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The Daily Driver vs. the Project Jeep You have to be honest with yourself here. Somebody
Score the Best of What the Factory Offered The ultimate factory CJ-7 has got to be the l
Buy Something Nobody Else Wants FCs, CJ3Bs, and 87 Wranglers scare a lot of buyers
The best deals to be had are on Jeeps that no one else wants but will still suit your needs perfectly. If that doesnt work for you, look for Jeeps that are the first year of a body style/chassis configuration that you like. Vehicles such as a 94 Grand Cherokee or a 97 TJ will let you get into the model you want without having to shell out the new-car cash to get all the latest bells and whistles. The factory hasnt made the ultimate Jeep yet, so the trick is to find something that you can afford and that will still leave you with some extra cash on the side each month to personalize your rig to best do what you want it to.
Best Case Scenarios
A young couple with a baby on the way and one too many partially running project vehicles in the yard can lead to great deals on a used Jeep. A seller with no money, no time, and a wife and baby that need attention is your best ally in getting a good price. This type of situation can be tough to plan, but if you see a Jeep with a For Sale sign outside the maternity ward, its worth taking a closer look.
The easier targets for good deals come near college campuses. We dont mean Ivy League schools; we mean large state universities that have students who are running out of funds toward the end of the summer and need extra money for beer and food. Local college papers will often list automotive classified with words like leaving the country, must sell. Jeeps are popular with college students, and as a rule, college students are usually broke, so they often accept ridiculously low offers just to get back on their financial feet. Dont feel guiltythe seller will probably become a doctor or lawyer someday and make more money than you do.
Buying From a Used Car Lot
The trouble here is that places that sell used Jeeps are doing so to make a profit. Most private party sales involve sellers that are just trying to get back some of the money they have tied up in the Jeep. Dealers, on the other hand, have to make a few hundred to a few thousand dollars over what they paid for the Jeep. So its hard to get a really good (low-price) deal on a Jeep from a dealer, and you arent going to get much of a warranty anyway. There are a few exceptions, such as a modified vehicle where the dealers ignorance on certain upgrades could lead to a good deal for you, the informed buyer. A Cherokee with a Ford 9-inch rear axle and a Detroit Locker means nothing to many used car dealers, but its a dream come true for you.