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Discussion Starter #1
I'm giving serious thought to getting a better/more comfortable 3-4 season car. I've currently got an S2000 that's worth about $26k. I did a bit of RS shopping and found some in this price range, but price range brings up dealer buybacks and nothing local.

If I'm looking at a straight trade or putting the $26k I can get for my S2000, is it possible to get into a reliable RS for this money? I don't mind some mods, but reliable/warranty is important. I wouldn't even mind the dealer buyback if the reason for the buyback has been properly rectified.
 

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Depending on mileage i think you could find one around there. Where do you live?


pics of said S2000 please :)
 

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26k USD? Yeah you should be able to find a decent RS for that price in my opinion. Just make sure the head gasket recall has been done on whatever car you get. Tuning can void the warranty and my understanding is they can tell even if it's re-flashed back to stock so be careful with mods. That said the US has pretty good warranty protection laws unlike Canada, they have to prove your mod caused the issue which is difficult to do. I was after a stock one only personally.

I know that exchange rates aren't a direct transfer but as a ball-park for you, the running price in my country for used 2017 with 10k-30k miles is 34-38k CAD (25-30 USD). The 2018s are still all north of 44k CAD. My opinion on the matter is that the slightly better ride and LSD in the front isn't worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Low 30k range for a mint RS and I would up your budget to do so.
Ehh, I'd prefer not to right now. I may trade up later, but I need to stick to my budget now. I'm not a person who carries a car loan.

26k USD? Yeah you should be able to find a decent RS for that price in my opinion. Just make sure the head gasket recall has been done on whatever car you get. Tuning can void the warranty and my understanding is they can tell even if it's re-flashed back to stock so be careful with mods. That said the US has pretty good warranty protection laws unlike Canada, they have to prove your mod caused the issue which is difficult to do. I was after a stock one only personally.

I know that exchange rates aren't a direct transfer but as a ball-park for you, the running price in my country for used 2017 with 10k-30k miles is 34-38k CAD (25-30 USD). The 2018s are still all north of 44k CAD. My opinion on the matter is that the slightly better ride and LSD in the front isn't worth it.
I plan to get a pre-purchase inspection at a ford dealer to determine the warranty issue prior to purchasing. Frankly, I like cars with a bit of mileage on them to get rid of the initial depreciation hit, plus I don't fret on every little scratch and paint chip. But I bet I'd find that LSD worth it, especially when it got into the slippery white stuff...

Depending on mileage i think you could find one around there. Where do you live?

pics of said S2000 please :)
PNW. Everything is pricey around here, so I'm probably looking out of state unless I can find a trade. That's always possible if I wait long enough, and my S2000 is increasing in value.

Day's like this it's so hard. I took her out for a drive and she was absolutely brilliant today. Shifts like butter, direct steering on a dime, best transmission I've ever shifted. But it was 85 degrees and sunny, and I didn't get stuck at home because I was hesitant to take her out on inclement roads or questionable weather, and for the forseeable future I'm a one car guy.

I will PM you a link to a picture, I'm too new to the forum to post links apparently.
 

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The only 26k RS's I've seen for sale have some serious luggage with them. The last 'good deal' at that price turned out to be a title washed salvage rebuild. As @cornerexit mentioned, low 30s is where the decent ones are hanging around with possibly a few dipping a bit below.

As with anything, if it looks too good to be true I'd do my due diligence and then some to make sure there isn't anything weird going on.
 

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I got my 16 RS for 26.3, just got to shop around and wait. Took maybe 4 months. Had 20k miles, all options I wanted. Also had HG done by dealerships. Got it 5 months ago.
 

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if you buy a lemon, make sure to obtain the warranty history so you know what your getting into. i can get it for you if you have a vin.
 

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Ehh, I'd prefer not to right now. I may trade up later, but I need to stick to my budget now. I'm not a person who carries a car loan.
Why? I’ve read this for 20+ years and it made sense when apr’s were 5.9, 6.9, etc. My APR on the RS is 1.9%. I’d be a fool to pay cash. I can beat 1.9% all day in savings or the market. Current APR at my credit union is 2.9%, that’s still really low and not worth burning up money that could be earning interest. Each to their own though.
 

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if you buy a lemon, make sure to obtain the warranty history so you know what your getting into. i can get it for you if you have a vin.
Thanks, I'll take you up on that when I find one!

Why? I’ve read this for 20+ years and it made sense when apr’s were 5.9, 6.9, etc. My APR on the RS is 1.9%. I’d be a fool to pay cash. I can beat 1.9% all day in savings or the market. Current APR at my credit union is 2.9%, that’s still really low and not worth burning up money that could be earning interest. Each to their own though.
I don't like debt. Some people do, but I don't. But a quick calculation yields the following: Top tier money market accts are paying 2.45%, and that's before the Fed just dropped rates. I expect this to decline over the next year. You have 1.9% apr on your Rs. Taking this, you're making $165/year with your financing strategy on a $30k car over a top tier money market today, and those rates have been lower in the past, low enough to match your financing rate, which with taxes and all else factored in meant this was a losing strategy for years. Unless you were in the market of course...and I've got enough risk/gains there, I don't need to put a car financing strategy into it.
 

