There are many different ways of approaching a used car search including body style, mileage, make and model, or fuel type. However, if you aren’t too particular about the exact make and model, then you could be in for a welcome surprise.
I’m all about getting value for money, so I decided to try a different search – one involving dealerships in particular. This involves looking at cars that have been listed for a long time. While not all used car websites provide the number of days a car has sat in their yard, there are some that do just that including CarGurus and Carsforsale. You can get a real insight into how long the car in question has been listed, as well as any price action during that time, usually to your advantage allowing you to save money by getting a bargain nobody else has. So, with a budget of $10,000 or less, and a maximum of 100,000 miles on the speedometer, let’s look at a great variety of makes and body shapes I found that have sat in car yards around the country.
2008 SAAB 9-3 SportCombi Wagon
SAAB is renowned for their quality-built cars, and although they are no longer producing cars, the ones that are still around represent value for money. This versatile wagon in silver has a 2.0 liter turbo engine, sunroof/moonroof, leather seats, roof racks, a clean title with no previous accidents, and listed for sale online for 414 days at the time of this article. The dealer in question has already taken off $2,000 over the past 3 months (the most recent price drop only five days ago). With 85,332 miles on the clock, you will be getting a bargain for $6,995!
1988 Cadillac Allante FWD Convertible
If you crave a bit of retro-styling, then you can’t go past this prime example in fire red. The tan interior is immaculate as is the exterior, and the soft-top looks in great condition including a very clear rear window. For a 35 year-old car (with only 3 previous owners), it is in better condition than most modern cars I have seen on the road. The car has been listed for 229 days so far, but the best news is, is that the car has dropped in price 5 times over the past 7 months by an overall amount of $5,000 bringing it down to $7,900. For only 81,000 miles traveled, and the condition, this is a great bargain that should turn heads.
2016 Fiat 500e FWD Hatchback
Speaking of turning heads, and also for the environmentally conscious, I have found an all-electric Fiat in ‘Electric Orange’ with white accents inside and out – and all in great condition. With just 67,190 miles traveled and a battery range of 81 miles, this little hatch would make the ideal city car with parking a breeze. The car has spent 179 days on the market (nearly 6 months), and over the past 2 months has seen a steady price drop from the dealer of nearly $5,900 to just $7,880. It’s got to be worth checking out.
2014 Kia Soul Crossover
Looking for a funky little crossover? This titanium gray model has traveled 78,955 miles, two-tone styling inside, 6 airbags, and a tire-pressure monitoring system in place. Although it has come down 228 days ago from $11,488 to $8,949 listed today, there is a ‘make-an-offer’ button for you to catch an even better deal if this is the car for you.
2014 Nissan Maxima SV Sedan
Staying with cars under 10 years old, you could get a lot for your money with a tried and tested Nissan Maxima. It has space, a V6 3.5 liter engine, sunroof/moonroof, updated model features, plush seats, and the model I found has driven only 50,150 miles. Very presentable, it has been listed for 340 days for $9,998. I’m sure there’s a deal to be reached on this one.
2012 Buick Enclave AWD Crossover
If an SUV is your thing, then you can’t go past the versatile Buick Enclave. This one has all-wheel-drive, adjustable rear seats and arm-rests, a drop-down movie player for rear seat passengers, no less than 10 premium Bose speakers, ‘Onstar’ Satellite Communications, rear climate control, and plush beige interior. There is one slight dent rear the rear light on the driver’s side, but might not cost much to repair. There’s a bargaining tool right there. Great wheels and rims, as well as 85,555 miles traveled. It’s been at this yard for 331 days and has come down $1,000 to $9,995.
1987 Pontiac Firebird STD Coupe
Want to get your hands on a true American classic? This 36 year old fire-red beauty has only traveled 52,000 miles, retro-style pop-up headlights, and it shows in the immaculate condition. No accidents and a clean title, it has only had one owner who looked after it. It has amazingly sat for 372 days online at a price of $9,500. It’s value for money that will definitely turn heads.
2013 MINI Countryman Crossover
With all the cool features expected from a MINI, the one I found has an awesome bright blue and white duel-colored exterior duco in pristine condition with black covers above the wheel arches, Cooper S trim, rear spoiler, sunroof/moonroof, great fuel consumption, and 85,461 miles that have been traveled. This fun car has been listed for 345 days and has come down $2,004 over that time, which brings it to $9,995. As always, dealers should be willing to take an offer for a car that’s been sitting.
1992 Lincoln Town Car Limousine
For something completely different, I thought I’d list a limousine! Some may laugh, but if you think about it, it could the start to a successful career if you choose to do so. Classic limousines are always in demand, whether it’s for graduation balls, hen’s parties, escorting people to and from the airport, or even hiring to film or television companies for those authentic movies and shows based in the 90’s. The list could go on. It has a wild-blue plush velvet interior in immaculate condition, a cool retro look, original hood ornament, and only 28,258 miles advertised on the listing. You would have to confirm that figure, but I think it’s easily an investment you would get back in no time at all. The dealer has been all over the show with their past pricing – which I think is to their detriment because putting the price up then down can put buyers off. It currently sits at $8,850 which is only an overall drop of $25 after 342 days for sale. There’s definitely a conversation to be had if this is the car for you.
2011 Volvo C70 T5 Convertible
Swedish precision in amazing condition, this hard-top convertible in Metallic Flamenco Red looks like it’s hardly been used for its 95,050 miles traveled. The light grey interior with premium leather seats is in great condition, the tires have plenty of tread, and it has a 2.5 liter turbocharged engine tucked under the hood. It has been listed for 256 days and has come down $800 in that time to $9,950. It is already worth the money, but time might be on your side if they want a quick sale.
It’s obvious that this method of searching will get you a great deal. This method is great for those who don’t like to barter for a better price, as discounts have in most cases already been applied. You can see the discounts dealers have already made, and you could probably ask for a further deal. You could set the parameters for the length of time listed for sale as I have in this search, but there are vehicles that have been up for sale for much longer. This search idea seems to be catching on quick, because of the ten models I have listed in this article, another five I had bookmarked to include had already sold.