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Discussion Starter #1
I have found a 2001 insight that I'm interested in buying and would love to hear any comments, suggestions or opinions anyone could share.

The vehicle is an automatic, has 55,000 mi. and the price is 8500.00. The interior of the car is mint. The outside has a scratch/scrape on the rear bumper corner about 6 inches long and there is a broken clip that holds the underpinning on the passenger side of the front bumper so it is sagging a tad. There is also a piece of molding over the drivers door that is not seated in tightly. My guess is a clip has broken for some reason.


The IMA battery was replace one year ago. The car runs great with the exception of the brakes. The brake light is on and its obvious they need to be replaced/fixed.The only other thing the owner mentioned was the heat shield was rattling some so not sure if that's worth fixing or what the cost would be.

The tires are a couple months old but I don't think they are the original specs.

Any opinions on what kind of a deal this is. Should I snatch it up?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Sounds good, perhaps the price is a bit high for that year. The surge in gas prices have rised prices most definitely. I bought a mint 2004 G1 MT-5 last September with 77K for $8000.
 

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price would be too high for me, I would go with a brand new cr-z or fit if I had to pay 8.5k for a 2001 machine.

The small things you mention show a neglected auto for me... I am not crazy about fixing my cars but the brakes should be the bare minimum for everyone to be always in top shape, if the brakes are bad , I would not trust anything else on that car...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sure wish I could get some more opinions on this car. Need help!
 

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Mileage is good, and new battery is good, but price is too high IMO for 1) An automatic, 2) Dents and dings, 3) Needs brake work.

Automatics don't command the price premium that manual transmission versions do. Is his price so high just because of the low mileage?

I wouldn't worry about the brakes overall, though. I don't think it shows neglect. The brakes last so long on an Insight, it's easy to overlook them.

I wouldn't pay any more than $7000, and I still think that's a lot.

IMO, low miles is almost meaningless with these cars. As I've stated before, I would be more worried about the condition of things with low miles over the last 10 years than I would be with high miles over the last 10 years - depending on if I can determine how it was taken care of, of course.

Repairs, overall, are cheap. I would find a good specimen in the $4000-5000 range, which isn't too difficult with an automatic, and then fix whatever needs fixing. The chances that you would have to spend $2-3000 on repairs is very slim, as long as you find one that has been taken care of. Bonus if you can find one with a relatively new battery.

The way I look at it - any part I replace myself, I know the history of. I know it won't need replacing for a very long time. Everything else is a gamble, and that is the case with any used car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks

The dings and scratch are very minor. The owner says she will have the brakes repaired before purchase.

Have you all checked out the prices lately? Do a search on any distance on auto trader. It's pretty shocking.

There is another one here in Wilmington NC that is a 2005 with 80,000 mi. Original battery, CVT and is in worse cosmetic shape than the one I'm looking at. Scratches and dings and a hole in the front seat. Asking price, $13,995!
 

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Yep, I'm aware. I'm sure they've only gotten worse. We searched for a month before picking up our 2nd one - and most of that month was before the media started focusing on gas prices. The last two weeks we were looking, their prices were edging up and every other ad mentioned gas prices. We felt like we bought it just in time.

I paid 8500$ for my '01 in 2007 with 86k miles. There's no way I would pay the same amount 3-4 years later. But to each his own. :) If you want an automatic and money is no object, go for it. It seems like a pretty good deal as far as the car itself goes. New battery is a huge plus, and if she's willing to get the brakes fixed you should get at least 100,000 miles out of them. The total cost of ownership is just too rich for my blood. But I'm a DIY on the cheap type of guy, so.. lol.

By the way, use Craigslist. I was never able to find one listed under $5000 on Autotrader when we were looking.

I used SearchTempest.com to search Craigslist country-wide.

Just to elaborate - We picked up our 2nd one for $2500. It does have over 440,000 miles on the clock, and it's certainly not perfect cosmetically - but that doesn't bother us. We did have to replace the wheels as they were just regular steel wheels, and we're also putting a used transmission into it since 1st and 2nd synchros are worn out. Total cost of ownership will be less than $3500.
 

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... Just to elaborate - We picked up our 2nd one for $2500. It does have over 440,000 miles on the clock, and it's certainly not perfect cosmetically - but that doesn't bother us. We did have to replace the wheels as they were just regular steel wheels, and we're also putting a used transmission into it since 1st and 2nd synchros are worn out. Total cost of ownership will be less than $3500.
No offense and i apologize for going off topic but 440k miles is ALOT!! Personally i would never buy a car with that many miles. At that mileage most of the bushings and mechanical moving parts are going to need replacement sooner than later. Just my opinion and hope i'm wrong...
 
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