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MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper Clubman, MINI Cooper Countryman, Coupe, Hatchback, SUV
#410 of 1499 Re: Buying a 2002 Mini Cooper - good deal or not? [mini_dreams]
Jul 16, 2006 (7:47 pm)
This car may be selling at or below the going rate, but it is a poor value in my book.
First, you're paying about 70% of new price for a four-year old car. This is an extremely high percentage - residuals for four-year old cars are generally less than 50% and can be as low as 30%. Now this may be where the used Mini market is - they're "hot" and the supply still hasn't caught up with demand. But it makes them generally poor used car values.
Second, I don't think it's a good idea to buy a 2002. They have compiled one of the worst repair records of any recent car, not surprising as the first year of any BMW new model is typically very unreliable. And you've already stated you don't have the stomach for big repair bills.
I'd suggest either of the following:
1) Spend another $4K and get a brand new Mini with a full warranty and free maintenance. Given normal maintenance and repair, I venture that the new one would cost you less than the used one over the four-year period. (IOW, if you can't stretch the additional $4K for the new one, you probably shouldn't be buying the used one because it could easily cost you $4K in repairs over four years.) And it's a car with four-years of dramatic improvements. Granted, it doesn't have a leather interior and an on-board computer, but I see much more value in the stripper new car than in a few ticky-tack options on the used car.
3) Get a Honda Fit Sport for $15K. It's not a Mini, but it's a very fine car, probably more reliable, gets better gas mileage, is very fun to drive, and like the new Mini, it's brand new with a full warranty.
Again, this used Mini may be fairly priced - I just don't see the value spending this much for the first production year of a problematic car.
#411 of 1499 Another option?
Jul 17, 2006 (7:56 am)
I would definately wait, though, until this fall. When the newer generation/re-working of the Mini comes out, either it will be the one to get, or the older one will. My guess is that the older body style will instantly devalue like a rock, down to where it should be all along - as it has a weaker motor, not as much space inside,(I hear they are tweaking it so the back seat can be used by someone other than a migdet) and likely worse handling than the new one.
So - either get a new one then and watch it keep its value or get a used one for $10K and laugh at all of the people who ate the depreciation.
The Fit - it needs a few aftermarket parts to be a Mini S, but it's pretty close to a base Mini.
#412 of 1499 Re: Another option? [plekto]
Jul 17, 2006 (9:55 am)
When reading the Edmunds preview of the 07' Mini it doesn't sounds like much is changing except the motor. Please explain why you think the pre 07' models will crash in value.
Jul 17, 2006 (10:01 am)
Well, an adjustment is inevetable when there is a body style or version change.
The Mini is driven almost entirely on the idea of it being faddish and unique/limited, so the older ones will quickly be less desireable, even if it is mostly the motor and some sheetmetal that's changing with the new one. Everyone will want the new one and that's not so bad, actually. I bet you can get a couple of year used Mini for very little in a few months.
#414 of 1499 Pre 07 value
Jul 17, 2006 (5:14 pm)
The pre '07 won't crash--there'll be a dip, but they won't crash. The above poster states that they'll be less desirable because they are unique/limited--this is exactly why they WON'T take a huge dip in value, as opposed the VW Beetle, which was way overbuilt. The GP will definitely hold it's value well (and I don't particularly like the GP). And, ironically, the overrprice JCW engine kit may now hold it's value better, with the Cooper garage closing. Also, the closer the models look alike, the less the newer one will devalue the older one.
Everyone may not want the new one--there are a fairly large numnber of people who have ordered the 2006 instead of the 2007 because of several concerns with the new model (myself included). There are some potential issues with the new one, the jury is out on it.
#415 of 1499 Re: Buying a 2002 Mini Cooper - good deal or not? [markjenn]
Jul 18, 2006 (5:04 am)
Mark - thanks for your comments. They make a lot of sense and have made me stop and think, particularly your mention of the "worst repair records" and the possibility that repair bills might be high.
I just had a few followup questions I'm wondering if you can answer:
1) you're saying that I'd be paying almost 70% of the new price for a four-year old car... but if the Kelley Blue Book is showing a similar price, doesn't that mean the car is holding its value? Used Toyotas and Hondas are often expensive, even at 4 years but it is because they are holding their value. Of course their reliability is higher.
2) If I could get the dealer to come down on the price, what would be reasonable for this car? Perahps the 4k I might expect to pay in repairs? Although it is doubtful they will do it, maybe I should see what their response is to an offer of $10k?
I've looked at the new Minis online and it seems that even the stripped-down model costs about $17900 + destination charges, putting it at about $19k or more. That's a bit hefty, for me, but you're right to say that I might be paying that in repairs. (Also seems that all of the interesting colors now cost $400-600).
I did see the Honda Fit. Also saw Toyota's Yaris, equally priced, but might as well buy a Corolla at $15K. One thing the Mini has that these cars don't is leg room and a front seat that goes very far back. At 6'2, that's really important for me. Yesterday I drove the VW Rabbit which was quite responsive and has great legroom, too. The 2-door is $14990, but will probably be close to $16 with deal add-ons. The gas mileage is surprisingly bad for the Rabbit, though, i guess because the engine is a 5-cylinder.
Thanks again for your help!
#416 of 1499 getting around mark ups.... and 2006 vs. 2007? and maintenance...
