Submitted by Nocturmowl t3_11i4qn9 in newhampshire

Long time resident, but I don’t know shit about cars or trustworthy places to buy them from. I don’t post on Reddit often, so I’m sorry if this isn’t allowed.

I have been screwed over twice by dealers and worry that it will happen again. Both of my previous cars were plagued with mechanical and electrical issues, friends are suggesting getting a new car but it is too expensive. Figured getting a warranty (preferably extended) was a good idea.

I’m looking for an AWD or 4WD Automatic, SUV or car capable of handling snow, steep hills and generally shitty conditions. I’ve been looking at RAV4s specifically but I’m open to suggestions.

Also: I have looked on Craigslist (general trash/spam posts) and have had friends look on FB marketplace for me. Private sale is a possibility, but it would have to be in really good condition.

Edit: I’m in Southern NH



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curkington t1_jawkomt wrote

Lemon laws apply in Massachusetts. I will never buy a used car in New Hampshire ever again.


_From_dust t1_jawnxdf wrote

Truth. Personally, I’ve never had a bad used car experience when purchasing in MA. Both times I’ve picked up a used car in NH ended up being awful experiences.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jawr16s wrote

Good to know, I’m willing to drive into mass for a car.


-Codfish_Joe t1_jaxveze wrote

Used cars aren't lemons, and the Massachusetts used car lemon law is a joke.
For used cars under 40k miles, it covers 90 days or 3750 miles.
For used cars 40k to 80k miles, it covers 60 days or 2500 miles.
For used cars 80k to 125k miles, it covers 30 days or 1250 miles.

Basically, if it passes inspection and got an oil change recently, nothing should go wrong over the next few tanks of gas anyway. Seriously- it's just as likely to die on a test drive as it is in the next couple thousand miles, if it were in that bad shape, no dealer would want to have it on the lot.


Boats_are_fun t1_jayi9oq wrote

Are you saying a car dealer wouldn’t try to sell a piece of shit car?!?!? Lol if that what you are insinuating


-Codfish_Joe t1_jayqgt7 wrote

Even the shittiest car on the lot needs to be able to start quickly and have no mysterious noises or it's not going to get sold. It needs to not have any codes or it's not going to take a sticker.

A car in that shape is bound to go a couple thousand miles without dying on the side of the road. So what does the Massachusetts lemon law get you?


fabulous_phoenix t1_jax2tpk wrote

Exactly!!! I bought a used Audi in MA, checked out fine prior to purchase. My check clears, dealership calls and says ok to pick up, and the heating system was dead. Drive back to the dealership. They fix it under warranty. Go a week later to pick it up, go to put gas in it, battery won’t turn over. Back to the dealership for a new battery. Pick it up a THIRD time and there’s a huge chip in the windshield right in the line of sight. Car won’t pass inspection, so they had to take it back. They were mad, but MA lemon law protected me!


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxfovs wrote

That sounds like a nightmare! But at least they were able to keep taking it back. I had that happen with a Honda Element (still regretting buying one). Battery, electrical glitches making the headlights randomly turn off and kill the heat, they had a short warranty on it but even after the work they put into it..still had issues! Ideally I’ll get a CPO car with one owner and no accidents/minor dings…


pra_com001 t1_jawk31u wrote

Checkout CarMax and Certified Pre-owned (CPO) sites of brand of your choice. I would suggest you to look for brands such as Honda, Toyota or a Subaru. Subarus are known for their bullet proof AWD and reliability.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jawqx8u wrote

One of my friends have been advising me against Subaru due to their notorious head gasket issues, but Toyota seems to be a decent brand. Honda I don’t know much about.


Icy-Neck-2422 t1_jawry4e wrote

Yeah - Subarus are great up here but after about 110K they get weepy (and our last one did have a catastrophic head gasket issue.) Toyotas and Hondas will run a very long time if you treat them right. Kia and Hyundai are well made and will generally have a long life expectancy, though after 100K miles or so they will start to consume oil so you have to stay on top of that.


pra_com001 t1_jawvbej wrote

Hondas are not bad at all. If you compare RAV4 against a CRV, the later has mechanical AWD compared to an E-AWD found in RAV4. In critical condi this system could be a life-saver.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jawxrma wrote

What is the difference between E-AWD and AWD?


Lumpyyyyy t1_jaxpy9i wrote

Honda reliability is not as good as Toyota, but the parts are dirt cheap and readily available if you have an inkling of handiness in you.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxrovu wrote

I do not. :,) At least not with cars. I don’t have much help in that department.


ig88b1 t1_jaxtvy4 wrote

I disagree with this, all four of my honda accords have outlasted my parents Toyotas by several thousand miles. All of my accords have gone past 300k before I moved on. Not saying Toyotas aren't right there with them, they were also cheap reliable cars but I personally would vote honda over Toyota by just a little bit.


