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Old 06-06-2019, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WTB: 1st gen Honda Insight - California

Hi all,

After looking around at different cars I've decided an Insight would be a good car for me and soon I'll need to purchase one. I'm looking for an Insight that isn't too rough and is in good cosmetic condition, preferably with a CVT transmission and AC. I prefer red but am open to all color options. A good car that runs and drives for $2,500 or less with some good life left is all I want.

I am located in Northern California but will consider other parts of California. Registration, taxes, and DMV fees can easily add up when purchasing a vehicle out of state.

Thank you,
Stephen
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheInsightGuy View Post
Hi all,

After looking around at different cars I've decided an Insight would be a good car for me and soon I'll need to purchase one. I'm looking for an Insight that isn't too rough and is in good cosmetic condition, preferably with a CVT transmission and AC. I prefer red but am open to all color options. A good car that runs and drives for $2,500 or less with some good life left is all I want.

I am located in Northern California but will consider other parts of California. Registration, taxes, and DMV fees can easily add up when purchasing a vehicle out of state.

Thank you,
Stephen
An insight at that price level is likely to need $2-3K additional investment anytime in the next 30 days to 2 years.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...903313210.html


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Old 06-06-2019, 05:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I see most Insights have around 250k miles. Is there still a lot of life left in them?
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I see most Insights have around 250k miles. Is there still a lot of life left in them?
Maybe.

Bottom line - if you're looking to buy this car to save money on gas, you'll likely not break even. ANY car with 250K on it is a HIGH maintenance risk. VERY easy to spend big $ on a multitude of issues on a 13-19 year old car. More so with a hybrid.

You buy a G1 because you've always wanted one, and you don't care what it's going to cost you (within reason). You're an enthusiast and you like doing your own work, or you don't care if you have to spend a lot on maintenance.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I paid $1500 for an Insight with 254K miles that had no issues other than a rusting catalytic converter, which I replaced myself for less than $300 in new parts.

There are several issues to be on the lookout for when looking at buying a used G1 Insight (after all, these cars aren't new!) but I have to say that there are very few cars that are this reliable at 250k+ miles as the Insight, especially ones with the manual transmission. The CVT transmissions have their issues.

The hybrid battery doesn't really help fuel economy except for in heavy city driving and stop-n-go traffic, and it improves what would otherwise be doggedly slow acceleration. Replacing the hybrid battery can cost up to $3000 for a new on (never buy remanufactured). If keeping the hybrid battery is important to you, then buying an Insight can be a pretty large risk if the hybrid battery is bad or is going bad. I'm opting to remove my hybrid battery (even though it is still mostly strong and healthy) because I don't mind the slow acceleration, and plan on increasing my storage space with the battery removed. Without the hybrid battery, a manual transmission Insight is one of the most darned reliable cars out there. But then again, I'm not afraid to do work on the car myself if I have to, which will significantly reduce the cost of anything that might possibly go bad. The Insight is a rare car, and few people know how to work on them. You're in California, and Scott is a great Insight mechanic out there, but good mechanics who know Insights are few and far between.
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Last edited by mpg_numbers_guy; 06-06-2019 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe.

Bottom line - if you're looking to buy this car to save money on gas, you'll likely not break even. ANY car with 250K on it is a HIGH maintenance risk. VERY easy to spend big $ on a multitude of issues on a 13-19 year old car. More so with a hybrid.

You buy a G1 because you've always wanted one, and you don't care what it's going to cost you (within reason). You're an enthusiast and you like doing your own work, or you don't care if you have to spend a lot on maintenance.
My main practical reason for the Insight is the fuel economy and the fact that it's a Honda, but what really attracts me is the styling. I'm a diehard EV1 fan and for now this is as close as I can get. I like 90s EVs and am looking at RAV4 EVs but the cost to replace some of the high voltage stuff if it goes wrong is a lot. This is going to be my frist car so my budget isn't big. MPG and practicality are going to be the winning traits in my purchase decision.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I paid $1500 for an Insight with 254K miles that had no issues other than a rusting catalytic converter, which I replaced myself for less than $300 in new parts.

