Which LC to buy? Higher mileage versus higher price (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
24
Location
San Jose, CA
Hi there, IH8Mudders! This will be my first LC. I'm excited, and have learned a ton from this forum (thank you!).

I'm looking for a early 2000s LC (or 470) that will be a third vehicle for our family, with it's primary purpose being offroad adventuring in Northern CA and the surrounding area.

My priority in finding a vehicle is:
  • 2000 - 2003 model year
  • Less than 200k miles
  • Very well maintained and documentation showing the same
  • Little or no rust
Amazingly, in short order, I've found two that are not far away. I'm having trouble deciding between them, and would love to hear your thoughts.

Option 1: 2001 LC, 109k miles. $13,500.
Option 2: 2000 LC, 188k miles. $8,500.

They both have excellent interior and exterior condition, no rust, and documentation showing all appropriate preventative maintenance. Both recently had the timing belt, water pump, and related replacements done.

Assume that we will have the vehicle for 2-4 years (15k - 30k miles) and then will sell it.

So it basically boils down to whether I would rather save $5,000 or have 80k less miles on the vehicle.

Questions:

- What would you do?

- If I go with the higher mileage vehicle, will the $5,000 I save be chewed up by repairs and maintenance that I would avoid with the lower mileage example?

- Is the higher mileage vehicle more likely to break down and leave me stranded?

- What things am I not considering?

- What will happen when it comes time to resell? Will the lower mileage one have held its value while the higher mileage one tanks?

Thank you!

Charley
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2015
Messages
1,386
Location
United Kingdom
The resale price is hard to say really, I think you would lose more on the lower mileage one if the 200 drops in price and gets the attention of the 100 owners more, but who knows. Expenditure comes down to you aswell, are you looking to just keep it running or going for a refresh. I done the later and have slowly restored mine, but without the work it would probably still be running, I plan on keeping mine for a while and I have now got to the point where it is just maintanence, possibly a steering rack in a few years but it is good at the moment.

Neither is high mileage
Are you going to do the work yourself, as this would alter the cost of ownership and the lower mileage might seem more appealing.
Who is to say the higher mileage one isn't in better condition, or it could be in a obvious state of repair.
Where have they gained there mileage, off-road or asphalt. Has one been towing and dropping boats into the ocean.

Just go and look at them and see what you are happy to pay for them.
 

ga12r1

Relatively Infamous
GOLD Star
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,727
Location
Valdosta, Ga
If they both have excellent service records and have been properly maintained I would go with the 2000 all the way. All other things being equal the difference in the mileage is not worth 5k. You may have to replace the steering rack sooner but that’s not $5k. At $8500 If you maintain it, it probablywon’t depreciate much if any. If the lower mileage one was an 03+ it might be different, but an 00 and 01 are the same.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
2,326
Location
Mobile, AL
IMO and IMexperience.....When you wait and allow a LC/LX to get to the 175-200K range you are able to buy them with more maintenance items already being done like the timing belt service for the second time (and maybe last). Sometimes the steering rack has been replaced. The result being, not a dimes worth of difference in vehicles with 100K and 200K miles.....except for $6-10,000 of cash in your pocket.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
1,614
If you can do your own repair work, I'd go with the cheaper vehicle. That said, I think the 2001 it a bit high with his price. Perhaps new tires, etc.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
24
Location
San Jose, CA
Thanks for all of the helpful replies.

@rroverbkk, interesting to hear your feedback that you don't think these are good prices. I've been watching the market (esp. here in Northern CA) for the past month or so, and they both seemed pretty fairly priced to me... especially the 2000 for $8,500.

Charley
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Messages
1,061
Location
Irvine, CA
low mileage is king if you plan to resell in 2 years. If you can fork out the additional $5k, you will probably be able to sell that one for just as much as you paid in a couple years. the one that is close to 200k miles I'm sure is a fine buy, but then you will be selling a over 200k car that will weed out buyers like yourself looking for a "under 200k car".
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
39
Location
Portland, OR
I'm in Portland and searched the west coast for a quite a while (months) before buying my 2001 for $7K. I think I got a really good deal. Found it on Craigslist about 20 minutes after it had been posted without a single photo. Older Dr. (original owner) and he didn't know how to post photos on Craigslist. I thought the ad was a scam, but called anyway. He told me his phone was ringing off the hook. I mention this because I was surprised at how many people are out there looking for a good 100-series still. At $8500.00, and if in good shape, its a fine deal. Not a steal, but definitely a fair price. Also, if it is a deal, it won't last long. I think you have the potential to drive it for a couple years, take good care if it and sell it for what you paid for it. These rigs seem to be mostly done depreciating. My 100 with 168K needed 2 new CV's, 2 new wheel bearings, a new carrier bearing(all expensive), rear brakes and some fluids changed. I did not do a pre-purchase inspection and these issues were discovered at the dealer. I did test drive it and it drove fine, did not notice anything so I was surprised when it had the front-end issues it had. That being said, even if I had the pre-purchase inspection done, I don't think the original owner was going to come off of his 7K asking price so I just saved the money and effort of getting it inspected. Sucked to drop $3200.00 into it right off the bat but now I know I have brand new OEM front end parts and should be good to go for a long time. Love my 01 even though it has the nav. Let someone else pay a premium for the low mileage rig as long as the other one checks out okay. Good luck!
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
166
Location
Michigan
Thanks for all of the helpful replies.

@rroverbkk, interesting to hear your feedback that you don't think these are good prices. I've been watching the market (esp. here in Northern CA) for the past month or so, and they both seemed pretty fairly priced to me... especially the 2000 for $8,500.

Charley

A couple of things might be at play with my statement:
- I look at cars above 200k miles, so higher than what you are looking for
- I live in the Midwest, so maybe the prices are lower than CA because of rust etc.
- But, being from a region that gets a decent amount of snow, there are a lot of LCs and LXs around the upper Midwest. This could also keep prices down.
- The above being said, i would still look to pay less as I mentioned because even though we have salt out here, we have plenty of soccer/hockey moms who wash their cars and park in garages in suburbs.

Maybe at the end of the day, what's a couple of grand if you find the car you like close to home? It matters to me only because I don't have a ton of disposable income....

My numbers when I have looked to buy (high mileage aka 200-250k+ and good history, preferably one owner):

For a 98-99 ish car : 5000 ish
For a 2003-2005 : 7500 ish with really high miles
06-07: my favorite and could never afford until I found one-owner with 307k miles

Early ones getting harder to find as one owners. Some like the locking rear diff in the early ones, I don't really care too much as the interior and 5-sp matter more to me. After now finally owning a post 2003 model, I don't think I will go back for the interior alone.

I looked in the whole region before I ended up finding an 06LX at a country club estate 5 miles from my house.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom