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Buying & Selling Used Cars

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2010 - 2012 Advice


How to find a used Honda or Toyota

June 2011

We are looking for a Honda or Toyota sedan, hopefully less than 10 years old, less than 100,000 miles, and less than $10,000, as a graduation gift for our son and his wife. These cars seem to be very hard to find, and I wonder if anyone has any suggestions on how to find a reliable car of this type? Any ideas much appreciated! With much thanks. rachel


I had a great experience buying a 2007 Toyota Camry with about 75K miles on it for slightly more than that at Autometrics on San Pablo in El Cerrito. They were great . . . I would probably never buy a new car and hope to get all my future used cars from Autometrics. At any given time, they have several cars on their lot that fit the car you've described. Check out their great reviews on Yelp. Autometrics Fan Club
We were looking for a used toyota or honda and ended up with a Hyundai sonata. It was a great choice! check it out - consumer reports have given its reliability pretty good ratings. happy with my hyundai

Trading an old car for a newer car

April 2011

I need to trade in an older car for a new/newer car, and I do not like the hassle of auto dealerships. I know I could get more money for my older car selling it myself but do not have the time/inclination for this. It really doesn't matter what the make/model of the newer car. I am looking for recommendations for a car dealership and/or salesperson with integrity who will give me the best price available for my older car and a good price for a newer car without all the b.s. Thank you. anon


If you're interested or have the time to sell your car yourself you can generally get more money for it then trying to do a trade in. This would put the cash in your pocket to go to any car dealership and put the money down on a new car.

A great option is to go to Buggy Bank here in Berkeley (next to Berkeley Bowl). You pay a flat fee to put your car on their lot. They handle all of the paperwork, test drives, interaction with people, etc. You just get a call or emails from people that are interested in your car.

I used their services in the fall of 2010 and sold my car in two days for the price I wanted to sell it for. I wasn't in the state at the time so all of the transactions were done over email. It was great. The service performed by Jerry and LeRoi at Buggy Bank was fantastic. It was a really hassle-free, positive experience that I highly recommend. albanymama


We just bought a car last week using guidance from 'Fighting Chance'. You can google it. It was the best $50 we spent in this process. We ended up buying our car from Jason at Albany Ford and Subaru. Jason was quick to respond, very straightforward and easy to deal with. I would go back to him again without hesitation. anon

Buying a used car from a rental company

Feb 2011

We are looking around for used cars and the one we really want is hard to find used for a decent price. The dealers have some here and there but mark it up a lot. We have also noticed that the dealers are getting them from rental companies and then we found the car being sold by Hertz Rent to Buy. Has anyone purchased a used car from a rental company? any good or bad experiences? It makes me a bit nervous since I know how people treat rental cars but if the car checks out fine, is it ok? Would love any feedback or advice from your experiences car buyer


We had a good experience in buying a used car from Hertz some years ago. Although some drivers do not take good care of the cars, the companies maintain them well so as not to have problems and/or lose their reputation. Our car was clean and ran well with minimal maintenance problems for a number of years before we bought another one.

Two things to keep in mind. First, you will probably pay top dollar for one bought this way. Second, look for one with relatively low mileage...less than 30,000 miles if possible. richard