Jul 20, 2006 (9:43 am)
Two pricing questions... one is, I went to the San Francisco MINI dealer and they are charging $1500 over the base model, or $2500 over the S... just 'cause they can. Has anybody been able to bargain their way out of this? Or any experiences buying out of state in order to avoid this mark up?
Secondly, I've read a bit about the 2007's coming out. Does anybody know if the new base model (the 150 hp one) will be more expensive than the current base model? My guess would be yes, but I'd love some hard numbers to help me figure out when to put in an order.
One other general question would be feedback about the cost and frequency of repairs on newer MINIs. It sounds like the older ones have required a lot more repairs. In general, are the repairs significantly more expensive than other cars?
#417 of 1499 Re: Buying out of State - Please Help [markjenn]
Jul 20, 2006 (12:23 pm)
hey markjenn, I'm in the DFW area and looking to get a new Mini. How was your experience at Moritz? Did you research other places, and decide on them?
#418 of 1499 Re: getting around mark ups.... and 2006 vs. 2007? and maintenance... [chl
Jul 20, 2006 (12:55 pm)
I've been looking at new Minis, too. I'm in Memphis and there is one dealership here. There's also one in Nashville. They sell the Cooper at $17,450, which I believe is the base price. Then there is the cost for whatever add-ons are already on the car, then whatever the dealer adds. However, they said I can avoid that by "building my own" online and then ordering it through them. They won't mark it up. However, they said they will not deal on the base price the way that other brands (toyota, etc.) will. So, if you take the base and then add only what you want, the car can stay under $20k, which is what I'm trying to do.
You should check to see if you can do that in SF without the mark up. I lived out there, but didn't shop for a Mini while I was there. Ordering takes about 6-8 weeks, but in the scheme of saving, that's not all that long. The Memphis dealer (Roadshow Mini) actually mentioned that the dealers in California do charge more because they can get it. They also said that sometimes they have a guy that comes and buys from them and then takes the cars to California to sell at mark them up. I don't know if that's true or not.
Re: the 2007... I also heard some information about that. Apparently the design is top secret and no one has seen it, and I don't think there's any pricing info. either. The dealer said Mini is going to stop taking orders for 2006 in the next couple of months (Sept./Oct?) because Mini wants to shut the factory to retool for the 2007 production line. That probably means some delays in getting 2007 cars. Also, even though this will be a second generation Mini, it will be a "first-year" production of the "new" model. From what I've always heard and read, 1st year productions tend to have issues. Again, this is not a "brand new" production, but a different production of the Mini.
In talking to people about repairs, the consensus seems to be that they are more expensive than other cars. It is, essentially, a BMW product, and BMWs tend to be more expensive. That is why I want to buy a new Mini, not a used one, so that I have the warranty. In fact I passed on a pretty good priced 2002 because it was out of warranty and probably would have had repair issues.
But, even general maintenance not covered by the warranty is pricey. An oil change can cost anywhere between $80-120, depending on whether you take it to the dealer or not. However, the Mini dealer says that you only have to do oil changes every 12k-15k miles. My friend who owns one recommends every 10k. So, you're not paying for oil changes as often, but you are paying more when you do. Replacing brakes all around is apparently about $700, which is not cheap. So, yes, repairs are expensive. But, then again, the cars are fun to drive.
Two other things... the run-flat tires that come on some are a great idea... but more expensive to replace than regular tires, I believe. Also, I think the Cooper S requires premium gas, which is more expensive. I'm not sure if the Cooper does, but it is probably recommended.
One positive note... I checked with my insurance and the Mini doesn't seem to be any more expensive, at least not in Tennessee. I don't think the cars are considered "suped-up sports cars" and their crash test ratings are very good.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
#419 of 1499 Re: Buying a 2002 Mini Cooper - good deal or not? [mini_dreams]
Jul 21, 2006 (6:59 am)
Above all, get the car you want. A Honda Fit may be a great car for the money, but life's too short to own a great car that you don't like.
Yes, the reason Mini's are holding value is because they're well-regarded and popular. Certainly if you were only keeping a car for a year or two, then a relatively high price paid now would be recouped to some extent when you sell, so you could come out Okay. But while I don't expect used Mini prices to "crash", I do except they'll trend down quite a bit from their current hyper-inflated values. My comment is mostly that a used Mini gets you a bit of the worst of both worlds: a new car price, no new-car warranty, and used car repairs.
Sorry, but I have no idea on whether you could do better than the $14K the car is being offered at. I doubt they'd take $10K, but I'd certainly offer less than they're asking. It all depends on your negotiation skills. I would do some serious pricing research ahead of time - KBB, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, Ebay, your local paper, etc. If you look at enough sources, you quickly get a much better feel for prices. I'd probably offer $12.5K and if the asking price to selling price ratio is typical, I suspect they'll sell a $14K asking price car for about $13K. Again, this is just my shoot-from-the-hip evaluation - I'm not tracking the used Mini market.
The strongest advice I can give you is just to be cautious on a 2002. Personally, I wouldn't own one at almost any price but I'm not very tolerant of the types of squeaks, rattles, and fit/finish problems that tend to plague all-new designs the first year of production. Everyone who has owned a 2002 and later traded has said the difference in build quality is like night and day. 2003's are much better, 2004's better yet, when they finally got most of the bugs worked out.
On a 2002 or 2003, I'd be careful to check the tranny and make sure it seems to shift well - weak 5-speed trannys in the early Mini's (not S models) were a big problem - they're fine when used carefully, but don't like abuse (such as speed-shifting) at all and they're devilishing expensive to fix.