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Discussion Starter #1
A note while researching that whie retail prices for some high-mileage no-accident 2011-2012 Volts seem to have dipped to the $9k-$10k (plus fees and taxes) in some areas, they seem (on average) to be something like $2k-$3k higher in other areas. I'm shopping from Southern Arizona and if I did buy something like that around here at this time, it would go for something like $12k plus fees and taxes.
 

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It drives my wife crazy, but I like to go car shopping when we're on vacation. Of course it makes a lot more sense to do that when you live in the rust belt and vacation further south.

But if you could find a few options in a city you would to go to anyway it eliminates some of the risk of making a long trip specifically for one car and then finding out that it sold. (Sometimes it sold months ago, but some salesman told you otherwise to get you on the lot.) Or that once you show up they have $1k in nonsense fees that they won't budge on when they see your out of state plate.

The other option would be just to buy one based on the pictures and have it delivered. But I would be a lot more comfortable doing that under 60k miles than over.
 

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Its been stated that over half of all Volts purchased are in Cali, your neighboring state...I mean, you should be able to fly one way for $100 and its probably closer to $50 if you book early enough...Also shipping of that car should also be a couple hundred dollars...

Your best strategy is to find the car you want at the price you want, agree to numbers over email and take it your local dealer...Say were planning on putting a deposit on that out of state car today but wanted to give you (local dealer) a chance to match...
 

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Part of the problem with shopping on vacation for those of us in the north, is the lack of OEM seat heaters, which our climate requires.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is it worth the travel time to you for a 2-3 grand savings?
I guess each person has a different answer on various "is it worth it" answers. I haven't made up my own mind on this, but driving the vehicle back 500-2500 miles is on the table, as is paying for delivery. Another thought is that one way or another I seem to make the process take time, even if I buy it from a nearby town. Aside from this, speaking only for myself, I may still wait for used vehicle prices to come down a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It drives my wife crazy, but I like to go car shopping when we're on vacation. Of course it makes a lot more sense to do that when you live in the rust belt and vacation further south.

But if you could find a few options in a city you would to go to anyway it eliminates some of the risk of making a long trip specifically for one car and then finding out that it sold. (Sometimes it sold months ago, but some salesman told you otherwise to get you on the lot.) Or that once you show up they have $1k in nonsense fees that they won't budge on when they see your out of state plate.

The other option would be just to buy one based on the pictures and have it delivered. But I would be a lot more comfortable doing that under 60k miles than over.
An interesting idea. I don't really take regular vacations in the sense you've mentioned, but am open to treating the whole affair as a positive (take an opportunity to fly in to a town, pick up a vehicle that I'm excited about, and then do a fun road trip back). Yes, it seems like an increased risk to have the car delivered without ever having seen it, though to be honest I probably would not fly to a city unless I've (largely, or completely) settled on one particular car. The real low end prices do not seem grouped in any particular city, that I've noticed so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Its been stated that over half of all Volts purchased are in Cali, your neighboring state...I mean, you should be able to fly one way for $100 and its probably closer to $50 if you book early enough...Also shipping of that car should also be a couple hundred dollars...

Your best strategy is to find the car you want at the price you want, agree to numbers over email and take it your local dealer...Say were planning on putting a deposit on that out of state car today but wanted to give you (local dealer) a chance to match...
Yes, I've tried to bookmark and research California for the reasons you mention. It may well be just an early/quick impression, but so far the lowest prices I've seen so far seem to be more from the East Coast or Midwest.

