Tips on Buying Cars: Keep or Sell?


    I have Toyta Camery LE 1993. 4 cylinder Sedan. With about 133000 miles. The blue book price for this car in a fair condition is about $2000 if I sell it to private party.

    Last month I spent about $550 to change the break line and to change the radiator to new one. Then after few days, I found there is another leak going on for oil and antifreeze that will cost me another $300 to fix, but I kept using this car without repairing the second leakage. Instead I kept the car in my house garage with my sister, and I flew overseas to work for one year or possibly I will stay out of the U.S for more than a year.

     At this time I am thinking to sell this car for $2000 without fixing the oil gas gate leakage. Should I keep this car on my garage until I go back to the states, and use it again?, or should I ask my sister to go head and sell it for $2000?. When I go back to the states after one or 2 years, I can buy another one for $5000 or $6000.

ANSWER: Sam:Thank you for your comments.One the most common questions I get is"should I keep the car?"To be honest I believe you may get for a trade instead of selling the car.Repairs can be costly,especially for older car or truck.Also remember blue book is a guide,not actual values.May I suggest when you came back to the U.S.,look for the new or low mile preowned Camry-this is 2009 isn't it?

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    If I trade the car, the dealer will not give me more than $200 to $500. If I sell this 93 Camery to a private party I can get anywhere from $1000 to $2000. I have traded in several cars before and I know this. Have you had any experience on trading with dearler or selling to private? I will not go back to the U.S. untill one to 3 years from now. I don't think is a wise decesion to wait untill I go back to the U.S then start trading my old car.

I do not understand what you mean by your last statement (this is 2009 isn't it?)

Sam:My reply 2009 is meaning,with cost of preowned cars,sometimes take the trade value plus any rebates and buy a new or preowned car.I currently work at a dealership,and 14 years in car industry.Unless you you like older cars,take a close look at newer cars because better gas mileage and more tech,plus better ride.And sure you could sell your car for more,but national average time to sell the car(unless you already have a buyer)is sixty days.(Not to mention strange phone calls,strange people coming to the house,ect.).Also values of cars drop in each month,if you check the NADA values(not Blue book)you'll see why.I would suggest sell the car now at the price you want and take the money put in savings and get interest on it.I hope I answered some questions. Good Luck!