Lots around here, and roads are only rarely salted. Buy one in TX and drive it home....
It doesn't seem like a bad deal to to buy a $17,000 07 with ~80,000 miles and rebuild the rear diff if needed. I drive about 7,000 miles a year so as long as I keep any rust at bay, it should last me a long time.To avoid the weak diff issue, shoot for '08+.
Funny, I initially was looking at the cheapest FJCs out there, high mileage and at least somewhat rusty in the $14K or higher range...the more I learned about the mechanical issues and looked at the price/value situation, pretty soon I ended up just where you are saying. A pristine 2010 with 50K miles, from the SW US so zero rust, for about $24K.Buying a 2010+ with ~50K miles for $24K versus a 2007 with ~80K+ miles for $20K makes no sense to me, but that's me.
Well stated. I have done the fly and drive several times for the right vehicle. If you do your homework it can work well. You still have to be willing to walk away if you smell a scam when you see it in person, though.Sorry, I didn't explain the process I used. Obviously, before you put out money for a plane ticket you're going to take care of a lot of stuff over the phone. Work with a reputable dealer who will be honest to you about the condition of the car. Negotiate the price in advance. In fact, the nice thing about this deal is that you can show the salesperson cars in other markets that are cheaper than theirs. Like I told the sales guy on my most recent purchase, "I'm flying somewhere, I don't care where. You pick. I can fly to buy your car for $X, or I can fly to Houston to buy this other car for $Y." You'd be amazed at how well this works.