I thought I'd pile on to this thread rather than create a new one. I mostly want to say "Me, too". With details and a brief plug for the seller.
I also definitely appreciate this forum. I ended up buying my Insight 800 miles away, which I probably wouldn't have had the guts to do it if I hadn't been able to get lots of info about the car, what to look for when buying one, etc from here first.
I was hoping for a red manual with A/C. New or used would have been acceptable, though my preference was for late-model, low-mile used. Unfortunately everything new or used for sale near me was a CVT (and the wrong color to boot). I finally found a 2005 with 7,500 miles configured like I wanted it near Salt Lake City. Perfect, except for the distance. (I live near Seattle).
It was at Overland West, a Hertz dealership in Layton. I was worried about how a rental might have been treated, but the salesman--Dan Cameron; a really nice guy--said that it was a trade-in, never a rental (CarFAX supported that) and hard to distinguish from a new one. I felt funny negotiating for a car I'd never seen, but they knocked $500 off the price without complaint and took a credit card for a deposit. I bought a plane ticket, Dan picked me up at the airport, I looked over the car, drove it, handed him a cashier's check, spent 15 minutes signing papers, and took off. The car was as described (a couple small scratches and a small seat stain were all I could find) and the whole process was very fast and easy.
Again the forum helped--I knew where all the body VIN labels were, what to check for with the SOC, LMPG (58.2, and it doesn't appear to have been reset), etc. Oh, and to check the tires, which were indeed underinflated. Too bad I forgot to check to make sure they really got more air before I left. :-(
About 50 minutes out of town, I heard THUP! WAPWAPWAPWAP from the right front of the car. It turned out to be the front of the right rear plastic underbody shield. It had pulled off over a bolt and pop-rivet, ripping the panel. I stuffed it back under the bolt and pushed in the rivet by hand (I had no tools!) and spent the next 750 miles hoping it wouldn't happen again. It didn't.
The first day, I had the A/C blasting all day (it was HOT!) and had a small net elevation gain. I got 67mpg. The next day I slowed down a little, didn't use the A/C much, put more air in the tires, had a small net elevation loss (although I still had to go over more than one mountain pass; those things hit hard!), and got 77mpg.
When I got home, I called Dan at Hertz Layton and explained what happened with the underbody panel. He said go ahead and buy a new panel and rivets (I had offered to put it on myself rather than paying a dealer for labor) and send them the receipt. Sure enough, a check for the full amount came in the mail. I'm happy that they made that easy; it was probably tempting to ignore the out-of-state guy. Buying from Layton Hertz was a great experience; too bad they don't have more Insights for other folks.
My wife has a 2005 Prius, and I will note that the Insight is not as smooth on charge/assist transitions, and seems to have more trouble keeping the batteries charged in this hilly area (the Prius also gets a serious mpg hit and battery hit going up a hill, but seems to automatically get most of both back on the way down the other side. I worked with the brakes and throttle on the Insight and it never seemed to gain as much of what it had lost). I feel I have to pay attention to what the Insight is doing and help it along, where we pretty much just drive the Prius. But I am getting 62mpg around town to her 48mpg. I'm glad I bought it, and thanks for the help!