You might be right... but time will tell if I got a good deal or not.
My comfort zone is to pay about a 1/3 of of what a car cost new, or cheaper if I can get it. In this case this RAV4 Limited version went for about $25,000-30,000 new... so I am right in the ballpark on what I wanted to pay.
I also only buy 1 owner cars with Carfax history. Also Carfax history with maintenance records. I will not take a car that doesn't have at least 6 visits to the dealer for maintenance.
Out of the other 4 cars they sold me in the last 20 years (5 including this RAV4), I still have two of those cars:
A 93 Lexus SC300 that went for 6999.00, and is still going strong. Those went for $40,000 new. If you get a Lexus SC300, get a service manual for it. It's built like a tank, and not easy to take apart. You can't allow just anyone to work on it. Also the paint can't take hot, direct sunshine. So it needs a garage or cover when not in use.
And a 97 Honda Civic DX model for 5888.00, and that has well over 230,000 miles on it now. The Civic is bullet proof as long as you keep up the maintenance on it... especially the cooling system.
Many people like you worry about mileage and the short term deal. I worry about price, maintenance records and condition of the vehicle... but it's way too early in the game to see what type of deal I got. Buying a vehicle... whether it be new or used, is a huge gamble. With automotive labor running between $60-80 per hour, and parts and service skyrocketing, some people might be better off heading to Las Vegas... but for me it's worth rolling the dice.
Everyone has their own way of doing things. I would never pay 10 grand for a 5-year-old vehicle with 142,000 miles on it. However, you seem to have a system that you're comfortable with, so if you feel it works for you, then best of luck.
Most new cars ought to last until 200,000 miles with minimal repairs, or only a moderately expensive repair like wheel bearings or something. So, if you get another 50,000 miles out of it for your 10 grand, or another several years, it could be a good bet for your situation.
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