Hi, we have two cars that were rentals. One, we purchased from Hertz and one from a dealer. We got good deals on both and the cars are fantastic (one is a Dodge Grand Caravan and one is a Mazda Protege). While both cars were good deals, we enjoyed the Hertz experience way more. The prices on the cars were the prices, no haggling. We test drove all the cars we wanted on the lot in our price range. Because the car was only 2 years old, we had a new warranty. I would definitely do it again. I'm told that the cars on the Used Car Dealer's lot (like our Mazda) are actually probably better quality than the ones you might find in a regular used car section (like our Dodge) because they go through a rigorous qualification process. Any rejects get sent to the used car lots. We have had good results with both cars. My sister-in-law also went to the Hertz Used Car Sales to get her car and she has been very pleased as well. People told us, ''oh, how can you do that with the way people treat those cars.'' I figure most people don't drive those cars bad enough to mess them up and if they do, they don't make the cut. So, again, GREAT IDEA for getting a nearly new car at a fraction of the cost and great experience, especially with the Hertz place in Hayward. Love my adopted rental cars
We bought from Hertz Car Sales over in Hayward Nov 2010. It was super easy no haggle interaction which was nice. They offer a AAA discount ($300)and extended warranty as an extra purhcase. We have been happy with the car and no issues to date. The car had a noticeable scratch and they painted it for me at no charge. Something else to consider is that they service their vehicles more then the average consumer would so at least you know the car has been maintained well. If it matters we bought a 09 Mazda5 with aobut 32K miles on it. wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again
Back in the early-80s our family was introduced to buying used cars from rental companies by a friend who'd had very good success with buying from Hertz. We found an excellent Ford and later a Pontiac through Enterprise. The Ford, in the long run, lasted longer than the Pontiac and was a better car. Then we got introduced to Honda cars. Since 1998 our immediate and extended families have purchased four used Hondas (various models), one Toyota and one Lexus from Walnut Creek Honda and we have been totally satisfied with each. All six of these cars are still running perfectly. All the cars are certified by Honda, prices were fair and service was excellent. The salesperson we use is Jim Knapp, 925-944-9770. They are located a few blocks from the BART station. Give Jim a call - tell him Precious sent you. A satisfied customer
Back in the early-80s our family was introduced to buying used cars from rental companies by a friend who'd had very good success with buying from Hertz. We found an excellent Ford and later a Pontiac through Enterprise. The Ford, in the long run, lasted longer than the Pontiac and was a better car. Then we got introduced to Honda cars. Since 1998 our immediate and extended families have purchased four used Hondas (various models), one Toyota and one Lexus from Walnut Creek Honda and we have been totally satisfied with each. All six of these cars are still running perfectly. All the cars are certified by Honda, prices were fair and service was excellent. The salesperson we use is Jim Knapp, 925-944-9770. They are located a few blocks from the BART station. Give Jim a call - tell him Precious sent you. A satisfied customer
We bought a car from Hertz and had a great experience. Paid the same price as from the classifieds but with less risk. I plan to go back whenever we need a ''new'' car. happy customer
I have owned 3 used cars bought from rental agencies (I believe, 2 from Hertz and 1 from Enterprise) and have never had any problems with any of them. My parents have also bought several cars from Hertz without any problem. Although it is true that some people don't treat their rental cars well, I think that the rental companies themselves do treat the cars well (as far as oil changes, scheduled maintenance, etc.). They provide you with all of the maintenance records when you buy the car. The cars I have bought have all been fairly new (maybe a year or less old) and have had between 25,000 and 35,000 miles on them.

I will probably never buy a car anywhere else! Happy with Hertz


Where to buy a good used car for teen?

May 2010

I need to buy a reliable used car for my teenaged daughter. I have looked at Autometrics as well as Honda in El Cerrito ('pre owned/certified cars') but don't know who to trust. I am a divorced mother and fear I might get taken advantage of due to my naivete....please advise... anon


If you can afford a car at Honda of El Cerrito or a similar dealership, that would be a great place. Buying a certified pre-owned car means that they give you an extended warranty. It is longer than if you buy a new car from them. If you buy it from someone on Craigslist just bring it to a mechanic that you trust (before you buy it) and have them to a diagnostic. It costs around $100. Then you will know what you are getting. Good luck.

2007 - 2009 Advice


Have you purchased a good used car from a dealer?