When I have tried to research deeper with a dealer willing to act in effect as a buyer, or go through Arizona AAA buying service, the "out-of-state-the-used-Volt-prices-seem-lower-on-average" issues have surfaced a bit. [Note, I gather that questions of tax vary from state to state. One out-of-state dealer I spoke to indicated that Arizona was on their list of states where indeed he did need to charge taxes, I think he said 5.6%. Another dealer did not indicate this, but for now I am guessing the first dealer may have had a reason for his comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Part of the problem with shopping on vacation for those of us in the north, is the lack of OEM seat heaters, which our climate requires.
I hadn't thought of that. When I drove a Leaf and it did become cold here near Tucson in the winter at night, I was somewhat myopically focused on using the heater, or turning it off and shivering to the next charge station if absolutely needed, but then it was pointed out to me that the seat heaters worked very well. I never did get a sense of exactly how much energy drain there was, but during moderate cold and short trips, I then used them a lot, and not the HVAC (my 2012 Leaf HVAC gobbled up energy when using the older resistance heater). With a Volt and plenty of gasoline, maybe it's not as much an immediate energy concern to weigh HVAC and-or seat heater use, but when buying a vehicle in some climates you make a good point to keep heated seats in mind as a desirable feature that I need to remember to think about.
 

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When shopping for a Volt, I had several offers to add aftermarket seat heaters, but found out that disabled the airbag, not a good trade IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Following up some of the discussion, one other thing that has come up in research while trying to figure out how/if to bring in a very used less-expensive Volt from out-of-state:

The other day I stopped at a Chevy Dealer and then at a nearby non-Chevy other-marque dealer that had a used Volt for sale that I wanted to check out (though ultimately out of my price range).

One of the things about the contrast in the two dealerships (and I may be mistaken, I did not go over this to the nth degree with either dealer) is that it seemed like the Chevy dealer was a bit more restricted (in one way) from bringing in used Volts... I think these had to go through a process in-line with their being a Chevy Dealership? Of course, from another angle, I think they had access to used Volts such as were coming in off lease, or perhaps via some other part of the Chevy network, (maybe someone here can clarify). The other non-Chevy dealer seemed a bit more free to just bring in whatever Volt they wanted from an auction or something (within the constraints of their quality considerations, which did not seem low). This made me think that while it would seem to be the case that a Chevy Dealership might get a stream of used Volts coming off-lease, a non-Chevy dealership might in its own right be a place for me to consider buying.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I realized that maybe an additional way to illustrate my quandry is just to share this link. It is all used Volts on cars.com, sorted by lowest price at top, and distance from my zip code south of Tucson, AZ.

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action/?feedSegId=28705&rpp=50&requestorTrackingInfo=RTB_SEARCH&stkTypId=28881&PMmt=1-1-0&zc=85648&rd=100000&mdId=35025&mkId=20053&prMn=0&prMx=20000&searchSource=SORT_USED&crSrtFlds=stkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId-pseudoPrice&pgId=2102&sf1Nm=price&sf1Dir=ASC&sf2Nm=miles&sf2Dir=ASC

1,037 Used Chevrolet Volts for sale


I don't know if the link will work, but if it does, what it shows is that when all vehicles are sorted lowest price to highest, then the first option that shows up on this list that is less than 1,000 miles from me is the 20th vehicle on the list. The 39th lowest on the list seems to be the first under 500 miles (~400 miles = Southern California) and the 50th best on the list is the first one I see within 250 miles (i.e.: about 2.5 to 3 hours away near Phoenix). I may have missed something, but I see no others within 250 miles between 51 and 100. Between 101 and 150 there are a few more, and the first used Volt for sale within 100 miles - a one hour drive to Tucson - (as far as what I see at an initial fallible look) is about the 140th on the list.

So, maybe this is a decent way to illustrate:

1) there don't seem to be (at first look) as many as I would have thought from California. Some yes, but perhaps not as many as I would have guessed. [San Francisco is technically just under 1,000 miles away from here.]
2) it seems a bit striking (at least to me) how few of the lowest priced used Volts are within a half day drive ... basically none of them, depending on how it is measured.
 

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I realized that maybe an additional way to illustrate my quandry is just to share this link. It is all used Volts on cars.com, sorted by lowest price at top, and distance from my zip code south of Tucson, AZ.

