lower the price. I'm feeling good-- and well informed. Thank you so much!
Great! And you're gaining some experience that will greatly reduce the intimidation factor. Believe it or not after a while it'll actually become fun. That's why I help my friends find cars, for the fun of it.

One very important thing not yet mentioned unless it's in focus123's link: Use KBB, Edmunds, or my favorite NADAguides for pricing info. For instance depending on exact options the 2009 you balked on has an Clean Retail of $16K and an Average Trade-in of $12K. I always try to get close to or below Avg Trade. So $13K would have been in my ballpark. Retail is for the masses.
Curry's 2012, assuming it's 4 cyl, 4WD Base is around $17.5K Retail and $14K Avg Trade so $15K may be good on that one.
 
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Thanks Dyno. I looked at the carfax and it was sold at an auction on 11/30/15.


I do want to go after it anymore. These cars are beaten up as I understand, towing and moving.

It is a 4 cylinder. I could not find a 6.
 

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I wouldn't downgrade a car just because it's been thru an auction. Used car dealers use auctions to rotate and refresh their stock. The only problem is each time a car is auctioned seller and buyer fees and transportation costs get added.
The lowest value a car has is when it's traded in at a dealer by it's owner. New car dealers don't want anything but recent models on their lots so they either auction them or sell them to local used dealers. Those used dealer get the best price so they can either give their customers great deals or make high markups.
Some of the best prices I've found are on eBay where dealers make their money on volume or from private owners who just want a little more that the dealer offered them on a trade.
 
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Interesting, I might take a look at the car. Also, I have not considered ebay but will look there now too. Thanks.
 

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Ebay is a very different and interesting animal indeed.

First because the buyer can leave the seller positive, neutral or negative feedback w/o any fear of reprisal from the seller who, with eBay's new policy can only leave positive FB. So if you find a dealer with 100% +FB that means ALL his buyers are satisfied. Try to find that at the corner used (or new) car dealer - just doesn't happen.

Second, price. The best deals on eBay end at or below NADA trade-in value. But to get a price that good it has to be a no-reserve auction and, VERY IMPORTANT, you can't bid until the VERY END, like 5 seconds left, of the timed auction. If you bid any earlier you'll encourage others to bid against you starting a bidding war which both raises your price and reduces your chance of winning.

Third, you only end up paying enough to beat the second highest bidder by the bid increment. So if the second highest bid turns out to be say $12,200 and you bid NADA trade-in at $15,400 or even $1,000,000, you'll win for $12,300. Make sense?
 
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