May 2009

My husband and I are looking to buy a safe, reliable, inexpensive used car in the next few weeks. We have a slight preference for Hondas and Toyotas, but we're open to anything at this point. If you've had any experience (good or bad) purchasing a used car from a local dealer, we would greatly appreciate hearing about it! We have no idea where to start this search. Anonymous


We purchased our car through a brokerage in Fremont called Carsmith Motors (www.carsmithmotors.com, tel. 800-452-1977 or 510-770-9790). They do keep some inventory of used cars in stock, but they'll also shop wholesale auctions on your behalf to find exactly what you're looking for. All you have to do is give the Carsmith folks some specifications (make, model, year, mileage, colors, options, etc.) and they'll find it for you at a very reasonable price. We got a great deal on a low-mileage lease return that was only 3 years old, and after that experience I don't think I'll ever buy a new car again! Morris

Looking to buy a used car for my daughter

March 2009

My daughter gets her driver's license soon and I want to purchase a safe, reliable, but not too costly car for her. Where to begin? I am a single mom with little car buying experience-I do have a relative who is a mechanic so once I find something we are interested in he will give it the 'once over' Has anyone used autometrics on San Pablo? craigs list? dealers who sell 'pre-owned' cars? Please advise.... thanks in advance. need guidance


You might want to check out the Buggy Bank in Berkeley, near Berkeley Bowl. I sold my car there, and had a great experience. They are not a dealership but a lot where owners leave their cars. The Buggy Bank keeps the keys and oversees test drives, etc. The sellers pay a fee to Buggy Bank, but the buyers are not charged. It's especially good if you don't want to go to a strange house or have strangers coming to your house. http://www.buggybank.com/ DC
Try Autometrics in Berkeley. I think John Hafez is the owner. They have a repair service on San Pablo Ave. next to REI but also have a used car lot in El Cerrito. They are honest and will help you find a road-worthy vehicle for a fair price! You can check some of the inventory on line. Talk to John and he will help you out. satisfied customer
I recommend Autometrics on San Pablo in El Cerrito for a used car. I recently purchased a car through Paul, the owner. He was low key, low pressure and knowledgeable. The car checked out perfectly through an independent mechanic. I will definitely work with him again if and when the need arises. Satisfied New Used CRV Owner

Where to buy a reliable used car?

Nov 2008

Where have you had a good experience buying a used car? Looking for a reliable 2nd car (take and pick up the kids from school) and we've been to Buggy Bank, but the availability can be limited. Any honest Used Car lots around? Thanks. Car shoppin' mama


We purchased a used car for our daughter about three years ago at Autometrics in El Cerrito. It's on San Pablo Avenue about 4-6 blocks north of Central Ave. We bought a used Honda Civic, about four years old at the time. It has been great! The price was reasonable (we checked Kelly Blue Book pricing) and have had no problems at all with the car. I highly recommend them as a place to purchase a used car. Judy

Has anyone sold a car on Craig's List?

August 2008

as anyone successfully sold a car on Craig's List? The fraud warnings are really intimidating. If yes, what did you use as your form of payment since personal and cashier's checks can be fraudulent? If Craig's List isn't the solution, what is?


Try the Buggy Bank kitty-corner to the Berkeley Bowl on Shattuck and Oregon. We sold a car there; it was an easy, hassle-free experience. Ian
We sold a car through CL. Once we reached an agreement & completed the paperwork with the buyer, what we did for the money transaction was to take the buyer and 2 cars to the nearest branch of the buyer's bank. The buyer withdrew cash from his account for the sale. After the cash exchange, we went our separate ways from the bank in our own vehicles, with the new owner driving off in our former car. We drove to our bank to deposit the cash. Even if the buyer has a money order, it is reasonable to ask him/her to convert it to cash at his/her bank before you hand over the car. That way the check trail leads to the buyer, not to you. The buyer has the car and you have the cash, as agreed. tried it
We sold our car on Craig's List for cash. I suppose we would have taken a cashiers check. We BOUGHT a car on Craig's List using a cashier's check. If you trust these forms of currency then I would be more afraid of someone taking off with the car I'm selling. If that is a worry, you might want to try the Buggy Bank on Shattuck in Berkeley. We never tried using it, but a friend sold her car through them and was very happy. Francesca

Where do you go to buy a used minivan?

