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“C’char there, yé douète”


Like many other factors, cars are hurting families’ budgets more and more. Credit problems and refusals to financing requests are more and more numerous, while others rightly refuse to finance the purchase of a vehicle at rates that today would be considered almost usurious. In the used, it is moreover no longer rare to see conventional rates approaching 10%, whereas not so long ago, these were rates specialized in second chance credit.< /strong>

This is why many buyers looking for a new car are now turning to vehicles that would be described as “minounes”. Old cars, which are often not financeable and which essentially will do the job until the financial crisis subsides. In other words, cars sold for a few thousand dollars, at most, that come with a 30-foot/30-second warranty, at your own risk.

Browsing through classified ad sites, I now see that more and more car dealers are keeping these cars. A return to old methods for the latter who, for the most part, abandoned these old cars to focus on vehicles aged seven or eight years at the most, allowing them to provide access to credit and to more easily avoid the return from the customer (because the car had broken down the same day).

Need a car quickly? Unable to access financing or add a monthly payment to your budget? You can find old cars today that, despite a little rust and advanced mileage, could do the job. Cars, which may showcase a car shade, that are far from exciting, sold between $2,000 and $4,000, maybe a little more, and which do not represent big financial risks. Because they won’t depreciate very much, as long as you don’t spend too much on repairs, and because scrap dealers are now paying close to $1,000 for complete cars that are still running.

If, until very recently, this type of car was mainly sold by individuals, we are currently seeing a strong comeback of these at dealers. A situation that reminds me of a business once located in St-Hubert, where I had (as a teenager) purchased a few “ minounes ”. Because at 17, penniless, I bought what I could. Certainly not what I wanted.

In 1994-1995, this business must have had around forty old cars in its possession, which were sold for between $500 and $2,500. No financing is possible, same thing for the inspection. However, the owner of the business, a certain Mr. Fortin, managed to peddle these old jew’s harps with a rather astonishing turnover rate. A festival of Chevrolet Celebrity, Dodge Aries K, Ford Tempo, Renault Alliance and other great vintages of this kind, with sometimes a few Japanese cars, even if they were rare.

A few of my friends and I, who were in a similar financial situation, went from time to time to see the inventory of this business. To pass the time, but also to see if it wouldn’t be possible to find a little better than what we were driving at the time. Each time we approached a car to observe it, said Mr. Fortin approached in turn, telling us: ” C’char là, yé douète” (translation: he is in good condition). He said it so often that it became his nickname. Thus, since the Internet did not exist and we therefore had to travel to see the vehicles, we passed by “Yé douète “ a few times a month.

Fortin first sold me a 1985 Mazda 626 with a somewhat weak engine, which had nearly 300,000 km on the odometer. A car that paid $800 and in which I replaced the engine a few weeks later. It must be said that at the time, we got an engine for $100 for scrap. Two or three evenings in the garage of a friend’s father to get his hands dirty and the Mazda had been entitled to its mechanical transplant. A few months later, I sold this car to Mr. Fortin to acquire a 1988 Volkswagen Fox.

He offered me $800 for the Mazda with the “new” engine, while the Fox was sold at $1,200. Although solid, this Volkswagen only lasted a month, before the manual transmission failed. I then brought the said Fox back to Mr. Fortin who still agreed to give me back $700, to sell me a 1988 Sunbird for $800. This one only lasted a week. Because the slight click of its 2-litre OHC engine was ultimately more disturbing than what it had led me to believe.

A good player, Mr. Fortin took over the Sunbird without asking any questions, installed another engine and sold it to a guy I would ironically meet a few weeks later in a restaurant. That said, those days of cars aging much faster, but fixing themselves with a handful of dollars and a bit of resourcefulness are now over. Those were the days when car diagnostic sockets didn’t exist, when temperature, charge and engine oil indicators were the only ones we could worry about, and when parts cost next to nothing. p>

Today it is much more difficult to obtain such cars, since the amount of technological elements (even on a twelve-year-old car) causes the problems to multiply and cost much more to settle. Because even if you are told that the coveted car is “doubtful”, it is clear that at these amounts you will buy yourself small problems.

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