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action/?feedSegId=28705&rpp=50&requestorTrackingInfo=RTB_SEARCH&stkTypId=28881&PMmt=1-1-0&zc=85648&rd=100000&mdId=35025&mkId=20053&prMn=0&prMx=20000&searchSource=SORT_USED&crSrtFlds=stkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId-pseudoPrice&pgId=2102&sf1Nm=price&sf1Dir=ASC&sf2Nm=miles&sf2Dir=ASC

1,037 Used Chevrolet Volts for sale


I don't know if the link will work, but if it does, what it shows is that when all vehicles are sorted lowest price to highest, then the first option that shows up on this list that is less than 1,000 miles from me is the 20th vehicle on the list. The 39th lowest on the list seems to be the first under 500 miles (~400 miles = Southern California) and the 50th best on the list is the first one I see within 250 miles (i.e.: about 2.5 to 3 hours away near Phoenix). I may have missed something, but I see no others within 250 miles between 51 and 100. Between 101 and 150 there are a few more, and the first used Volt for sale within 100 miles - a one hour drive to Tucson - (as far as what I see at an initial fallible look) is about the 140th on the list.
You could save yourself some effort and just sort it by "Nearest" instead. And you'd see two 2013s in Tucson, and a whole SLEW of them in and around Phoenix.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You could save yourself some effort and just sort it by "Nearest" instead. And you'd see two 2013s in Tucson, and a whole SLEW of them in and around Phoenix.
Thanks, but 2013s are basically irrelevant - I am interested in the least expensive that are still in decent condition (in my view). That means 2011s and 2012s, not 2013s. I'm aware that a few used Volts from 2011 or 2012 can usually be found for sale in Southern Arizona. The question... the main point.... is to find ones that are amongst the most competitive in pricing..... and those unfortunately usually seem to be more than 1,000 miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wait until August, leases end and Volt owners trade up.
Thanks, I'm not sure what you're referring to.... aren't leases made all year long? Perhaps you are saying there's a particular time of year when a large number of leases are made. I'll try to keep that in mind.
 

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Thanks, but 2013s are basically irrelevant - I am interested in the least expensive that are still in decent condition (in my view). That means 2011s and 2012s, not 2013s. I'm aware that a few used Volts from 2011 or 2012 can usually be found for sale in Southern Arizona. The question... the main point.... is to find ones that are amongst the most competitive in pricing..... and those unfortunately usually seem to be more than 1,000 miles away.
I assume you have done this to check apples-to-apples, but using cargurus.com you can see the dealer asking prices relative to market value - which brought a couple of the ones within 500 miles of you toward the top of the list. The 2013s are a particularly good value right now as they continue to come off leases, there are just more of them. Currently pricing of 2013 vs 2012 are pretty competitive within a thousand or so. With this small price delta on a $12,000 car - I wouldn't write them off as irrelevant.
 

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Thanks, I'm not sure what you're referring to.... aren't leases made all year long? Perhaps you are saying there's a particular time of year when a large number of leases are made. I'll try to keep that in mind.
The lease turn-ins are not going to be relevant to you if you are only looking for high mileage cars. The penalty for going over the mileage significantly would be too high, so they are all going to be in the 20,000 - 40,000 mile range.

But I think silverone has a good point. For a few thousand more you could get a newer car with lower miles and a bigger, fresher battery. And if you buy one under 60k miles you would get a powertrain warranty too. Those things have value.

Also the day will come when you sell this car and you will get more from the buyer for a newer, lower mileage car. Probably not the entire premium you would pay now, but you would get a portion of that back.
 

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Thanks, I'm not sure what you're referring to.... aren't leases made all year long? Perhaps you are saying there's a particular time of year when a large number of leases are made. I'll try to keep that in mind.
Well, we're talking relative numbers. August/September and December were the biggest times for Volt Sales/leases in 2013. And 2014 was similar. So as these leases end, there will be more volts appearing in the marketplace.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, we're talking relative numbers. August/September and December were the biggest times for Volt Sales/leases in 2013. And 2014 was similar. So as these leases end, there will be more volts appearing in the marketplace.
Ok, good to know thanks.
 
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