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Hi,

I'm new the the forum. I've always wanted a beetle, and have decided to find an older one to save some money. I'm looking at a 2006 red beetle, not turbo, which has 80K miles, seems in great shape, but they are asking $6500 for it. BlueBook says more like $4500. How much should I go by the Kelly Blue Book prices? The seller didn't reply to my email asking if they'd come down to $5K so I think I undercut their price a bit too much. Is $6500 a fair price? Should I try to get them down to 5500 or 6000?

Also, I read that most beetles need timing belt and water pump replaced at 80K miles. Is that correct? I mentioned it to one seller and he said "it has a timing chain not a belt so you don't have to replace it". That didn't sound right to me...

Thanks for any info!

-Dan
 

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Hi Dan. I am also in a search for a Beetle. It is true that the 2.5L 5 cylinder engine has a timing chain and not a belt. I have read here that in the first few years of the 2.5L some did have timing chain and chain tensioner issues. The 2.5L was first on the Jetta in 2005 and the earliest I can find it in a Beetle is 2006. Both the 2.0 and the 1.8L engines (earlier NBs) have the timing belt which should be replaced around 60-70K miles as I have read here over and over.

As an experienced car buyer (I bought and sold over 60 in my life) sellers don't like to negotiate over email. As a frequent Craigslist user if someone starts negotiating price before they see the car, I usually don't even reply. I'll answer any question about the car but "What is your bottom line?" is met with, "Come see the car".

It appears that the used car business has changed since the "Cash for Clunkers" campaign and the closings of dealerships back in 2008. While dealers are reluctant to pay more than KBB Trade-in for your car, they discount the value of the tool when pricing the car you want to buy. I saw a dealership sit on a car I wanted for 4 months, not lowering their price which was way above KBB retail. After 2 more months of my counteroffer's being dismissed, they grudgingly came down $250 which I had to accept because I really wanted the car. This was on a car that they valued at $28,000 with a trade-in value of $23000 and a retail value of $26,000. They had room and I walked out 3 times for over a week. In the past I almost always was called back before I got home. I guess the car business is too good now and no one is hungry. Maybe folks are overpaying for cars without checking them out and the private sellers figure some other fool will come along and give me what I want for it. It's all about Supply and Demand.
 

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The 2006-2010 have a timing chain, not belt, so it should last till around 110,000 miles or longer, with a repair/replacement cost of around $3,000. I do recommend that you look at a 2010, it's the last year of the NB, thus it has all the improvements.
 

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I would look beyond the years; that had the 2.5L timing chain tensioner failure issue, from my under standing they changed the design from 2008-2010. So, I would look at those or if you want a fun performance car; look at the 2002-2004 Turbo S model. With the prices being high; on some of later New Beetles, you might be able to pick up a 2012+ Beetle, as the prices are getting lower and some people seem to be selling them now.
 
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