April 2008

We are looking for a used minivan. Where do people go for such things? Dealers? Craigslist? Any good online options? Time for a new car


I have had good luck from the BPN Marketplace newsletter. I bought a Station Wagon from someone that was in my area (even had my area parking sticker, which was convenient) and I didn't haggle..just paid what she wanted...that was over a year ago and I just got it smogged to renew the registration without incident. Fluids...nothing except an oil change, which is more fluids I guess.... Y Right after I bought the station wagon, someone was selling a minivan, also BPN marketplace. They were leaving the country, offered me a much better deal if they kept it until after Christmas last year. I didn't tell my husband about it...he would have had a cow. I paid them, because they wanted cash for the holiday, got only the pink slip, then, the day they were leaving, picked up the van. So, I didn't have it for almost 2 months. It was fine and I saved a lot doing it that way...the van was/is a beater, full of dents and shimmies at 50mph, but I only drive it stop & go and it is fine around here..carries 6 kids! Handy! It also passed smog without incident and hasn't had any maintenance yet. (The former owners had pukey twins... I sprayed it down with rubbing alcohol after I washed it & that got rid of their smell. Now, it smells like my kids, dog, & stepped on juice boxes.)

I just wanted to say that people are basically honest and you should trust your feelings. Ask them about the van. Ask what is good & bad about it. Sometimes there are quirks; like, if you don't turn the gas cap 3 clicks, the compression gets wacked and the engine light will go on...that stuff? Ask them & they will tell you.

There are car websites...some have chat you can read that will give you better questions to ask the seller. If you think they are lying, walk away /pay the $ & have it checked by your mechanic. With that local station wagon? My mechanic was their mechanic & so, he just punched up the records & told me it was good & I didn't even need to pay! (I didn't think they were lying or anything, my husband insisted on a mechanic's check.)So, luck is part of it, I guess. But look for bubbles in the tires, uneven tread wear,.....look in the engine. If it is really dirty, like it has been on fire? No! Look at the fluids; they shouldn't look old & thick or dirty. That would mean the vehicle wasn't checked regularly enough to be a runner for you.

I am really happy with our 2 car fleet. We can carry 11 kids & 4 adults in 2 vehicles and it has been incredibly handy many times. Wishing you good luck!


2004 - 2006 Advice


Buying a used car from a private seller

August 2004

I was wondering what people's experiences were with buying used cars from private sellers. We are looking at a Dodge truck that the seller is asking over Kelley Blue Book for. Do used cars usually go for over the recommended price? It has all the bells and whistles and the engine is good, only minor body damage. I thought maybe with high gas prices, bad economy and not alot of interest in this particular model would make it more likely that it would be UNDER blue book price. Any wisdom out there? Thanks
Confused car buyer


i have bought a car and sold two on craig's list and each time the price was slightly UNDER the blue book ''private party'' price. i don't think you should pay over that price. hope this helps
Oh, boy do I understand what you're going through. I am both selling a car as a private party and buying another through a private party. On the buying side, I would make sure you check the Blue Book for PRIVATE PARTY sales. Many sellers reference KBB but use the higher RETAIL sale as a basis. Also, most people state the condition of their car as ''Excellent'' even though very few used cars fit the bill of being in showroom condition.

Sounds like this car, with body damage, depending on the extent of it would be in either fair or poor condition, which reduces it's value. Check kbb.com yourself and insist on paying no more.

Sellers often price their cars high and expect to be talked down. Its a silly game - but if you show them how you arrived at the figure you are willing to offer, they really should accept it. Danville Mom


First, as you probably know, there are two blue book values: the lower private party value and the higher dealer value. Second, remember that blue book values are only an estimate of what people are buying and selling for. The textbook definition of ''value'' is whatever price a willing buyer and willing seller (without coercion) agree upon.