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I don't like debt. Some people do, but I don't. But a quick calculation yields the following: Top tier money market accts are paying 2.45%, and that's before the Fed just dropped rates. I expect this to decline over the next year. You have 1.9% apr on your Rs. Taking this, you're making $165/year with your financing strategy on a $30k car over a top tier money market today, and those rates have been lower in the past, low enough to match your financing rate, which with taxes and all else factored in meant this was a losing strategy for years. Unless you were in the market of course...and I've got enough risk/gains there, I don't need to put a car financing strategy into it.
I am with you, allergic to debt, hate having payments. My strategy is prioritize paying off all debt asap in order of interest rate (highest to lowest), and redirect what would be payments into my investment accounts. Maybe it's not technically as efficient on paper, but I prefer the flexibility when things randomly pop-up since I don't have loan payments to make. It's how I control my finances and it seems to be working fine for me, personally.

I absolutely get the argument, on paper with extremely low interest rates, sure you should be able to make more money in the markets or w/e, but how much more really. I have been investing for years, albeit somewhat conservatively. My good years are 5-10%, my bad years (Recessions etc) are -15 to -30%. Long term average across all of my accounts according to my spreadsheets is 5.45%. We can talk about why my investment strategy sucks later, lol, but long story short on the 37k (CAD) I spent on the RS, the gain would've been maybe 2%. And I would've been stuck with a car payment I couldn't just stop to put into something else randomly.

Anyway, different strokes for different folks I guess.
 

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I’ve been monitoring Focus RS prices for over a year now & prices have actually gone up. 26k will not buy a clean title, one owner & no accident RS. You can find a salvage title & Lemon buyback for around that price but then you’ll be stuck with a headache. Make sure you call your insurance before buying a Lemon Law buyback because AAA won’t insure them.

Realistically, 30-35k is about what you’ll need to spend to find a clean title RS with under 30k miles. Also, I’ve noticed that very few, if any, will show head gasket replacements on their carfax reports. So how do you find out? Because non-Ford dealerships selling this car act as though they’re clueless about the issue.

Lastly, read those carfax reports carefully. I saw a ‘17 recently with only 13k miles & carfax showed the car was taken in twice within 2 months for ‘fluid leaks’. A month later the car was at a Honda Dealer for sale. That kind of stuff just makes me very nervous, especially with a performance car.



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To each their own. If it's a lemon buyback, see if it still has the factory warranty and watch the car trouble spots like a hawk. Buy a used car warranty through Ford if you're risk adverse. Some deals can be had if you go the lemon buyback route, but expect a tough time selling it down the road. If the tech fixed the lemon issue correctly, you should be good to go (obviously). Keep an eye on PTU, turbo oil line, and timing cover leaks if you elect to not have an extended warranty.

Let us know how the purchase goes, but keep in mind that this car can be temperamental when it comes to repairs. Especially electrical stuff. 26k is about right for a lemon buyback (depending on the mileage), but I personally wouldn't go salvage or flood for any price unless it was going to be a track rat.
 

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Thanks, I'll take you up on that when I find one!



I don't like debt. Some people do, but I don't. But a quick calculation yields the following: Top tier money market accts are paying 2.45%, and that's before the Fed just dropped rates. I expect this to decline over the next year. You have 1.9% apr on your Rs. Taking this, you're making $165/year with your financing strategy on a $30k car over a top tier money market today, and those rates have been lower in the past, low enough to match your financing rate, which with taxes and all else factored in meant this was a losing strategy for years. Unless you were in the market of course...and I've got enough risk/gains there, I don't need to put a car financing strategy into it.
Nobody I know likes debt. But in your scenario you’re willing to risk 26k of problems over a 5k loan with low interest? Because that’s what you’d be doing. Low 30k range will yield a vehicle cared for, with a warranty intact. 26k simply won’t. I’d take the 5k loan every day over a risky vehicle investment. Saving 5k by risking 26k is just stupid math, extremely stupid. And how is it debt, when you own 26k of a 31k investment? That’s equity the way I see it. It may be a depreciating asset but it’s an asset. I see things vastly different to you as life is finite. How much you save, or don’t, in the end, we all end up in the ground so you must balance, some don’t want to though, single sided. Performance vehicles aren’t money market accounts. If you are going to treat a vehicle as a financial transaction then what you even doing looking at this car? Go buy something cheap, and extremely fuel efficient.
 

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I’ve always said this when buying any used vehicle & especially a performance vehicle. The less miles the better. When I search RS ads I’ll usually filter out lemons, accidents & will select under 15k miles & that typically leaves me with like 10-12 cars vs. the 50+ that I started with. So obviously the prices will be higher but I’d rather pay more for a clean title & low mileage, well-kept vehicle.



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When I search for an RS I typically select 5k miles or less. That eliminates the majority of the ads however I’ve always had the mindset that the less mileage the better on anything used, especially a hot hatch performance car. And obviously the prices go up as well.




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