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Looking For An Is300


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I was originally looking at getting a Camry, but realized that there are some salvage title IS300's out there for about the same price. I've always loved the IS300, but never thought I would buy one. My insurance said that they do not price insurances differently between salvage versus clean titles, so now I am very interested in details.

I figure that most vehicles out there have problems that many owners experience and are considered "common". There are also usually setbacks as far as very costly repairs that occur on a regular basis. The big question, is what are they??? I'm probably looking at '02 and '03 models.

I found 2 in my general area (southern CA) that look like they would fit the bill. An '03 with 24K miles for $15,900 and an '03 with 17K miles for $16,900. There is an '02 with 40K miles for $17K (it has many mods, so I worry about how it has been treated, plus I'd rather do the mods I want).

Any feedback would be wonderful. I've already started reading past posts, but one post with all the info would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

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I hope the "it's slow around here" comment was not taken the wrong way. It was simply a statement of fact after going that long with no reply.

Just for the sake of discussion...Why would buying a salvaged title car automatically bring problems??? People get into accidents or have cars stollen all the time and their vehicles perform fine afterwards (if fixed properly).

In the case of accident, it does not take much damage to hit 50%+ the value of your car (especially in a "luxury vehicle"). As long as there is not major frame damage, I would assume that most crashes are fixable and would not cause future problems/concerns if repaired properly.

Same thing in the case of theft. Strip the interior, stereo, navigation and a couple body parts out of a Lexus and you are probably at 50%+. Put those parts back in and I do not see why you would have problems down the road.

I know a guy who sells mostly used exotics and sports cars. He can pretty much look the vehicle over and give a fairly educated report on what was done and if it will be okay or have possible problems. If it did not look like it was repaired properly, I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

Also, I'm not really concerned about future value. We plan to run this car into the ground, just like we have done with previous vehicles. Since the feedback I have seen is that these are pretty much bulletproof as long as you take care of them (which I do with my vehicles), I think it will be around for a while. I'm paying cash, so whatever we get for it way down the road does not matter too much. These seem to hold their resale value pretty well.

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I won't buy a used car where I live because everybody and his brother is in the salvage car fixing biz. We even got salvage use car lots full of repairable wrecks. No matter how much you inspect one, it ain't necessarily gonna hold up. There's even salvage cars aroung with laundered titles with no salvage history showing. I figure you get what you pay for or worse.

If you want to see the TSB titles for the year car you are lookng to buy, go to www.alldata.com and you can see the recalls and TSB's by clicking on the owners products, quick links section.

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Fair enough. I've never been big on buying new cars and losing all the money as soon as my rear tires hit the street off the lot. I've almost always gone with low mileage used ones.

I've also never considered getting a salvage title until I started talking to some people I know that are in the repair industry and sales industry (no places doing both). One guy that runs a shop that does top notch work (people drive from out of state to have him work on their vehicles) said that most wrecks can be fixed with no problems down the road and he is always suprised at how fast a car becomes a salvage. There are certain things that just can't be fixed back to "normal" by even the best of shops, but he said that almost all of the salvages that he works on are going to be fine. He said that cars like Mercedes, Lexus (and other "luxury" cars) are quick to hit salvage damage prices because their replacement parts or marked up so high. 50% of, let's say, a $20K car is only $10K. That can easily be a small hit to the rear that needs fairly minor cosmetic repair.

I'm going to go with the theory that between that guy and my guy who sells the exotics, they will be able to give an educated "yes" or "run!" opinion. Especially if it is a theft recovery, which is what I am going to shoot for. I guess we will see...

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I come at it from the other side. I would not buy Lexus if it had less than 100K on it. Why pay all my hard earned money on and asset that is going to lose so much value so fast and the reason to buy a Lexus is they should go at least 200K without a hitch. Drive the car for 100K, for only a couple of thousand dollars.

That being said. I would stay away from most salvage cars and just go with one that has a ton of highway miles.

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