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RobbyZ5001

Truck Buying Help

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I am looking at a truck right now. It's a 2003 dodge dakota sport with 69,800 miles. It has an R title. The bed of the truck was replaced and there is a dent in the front fender. Took it for a test drive and it ran nice, it also ran straight. The guy told me the truck was hit right in front of the rear bumper the frame had to be straightened near the rear of the frame. They are asking $6995.00 so that plus tax and tags i'm looking at $7500.00. What do you guys think? Please any input is helpful.

http://www.kbb.com/used-cars/dodge/dakota-club-cab/2003/retail-value/pricing-report?id=349108&equipment=4142273|true|4142295|true|4142311|true|4142313|true|4142322|true|4142320|true|4142329|true|4142407|true&condition=excellent&mileage=69800

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Out of curiosity I did the Blue Book Value in my area for the same vehicle. In excellent condition it stated $8300.00. Your link showed over 11K in excellent condition. What you described was a vehicle not in excellent condition. If the frame was straightened properly it should be okay but I have heard horror stories on frame straightening. I once a vehicle totalled by my insurance company due to a bent frame. I did not think the other damage warranted a total loss so I challenged it. The insurance company stated that frame straitening has limited success and would not take responsibility for future claims based on the repair. Maybe an Auto Body guy can tell you more.

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I dunno, but it seems high to me for a seven year old Dakota that's had the frame straightened.

You can do a google search and find out what its blue book value is.

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I am looking at a truck right now. It's a 2003 dodge dakota sport with 69,800 miles. It has an R title. The bed of the truck was replaced and there is a dent in the front fender. Took it for a test drive and it ran nice, it also ran straight. The guy told me the truck was hit right in front of the rear bumper the frame had to be straightened near the rear of the frame. They are asking $6995.00 so that plus tax and tags i'm looking at $7500.00. What do you guys think? Please any input is helpful.

http://www.kbb.com/used-cars/dodge/dakota-club-cab/2003/retail-value/pricing-report?id=349108&equipment=4142273|true|4142295|true|4142311|true|4142313|true|4142322|true|4142320|true|4142329|true|4142407|true&condition=excellent&mileage=69800

Is this the same as a "Rebuilt" title? If so, you can disregard the book value on the truck because in many places "rebuilt" means it was once "totaled" and/or titled as "salvage". Once that happens, the value drops like a rock, regardless of how well the repairs were done.

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I would not buy a r-title truck!! You will have a hard time selling it if you ever wanted to, and there is better trucks out there for that money! Just have a little patience and you will find something better!

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http://www.kbb.com/used-cars/dodge/dakota-club-cab/2003/private-party-value/pricing-report?condition=fair&id=349108&equipment=4142273%7ctrue%7c4142295%7ctrue&mileage=69000

This is what I came up with by adding the V8 and 4x4. Based on the description and being a private seller. it might be priced fair. I woulld still be wary about the frame straightening.

The R title as others have stated would also make me wary.

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http://www.kbb.com/used-cars/dodge/dakota-club-cab/2003/private-party-value/pricing-report?condition=fair&id=349108&equipment=4142273%7ctrue%7c4142295%7ctrue&mileage=69000

This is what I came up with by adding the V8 and 4x4. Based on the description and being a private seller. it might be priced fair. I woulld still be wary about the frame straightening.

The R title as others have stated would also make me wary.

Yeh that looks about right, only minor things missing like power windows, mirrors, locks, and cd.

It sounds like it's not as good of a deal as I thought. Truck shopping for a bargain is one of the most frustrating experiences.

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If it's an automatic, find out how many times the transmission has been replaced.

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There's a reason you'd pay more at a dealer than buying from someone as a private sale.

Understand, I'm speaking about reputable new car dealers.

First, if a vehicle has any type of serious problems, they'll dump it at auction.  Second, they do quite a bit of prep work, such as oil change, lube, system tests, etc., since they are going to sell it with a warranty.

If the truck you looked at was a trade in, and good enough not to be sent to auction, the dealer would put in considerable time maximizing its potential for sale.  Scrubbed, cleaned, as well as the above mentioned things.

This is a guess but if you had that prep work done on your car, the dealer would charge you a few hundred bucks.

Unless I know the vehicle and the owner, I'd stick with a dealer, even though it would cost more.

If you have a problem, other than safety related, from a private sale, the law considers it to an as is sale, unless you can prove to a judge that the seller lied about the condition of the car, or fraud was involved.

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If it's an automatic, find out how many times the transmission has been replaced.

That's no joke! My dad had a Dodge Dakota automatic and it went through 3 transmissions in 5 years. I had an 89 Dodge Dakota Sport that was an automatic and it went through 2 in as many years and needed another when I sold it. My dad and I both are easy on our vehicles and there was no reason they should have had that kind of trouble. My wife used to an insurance claims specialist also, she could give you a laundry list of reasons not to buy a vehicle that has been totaled, salvaged, or in a wreck bad enough to need frame straightening.

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Keep looking, this is no "deal".

:-X

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I'm pretty sure that in Michigan, a salvage title vehicle of any type is not insurable.  PL/PD is okay, but you'll have whatever you pay for the vehicle at risk in an accident.

You may want to talk to your agent.  Unless you can afford to have somebody crunch your new ride right after you buy it, it might be that it will be more than just your truck that gets rear-ended!   :o

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I wouldn't buy it. The auto trannys Dodge makes aren't the best, so if it is auto, I definitely wouldn't buy it. 

Also something to think about, those V8 motors get horrible gas mileage and Dodge's tend to rust fairly quickly in my experiences.

My Dad and friend both have Dakotas that have held up pretty well, but they are manuals.

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I'm not an expert on small utility vehicles like a pick up but I am very knowledgeable buying trucks. Don't look for a deal, look for a good vehicle. I have bought new, used from both dealers and private, because it comes from a dealer does not make it better or worse. Pay a mechanic to do an inspection, spend a few bucks more, it will be cheaper and more reliable in the long run. Any truck or car that has had frame damage isn't worth consideration at any price. 

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Robbie, check out www.blueknobauto.com

I think we talked about that dealership before.  Great people to deal with and high turnover of inventory.

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Wow...a lot of advice Robbie...and you don't know me from Adam but I can tell you that I fixed Jeeps and Dodges for 35 years and then sold them for 7 more...I don't anymore and have no axe to grind...I just got out of a lease from a 2007 Dakota 4x4 and it was a wonderful truck for towing and good also for cruising. The fixing part of your story bothers me because I used to do crash alignments for body shops. As a rule the bent frames weren't the best bets. The price they are seeking is about $3000. from reality. Just my thoughts.

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I personally would not buy the truck. The owner told you problems and damage that you could find out on your own. Now... if the truck had that much damage, what isn't he telling you about the truck?

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I would never buy a salvage title vehicle.  You're asking for trouble down the road, and that seemingly good deal now will end up costing you more in the end. 

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I wouldn't.... Check cars.com see whats around.. If it doesn't feel right don't do it..

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