There are several issues to be on the lookout for when looking at buying a used G1 Insight (after all, these cars aren't new!) but I have to say that there are very few cars that are this reliable at 250k+ miles as the Insight, especially ones with the manual transmission. The CVT transmissions have their issues.

The hybrid battery doesn't really help fuel economy except for in heavy city driving and stop-n-go traffic, and it improves what would otherwise be doggedly slow acceleration. Replacing the hybrid battery can cost up to $3000 for a new on (never buy remanufactured). If keeping the hybrid battery is important to you, then buying an Insight can be a pretty large risk if the hybrid battery is bad or is going bad. I'm opting to remove my hybrid battery (even though it is still mostly strong and healthy) because I don't mind the slow acceleration, and plan on increasing my storage space with the battery removed. Without the hybrid battery, a manual transmission Insight is one of the most darned reliable cars out there. But then again, I'm not afraid to do work on the car myself if I have to, which will significantly reduce the cost of anything that might possibly go bad. The Insight is a rare car, and few people know how to work on them. You're in California, and Scott is a great Insight mechanic out there, but good mechanics who know Insights are few and far between.
There's an Insight on autotrader with about 130k miles in Red. Manual too but the price is a bit too high for my budget. It's been listed for a while so I can probably talk the seller down in price. The biggest issue would probably be shipping if I did get a good deal. I think my best option is to just wait and see what pops up near me. I'd definitely retain the battery because I do mostly city driving.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've got five cars. I am very happy with mine. 62,000 miles on one car 215,000 miles on another all in between.you may think you'll get in with just one but remember the potato chip.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheInsightGuy View Post
My main practical reason for the Insight is the fuel economy and the fact that it's a Honda, but what really attracts me is the styling. I'm a diehard EV1 fan and for now this is as close as I can get. I like 90s EVs and am looking at RAV4 EVs but the cost to replace some of the high voltage stuff if it goes wrong is a lot. This is going to be my frist car so my budget isn't big. MPG and practicality are going to be the winning traits in my purchase decision.
The above bolded portion screams that you are a BAD candidate for a G1 Insight. I'm speaking from experience. I have personally encountered over 100 people that purchased a used hybrid only to be hit with substantial maintenance costs (usually hybrid battery).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheInsightGuy View Post
There's an Insight on autotrader with about 130k miles in Red. Manual too but the price is a bit too high for my budget. It's been listed for a while so I can probably talk the seller down in price. The biggest issue would probably be shipping if I did get a good deal. I think my best option is to just wait and see what pops up near me. I'd definitely retain the battery because I do mostly city driving.
Then you need to be okay with potentially dropping another $2-3K within the first 30 days of ownership.

I'm certain I can be perceived as a negative d!ck, but you're considering purchasing an OLD used car with TWO propulsion systems and additional points of failure. When a hybrid is new, the benefit is high and the risk is low. When a hybrid is long in the tooth, it flips - the benefit is low and the risk is high.

Here's an example:

https://www.insightcentral.net/forum...witts-end.html

Another, I met this guy, he's local to me:

https://www.insightcentral.net/forum...new-owner.html

$3500 for the car and after 3 weeks, inoperative A/C, IMA battery and water pump issues. He's likely going to be $6-7K into it, and on the surface, it was a nice looking, "low mileage" car:

Again, if your goal is to purchase a vehicle with low cost of ownership, the G1 insight is a HIGH risk choice, i.e., there's a very good chance that you will experience maintenance costs that will exceed any cost savings over something like a Civic or a Corolla.

If you're purchasing this because you love it, and you're either capable of doing your own work, or you have lots of money to throw at it sorting through non-existent Insight Mechanics (with only 12K units in the U.S., not many "specialists"), then it's an excellent choice for you.

Yes. You absolutely, positively could get lucky, but do you feel lucky, punk? Do you?

Good luck,

Steve
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Last edited by S Keith; 06-07-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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