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Oy. Craigslist in LA. It’s almost all I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks…
I’m still looking for a deal on an early 2014-16 BMW i3 w/some life still left in the batteries (like David has, but preferably w/o the gas range extender) but I usually just skim the net once a week and don’t check LA Craigslist (which is probably foolish on my part, but on-brand for me lately). There are some around for just under $10K, but either the batteries seem worn or no one at the dealership will actually reply to my email asking for a Bat Kapa Max figure, which can give a general estimate of overall current battery health. The BKM can only be obtained from a hidden/locked screen or via diagnostics, which only BMW dealers have. Technically, the batteries in these early i3 cars are still under warranty in CA, but there’s zero guarantee that a dealership will honor it/cover any particular i3, so there’s an element of risk: I could buy a $10K i3 w/only 40-50 miles of range showing on a full charge, and it would still be possible that BMW won’t replace the tired battery pack, so I’d be left w/a 40-50 mile car and a $10K hole in my bank account. 🙁
The 2017-18 i3 came with a bigger 94Ah battery pack (vs 60 Ah in the earlier i3) but those tend to sell for at least $14-15K these days. To spend that much on an early EV with significantly-less-than-new batteries seems iffy for me right now. My risk tolerance seems to be decreasing with age I think.
After selling my ’00 Golf TDI that I owned for 22 years to a couple of nice Hungarian fellows via LA Craigslist last week, I was about to drive 8 hours north to buy a 1980 diesel Mercedes 300 (a SD) but a snafu the night before using my credit card to secure a one-way rental to get up there put the kibosh on that plan. I’d taken the cash out of the bank, printed out directions (I’m one of those no-cell-phone weirdos) and everything. Afterwards, I didn’t feel as bad about the “missed opportunity” as expected, which I assume is my subconscious telling me that avoiding the malfunctioning vacuum and HVAC systems on a 43-year-old Benz was probably a good idea.
And finally, a couple days ago I sent a lowball offer of $3K to a CL seller w/a ’93 Toyota short cab/long bed pickup with 173Kmiles and a busted snoot. One of the front corners is pretty well smushed, so at a minimum it’d need a fender, bumper, headlight, and maybe the hood is salvageable. Body and paint only… it didn’t seem like it’d be structural. Despite the miles, the truck looks straight, modest, clean, and it’s a charming shade of medium blue. He wants “4,800. firm” so I didn’t expect a reply, but gave it a try anyway.
It’s not like I actually need another car: I’ve got a NA Miata and my daily is big, old first-gen Volvo XC90. But I do want an affordable small EV and/or a little truck, so I keep my eyes open.