Lumpyyyyy t1_jaxz9lj wrote

That’s anecdotal evidence. Toyota is rated as the most reliable car brand nearly every single year by using quality, dependability, and reliability metrics.


GreatGrandaddyPurp t1_jaygck6 wrote

Don't go to Merchants Auto... you've been warned


Jay_Derkin t1_jazjjqb wrote

Why? I had a great buying experience with them and got a great vehicle.


GreatGrandaddyPurp t1_jb12vgi wrote

I had a terrible buying experience with them and got a car that broke down every few months. Their financing department is also extremely predatory.


Jay_Derkin t1_jb14fs5 wrote

A vehicle breaking down every few months doesn’t sound like a dealer issue though, that sounds like you may think dealers have a crystal ball and know what cars will break down in the future even though they have no issues now. Not trying to be a dick with that either, I just don’t know how else to put it. I’d be more upset at the car manufacturer for making a lousy product.

As for the other points you listed, I didn’t have to deal with predatory financing as I could afford what I wanted, but that’s shitty if what you say is true.


Designer-Parsley t1_jawvcf8 wrote

I always buy CPO from a dealer. Never had an issue in NH or FL. It might cost a little more up front but I haven’t had to fix anything on my last 3 cars other than maintenance/wear & tear (tires, battery, brake pads). What is your approximate budget? Toyota or Honda are usually good.


-Codfish_Joe t1_jaxvyhd wrote

>It might cost a little more up front but I haven’t had to fix anything on my last 3 cars

Buy once, cry once. I really don't want to buy the second half of a car's life, when everything's going to fail anyway, and what doesn't fail is tired.

CPO is a good compromise on age, price and condition.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jawyppk wrote

I’m leaning toward a Toyota from what I have been hearing. Currently I have 2.5k set aside and a ~750 credit score, I’m going to likely end up financing. Ideally I don’t want to spend more than 13k in the long-run but it depends on what I find. I saw a few RAV4s around 8-12k but I’m running into issues where they don’t allow financing.


FlyingLemurs76 t1_jaxa0vs wrote

They probably don't allow financing because the loan is much greater than the value of the car. I dont think you'll find what you're looking for in that price range, I'd urge you to look at sedans.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxg7gu wrote

I’ve called around a few places (been looking online on edmunds and carmax), so far I’ve been outright declined because they only accept cash/financing isn’t available.


dominicaldaze t1_jaxkbd5 wrote

I'd recommended talking with local credit unions for a car loan. They usually have better rates and are able to work with you.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxrwgj wrote

I actually hadn’t thought of that…My credit has improved since the last time I applied for a loan.


BlueRabbitx t1_jaxila8 wrote

Why not just buy a certified pre owned

Also make sure you add snow tires for the winter , good tires make all the difference


Dollhousefurniture t1_jaxdvt6 wrote

I got 2 Toyota Rav 4’s from price auto in concord. The vehicles themselves have been super reliable. They’re an absolute beast in the snow. I was able to get a warranty when I purchased my cars.


Dollhousefurniture t1_jaxdywk wrote

And they helped me with financing. They got me a good rate


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxefix wrote

Can I ask how much they were?


Dollhousefurniture t1_jaxekti wrote

My most recent one I paid I think around $12,000. It was a 2012 but very low mileage.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxhfx2 wrote

Sounds like a reasonable price, that’s around the range I was expecting with a used car.


Emeleigh_Rose t1_jaxl8c1 wrote

I'm not sure where in NH you are, but I've had good luck with Toyota's from Irwin Motors in Laconia. They have used vehicles that are certified pre-owned and come with a good guarantee. Their service department is really good, too.


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxs4t2 wrote

I’m in Hillsboro county, Laconia is around an hour from here. Not out of my range though, I’ll look into their listings


Emeleigh_Rose t1_jb6vglu wrote

I hope you have good luck checking out the listing. If you found one you liked, you could purchase it there and service it closer to your home. Other than normal maintenance, Toyota's seem to need so few repairs.


-Codfish_Joe t1_jaxy4ia wrote

We all got where we were going back when cars were all RWD. A FWD car with decent tires will get you almost anywhere, and one with two good snow tires will get you anywhere.


ForklkftJones t1_jb03lfo wrote

I got a used car from Peter's in Nashua about 8 years ago. Got the extended warranty that they offered because supposedly DCU wouldn't finance anything under 10k. That warranty actually came in handy. I had an issue with the engine and the heat and both got fixed and I paid less than half of what it would have cost. I didn't renew it after it expired though.


pra_com001 t1_jax17wb wrote

In simple terms in a Mechanical AWD wheels are connected with gears and pulleys. In E-AWD, the AWD is governed by the car's ECU.

Checkout this comparison


Nocturmowl OP t1_jaxie3n wrote

That’s good to know, I don’t go off-roading but roads around here can be rough.


pra_com001 t1_jayiqqe wrote

Most don't, however, it will help on a day like today.