A few months ago I listed and sold my 1996 sedan for for about 20% over blue book value (which was $600 extra or so). I thought it was worth more because it had very low mileage (60k) and few problems for a nine year old car, and the buyer apparently agreed. The blue book value, in my estimation, undervalued the low mileage, but such questions of value are inherently subjective. Ideally you could compare that car to several other identical used cars and choose the best price (like you can do with new cars), but that's usually not possible because rarely do two used cars have identical condition, color, mileage, etc. So you have to decide whether it's really worth the extra $$$ or not. Anon.


In my (albeit) limited experience, there is no hard and fast rule. It pretty much depends what the seller is willing to accept, and the buyer is willing to pay. What i'd say is do your homework.

1. Look at the kelly book price for the exact vehicle you are considering (including extras like CD) and the criteria for excellent, fair and good, so that you can see the price range the truck is likely to fall into. Also, it will help both you and the seller understand why a particular price is reasonable. Seemingly small things in themselves, or in combination can move an item from the high end of a category, to the lower end, or even into a lower category, depending on the type, degree etc of a problem. (An absolutely pristine truck with no mechanical or cosmetic problems and a paper trail of upkeep and repair, for example, MIGHT hold higher value than the same car with small but multiple dings, or slight but repetitive mechanical problems, depending upon the criteria and how the parties interpret it.)

2. Look in the newspaper classifieds and on Craig's list to see what comparable trucks are selling for. It ! may give you an idea of what the market is, how many are on the block, and even how well they tend to hold their value over time. You might even find a truck you like better at a more acceptable price.

3. There's a web-site that apparently gives you the history of the particular truck you are looking at. I found out about this after i bought my car, so i've not used it. I was told it has info like whether the vehicle has been in an accident. But again I have no first-hand info about it.

When I was buying my car, i also:

--Took it for a test drive

--Had my mechanic look the car over and tell me (in my case in front of the seller) how it was overall, and what expenses he foresaw in the near future.

(I had also asked beforehand how he would rate the make and model, year of car, and what price range I should expect to pay.) As a result, i knew the car was basically sound and both the seller and i adjusted the price down based on some of the cost of the work it would immediately require.

--The seller had answered all my questions, shown me repair and upkeep receipts

--I spoke to the seller's mecanic and asked what problems the car had had, and what to expect

Then I decided the top and bottom amounts I was willing to spend in general; and for the car I bought in particular. And how I wanted to go about negotiating for it. Since I am most comfortable with ''transparent bargaining'' (and luckily had a seller open to it), I then put all my cards on the table and offered a lower figure than the asking price, giving my reasons for everything that went into arriving at the price. She did the same, and we ultimately arrived at a price which, to not perfect for either, felt both fair and acceptable to both.

I used to open with the single price i thought was fair. But then there is no room for negotiation. So now I tend to start at the top of my range, give enough support for it, and then come down if the other side either offers a compelling counter- argument, or if I feel that is the Only price the buyer will accept and I am willing to pay it without feeling screwed. for my part, i find that transparency helps me figure out every step along the way and take the other side with me -- or give them a way to offer a different view.it has, in my experience allowed all partieies to share facts and draw conclusions based on them. I personally also find that i feel better at the end of the process, and often the other side does too. In my case, the seller even caught a mistake in the math and insisted that I should pay lower number it should have been.

But, there are many other people who just as strongly feel that holding their cards closer to their vest is the best path -- ''Just offer and walk away if you don't like what you hear'' is their belief. They might for example say, how about $x instead? Or what's the best price you can give me? is that the best you can do for me? what will it take to close this deal? -- One man says he can't imagine giving the other side information they can argue with or throw back in his face.

(Tho the results might have been quite similar in my case, i think it unlikely that the seller would have corrected a mistake in my favor with the non-transparent style. tho the chances are this happening are small under any system. i was very lucky.) I have no idea about how factors like gas prices, miles per gallon and other considerations you mentioned factor in a sale. I suggest you continue to see if there is a source of such info - for example a reference librarian who might have the answer or tell you where to look.In the transparent style, you can throw it on the table for the other side to consider -- after you have decided yourself how much weight you think the factor deserves. The negotiator who holds cards closer to the vest may also take this into consideration and adjust along the way as to whether to let it go in the course of negotiating.

Other lessons I learned were: If you start too low, the negotiations may never get off the ground -- though you might be able to rectify it by coming up quickly to a more reasonable range based on what you hear; that you can always go up, but usually not come down from a price you offer; and it's not over til the fat person sings. (Just because the seller says he wants $x doesn't mean they won't settle for $y. And if they don't, you can go back up to $x if you want.)

That's been my experience. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. nans


my husband, who is a car guy, says that everyone asks for more than they expect to get. make a counter offer that is lower than what you expect to pay, and hope to compromise in the middle. look on craig's list to see if there are any similar cars for sale to do research, and check with the Buggy Bank as well. they have a web site. good luck. anonymous

Buying a used car on ebay

Jan 2004

We are looking for a used car and are exploring various avenues. I have heard that one can get a great deal using EBay Motors, since cars are often cheaper in other parts of the country (granted sometimes for good reason, like corrosion). I would like to hear comments from people who have used EBay Motors, particularly to buy a car from someplace distant, about their experiences and whether they thought they made out better than if they had bought locally. Erin


We bid on a couple of vehicles on ebay motors, though we didn't win. We were bidding on a brand new vehicle (an Audi) and found that the prices were not drastically different than local dealerships, though there was definitely a savings. Also, it was easy to find a shipping company that ships vehicles--I just did a search on the internet and in short order came up with a good company (don't recall the name). I think the cost to ship from the east coast to Oakland was ~$750. Based on our positive experience with it, we will definitely include ebay in our next car search/purchase. Tracy
I bought a 1997 Infiniti I30 through eBay motors about two years ago and had a terrific experience. I did the research ahead of time and knew exactly what I wanted. I saw the car posted and found it was from a wholesaler with all positives (and many of them), which gave me a lot of confidence. I began a correspondence with him and learned more about the car. There was a ''buy it now'' option on it. I'd already done the research and knew what it would be, so I worked that option. I also opted for the three-year certified car warranty, which gave additional peace of mind for a relatively insignificant additional charge. Cars from the east/midwest and other harsh weather states tend to have a lower Kelly book price because of the potential for weather-related damage. Be sure to ask where the car is from; a reputable wholesaler will be able to tell you. If they don't know, trust your instinct.

The car was in the midwest, so shipping was required as well (which I had figured into my budget). A family member was out of work and wanting to visit; since he was already in the midwest we agreed to pay his plane ticket home and all expenses, so he drove the car out and we had the additional pleasure of his visit. I think eBay Motors is a great option and definitely worth considering if you already know your specs. You will have to pay California tax on the car, however, when you register it.

I hope this is helpful. I love my car and have never had a problem with it. I'll check out eBay for the next one as well. Please feel free to email me with any specific questions.

To Infiniti and beyond.... cwilson


2003 & Earlier


Used car buying consultant needed

Dec 2003

Can anyone recommend someone who comes and looks over a used car (mechanically) before we buy it? How do you know if the car you've picked out is a lemon? This would be for a car that we're seriously thinking of buying, either from a dealer or individual. Thanks, Adrienne

Recommended:

  • Quality Tech

    Where to Find Used Car

    July 2003

    I checked the most recent archives don't have the answer to my exact question.We are looking to buy a used car (a recent subaru outback) and would like suggestions on where to look - in addition to here (marketplace), craigslist and the chronicle classifieds (oh, and the place near the berkeley bowl). We do not want to buy from a dealer. Any used car brokers people can recommend? Other classified listings - either on-line or otherwise? Thanks. schradie


    also try http://www.autotrader.com and http://autos.yahoo.com/ Both list private party and dealer sales, but a quick search today broght up a few private sellers in a 25 mile radius from 94704 zipcode. good luck! cynthia
    We bought a used car in December through a broker, Kevin Smith of Carsmith Motors. He got us a fantastic car at a fantastic price -- it was a lease return at auction. I would highly recommend him. http://www.carsmithmotors.com/ or 510-635-0558. Lyn
    We bought our used subaru outback from Family Motors in Sonoma. We had a great experience and they clearly have the best selection of used subarus in the greater bay area. The guy who runs it is interesting but honest and all prices are set, no haggling which made me much more comfortable. You can see what he has in stock in a given week buy checking out the website. When we were shopping, I think he had 7-8 vehicles that met our requirements. I highly recommend Family Motors and I cannot say that about any other car buying experience I've ever had. Whitney
    I would definitely try autotrader.com for any used car. But for a great deal on a Subaru Outback, if you dont mind driving out to Livermore, try calling Ken Summers at (209) 832-4390. Ken is a retired policeman who buys a few used Subarus at auctions, fixes them up, and sells them for a tiny profit...he is honest as the day is long, will tell you every single thing he knows about the car, and will give you a great price. I bought a 98 Forester from him 6 months ago and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Tara
    We just bought a used car from Autometrics on San Pablo (near Moeser). We liked the owner, Paul, and felt that he was fair and straightforward. Ann
    I have used Hammer Auto to buy a car two times and have been VERY satisfied both times. He charges a flat fee of $300 hammerauto.com ARA

    Looking for a trustworthy car less than $4000

    January 2003

    I am due to have my first child beginning of March and would like to buy a used 'trustworthy' car for under 4000 dollars. I would preferably like a 4 door car with trunk space for a stroller. Does anyone know of a good place to buy or of any private sales. Thanks louise


    I recommend my ''car angel'' at EZ Auto Sales, near 40th and Broadway (listed in the phone book). The physical office itself is kind of funky but the fellow who owns the lot there, Dave, has a great selection of inexpensive cars and an encyclopedic knowledge about them. He's been great in all things Car for me for ten years. Good luck.
    For private sales, try looking at the many For Sale cars parked on Shattuck near Berkeley Bowl. Also check around UC Village. Then take the car to a mechanic or AAA for a diagnostic test. A seller with nothing to hide won't mind having you get the car checked out. Liz

    Looking for a used minivan

    Dec 2002

    Hi. We are looking for a good used minivan (preferably Toyota, Mazda or Nissan). Does anyone know a good used car dealar for those cars? We like to buy 1998 or newer models. Any recommendations are very welcome. Thank you. rie

    Recommended:

  • Autometrics

    Car mechanic to inspect a used car

    Aug 2002

    I am in the market to buy a used car for my daughter. I intend to buy a car from a private party, so will need to have a mechanic check it bumper to bumper before I buy. Can anyone recommend a car mechanic to inspect a used car for me? I expect to purchase a foreign make car, such as a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi or VW. Thanks! Lori


    The AAA has a diagnostic service. I have never used it, but I would imagine that they would be objective. http://www.csaa.com/ Helena

    Buying a Used Minivan

    I'll be moving to Berkeley in August, and will need to buy a minivan for the 10 months I and my family will be spending in the US. I don't want to buy a new one, so I am looking for recommendations of places in Berkeley which sell used minivans. Used car dealers often don't have a great reputation for straightforwardness, so I'd especially appreciate recommendations for honest, fair and reasonably priced places to go! Kieran
    To the person who is looking for a used minivan I just sold my car at The Buggy Bank on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley and I highly recommend it. There is a large lot with all sorts of cars, all owned by individuals. It's kind of a clearing house for cars. People wanting to sell a car play a flat fee to the Buggy Bank and set their own price. Buyers negotiate directly with sellers, so the prices are more reasonable than a dealer-owned used car lot. I saw lots of vans there this week. FrannyD
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